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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: Atlus
Developed By: Silicon Studio
Genre: RPG
Players: 1
Rated: E10+ (Everyone 10 and Up)
Release Date: May 11, 2010
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Anthony Cara

July 13, 2010 - Jagged edges, blocky hair, insane difficulty and the sweet, sweet sounds of 8 bit music – this was my gaming childhood. 3D Dot Game Heroes manages to capture the magic and beauty of an entire genre’s earliest generation while simultaneously managing to parody, pay tribute, and completely plagiarize classic adventure RPGs.

If you didn’t like The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, go ahead and stop reading. This review is done for you. Anyone still around, you will marvel at the blatant ripoff and you will delight at a well made and incredibly fun/addicting challenge!

The story is simple enough; you are a super generic hero on a super generic quest to save your super generic kingdom from annihilation at the hands of a randomly evil man. Of course, you can’t do this without first going to different temples and collecting magical orbs of power that will help save the day. What sets 3D Dot Game Heroes apart is that while it plays out this super typical scenario, it does so with a refreshing irreverence and nonstop humor. Fans of RPG and adventure games will no doubt be surprised at the great lengths gone to pay tribute to various obscure and amusing titles from days gone past…

The game plays like any other Zelda clone. You have a sword, you have a shield, you collect puzzle solving weapons/items, you progress as far as you can in one direction until you are blocked by something- say a destructible wall, or a cliff you cannot cross- then you go back the other way until you complete dungeons and eventually get the bombs/grappling hook needed to go back and reach those other areas. This continues until you are able to complete all of the temples and unlock the final dungeon where you are put to the ultimate test and must defeat the evil Fuelle.

In this game, the most important way your character grows is through sword upgrades. At the blacksmith you can attach “spin” and “pierce” to most swords and then reap the benefits with full health. An upgraded sword is HUGE and LONG (don’t worry, the game contains plenty of sexual innuendo about this fact) and with pierce and spin attributes it can clear a room and smack a boss around pretty easily. Unfortunately, one hit and you say goodbye to all of that. For how much more difficult the game becomes without full health… you may as well die in one hit (*cough* Spelunker Mode).

As simple and silly as the game sounds, this may be one of the most refreshing and enjoyable titles I’ve played all year! The game can be beaten in 10-12 hours if you know where to go and what to do, but to fully enjoy the game, you can spend upwards of 50-60 hours trying to get that platinum trophy. Aside from the quick and dirty dungeon defeating, there are simply tons of side quests and bonus Easter eggs hidden throughout the world. In order to obtain a platinum trophy, players are forced to complete some of the most frustrating and mind numbing challenges ever concocted! They must bash difficult bosses with a book until they are added to the bestiary, they must beat the entire game on a difficulty setting that doesn’t even allow players to be hit once, and finally…they must complete some of the most difficult mini games ever created. Again, I must remind you, this is all optional. Some gamers have cited the difficulty of certain trophies as “souring the entire game” but I think it’s important to remember that this game is a tribute to a time when games weren’t so terribly easy as they are now – and yet despite this, players do have the option to complete a relatively simple normal mode and are only forced to do grueling tasks if they want to obtain great glory!

Another delightful feature that sets this game apart from other adventure/RPGs is the Hero Editor mode. In this mode, you create a hero from scratch- choosing gender and class (which merely effects the hero’s starting stats) and then the fun begins. Using a simple and intuitive system, players draw out each section of their hero and then get the chance to test them in the field. It’s important to remember to copy, paste, and adjust your hero into all six boxes, or they will disappear when you turn the wrong way or move to attack! After you create your hero and test it out, you will enjoy this marvelous sense of accomplishment as you see “animation” created so simply in just a few minutes. Of course, if you want your hero to look really good, this could take HOURS. If you aren’t the creative type, don’t worry. Not only are there dozens of preset heroes from which to choose, but you can also go online and share with your friends on message boards or even straight from the Atlus website!

The graphical style of 3D Dot Game Heroes is positively charming. Like the opening cinematic shows, it is the 3D graphical representation of vintage graphics blown up to high definition with the jagged edges still intact. Despite the purposely retro look, it is clear to see this really is a current generation game with dazzling water and lighting effects and smooth colorful blocks-a-plenty. It may be difficult to get used to at first, but for the sheer nostalgia, it’s definitely worth it. The game also offers multiple camera angles which is great since the super close default view is pretty challenging later in the game! The musical score is a brilliant mix of orchestrated music and 8-bit goodness and again draws distinct similarities to another adventure RPG game whose name begins with a “Z” and ends in “elda.”

For a lower than average price point and greater than average fun, this game is a must have for all who enjoy good RPG/Adventure fun, and for anyone who grew up playing the games of the 80’s and 90’s.


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