Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride Review
Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride box art
System: DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: ArtePiazza 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Square Enix 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Feb. 17, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

The graphics in Dragon Quest V are definitely reflective of the source material, but small upgrades have been made to the character sprites (which look a fair bit more detailed) as well as the different environments and backgrounds. One thing about the graphics in this remake that is somewhat disappointing is the lack of animated cutscenes. Although they weren't in either of the Japanese original releases, some bonus animation (a la the Chrono Trigger remake) might have been nice, and would have served as a great incentive for those who played an imported version of the original game.

Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride screenshot

The audio in Dragon Quest V is also very impressive. The score remains the same, but certain songs have been re-recorded and sound great on the DS. One song in particular, the Dragon Quest V theme, has been re-recorded and orchestrated by the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, and it is absolutely beautiful to listen to. Although there are no real sound effects or voiceovers, the sound is pitch-perfect as it is.

Control in Dragon Quest V is extremely organic and uses the DS's D-pad and face buttons to move around and select items from the in-game menus. Because the combat is exclusively menu-based, the control here recalls plenty of old school RPG titles, and veterans of the genre will take to the control immediately.

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Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride has certainly been a long time coming. Almost 20 years after the original release in Japan, Dragon Quest V has finally made its North American debut, and I couldn't be happier with it. The game is definitely a must-buy for the serious RPG fan, as it has all the ingredients of a truly great RPG: an epic storyline and a solid yet unique battle system. Although it has been ported to the DS, Dragon Quest V is one of the biggest RPGs of all time, and it is certainly an adventure worth taking, even if it has taken more than a decade to be released!

By Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.6
Graphics
Dragon Quest V looks great on the DS, and the graphical upgrades are definitely noticeable. However, the lack of bonus animated cutscenes is regrettable.
4.5
Control
Menu-based controls are very organic, and the use of the DS's face buttons and D-pad is very effective.
4.8
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The score is nicely varied and richly orchestrated. The main theme is beautifully performed by the TMSO.
4.8

Play Value
There are 50+ hours of straight plot-based gameplay, and if you take the time to participate in side-quests, find mini-medals, and play mini-games, you will definitely be able to sink some long hours into this one.

4.7
Overall Rating - Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Indulge in the colorful DRAGON QUEST world created by Yuji Horii, combined with the charming characters and monsters designed by Akira Toriyama and memorable soundtrack from famed composer Koichi Sugiyama to create an unforgettable gaming experience.
  • Journey through a beautifully rendered 3D world, with dynamic dual-screen presentation and newly animated monsters.
  • Recruit a unique cast of DRAGON QUEST monsters and create an indestructible party of your own.
  • Brace yourself for some life-altering decision making: A key decision will affect the outcome of the game, and change the course of the hero's life forever.
  • Take a breather from the main quest with addicting mini-games like Bruise the Ooze, T 'n' T, the Slurpodrome, and the Tombola.
  • Collect and customize knick-knacks from around the DRAGON QUEST world to create a personalized Knick-knackatory. With the wireless capabilities of Nintendo DS, players can now exchange their creations with friends for a one-of-a-kind collection of rare items!
  • Feast your ears on the opening theme performed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, and a brand-new score by series composer Koichi Sugiyama.


  • Screenshots / Images
    Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride screenshot - click to enlarge Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride screenshot - click to enlarge Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride screenshot - click to enlarge Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride screenshot - click to enlarge Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride screenshot - click to enlarge Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride screenshot - click to enlarge Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride screenshot - click to enlarge Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride screenshot - click to enlarge Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride screenshot - click to enlarge Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride screenshot - click to enlarge Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride screenshot - click to enlarge Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride screenshot - click to enlarge

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