Dragon Quest Heroes II Hands-on Preview – Musou Madness Levels Up (PS4)
As expected, Dragon Quest Heroes II has been giving me hours slime-hacking, golem-smashing, fanfare-jingling fun.
The main difference between this and the original, apart from the multiplayer inclusion, is the mission setup. Rather than select battlefields and missions from a menu in the central hub, players must manually travel to their destination, which involves trekking across deserts, through forests, over fields, and so on. There are fast travel points on the world map, so the walk doesn’t always have to be as long as it was the first time, but the point is that there is an initial required run to each spot, unlike the first game.
That setup was put in place to make this spinoff feel more like a traditional Dragon Quest game, giving players that sweeping sense of adventure that helped the main games become so ridiculously famous in Japan. It partially succeeds, but don’t go expecting an open-world RPG here. This is still very much Dragon Quest Heroes and after your first or second manual jog down to your next story battle, you’ll be pounding that fast travel rather than wade through the same sets of weaklings over and over again.
While in these fields, the team occasionally stumbles across commoners in trouble. Do a simple job of smashing whatever enemies are surrounding these kind NPCs and they’ll reward you with a nice chunk of bonus experience.
DQH2‘s story has been mostly standard stuff. Expect lots of scratching of chins while saying classic phrases like “Another world, eh?” and “But that’s just a legend,” etc. But that’s not why you play a musou game, especially a musou spinoff. That goes for the original Dragon Quest Heroes, as well.
Graphics and music are once again a joy, though I would have liked a few more music tracks. Maybe it’s just because I’m still not quite halfway through the story, but I’m definitely recognizing most of these music tracks — not just from other DQ games, but even from the original Dragon Quest Heroes. I’ve found myself turning on other music or podcasts during the longer portions of mob stomping.
Monster coins function a little differently here than in the first game. This time around, the drops don’t come as often, especially in certain areas, so you’ll need to be more careful about what you throw out and when. Bigger monsters tend to drop coins that allow you to take control of that beast and use its attacks for a few seconds.
I’m liking the ability for different characters to swap weapons, essentially making them a new class. This allows the main character to take on a different role, which saves the player from having to perhaps bring along an otherwise useless party member. Finding the best combination of weapons and warriors has proven fun and rewarding thus far.
Look for more media and a full review once I’ve cleared this thing.