When Dragon Quest Heroes hit the scene in 2015, it delivered a solid mashup of two very different genres: classic RPGs and hack-and-slash action. Now, Square Enix and Koei-Tecmo have teamed up again to deliver another monster-mashing, magic-slinging, army-crushing action-adventure in Dragon Quest Heroes 2. While it improves on the original in some ways, it stumbles a bit in the quest to transition Dragon Quest from its RPG roots into an action game.
Dragon Quest Heroes 2 begins with the lead characters, a pair of cousins, suddenly thrust into a surprise conflict between two formerly peaceful kingdoms. As they adventure forth, they meet new friends and unravel evil conspiracy to bring all of the world’s kingdoms to war and fulfill an ancient prophecy. The story’s a marked improvement over the weak, “Oh no, the monsters are evil now” plot of the first Dragon Quest Heroes, and it develops in interesting ways. The characters it introduces are likable, the storyline – though somewhat predictable – kept me wanting to see what happens next, and the top-notch English localization added a lot of life and humor to both crucial story scenes and incidental dialogue. Characters from other Dragon Quest games will also pop in throughout the course of the story, and as a longtime fan of the series seeing familiar favorite characters appear and join my merry adventuring band was quite a treat, even though the story focus remains squarely on the all-new Dragon Quest Heroes 2 cast.