Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Review: "3D Dot Game Hero"

At S$56, I really thought this game would be a steal. Honestly, it depends on how much you like traditional Zelda games, really. I bought this because I thought the graphical design aspect of the game is noble and daring. If you ask me to be honest, the '3D pixel' art is really painful to watch at extended periods of time.

The game idea is really simple: create a Zelda game, give it a novel art direction, and exaggerate some mechanics/break the 4th wall to create nostalgia or comedy or whatever Kojima does to his Metal Gear games. It's still very much a 2D game with 3D graphical direction.

Hmm where have i seen this before?

What strange, yet simple, art direction games does not have an editor? 3D Dot Game Heroes allows you to make your own 3D-Dotted character. With a few mixing and matching, and comparing with ready-made characters, even one unskilled in 3D modelling and art such as myself managed to create a simple, average, human-looking character, though I probably spent too much time on it.

Then you enter the game. The gameplay is very simple design-wise; I cannot emphasize this enough. You are a hero with a sword and shield, much like Zelda, and along the way you will get tools like bombs, arrows and boomerangs, much like Zelda.

What a boner!

The slight difference, and probably the most 'wtfbbq' and innovative part of the game, is that your sword can be modified to ridiculous extents. It is possible to make your sword incredible wide and long that it looks like it covers half the screen, espacially when you aim upwards. You can also enable your sword to be able to spin while it's active on the screen (like Zelda, only at the more ridiculous degree), or pierce through static objects.

Looks pretty overpowered, especially when you try to use it in dungeons, until you realize that it only happens when you get a certain powerup, or when your health is full. The moment you get hit, it's more or less a downhill battle with a crappy powerless sword as you desperately try to find ways to restore your health.

So basically, you, as the hero, have to travel to 6 temples and save the sages so that they can give you power while you confront the BBEG. So you'll enter a temple, obtain the unique item (be it a boomerang or a hookshot), obtain keys, obtain poss key, kill boss, obtain 1 more heart to your maximum health and learn magic from the sage to use at the next dungeon. Very Zelda-like.

The in-game camera angle. It actually looks weird on big TVs

Seriously, if you are familiar with Zelda, I can guarantee that at least 80% of the mechanics from Zelda are available in this game. You still cut grass to get money, fight some monsters that looks very similar to Zelda monsters, and collect Pieces of Heart to increase your maximum health.


Wow, I'm running out of material to talk about. Anyway, there are tons of secrets to discover and mini-games to play so be sure to read a guide (the GameFAQs one is very well written) while playing. I spent alot of time on the tower defence mini-games, but that's just me.

So alot of mix opinions and feelings here and there for me. I would like to give it a 7, but I also feel that it's being too generous even then. It's still a game worth looking at, maybe not for $56.

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