Grinding Galore

Dragon Quest Swords:
The Masked Queen
Reviewed On
Available For

Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors (another long name game) bored the ever-loving bejeezus out of me, so if you’re looking forward to some grand review proclaiming the series’s wonderful wonderfulness, stop reading, because this game was just a repetitive piece of trash that furthers everything that is wrong with gaming.

I’ve tried in the past to be objective toward certain games that are designed for specific audiences in mind. I’ve given "Benefit of the Doubt" reviews, "Don’t Look on it to Harshly Because it’s a Kid’s Game" reviews, and "There are People that Follow this World of Gaming Closely, So Let’s Allow Them Their Fun" reviews, but I’m drawing the line with a game that makes a drunken womanizer a hero and works with a solitary French cocotte who was once supposedly training to be a nun.

Come. On.

You can only push me so far, people.

But no. No! You don’t believe me. I can see it in your eyes. So let’s go on a little further and take a look at what makes this game worthy of my burn pile.

The city of Avalonia is the setting for your character to prove himself as a hero, just like your good old dad was before he lost his right hand in battle and started hitting the bottle a little too hard.

As you move freely about the city during the opening of the game, you become familiar with its inhabitants and the visitors that have come for an audience with the city’s royalty, but as your first mission is given to you, you find that things aren’t exactly as free as you might imagine.

The first challenge to young (insert your moniker here) is a traditional rite of passage titled The Walk of the Worthy, which sounds too much like the Long Walk, just without all the gore and interest. In truth the Walk of Worthy is little more than a stroll down a mildly perilous path that leads you into a slightly more dangerous cave where you encounter the vicious attacks of countless smiley blob creatures!

That’s right. I said smiley blobs.

Without the ridiculous adventure music, you might think that these smiling blobs were coming out to congratulate you for buying a worthless game, but no. It’s all a ruse. Instead of befriending you, they jump up and down, and get closer to you, and"hurt you"somehow…

Apparently, happiness is not only a sin in Avalonia, it’s dangerous as well.

Of course, the enemies tend to get more sinister looking as the game goes on, but only so far as you’d expect it to get from the expectations set up in the opening battles.

After getting back from the walk unscathed, tea time with your father is interrupted by the prince of their little kingdom. Oh my! The queen has been acting strangely-a fact you’ve heard from nearly everyone in the game-and her son is wants to try and get to the bottom of her majesty’s "Aloofness."

Later, Fleurette, who has a before-her-time fashion sense (meaning a mini-skirt, striped thigh-highs, and a bodice), rejoins this lovely little community and connects with your merry band while getting back in touch with old friends. This all seems so surreal, as she tends to be the only French person in a world of oddly spoken English, but by this point you don’t care anymore, so you just go with the rest of the tale until your threshold for awful storytelling has reached its limit.

But had there not been a crappy story to go along with the crappy gameplay, I’d think that the game had some kind of glitch to it that mode the same enemies appear in the same sequence at every turn. Unfortunately, glitches can’t be blamed for this game’s lack of interesting qualities. That failure lands squarely on the people that thought up this monstrosity.

The control scheme for this marvelous waste is as unimaginative as they come for the Wii. You can jab, you can slice, and you can, um"aim your jab and slice, and… did I mention you can slice. But that’s not all! You can also ward off attacks with your amazing hovering shield and from time to time cast spells that make the screen flash and enemies suddenly die. Wow!

(Self-editor’s Note: On a base level, these controls aren’t exactly the worst the Wii has seen, but the fact that they are attached to this game is providing me a biased view. That said, they still remain extremely bland.)

All right, the truth is that Dragon Quest Swords wouldn’t be getting such a terrible review if it didn’t contain certain elements that I find beleaguered and subtly disturbing in its aim at children, who is exactly the age group this game is targeting, and if the gameplay didn’t repeat itself ad nauseam, and if the story wasn’t so mind-numbingly ridiculous. So, in the interest of keeping myself objective, I’ll go ahead and say that without those choice elements, this game should fairly and non-biased get an overall score of 2. Okay? You happy? Good.

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