Sunday, May 30, 2010

Dragon Warrior II - NES - 1990, review

I needed a bit of a break from shmups for the time being and the past few weekends, I have been spending time playing Dragon Warrior II, the excellent sequel to the original hit. Though, I'm not so sure how much of a hit it actually was as the first game was given away free with subscriptions of Nintendo Power. I think almost everyone I knew back in the day had a copy banging around somewhere.

The first Dragon Warrior pitted a singular hero against the world and required lots of leveling up to progress. Having to kill slimes for an hour or so before you could even make it to the second town was not exactly the most fun thing in the world, espoecially as Final Fantasy gave you much more story, a party of characters to work with and required much less leveling.

Dragon Warrior II fixed some of the weak points of the first game, giving you a party of three characters to work with, a stellar story (though it also revolves around killing a singular bad guy, in the case, Hargon) and good in-game mechanics, like very, very fast moving text in battles and an intuitive menu system.

The game is a lot of fun and still enjoyable after 20 years, though I had never played the original NES version, only the Gameboy port. It is a bit cryptic and confusing at times, requiring you to take notes when NPC's give you vague hints. You have to make sure you follow up on them as a lot of the key items in the game are found in fairly innocuous places. If you don't really want to take notes, there's a lot of good FAQ's out and they will most definitely save you some time.

I'm enjoying the hell out of the game and very close to the end with only the final battle sequence to go through. I'm sure I'll be back to the DP series soon, but first, Hargon is calling.


Anonymous said...

That's always been my problem with the Dragon Warrior series: too many obscure hidden items. You get the boat and then it's like, "Sail all over the fucking world and look for random garbage."

Dragon Warrior 3 on GBC even gave players the option of saving bits of NPC dialogue in a journal, but even that became impossible navigate since there was no means to index them and the number of hints was massive.

Still, good times. Although Dragon Warrior 1 was favorite just because there was no boat, and that world map music is so haunting.


drboom said...

Yeah - I'm not a fan at all of the boat/airship thing. I'd much rather have a destination and a goal rather than running around an overworld triing to figure out what the hell is going on.

That being said, I really like this game.

gunbird18 said...

I'm pretty partial to Gun*Nac myse...

Oops, wrong genre...heh