"Slimes, you know them, you love them, and you can't live without them. However, these blue little blobs have a dark, dank secret. They're actually communists. They distract us with their cute little antics which results in easy experience points. Meanwhile, Castro and Lenin use this opportunity to convert all RPG players to communism. Of course these allegations can't be proven, but that may change after playing a game where they're the star of the show in Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime for t..."
Slimes, you know them, you love them, and you can't live without them. However, these blue little blobs have a dark, dank secret. They're actually communists. They distract us with their cute little antics which results in easy experience points. Meanwhile, Castro and Lenin use this opportunity to convert all RPG players to communism. Of course these allegations can't be proven, but that may change after playing a game where they're the star of the show in Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime for the Nintendo DS.
On an island known as Slimenia, slimes live in peaceful harmony together. One day, a slime named Rocket and his buddies discover the Warrior Flute, an ancient slime treasure of mystery. Rocket decides to give the flute a blow and coincidently a mysterious group known as the Plob invades the town of Boingburg. The Plob kidnaps all the residents except for Rocket whose body was stretched around the flute to give him a baseball bat-shaped disguise. It's now up to Rocket to rescue all 100 slimes and defeat the Plob.
The main gameplay is similar to a Zelda game, even without the swords, but you'll be able to slash stuff once you find a Slime Knight later on in the game. You'll wander around areas looking for your friends and freeing them from blue treasure chests with Rocket's Elasto Blast. This is accomplished by pressing A and then stretching him in the direction you want him to go with the control pad, which is also his main method of attacking enemies and picking up objects. He'll then send the enemy/object into the air and catch it on his head. Rocket can carry up to three enemies/objects at once and throw them with B. When you free your friends, you'll have to carry them with you to the many train systems throughout the game. The trains will then carry them back to town and you can resume your quest. Once your friend makes it back to town, they'll send you a letter which comes with an item/weapon for your Schleiman Tank for tank battles, which I'll get to soon. After you rescue a certain amount of slimes and return them to town, they'll begin to rebuild the city and remove the iron balls that were used during the Plob's assault. These balls blocked many areas of Boingburg and you'll be able to access more of the town as you rescue more and more slimes.
Some crucial characters you'll rescue are Ducktor Cid, a former Plob member, and Slimechanic, a captured slime. Both will help with your tank, of which the latter increases your tank's HP, while Cid helps with loading ammo and your crew members. Often in the game, you'll find a Plob member that will challenge you to a tank battle and they always leave a captured slime behind when you defeat them.
Tank battles consist of you and your opponent shooting various objects and ammo at each other, trying to deplete their HP. Once their HP is completely gone, you can infiltrate their tank to destroy their heart-shaped engine. This creates a nuclear-Hiroshima-like explosion which results in total pwnage. These battles tend to be fast-paced since they occur in real-time and you and your opponent are frantically gathering ammunition that appears in the tanks to fire. Players have two cannons to fire from: an upper tank that shoots in a parabola fashion and a lower tank that fires straight forward. They automatically aim for your opponent, so you just have to load the cannon to fire. However, your opponent won't just sit there and enjoy his Funyuns and Mountain Dew. No, he's going to counter with his own barrage of projectiles and either attack you or block your projectiles, which you'll also do if you're smart. Tank battles utilize both screens very effectively. The bottom screen is where all the action occurs, (loading ammo and moving around the tanks) as it does in normal gameplay. The top screen shows the two tanks and who's firing at whom and you can see where the cannon fire is currently as they slowly close in on their target. In normal gameplay, the top screen is simply a map of the area. You'll fire many objects in the game. Some examples include your typical bombs and missiles, and other things like boomerangs, shurikens, and "COR BLIMEY! It's Yangus' bloody oaken club!" Seriously, it says that in the game and as you may or may not know that was a Dragon Quest VIII reference, and there are several throughout the game.
While all the cannon fire is going on, you have crew members that are willing to help you during the battle. Players can have up to three and should have diversity among them. For example, some crew members will help load and fire ammo in addition to what you're already firing. Others will infiltrate the enemy's tank and steal their ammo, which your enemies will do likewise. Finally, some members can heal other crew members and even restore some of the tank's HP. If a crew member gets in the way and you're tired of them, you can even shoot them out of cannons to take enemy fire. Overall, the tank battles are a nice diversion from the general gameplay, despite that you'll come across them often.
Later on as the story progresses, you'll find King Trode's alchemy pot, another reference from Dragon Quest VIII. You'll acquire recipes from your friends in addition to items. The recipes will call for a certain number of objects to be dropped into the pot. This will then create completely new item. An additional sidequest is the tank battle arena with Morrie Morrie, the Morrie version of a slime, with his handlebar mustache and all. If you've played previous Dragon Quest games before then you would know that Morrie is the monster battle person. In the tank battles, you'll work your way up the ranks as you defeat enemies for glory. There are also mini-games hidden such as surfing and a coin-collecting game.
Speaking of mini-games, if you have some buddies with a DS, they can wirelessly connect and compete in the mini-games, with only one card. Up to 16 players can participate in single card play, but that's only with mini-games. On the other hand, if they do have the game, they can compete in tank battles, where you can have up to four play at once. However, no online multiplayer is present, which would have been sweet if it was.
The gameplay appears to be pretty lighthearted, with bright and colorful visuals complimenting it. 2D sprites are the stars of the game, accompanied are exaggerated but humorous animations and other graphical goodies. On the audio side of things, we have catchy tunes that have an orchestrated feel to them. Many of the themes from other Dragon Quest games make an appearance, as well as various sound effects. Overall, the sound was one of my favorite features of Rocket Slime.
Despite the fact that Rocket Slime is somewhat of a Zelda rip-off, it's still a solid title. Some may be disappointed that there's only one save slot for the game, so if you or a sibling/friend wants to start a new game, they'll have to erase your old file, what is this Pokťmon? Regardless, fans of Zelda or Dragon Quest should definitely give this game a try.
Community review by Ness (March 01, 2008)
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