Review: 3D Dot Game Heroes

I had a strong desire to play 3D Dot Game Heroes (3Dot) for a while now.  It reminded of what I remembered from the old NES days of Zelda.  I was and wasn’t disappointed in this title.  It’s fairly solid for what it is, but then again, it is what it is.  Deep right?  Let’s get into it.

You can literally create any character you can think of given you have the determination and imagination.
You can literally create any character you can think of given you have the determination and imagination.

The good:

So, as the caption above states, you have quite the freedom to create your character.  I decided to go with a pre-built dark dwarf and change into a more normal non-evil variety and go with that.  Creating your own character pixel by pixel is a very cool feature to add in.  I like that they give you that option and it seems like it’s a no-brainer to add into a game like this.  You could play as a Cloud Strife, a cloud, or even a race car.  There are some pretty awesome and funny ways to play.

I like the look and feel as well.  The giant pixels look looks pretty shiny.  I didn’t expect to be impressed by a game with over-sized cubes creating everything (ignore the fact that I play Minecraft).  When the bad guys explode, they blow up into a pixelated mess.  This also amused me.

This bad guy looks very familiar...
This bad guy looks very familiar…  and that creepy green dude in the corner, I hope he doesn’t say where I yoinked this picture from. *cough*GameSpy*cough*

You’ll be able to navigate this game rather well.  Even a beginner shouldn’t have too many issues with this game.  Swinging your sword around in a circle is about as complicated as it gets.  That took me a few tries, but it was a super small learning curve.  The dungeons were all very reminiscent of old school Zelda’s with breakable walls and puzzles and bosses that chuck things you have to dodge at the end.   They were pretty well put together.

The story isn’t anything to write about, but how they go about it is pretty good.  The game starts in 2D and since the main town isn’t getting many visitors anymore the king desires to upgrade the town into 3D.  I enjoyed the jokes and “problems” that ensue when changing a town from 2D to 3D.  One NPC was complaining that it took a lot more work to clean up a 3D space.  There’s just some clever stuff thrown around here and there.

The Bad:

Hmmm… I feel I have more for this section unfortunately.  My first issue is the general feel of this game.  Being heavily laden with nostalgia, I get the “I’ve played this numerous times before” while playing 3Dot.  This made the game wear quickly on me and I don’t really feel I’ll be completing this game any time soon.

Yes, someone created Sackboy for 3Dot.
Yes, someone created Sackboy for 3Dot.

The character creation, while neat, is funky in execution.  Yes you can create and play as anything, but there is no movement in your character as you hobble around the map.  My dwarf, which was modified from a file included in the game, had an axe in the graphics.  However, you will always be using a sword and shield, always.  That’s not a bad thing, but it looked funny to be holding onto an axe at the same time swinging a sword.

Much like it feels like a Zelda game, the attack takes one right out of the playbook (not exactly but still).  When you have full health, your sword is longer and wider (let’s stay mature here people).  When you get hit it shrinks to a dagger basically.  You can modify this in-game with money easily enough.  The discrepancy is SO huge though that it almost feels like when you don’t have full help, you are completely gimped in the beginning of the game.  It was kind of lame because as you can assume, things randomly hit you.

True action combat!
True action combat!

Overall I’d give 3D Dot Game Heroes a solid Meh.  It’s a decent enough game, but while the idea of playing a graphically updated Zelda like this, in execution for me… not so much.  It didn’t hook me at all.  At the same time, the negatives weren’t that bad.  The game isn’t terrible at all, just not interesting to me.  I may come back later, but I’m probably going to consider this one shelved for a while.  I may have missed some critical point that would have sold me, but I played for a few hours and I guess I missed it.

Jonathan Amarelo Sig

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