I have been fascinated with the Dragon Quest games since I played a demo of DG7 back on the PS2 and that was mainly because of how it looked. See at the time I, as everyone else my age, loved Dragon Ball saga and since the same guy who drew Goku and his friends drew all of the characters plus monsters in Dragon Quest, I love that particular art style.
15 years later I am playing Dragon Quest Heroes II and even though it is nothing like that old demo, it still has all that same charm I really love and appreciate. And now that I really think about it, this charm was and is the only reason I kept playing Dragon Quest Heroes II for way more than I should have.
If you aren’t familiar with what this game is all about first, it’s a sequel so most of the stuff from the first game carries over and second, it’s a Dynasty Warriors style game set in the Dragon Quest universe where you fight a stupid number of cannon fodder type enemies with the occasional boss fight at the end of the level. It’s repetitive, gets boring really quickly and there isn’t much there to it. Basically is just a pretty cookie clicker game where you can just press square over and over again till you win.
The premise is also very simple, conflict arises between two nations at peace and all hell breaks loose. You can either choose to play as Lazarel or Teresa, two cousins as they try to prevent the conflict from escalating to a full-blown war. Throughout your adventure you will not be alone as three other companions can join your party of four. And there’s a ton of companions to choose from each with his/her unique looks and gameplay style. However, in the end, who you choose doesn’t really matter since the friendly AI is so bad that they can’t even take care of themselves so be ready to revive them multiple times during the boss fights.
RPG elements like leveling up, allocating points to unlock skills and special moves, customizing your equipment loadout from the weapons to the rings and necklaces with special buffs, all return in Dragon Quest II. Now changing and managing the equipment of the main player I get, I will even accept doing the same for the gazillion party members. What I don’t get is why isn’t there an automatic skill unlocking system for the gazillion party members?! After each battle or mission or whatever, you and every party member levels up and earns points and you have to manually allocate points prompt after prompt for what it feels like an eternity.
Then you have the missions and side missions or quests as they are called in game. Again going back to that cookie clicker gameplay, every mission is the same. Go there and fight a ton of enemies, backtrack to get something while fighting a ton of enemies, go back again to fight a ton of enemies and kill the end level boss while also fighting a ton of enemies. Now imagine this but for what, like 30-40 hours straight. Luckily there was a cool mechanic that kept things somewhat refreshing. Monster medals drop from defeated enemies and allow you either to call upon their help to fight alongside you or let you transform into one of the larger monsters for a small amount of time, or call their help by unleashing a large area effect attack.
Yes, Dragon Quest Heroes II is just another Dynasty Warriors type game. If you specifically like that “niche” genre and the visual style and charm of the Dragon Quest universe, then you will definitely love Dragon Quest Heroes II. But, and this is a big but, if you are looking for something more than a “just tap square to win” game, this is definitely not for you. Thanks for reading!