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on August 1, 2011
STORY:
A very good story. The part where the hero and Bianca go to the haunted castle is my favorite scene of all the Dragonquest games. Getting married was also interesting - I don't know of any other game where you get married (not that I've played that many games).

CHARACTERS:
Bianca is one of my most favorite characters of all the DQ series. The other human characters were okay. One thing I didn't like about some of the human characters was that their stats weren't that great or well-defined, such as Pippin.

Concerning the wives, Flora and Deborah's characters weren't developed enough to the point that I would want to marry either of them - the game is clearly biased toward Bianca. If the choices were developed as well as the FF 7 characters Aeris and Tifa, I think everyone would have a hard time choosing between them because both were equally well developed. I really wish DQ 5 had a wife choice that rivaled Bianca, such as the DQ 4 characters Alena, Minea, or Manya. If those were the choices, I'd have to play the game 4 times so I can choose them all.

Spell-wise, Flora is the best because she has a heal spell and the best attack spells. Deborah doesn't learn the top damage spells, so she's not the best choice vs the last boss. But unlike Bianca and Flora, she can equip that axe that gives a critical hit or miss, which makes her very useful for metal slime hunting :)

If you want to try all of the wives, I recommend keeping a separate save file before you choose your wife. I have a save state for right when the childhood era ends so I can enjoy picking up monster teammates from the beginning :)

WORLD:
A typical DQ world with no flaws except that it's not as big as the DQ 6 world.

BATTLE SYSTEM:
Despite its simplicity, the battle system for DQ 5 is one of the best I've ever seen. What really makes the battle system fun is being able to make monsters into teammates - not knowing who will become your next teammate and trying to decide who to keep when you reach the maximum number made this game more fun than all of the DQ games I've played. And add to that, since no class change is permitted in this game, all the characters stay unique and don't become overpowered.

I also loved the fact that unlike humans, monsters have resistance versus certain attacks. Although the humans typically had more spells, the resistance the monsters had made them equally as valuable, such as complete resistance to fire breath :D Very helpful to have a Caesar dragon vs a boss :) I also loved how some monsters had spells no human had, such as full heal for all characters (Heal Slime, etc.) :D

FLAWS:
One gripe I have is that the probability to get certain monsters to join your team is very low :( It literally took me many hours to get Cyclops, Caesar Dragon, and Killer Machine to join me :(

Also, the weapons and armor are very expensive relative to the amount of money that can be earned through regular play :( I always have to do quite a bit of grinding to raise enough money for the best weapons and armor in the game :(

And finally, I don't like how some rare items can only be obtained through that monopoly type game :( I wish I could just get those items by defeating a powerful bonus boss or something, not spending hours rolling a dice :(

CONCLUSION:
Despite some of the flaws of this game, I still like DQ 5 the best of all the DQ games I've played (DQ 1-6 & 9). From a scale 0 to 100, I wouldn't give it a 100 because I think it could be improved upon, but if I had to choose between a 4 or 5, I choose a 5.
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VINE VOICEon February 17, 2009
Pros:

+Updated visuals
+Fantastic soundtrack
+Plenty of things to do off the beaten path
+Fun gameplay

Cons:

-It's nice to have updated graphics, but there are some gameplay elements that might've benefited as well.

For many RPGers, Dragon Quest has a special place in their heart. Unfortunately, two Dragon Quest games never made it to the states. Those games are finally getting that chance to shine, with Dragon Quest V landing down now, and Dragon Quest VI landing down sometime in the near future. This is the first time many gamers have gotten to experience Dragon Quest V, and it turns out to be one of the better DS RPGs out there. Unfortunately, there's still a matter of how long it'll take for Square-Enix to update the Dragon Quest series.

As usual, there's not too much to expect from a story in Dragon Quest. It's a run of the mill story. Dragon Quest has primarily been about gameplay. Even after so many years, Dragon Quest is still an incredibly fun game to play, despite being dated. The series basic crux for battling hasn't changed since the first game. It's incredibly simplistic, looks incredibly dated, but still plays incredibly well.

You'll go exploring dungeons and getting into random battles. When in battle it takes place from a first person perspective where you select commands and watch them get acted out. While your enemies have more movements, which is a far better upgrade from the still life shots of the Super Famicom original, you won't actually see your character run up and physically strike the enemy. After so long, it would be nice if Dragon Quest really made it's battles come alive. This isn't in 16 bits, this is now on the Nintendo DS and has gotten a few notable upgrades. Unfortunately there are some upgrades that it didn't receive.

