Super Slimy Fun

Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime
Gameplay
graphics
audio
value
fun
Genre
Reviewed On
Nintendo DS
Available For
Difficulty
Intermediate
Publisher(s)
Developer(s)
ESRB
ESRB

Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime is one of the latest RPG adventures to hit the Nintendo DS handheld and it promises to keep players attention for hours at a time with its weirdly addictive game play, wacky cast of slimy heroes, and amusing storyline.

The game starts out in the slime capital of Boingburg. A curious slime who goes by the name Rocket and his little sister Bo are out delving in mischief with Rockets buddies Hooly and Swotzy. Yeah I know. Just try and keep up with me. Well, it seems Hooly, Rockets partner in slime and childhood rival, has gotten his hands on this magical warrior’s horn which happens to be property of Boingburg Palace. The two get into it about who should have a chance to blow into it first. They decide it over a contest of seeing who can clean up a pile of leaves in the fastest time.

Here players get a chance to learn Rocket’s signature move, the "elasto-blast" which allows Rocket to stretch his body out long and then snap himself forward like a rubber-band. Not only will it later prove to have a number of cool uses but it’s ideal for picking up leaves as well. Using the elasto-blast to get the job done you easily help Rocket to beat Hooly’s time and have first dibs at the horn.

About the time Rocket blows into the horn his father, "Big Daddy," who happens to be leader of the Boingburg Palace Knights comes to the scene to investigate all the noise. Without hesitation, Hooly stuffs the horn down Rockets throat to keep it out of sight which of course stretches Rocket into a funny horn-like shape. Unable to recognize his own son at this point, the others try and convince Big Daddy that there’s nothing here to see.

Suddenly and without warning the city comes under attack by a mysterious group of outsiders called "the Plob." The Plob threaten to destroy the town with their Super Tank unless the slimes immediately surrender. Before Rocket knows it the entire population of Boingburg, his friends and family included, are all kidnapped and whisked away by the Plob right before his very eyes. Ironically, Rocket finds himself spared by one of the Plob-nappers who mistakes him, in his present horn-like shape, for a worm. Instead the Plob tosses Rocket far into a neighboring forest just outside the city limits. It would appear that Hooly’s impulsive actions turn out to be a blessing in disguise, sparing Rocket from being kidnapped, and allowing him the chance to rescue all his friends and family from this new outside menace. After a rough landing, Rocket up-chucks the horn which has now become broken by the impact. Residing back to his normal ball-shape he gathers his belongings and bounces off to begin his newest adventure/quest to save his friends from ill-fortune.

Slimenia is a colorful 2D/3D world filled with several still objects helping to fill out the background scenery, sort of similar to a "Mario Brothers" adventure type setting. Of course, there are plenty of interactive objects to destroy or pick up as well. More importantly though, you’ll notice there always seems to be a persistent railway system in the immediate vicinity or surrounding area. The rail carts that travel this railway system will prove to be invaluable to Rocket a little later down the road.

Rocket’s adventure starts off a little bland at first. You sort of just bounce around elasto-blasting every breakable object or enemy in sight. However it’s not long before you discover that the Plob have hidden several of the other citizen slimes in treasure chests throughout Slimenia. As you release your fellow slimes from captivity you learn a few new tricks here and there or even pick-up a few tidbits of valuable information that will eventually help Rocket to discover a way for the slimes to have a chance against the Plob.

One of the first things you learn along your adventure is how to take full advantage of the elasto-blast feature. When Rocket blasts any object, enemy, or fellow slime the target momentarily pops up in the air. Rocket can quickly run underneath and catch it before it hits the ground. Once the target is caught Rocket can balance it on his head and bounce around with it or hurl it at other interactive or breakable objects as well as oncoming enemies. Rocket can even elasto-blast and carry up to three items on his head at once, a tactic that will come in handy for more than one situation or another.

Every time you get a fellow slime safely back to town you will later receive mail from them while out on your adventure. The mail will contain a letter of thanks and one of many useful items, each with its own distinct use, which you’ll be able to use along the way.

It’s not long before Rocket frees a slime friend, "Stony," who teaches Rocket to use the railway system as a means to transport other slimes back to town without carrying them himself by simply tossing them onto one of the passing rail carts. Rocket can even get back to town quickly, himself, via the railway anytime he needs to take a break from his adventure.

There are many more slimes left out there to rescue that will later become valuable assets to you once they’ve safely returned to town. In particular is "Mother Glooperior." She happens to be the head of the church in Boingburg but more importantly players can use her to save their adventures. She also encourages Rocket to not just throw fellow slimes onto the rail carts but also any useful object(s) or even an enemy that can be put to work on the many repairs needed on the mess back in town.

