Monday 15th of July 2024

Dragon Quest HD 2D Remake Coming Out 2024? Brings Back Childhood Memories

Dragon Quest HD 2D Remake Coming Out 2024? Brings Back Childhood Memories

-- - The HD-2D art style is almost like a cheat code for remakes because it captures the spirit of classic role-playing games while modernizing them in a way that remains true to their original form. That's certainly the case with the Dragon Quest games, which are ripe for remakes in this style, and one of the reasons why the initial announcement of Dragon Quest 3 was such a big deal. Now, after three years of radio silence, I finally got the chance to see the Dragon Quest 3 remake with my own eyes, and despite the new graphical update, it's exciting to see that it's very much a faithful recreation of the decades-old original.

If you play Dragon Quest 3 HD-2D Remake on PlayStation 5, and as someone whose gaming life revolved around RPGs from back then, I certainly appreciate a good modernization of one. Like other Square Enix HD-2D RPGs, Octopath Traveler and Live-A-Live, it's further proof that this direction is an effective way to preserve the look and feel of classic pixel art with visual subtleties only made possible by today's technology.

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The demo starts early in the story, with the hero assembling a full team consisting of a warrior, a cleric and a mage. From the hero's hometown of Aliahan, I ventured out into the open region to travel to the northern city of Reeve. Here and in the overworld, the lighting and flower effects add a spice to an already vibrant old school look. Although the landscape is the same, the redesign gives the world a greater sense of scale. Promontory Passage, the ruins leading to Dreamer's Tower (the first dungeon), stands in stark contrast to the original, and the environmental details paint a much more vivid picture that wasn't possible before. Even compared to the mobile remasters of Dragon Quest 3, the difference is night and day, yet it didn't feel like I was playing a completely different game.

Unsurprisingly, the gameplay mechanics are largely preserved, with turn-based battles unfolding according to the choice of actions for each party member. Strategizing with spells and attacks in the hopes that they'll line up to knock out enemies before they inflict too much damage on your group is the Dragon Quest way. Although I only played the first few levels with a limited number of options, I already know that due to the branching class-based system, Dragon Quest 3 can definitely get more and more complex. I unfortunately killed a lot of cute Slimes in the short time I played, but facing Toadys, Bubble Slimes and Stark Ravens in groups (and in order when climbing up multiple floors of the Dreamer's Tower) would be dangerous if I wasn't smart with my spells and who I went after. So I was happy to see that this remake retained the kind of difficulty that made the originals particularly challenging.

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