As much fun as battling is, the random encounter rate within the dungeons is through the roof. Dragon Quest has always been a series that has forced you to battle, but it can be annoying to be getting into a battle every few seconds. This is fun for many RPGers, but it's not quite as fun when you tire of battles. The dungeons aren't too big, at least, but they feel much longer. Along those lines, the game is not exactly easy. You'll have to do quite a bit of level grinding throughout the game. This can be a drag for those who began playing RPGs later on in the Playstation era where you could slog through just about anything at almost any level. Dragon Quest V doesn't let you get away with that. If you're having trouble in a dungeon... it's because your level isn't high enough. Level grinding can be fun, but it's also hard to deny that for some this will be a repetitive task.

More old school appeal that Dragon Quest V appeals to is the idea that the game rarely (if ever) tells you where to go next. In order to figure some things out, you'll have to talk to various NPCs in various towns. While this might annoy some gamers, it really opens things up to exploring. If you have a chance to jump a little further ahead, there's no real penalty for doing it. It's a little easy to get lost, but if you're willing to talk to a few NPCs, it becomes very easy to find your way. There are also several things to do off the beaten path, and even more to do after the game is completed. Dragon Quest V can easily keep you busy for several hours.

An update that the series could probably benefit from is making a much simpler menu to navigate. Dragon Quest has yet to make it's menu system simpler to navigate and manage. It's a little better on the DS, but interface in RPG menu systems have been more user friendly since the early 90's. It can take more time than it needs to equip and unequip a character. Dragon Quest V's menu system isn't that different from the first game in the series, and it would've been easier to navigate had it adopted some of the mechanics of Dragon Quest VIII's. It won't bother you that much, but with giving the visuals and sound such a huge update, it would've been nice had other dated areas gotten that same update.

In terms of the updates it did receive, however, they're overall very nice. There's some well written dialog in special dialects. It might annoy some gamers, but it really makes the world come alive. The music, as usual, sounds fantastic. It's been remastered and it sounds better than most other DS games out there. Among the most obvious of the updates are the visuals. It's very similar to how Dragon Quest VII looked on the original Playstation. You might see some denizens or objects that look a little pixelated, but it still looks good. The backgrounds in many of the dungeons or in the battles look divine.

Aside from a couple of things that didn't get updated, Dragon Quest V is still a solid RPG. It's got plenty of gameplay, and it has plenty of extra things to do off the beaten path. Not to mention that there are a few new goodies thrown in for good measure. If you're a Dragon Quest fan, Dragon Quest V is a fantastic experience. You'll quickly overcome some of the issues and settle in for a long and rewarding gameplay experience.
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on July 8, 2014
The combined forces of Square and Enix under the same umbrella at first glance seemed to be a golden age for the latter company’s Dragon Quest series in North America, given the unique localization of the eighth installment for the PlayStation 2 and decent sales. Countries outside Japan had before then endured a dark age of the franchise where the fifth and sixth main installments for the Super Famicom lacked English versions, although the announced trio of remakes of the fourth through sixth games for the Nintendo DS, collectively known as the Zenithian trilogy, gave the fifth game in particular, Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride, a chance in North America, one well-deserved.

The fifth game at first glance seems to have a structure similar to that of prior games when it comes to the battle system, with randomly-encountered foes (the rate of encounters reducible through magic and certain items) and turn-based battles that often have random and unpredictable turn order that can fudge with things such as healing weak characters. During the title’s second generation, however, defeated enemies may randomly ask to join the player’s party, and can level and wear equipment similar to the human characters, which become significantly more abundant during the third generation, when fewer vanquished foes offer to ally with the male protagonist.

What really redeems the battle system is the higher-than-average speed of most encounters, with adjustable battle text speed really increasing the pace of the average battle, though there are rare slow parts, particularly when the player or the enemy uses magic or abilities that affect more than one character, or, when the hero’s carriage is present, every available character, which can somewhat tax the player’s patience. Aside from that and some tough end-game battles, the combat engine helps the fifth Dragon Quest far more than hurts.

However, Dragon Quest V bequeaths some of the negative elements of its predecessors in terms of the interface, where shopping brings with it countless conversations and confirmations that can spoil the pace of the game, not to mention a useless quicksave feature only available on the game’s various overworlds. There are, still, some decent minigames including T ‘n’ T, a board game-like diversion with decent rewards. There is, though, sometimes a poor direction on how to advance that even speaking with the player’s party doesn’t resolve, and ultimately, interaction is the fifth game’s weakest link but does have some redeeming aspects.

