3D Dot Game Heroes User Review
For a couple years, I coached a boys premier soccer team in Nova Scotia, and I have to say that this was probably my favorite athletics experience ever.
I remember the try-outs before my first year with the CC Riders organization. The club coordinator gave me a heads up about one young guy who couldn’t make the first tryout due to family issues, and that I should let this guy come out to the second tryout because “he would probably be the best player (I’d) ever seen.” When time came around for the second tryout, I was introduced to this supposed break through player, and my first impression was “uh…. Are you kidding me?”
This kid was small, thin, and conjured up images of a thin twig. Not even a full sized twig. A thin twig. Like if you got 2 twigs side by side, he wouldn’t even be the smaller twig. He’d be even smaller than both twigs you had in front of you. He looked like his bones would grind together with each movement, rendering him immobile. There was no way this kid can play soccer. Besides, if I let him play with some of the muscle heads in this league, I might have a lawsuit on my hands in terms of health and safety.
Nevertheless, this kid turned out to be brilliant! He wasn’t actually very flashy with his footwork. He wasn’t especially fast, and he couldn’t muscle people off the ball. However, he was smart and made decisions quickly. This kid could see the field well and make plays happen. He was deceptive with his body language, and although he was never the hero, he was always the start of a fantastic play. This kid made plays happen. Aside from that, he demanded a kind of respect with his personality. The team loved him because of his quick wit and unselfish play. He made everyone else look better.
3D Dot Game Heroes is a weird experience. It isn’t flashy, it doesn’t really rival the competition, and at first look, one would think they’ve pinned it down as a kids game as we wonder what the eff it’s doing on the PS3.
I mean, the graphics in this game appear pretty elementary. The land awareness reacts pretty well to the NPC, and the environment is fluid. But basically, it’s meant to be super basic. Everything is made up of blocks, which gives the impression of incredibly low resolution. Some elements, like the water or the sky, look pretty cool, but for the most part, this isn’t a graphical powerhouse. Nor is it meant to be. In fact, the game goes out of its way to make it look like an ancient 2D world, only in 3D. The opening to the story actually starts out in 2D with the King declaring that the kingdom should become 3D to attract more tourism! Then ‘pop’ things turn 3D, but of course, people are still in low resolution. If you ask me, this actually accommodates a high level of charm. However, it would almost be immoral to give graphics a high rating among other graphical powerhouses.
I actually feel like the game sacrificed visuals for gameplay in a very literal way. It’s like they actually gave the visuals to the video game gods as an offering for gameplay blessing. Basically, this game IS Zelda. The gameplay is nearly identical to the SNES classic, “Zelda: A Link to the Past”. Which, if any of you remember, was a ton of fun. There’s use of towns, shops, a sword, shield, magic, bombs, boomerang, bows and arrows, lamps, etc. Seriously, this game is Zelda. I actually started wondering about publishing rights when playing. Nevertheless, if you enjoyed those classics, then this is the title you want. The map even scrolls section by section as you move across the world!
There is definitely more customization. You can literally build your character. Litterally. Block by block. Color by color. Animation by animation. The sky is the limit. I’m actually in the middle of creating a Cloud character. I mean, why not? You can customize your sword to the point that it fills the entire screen. Cloud had a giant sword as well, I figure. However, if you aren’t into creating a character from scratch, there are pages of other types of characters to choose from. Even Santa Claus!
The music in this game will take you back. If you’re a younger gamer, this might not grab you quite as much as it grabbed me. The music is appropriate and pleasant, and it fits ever scenario. It carries a mix of the old with classic tones old school sound effects, with hints of new touches. It’s hard to explain, but when you hear it, you’ll understand what I mean.
The control is so easy to get a hold of. With so many different items to use, you won’t get bored from repetitive action. Every map has different obstacles and requires new strategies all the time. Again, it controls like Zelda. There are times, however, when moving downwards on the screen, that I wished I could zoom out with the camera. Occasionally, I would be moving downwards and get jumped by an enemy I couldn’t see. This would frustrate me from time to time. Especially since, like in old Zelda’s, you sword loses it’s special powers when you don’t have full health.
The replay value is pretty decent. What is nice, is the 3 different classes you can try. Not only that, but you can make an infinite amount of characters with unique designs. Basically, this isn’t a title you’ll become bored with very easily.
I knew before I turned this game on, it would be a bit ‘blocky’ visually. (haha. I made a funny!) However, my first impression of this game was, “um…. Are you kidding me?” It seemed so elementary, and at first, it was painful. But literally 5 minutes in, I began to realize something. It wasn’t flashy. It didn’t do any neat-o tricks. It isn’t really something built to tackle the opposition. However, the developers have made a game that is fun and nostalgic. HEAVILLY nostalgic. It’s actually a ton of fun, it’s easy to play, and anyone can enjoy it. This isn’t a title that will make PS3 famous, but it is definitely something that will make current PS3 owners better off, just by it simply existing. I was deeply concerned when I began this title, but once I really got started, I realized it’s downright hilarious and absolutely brilliant.
This game will remind you about why you got into video games in the first place. Did I mention it’s hilarious? If you’re aged 25 years plus, PLAY THIS GAME. Even folks younger than you may enjoy this title depending on how hung up they are on graphics.
I know this title didn't really show up on the scene during it's time for graphical prowess, but let this kid have a go at the next tryout you have. It might surprise yoU!
This user review does not reflect the views of the PSX Extreme Staff.