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3D Dot Game Heroes Review

#1 Woot1337   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   137 Posts   Joined 8.5 Years Ago  

Posted 26 June 2010 - 01:22 AM

When you first see 3D Dot Game Heroes, it will more than likely remind you of a certain retro series about a sword wielding hero. Although it borrows heavily from that series, do not immediately write it off as a poor copy or you may be missing out on one of the most fun pseudo retro games of this generation. This game takes what made the Legend of Zelda series great and replicates it on a modern console.

Attacking Chickens? Where have we seen this before?

The storyline of the game is nothing out of the ordinary, yet is hardly the focus. The Kingdom of Dotnia is under the looming destruction from the evil Fuelle, who threatens to destroy the kingdom. In order to defeat Fuelle, the hero must collect the six orbs and obtain the orb’s power from the sage of each orb. Sounds a little familiar doesn’t it? That doesn’t matter too much; originality isn’t this game’s strong suit.

In the start, the game will prompt you to select a character. There are dozens of premade characters built into the game. You can also create your own character, creating each animation stage from attacking to walking. The creator tool makes this easy. You just draw six different images of your character, one for each action, and it creates the animation. The tool also makes drawing these images easy, just by selecting a color and placing it in a blank space to build your character. This feature is fun and allows you to inject a bit of your own originality into the game.

Puzzles exist both inside and outside of dungeons.

3D Dot Game Heroes plays exactly like a classic Zelda game and gameplay is the clear focus of the game. From the dungeon exploring to the puzzle solving to the boss fighting, it’s all here. They even have the same square region grid that the first Zelda did. The game also borrows many of the same tools, such as the boomerang, bow and arrow, and hookshot. One of the most prominent features you’ve probably noticed in screenshots is the ridiculous size of the sword. This is 3D Dot Game Heroes’s replacement for shooting your sword in Zelda, and as such you only have a huge sword at full health.


As you can see, the sword can be upgraded to take a big portion of the screen. It is only this size at full heath however, so it doesn’t make the game too easy

One issue that I ran into while playing was getting to the next dungeon. It’s marked on the map which gives you some idea of where to go, but I took the wrong path to the dungeon numerous times. Unfortunately, there is little offered to help a lost hero and you just have to use trial and error until you pick the right path.

Although 3D Dot Game Heroes stays true to Zelda style game play, the developers have added a few more features. One such feature is the RPG-esque system of sword upgrading. Throughout the adventure, you can buy or find new swords with different stats. These stats include the length of the sword, the width, and strength. There is also an additional RPG element introduced when you go to the blacksmith. Each sword has the capability to be upgraded and is assigned a numerical value. At the blacksmith, the length, width, and strength of the sword can be increased and the ability to sword spin and pierce through walls can also be added. Upgrading your sword uses both gold and some of the capability points that a sword has. These upgrades, however, are only in effect when you are at full health. This adds a new element which allows gamers to fit their sword to their play style.


Bosses in this game are no small feat to accomplish, some are downright deadly and you will, more than likely, have to retry the battle.

The graphics in this game aren't going to win any awards, but they are still pleasant to look at. Almost everything in this game, save for the environment, is made of 3D blocks. This gives the game a simplistic look that is reminiscent of retro titles, but the graphics are well done and pretty unique. As a nice touch, the blocks of monsters scatter when they are killed.

The nostalgia of 3D Dot Game Heroes isn’t only in the game play and graphics, the audio sounds it came straight out of the 8-bit era. Some of the themes you will instantly love and others you won’t care for. Another issue I ran into is the dungeons have the same tune playing on loop while in the dungeon. This is fine for most dungeons as they aren’t too long. However, if you get stuck or lost you’ll be listening to that same tune for an hour or more for the later dungeons.

The Block Defense is pretty fun and you can help by attacking monsters if your towers aren't cutting it.

3D Dot Game Heroes offers fantastic value to the retro loving gamer. The game can last anywhere between 12 and 16 hours with lots more to do. The creators even included several mini games, with a tower defense game, breakout clone and a racing mini game. Most of these are fun and can provide a nice break to the orb collecting. Later in the game, you can obtain an encyclopedia of monsters called a bestiary. In order to add a new monster to the encyclopedia you have to repeatedly smash the enemy with the book. Special shields and new swords can also be found giving the player something else to do. Boss battles can be replayed, but little story line makes replayability a little below average. At 40 dollars, 3D Dot Game Heroes is a game that can be loved by anyone who loved the older Zelda titles and is a good value.


  • Classic Game play
  • Retro audio and graphics
  • Good value at the 40 dollar MSRP
  • RPG-esque sword collecting and upgrading
  • Allows you to make your own character

  • Dungeon audio loops get old at lengthy amounts of time
  • No clear directions in how to get to most dungeons
  • Not much story
Rating: 8.5/10

This is my first review so constructive criticism is very appreciated. Please comment!

Edited by Woot1337, 26 June 2010 - 05:45 PM.

#2 Pagan Chihuahua   CAG Veteran CAGiversary!   5 Posts   Joined 7.5 Years Ago  

Pagan Chihuahua

Posted 26 June 2010 - 03:18 PM

Liked your review. This is a great game, I picked it up solely because I'd like to see more games that do something like this (retro style game with modern twists.) At the very least it proves a 20 year old game style can still hold up today without just releasing a downloadable port for five dollars.

#3 Woot1337   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   137 Posts   Joined 8.5 Years Ago  

Posted 26 June 2010 - 04:41 PM

Thanks for the feedback! Ya, I was psyched for this game ever since it was released in Japan back in 2009. Couldn't wait to get my hands on it and got it on release day. I really like this style of games (full sized retro games on modern consoles that aren't just ports) and hopefully we will see a few more titles in this style.

#4 Mike13579   CAG Veteran CAG Veteran   12 Posts   Joined 8.3 Years Ago  


Posted 31 August 2010 - 07:14 PM

Good review.