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Saturday, December 30, 2006

Game Play: Dragon Quest Heroes Rocket Slime

Dragon Quest Heroes - Rocket Slime for the Nintendo DS may have an oddly long name ... and it features an odd cast of characters in ... well .. a kind of odd setting.

But it's really, really fun. I haven't played a Mario RPG - but this is kinda what I would imagine it would be like. Your protaganist - a young slime in the kingdom of Slimenia (surrounded by various characters and objects of similarly and pun-induced names) has to venture forth into a top-down, 2D, classic Zelda-like, RPG world of forests, mountains and dungeons to free his fellow slimes from the vicious (albeit cartoony) Plob. The Plob being, of course, run largely by ducks platypii.

OK, OK - the game is clearly meant for kids. For one thing, its pretty easy. And non-violent. The main mechanic has your slime snapping into a stretch attack, catching things on his back, and scooting things back to town. This mechanic will be used in basically every aspect of the game. It's simple. Also, the game just isn't all that difficult. I've lost one tank battle (more on that in a bit) but I've rarely been hit more than a couple times while just adventuring in general.

That doesn't make the game shallow. There's a crafting system that can be unlocked - you combine items you've sent back to town into new ones. Some of the puzzles, while not terribly brain taxing, require a decent amount of backtracking and collecting. Slimes can hold three things at once and every object in the world is rendered well not just in terms of the colorful pixel art but in terms of physics and abilities. Weights knock things around, wings send things off into the air, bombs ... explode. Once you get to mirror shields and toy soldiers though - you get the depth and diversity that Slimenia really has to offer.

And then there are the tank battles. One kind of boss fight has your crew (once you can assemble one) fighting in your huge tank against another. There's not a lot of strategy - you essentially shove as much as you can into your twin cannons (one shoots high, the other low and things shot out of the cannon - including those weights, bombs and toy soldiers - collide). Still, planning is important. My only loss in the game was when I swapped out crew members and ammo loads with really, really poor results.

So yes - it's simple. It's easy. It's colorful and almost disturbingly cute at times. It's also one of - if not the - best RPG experiences, especially in the action Zelda family of such things, to hit the DS.

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Thomas said...

No, no, no. They're not ducks, they're platypii. Hence the "plob" instead of the "mob."

That game cracks me up. The names of the various tanks are fantastic. Have you gotten to the one that's a Wii joke yet?

Josh said...

Doh! Of course. Updated. If blogger will respond...

No no Wii joke yet .. but that's awesome. Don Clawleone ... that was rich.

Andy said...

Haven't had the pleasure though it does sound funny. You should really check out Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time, that's a great RPG for the DS. Quite possibly the best to my knowledge. :)

Josh said...

I might try Partners In Time after this. This was kind of a whim of an Xmas request. Cutesy is normally not a big attraction to me - but I've been won over here.

Oh, and I just hit the "revolution" joke. Excellent.