The Dragon Quest series has always been the “dictionary definition” of JRPG. And that’s no small feat. Fans have gone on these fantasy adventures for a long time, and the series still manages to provide strong entries across dozens of spin-offs and mainline titles.
I recently played the latest mobile game from DeNA and Square Enix titled Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai: A Hero’s Bonds, which happens to be more than a mouthful of a title.
Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai: A Hero’s Bonds is not so different when compared to other Dragon Quest entries. The game looks really good visually using colorful 3D models the series is known for, and the story is pretty interesting. You can really see the Akira Toriyama style shine in each and every character. Still, cutscenes are present in an odd manner, as they aren’t optimized for “tall screen devices” such as mine, a Galaxy S10 Lite. But I feel that’s something that happens quite often with mobile games, so…not too big of a deal.
The game lets you create your own avatar to accompany the main cast so that you can immerse yourself in the story. However, don’t expect deep levels of character customization here, as what is presented is very surface level. There are only 3 voices to choose from, and you can’t give your character special characteristics such as scars, odd eyes, face paint, etc. I didn’t have the highest expectations, but this mode is one of the main offerings, so I would have liked a bit more personalization.
One of A Hero’s Bonds’ charms is that it has two storylines. You have the Dragon Tracks, which takes the player through the plot of The Great Adventure of Dai anime, and the Forging Bonds, an original story that takes place in an alternate version of the same world and universe, but with an original villain and plot.
The UI is pretty simple to understand. Upgrading skills and equipment is done via the “Upgrade – Manage” button, your gacha is on the “Treasure Hunt” menu button, and the main hub is on the “Altered Altar,” containing your present box, missions, and additional menus. However, it can be easy to get lost sometimes because there’s a lot of submenus within submenus. I found myself taking it a little slower than I usually would in a mobile game as I explored deeper into the options.
Now let’s talk about the elephant in the room, which is…the gacha. Luckily, this game, in particular, has characters added to your team as you progress through the story, and the gacha system is only for new weapons.
One positive point about the gacha system is the “Treasure Points” system. The more you draw, the more points you’ll get. And once you get to 100, you will obtain access to a special draw–one where you’ll get a single guaranteed 4-star equipment at random. This is pretty great, although it could be a tad frustrating not to get the 4-star weapon you wanted. But hey, “a 4-star is a 4-star”, as they say.
Overall, my time with Dragon Quest: Dai’s Great Adventure: A Hero’s Bonds has been positive after playing for a few days. The future of this title comes down to the additional content and support from the developers. Getting through the main quest that follows the anime and having more content delivered through the original story will be the ultimate factor in this adventure’s life.
Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai: A Hero’s Bonds is coming to iOS and Android devices later in 2021
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