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Dragon Quest: Heroes lacks depth

Nov 6, 2015

By Alexander Cattani - G4 Canada

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Dragon Quest HeroesIn the Kingdom of Arba, both humans and monsters use to co-exist in perfect harmony. Until seemingly out of nowhere the monsters grew inexplicably violent and started attacking their former confederates. Now, as either Luceus or Aurora, you and your ever-growing band of warriors must travel far and wide to help quell the unprompted conflict that has caused a nationwide panic.

Enter Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe and the Blight Below. The latest entry in the celebrated JRPG franchise. Though, fans of the long running series are in for a surprise this time around as Heroes marks the first time that the series has dipped its toe into action RPG territory.

Dragon Quest HeroesWhether it be pandering to the average western gamer's preference for a more action oriented experience or capitalizing on the popularity of the Musou franchise, Dragon Quest Heroes plays significantly different in comparison to its predecessors.

Gameplay in Dragon Quest heroes is simple. Hack, slash and repeat. Truth be told, the gameplay doesn't go any deeper than that. There are no nuanced mechanics, no surprises beyond some very basic levelling systems and especially no uniqueness to be found within the mission structure.

At the start of each mission, you and your handpicked party of heroes are tasked with dispatching waves upon waves of Monsters. Sometimes those monsters will be approaching you from different angles, sometimes they will all congregate at an object that you must defend, and sometimes they will straight-out rush you but the endgame always remains same: kill or be killed. After about the first five missions, I was overcome with monotony. It is the same thing over and over.

Dragon Quest HeroesThankfully throughout the roughly ten-hour campaign, new characters will periodically join your ranks, resulting in a total of twelve different playable heroes. While a dozen characters is plenty, a number of them play similarly to one another, thus leaving you with some characters that are only marginally different.

To make matters worse, the combo variety between each character is astoundingly lacking. Each hero has about five unique combos that they can perform in battle. About three minutes into each mission, you can easily perform your selected characters entire attack list. Beyond basic combos there are special attacks that can be done as well. The special attacks add a little more variety to the combat, though not that much.

Dragon Quest HeroesThough the characters play styles lack depth, their personalities do not. The boisterous cast of warriors is amusing and hearing their banter during cut scenes and missions is a treat. Also, enemy design stands out and greatly adds a sense of personality to the world. From the Gigantes' tumultuous entrance to the loud battle cry's of Doric, the mighty monarch, fan service is delivered in spades and aficionados of the Dragons Quest franchise are likely to appreciate the references and shout outs to the source material.

Unfortunately, presentation can only go so far. Dragon Quest: Heroes gravely lacks depth. Its puddle deep gameplay, coupled with its repetitive mission structure results in a forgettable and bland experience. Though, if you happen to be a Dragon Quest super fan and find yourself with some free time, Heroes could potentially serve as a worthy weekend distraction. Just don't go in expecting anything more.


Dragon Quest Heroes Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe and the Blight Below
Format: PlayStation 4
Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Omega Force
ESRB Rating: T for Teen
Official Site:

Rating: 6.5 / 10

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