Will charm thy Dragon Quest fan yet may sully non-musou addicts
Dragon quest has a long history dating back to the Famicom/NES day. It has popularity surpassing even Final Fantasy in the land of the rising sun. Creator Yuji Hori along with an external development team – Omega Force – have decided to give fans a taste of things to come with the release of this Dynasty Warriors-styled Dragon Quest Game. Musou is the name of the genre Dynasty Warriors utilized and there have been many Game IPs that have been jumping on the musou bandwagon as well. Dragon Quest is a recent one and has added in a few RPG elements into the mix as well such as utilizing magic and being able to upgrade equipment and such.
The story is your quintessential save the world trope with darkness threatening to spew over the land unless it is stopped by a certain cast of heroes. These heroes consist of Lucas and Aurora who are captains of the Royal Guard. Together with other characters joining along the way they must defend the kingdom of Arba from Velesco who wants to awaken the black dragon Shadroth.
The structure of the title is mission based. You choose missions on a world map either for story progression of simple side missions to earning money or leveling up. This game is in purity a hack and slash title in the true musou style. It also allows your characters to utilize magic to attack, defend, or heal you on the battlefield depending on the abilities of your character. You will start off with only a few characters but eventually you will have the option of using up to 4 characters on a mission at once.
One issue that hinders things seem to be the actual third person camera over your main character. It would have been a bit more efficient if it was pulled back a little for a wider field of view, but this can grow on you over time. Foes will range from very tiny to gigantic in size and certain battlefields will have magical cannons to help you at your disposable. The level design overall is quite bland and it feels very repetitious rather quickly. Better and more frequent usage of magical cannons and such would have been a great asset for stagnant missions. There is a lot of tower defense style missions in this game. So much so that it feels like the developers were a bit lazy, for the most part as you are either defending a barricade, person, or tree. Failure to successfully defeat all foes or protect your person or object in question will result in a failed mission. Thankfully, all experience and money earned is retained.
Graphics and simply lush and vibrant with both character models and environments a real treat to look at. A true showcase of what the Playstation 4 can do. You won’t be seeing many jaggies at this high-resolution of gameplay and I expect the PS4 is utilizing AA (Anti-Aliasing) and v-sync to its best.The animations are quite well done as well.
Legendary composer Koichi Sugiyama’s soundtrack comes through splendidly. Majority of the tracks are from older games in the Dragon Quest franchise just redone in a well done fashion. The voice acting is top-notch and really shows how far gaming has come in the quality of voice casting. Voices seem to be primary done by people of British background and suits each of the characters just fine.
As fun as the game can be, monotony can set in quite a bit. The over usage of tower defense really hampers this title. Playing in spurts may be the best way to go about this one and multiplayer is so sorely missed here as the opportunity is screaming for this option. Dragon Quest fans and people who enjoy musou will surely find things to enjoy from this title, but for everyone else this may as well be skipped.
Platform(s): Playstation 4, PC (Steam)