Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime - Staff Review  

Rocket in Your Pocket
by Michael "Macstorm" Cunningham

Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime
Less than 20 Hours
+ Addictive tank battles
+ Simple gameplay
+ Easy to play for short periods
- Minimal story
- Low quality presentation
- Too short
Click here for scoring definitions 

   Welcome to Boingburg, village of slimes and home of Rocket and his slimy companions. It is here that the sequel to the Japanese-only release Slime MoriMori Dragon Quest, Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime begins. This cute, slimy Nintendo DS title takes a humorous, pun-filled approach to the area of action RPG. The hero of the story, Rocket, finds and accidently swallows a mysterious flute just shortly before his town is attacked and his companions captured. After luckily escaping from the town before being captured by the invading Plob, Rocket sets off to rescue his fellow villagers and stop the Plob.

   The story is rather silly overall; a single slime must bounce and stretch his way around the world to save his village. The flute that was discovered at the very beginning of the game serves as a means of summoning forth the Schleiman Tank, an ancient tank that Rocket will use to battle the tanks of Plob minions. During his exploration of the world, Rocket must rescue slimes to open up access to new areas. Eventually, Rocket must face off against the generals of the Plob army and a mysterious slime rival named Slival. While not a very impressive story, it serves its purpose as a means to push Rocket toward his goal of retrieving all 100 missing villagers and saving the day.

WMDs Slime WMDs

   Combat in Rocket Slime is divided into two areas: slime combat and tank combat. A good portion of the game consists of normal slime combat, where Rocket is exploring locations around the kingdom of Slimenia to find captured slimes. During this exploration, Rocket is able to jump around, float through the air, use his Elasto Blast to stretch attack enemies, and gather stacks of items, slimes, and Plob minions. Items and enemies can be sent back to town for storage with any items that have been gathered to be used during tank battles. Captured enemies can eventually become available to assist Rocket during these battles as well.

   Basically, everything comes back around to focus on tank battles. During these battles, Rocket and the Schleiman Tank are pitted against an enemy and their tank. Then using items that have been gathered while exploring, Rocket must toss them into the tank's cannon, firing them at the opposing tank. The enemy tank will be doing the same thing, so whichever side knocks their opponent down to zero HP first wins. During tank combat, certain allies that have been rescued can assist Rocket. Different slimes have differing abilities with some focusing on firing items, some on healing the tank, and others on sneaking into the opposing tank do cause damage and hinder the enemy. The player can choose to do battle however they see fit, though one of the most effective strategies is having allies launch artillery at the opponent while the player sends Rocket in to wreak havoc, thus slowing the effectiveness of the enemy tank. This will allow the A.I. controlled slimes to take the easy job while the player prevents the enemy from whittling the Schleiman into pieces.

   The controls in Rocket Slime are extremely simple and intuitive, but not without some flaws. To attack an enemy in slime combat, players only have to hold down a button and press a direction on the D-pad to aim, releasing to fire. The only issue comes from not being able to always accurately aim in the direction the player wants to fire. To gather things on Rocket's back, the player merely has to stretch and hit the item, and then get underneath the item to catch it. Rocket can have up to three items on his back at a time, often needing the items to be in a specific order to solve a puzzle or do use doing tank combat. While interaction is not perfect, it is simple enough for newcomers and gaming veterans alike to pick up and enjoy.

Tank Battles Are Fun I Cannot Get Enough Tank Battles

   The presentation of Rocket Slime is not very impressive. The visuals are below par for a Nintendo DS game, looking very similar to the Game Boy Advance game to which this is a sequel. Thankfully, the locations, enemies, and slimes within the game offer a fair bit of visual variety, even if they don't look extremely impressive. The game's soundtrack is composed of traditional Dragon Quest pieces. While not an outstanding sampling, the soundtrack does fare very well in creating an appropriate setting within the game. The presentation takes little away from the experience, but does little to help.

   Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime is a very short adventure, clocking in at just above twelve hours to complete everything. It is very simple to play, though it can be challenging during some of the game's tank battles. Overall, Rocket Slime is a very addictive game, thanks in part to the tank battles. Without those, the game would be just a simple, slightly dull action RPG. With them, it is a fun game that will leave the player wanting more. Dragon Quest Heroes could use a little polishing in its presentation and a more fleshed out storyline, but the experience is an entertaining one nonetheless. For anyone looking for a quick, enjoyable game that is easy to pick up and play for short amounts of time, Rocket Slime is that game.

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