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Publisert: 2. des. 2018 kl. 11:05
Oppdatert: 2. des. 2018 kl. 11:13

I bought this knowing that it wasn't received as well as the first game, but boy howdy do those reviews miss the mark as to why it's an underwhelming sequel. While the first game is a perfect blend of musou and Dragon Quest, Dragon Quest Heroes 2 tries to take things much further from its musou roots, leaving you with an incredibly bland, questionably balanced action RPG.

There are so many things wrong that I'm having a hard time deciding where to start, so this'll just be a lazily compiled list of all the sequel's mistakes:
  • Hordes of monsters never reach the critical mass required for the button-mashing musou gameplay to click. Enemies are often very spread out, with tightly-knit groups of foes a rarity. In fact, I wouldn't even call them "hordes." They're small smatterings of enemies who never quite group up the way you'd like, and there are far more mages and ranged enemies than there were in the first game. They also move at a snail's pace, so you'll be waiting quite a while for them to close the distance to you. The result is that rather than having a hundred enemies tightly clustered around you, they're spread out all over a field with about fifteen feet of empty space between each one, so rather than bashing and juggling them all with the sweeping musou movesets, you have to awkwardly run to each and every one and deal with them individually. This is the game's cardinal sin, in my opinion.

  • Enemies, across the board, have two to three times as much health as they reasonably should. They're all damage sponges, even the small fries. Minmaxing my butt off, I would still be left beating on boss enemies for a ludicrous amount of time. It's so bad that at certain points I thought that I might've been missing some special mechanic to deal more damage, only to find out that there wasn't. They really do just expect you to beat on certain bosses for 10-15 minutes. If you've played the game, you'll know the one I'm talking about.

  • Tying into the damage sponge problem, there's a much larger concentration of minibosses, who need to be tackled in specific ways. However, despite the seemingly 1v1 aspect of their designs, they're thrown at you in groups, leading to the best way to deal with them being spell/ability spam, high tension mode, and facetanking their hits, which is less than satisfying, since they're often immune to hitstun.

  • The unique boss fights against giant monsters of the first game have been replaced almost entirely by one-on-one fights against human characters, or named versions of minibosses that you've already fought, who don't behave any differently. Yes, really.

  • The aforementioned boss fights are also paced very poorly. Without fail, boss fights will stop three or more times to show you a lengthy in-engine cutscene where the boss briefly runs away because you hit some scripted amount of his HP, or where he does the same move you've already seen him do before, but this time in a cutscene for some reason.

  • None of the new crossover characters, with the exception of Carver, are any fun to play. They're all awkward non-combatants, gimmick characters, or mages. In any other musou game, they'd be joke characters.

  • While the introduction of customizable character classes, bigger skill trees, and weapon choices are all great changes, there's a dark side to it: all weapon types, with a few rare exceptions, grant you the moveset of one of the NPCs. More accurately, the NPCs seem to have had their movesets neutered or made less unique in order to fit into the weapon archetypes available to you. As a result, Desdemona, for example, has the exact same moveset that either of the protagonists has when equipped with an axe.

  • On the same note, the change from fixed to custom classes for the protagonist means that Zoom is no longer a unique ability permanently bound to the A button. It's now placed on your menu. The move to an open world means that there is no longer the animation of zooming up into the sky to descend to another point on the map. It's a standard teleport now. But wait, it gets so much worse.

  • Zoomstones are spread out a lot more, with maybe one or two per open world area. However, these areas are much larger than the maps in the first game, and often the places that you need to be are far from the zoomstones. Every time an enemy aggros, your characters draw their weapons and refuse to run. Enemies also have no tether, so they'll gladly follow you from one end of the map to the other, meaning that unless you stop to kill them, you'll be moving at half speed, constantly getting hit with spells. With as spongy and common as minibosses are, especially in the open fields, this quickly becomes incredibly tiresome.

  • Oh, and despite the "open world" memes, it's not really an open world. All story events and battles take place in instanced areas reached through the open world, which you now have to walk to instead of just picking them off the map. The change to Zoom also means that all story battles no longer have teleport points for fast travel. Many of these take place on large battlefields where time is really vauable, or you have to defend some chump with bad AI from getting killed in three hits, but your only real option is to run for a minute or two to reach him.

  • Just to clarify, there are no mounts and there is no sprint button. The "speed" stat doesn't make you faster, either, in case you saw it in a screenshot and went, "Oh, this guy's a moron." Some monster medals which transform you into monsters also make you faster, and, in fact, seem expressly designed for that purpose, but their use time is limited, and they don't always drop when you need them.

  • Again, despite the "open world," there's still just a single hub town that is effectively just a collection of stores.

  • The unique mechanics of the first game, namely, summoning monsters to defend positions, are almost entirely gone. Monsters can still be summoned, but they mostly just follow you around, very slowly, getting distracted by any slime that gets in their way. The defense missions are completely gone.

  • Like all great games, there are at least two mandatory stealth sections. One is easy, the other is brutal.

That's all I can think of right now. I really had to get this off my chest. I think I could've overlooked all the terrible design decisions in this game if it weren't for the small, sparsely distributed groups of enemies. When a musou fails to meet the requirements to even be a good musou, what's the ♥♥♥♥ing point?
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