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August 26 2015
Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe and the Blight Below - PS4 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
16/10/2015BandaiNamcoSquare-EnixTecmo Koei
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
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Visuals in the game are impressive.
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Now that's one fierce enemy.

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Now that's one massive enemy in Dragon Quest.
So first things first. In our 20-odd years of running this site (yes, it really has been that long going back to the launch of the Dreamcast!), we can't recall a game with name as long as cumbersome as this - Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe and the Blight Below. It's quite a mouthful and the other interesting thing for us, and again showing our age, is that the distributor, publisher and developer are all companies that have merged since we started running the site - BandaiNamco, Square-Enix and Tecmo Koei. Interesting, but you want to hear about the game, right? So here we go...

When a dark shockwave sweeps through the city of Arba, the monsters that once lived alongside the people in peace are driven into a frenzied rage. As either the hero Luceus or the heroine Aurora, the player joins forces with a cast of fan favorites from previous Dragon Quest titles, such as Alena, Bianca and Yangus, to bring the rampaging hordes of monsters to their senses and restore order to the kingdom.

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Sabercats look cute, but they have sharp teeth!
While the Dragon Quest franchise is very much RPG based Dragon Quest Heroes is more of an action RPG and with Tecmo Koei developing the title it's not a stretch to see similarities to their very popular Dynasty Warriors franchise with large-scale battlegrounds and hundreds of characters on-screen at once. As you can see from the surrounding screenshots however there is a level of polish and vibrancy to this game not seen in the Dynasty Warriors franchise, and that could be attributed to artist Akira Toriyama.

In this game you will enter the battlefield in a party of four with familiar characters from the franchise, now all fully voiced, with each character able to be levelled up and upgraded with unique spells and abilities and then switched between during battle to ensure the right skills are being used at the right time. During the course of the game you will be able to gather Monster Medals from defeated foes and then use up to 24 of them on the battlefield as allies or use their skills.

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So we're looking for the Circle of Light...
As you can see from the surrounding visuals this is certainly a much more vibrant and detailed game then we're used to seeing from the company that makes the Dynasty Warriors franchise. Indeed characters and monsters have been designed by world-renowned artist Akira Toriyama which has, without doubt, added a certain level of quality to the game.

More great news for fans of Dragon Quest comes with the fact that Koichi Sugiyama's classic compositions from the franchise are being reused for this game so we should hear many familar themes that we have come to love over the decades. It has also been confirmed that the Western release of the game will contain the original Japanese voiceovers if you prefer to listen to them instead of the English dubbing.

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Aurora takes on a massive Dragon.
Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe and the Blight Below has been one of the biggest sellers on the PS4 in Japan and with sales surpassing 1 million units on both the PS3 and PS4 as of July 28 this year the game has proven to be a hit. Square-Enix have also stated that they will use the success, or failure, of this game outside Japan to determine future Dragon Quest releases, which may include a sequel to this game which is due out in Japan sometime in 2016.

As it stands we're pretty keen to check this release out as it could offer something fresh for the Dragon Quest franchise, and also provide something different from Omega Force's increasingly stale Dynasty Warriors series. Expect an Australian release in late October.

Released in June, below is a trailer "Begin A New Quest" for the game.