Dragon Quest Heroes Review

November 23, 2015

Another day, another franchise crossing over with Omega Force’s patented hack and slash and action filled gameplay from the Warriors/Musou franchise. This time it’s in the JRPG juggernaut, Dragon Quest. Does Dragon Quest Heroes manage to stand out in amongst the crowd? Or is it simply another in an ever growing list of spin-offs?

Let me start by informing you, that I am not well versed in the Dragon Quest series. I have dabbled in a couple games and am aware of the general concepts of the franchise, but it isn’t something I ever latched on to enough to consider myself a fan of. With that, the game does a great job of making sure you don’t need to be a Dragon Quest fan to have a good time. The game’s plot is an original one, where we see a fantasy world filled with humans and monsters that live in cohesion, until one day a mysterious event occurs, causing all monsters to turn evil and attack the humans. You, as one of the captains of the royal guard, must band together with allies and fight back against the hordes of monsters and save the world. While I am sure there are lots of elements of fan service and lore going over my head, they aren’t integral to enjoying this, somewhat simple but overall fun plot.


Gameplay wise, expect your standard, repetitive but satisfying combo driven action combat, which you use in order to wipe out hoards of enemiespresent in most Warriors titles. The game does a fantastic job at offering plenty of control options as well as letting players choose if they prefer simple or complex controls. Hence, newcomers can jump in quite easily, but veterans can challenge themselves to learn the more complex combo’s and moves. However, that’s where the similarities start to end. The mission structure in Dragon Quest Heroes is a bit different to the standard Warriors formula, opting for shorter, more focused missions. Rather than exploring a map, capturing bases and defeating bosses, you will be typically placed in a smaller map with a specific goal. I personally found this significantly more enjoyable, as in other Warriors I sometimes felt missions dragged on for too long. These shorter missions feel about the right length before things get tedious.

The game also throws in a number of elements that help to keep playing the game fresh. Players can take four party members on most missions and switch with them on the fly. Combined with fairly regular additions to your party, the game makes sure that you have plenty of choice to mix up your combat at any given time. Then there is a fairly unique element to the game, being the monster medals. After defeating a monster in a mission, you may pick up a medal that allows you to summon that monster as an ally. Some of the monsters act as simple buffs or once off attacks, and others act as NPC’s you can use to guard a particular area of the map. This plays well with the almost tower defence like style of many of the missions, as you can set up a barricade of friendly monsters to guard one area, while you and your party assault another.


Boss fight missions are also a highlight of the game, helping break the monotony of slaughtering countless, fairly simplistic mobs, with a beast that requires a bit more strategy to fight. From time to time they may even require use of mission specific gameplay mechanics in order to defeat them. For example, one of the early boss fights was against a giant ogre that could be defeated by simply slashing its feet, but could also be taken out much quicker by jumping onto canons placed around the map and firing them into his eye.

Between missions you will find yourself able to wander around a small hub area and do things like talk to NPC’s, rearrange your party, buy gear and items, check your mail, take on new quests and dabble in alchemy to create special trinkets. While mostly optional, properly gearing your team will prevent the game’s difficulty from spiking to drastically. The UI is also designed to make it very simple to understand the effects each item have on a character  so you won’t need a degree in statistics to achieve the best character builds. Sometimes, the shopkeeper dialogue can be a bit lengthy, especially if you are keen to just jump straight in to the next mission, but overall it is a minor complaint.

The game only offers up a single player campaign, but like most games in both the Dragon Quest and Warriors franchises, and is fairly content rich, with plenty of optional missions and treasures to seek out. There is also a a set of achievements that unlock content in game, rather than just your standard PSN Trophies. Just completing the campaign is likely to take you upwards of 20 hours, but with all the extra content, can extend that significantly.  While the game has no multiplayer and thus no online mode, it does have some online features, such as special weekends where you may earn more EXP or gold, which may give players who perhaps burn out on the game before completion an excuse to hop back in.


Visually, the game is quite stunning. It combines the iconic artsyle of Akira Torima (most famous for the Dragon Ball franchise) with some beautiful HD graphics to make a truly magical world full of charm and wonder. The CG cutscenes are also excellently animated, with the characters personality coming across in their expressions and actions. The game is also kind enough to offer both English and Japanese voice acting, both of which are surprisingly well done. Dragon Quest is a series known for having superb music and Dragon Quest Heroes does not disappoint, pulling from various games in the franchise, with very rarely a dull tune.

Dragon Quest Heroes is a very fun, charming and satisfying game to play. The game combines some of the best elements from both franchises to create a truly great game. While the game suffers a little from the repetitive action gameplay, the shorter, more focused mission structure and excellent boss fights prevented you from becoming bored. Fans of Dragon Quest should play this game. Fan of Warriors/Musou should also play this game. If you’re curious about either franchise, you should absolutely consider playing this excellent game.


Satisfying gameplay, plenty of singleplayer content, fun world, charming visuals


Combat can get repetitive, lack of multiplayer

Overall Score: