3D Dot Game Heroes – Review

At long last Atlus’s latest title has arrived with 3D Dot Game Heroes. Being a huge Zelda fan I have had my eye on this title for quite some time since it appeared to pay homage to the classic 8 and 16 bit adventures that we all enjoyed back in the day. As a matter of fact 3D Dot Game Heroes was one of the reasons why I wanted to get a Playstation 3 system. Fortunately, my initial impression proved to be accurate and I fell in love with 3D Dot Game Heroes much the same way that I did with Zelda in the late 1980s. There are, of course, other titles that are represented here as well however I always enjoyed the Zelda influence the most. The visuals of the game represent a 2D style brought to life in 3D. The Hero of the game can be selected from a long list of premade characters or you can make one yourself. You can literally build your character block by block which makes the customization possibilities mind blowing. Perfectionists will spend hours here trying to make their dream character and it should be exciting to see what people come up with once this game is in more people’s hands.

The writing for this game is fantastic. I loved how the game seemed to know it was a game and, as such, was unusually self aware. The comments regarding Demon’s Souls was fantastic and I chuckled at some of the other references as well. The art style and graphical presentation is charming and definitely made me appreciate the level of detail that the development team put in to this game. The combat for the game is similar to how you would remember it from those classic titles with some twists. In 3D Dot Game Heroes when you are at full health your sword grows to an exaggerated size. Since the sword is so big it will cover a lot of ground for you and, as you progress through the game, you will be able to visit smiths to upgrade your weapon even further. Upgrades will remain in place as long as you keep your health meter full. Your weapon will have a five star attack rating by default. If you upgrade it to ten stars you will do more damage on enemies, however, if you take any damage your strength will be cut in half. In addition to the smiths that I mentioned above you will also eventually gain access to “Block Island”. This is where you will find someone that will trade items for the small blocks you have acquired through your travels. This is where you can get some special swords such as the Katana or Gorgon Sword. Of course there are magic spells in the game along with familiar items like running boots, bombs, boomerangs and much more.

As you travel through the world you will discover a variety of mini games. You will generally locate these games by visiting with residents in towns and inns. The map of the world is laid out similarly to A Link to the Past and works in much the same manner. You can warp to locations once you visit them so that you can move around the world quickly. 3D Dot Game Heroes also features six temples along with a final level that essentially represents each of the preceding temples. There is a floor that is representative of each of the temples you have gone through to reach this point. I thought this was a fantastic idea and really brought everything full circle. You will also get a chance to fight the bosses from their respective temples again however these bosses are now more difficult. It seems like they haven’t forgotten you and have been waiting for their opportunity to get revenge. There is even an alternate ending to the game which fans should enjoy seeing.

Once you beat the game you will notice that you now have a “New Game +” option. This will allow you to start again with some of the items you acquired earlier still in your library. You will also unlock “From Mode” which is definitely the hardest mode in the game. In this mode one hit from any monster will kill you instantly so it is only for the hardcore. If you are only a casual player then you will probably want to stay away from this particular mode. In a nutshell, 3D Dot Game Heroes is an amazing title if you happen to be a fan of the games it is referencing. If you haven’t played any of those classic titles from back in the day you should still have a lot of fun with this title, you just won’t understand the inside jokes. The soundtrack is amazing and I was hooked as soon as I heard the very first note. This is a title that will take you a little while to complete but how long it takes will be dependent on how much you actually want to do. This game will easily take you over 20 hours if you are the type of person that likes to explore everywhere or if you want to earn all of the trophies. The development team should be commended for their attention to detail in this game and you can tell that it was a true labor of love. As I mentioned above, I have been looking forward to this title for a long time and I am looking forward to playing through it again. If you own a Playstation 3 then you owe it to yourself to give this title a chance. This is one of the titles that made me purchase a Playstation 3 system and I don’t regret it for an instant.

Score: 9/10

Originally posted on Totally Gaming Network

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