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Dragon Warrior II (NES) artwork

Dragon Warrior II (NES) review

"Overall, Dragon Warrior 2 was a giant step forward from past efforts on the NES. Today, it's hardly a revolutionary game, but it still provides some good fun if you can find a copy."

Dragon Warrior 2 can make quite a big claim for itself. It was the first role playing game introduced for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) to feature a large party, each with distinctive characteristics and background stories. It set the stage for the later two epics in the series, Dragon Warriors 3 and 4.

In Dragon Warrior 2, you play the role of a young prince. When your castle is besieged by Hargon, master of evil, you must set forth and rid the land of his scourge. You're joined by the prince of another castle, and the magician princess of another castle. It's elementary storytelling, but at the time it was more than average.

The game uses the same battle system as Dragon Warrior, although it is adapted for multiple characters. Each character's attack order is based on speed. There's also the customary statistics, such as strenegth, constitution, ect. The combat is turn based, with one command per round.

Dragon Warrior 2 is NOT as easy game. It's rather non-linear actually; you can venture and collect the five crests, crucial elements to the beating of the game, anytime after you acquire a ship and in any order. However, there is no clear path to take, and most enemies are not easy. Add this to a high enemy encounter rate, and the pace of Dragon Warrior 2 slows down to a crawl in the larger dungeons. Running from fights is an essential skill in the game, and luck is needed to beat it.

Dragon Warrior 2 also improves on past role playing games by the wealth of equipment and items in the game. There's over thirty equippable items, ranging from swords to axes to staffs to suits of armor to helmets to shields. You can tweak around with character's equipment to your heart's desire.

Graphically, Dragon Warrior 2 is still ugly. The graphics are blocky and grainy. Monster portraits are fairly original though, although most high level monsters are just color varations of earlier monsters. The music of Dragon Warrior 2 is not good. Mute your TV immediately to drone out that awful midi-like sound.

Overall, Dragon Warrior 2 was a giant step forward from past efforts on the NES. Today, it's hardly a revolutionary game, but it still provides some good fun if you can find a copy. A copy at Funcoland can go for over thirty bucks. It's worth it though, as Dragon Warrior games have steadily gone up in value over the years. You'll get a solid return for your investment in good gameplay and a high resale.

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Community review by sgreenwell (Date unavailable)

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