Saturday, July 20, 2024

Dragon Quest III HD-2D Remake, the history of JRPGs

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It probably won’t have the same massive popularity here as it does in Japan, but if you’re a fan of JRPGs it’s impossible not to at least hear about it Dragon Adventure. The amazing series he created Yugi’s horse It laid the foundations for the entire genre, becoming a true cult hit in its homeland and also gaining a following in these parts that can never be appreciated. Now, we could give long speeches about the actual development of the saga over the years, just as it would be interesting to talk about how the popularity in some ways forced the developers of Dragon Quest to maintain certain elements in an almost unchanged form from chapter to chapter, but today we are not here So. No, today we are here to talk about the return of the origin of everything, from the past few days We had the opportunity to test Dragon Quest III HD-2D Remakethe rumored remake of the origins of Erdrick’s saga, with a fair number of interesting updates.

In fact, this remake shouldn’t just contain Dragon Quest III but The entire Beginning Trilogy, which makes it fascinating to say the least for anyone who wants to delve into the past of JRPGs or simply relive the origins of one of the genre’s most important names. However, we’ve only had the opportunity to try to rework the third act for a few hours, which, as a prequel, makes the most sense in all respects to start from a narrative standpoint.

The hero you expect

Dragon Quest III puts you in the shoes of the hero’s son, OrtegaAt the age of sixteen, he finds himself forced to continue the mission that his father failed years ago against the powerful demon lord Badramos. Since this is a game from bygone eras, its story is fairly straightforward and no frills, and the pool of companions available to the player is determined almost immediately, without particular introductions. However, what still retains all the charm of the original today is the bizarre gameplay loop, which, whether due to the somewhat brilliant difficulty management, or due to some rather unique elements in the development system, still manages to entertain today. This is a remake actually It touches almost nothing of the original structure, update them simply by mastering some characteristics: The game basically allows you to use only the hero, who gains many skills as he advances through the levels; Your companions fight automatically, usually using the most appropriate skills based on the enemies they face and player-selected behavioral tendencies (selectable from a limited list). It’s a very simple system, where attack characteristics vary based on the weapons equipped (for example, a ricochet piece deals area damage) and Lack of modern RPG facilities Keeps dungeon exploration interesting. You do not automatically respawn in every battle, nor is it possible to bring defeated characters back to life at any time, in fact: if a party member dies, it is necessary to drag his coffin to the nearest church and pay for its fetch. Back to living. Considering that at the beginning of the campaign, even battles against monsters that are not particularly powerful can cost you your life, and that if you arrive at the toughest battles unprepared, it is very easy to get your ass kicked, to continue Dragon Quest III the campaign easily needs the right amount of combat and resource management, which is still fun enough today to make it easy to understand why the series has achieved such popularity over time. Although the base is still great, we are still talking about a mixture of basic mechanics, which are improved here by some “classic” interventions, such as The possibility of significantly speeding up battles (highly recommended), or Save Churches.

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The other big change is the presence A system of objectives that can be deactivated at will, which broadly indicates the next direction to take moving the campaign forward. Hardcore purists will avoid it (also because the game still gives fairly subtle indications if you talk to the different characters), but it’s definitely a nice accommodation for those who want to relive the experience without too many headaches. And the Technical sector? Well, apparently the remake has been completely redesigned graphically, with a mix of 2D graphics for the animated characters and 3D graphics for the backgrounds. The version we tested was the Switch one, and it must be said, in terms of portability, the overall effect was clearly better (on the TV screen, the filters used on the pixels are quite clearly noticeable, on the Switch screen they are not noticeable at all), but the work was done. Overall excellent and maintains the charm of the original game, significantly improving the look of each area on the map. The interface has also been cleaned up and improved, and even the music has been rearranged thanks to the work of the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony. Yes, in short, since this is a cult series, Square Enix decided to choose a conservative approach, making sure to properly optimize everything possible within the confines of the original vision.

© Armor Project / Bird Studio / Spike Chunsoft / Square Enix
© Sugiyama Kubo
℗ Sugiyama Kubo
All images and screenshots are from a version of the game that is still in development.

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Dragon Quest III HD-2D Remake is, as expected, a work designed to fully preserve the experience of the original titles, with a revamped graphic design and some marginal but much appreciated changes to the quality of life. We expected exactly this, since these are cult titles that many fans consider untouchable, and we greatly appreciate the preservation work done, as they allow us to appreciate the classic formula even today. It only remains to be seen whether, after all these years, the first chapters of the series can still attract new fans, or whether this remake will just be a nice nostalgia treat.

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