(http://www.3ddotgameheroes.com/) Rated E for Everyone 10+ by ESRB. The business of gaming has evolved to the point that we’ve revamped our vision and perception on gameplay and graphics. The old top-down 2D perspective has now evolved to the 3D and the gamers and the industry have all benefited from the change. However, whenever change occurs nobody asks the question, what will happen to the games of old? The old 2D legacy style visions of which the older generation had shared their precious time with, what will become of them? 3D Dot Game Heroes aspires to answer those deep questions.

(www.3ddotgameheroes.com) Rated E for Everyone 10+ by ESRB. The business of gaming has evolved to the point that we’ve revamped our vision and perception on gameplay and graphics. The old top-down 2D perspective has now evolved to the 3D and the gamers and the industry have all benefited from the change. However, whenever change occurs nobody asks the question, what will happen to the games of old? The old 2D legacy style visions of which the older generation had shared their precious time with, what will become of them? 3D Dot Game Heroes aspires to answer those deep questions.

Presentation:
You’re a hero brought to the Kingdom of Dotnia, a land seemingly has kept to its 2D roots and never quite moved on. It is finally decided by the King that Dotnia, shall become 3D. However, the transition only extends towards shifting of the camera, you’re still stuck with the same blocky characters, with difficult to discern facial features, and, of course, how could this be a revenge of the 8-bit game without the equally cheesy music. Luckily the denizens’ self deprecating sense of humor has improved, and they’re not exactly happy with the changes that surrounded their land, but glad that they’re moving towards the future. You’ll oftentimes hear a citizen making a few in-jokes ridiculing standard RPG norms and also making reference to a similarly themed classic game series of which this game is heavily based upon.

       

Graphics:
It’s no surprise when said that the game is made up of blocks. Each character and boss model resembles a Lego creation in homage to the old gaming days. Monsters also, share that similar effect as well as the selection put into the game. However the big change comes when you begin attacking the monsters and take in the scenery of the world. The water’s reflection shows the sun and will show off its ripples and unevenness. Enemies defeated will explode in a hail of blocks and equally satisfying explosions. Despite the limitations that the developers imposed upon themselves, the game does have a great deal of charm especially with the design and the style of the art. If anybody was thinking that the game’s simplistic models would also be a light game for your console, there are moments of slowdown due to the overwhelming number of blocks the processors must calculate and control.

Sounds:
The music varies with each dungeon, and each area of the overworld. There are some immediate favorites and some instantly catchy tunes, as well as boss music that recreates the feel of older games. However, if you’re expecting a carbon copy of the NES days, you won’t find that here, there has been some fidelity upgrades to the music, but it still retains the synthesizer feel, and some of the melodies are likable enough so you’ll find yourself humming the tune long after you turn off the game. Actual sound effects have been brought back from the old days, the sounds of your weapons as they hack, slash, and towards your enemy adds to the effect and the authenticity for this type of game.

       

Gameplay:
Like its predecessors, the game follows a typical dungeon crawler, and a smattering of hidden rewards and prizes to those who explore the world to its fullest. You’re given 6 dungeons to traverse, and a very final dungeon, which does the Megaman style stage where you’re pitted in a rematch with all previous bosses, and stages. The main weapon you’re given is quite weak, however, given the right amount of upgrades, and being at full-health grants an immense growth spurt to your weapon that can easily clear an entire room, with a single swipe of your sword.

Each dungeon is created as a maze, which will require a little bit of thinking, and planning before finally reaching the final boss. However far from being difficult, it still won’t just let you waltz straight towards the finish, and there isn’t a lot of room for sequence breaking either.

You’ll also find a number of mini-games, two types which gamers will recognize. The first being a take on the popular tower defense style games. With its own twists added in to give it a life of its own. There’s also another game similar to the Breakout series (think Arkanoid).

Innovation:
Easily the biggest innovation, is bringing the nostalgia effect back in style with a life of its own, and keeping it as relevant as possible. With the introduction of mini-games, and the unique sword system, that’s about as far as it goes. However, the way the game makes you stick around for a little bit afterwards, is an innovation on its own. There’s even a custom hero creator which allows even more room to make this game feel that it’s all in your own. Another innovative feature is how they created the bestiary, which is, in effect, a book that can only record an entry by hitting an enemy a set amount of times. The developers have even allowed revisiting each boss from their respective dungeon.

       

Longevity:
Expect the story portion of the game to last about a week to two weeks. However, collection hoarders and obsessive players who feel the need to exhaust every last bit of story/gameplay can expect up to a month. This includes perfecting all stages of the mini-games and viewing every single event to fully appreciate the amount of work done to finish this game. With the repeatable bosses, the extra secrets, Mini-games, and a New Game + mode with selectable difficulties, you’re not going to be putting this one down soon after finishing the story.

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