3D Dot Game Heroes
The closest you’ll get to Zelda without dusting off your NES?
The story begins...
The narrative starts off with the land of Dotnia being 2D and slightly old-fashioned. All changes thanks to the King, who recruits a nasty religious type with some black magic to spice things up, thereby giving Dotnia some much-needed perspective and making it 3D! This does not go well.
Fuelle, your not so friendly local Dark Bishop, steals a powerful orb and plunges Dotnia into 3D hell. Dungeons ahoy! All dressed up in my dragon outfit, it is up to me to save 3D Dotina – and that involves sucking up to six sages while trying not to die too often in the six dungeons full of puzzles and overflowing with beasties. Loving the bats!
Ever played Zelda? If so, you’ll find some of the game play spookily familiar. As soon as 3D Dot Game Heroes loaded I couldn’t get over how much it mimicked Zelda in terms of game play, structure, story and even music. I like the post-modern self-awareness that 3D Dot Game Heroes takes in its inspiration from a classic and its references to others like Final Fantasy and Pokemon. Yet, considering the game most likely targeted a younger audience, all this clever referencing will, no doubt, be lost on them.
I love Zelda and commend 3D Dot Game Heroes for not trying to pretend it’s something completely new. The cube-based visual style allowed me to feel nostalgic while not forgetting I was playing a present day console. Yes at times I did crave for the visual depth of Heavy Rain or the eye-popping colours of Final Fantasy but I get the impression that 3D Dot Game Heroes is trying to be clever and innovative, rather than beautiful. The smile on my face as I died over and over pays homage to this triumph of sentimentality over visual content.
Trekking across Dotnia to any of the several dungeons takes several hours of rabid bunnie bashing and getting lost in a multitude of mazes. Each time you dispatch a baddie, there is a cool explosion of cubes followed by a windfall of health and cash, if you’re lucky. Use your monies to upgrade your kit later in the game.