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iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch) Game Review
Considered to be one of the best games in the entire Dragon Quest series; Dragon Quest V: The Hand of the Heavenly Bride was originally released in 1992 in Japan only, but went on to enjoy a much-welcomed European launch in 2009 on the Nintendo DS. The game follows the life of a young boy on his journey to become a man, along the way meeting various friends and monsters. His adventure spans three generations - beginning as a youngster journeying with his father - to becoming a father himself...
For anyone who has played any of the previous Dragon Quest games, Heavenly Bride is fairly easy to pick up and play. Like the recently released Dragon Quest III: The Seeds of Salvation,Heavenly Bride has made the transition quite smoothly to iOS. And it's not essential that you've played any of the other games, as you start as a young boy and learn everything from scratch. I did, on occasion get stuck in the early stages. For example, after exploring the caves I was told to go home and rest. But when I went home I couldn't work out how to go to bed (in the end I had to talk to the man in the house). And likewise, on my first trip to the casino, I was unaware that there were two kiosks - one to convert money to play in the casino and one to convert it back, so I was unable to play any of the games in the casino. But for those that get stuck, there are plenty of online walk through guides to help you out.
After The Seeds of Salvation, it's interesting to see how the developers gave Heavenly Bride a bit of a polish. The battle mechanics and information displays are a little easier to fathom and the graphics are slightly updated (but this is obviously still an old school, blocky offering when compared to the latest games on release).
For gaming freaks, Heavenly Bride employed a few elements that would start crazes. The monster collecting aspect of the game would be taken up in later years by both Pokémon and Digimon. In fact the idea was expanded even further in Dragon Quest Monsters.
Anyone who fondly remembers this game for the Nintendo DS will already be aware of how many hours of fun await them. As with the iOS remake of The Seeds of Salvation, the controls of Heavenly Bride are a little fiddly. You'll find it a bit of a challenge to get your character to cross certain bridges and steps that are only just wide enough for you. This seems to be because the characters move a little too fast and the sensitivity on the controls is a little too high. Sadly there is no way of altering this, although you can move the position of the controller so that it is placed on the left, centre or right of the screen.
This game adds the ability to scroll the normally static environment. There are three buttons at the bottom of the screen that allow you to rotate the gaming arena clockwise / anticlockwise / reset to the game's default (so you don't get disoriented as to where you are). Also, this time around, you can chat to the monsters in your party; who offer amusing conversation as well as invaluable help and advice.
There are also a handful of mini games and the ability to win money at the casino. The casino contains slot machines, poker a monster arena and slime races (in the slurpodrome) which prove an interesting diversion from the main game.
You can try your hand at the board game Treasures ‘n’ Trapdoors (where you roll a dice and try to get to the end of the map in order to collect the mysterious prizes on offer) or Bruise the Ooze (a slime-smashing mini game: Simply tap the slimes within the time limit to earn points).
Some might baulk at the £10.99 price tag, which to be fair is expensive for an App, but considering how many hours of fun you'll have it's well worth the money. Not to mention that DS versions are currently selling for well over £50.
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