Readers of the Warp Zone section of the website, as well as listeners of the Warp Zone podcast, know that Dragon Warrior was my first introduction to the world of Japanese Role-playing (JRPGs). The original was released in the United States in August 1989, just over 30 years ago, and I’ve been addicted ever since. What some may not know is that Dragon Warrior III on the NES was one of my favorite games. He has introduced a lot of new gameplay mechanics through his search system, which means that each member of the group can learn different skills and spells from each other. The story was more complicated than that of its predecessors, and the graphics and sound took a big step forward, which probably wasn’t much because the series wasn’t really known for its cutting-edge visuals. We missed the fantastic port to the Super NES, but the Game Boy Color version remains my favourite, with lots of extra content and improved graphics compared to the original NES version. We now have a custom version of Switch called Dragon Quest III, and the basic game is still addictive. With the ability to play on the go or on TV, there is no reason not to spend tens of hours trying to outwit the demon Baramos.
As I just said, different versions of this game have been released over the past 30 years. So, what can you expect from the exchange? This is essentially the same model that has appeared on mobile devices in recent years, but with essential D-pad and button support. This means that the graphics use very detailed sprites in the backgrounds and backgrounds. The annoying static black background during the fighting has disappeared. Instead, beautifully illustrated portraits imitate the region you are exploring (e.g. forests, mountains, etc.). However, not everything is ideal for a graphical representation. If I can afford to be a bit thoughtful (it’s kind of my work), then all the enemies have lost their mind-based pixel art and are now some kind of high-resolution clip art for their old self. Maybe this graphic update means they weren’t live as in the remasters for Game Boy Color and Super NES. This is a big step back in the presentation that is unpleasantly felt. The playable and unplayable characters are also in high resolution, but seem to retain some of their sprite characteristics, which makes them look good overall. Cities and environments are even more beautiful than on the Super NES and are very colorful and detailed, making it very popular on TV and in portable mode. Since you will spend a lot of time fighting different monsters, it would be good if you pay more attention to the animation of the enemies.
There have been a few other small changes in the game, especially in the early days. In the original you saw your father fighting to the death with a demon and eventually they both fell into a volcano. This scene is no longer present in this new version. In the Game Boy Color and Super NES versions, events unfold even before the battle on top of the mountain. Square Enix may have wanted the player to act faster, but I feel like it takes away from you why you’re going on this adventure. It’s really the only thing that bothers me about this port, otherwise it’s just the way I remember it.
Dragon Quest III is a huge game in which you have to explore different countries and also interact with the inhabitants. As before, the enemy will appear at quite a high speed, so don’t be surprised if you have to fight within a few steps of each other, especially in caves and towers. My best advice to beginners is to learn a bit of the tricks of the trade and try to fight any monster without trying to escape, which doesn’t work as often as I would like. Bring medicinal and poisonous herbs! Of course, since you create your party from the start, it is best to have a balanced group of heroes with you. The obvious choice is to involve a warrior, a magician and a priest in your hero. So you have both serious offensive skills and magical backups. You will be grateful to learn some healing spells and others that can attack whole groups of enemies. There are also other utilities that are fun, but they are a bit more nuanced and are best left to experienced players. Searching for a guide can be a good idea if you want more information about what each person does, because the game does not allow you to describe the pros and cons in detail.
If you’ve played a Dragon Quest game in the past, you’ll feel at home here. The basic power system is identical. You will often have to solve a local dilemma where the locals need help, and this usually involves entering a cave or similar place to destroy an enemy or retrieve an object. Then solve this problem and move on to the next one while you work towards your common goal of killing Baramos. The game has a day-night cycle, which directly affects the strength of the enemy monsters (the stronger they are at night), but also allows the inhabitants of the cities to communicate. You absolutely must check every place twice to discover all the secrets. You’ll also find mini-pennies to collect that you can trade for more powerful weapons, so make sure you check every chest of drawers and every pot!
I am happy to report that Dragon Quest III is doing well, even though it is an old classic. The more beautiful graphics and the fully orchestrated soundtrack certainly help, but the intriguing world design and story really push the game forward. There are tons of secrets to try to unlock, and the game still has a high level of difficulty that can only be overcome with a little bite. Some dungeons are cheeky with false floors and traps everywhere. On the NES, I had the advantage of being able to include the cards in the game, but today you have the Internet at your disposal. Don’t be ashamed to look at the dungeon cards or the directions to where certain items are located, because the game often doesn’t give you many clues in the right direction.
I know I love this game because I once loved it so much. For those of you who are playing JRPG for the first time and have played in modern times, I’m sure the story sounds pretty bizarre. The game focuses less on plot twists and long exposures than on short stories, and you can discover something new for yourself. In that respect, some people will enjoy it less than others, but I still think it’s one of the best games in the Dragon Quest series, and it’s still one of my favourite games of all time. The Switch has finally given American players the chance to play an updated version of the NES classic with the right controls, and I’m eternally grateful to them!
Dragon Quest III: Seed Healing – Overview
- Graphs – 8.5/10
- Sound – 8.5/10
- Gameplay – 8/10
- Last call – 9/10
Final thoughts: GRAND
Dragon Quest III: The Seeds of Redemption are a perfect mix of old and new. It features updated visuals and orchestral music, but retains the occasional encounter and perhaps a bit of the rare side to inform newcomers about the process. Expect the same series of fragmentation and study as known. I’m just glad we finally have a slightly updated version with the right controller support!
Craig has covered the video game industry since 1995. His work has been published in various media. He is currently editor and employee of Age of Games.
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