RPG Legion

Dragon Warrior

This is my review of Dragon Warrior for NES (you already knew that?!? Well then, on with the review....) In this game you play as the descendant of Erdrick (or Loto or whatever the hell you feel like calling him. I'll call him Erdrick because I feel like it). You get to wander around the world visiting towns, exploring dungeons, and fighting monsters (mostly fighting monsters, in fact you rarely do anything but fight monsters). You only get to control you one character, who you get to name (what?!? Enix is too cheap to give you a default name?) but that's not a problem since you never fight more than one monster at a time. Be prepared to fight lots of monsters in this game.

Gameplay: 7/10

As I already said you only control one character in this game .(Yes, I did say that, look up one paragraph!) As you fight monsters you slowly (and I mean slowly) go up levels. When you go up levels you get more powerful, and sometimes learn spells. As you get tougher you can move on to new areas and new monsters to fight.

Outside of combat the game is in a 2-D overhead view. There is a large world map for you to explore, as well as 6 towns, and 5 dungeons. As you wander around outside (or in dungeons), you occasionally (okay quite often) encounter monsters that you must defeat to gain XP and gold so that you can get tougher to move on to new areas to explore.

In combat it shows a picture of the monster you are fighting on top of a picture of the terrain you are in. You take turns with the monster, first you attack then the monster, then back to you. There are a limited number of choices. You can attack, cast a spell, use an item, or try to run away. The combat is simplistic and easy to understand, which is good since you will spend 99% of your playing time in combat.

The interface outside of combat is somewhat lacking, the menu you bring up is easy to navigate (it only has a few choices), and it's easy to do what you want. The problem is that if you want to talk to someone, you actually have to open the menu, and select talk. And when you wanted to go up stairs you had to select stairs from the menu (Now why else would I be on stairs if I didn't want to go up or down?!?). But at least it has a definite improvement over the original Dragon Quest for Famicom or MSX. In the original you not only had to select talk from the menu, you also had to select which direction you wanted to talk in. I'll give Dragon Warrior a bonus point for eliminating that feature.

This is also one of the first games with a battery save (yes I know it's not the very first leave me alone!). Unfortunately you can only save your game at the king in Tantegel castle, but at least it doesn't have a password system like the original Dragon Quest (another bonus point).

The main problem with the game is that there is so little to do, and it takes so much XP to level up. You'll spend almost all your time leveling up. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. Dragon Warrior is just a simple little game where you can sit down and fight monsters when you're bored. You don't have to think about, just have fun squashing slimes and drakees (and eventually dragons!) If you're looking for a game with lots of interesting things to do, I suggest you skip this game.

Difficulty: 5/10

This game really isn't exactly very tough. As long as you have leveled up enough (which is what the whole game is about anyway) you won't have any problems beating the bosses (or should I say boss). If on the other hand you try to go to a new area before you are ready, well then you'll die a miserable death (and the miserly king steals half your gold). However some of the items can be a little tricky to find. One item in particular took me weeks to find (though that was largely due to the fact that was being a complete idiot)

Replayability: 9/10

Why do I give it such a high replayability? Because The only thing to do in the game is fight monsters (okay so you do get to explore a few dungeons). Once you beat the game, you can just stuff over and have over beating up slimes again. There's nothing like returning to slimes after beating up Axe Knights and Red Dragons. If you liked the game enough to beat it once, then you can easily start over and have fun beating it again.

Story: 4/10

What?!? There's a story? Well yes there is a story, but it's certainly not "War and Peace". As mentioned earlier (much earlier, as in the first paragraph), you play the descendant of Erdrick. Erdrick saved the world a long time ago (probably 1000 years ago), and now you have to follow in his footsteps and save the world from the evil Dragonlord (what makes him so evil anyway? All he does is sit in his castle! I think he's just misunderstood) You never really advance the story, about the only thing you ever get to do is rescue the Princess from the Dragonlord (and the game never even bothers to tell you why he captured the princess, no cookie for Yuji Hori). Well it's an NES game, don't expect an epic story.

Graphics : 7/10

It's an NES game. What do you want?!? For an NES game, the graphics are decent but nothing spectacular. There is little animation and not many different sprites. But the graphics are good enough so that you can easily tell what's going on. Dragon Warrior gets yet another bonus point for improving on the graphics from Dragon Quest though (your character looked rather stupid). But I kind of like the graphics, the slime picture is a classic. I should mention that Akira Toriyama (who did Dragon Ball) did the graphics for this game. I love his work!

Sound: 9/10

Once again --- it's an NES game! Don't expect anything but bleeps and boops, but nonetheless the overworld music is quite catchy, and I rather like it. Too bad the game only has 3 or 4 music themes, and each one lasts only 5 seconds before repeating. However, as far as NES game goes I like it.

Overall Rating : 7/10

It's fun to squash Slimes, and Drakees, and Ghosts, and Scorpions, and , and .... For anyone used to newer games this game may seem rather boring and repetitive. But for those looking for a simple little game that they can sit and have fun with, Dragon Warrior really fits that description. I'll still go back and play this game sometimes when I'm bored, who wouldn't want to kill endless hordes of slimes. My rating: a 4 (plus the 3 bonus points) , so I give it a 7.