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Mar 2, 2008

Review: Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors

Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors
Square Enix
Available for the Nintendo Wii

Dragon Quest Swords is basically the shell of an RPG with a bit of rail shooter and action game tossed in for something a little different, and though it may have looked good on paper, the concept fails to create a magical experience for DQ fans.

You play your stereotypical young hero setting off on his first journey into the big wide world full of monsters and as usual you are joined by your mentor, a royal and a hottie who help you battle the monsters along the way. As the story unfolds you discover the Queen has been entranced by a demon mask and you must free her from the spell and send the demon back into the depths of the unknown, before your kingdom is destroyed.

Each chapter gives you an area to venture out into where you must follow a set trail, much like a rail shooter, and on those paths there are groups of monster that attack you. While in battle mode, you must use your Wii remote like a sword to hack and slash at your enemies. Problem is if you hold the remote wrong, the strokes will miss and you lose points on your final score, but if you try and hold it right for perfect hits, you’ll waste time and end up dead a lot sooner.

Your battle companions, except for healers are pretty much useless if you don’t give them orders throughout the battle. If you give them a set attack command, they’ll hit once every 5 battles, but give them a heal command and they‘ll hit 3 or more times in one battle.

The graphics are probably the prettiest I’ve seen on the Wii since Twilight Princess, with its mix of cell shaded characters and beautiful rendered backgrounds. The characters’ voices are annoying at best with their horrible accents and repetitive in-game chatter. The dialog sounded like something out of a very bad production of a Medieval Times dinner show with all the thees and thous and afeareds. Is afeared even a word?

I wouldn’t suggest buying this game, especially since the game is about 20 hours in length, but don’t be afraid to rent it, if you’re a DQ fan. I honestly hope that Dragon Quest IX is amazing, because the last two DQ game weren’t spectacular and I’m starting to miss the DQ RPG format. There are enough rail shooters and Pokemon wannabes to go around Square Enix, so stop ruining such a great series with gimmicks.

Rating: 6 out of 10
Rent it

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