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

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While developer Omega Force is best known for their work on the Dynasty Warriors series, over the last few years, they have really been on an impressive streak with releases including the One Piece: Pirate Warriors series, Hyrule Warriors. Their most recent collaboration, Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree’s Woe and the Blight Below, is easily one of the best titles released from the studio to date.

Dragon Quest Heroes is a great showing of how two big franchises can come together without either one taking away anything from the other. Omega Force mixes the non-stop button mashing, hack-and-slash action from the Dynasty Warriors series with large open maps filled with tons of enemies on screen. It’s also complete with the art style of Akira Toriyama and so many great elements of the Dragon Quest RPG series.

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Dragon Quest Heroes pulls characters from previous Dragon Quest games (including Alena, Maya and Kiryl from DQ IV, Bianca and Nera from DQ V, Terry from DQ VI and Jessica and Yangus From DQ VIII). While the game only slightly mentions their background stories, it doesn’t make a large impact on how the story progresses since it’s focused on four new original characters in the game with two main characters (male and female) which you can select which you will control at the start of the game.

The game lets you experiment with the different characters since you create a team of four to play with. Each character has their own unique weapon skills and magic abilities to use in battle and you can switch between the different characters in battle, giving you the ability to create different strategies on the fly. Speaking of strategy, one big mechanic in this game is the monster medal system: by defeating enemies, there is a chance they will drop a medal which allows you to summon the fallen enemy to your side to fight for you. This especially plays a big role when having to do protection missions, letting you create you own army to guard your objective. In battles, random enemies will appear with the ability to create portals which will generate almost endless waves of enemies until they are defeated. Of course, running around isn’t the most ideal situation if your monsters are getting beaten so by activating certain points on the map, you can use the spell zoom to jump between different points (which helps quite a bit). However, if you lose or things are getting hard, you won’t have to worry too much since you can restart the stage or escape (retaining any gold and experience you earned).

There are a lot of small things that add up to make the game really enjoyable. For example, if a party member falls, you can revive them with the help of a Yggdrasil leaf (which you have a limited quantity on hand). You can use skills or monster spells to heal your life and Tension (from the Dragon Quest series) raises as you do damage, take damage or charge it, which when activated, increases your damage output and lets you activate your character’s Coup de grâce to do massive damage to enemies. Finally, all the damage you do appears in an action bubble, similar with how much damage you have inflicted.

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I can’t help but enjoy all the RPG elements of the game. After each battle, you return to your base where you can purchase new armor, weapons, take on quests, switch your party members, allocate skill points you earn to unlock new abilities and raise your stats. You can even create new accessories with the help of the alchemy pot, using materials you pick up from fallen enemies. Your base serves as your hub for all your preparations and side story elements as you head to your map and revisit or proceed to new locations.

There is a lot to do in this game, and while there is that feeling of repetitiveness in hacking and slashing, it’s the fun of devising strategies on the fly against iconic monsters from the Dragon Quest series. It’s not easy taking on a few trolls, King Slimes, Golems and more at the same time, but it’s fun when you finally take them all down and have them fight for you. You might even encounter a few metal slimes for the bonus experience, but they aren’t easy to hit (even with four characters wailing on them until they run away).

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The game’s story is your standard Light vs. Darkness scenario, but it works (even when it gets cheesy). What I really enjoyed about this whole game is how great it looks, visually and clean (even with insanely large boss fights that take up half the screen), which is awesome. There is quite a bit of content to keep you busy in the game, including fighting waves of enemies, collecting materials and completing sidequests. 

Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree’s Woe and the Blight Below is a must play for any Dragon Quest or Dynasty Warrior fan.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

NR 4_5 Atoms - A-

You can watch some gameplay below:

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