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Old 04-09-2009, 12:01 PM   #1
pungistick
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Please rate this review: Dragon Quest V Hand of the Heavenly Bride

A Great Classic Finally Reaches North America

HIGH Excellent story and lack of grinding makes this game a great experience.

LOW Menu system and battle mechanics can make the game feel outdated.

WTF There's a point in the game where someone manages to get pregnant and give birth all in a day.

In the modern day of RPGs the Dragon Quest series can seem like an outdated franchise; however, they have always had a level of quality that sets them apart from other role-playing games. Itís taken a long time for consumers to acquire a legal translated copy of Dragon Quest V Hand of the Heavenly Bride for North America, being that this is a remake of a game that was initially released on the Super Famicon. This explains the lack of any CG cut scenes, random battles, and archaic battle system; but, Dragon Quest V is an incredible game that tells a great coming of age story of a boy, who ages, gets married, and has a family. The game makes no attempt to dazzle the userís senses with dynamic camera angles or high fidelity cut scenes but will tell a story about a manís life remarkably well through good writing and artwork.

Initially the lack of abilities and attacks can make Dragon Quest V feel very antiquated. However, the characterís abilities always fit the context of the situation. As a child the main character is hardly capable of dispatching the weakest monsters without the help of his father; however, as he gets older he becomes less reliant on his father and becomes stronger thus unlocking more abilities such as recruiting monsters. This ability adds another layer of depth to Dragon Quest V. Each monster that can be recruited can have certain weapons and armor equipped to them as well as unique spells and attacks. This encourages the player to strategize in creating the best party they can through the monsters they recruit. Along with recruit able monsters the hero can have key characters join his party as well, thus creating a nice amalgam of mixing main characters with monsters in the party. There are some really humane tweaks that have been made to the same. The most notable is if the party should ever be completely wiped out, no progress is really lost. The party is simply carried back to the nearest church, which acts as the gameís save points, and all experience and gold gathered still remain.

It would be too much of a spoiler to talk at length about the trials and experiences the main hero goes through. Dragon Quest V Hand of the Heavenly Maiden is just a great experience that people should try out. The story comes full circle as the player witnesses the protagonistís life from childhood to adulthood. The art style makes each monster and character look distinguishable preventing any generic character designs and the dungeons are well designed so the player is never forced to grind or artificially force the player to spend more time in an area that they really have to. Dragon Quest V is based off a 17 year old game but it is definitely a unique and wonderful experience to play through it.

Disclosures: This game was obtained via Gamefly and reviewed on the DS. Approximately 20 hours of play was devoted to the game and was beaten once.

Parents: Rated E10 by ESRB, but most of the content shouldn't really cause a major concern for parents. There are some slight alcohol references and bars in every town. There might be some shocking sequences in the game. Dragon Quest V doesn't hold back killing off characters. Some slight cursing: "damn" and "hell" are used. There are two casinos in the game where the player can gamble. There are alot of religious references where eveyone in the game world worships "The Goddess".

Deaf and Hard of Hearing: People that are deaf or hard of hearing might be missing out on the good music score but nothing integral.
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Old 04-13-2009, 10:23 PM   #2
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Re: Please rate this review: Dragon Quest V Hand of the Heavenly Bride

this could run as a short, 'capsule' or 'snippet' type review but it doesn't have the critical substance required to be a fully-fledged review in the same category as other articles on this site, in my opinion.

this review does something which i've seen often with community user reviews. it is filled with nuggets of obscure fan-based knowledge - that it's taken a while for the legal translated copy of dq5 to become available, that it was originally made for the famicon, that the design is 17 years old - which do not add value to the review. nor do they say much about what the reader might expect of the game. i think these things are best left out.
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Old 04-20-2009, 04:31 PM   #3
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Re: Please rate this review: Dragon Quest V Hand of the Heavenly Bride

Ditto what Aoki said.
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Old 06-26-2009, 04:04 PM   #4
Dale Weir
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Re: Please rate this review: Dragon Quest V Hand of the Heavenly Bride

It is on the short side.

I don't mind nuggets of info that fans would take an interest in, but in a review as short as this one, such info takes the place of more important things like why the game is any good. I didn't get a sense of why the game was worth existing even after reading the review.

And your reluctance to get into the story, and therefore "spoiling it", just hurts your point about how the experiences are worth "trying out".

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Old 07-21-2009, 12:26 PM   #5
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Re: Please rate this review: Dragon Quest V Hand of the Heavenly Bride

Hi pungistick,

Thanks for writing! I agree with the comments above, about lengthening this review.

The thing is, it's obvious (even with this small piece) that you feel strongly about DQV being a good game. I like the bits about a well-told coming of age story, or "...man’s life remarkably well through good writing and artwork."

That's enough to pique my interest, but you don't tell me why it's so good. There is a brief, high-level overview of the game mechanics. Overall, I don't really get a sense from you of what it's like to actually PLAY this game.

As the resident JRPG fan, I know the conventions of these games, and having spent a lot of time with DQVII I can guess what I'd be getting out of this game. But I'd like to hear about the world you travelled in, or the monsters you had to fight, or some moment that really captured your imagination.

I hope you'll consider expanding this review with some more detail, if you'd like to be published on our homepage.

And kudos on keeping to the details of the format! (I laughed about the amazingly short pregnancy.)

Keep on writin'.

--Jason
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Old 07-21-2009, 08:18 PM   #6
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Re: Please rate this review: Dragon Quest V Hand of the Heavenly Bride

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Weir View Post
I don't mind nuggets of info that fans would take an interest in, but in a review as short as this one, such info takes the place of more important things like why the game is any good. I didn't get a sense of why the game was worth existing even after reading the review.
Yeah, as one of our resident RPG dorks, I don't mind the nuggets either (I'm working my way through the game and planning to review it soon and I'd most likely mention those things too), but I agree that this piece needs more meat.

RPGs are hard to review...you can go way long (as I always do) or you try for the capsule review and everyone comes away saying "but it didn't talk about "X"!"
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