The next contestant in the long title competition.
Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree’s Woe and the Blight Below on PS4
Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree’s Woe and the Blight Below is Omega Force and Square Enix’ collaboration into yet another franchise that is going down the Warriors road. Much like One Piece: Pirate Warriors and Hyrule Warriors, you’re running around a battlefield, offing familiar monsters from the Dragon Quest series as you work your way through a vague story. Blue blobs, big eyed cyclops, wacky zombies, and more await your weapon.
The majority of your time with Dragon Quest Heroes will be spent on the battlefield and while the gameplay, mechanics, and every bit of controls work perfectly, it can be dull. This is saying a lot coming from a person with an extensive background in the Dynasty Warriors franchise, where most of your time is spent hitting square. What hinders Dragon Quest Heroes, however, is that there doesn’t seem to be thousands of enemies on the battlefield. In Warriors Orochi/Samurai Warriors/Dynasty Warriors you can’t walk two steps without running into a enemy. But in Dragon Quest Heroes, you’ll find yourself running long distances to make it to maybe five enemies, all able to be beaten in one hit, and then running off to another area to repeat. The repetition that’s inherent to these hack and slash kind of games is then magnified as the chore of running around and easily defeating enemies happens. Because when you have to press square or triangle all the time, you’re left noticing it far more when there are less enemies to see get pummeled.
There is some excitement to the big boss battles, though. Massive dragons and cyclops fill the screen as you slash away at them. It’s a refreshing change of pace for the game whenever you manage to make it to these more difficult bosses, and it feels like an epic battle because of the opponent’s sheer size. It’s just a shame that the majority of your time is spent dealing with smaller enemies, and they don’t always cluster up to give you the satisfaction of wiping out a whole bunch with your circle attack (which is the most powerful move, only activated once you’ve filled up a meter).
Outside of the regular “kill everyone on the field” battles, the game does a good job of blending in the RTS genre with a bit of tower defense gameplay. You’re able to pick up tokens from defeating enemies that will allow you to summon them to fight for you, perfect for the battles where your task is to defend a generator, a person, or some gates. It adds yet another thing that helps break up what would otherwise be a very stale hack and slash as you manage your summoned monsters and place them in the most optimal locations. Add to this the RPG elements you can get into after battle (leveling up, applying skill points, buying better armor and weapons) and the game does a great job of blending together a lot of genres.
The variety in characters helps break up the monotony of Dragon Quest Heroes with each one having its own way of attacking. You prefer someone with a stick, or a sword, or fists, or magic, or a boomerang? There’s sure to be some character right up your alley with their own distinct style, weapon, special attacks, and look.
While the characters offer that variety, you’re not going to be playing Dragon Quest Heroes for the story, though. It’s a very generic “monsters are invading so let’s make friends and stop them” tale. So definitely don’t walk in expecting to be getting a game that’s anything more than focused on its gameplay.
If you’re a long-standing Dragon Quest fan, you may want to check out Heroes as it’s something completely different for the JRPG series. If you’re a long-standing Warriors fan, you may want to check out Heroes but keep in mind that it won’t be as high-octane as what you’re used to. But while they don’t have the same intense battles, it’s still a good time for anyone looking for something new.
• Controls wonderfully, looks beautiful.
• RTS gameplay offers a refreshing break from the monotony.
• RPG elements are very welcome.
• Not enough enemies on battlefield.
• Lackluster story.
• What accent are they doing?