The story is actually fairly decent for a Dragon Quest title, taking place across three generations, the first following the protagonist as a young boy traveling alongside his father Pankraz. There are some possible variations during the second and third generations that add replay value to the fifth game, although the sometimes-poor direction on how to advance is a mark off the plot. The translation, however, uses regional dialects similar to the fourth game, with the primary antagonists, for instance, having Russian accents, the script consequentially being memorable. In the end, a good story and localization.

Koichi Sugiyama, as always, does a nice job with the soundtrack, with sweeping epic tracks such as the sailing and battle themes, although the fifth game retains the franchise’s primitive sound effects.

The graphics also derive from the fourth game, although they still look nice, with fluidly-animate enemies designed by Akira Toriyama in battle despite the retained first-person perspective of fights, nice environments, and so on.

Finally, the fifth game is shorter than average for an RPG, with some players potentially being able to finish it in as little as fifteen hours, with some extras to boost playing time such as a postgame dungeon, alongside the excellent replay value the story provides. Overall, Dragon Quest V is a solid continuation of the Zenithian trilogy, with pretty much all of its aspects aside from the interface shining, what with quick, fluid combat, an enjoyable narrative and localization, gorgeous music, and nice visuals. Unfortunately, the release of the fifth game in North America would be something of a turning point for the franchise outside Japan, given its poor sales, consequentially causing Square-Enix and then Nintendo to usher in a new dark age of the franchise outside the Land of the Rising Sun.
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on November 28, 2015
I absolutely love this game! I have played it at least 30 times since I purchased it a few years ago. I am not a gamer by no means and could care less about playing on the xbox, etc. But give me a Dragon Quest game and I'll sit for hours and play it. Even though I've played so many times, there's always something I missed the last time I played it. The graphics are awesome on this game. The character's each have their own little personality. I just wish I could play as a girl, like on some of the other games.

I am a reviewer and I paid full price for this game 3 years ago. I did not receive a discount or get it free
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on March 2, 2014
Here's the deal. I bought this game for the story. Following a character from year one to year ~30? Very compelling. But I stayed for the gameplay. I struggled a bit at first but at one point it just clicked. I can train my character to higher levels, and use the money gained from winning battles to get more powerful equipment which then makes my character even stronger? It sounds simple. But it is so addictive. I think it's the video game equivalent of chain smoking cigarettes. It helps that the narrative is very compelling, I don't want to spoil it. But the main drive of the game is the very satisfying formula of explore, get your ass handed to you, grind, buy new equipment, smack down righteous fury on the enemies that had previously bested you, and repeat. I'm so glad I bought this game.

One thing to note is that I felt an easy attachment to every party member. They all felt worth-while. It actually was an issue late-game when I simply wanted to have all of them in my battle line-up at once, but you can only have four in battle at a time (though you can switch out mid-battle).

To those who are put off by the prospect of monster-catching: it is a very painless part of the game. It is mostly helpful for portions where you are without human party members. Experience is gained if they are in your general party (they don't have to be in the battle line-up). If you were worried like I was that the monster raising would require a lot of micro-management, rest easy. It's as simple as can be.

I hope you give this game a chance. It has turned me on to the Dragon Quest series, and I think it could very well do the same for you.
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on July 8, 2013
I haven't played many of the Dragon Quest games. I purchased this game wanting some more RPGs for my Nintendo DS. I am definitely glad I bought this.

-Story that starts out as a child and progresses with the player (the player doesn't age over time, but at certain times during the story he gets older).
-Monster recruitment! Monsters can be recruited into the party, bringing their strengths (and weaknesses) to the party.
-Lots of different equipment, items, and skills to utilize and learn.
-Linear storyline where the player will travel in sequence from one place to the next.
-Turn based combat, monsters are visual on the bottom screen and the player is on the top. The visuals are good, but nothing revolutionary. It is a classic 16 bit style (ala Super Nintendo era).
-A good throwback, Japanese style RPG.

Overall, I'd rate this game a 4/5 for combat, story and fun. Anyone looking for a good or classic RPG should pick this one up.
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on April 7, 2011
Since Amazon is nagging at me to review this product, even though I haven't finished the game yet, I will share my first impressions.

First, this game the second game in the Dragon Quest Zenithia Trilogy, and came and went in the store so quickly that I missed out on buying it upon release and had to pay two prices to get a copy of it recently. Either this is a sign that the game was so popular that it sold out quickly or Square-Enix underestimated how many copies they could sell. Heavenly Bride shares a premise with Chapters of the Chosen: Ultimate Evil is creeping into the world and it is up to the player to find the missing Zenithian Sword, Shield, Armor and Helmet in order to defeat this Ultimate Evil. Then again, it would be hard to find ANY role playing game that doesn't rely on hackneyed RPG cliches, such as the RPG Parenting Curse that guarantees that all RPG heroes will be orphans and/or have a Tragic Backstory; and the Love Potion Cliche that mandates that every female party member will fall in love with the player's character and the character will be too dense to notice; or the Rinse and Repeat Rule that forces all End Bosses to resurrect at least three times during the final battle, or the OMG That Was A Load-Bearing Boss Rule that forces any haunted house, castle or other lair to collapse around your ears upon defeating the final boss. So Heavenly Bride can't be faulted for coloring inside the RPG Cliche lines.

