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

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

Omega Force / Square Enix
Reviewed on: PS4 (exclusive)
Street: 10.13

Combining the sickly sweet, bubbly world of Dragon Quest with the repetitive gameplay of the 3D beat-’em-up genre shouldn’t work, but Dragon Quest Heroes manages to turn it into a reasonably fun piece of software. Comparisons to Omega Force’s Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors series spring easily to mind, but I feel that this game takes quite a few much-needed cues from Kingdom Hearts and, in doing so, breathes a little life into the genre. Part of it comes from Akira Toriyama’s colorfully cartoony designs, which translate surprisingly well to high-def graphics. However, there’s also a reasonably robust RPG system under the hood here. That’s not to say that this is the kind of game you’re going to be spending hundreds of hours on—quite the opposite, actually. Dragon Quest Heroes is best enjoyed in short bursts, but still offers just enough light story and character advancement to make the hour or so you spend on the game feel meaningful. Few games in the current generation are able to strike this balance, and while Dragon Quest Heroes is far from perfect, it represents a solid step forward for the genre and something casual enough to fit in the cracks of a busy work schedule. –Henry Glasheen