Okay, okay, okay. Maybe you're skeptical or think I'm biased.
(And, yes, I am biased.)
But we really need a third entry in the Dragon Quest Heroes series.
I love the Heroes spin-off series of games. I've said it repeatedly on here and on the podcast, and it's true. Despite the fact that I usually don't enjoy musou games, something about Dragon Quest Heroes captured my attention and has kept my adoration for four years. While I didn't enjoy the sequel quite as much, I still appreciated the various improvements it made on its predecessor.
Since we recently got an update regarding Heroes III's development (or lack, thereof), I thought it would be the perfect time to discuss WHY we need a third game in this series.
The best part of the Heroes games may just be the character interactions. Seeing Ruff/Gabo from Dragon Quest VII interacting with Torneko from Dragon Quest IV is the kind of fun, adorable fan service I can appreciate. The mash-up of seeing an all-star cast of characters never disappoints. The previous entries had a great balance of fan favorites whose weapons and skill sets worked well with everyone else's to make for a pleasant gaming experience.
I'm eager to see what a third entry would bring us. And I'd especially be excited to see some members of the Dragon Quest XI cast show up. Could you imagine Veronica meeting Maribel? Or Erik and Yangus arguing over who's the best thief? Or Sylvando and Maya teaming up to put on a show for the ages? How about Torneko and Rab settling down for some ale and sharing tales of their travels? Or, Jade and Jessica comparing their…hairstyles?
See? All of that sounds awesome! And I'd love to see it!
Like I said before, I'm not a huge fan of musou games. I like the occasional action-RPG, though, and that's essentially what the Heroes games are. Both entries so far have played like action-RPGs similar to Kingdom Hearts or Final Fantasy XII, just with a greater number of enemies to kill. If you don't like that sort of thing, then maybe this series isn't for you. I will say, however, that the Heroes games do a great job of weaving action-RPG elements into epic large-scale battles.
Admittedly, there are times when I got a little exhausted from battle or just got sick of fighting. Thankfully, there's plenty of other stuff to do in Heroes games. So, let's talk about that!
Like almost every Dragon Quest game, you can hunt mini-medals in the Heroes series. But these games also offer some unique (or unique-ish) mini-games. You can hunt for rare “Wanted” monsters or farm certain ones for rare drops to turn in. Killing a certain number of enemies will net you some cool prizes once you fill the quota. There's also Accolades to earn (and prizes awarded for getting those Accolades), as well as the usual weapon and item crafting mechanics we've come to expect in pretty much every JRPG from the last ten years.
The side quests, though mostly short, usually involve killing a certain monster or getting a drop from them.
And while all of this is fun, Heroes really succeeds at making it all work so nicely together. For example, let's say you get a side quest to kill ten platypunks. So, you go to a zone and start killing them. This can A) help you farm drops to trade in for better items, B) fill your kill quota, C) get you some serious experience points, and D) help you finish your quest. It all works so seamlessly and can keep the game from getting too grindy.
New Worlds and New Characters
While the worlds and characters of Heroes I or Heroes II may not be as fully realized as some of the games in the mainline series, we've still gotten some truly beautiful locations and interesting characters.
To name a couple: I love the simple farmlands and woods of Greena Pastures in Heroes II, and I absolutely adored running around the World Tree in the first one.
We've also been given some interesting characters. Some of my favorites have been Doric, the cheerful king who uses a heavy rod to bludgeon his enemies; Isla, the clever engineer from Arba who looks like the long-lost sister of Jessica from Dragon Quest VIII; or Cesar, the troubled prince with the biggest sword in town (Side Note: It's super fun to just kill lots of monsters as Cesar).
My favorite character would have to be Theresa, one of the two main characters you can choose from in Heroes II. She has a likable personality, is an excellent fighter, and her character design is great.
Plus, the first Heroes game gave us a super cool evil dragon named Shadroth!
If you still aren't excited about a potential Dragon Quest Heroes III, then maybe you never will be. I've done my best to convince you, and I really enjoyed reminiscing, too. I'd love to see a third entry with characters from XI, and here's hoping that we get one!
If you enjoyed this post, please find more at DragonQuestAustin.com! You can also listen to my podcasts, Dragon Quest FM and JRPGs and Me. And be sure to check out The Dragon Quest Book – on sale now!