PS3 Preview – 3D Dot Game Heroes

Atlus has been very active in bringing highly-anticipated games from overseas to US audiences, especially when it comes to the PS3.  Having already brought over the widely successful Demon’s Souls, they have now turned their attention to the upcoming PS3 exclusive 3D Dot Game Heroes.  PlayStation LifeStyle has had a chance to check out the game in advance and so far so good for this new age Legend of Zelda.

In 3D Dot Game Heroes, you take the role of a hero on his quest to save his world. Nothing new there, however, it’s the world that makes the game unique. The world, which had previously been in 2D, is now coming close to disaster after the King turned everything to 3D. As a descendant to a legendary warrior, you are tasked with collecting 6 orbs of power and sealing evil once again.  The story is told through text dialog with no voice acting to be found in the game.

Right as you dive into the game you will start to find the similarities to the Legend of Zelda at every corner, from the music to the inventory, even the layout of the land appears to be very familiar. To start the game, you must first select your hero of choice from a list of preset characters or create your own from scratch. The preset character templates range from normal soldiers to your out of place shark fin or battle tank.  Each of the preset characters can be edited to fit your own style by changing the color blocks or adding new blocks.  The editor is a bit difficult to wrap your head around at first as you try to piece blocks together to resemble anything but don’t fear, there are plenty of options already there to pick from if your not feeling creative.  Characters are separated into three different types which are Hero, Scholar and Royal. Each of these start you out differently: a hero lacks any magic up front, but starts with more life then a scholar. So on and so fourth.

Once you get past all this and into the actual game you will find just how smooth and exciting the game play is. Just like Zelda you have your sword, shield and secondary items. These secondary items consist of things such as bows, a boomerang, spells and of course bombs. Just like the Legend of Zelda franchise, which 3D Dot Game Heroes drew so much inspiration from, you will find yourself chopping down grass to find items, fighting enemies as you cross the vast map and destroying cracked walls with well placed bombs.  The combat is pretty basic, but it is a ton of fun, and that is what the developer was aiming for.  Speaking on the combat and more specifically your sword, you will find the option to use your money to enhance your swords width and length among other things, to ensure you always have the biggest stick.  However you will only see the full potential of your sword when you are at full health; once you take damage you will default to a standard sword.

It’s also worth noting that this game just looks gorgeous. The attention to detail in turning the whole world into a 3D Lego wonderland is just flat out stunning and awe-inspiring. When you find your hero standing next to sparkling water or you kill your first enemy and he breaks into hundreds of little blocks all over the ground, you will clearly see the beauty in this title.  Not just the visuals, but the audio is also top notch as well. The game features a great score and attention to detailed sound effects which help to bring this world to life.

3D Dot Game Heroes brings back memories that I myself had long forgotten.   There is just something about swinging a sword big enough to fit half the screen and watching the destruction that follows as hundreds of mini “Lego-like” blocks or “dots” litter the battlefield.   The game doesn’t take itself too seriously with a lot of tongue-in-cheek humor, including references to past games.  Overall, 3D Dot Game Heroes is shaping up to be a must have for any PS3 owner, especially at a $40 asking price.  Check back with us in the next few weeks for our full review.