Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree’s Woe and the Blight Below

Rating : 9/10

Finally, we get a Dragon Quest title on Steam! I got the PS4 version when they put it up for pre-order, and have since sunk dozens of hours into it. Even if it’s very similar to Dynasty Warriors or Hyrule Warriors, it’s still a great game all on its own and just oozes the usual Dragon Quest charm. If you were on the fence about purchasing the game because it was coming from Koei Tecmo, fear not! They surprisingly did a fantastic job with their port of this title, and YES, they ported the PS4 version and not the Japan-only PS3 version. The game has a lot to offer, and is a lot of fun to play!

The Steam version includes all of the special Slime Weapons from the various special editions released for consoles. You have to reach a certain point early on in the game to access them though.

Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree’s Woe and the Blight Below

Monsters and humans have lived alongside each other in perfect harmony for as long as anyone can remember. But one day, every monster in the world (save for one) suddenly turn on their human friends and begin attacking towns and cities around the world. Luceus and Aurora, captains of the Arba Royal Guard, serve as your playable “main” characters. Together with Healix, Luceus’ slimy companion is the one monster who remains unchanged, and King Doric, (King of Arba), Luceus and Aurora set off on a quest to discover the secret behind the monsters turning, and put a stop to it. The game plays like your typical Dynasty Warriors title. That is to say, you control a character and hack/slash/jump your way through literally hordes of enemies, which are all iconic monsters from the beloved Dragon Quest series. Skeletons, Slimes, Drackies, etc are all here and look amazing.

Early on, the player gets access to an invention called the Stonecloud, which is essentially a giant flying fortress or airship. The Stonecloud will serve as the player’s base of operations in their campaign to combat whatever fate has befallen Arba. Housing all the amenities the player will ever need, the Stonecloud is an indispensable tool in your quest. Shops, a Chapel (where you can save the game), and other locations are found on the Stonecloud, and is where your characters will return after each successful battle to recuperate and prepare for the next skirmish.

Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree’s Woe and the Blight Below

Along the way, you will encounter and recruit many heroes from past Dragon Quest titles. Players will recognize many faces, such as Terry, Yangus, Alena, and Isla. All of them are controllable on the battlefield, as your party consist of four characters which can freely be swapped between. Each one has a certain play style and unique abilities that can be used to clear waves after wave of monsters in each area. Dragon Quest Heroes also features the Tension system that originated from Dragon Quest VIII. As you take and deal damage, a meter fills up. Once full, you can enter a state of High Tension, which boosts your speed and attack power, and grants access to devastating Coup de Grace attacks!

In addition to all of the playable characters, Dragon Quest Heroes introduces the Monster Medals mechanic. As you defeat monsters they each have a small chance to drop a medal which bears their image. When picked up, these allow the player to summon these monsters to the field to aid them in battle. Monster Medals come in two varieties: Sentry and Saviour. Sentry monsters stay in the general area they are deployed in and defend the area from all attacks. Saviour monsters are one time use monsters that provide HP or SP recovery, or other beneficial effects. Using these Monster Medals can often prove to be quite a boon in many different combat scenarios, which can range from defeating all monsters or defending a certain point or character on the field. Each Monster Medal takes up one, two, or even three of the six available medal slots you have, with more powerful monsters taking up the most slots. Picking up medals for monsters you already have summoned will heal them. Monsters are best used to hold strategic points on the battlefield while the player takes care of others, or providing buffs to your party that they otherwise do not have access to.

Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree’s Woe and the Blight Below

A lot of other features are present in Dragon Quest Heroes. The Alchemy Pot from Dragon Quest VIII makes a return, utilizing the materials you find during battle to create accessories. You can use the gold you earn each stage to buy weapons, shield, accessories, and orbs. Orbs act as your armor, bestowing upon your characters the benefits of the armors they represent. Mini Medals are earned by completing quests, found on the battlefield, or earned from defeating large numbers of specific enemies; These are then used to buy materials, Alchemy Pot recipes, and special weapons. Accolades act as achievement markers, rewarding you with Mini Medals as you complete certain milestones.

Being a port of the PS4 version, the Steam version looks amazing. The AA is a little rough around the edges, but there are workarounds for that for the time being. The game capitalizes on the unique art style that Dragon Quest has had throughout the years, and Akira Toriyama’s artwork is front and center throughout the game. There’s enough eye candy here to satisfy any newcomer to the series.

Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree’s Woe and the Blight Below

Remember all the classic Dragon Quest sounds, songs, and jingles from yesteryear? Heroes has it all! It’s such a nice touch to hearken back to the good old days with the music and sound effects. Many of them you’ll recognize from Dragon Quest VIII, honestly. Picking up items, sword slashes, etc. All sound amazing and just instill a great sense of nostalgia. The soundtrack fits the game near perfectly, even if it is a bit light-hearted. Fans will recognize a lot of the tunes present, and even come to love some new ones.

A thing that a lot of people might like to see is the option to have Japanese voice overs. Those are available here! I have no issues with the English voice overs, but some people do so it’s nice to have the option to toggle between them for those players.

60 FPS? Check! Multiple graphics options, including resolution? Check! Controller support? Check! In-game button prompts that match your controller? Check! Multiple control schemes? Check! No issues here! The game runs very smoothly on my rig and I have yet to experience any problems with framerate, stuttering, lag, or anything of that nature. I don’t expect to either!

This is an amazing Dragon Quest title, even if it doesn’t follow the usual Dragon Quest formula. If you ever want more Dragon Quest titles to come to Steam, buying this game is the best way to vote for more. A solid experience, Dragon Quest Heroes definitely deserves a spot in your Steam Library. Fans of the series will certainly find a lot to offer them, with tons of content and replayability. Nostalgia abounds, and the game is just a complete and utter joy to pick up and play.

An uttering fantastic game, Dragon Quest Heroes is more then deserving of your time. If you like hack n’ slash games, do not pass this one up!

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