Random Article

Event News

Dragon Quest Heroes II Review (PS4) — High Tension x5!!!



Published by: Square Enix
Developed by: Omega Force
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows
Genre(s): Action role-playing, hack and slash
Mode(s): Single-player, multiplayer
Game Type: ,
73/ 100

User Rating
1 total rating



Rich weapon classes. Stellar voice-acting. An impressive rendition of Akira Toriyama's designs.


Slow pacing. Dull side-quests.

Posted August 21, 2017 by


Like its predecessor, Dragon Quest Heroes II is an amalgamation of Koei Tecmo’s Dynasty Warriors and Square Enix’s Dragon Quest series. It takes characters, monsters, and the lore of the classic JRPG and merges it with the high-spirit, fast-paced hack-n-slash combat Omega Force had become known for. Though Heroes II expands on what the predecessor set, it does little to achieve higher acclaim.


Dragon Quest Heroes II is only a sequel by iteration. No prior knowledge of the first game’s plot is required. That being said, there are certain similarities between the two, like selecting either a male or female protagonist and the inclusion of playable fan-favorite characters from across several Dragon Quest titles.  There’s a hefty amount of pre-rendered cutscenes that flesh out the narrative. The incredible talent that voices each character largely contributes to their overall charm, as well.


The game begins with a prophecy that tells of impending doom should the kingdoms break the peace amongst each other. Players assume the role of either Lazarel or Teresa, two cousins who soon find themselves on the brink of war, breaking the thousand-years-long peace. In the interest of preventing the prophecy from coming true – bringing about destruction for all, the two cousins journey to resolve the ensuing wars seemingly being orchestrated from the shadows by a veiled seer. As unexceptional the story may be, much of what makes it so entertaining has to do with the characters and their overall presentation. Many of the in-game cutscenes are entertaining to watch, and the voice acting isn’t too shaby either. I imagine hardcore fans of the series would be delighted to see their favorite characters across various games in the series interacting with each other as they did in the first game. I imagine that alone is enough for fans to get invested in the narrative.



The traditionally turn-based combat of Dragon Quest had been done a way with and replaced by the horde-sweeping hack-n-slash combat of Dynasty Warriors. Players can only control one character at a time but can switch between three other party members on the fly. Each character specializes in their own unique weapon type and abilities, except for the two main characters. Lazarel and Teresa can both switch vocations freely in the game’s central hub, making them the most versatile characters in the entire game.


Each vocation sports its own set of abilities and equipable weapon types. These vocations have their own levels, meaning you’ll only be earning experience on your active vacation and switching to a new vocation will start at level one. The same sorta goes for weapon proficiencies. The more you use a certain weapon, the more you become proficient in it, unlocking new perks after reaching certain milestones, some of which affects the entire party. There’s a sizeable amount of weapon types in DQH II and finding one that best suits your playstyle early is important to maximize its potential.


Some of Dragon Quest’s more familiar RPG mechanics make it to Heroes II in some form or another. In the first game, monsters you defeat has a chance to drop monster coins, which allows you to summon a monster to fight alongside you or cast a one-time spell when consumed. This time, the monster coin mechanic has been expanded to include “substitute” type coins. These coins allow you to assume the form of a monster for a set duration. It had fun transforming into a giant golem to go toe-to-toe with an area boss and morphing into a Great Sabrecat to dash across the battlefield in record time.


Dealing damage and taking damage fills up your tension meter, which, when filled, allows you to go into High Tension mode, an iconic feature in Dragon Quest. Getting into this mode will render your character immune to damage for a time and can cast abilities without consuming any MP. Better yet, after depleting your tension bar completely (or when voluntarily ending high tension mode), your character will unleash a devastating attack that can clear out nearly everything in view. You can equip accessories and improve them using crafting materials that you acquire from defeating monsters and completing quests. Quests aren’t as fleshed out as you’d expect in an RPG and are really just an excuse to explore the semi-open world.


Hacking away at monsters is as fun as it gets in Heroes II, so long as there are monsters to hack. Exploration lets you explore semi-open world areas populated by monsters and side activities to resemble the typical Dragon Quest experience. Unfortunately, monsters are usually found in small groups and are few and far in between. The downtime between fights can really take you out of the experience, in one War Zone, the objectives were on both ends of the enormous map. Travelling both ends without a speedy monster coin substitute is a humongous nuisance. The only other beef I have with combat is the lock-on system. You can lock-on to certain enemies like bosses and large monsters. At first, when you lock-on, it seems to keep your target well-centered, but as you wallop on your target, the lock-on tends to lose focus, often leaving you at an awkward angle.


The game can’t seem to decide whether to be a game that throws hordes of enemies at you or one that pits you focus on just a handful at a time, coming up a tiny bit short on either front. You can take your game online, too, though it’s not exactly necessary to experience the full campaign. You can also unlock dungeons that can offer a significant challenge at higher levels. Multiplayer is mostly cooperative, with the competitive mode really just a race for points.

V I S U A L S  &  P E R F O R M A N C E

The game looks phenomenal, impressively capturing the charm of Dragon Quest in current-gen. The generic environments are helped by some stellar bloom and lighting effects, but the most impressive are the characters and monsters that populate them. Character models and even the monsters are very smoothly rendered, really bringing Akira Toriyama’s designs to life. The only thing better than the in-game visuals are the pre-rendered cutscenes, which was like watching a blockbuster animated film.


I wouldn’t have minded watching DQH II if it was a full-fledged movie if it was done in the same quality. The hack-n-slash gameplay wouldn’t have looked so high-energy if it weren’t for the flashy visual effects accompanying every attack. The game runs at a consistently high frame rate, no matter how filled up the map is with monsters. The loading times are pretty short, too, not that their frequent enough to matter.


Dragon Quest Heroes II is a flashy entertaining hack-n-slash, perhaps even more for fans of the series. Though the game expands a great deal from what its predecessor had established, it does little to earn greater acclaim and does just enough to justify its existence as a sequel. The sheer number of weapon classes might be enough to pique a hack-n-slash enthusiast’s interest while some familiar RPG elements, fan-favorite character appearances, and the impressive translation of Akira Toriyama’s designs just might be enough for series followers to give it a shot.

[This review is based on a retail copy of the game provided by the publisher]

Dian Raval

Dian is a writer for Flipgeeks who, in his spare time, stares at a wall in his basement. If you'd like to discuss music, video games, or the infinite wisdom of concrete, follow him on twitter @iburnandfume or subscribe to his YouTube channel @iburnandfume. He's pretty much iburnandfume in everything. Apparently he... burns and fumes.


Be the first to comment!

Leave a Response