aka Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime in North America.
You would think being a slime is as simple as evading the hero hoping to level up, but Slime Mori Mori Dragon Quest 2 shows that it’s a hard knock life for the little blue guy. Slime Kingdom gets stormed by a bunch of birds and looking for a magical flute. On their search they kidnap all of the town’s residents except for Slimon. Now it’s up to one slime to seek out all of his friends and restore his home.
Slimon needs to adventure out of his town to different areas, which unlock as you collect more slimes. The first area Nokke Woods gives you a good idea of what to expect in Slime Mori Mori Dragon Quest 2. You’ll face common Dragon Quest enemies like bunicorns, but as a slime you don’t have an arsenal of magic spells to use. Instead you attack with a rolling attack. If you hold “A” and then hold a direction with the D-pad Slimon will stretch out. Let go of the A button and you’ll spring forward damaging anything in your path. The roll attack also serves a second purpose, knocking foes and items in the air so you catch them. If you stand underneath the shadow of an object you’ll catch it on Slimon’s head. Objects can be thrown by pressing B or shuffled around by pressing R. You can bounce a maximum of three items on Slimon’s head before you won’t be able to carry anything else. As you wander around Nokke Woods, Renkin Mountain and the rest of the world you’ll spot blue treasure chests. Roll into these and out pops one of your slime brethren waiting to be rescued. Take you chum down to one of the moving railroads and throw it on a cart to bring the slime back to the village.
Finding slimes aren’t going to be as easy stepping into an area. There are some simple puzzles to be solved. In Sarasuna Ancient Tomb you’ll find cannons scattered about. You’ll need to carry bullets and reposition these cannons to shoot down sand dunes to continue your journey. Renkin Mountain has walls that need to be demolished, the key to this is to carry around blue bomb stones to blow them up. These puzzles aren’t Legend of Zelda taxing, you can normally figure out the answer in a few seconds. To compensate for the puzzle difficulty there are some platforming elements like jumping by pressing A and then gliding carefully to the next area with the D-pad. However, half of the game is really spent attacking candy cats and the occasional boss monster on the top down screen.
The other half of the game is spent in cannon battles. That magical flute that Slimon was guarding summons a huge Slime fortress. Slimon will need to use this fortress to fight against giant robot cats and even a mechanical slime war machine. Once in a cannon battle you need to grab items, which fall out of drop zones to throw in the two cannons. One cannon shoots straight forward and the other cannon has a 30 degree arch to its fire. There’s a time lag for you and your opponent when shooting items from your cannon. If you two items hit each other in mid air they cancel each other out. This creates an element of strategy, since you can defend against an onslaught of flying swords by quickly firing junk out of your cannon. After you knock down your opponents HP by shooting iron bricks, missiles and empty treasure chests you need to walk over to your opponents’ mech to deal the final blow. Inside each mech is a heart engine, which is only exposed when the mech’s HP drops to zero. Once Slimon rolls into this heart the battle is won and another slime is rescued.
On your quest you’ll collect a variety of items like cannon shells, boomerangs and herbs that can be used during cannon fights. To place these items in your active inventory you need to talk to Cid in the mech shop. He has the ability to edit your Slime fortress’ deck. What’s in your deck determines what you’ll be able to fire out of the cannons later on. If you want you can equip your deck with a bunch of powerful items like rockets and huge stones. Or if you want to be a little tactful you can throw in fire potions that don’t do any damage to your opponent, but cause a blast of fire inside your opponent’s ship. Collected items along with precious gold pieces can also be used to increase your fortress’ HP, which will help you win later battles. Another interesting mechanic are the mines around your home town. Each mine is noted with a number next to “St”. The number represents the amount of slimes you need to have in your village to lift the stone so Slimon can pass. As you rescue more slimes you’ll be able to access more areas in the town, which leads to more quests.
If you’re tired of quests you can play a wireless cannon battle. While this option is not available at the beginning of the game, you should find the slime who lets you do this after an hour of play. You can play team multiplayer battles with you and your friend loading up the cannons in one fortress. Or if you’re the competitive type you can play a versus battle with your buddy over the DS’ Wi-Fi. The other mini game you can check out has Slimon on a surfboard. You move him around with the D-pad to collect as many coins as you can in ninety seconds. These are some nice diversions from the main quest.
Perhaps the only disappointment in Slime Mori Mori Dragon Quest 2 is the presentation. It is clear that this game begun its development as a GBA title. The sprite graphics are on par with any Game Boy Advance. Slimon’s world is colorful and all of the Dragon Quest cameos are a nice touch. However, if you compare the first GBA game and Slime Mori Mori DQ2 side by side you hardly notice a difference. It’s not a huge problem and it doesn’t really take out any of the fun of the game. For the ten hour long adventure Slime Mori Mori Dragon Quest 2 is a blast.
Import Friendly? Literacy Level: 3
It’s possible to play through the game if you don’t understand Japanese. You’ll miss out on the story and might have some problems reading the menus. But if you know katakana this game is easily playable due to simple controls and straightforward goals. If you do want to enjoy the story you’ll have to be able to read kanji since there is no furigana.
Square-Enix has not announced Slime Mori Mori Dragon Quest 2 for a US release, but if the success of Dragon Quest VIII in America keeps up there’s a greater than fifty percent chance that this will come over in 2006.
Update! Square-Enix announced that this game will be coming over under the name Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime. Look for the release later in 2006.
+ Pros: A wide world to explore and a creative cannon mini game.
– Cons: No real story with only minor graphic upgrades from the first game.
Overall: Slime Mori Mori Dragon Quest 2 is somewhere in between a platformer and an action RPG. However it’s more than just a glorified slime collect-a-thon thanks to the cannon mini game.
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