Reviews: Dragon Quest I

Slimy, yet Satisfying

By Edmond Dantes

The original Dragon Warrior is a bit of an experience. It was made back when Japanese RPGs were unabashedly video games, and designed as such. Rather than giving you a plot and telling you where to go, the game very much expects you to take the initiative and find things out on your own (though the remakes add a lot more hints). The game world is set up almost like a puzzle that you must solve, with the pieces scattered all across the globe, waiting to be found and put to use to unlock new areas. In other words, approach it as a top-view Metroidvania with stat increases and level ups, rather than as a JRPG.

A word of warning: This game will kick your ass. But in that it can be a satisfying experience. Its like you go to tackle that dungeon, and you get a little ways in, you know what the area just beyond the entrance looks like, but then you have to back out. Maybe your supplies are getting low or something. But each time you come back, you get a little farther, find a little more, and you come to realize the monsters are falling quicker and you're using less of your precious supplies. Then the dungeon is mined out. You haven't just beaten it. It was a conquest. Grinding becomes a lot more satisfying, because even gaining one level or getting one new piece of equipment brings with it results that are immediately notable. When you see how a Magidrakiee goes from being the bane of your existence to as harmless as a fly in the space of one upgrade, you will want to grind.

In short, I really like this game. Granted, I wouldn't want to play an RPG like this every day, because it can be grueling, but sometimes its good for the soul to bring out a game that won't pull any punches. Give it a whirl!