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• Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime

developed by Tose,Armor Project,Bird Studio/published by Square-Enix
1-2 Players (1 save slot)/Flash ROM/Nintendo DS
/2006.09.19

RocketSlime-header

Remember the first time you played a Dragon Warrior game? Stepping outside the castle’s defensive walls, you were assaulted by a slime that drew near. The cute and cuddly little blob smacked you for 1 hp. Maybe he even called for help from his slippery friends. With a wave of your wooden stick you smooshed him, leaving only a small puddle of blue goop in your wake. Fortunately for the town of Boingburg you didn’t accidentally kill Rocket, the gelatinous star of Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime – he’s their only hope in this sequel to the Japanese-only GBA game Slime Mori Mori Dragon Quest.

RocketSlime-005Story

The Plob, a gang of monsters familiar to anyone who has played a Dragon Quest game, have attacked the town of Boingburg and kidnapped 100 of its inhabitants. Not only that, but the entire town was virtually destroyed by the Platypanzer tank. Rocket manages to escape with the Warrior Flute and its up to him to rescue all 100 slimehabitants and stop the Plob. To do so he must explore a number of areas and find the legendary Schleiman Tank.

Despite this simple premise, the localisation is one of the best I’ve encountered; each slime has its own personality and this comes through in the dialog, which reveals their distinctive accents. Not only that, but the game is brimming with puns that can be as clever as they are entertaining (one of my favorites is the enemy tank Fort Knight – not too weak).

RocketSlime004Game play

Rocket Slime takes place predominantly in a 2d overhead view similar to most action-RPGs (such as Zelda or the Mana games). Players explore areas fighting enemies and collecting loot, while searching for specially marked chests that imprison fellow slimes. You will have to solve some fairly simple puzzles while navigating each maze in order to save them all. The upper screen displays a useful map of the area, while the bottom screen is the play field.

Rocket is your typical blue slime, and as such his only attack is to snap himself at enemies with an elastoblast. Once he smacks into an enemy, ally, or object, it will fly up into the air allowing him to catch it. Rocket can carry up to 3 things at once, which he can then throw for extra damage or onto supply trains leading back to town. Often, it is easier to simply collect an enemy and send it to town rather than dispatch it. Enemies will settle down in town, and collecting 30 of any monster type will convince them to help you in Tank battles.

Tank Battles

Tank battles are what separate Rocket Slime from its GBA predecessor and is a big part of what you’ll be doing. Once you’ve unearthed the Schleiman Tank, you can take on the Plob’s war machine. Any items that you’ve collected from your adventures (or received from rescued slimes) can be used in the tank as ammunition. You’ll also gain the ability to mix and match items to create more powerful ones. You’ll want a good stock of attack items, as well as some that have other functions such as healing or shielding you from enemy fire. Basically, your ammo functions like a shuffling deck of cards – you don’t run out of ammo and you’ll want to stack the deck in your favor.

RocketSlime-003The Schleiman comes equipped with two cannons, one which fires straight ahead and the other at 45 degrees. Rocket must race around the bowels of the tank collecting ammo from supply stations and race it back up to the cannons, alternating which cannon he loads in order to vary his attack. Meanwhile, the enemy is doing the same thing. If two opposing attacks collide, they cancel each other out. So you’ll need good timing to overpower your enemy’s attacks and land a direct hit. This makes excellent use of the DS’s dual screens, as the top screen shows you the battlefield while the bottom screen shows you the interior of your tank. You’ll need to keep an eye on the upper screen while collecting ammo on the lower screen.

RocketSlime-001Once you’ve whittled your enemy tank’s HP to zero, its time to invade! Either fire yourself from a cannon or simply use the front door, but get over to the enemy tank and destroy it from within. You can sabotage the supply stations (preventing them from issuing ammo) or just blow the tank’s engine room for the direct win. Even if your own tank’s HP drops to zero, you still have a fighting chance if you can stop the enemies from breaking your engine.

Luckily, you’re not alone. As mentioned above, if you have collected 30 or more of any given monster type, they will offer their help in Tank Battles. Some slimes you rescue will do the same. You can assign three computer-controlled allies, and each one has their own tactics. Some will collect ammo while others will infiltrate and sabotage the enemy tank. Try out different combinations to suit your own style.

RocketSlime-002Closing Comments

Rocket Slime is a bright and colorful game, with above average 2d artwork. As expected, the music is mostly remixed staple Dragon Quest themes, and is quite good. The quest is shorter than most action RPGs (appoximately 10-15 hours depending on the player) but it more than makes up for this with its 2 player tank battles. Rocket Slime takes everything its predecessor did well, and adds the suprisingly fun and unique tank battles into the mix. If you’re a bit tired of the run of the mill, or you just want a fun DS game, do yourself a favor and check out Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime.

Quick Run Down

PROs:

  • Tank battles are a blast to play
  • Cute, colorful graphics
  • Funny story and dialog

CONS:

  • A little short
  • Constantly using the elastoblast can get tiresome

One Sentence Review: A fantastic and original DS game that you should play!
One Word Review: Flantastic!

Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime (official site JP) (EN)

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