3D Dot Game Heroes Review

3d cover1 3D Dot Game Heroes ReviewVideo games have gone through so many changes since the original NES days. Many grew up during the time when RPGs caught people’s attention with flashy sprites with the blocky 8-bit graphics, but those days have long since passed as games have progressed to 3D, and reached high definition.

As per the normal hero protocol, “The Legendary Hero” rose up to take on evil, and the hero defeated the Dark King Onyx after taking on many trials and challenge, sadly you don’t get to do or see any of them, but instead, the game starts as you take his sword to its resting place, so that would make it the Hero’s sword after he leaves it, creating guardians to protect it.

The world of 3D Dot Heroes was once simple, heroic deeds made Dotnia a very prosperous land filled with travelers and visitors, but eventually no one came. The king saw that the kingdom was behind on the trend and wanted it to be cool, so he ordered the entire kingdom be converted to 3D, and so it was blocky and 3D, but it seemed the evil in the past has returned again, and a new hero is needed.

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3D Dot Hero doesn’t discriminate on heroes, you are allowed to create your own hero, download pre-made heroes from other users or use the pre-existing ones. Use a ninja, a dragon, a knight, a monster, a stick, or even use a heroine (the game will still treat it as a male so you can have some funny moments. There is no limit to who you can create that will save the kingdom from evil.

Your first job after being recruited by the king is to find the Hero’s sword that no one has found, luckily for you, rather than spending a whole quest to find it, you already know where the sword was placed, so you go next to the castle, walk into a forest, take out the guardians and retrieve the sword. Now you venture forth to protect the kingdom from evil, having to find 6 sages and 6 orbs that will give you the power to fight the dark king, as each orb is placed in a specific temple protected by a boss.

The gameplay is simple. You attack with your sword in the direction you face, move around and attack again, it’s your basic old school adventure play style. 3D Dot Heroes expands on this by what your sword can do, you can attack and change the direction you face and the sword will follow, making it easy to make your own spin attack. When your life is full, your sword expands immensely in size and width, creating a sword close to 1/3 of the screen, this makes enemies and bosses easier as long as you maintain full health, taking any hit will cause your sword to return to its original state. There are 24 swords available for you to collect in the game, many being silly and funny, such as a fish sword and the “Legendary Home Run Bat.”   Secondary weapons help you progress in the game as you collect: the boomerang, hookshot, bombs, bow and arrows, and dash boots. With all these weapons, what’s a hero without some sort of magic? Don’t worry, you’ll get a few spells needed to proceed including an awesome freeze spell to freeze the whole stage.

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At first the game seems like a homage to the Legend of Zelda, and yes it is. There can be no doubt about it, but this game takes what fans grew up with and expands on it. It is a dungeon crawler as one will spend more than 70% of the game searching and finding their way around to get to the boss. Challenges and puzzles can be very frustrating at times, as the map doesn’t always help you. But with a lot of patience, and a lot of trial and error, you will eventually overcome the temples. 3D Dot Heroes offers a lot of side quests and hidden areas you can explore; many quests are time sensitive so they can be very easily missed leaving you without some key items to collect other items, so a guide would be very useful (two worsd, Key Items).
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While the game looks like you are playing a Lego: 3D Dot Heroes, you are not. All the characters are super blocky to a point where it is hilarious. Stages on the other hand are completely detailed as if it’s a whole different game, but it mixes in the characters flawlessly. The game has an install feature, which of course allows you to decrease load times, but I suggest not doing it for this game as each loading screen gives homage to different video games from old school days, but even still loading times are very short.

The game offers more than just its 20-30 hour gameplay, once completed a New Game+ option appears with a harder “From” difficulty appears and even the ultimate challenge “Spelunker” mode appears, where you die from taking one hit, giving the game some challenging replay value.

3D Dot Heroes expands on one of the most enjoyed childhood games and expands it to new horizons, while the game can be a headache at times, it gives off a funny impression and a nice challenge with everything it offers. It luckily is a very inexpensive game for a Next Gen system as it really embraces the graphics with the background, while giving you some laughs if you can catch some references. This is a game you need to play if you were an old 8-bit or even 16-bit fan and enjoyed action games, for everyone else this should be a game to check out on the PS3.

Grade: A

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