Coming soon to shatter a TV or window near you!
I spent like four valuable hours of cosplayer-ogling time in line to play a
game with magic and stats so I hope you guys appreciate what I'm doing for
you. Seriously though, I kid, because Dragon Quest Swords was pretty fun.
The Dragon Quest Swords demo at the Square-Enix party was a single level
with a boss at the end. (I have a hunch that it was around the third area in
the game or so, or maybe I saw that somewhere.) The playable level was a
forest environment with a handful of different enemies to fight. Moving
from fight to fight is on a set path on rails (which split into two
different directions sometimes) with a few secret rocks and chests to look
in/under along the way.
The control is a bit niftier than just waving the Wii-mote at the screen in
a retarded fury. You can target a point with the 'A' button and swing at it
from any direction. Targeting a point is important for lining up hits such
as a horizontal slash across the top of the screen (rather than through the
middle) to take out a line of flying enemies. Aside from slashing, the
player can also make a forward-stab motion, which is handy if an enemy tends
to block swings. As a lazy person, I found that flicking the controller from
the wrist worked a bit better than full arm swings.
The 'B' trigger raises your shield to block, which you can position on
screen to absorb or reflect attacks. Depending on how much you use it, it
can gradually become chipped away, or it can be replaced or buffed with a
potion to make blocking easier. By pointing the controller, the player can
move the shield around the screen and block attacks at different points.
Also, the player gradually builds up a meter for a super sword technique. By
selecting a technique when the meter is full, the player is prompted to
follow a certain dramatic motion with the Wii controller, which will melt
the faces off of all the enemies onscreen if done correctly.
There are menus for items and stats, too, and you get to pick an assistant to
cast heals and yell things at you all the time. There was more than enough
pre-provided for the demo, just to make sure nobody died part way while
sampling the game, probably. Hopefully the final version won't be so easy!
There were about a half-dozen different types of enemies in the demo level.
Slimes and little mushroom men hop onto screen to get one-shotted, and a
couple of different little flying demons fly and circle up close in patterns
for you to try to cleave in a couple shots. Boar men attack and block with
spears; if they block your slashes, a forward-stab works well. There was
another enemy that shot arrows from a distance, and the arrows could be
simply blocked, or batted back at the enemy with a good sword swing. Zombies
show up suddenly and spit poison. My favorite enemies, the adorable little
knight guys, mount up on slimes, run up to you, and dodge and block your
And finally, the boss of the demo level was the Golem; this is where the potential
boatload of fun can be seen. The Golem winds up and throws a series of
punches, and blocking the attacks will put him in a stun, ready for a counter-attack.
The player needs to read the Golem's movements and utilize both defense and
offense, but especially defense. It's really a lot like Punch-Out, and as
such, is really fun. If the rest of the game is like the Golem fight, it'll
That's my overall impression of Dragon Quest Swords. It's not so much an RPG
or on-rails shooter (a sword only has so much range!), but more like a
clever action game along the lines of Punch-Out. How good it will actually
be comes down to how the rest of the enemies and areas are designed, but
there's a definitely a solid game idea here.