|System: PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Silicon Studio||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Atlus||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 11, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
A dark shadow has fallen over the land of Dotnia. See, while the land used to be a thriving metropolis where heroes came and went, constantly saving the day, the heroes have moved to a new 3D land, where new perils await them. Unfortunately, the forgotten 2D land of Dotnia has been neglected for far too long, and monsters have been pestering its poor pixel populace. In an effort to bring the heroes back, the King of Dotnia has done something drastic and made the entire land 3D! Now it's your job to save it!
This is essentially where the plot of 3D Dot Game Heroes ends. You should know going into this title that there really isn't much storyline here, and if you're expecting some great epic plotline, you will be sorely disappointed. Still, the story here takes a backseat, as the centerpiece isn't really the game, but that fuzzy feeling you get from running around an environment made out of 3D pixels and tackling puzzle-based dungeons.
The gameplay in 3D Dot Game heroes is almost identical to the original Legend of Zelda, and you could almost make a case for severe copyright infringement if you tried. Your start off with a pixel-based character, you are given a sword, a boomerang, and a talking fairy, and you go to save the land of Dotnia by slogging through a bunch of temples.
The formula is almost identical to The Legend of Zelda, which is great if you like the feel of an older game. Just don't expect modern conventions like a moveable camera or a compass-guided navigational system. The only real modern mechanic here is that you can create your own pixel-based hero, which can lead to some interesting possibilities (if you decide to make your own little Link or Mario). However, once you have created your pixel-based character, be ready to dive headlong into a world full of retro goodness!
Although the game is relatively short for an RPG-style game, there is quite a bit to explore in the land of Dotnia. Most of your time will be spent in one of the game's six dungeons. These dungeons have different themes and all require quite a bit of thought to conquer. The argument has been made that modern games are too easy, and older games were more of a challenge due to their careful level design and brain-wrenching puzzles. It's obvious that the developers of 3D Dot Game Heroes agree with this position to a certain extent, because the puzzling in 3D Dot Game heroes is definitely challenging. When you enter dungeons, you'll not only have to vanquish enemies, but you'll also need to manipulate multiple switches, move pieces of the landscape around, and of course find hidden keys.
While the game's six dungeons make up the majority of the gameplay, there are small side missions that you can take up to improve your standing with the residents of Dotnia (and pocket some cash as well). Most of these side missions are rather silly and only consist of finding an item for a resident. Still, these little side quests are a nice diversion and help to fill out the gameplay quite a little bit. You can also pad your gameplay time by collecting different weapons, as well as rare and key items around the game's overworld. The game is really only as deep as you make it, and if your usual playing strategy is to just run through the main quests and see the final cinema scene, then you probably won't get that much game time from 3D Dot Game Heroes.