Dragon Quest V
28/02/2009 at 16:54
This is a DS remake of the 1991 Japanese original, brought to Europe and the West for the first time, and the conversion and translation is one of the better jobs Square Enix have made in recent years.
Making use of a combination of 2D sprites and 3D backdrops, many of the settings will be more than familiar to any veterans of the original with many scenes being exactly as before, albeit with the graphical updates. It does continue the strange decision that Square have made previously to have the sprites appear to be walking, even when completely stationary.
Gameplay is nothing new and follows the conventions of so many other JRPGs, including random battles and dungeons. What is different is the party system that causes your team to constantly change it's makeup, often including various monsters that you will encounter.
The story is what makes this game one of the better and more interesting DS RPGs, following the story of the 'hero' from birth and into adulthood and is a very different approach to the traditional stories that typify RPGs, especially Japanese ones. In a market where there is a wide selection of decent alternatives, it's the story that's one of the major selling points for this one.
Not only is this a very good remake and RPG in its own right, but there are various mini-games and collectables, none of which are essential but just add to the overall package. You will end up playing many of these multiple times and spending considerable play-time on them, purely because they are very well implemented.
There are drawbacks, such as occasional grinding and random battles are never something that I'll get to like, just tolerate, but the charm, humour and well above average storyline make this something that is well worth the time of anyone that is into JRPGs or people that are new to the genre. It's unlikely to win over many that have never enjoyed this type of game but it stands as one of the best examples of its kind.