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An Hour With 3D Dot Game Heroes

3D Dot Game Heroes

Hyrule as you imagined it to be

Even though the word on the street is that 3D Dot Game Heroes plays just as if you had added a 3rd dimension to A Link to the Past, I have to say that I didn’t really know what to expect. I quickly discovered that it played exactly like From Software had added a 3rd dimension! That is just such a good way to think about this game because even though the graphics are a million miles from what the SNES could produce, the movement and animation absolutely capture those top down adventures.Before the adventure began I took a quick look at the character creator that lets you design your own pixelated heroes (see here for more), but starting from scratch was just so daunting I decided to leave it alone for now. Not that when you start your game there aren’t a myriad of different characters to choose from which range from the genre staples to the bizarre. How about questing as a tank or a shark?

The story begins with an explanation of how the kingdom of Dotnia used to be 2D, but things were getting dull and so the king decreed that things should be remade in three dimensions. This resulted in the strange pixelated looking environment that you find yourself in at the start of the game. Unfortunately, an evil force has stolen the dark orb, which had previously kept Dotnia safe and a hero is required to get it back. That hero is obviously you.

To play the game is to return to A Link to the Past or any of the great 2D Zelda games since although things are presented in 3D, you have to imagine that it’s as if the top down camera has just rotated in an arc towards the ground. This now give you a three-dimensional perspective on the world, but you can’t move the camera, which is both kind of cool and maybe a missed opportunity. Animation and sound also give you pangs of a simpler time with few frames and few notes, but are both an additional part of the magic rather than a misstep.

Your first mission is to retrieve your sword from a hidden forest that’s not that well hidden since it  just happens to be round the back of the king’s castle. Those swords are the little stickers of Zelda games though, starting huge and eventually becoming screen sized following upgrades.

That’s about it from the first hour, but from the intro video its obvious that later on you’ll pick up a hook shot and a boomerang and so no chance to borrow from Link’s adventures seem to have been missed.

If the dungeons are as well designed as Zelda’s then this will be a surefire success at least from my point of view. At less than £30 this appears to be a bit of a steal.

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