Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Destructoid Review: Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride

6:00 PM on 03.02.2009 // Colette Bennett

Despite the constant grumbling that surrounds remakes, some people are obviously interested enough to keep buying them, proving that someone somewhere is either enjoying the shiny new version or playing it for the very first time. Dragon Quest V is a special case, though, having been originally released in Japan for the Super Famicom in 1992 and also rereleased on the PS2 there, but the US has never had an English language version until now (although fan translations are out there).

Dragon Quest V differs a bit from other RPGs in that it allows you to live out twenty years of your character's lifetime, including childhood, marriage and family. While the average RPG definitely shows off character evolution, Dragon Quest V seems as if it might offer just a bit more for the fan looking for a deep and rewarding story. Did it come through? Follow me past the jump to find out.

Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride
Developer:ArtePiazza, Cattle Call
Square Enix
Released: February 17, 2009
MSRP: $39.99

From the first moments of Dragon Quest V, you get the feeling you have a seriously epic adventure on your hands -- after all, how many RPGs start with your character's birth? After a few years pass, you are allowed to name your character and then begin by adventuring with your father, Pankraz. As I mentioned before, the game takes you through this character's lifetime, but I won't say anything further about the plot because I don't want to be responsible for spoiling any part of a good story for any of you (that's what the internet's for).

The first thing you are likely to notice about this game is how lovely it looks, even for a DS title. Your world is splayed across both the top and bottom screens, allowing for a more developed sense of the land around you and letting you see where you're going just a tad better. Being able to use both screens in this way definitely won points with me, as it amplified the feelings of adventure and showed off a world that was easy to sink myself into.

Now, on the field, as you may imagine, there's grinding to be found, and lots of it. People's enjoyment of classic-style grinding in RPGs seems to be split pretty evenly as of late, so I'll warn you: if you hate the grind, stay away. Classic to Dragon Quest history, you will have to spend a lot of time leveling up your characters -- probably about 70% of your gaming experience will be spent in random battles. (As an aside, it's worth mentioning that the battles are complimented by beautiful character art, but you can only ooh and aah at that for so long.)

However, Dragon Quest V differs slightly in that it offers you the ability to capture and train monsters, with a total of 40 available. This adds a bit of spice to the normal grind and allows you to focus on leveling up monsters and using the skills to your advantage in battle. Sometimes certain beasties will ask to join you if your party is strong enough, which is amusing. I personally enjoyed this feature quite a bit and found myself seeking out monsters to capture and level rather than blasting through each area as I usually do.

If you get burned out on the grind, you can always pursue one of the game's collection missions or go relax and play some minigames. The slime-based one is one of my favorites! These don't really relate to the main story in any way, but it can be fun to go mess with them and make a little extra money every once in a while.

Square made the choice to not add animated cutscenes into Dragon Quest V, which will surely divide fans opinions. Some games that did not possess cutscenes before, such as the PS1 remake of Chrono Trigger, have drawn nothing but criticism from fans (and rightly so), while other titles seem to have benefitted greatly from the addition. Personally, I think they could have been beautiful, but considering I'm choking on cutscenes in the modern RPGs I'm playing, the break from them seemed more refershing than disappointing.

As usual, Koichi Sugiyama takes on the score for Dragon Quest V, and the music is every bit as beautiful as fitting as one would expect from the series. I can't recommend enough that you play the game wearing headphones, as it takes the immersion to a new level and allows you to easily lose yourself in the game's world.

I don't get the opportunity to use the words frequently enough in RPG reviews, but the only fitting description for the reward of grinding your way through Dragon Quest V's story is deep satisfaction. RPGs aim to draw you in with the telling of a story, but they often add padding to be able to claim "sixty hours of gameplay"! While Dragon Quest V offers a solid 25 hours or so, each of those hours is densely packed with real content that engages you emotionally and makes you think and feel as you go. For a portable RPG choice, you honestly can't do much better unless you're toting a copy of Chrono Trigger DS around with you (and if you're a fan, here's betting that you finished that months ago!)

Score: 9 -- Superb (9s are a hallmark of excellence. There may be flaws, but they are negligible and won't cause massive damage to what is a supreme title.)

Photo Gallery: (10 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys

Colette Bennett,
 Follow Blog + disclosure

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

Larxinostic avatarLarxinostic
Overnight, I dreamed Destructoid existed as an old-timey collectibles shop. Quickposts graced the shelves as paintings, available for purchase; the number of faps on a post directly equaled its price. Video games and VG accessories also were up for sale.
Scrustle avatarScrustle
Usually I'm not comfortable showing stuff off like this, but this is something I've been working on for college work, and it's the first thing I feel like is at least halfway worth showing.
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
I don't understand how my wife's students could hate her if she ordered this for the classroom's Scholastic service.
weslikestacos avatarweslikestacos
My band's debut album is #31 on the iTunes country charts! Sorry for this shameless plug, but I'm pretty pleased about this!
gajknight avatargajknight
I've been listening to a lot of opera recently. I blame Cowboy Bebop and it's incredible "Ave Maria".
El Dango avatarEl Dango
It's [img][/img]
Alphadeus avatarAlphadeus
Omicron (2011) - From the album "From Alpha to Omega" where I wrote a song for each letter of the Greek Alphabet. The "Base" song is actually A Well-Known Stranger, but a "dance" version of it. Probably my favorite song from this album.
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
Seems we have a few bots in our midst again. Although we typically do.
Gamer girl avatarGamer girl
Hello Peeps, new gamer here, so glad to be one of you starting today! This is how i will spend my evening after office! how about you? :)
Scrustle avatarScrustle
Our friend Jim Sterling talks about the demise of GameTrailers and the problems with the current games media model in general: [url=]GameTrailers Was A Victim Of Itself[/url]
Atleastimhousebroken avatarAtleastimhousebroken
Went into Gamestop on my workbreak to kill a bit of time today. SMT:Devil Survivor 2 RB for €30 and Pillars of Eternity for €5 more.. As if my RPG coma couldn't get any deeper. With Numenera and the 3ds release schedule, what a great time to be an RPG
robtassassin123 avatarrobtassassin123
Isn't This Gif Funny!!!!
Sir Shenanigans avatarSir Shenanigans
Watching the third and fourth Crow movies this morning, because I'm a supporter of #hottopic.
Barry Kelly avatarBarry Kelly
As usual it's up to Simon Miller to ask the hard questions. He's a guy that knows the score
TheBlondeBass avatarTheBlondeBass
I'm still trying to understand the logic behind calling Shiren Mystery Dungeon a spinoff and linking to Pokémon Mystery Dungeon as an example of mainline.
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
I didn't make this, nor do I know the person who did, but this Shovel Knight remix is too good not to share around. It's of my favorite track on the OST. Those surprise vocals at the end, tho!
Shinta avatarShinta Valkyria Chronicles: Azure Revolution demo stream. Check it out now if you want to see how it looks.
Lawman avatarLawman
Totally game-related, I promise.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
Initial impressions on the new Digimon PS Vita game: Has Guilmon. I'll give it a Guilmon/10. Guilmon of the Year 2016. That means it's good.
Larxinostic avatarLarxinostic
Coming soon: the cat-waifu game of our steamy dreams. [img][/img]
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -