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13 December 2008

Dragon Quest Swords [Wii]

Plot Synopsis: 6/10
Basic DQ storyline, here. Bad guy went on a rampage years earlier. He was banished by a band of heroes. Bad guy has now somehow returned to power. New band of heroes has to stop him again. And who plays the hero that everyone decides to team up with? That's right: you. So you go through the usual trials and tribulations, making yourself stronger, finding the items you need, gaining experience through fighting, acquiring gold to buy what you need to get by. Same basic story set-up as DQ8, but with different characters. At times, things feel a bit rushed, and relatively unexplained.
I give the story a 6 out of 10. It isn't a bad story, per se. But Squenix really could have tried harder to make this story a bit different from the same re-hashed Dragon Quest story we've played through before.

Game Play: 7/10
The game play can be a bit tricky. Battle scenes are dependent on swinging the Wii remote like a sword. The catch is, how your character swings his sword depends on how you are holding the remote. You are told, during the tutorial at the start of the game, to hold your remote so that all buttons except the trigger are facing up and obviously the sensor on the front is facing the screen. Assuming you are doing this, your character will swing the sword however you swing the remote. If you are holding the sword at a bit of an angle, however, your character will swing the sword differently than you do.
On the plus side, as you play, and use different swords, you learn techniques called "Master Strokes". Each of these requires a different movement of the remote in order to charge up your strike, ranging from shaking it violently up and down to continuously drawing a circle as fast as you can. This is one of the few moments where i feel like the game did something different from anything Squenix had done before. Of course, that's most likely because this was one of the first games they released for the Wii.
Thus, I give the game play a 7 out of 10. It's a good concept, but it seems to me that there are still a few bugs to work out.

Graphics: 7/10
The graphics on Dragon Quest Swords are roughly the same as the graphics on Dragon Quest 8 for the PS2. So I give them a 7 out of 10. My only complaint here is that, since they were working on a next-gen console, maybe Squenix could have made sure there was a more noticeable improvement over DQ8's graphics, even if it was only minor. I know the Wii isn't about graphical capabilities, but it is still a next-gen system. Oh well. Maybe the graphics in Dragon Quest IX will be better.

Overall Score: 6.67/10
I can't help but feel like Squenix really phoned this one in. We've seen the story before. We've seen the swing-the-remote-like-a-sword game play before. We've seen the graphics before. It almost seems like they made this game just to test out the Wii's capabilities for their own knowledge rather than making it for the fans of the Dragon Quest series to play. Like I said about the graphics, maybe Dragon Quest IX will be better.

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