Those of you subscribed to our YouTube channel may have been wondering: Why did we recently add two 3D Dot Game Heroes videos? We were invited by the creators of the game for a live demonstration, with a very open Q and A throughout, and those two videos were included in a special package emailed to us after it was done. The preview lasted about 30 minutes. The question is: Why are we talking about this game on a Zelda site?
Well if you watch the video above and watch the trailer at the end of this preview, the first thing that comes to mind is Zelda. Since this game is so heavily built on Zelda gameplay elements, I figured it was worth a preview given what we were allowed to see. Now, do note that 3D Dot Game Heroes is a Playstation 3 exclusive title, so while we love Nintendo this isn’t some free advertising for the people who brought us Zelda. It’s a competitor, and one that may bring nostalgia back to the table.
The notes I have from the preview are pretty extensive, but I’ll stick to all the big points and list the minor stuff at the end. In either case, if the above video has piqued your interests… then step inside.
The game takes stuff from more than just Zelda. Unlike Darksiders, however, it mirrors Zelda more than any other game. It takes place in a world known as Dotnia, and the main character is… well… whatever you make. It comes with a preset package of characters to choose from, but it’s greatest feature at the start is the ability to create your own custom character. You can build it block by block, chunk by chunk, and really develop your own unique persona. When you start out, there are 3 classes to choose from: Fighter, Caster, and Royal. They didn’t go much into the differences of the three classes except hammering home, that as the game progresses there is a little difference between them. I did feel that was a bit odd honestly, because what is the point of classes if there is not much difference?
Anyway, right off the bat you notice the music. It has a classic gaming tone with a little bit of the newer styles mixed in. It really creates a fun setting that makes you just want to jump in and start whacking baddies. Something I noticed was that the life meter is actually made up of red apples, similar to the hearts from Zelda. They are so similar in fact, that the demonstrators pretty much called them hearts about 90% of the time. It’s pretty clear where the inspiration for them came from.
In short, the game is a Zelda rip-off – make no mistake about it. A good rip-off, possibly one could argue, a much needed rip-off. When I say it resembles Zelda, I am referring to The Legend of Zelda – not A Link to the Past, not Ocarina of Time – the very first title to come out. The world is extremely free roaming and lets you do anything at any time. Of course, there are differences that set it apart from the Zelda franchise.
First things first is the dungeons. While the one we got to see was clearly similar to Zelda, it was noted many times that things are different. For starters, you can go to any dungeon at any time, but may not be able to complete said dungeon without an item from another dungeon, or another place in the world. Likewise, there are different keys to get in the world that only work with certain doors in certain dungeons. So while it is “free roam”, there is some linearity to make it all flow.
Another thing that was pressed on hard towards the end of the presentation was the mini-games. There are three of them altogether: Block Defense, a game that is similar to pong, and a racing game that wasn’t shown. The one they spent the most time with was Block Defense. It’s a tower defense game that allows you, as you gain “experience” defending the towers, to build more. There are 2 or 3 different towers you can build for various costs and with numerous types of weapons for defense; it’s rather interesting. While I didn’t find the game to be that entertaining, I am sure many out there will find it to their liking. Overall, the mini-games were alright. They seemed to have a lot of build to them throughout the game for them to really not be that entertaining… or unique for that matter.
Some of the minor notes I took from the demo:
- Game will cost $39.99
- Custom Characters can be transferred via USB drive, and may be transferable through a website
- No online component
- Swords can be upgraded for money to increase length and width
- Lots of hidden items and easter eggs
- They insisted the game isn’t trying to take advantage of preceding titles, and that it merely wants to bring back childhood memories
- There are block pushing puzzles
- First boss shoots out 3 balls, and snakes around. In its final phase it goes nuts and shoots balls everywhere
- When a boss is dead you can get an apple container that increases your health
- Load screens are all scenes from specific games and movies
In essence, the game is a Zelda knock off with references to many other gaming titles out there. It does, however, appear to be an enjoyable experience, which was its goal all along. Until I can get my hands on a copy, which may be possible sometime next month, it’s really hard for me to say a whole lot about the game. First impressions after the demo were: This is classic Zelda with a different name. Still, what’s wrong with that? The world could use more classic gaming experiences.