The lights are on
You know those games that evoke a kind
of nostalgic feeling when you play them? The ones that take you back
to you and your NES or SNES system when you were playing Mario and
Donkey Kong and trying to get used to holding one button down with
your thumb to run and tapping another button with the middle section
of your thumb so that your jump over the stupid pit that you always
freaking miss and......sorry. What was I talking about...oh yeah.
See, nostalgia can bring you happy memories or the not so happy ones.
3D Dot Game Heroes (yeah, that's its name) brings up all those
feelings back in a swirl of...LEGO blocks. You'll remember the fun
times, gently petting your controller like a new puppy, then other
times you'll find yourself gnawing at the same controller like you're
trying to chew your way to its core and make it pay dearly.
3D Dot Game Heroes (hence forth will
be known as Dot Heroes because I'd like to keep whatever sanity I
have lost by the end of this review) is a 3-d adventure game
exclusive to the PS3 (which is a little strange...and here's why)
that is similar (by similar I mean border line copyright
infringement) to The Legend of Zelda for the NES, and A Link to the
Past for the SNES. This is where the nostalgia comes into play.
Let's see if any of this sounds familiar. You play as the descendant
of an ancient Hero who once saved the land from the Dark King. You
start out by going and retrieving the Master Sword...er...the Ancient
Sword from the stone it was left in so you can defeat Ganondor—sorry,
the Dark King once more and restore piece to Hyru--I mean Dotnia. In
order to defeat the Dark King you must travel to the seven temples
and retrieve the help of the Seven Sages (they didn't even try to
disguise that one) in order to stand a chance.
Now just because Dot Heroes totally
stole the ball from the old (and some new) Zelda games doesn't mean
that it isn't fun. Quite the contrary, Dot Heroes is chalked full of
fun and old good times. If you had fun in the old Zelda games then
you'll have a blast in this one. The graphics are not revolutionary,
or even anything great, but they are fun and keep the game
interesting throughout. The environment, characters, everything is
made out of LEGOs. That's were the Dot in the name came from. The
environments have everything offered in the old Legend of Zelda
games, but with a new building block look to it. I rather enjoyed it
throughout. There are a several side quests available after each
temple completion, but few ever really lead to anything that makes
you think “wow, this long quest line was really worth it.” The
camera angles offer four different views, all of which are variants
of the old overhead camera view of Legend of Zelda. The gameplay is
identical in most aspects. The creature encounters, exploration, and
dungeon crawling are all nearly identical to Zelda for the NES. Even
the items you get are very similar. For instance; a boomerang, a
bomb bag with bombs, a bow and arrow, empty bottles for potions, a
hookshot (called the anchor rod. Clever right?), and a few others.
Your life meter is also similar, although, instead of hearts, Dot
Heroes uses apples. Completely different, red, look like hearts from
a glance apples.
Dot Heroes, perhaps feeling that we
might penalize them for not being original enough, added a few neat
things to the game to give it its own unique feel. Unlike the old
Zelda game, you don't have to just stab straight with your sward or
swing with barely any reach. Dot heroes allows you to swing you
sword in any direction by just pressing that direction with the d-pad
or joystick. Also (and this part is really cool) you can upgrade the
swords that you get. This is the RPG-esqe style that was put in for
a little more uniqueness. Each sword you get has this cool attribute
of getting SUPER HUGE when you swing it at full health. The length
and width of this monstrosity can be upgraded, as well as it power
and other attributes. Each sword looks a little different from
others, but not enough to really justify changing swords. There are
a few swords, however, that have a large amount of power to them and
will definitely have you using them for most of the game.
As mentioned before, this game
incorporates the good AND BAD parts of nostalgia. The explorations
aren't that tedious and the environment helps to keep that part
interesting. The dungeons, however, get boring after awhile. Yes
the dungeon's rooms are set out in different maze like patterns and
each temple has its own little trap used throughout the whole
dungeon, but you eventually realize around the fifth temple that it's
mostly the same. Dying doesn't help since you start back at the
beginning of the temple and, for most, you have to take a specific
set of passages back the way you just went. One temple was
especially bitchy in that respect. It had these switches placed in
several rooms that activated a universal trap to the dungeon.
Platforms would rise or lower, cutting off or opening passageways.
If you died, you had to start all over, hitting switches in different
rooms in a specific order, EVERY FLIPPING TIME! I can't tell you how
many times I would be killed by some stupid enemy, only to be whisked
to the first room so that I could enter a room, kill all the enemies,
hit the switch, advance, next room, kill baddies, hit switch,
advance, next room, no where to go, back track, hit switch,
re-advance, kill badd-AGHGHHGHAHGHGAAGHGHGAGHGHGAGAGHGHGHHGH!
(gurgling on own blood from blood vessels in neck busting).
I have to mention the audio here. The
score is really cool and takes you back to the good old days with the
Zelda-esqe adventure tunes. But when you are stuck in a dungeon for
an hour or more and you have to listen to the same music over and
over and over again it just makes you wanna grab a wii remote (yes,
go find a wii controller for this exercise) complete with nunchuck
attachment, force the remote part through one ear and out the other,
take the nunchuck in one hand, the remote in the other and FLOSS YOUR
F***ING BRAIN TO BLOODY, SMUSHY PIECES. Look at that. I found a
good function for the wii control that doesn't require SUCKING.
The AI is...sporadic. There are
enemies that sit their and let you kill them or run right at you so
you can grant them their dream of becoming part shish kabob, and
there are enemies that border on powers that rival The One of The
Matrix. Most aren't too bad but some are just unfair. Some speed at
you and quickly get to your side or behind you to attack you and the
controls for the player are just not that fast or responsive. It
gets a little irritating at times when you die by the same creatures
over and over again The bosses are...stupid. They all follow the
same predictable pattern that will lead to their downfall at the
hands of you. Have fun.
I think at the final temple, the Dark
Tower, the game developers all either a) had a fun drunk time the
night before making the last temple in which their horrific “who is
that lying next to me” headaches inspired them to redo parts of the
other temples as this one, or b) the lead designer had a seizure and
landed face down on the COPY OTHER DUNGEONS AND BOSSES TO THIS ONE
button and laid there foaming at the mouth while the other developers
poked him with a stick wondering if he was all right. In case you
haven't guessed, the last temple is the other seven, or parts of them
at least, with their respected boss at the end of each of the seven
floors. Then you fight Ganon...I mean...no, screw it, Ganon. Fine
you don't fight Ganon, you fight Dark King Onyx. Then you win the
In hopes that you would play again to
unlock all the swords and do all the side quests, the game has a New
Game + option after finishing it the first time. You get to replay
it with all you're upgrades and items you obtained from the first run
One really cool mode that I really
enjoyed, probably more than the game itself, was the create a
character. It allows you to create your own hero from the ground up
with blocks. This process takes quite some time because, well come
on...you're using blocks. I created a Kenshin Himura, a Rock Lee,
and a Sephiroth (I'm a bit of an anime nerd...and it's Sephiroth.
He's bad-ass) and it is very rewarding to do so do to all the time
you put into it and watching your character kill the baddies and save
All in all, if you're looking for a
fun game to play and pass a couple of days playing, 3D Dot Game
Heroes is something I encourage you to check out. If you're looking
for something revolutionary to the world of gaming or something that
will keep you satisfied for days upon days at a time, then quit
being such a whiney, dreamy little ***. Or go buy a PS2.
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