Dragon Quest Heroes II (PC) Review

By Athanasios 11.05.2017

Review for Dragon Quest Heroes II on PC

One doesn't have to be Japanese to be aware of how popular the Dragon Quest franchise is - although a trip to the Far East is more than enough to make people realise how much popular it really is. Like all things famous, Dragon Quest has seen many a face, one of the most recent being the Musou/Warriors and JRPG blend called Dragon Quest Heroes II (which was reviewed at Cubed3 for the PS4). The press, the fans, and the non-fans loved it, so it must be a great game, right? Maybe, but this review won't be the one that will show why…

Dragon Quest Heroes II. Not a serious RPG… and why should it be so? After all, the Dragon Quest franchise equals simplicity. Does this sound like a lame excuse? Yes, yes, and yes. Sure, this is not supposed to be any more complex than what it already is - a kiddy-friendly fairy tale about a couple of peace-loving realms where war "mysteriously" ends up showing its face - but this doesn't excuse the plot for being so generic, the characters being so one-dimensional, or the gazillion cut-scenes included being so boring. Furthermore, there's no sense of adventure here.

Again, simplicity alone doesn't lead to a boring overall experience. The lack of a "heart," however, does so, and this title simply has none, because, like many Musou and Musou-likes, it all feels hastily made and fanservice-y… And there's a lot for fans of the series to love, as this is basically a mashup of the characters and the truly iconic monsters of the franchise, and, frankly, that's one of the good things here, as everything has been created by the hand of Akira Toriyama, and, as a result, is super-cute, colourful, and beautiful.

Screenshot for Dragon Quest Heroes II on PC

It must be mentioned once more: the large, cartoony cast and bestiary looks fantastic, making the many, and otherwise bland, cut-scenes, a little more tolerable. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for anything else, as this whole realm is just a collection of boring grasslands, deserts, forests, and castles that simply feel empty and fake. The painfully repetitive and stock ye olde medieval OST doesn't make things any better, as it rarely connects with what's going on in the screen, and ends up feeling as if someone left the radio on at an obnoxious symphonic station.

…But it's the actual gameplay part where this fails the most. In terms of concept, it's typical action-RPG stuff, with a little bit of Dynasty Warriors thrown in. You control a team of heroes, hack 'n' slash your way through large groups of enemies, gather resources that can be used to buy or improve your equipment, acquire new and better skills, do a little bit of side-questing, rinse and repeat until this 20+ hour journey reaches its end. What went wrong, then?

Screenshot for Dragon Quest Heroes II on PC

The main reason is how the actual fighting rings hollow, and that's not a minor flaw as this is what Dragon Quest Heroes II is all about. For starters, it's all way too simplistic. Yes, there are tons of moves to learn and use, and the ability to mix and match characters to create all sorts of teams is fine and all, but, in the end, don't expect Bayonetta or anything, as it mostly feels like mashing buttons, with little need for strategy, even when confronting the much harder bosses.

Furthermore, the Musou "thing" is used pretty weakly here. Those expecting to experience the thrill of fighting a river of baddies, think again. While there's definitely lots of one-against-many action, don't get your hopes up for something epic, especially when exploring the non-story Wildlands, where enemies rarely form groups larger than 10 or so, not to mention that, due to their strangely peaceful behaviour, it's impossible to anger them and gather more of them together, as most of the time they are just happy with bouncing around instead of being a threat.

Screenshot for Dragon Quest Heroes II on PC

Note that the party consists of four characters, and it's possible to swap between them on the fly, with the remaining three being CPU-controlled. Unfortunately, the AI is simply terrible. When fighting simple monsters they just run around and attack whenever they feel like, making the already boring battles even more so, and when fighting the big cheeses they forget how to properly stay out of trouble, and end up wasting useful healing and reviving items.

The co-op features included make things a lot more tolerable. First, because human players will surely be much better from the sub-par AI at hand, but, mainly, because it helps you reach the end a little bit faster, as it's much easier (and fun) to fight a boss or a large scale battle along with some friends. However, the thing is that co-op is not always available, as it's only possible during certain kind of battles (mainly story ones). Furthermore… the game simply isn't fun, so why bother?

Screenshot for Dragon Quest Heroes II on PC

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

If the fun factor was high enough, Dragon Quest Heroes II's simplicity could easily be tolerated… but it isn't. This is one of the most repetitive hack 'n' slashers, it barely touches its Musou influences, and its storyline is way too lengthy and unexciting for what's on offer. Other than the cocktail of all things Dragon Quest it provides, this can safely be passed by for something much better.

Developer

Omega Force

Publisher

Square Enix

Genre

Brawler

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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