Second, there are no direct ties between Chapters of the Chosen and Heavenly Bride. You don't get to start the second game with any sort of reward like your final weapon inventory or the gold you had at the end of the first game. That said, I can say, without spoiling anything, that several centuries (or more) have passed between games. Though the world map is similar, it isn't the same, and towns an villages are in different places. The events of Chapters of the Chosen are referred to as Folk Legends in Heavenly Bride. This is a nice touch. And though you don't have to have played C of C to get full enjoyment from Heavenly Bride, it will give you a richer experience if you have played the first game in the trilogy.

Third, unlike C of C, you don't have to start from Level One at the beginning of each chapter in Heavenly Bride. Instead, you start the game as a pre-schooler, following your father around from town to town as he seeks the Zenithian armor. This leads to rather hilarious moments as your character tries to read signs or books, only to be told by the game that you can't read yet. The first few adventures you have are rather "kiddy" too, meeting ghosts in haunted houses, playing with fairies in a snowy woods, etc. But fear not - this light-hearted beginning is only there to lure you into a false sense of security and comfort because before too long, the game takes a tragic and shocking turn! I can't say more without spoiling a pivotal moment in the game.

Fourth, this game will appeal to the Pokemon set, which may be why it quickly sold out. The human members you can recruit to your party soon leave to pursue their own interests, and you are forced to recruit monsters you've defeated to fill out your party, an interesting twist. Thank goodness you get to haul monsters around in your wagon and don't have to throw plastic balls all over the landscape and shout "Pikanose, I choose You!" at inappropriate moments.

Evidently, as part of this game, you get to select a bride and maybe sire offspring. I haven't gotten that far in the game, however. I am enjoying the game as much as I enjoyed the other DQ games I've finished, and kick myself for not picking up when it was first released. So far, none of the DQ games released for the DS have disappointed. If you see it in a store or on Amazon and are fond of RPGs, do yourself a favor and pick it up. Especially if you can get it at anything close to the original price.
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on August 7, 2015
Fun game. A lot like the other DQ games, especially like the RPG's where the heros gain experience with each battle. Have not won the final battle yet, but this is a real good game. Square Enix doesn't miss.
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on October 1, 2012
Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride is a remake from an old SNES game that was never released for Americans. It is worth the wait if you like the older structure that RPG's used to have.
The graphics are gorgeous, with an awesome mix of 2D and 3D. the sprites are adorable, and the towns are intracate in their design. No real complaints about the graphics.
The Sound is a mix of both old and new. The music is quite new sounding, with a full orchestra playing many of the more grand tunes. The tunes aren't particularly memorable, but they are quite nice to listen to. The sound effects are a lot more old school, sounding almost 8 bit at points. However, this enhances the nostalgic presentation of the game, rather than detract from its quality.
The story is, basically, a typical old school RPG. You are the main hero, chosen by destiny (well, in this case, you aren't. You're searching for the hero.) to defeat an evil demon lord person. However, this game starts out in the character's childhood. You meet many friends and people as you travel with your father Pankraz. The personal element makes the story much more enjoyable than it ought to be.
The gameplay holds very little surprises. Random encounters, exploring towns and dungeons, grinding for gold, leveling up and more await you. If you hate this kind of RPG, the game will do nothing to change your mind. But if you love it, this game is right up your alley. A random luck based monster catching system helps to add some customization to the otherwise linear character/ party progression. Addiitonally, there are some side tasks, like finding Mini Medals for great rewards, gambling at some casinos, playing a life size board game and more!
The game is quite enjoyable as long as you like the older presentation style. I'd reccomend it to anyone who likes games like Final Fantasy and Pokemon. Thanks for reading!
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on December 16, 2014
Works just great. Came in a plastic DS game display case, like the ones you would see in GameStop. It was just the game, no manuals or box. The DS game was in excellent shape.

If you're a fan of Dragon Quest games for the DS, then you know the jist of the game play. It has a sort of "pet system" where you train monsters to fight in your party. It kind of reminds me of Pokemon, but you have stable "people" in your party as well.

I personally don't think it's as fun as, say, DQ4 or DQ6 for the DS, but it's fun nonetheless.
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