Dragon Quest Heroes II (DQH2) – “Twin Kings and the Prophecy’s End” is a sequel to the first Dragon Quest Heroes (DQH1) in 2015. There are some improvement from the first game and some notable new features that I really liked to see. I’ve spent close to 40 hours now in this game, I’ve completed the main story and is looking forward to explore its post-game contents. To begin with, I would say DQH2 reminded me of Dynasty Warriors, like some elements in-game where a new enemy group have just spawned in the battlefield and how your allies are scattered around the map and you are required to aid them before they fall. It’s not bad however, the similarity is minimal (but obvious), the Dragon Quest identity is still intact don’t worry. I actually like that little mash up between the two.
Huge maps await those who set forth into DQH2. During your free roams, you are pampered with a huge semi open world where you can walk from one map to another. Some areas will be locked/blocked depending on your main story progression but most of them are available for your adventures. However, the lack of activities in free roam is a huge turn off for me. Other than just grinding on the mobs and picking up stuffs, there isn’t anything else to do.
Absolutely boring. It’s the same Dragon Quest style story writing all over again. Its fine if you like the typical type of Japanese Manga/Anime plot where some kids are suddenly told they have to carry the responsibility to save the world from some ancient destructive forces and these kids just went trigger happy and all confident that they could get it fixed and venture forth to do so. That pretty much sums up the whole thing. Typical. I hope to see a more “Mature” approach in their plots, the game is fun no doubt but the depth is overly shallow.
Combat in DQH2 remain largely the same as it were in DQH1, it is still the same button mashing fast pace hack and slash game. The famous “Coup de Grace” ultimate skill made its way from DQH1 and fans will be glad to unleash the iconic “Giga Slash , Giga Break” at the enemy horde once again. Quick character switching (My favorite feature in DQH) is still available so you can switch around and execute various combos you want while in the middle of a battle.
Speaking of Monster Tokens, previously in DQH1 you have a chance of collecting them whenever you killed a monster and once you deploy them they would spawn and fight along you. So in a way, some battles in DQH1 was like “Tower Defense” in style . You’d position your monsters strategically to protect an objective while you rush to hack and slash more important stuffs. In DQH2 however, some tokens now gives you the ability to transform and play as that monster itself for a short period of time. While at it, you also get to use that monster’s special skills to your advantage. Imagine smashing through a group of elite monsters as a “Stone Golem” or quickly dash to attend to a situation far away in the form of a “Sabrecat”. Some monsters even assume the role of a supporter, they’d tag around you and compliment your combat abilities with their own. Nice!
Retaining the original DQH1’s combat style was a good choice. It was simple, no bush beating and extremely fun to go at. If you are not so fond of “Technicality” in combat then DQH2 would suit you well. I also like the new Monster Token function and how they open up a new approach to play the game.
DQH2 welcomed a new feature previously unavailable in DQH1, you are now allowed to switch the class (Vocation) of your main hero. Previously, in order to play as different classes (Archers, Priest, Mage, etc) you can only switch to one of your party members with that class set. So if you like an archer, you’d have to bring that party member out with you everytime. In DQH2, you are allowed to switch to any class you like by just visiting a special NPC. You can switch back and forth however many times you like without losing anything.
Using different classes allows you to use different types of weapon and unlocks new skill sets. On default, your main hero starts as a “Warrior” and you’d have options to play as a Priest, Mage, Thief or a Martial Artist. You also get to unlock 2 more hidden classes after you fulfill a certain condition. This new feature adds more excitement to the combat system as players can now choose a class that would cater their own play style. Nice!
Apart from the main heroes, there are also other characters you will eventually party with. Fans of DQH1 will see some characters returning to DQH2 and they have the same exact skill set as they did in DQH1. You will have no hard time using them and could find yourself enjoying the mixure of both new and old spices in your new DQH cookbook.
Multiplayer Co-op function was something fans have been dying for since back in DQH1. Everyone would imagine how much fun they could have if allowed to co-op with their friends or randoms. There was just so many different characters to choose from and for it to be confined in Single Player was such a great waste. Fans of DQH rejoiced when DQH2 was released with a new MP Co-op mode available. There are dungeons where you can choose to go in solo or with a party of randoms or friends. Co-op mode allows up to 4 players in one session and you guessed right, you are free to choose and play any characters that you have unlocked. Progression between Single Player and Multiplayer modes are shared so any levels, loots, weapons and money that you get is applied and are usable on both sides.
Co-op mode is also available for Campaign missions, should you find it difficult to progress, you can simple “Call for help”, there is a function for that everytime before you start a mission. Doing so will put you into matchmaking and the system will help you find players whom are on standby to assist. You can also offer your help by speaking to the MP NPC in-game and get yourself on standby mode, ready to be summoned to answer other player’s call for help.
Players can communicate with each other using a series of pre-set quick chat commands like “Show no mercy!”, “Hooray!”, “Thank You!” and plenty more. I feel very comfortable with how the quick chats were button mapped, they were not awkward and is so easy to execute. Even in a fast pace action oriented environment like DQH2, you can send out a message as easily as 2 to 3 taps away on your controller. Very well designed layouts.
On a down side, there are several types of dungeons available. Some higher level ones would take forever to find a lobby. I even tried hosting my own lobby but no one came in. I have yet to try it solo but I am guessing most players are still grinding on the lower tier dungeons to farm “Mini Medals” at a more effective rate.
Graphics & Audios –
Nothing worth mentioning here. If you played DQH1, the game look and sound exactly the same. I may have noticed some improvement in graphics but I can hardly tell. It could be because I played DQH1 on a standard Playstation 4 and DQH2 on a Playstation 4 pro.