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PS3 Review – 3D Dot Game Heroes

April 20, 2010 Written by Cameron Teague

The whole game is not just about your main quest, however, as there are plenty of side missions and games to keep you busy past the 10-12 hours it takes to complete your primary objective. There are quests to be accepted from the town folk you will find along the way. These quests range from getting water for someone from another town, to locating someones lost amigo.  These quests won’t add a lot of time onto your gameplay but they do give you a chance to grind more for upgrades.

Where you will find most of your enjoyment outside of your main quest are the side “mini” games that are available. There are three games that you will find to play throughout the world. The three games are Block Defense, Dash Circuit and Blockout. Dash Circuit is pretty simple yet challenging as you will tasked with dashing around a track and trying to get the fastest time possible.

The other two however are the bulk of the time you’ll spend on mini games and they could easily keep you from finishing the game in a timely manner. Block Defense is the 3D “dot” take on the classic tower defense genre. Here you will fight off wave after wave of ground and air enemies while trying to keep them from reaching the finish line. After so many reach the finish, it is over, so make sure to build up your towers. Not only can you build towers, upgrade them and buy new towers, you can also fight off the wave with your character. Keep your character still and watch his EXP bar raise until he levels up and becomes more powerful. Its a lot of fun, very challenging and would work perfectly as a PSN/PSP game. Atlus, please take note.

Blockout is a classic brick-breaking, Arkanoid style mini game. Here you must keep the ball bouncing upward, hitting the various blocks while at the same time, not letting it get past you. You have two ways to keep the Lego ball in play; by either hitting it with your sword or blocking it with your shield. I would actually recommend the shield approach as it can be a pain in the ass trying to time the sword. Again this is another great fun mini game and provides added value to this game. The mini games are really just a blast to play and some of the most fun I had with this already enjoyable game.

Everything in 3D Dot Game Heroes, despite being made up of blocks, looks excellent. From the moment you kill that first enemy and all his blocks go spilling all over the map, you’ll appreciate the direction the dev team took with the graphics. The audio is filled with retro tunes and while they get repetative, it’s never that much of an annoyance and you can easily just turn down the volume since there is no voice acting in the game for you to pay attention to.

My favorite part of 3D Dot Game Heroes is that it pays homage to many “old school” games from my childhood. The game is brimming with nostalgia at every turn. You will find cameo appearances by characters from Castlevania and Chrono Trigger to name a few, you’ll also find many of references to other games. Most of these cameo’s come by way of the loading screens that can be toggled on or off in the option menu. There are at least 100 loading screens to unlock the game, which you’ll be able to check out in the game’s start menu.

3D Dot Game Heroes is a fan service to old school gamers. That being said, the game is so much fun that it is enjoyable for anyone who picks up this gem of a title. The game doesn’t blow you away with its story or characters, but instead with its charm that shines through with every “dot”. The 10-12 hour quest is filled with much to do, and you’ll have fun doing it. Rounding out the game is the character creation, the mini games and more, all of which together make 3D Dot Game Heroes an outright steal at $40. Silicon Studio, Atlus and From Software have really outdone themselves; they have created a masterpiece made of blocks.

There, and I didn’t even have to mention Legend of Zelda even once…

PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score

Nostalgic at every turn

Busting with charm

Great Mini Games add to an already packed journey

9 out of 10

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