From the Romance of the Three Kingdoms to Hyrule, Omega Force’s Warriors engine has been reworked for One Piece, Gundam, and now Dragon Quest. All of the Warriors games have a hack and slash core, but Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree’s Woe and the Blight Below has battles where mashing the attack button isn’t the key to victory.
The E3 demo had a mission called Whacksody in Blue where original characters Luceus and Aurora team up with Dragon Quest VIII’s Yangus and Jessica to stop Gigantes from rampaging a town. This monster towers over the army of Slime Knights and it isn’t fazed when Luceus pokes his foot with a sword. I pressed L2 to rotate through characters until I got Jessica, a magic user, to see if magic would be more effective. While Crack, an ice spell, hit Gigantes multiple times it didn’t do much damage. Jessica’s trademark Sexy Beam was equally ineffective. Just like any other Dragon Quest title using magic costs MP so repeating Crack over and over wasn’t going to take out the one-eyed giant.
A hint appeared in game to use Spellcasters, catapults not magic users, to target the Gigantes’ eye. Spellcasters are scattered around the level with few enemies guarding them. When you sit in a Spellcaster you can move a target around and point it at the Gigantes’ eye (actually hitting the back of the head works just as well) to do a heavy amount of damage. A couple of hits in a row can stun the Gigantes giving the party a chance to attack it for a few seconds without worrying it will stomp on anyone in your party.
Each Spellcaster only has three shots, so most of the battle is running back and forth between Spellcasters instead of hacking and slashing at enemies. You can pretty much ignore the Slime Knights by running past them. The only monsters you have to worry about are the occasional Healslimes standing by the Gigantes feet that heal the boss monster. If you played Warriors Orochi 3, you may remember the battle with the Hydra, the Whacksody in Blue mission feels like a fuller realized version of that idea.
Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree’s Woe and the Blight Below comes out in North America on October 13 and October 16 for PlayStation 4.