Dragon Quest Heroes 2 Review – Honored Traditions
Developer: Omega Force
Publisher: Square Enix
Platform: PlayStation 4*, PC (Steam), Playstation Vita (JP Only), Nintendo Switch (JP Only)
ESRB Rating: T
Release Date: April 25th 2017
*The PS4 Version was used to review this game
A retail copy was purchased by the reviewer for this review.
It’s been a few years since the release of “Dragon Quest Heroes,” a fun little ARPG tower defense game that served as a love letter to the franchise. With the sequel in the spinoff series going fully open world, and adding various new elements to the mix, will it stand up to the original? Today we take a look at Dragon Quest Heroes 2.
Dragon Quest games have never been known for their groundbreaking stories or amazing complexity. This game features a pretty average JRPG story full of very cliche plot twists and pacing. The characters have humorous interactions with each other despite the majority of the party being completely inconsequential to the story outside of giving the main characters the “courage and strength” to press on in their quest to save the world. It isn’t bad by any means and does its job of giving reasons for the wide variety of characters to join forces. Don’t go any expecting “Nier: Automata” levels of mind blowing storytelling.
The graphical styles of Omega Force’s games continues to impress me release after release. They’re able to honor each series they create material for so well. Just like the first game, the vibrant world of Dragon Quest is represented beautifully. From the wide varieties of environments to the quirky and memorable character designs, everything is how it should be for a title in this franchise. The PS4 Pro patch for this game also includes an option to greatly increase the resolution for the cost of a stable framerate.
The soundtrack of Heroes 2 is a hard thing to complain about. The few new tracks they’ve added mostly consist of the traditional JRPG fanfare that veterans of the franchise will easily identify with. The songs that they do carry over from the first game are still the same great iconic Dragon Quest themes you’ve probably heard a lot in promotional material for the series.
-Sample of the Soundtrack-
In addition to the new open world exploration, Dragon Quest Heroes 2 adds a few fun tweaks to the formula. The first game played more like an ARPG tower defense game, while this plays like a much more traditional ARPG with more hack and slash oriented maps. This benefits the game greatly as the difficulty spike found in the latter half of the first game makes the game become very monotonous. The roster of characters is of equal size to the first game, though this was changed through Square Enix adding all the characters originally not brought over from the first game as free DLC. There is also a new class system for the main characters that allows you to not be restricted to one weapon type unlike the previous game. 4 player dungeons have also been added to the main hub world that allow to take on tough challenges with your friends, and a run ability for every character to prevent long treks across the open world areas.
Content in Omega Force games is usually overflowing with replayability and various post game content; and this game is no different. In addition to the 25 hour long story, there are at least another 20-25 hours of collectibles, side quests, dungeons, and skill trees. Similar to the first game, you’ll be sure to get your fair share of time sucked away even after the main story is completed.
Omega Force proves once again they can cater to a franchise’s main fanbase while honoring the more niche iterations in the series. Though the story suffers from the cliche writing and tropes JRPGs are often made fun of for, it can’t bring down the well crafted game found here. There are tons of content, and tons of characters; an improvement on the first game in almost every way.