Dragon Quest Heroes 2 is upon us. The sequel to Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree’s Woe and the Blight Below has arrived and Omega Force have delivered another hack-and-slash game in the style of Square-Enix’s signature Dragon Quest World.
You take on the role of Teresa or Lazarel who are cousins and reunite after not seeing each other. As they are having a peaceful respite they alongside the many citizens are attacked. After a thousand years of peace, the seven kingdoms are forced into a war. As the two heroes fend off the ambush they find themselves on a journey into the source of the evil alongside many other unlikely heroes. The aforementioned heroes as we know them are characters from past Dragon Quest games and most die-hard fans will not be left disappointed.
Players of the prequel will ease into the game quite easily with it’s gameplay style although the game allows new players to get right into the game too. Like the first game, Dragon Quest Heroes II allows two control styles; a quick control allowing players to get straight in on the action and a slick control allowing players to strategically perform each action. The game lends a hand by helping you through with tutorials and tips and even an on-screen “To Do” if there is a point in the game where you find yourself lost.
While the game builds on a foundation of it’s predecessor it improves on a lot of things. The biggest issue I had with Dragon Quest Heroes was that you would pick destinations from a map when you wanted to go somewhere or complete a mission. This has been revamped into a world where you can run through different areas in true Dragon Quest fashion. You are able to attune to crystal stones in these areas allowing for faster travel using the Zoom spell obtained in the game. These areas are vast areas that have a unique feeling to them now that there is a reason to explore and also find chests in these areas and there are optional paths which can be opened up later in the game. Groups of enemies block the path between towns and areas. Defeating enemies you may come across a Wanted enemy; these usually appear at random but usually are tougher to beat but award a better sum of Experience and Gold. Other encounters include defeating mobs within a certain amount of time; civilians in distress who plea for help and in by doing so and defeating the area of mobs that are attacking them and in doing so you will gain a bonus. Weather is also a big part of exploration now as it can change; for example fighting in the rain can cause your party to be cursed. The last thing to mention is the bonus rewards with Dragon Quest Heroes II is the daily rewards. Playing the game on a certain day will allow better rewards than playing on a different day. For example playing on a Sunday increases the drop rate of accessories from all enemies while playing on a Monday increases the amount of gold that all enemies drop. Whether this is the same every week remains to be seen but what we do know is there is much to do in Dragon Quest Heroes II. “Exploration” is the key word here, there is definitely now more reason to explore than before.
The side quests are there and require collecting materials to fix a previously impassable bridge or to go and take care of a set amount of monsters in a certain area. These are simple even if the explanation of where to go wasn’t so brief. While you are told of the certain area it always isn’t clear and there is a timer but finding a certain enemy can be tricky and while the first encounter you may have amassed many of the creatures, the second time when you need them they don’t seem to appear as often or are harder to find.
The game’s customisation is much like the first whilst some like Alchemy remain some come with improvements; the biggest one is the ability to completely change the two heroes vocation allowing them to walk a different path in fighting; whilst this can be changed anytime it comes at a cost of beginning at level 1 but allows for a varied group or if you wish to play with your favourite Dragon Quest characters. The other characters retain their vocation, for example, Desdemona is only allowed to specialise in heavy weaponry such as battle axes. All characters have their own Skill Points that can be applied to HP, Strength among other attributes and abilities such as Longer Defence boosts from effects that increase Defence. One of my favourite additions as will be many others is the transformation system, this is where you can make any characters weapons look like a previous weapon in your inventory. Yes, that means all those pre-order bonuses or any future weapons you will be saving will not be outdated or go to waste as you can retain it’s looks regardless; this includes Shields as well. You can also change your heroes costumes too and anybody who owns Dragon Quest Heroes The World Tree’s Woe and the Blight Below and Dragon Quest Builders will also obtain a nice reward just for having those games.
One of Dragon Quest Heroes II’s biggest additions is the Multiplayer. Cooperative online play allows two or more players (up to 4) to work together and take down a Story encounter or together in a new labyrinth in which players will fight. New labyrinth dungeons (Map Pieces) can be unlocked by finding them scattered throughout the main story. Players participating in online play while cannot chat to each other directly in game are able to use short phrases which can be accessed using shortcuts on the controller. Whilst playing online Players can revive each other much like in the campaign if another player is down provided they have enough Yggdrasil leaves to do so. Collecting Healing Herbs restores some health for the whole party; on top of this characters with healing abilities can also heal each other proving they have the MP to do so. Finishing an online dungeon gives players bonus rewards such as items that allow increased Experience game for a short time. Each dungeon floor can also have an ability, for example, increased Critical Hit chance for the floor that you are on or increased Gold drop from all enemies; pair this with the daily rewards is a great way to farming Money. The online multiplayer in all is fun and there is a real feel of cooperation which is something that Dragon Quest Heroes II needs. Going forward this is something that Omega Force could work on and allow additional content and keep the game thriving and give it a replay-ability value.
The game is full of personality just like the characters in it who all speak like the cast from Game of Thrones and you will either love the characters or you won’t; it’s Dragon Quest, the game doesn’t take itself too serious. If you didn’t enjoy the first Dragon Quest Heroes game then chances are you won’t here either. Character award goes to Torneko who is a true representation of an Irish Man.