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#Dragon Warrior

Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride Review Rewind

Family Matters

August of this year will mark the 20th anniversary since Dragon Quest was introduced in the US. With 10 core sequels and many spin-offs since then, you’d think an RPG fan such as myself would be well-versed in the series by now. But in reality, my Dragon Quest knowledge over the years has only been cursory at best. I got started about eight years ago when I completed Dragon Warrior (the series’ name in the US until 2005), and I’m currently nearly halfway through the massive adventure that is Dragon Quest XI. My depth of familiarity with the series pretty much ends there. Or at least it did until I recently finished Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride- a Nintendo DS remake of the beloved Super Famicom original.

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Dragon Warrior Review Rewind

This RPG is a real grind. No dragon your feet here.

If there’s one thing I absolutely adore about Dragon Warrior (aka Dragon Quest), it’s how much its subtle charms have influenced each sequel to come after it. There’s just something special about playing the latest game in the series (currently Dragon Quest XI) and still hearing the familiar sound cues of attacking an enemy, taking a hit, or the brief but satisfying victory chime and level-up fanfare. Additionally, the character designs by Akira Toriyama (Dragon Ball creator and illustrator) give a visual continuity throughout each game. Without question, the Dragon Quest series has laid down some deep roots that all started here. But although it's a beloved first entry for nostalgic fans of the series, newcomers might not warm up to certain gameplay elements that weren't refined until much later.

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Wizorb Review

Beloved classic ideas merge together to form: Pure Evil.

I’m a sucker for retro. Give me some faux-8-bit graphics and some simple game mechanics and I’m hooked.  Make the game challenging where I have to force myself to hone reaction times and I’ll put in hours to rack up high scores.  Combine two classic game types into some new great thing and I’m likely to be smitten for months.  Enter Wizorb with its Dragon Warrior RPG aesthetic and Breakout style battles, and I was drooling. That was months ago.  My drool has long since dried, and now so have my tears as I’ve come to accept that Wizorb is just too damn difficult.

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