Jun 2, 2010

[Games] 3D Dot Game Heroes (PS3)

3D Dot Game Heroes (PS3)There are those days when you feel like digging up a really old game and play it again. While this isn't as bad for PC games since there are a number of ways to get around compatibility issues between the old and the new systems but for console games it tends to be a lot trickier.

Let's face it - the really old games are tied to some pretty old console gaming platforms and if the machine itself is already dead, there's little chance you'll be able to recreate the old gaming experience. Sure, emulators are also available these days, but sometimes that's just not enough. Hence the continued market for updates to these games whether they are just blatant port jobs or the more interesting innovations of the original concepts.

This game was quite the surprise to me and my partner when we first saw trailers for the game online. Sure, it was a very old school concept but they had also found a rather new way of bringing it to life. So when an English version was finally released this year, well, we knew we had to have it.

Link fights enemies on the overland map of Hyr...Image via Wikipedia

3D Dot Game Heroes is positioned as an action adventure game of sorts in the classic tradition of games like the original Zelda. It was released in Japan in 2009 but an English version of the game only came out recently.

The game does have a story, one that's also a classic one. The Kingdom of Dotnia is under threat from an evil bishop who has stolen the six magical orbs. Your character is the descendant of the great hero who first liberated the magical orbs from an evil threat and thus it falls upon you to save the kingdom. In addition, the king also decreed that the kingdom needed to be less boring and more interesting to modern audiences. Thus he followed the pattern of all other entertainment units - decreed the kingdom needed to become 3D.

The entire look and feel to the game is a grand homage to the 8-bit gaming era. The conversion into "3D" for the characters was a very rough one and they all appear as heavily pixelated versions of their 2D sprite selves. Even your "hero" character is done in this same style and the game also gives you the option to create your own 3D sprites with an in-game editor.

The combat system is very much like the old Zelda games and it even includes the same kinds of items like swords, arrows and bombs. The added perk to the game is the fact that your sword can be as long or as wide as the game screen when your character is at full health but it diminishes in size as your character gets injured. Still, even the added benefit of this feature does not make the game ridiculously easy and you'll still find yourself dodging enemies, using your shield to block arrows and pretty much puzzling through traps.

While this game isn't exactly an example of pushing the PS3's graphical capabilities to the hilt. But that isn't the point of the game - it's meant for fans of old platform games and in this regard it does succeed at its goals remarkably well. It's a great update of an old game concept and it is certainly a lot more fun because of its simplicity.

3D Dot Game Heroes is a great game to lose oneself in if you loved the old Zelda-type games of old. It gets 4 3D pixels out of 5.

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