When Rocket revisits town to save his adventure for the first time he discovers that the town has been almost completely trashed by the Plob invasion. There are several huge metal balls with numbers on them followed by a "st" suffix which are blocking entrances to several buildings, homes, or main ways. The slimes figure out that the suffix following the number on these huge balls stands for "slime tons." Therefore a three slime ton ball would require a minimum of three slimes to move it out of the way. As Rocket rescues more slimes and gets them back to town he will slowly be able to gain access to those important buildings and residences that were otherwise inaccessible. Of course there are many other metal balls with numbers reaching as high as 200 slime tons which can be eventually removed as more slimes are freed.

So by now the object of the game is starting to become pretty clear. Rescue any and all fellow slimes of Boingburg, collect any valuable objects and/or enemies that may prove useful and throw them onto the nearest rail cart headed back to town. You’ll overcome even more challenging puzzles and elasto-blast a slew of enemy plob to save yet more fellow slime, including the King of Bloomburg himself, "His Wobbliness." It’s not too surprising that the fun begins to become a little stretched and monotonous after a while.

That is, however, until one fine day Rockets sets his eyes on place called "Tootinschielman’s Tomb". (I know. I know. Where do they get these names from right?) Rocket discovers a super tank beneath the sands of this tomb later to be named the "Schielman Tank." With the Schielman Tank at his disposal, Rocket can now give the slimes a fighting chance against the Plob and their awesome Super Tank.

The tank battles are a lot of fun and help to rocket the game play to a whole other level. From within the tank Rocket can man two main cannons. One cannon is located near the top of the tank and tilted on a 45 degree angle designed for overhead damage. The other cannon is mounted in the standard position coming off the nose of the tank and is used to fire directly straight ahead for those point blank attacks. Using all of those miscellaneous objects that Rocket had hauled back to town players can strategically load up these cannons and fire these objects in an all-out assault against their enemies. What’s really cool is all of the miscellaneous objects can do different damage and some even travel faster than others so with a little time and trial you can learn the most effective ammo go to battle with.

I always love to see how the dual-screen option will work with a new game and once again I’m impressed with the innovation behind the game play here. On the top screen there is a layout of both tanks facing each other with guns locked. Anytime anything is launched from the cannons all the action will play out here. Players can observe the trajectory of their own ammo firing out of both cannons as well as incoming fire from enemy tanks. Also in the lower corners of the screen is a hit-point counter displaying the number of hit points each tank has.

On the lower screen, players will be bouncing Rocket around frantically inside the control room loading up any ammo that can be found. Rocket will have to frequently leave the area where the cannons are loaded to gather ammo from other parts of the control room which temporarily leaves the tank vulnerable to incoming attacks. To make things even more interesting if players get clumsy while toting certain types of explosive ammo it can drop to the floor and explode blowing up other bits of ammo in the surrounding area and causing damage to Rocket himself.

More than just using the right firepower, the tank battles are literally a battle of wits. Both player and enemy tank cannons are located in exactly the same place which means that if one fires out of the overhead cannon, the other can anticipate and strategically counter by also firing their overhead cannon simultaneously blow up both objects in mid-air canceling out any damage at all. So the object here is to keep the ammo coming and flood the air with more cannon-fire than your enemy can counter. That will prove to be a task in itself.

But wait there’s more. Once a tank’s hit points reach zero the fight is not necessarily over. To finish off the enemy, players will have to have Rocket exit the Schlieman Tank and board the enemy tank, infiltrate it’s engine room and destroy it from the inside out, again a task easier said than done. Leaving your own tank means that it will be vulnerable to any attacks in your absence so you must work quickly to get the job done fast. Also don’t expect the Plob to simply let you board their tank and not put up some kind of resistance. It will truly be a fight to the finish as you elasto-blast your way to the engine room and finish the job.

In the beginning, Rocket will have to man the Schielman tank all by himself during battles which inevitably means a lot of running around, but later on as players delve into the adventure, Rocket will free other slimes with "tank know-how" that will help him to man other parts of the tank such as cannons, protecting the engine room from boarding enemies, and even perform tank upgrades. All of these new allies will prove invaluable down the stretch as Rocket encounters a more serious cast of enemy tank-masters and their unique super tanks, each with their own offensive and defensive strategy.

Tank battles are highly addictive and you could literally spend hours playing them. While the single player battles are pretty awesome the multiplayer tank battles are absolutely insane. Up to four players can play a 2-on-2 tag team battle which is loads of fun. Anything can happen from infiltration to shooting ’til the last slime is standing.

The bottom line is Dragon Quest: Rocket Slime, while the name may be deceiving, truly has a lot to offer players in terms of game play. It boasts solid graphics and has an appealing storyline filled with random bits of humor to help keep things interesting and a wacky heroic cast of characters to match. Undoubtedly, tank battles are the meat and potatoes of the game and the reason this one makes the "must-buy" list for any DS owner. This is one wacky adventure that is sure to keep players entertained for hours on end as it rakes in a healthy 4 GiN gems.

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