Dragon Quest Heroes 2 is another Musou game in a sea of Musou games. Does it do enough to set itself apart from the competition, or should you just wait for another Dynasty Warriors game? Check out our review and find out what we thought.
Dragon Quest Heroes 2 Review
In Dragon Quest Heroes 2, you play as either the hot-headed male aspiring knight or the cool-headed female tactician. The choice doesn’t matter much, as these two cousins will be with you throughout the course of the game, and the ability to switch between the two is available. The story starts of with the two meeting up in town for the first time in a while. As they are catching up, a battle breaks out with the neighboring kingdom, breaking the long-time peace between all kingdoms. After the battle you are tasked with finding out why peace was broken and to find out if it can be fixed. What follows is a somewhat predictable 30-40 hour story, that overstays its welcome. They could have easily shaved 5-10 hours off and kept the core elements intact.
Combat is hack-and-slash style with skills and magic added into the mix. You also get super attacks, called Tension attacks, that clear out whole areas of enemies quickly. However, most of the game will see players spamming square and triangle to get through dozens of enemies at a time. This is where the game excels, as it gives you lots of targets to decimate with your attacks, skills, and magic. There are plenty of battles where you do just that, smash through waves of enemies until you kill every last one. The game seems to forget that this is the fun part towards the end. As you progress, the bosses become more damage resistant and the fights take longer. I’m all for a fun boss fight, but these bosses have way to much defense and HP. It just adds more time to the game at a point when it doesn’t need to be padded out.
Where combat changes up from other Musou games is in the Monster Medal system. This was introduced in the first Dragon Quest Heroes, and it makes a triumphant return in Dragon Quest Heroes 2. Basically, you kill enemies and they drop medals of themselves for you to collect. You can then use those medals in one of three ways. You can substitute, which makes you into the monster on the medal. You can also place one down in a location and it will fight with you and take some of the heat off you. Lastly, there are skill medals that have the monsters come out and do a certain skill to help you out. This adds a level of depth to the combat that you typically don’t see in other Musou games. The problem with this system is how it takes away medals from you when you leave and area or switch to another battle. There have been plenty of battles I have left with Monster Badges, only to enter the boss fight with nothing, and it is a bummer.
Other then Monster Badges and your skills, you can also change your party members mid-battle and use their skills and abilities. You and your cousin both have classes, which you can change outside of battle. This makes for a good mixing and matching of various skills and abilities for the two main characters. The rest of the cast is stuck with what they have. This might sound like a turn-off to some people, but they are balanced very well. None of them are a one trick pony, as they all have magic and psychical attacks at their disposal. Most of them excel at something, but you can play them however you want and still feel powerful. The worst part about the class system is that the main character cannot use two-handed swords – only one of your party members can.
Leveling up and increasing your stats is the only way to keep your team strong enough to keep up with the game. The skill tree is pretty basic, with the ability to upgrade HP, MP, Strength, Magic, and Crit Chance, along with skills and abilities. The main characters also have extra stat points they can unlock for all vocations, making you want to level up more than just one class for those extra points. You can always just kill a bunch of monsters and level up that way, or you can take on some of the games side-quests for extra EXP, gold, and gear. The game is much more open than a typical Musou game and it encourages exploration. Chests, wanted monsters, and even mini-bosses are scattered through the land.
The online portion of the game also warrants mention. Co-op is a huge part of what makes Musou games fun. Being able to play with your friends and rack up insane combos and huge kill counts just feels good. Dragon Quest Heroes 2 has co-op play, but it is very limited. You can only play story missions and dungeons together. Dungeons are a great way to amass EXP for your team quickly, but they are instanced and there isn’t a ton of exploring to do. Doing story missions together is fun enough but there are only so many of those. A true Musou game needs to be co-op start to finish, and this one isn’t. Also at the start of the week we had a ton of problems with online and couldn’t connect with each other. As of this writing, I am glad to say that the online is now working well.
Dragon Quest Heroes 2 does enough right to set itself apart from the pack, even it does overstay its welcome. If you are looking for a good hack-and-slash game that you can just have mindless fun with, Dragon Quest Heroes 2 was made for you.