Previously released on the NES in 1998 (North America waited ten years for this game!) Dragon Quest III: Seeds of Salvation finds its way onto the Android via the App Store and Google Play. Heralded as one of the best RPG games of its time, Dragon Quest III feels great on the new platform. The graphics, which are very dated, work well on a mobile platform and bring a colorful world to your screen.
However, for all the hype (and as a newcomer to the series) I find myself underwhelmed by the overall story of the game. The plotline is basic, especially for this genre. You play as a young hero that is gifted a magical sword thus inheriting your father’s legacy and promise to right an ancient wrong… That’s really it. There isn’t much deviation from that plot-line for the rest of the game. Although the game allows the player the ability to explore and drift from the linear plot as you get further into the game which definitely breaks up the monotony. There’s some surprises towards the end of the game, but beyond that the plot is lackluster. Perhaps, as a newcomer to the series I’m missing something in the world history itself. If you’d like to brush up on your Dragon Quest history (like I did) we here at Hardcore Droid have reviews of the first two games to be re-released here and here. That being said the world was large enough and had enough direction that I found myself getting lost (in the best way) within the game.
The game was more difficult than I first anticipated as I found myself dying up against a few of the beginning monsters and bosses. In order to assist your hero you recruit up to three companions, each with an interesting class and abilities. The player has the ability to recruit a soldier, fighter, cleric, mage, jester, and thief. There is some thought to team assembly (I learned as I dragged small companion-filled coffins across the landscape) with each class bringing a host of strengths and weaknesses to the battle. The AI for the companions are a big OK with pre-set tactics and behaviors doing most of the work for you, but as you get deeper into the game attention and changes are needed to keep the battles from becoming overbearing.
Dragon Quest III plays only in “portrait-style” on the Droid which was jarring at first, but doesn’t really affect the play-ability of the game; although I’d personally enjoy the option to play in landscape. There is a less enjoyable graphics issue that render the monsters and your heroes completely stationary during battle. The graphics were ported poorly, leaving all attacks stationary and dull as well. The shiny colors and ridiculous outfits can only do so much to distract from the overwhelming boredom of stagnant (and endless) battles. I imagined that such a popular game would have its graphics game on point, especially considering the price for this older 8-bit game.
Overall: Dragon Quest III is a classic RPG game that plays well ported onto the Android platform. Price is on the higher end for an older game at $9.99 at Google Play Store, but the price doesn’t make the game any less enjoyable. To sum it up, what Dragon Quest III lacks in story it makes up in hardcore play-ability boasting over thirty hours of game time. Dragon Quest III is a must-buy purchase for those who love this Japanese series or looking for an RPG nostalgia kick. This game serves an added bonus of being a welcome distraction for those looking to avoid contact with nosy relatives during this holiday season.
Is it Hardcore?
Great retro game for those looking for a nostalgia kick or hardcore fans of the series. Dragon Quest III holds up as a RPG classic.