|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Square-Enix||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Square-Enix||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Feb. 19, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Even though Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors is a fairly enjoyable game, it is not without its faults. One big problem I had with it was its lack of stage depth. Although it is watered down for the sake of the casual sect, I can't help but to miss the grand scale of traditional RPG levels. This game merely has linear levels where the only real exploring you can do it to look under rocks for items or gold. And while this isn't so bad if you're just looking to fight bad guys, I feel that this extreme scaling-down of the levels loses some of the varied gameplay value and makes the game feel a little monotonous. All there is to do is get into battles, and while the game does a pretty good job of keeping it out of boring territory, it still leaves much to be desired.
Another area that could have been better was the visual area. While this game definitely does not look bad, the trouble is that it doesn't look all that good either. Graphics are comfortable with being in a very standard category, and I honestly expected more from a high-end company like Square-Enix. I figured that if anyone was going to bring superb graphics to the Wii it would have been them, but I suppose it just wasn't right this time around. People look pretty good, and character animations are quite fluid. But environments are a little too simplistic and suffer at times from repetitive texturing.
Overall, I really enjoyed Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors. It is definitely not the sweeping RPG that hardcore gamers have come to expect, but it stands well as an RPG for the casual gaming sect. Its great story, wonderful voice acting, and some pretty awesome Wii-mote gameplay make this a pretty good bet for the casual gamer, and who knows, maybe even a hardcore gamer or two as long as they don't mind the simple nature of the game. I know I enjoyed it.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer