Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime

Today I'm doing something new. I'm going to talk about a game I've ACTUALLY FINISHED. This probably won't happen too often since, well, I don't finish many games. Anyway, Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime is a Squeenix spin-off of the long-running Dragon Quest/Warrior series (Dragon Quest VIII is the first one we've gotten as Quest, not Warrior) for the Nintendo DS. Rocket Slime features one of the lovable slimes from the series, named Rocket in his own adventure to save all his friends.

The game basically features two types of gameplay: a Zelda-like main game, and a series of tank battles. Yeah, you heard me. TANK BATTLES. The game starts with Rocket's town being attacked by the evil Platypunks, who kidnap all his friends and destroy the town, like any good villains. You run around a series of levels solving an occasional puzzle and progressing the story. Most levels have various parts unlocked as the story moves forward. Rocket's main attack is a slingshot-like attack. You hold a button and press the direction on the D-pad that you want to slingshot, then release, and he goes flying. It takes a few hits to kill most enemies, BUT when you hit one, and many items throughout the game world, then move underneath it, you can carry it around, and throw. Throwing enemies at eachother is a pretty effective way of killing them. Alternately, you can throw them on any of the many carts throughout the game that sends them back to your town, where they apparently give up their evil ways and live happily ever after. Throwing an item on a cart lets you use it later in your tank. Oh yeah, tank battles...

Throughout every level are several midbosses and one main boss who challenge you to a tank battle. Rocket's tank naturally looks like a giant slime-shaped castle. The tank battles are pretty simple, but fun. You run through your tank and grab pieces of ammo, all of which have different characteristics. Most simply get shot to the enemy and do damage, but they do different amounts of damage and move at different speeds. Some have other effects. There's a bottle of oil that creates a blanket of fire in the enemy's gunroom. There's some shields, which naturally block enemy fire, and mirrors which reflect it. Later on, you get the option of having a crew of two to help you out, which is extremely useful. The crew can fire cannons, infiltrate the enemy tank and steal their stuff, and heal you. The strategy in the battles is pretty simplistic, but that's okay. They get very, very hectic.

The game is FULL of puns. One of the first town members you find is a platypunk named Ducktor Cid. Yeah, Squeenix is using him in DQ games now. There's a vampire slime named Dragoola, and things like that. It's silly, but fun. The graphics are purely sprite-based, but fit the game very well. The sound is nothing special, but does its job, so no complaints. The plotline isn't terribly special. It's pretty much just there to get you to the next point in the game, but it does the job admirably. Over all, Rocket Slime doesn't really show off the abilities and power of the DS, but it's a ton of fun for the 20 or so hours it lasts. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants something that's simply fun.

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