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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on August 1, 2011
STORY: 5 of 5
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.

Bianca is one of my most favorite characters of all the DQ series. However, I can't say the same about the others. Not only were the other human characters not memorable, their stats weren't that great or well-defined. In fact, I liked the monsters better than the other humans.

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. I really couldn't care less about Flora or Deborah.

But despite these flaws, Bianca more than makes up for it.

WORLD: 5 of 5
A typical DQ world with no flaws except that it's not as big as the DQ 6 world.

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. Perfect balance.

The battle system for this game is even better than DQ 4 - if I had to rank each from a scale of 0 to 100, I would give DQ 4 a 90 of 100, and DQ 5 a 99 of 100 because of the monster teammates.

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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41 of 55 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon February 17, 2009

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


-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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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2009
I've been playing JRPG since early 80's. And there is only few RPG that really make me care about the characters. This is in my opinion best "classic" RPG. The game play is pure JRPG and the story is one of the best ever written. This game is EPIC! So if you are fan of RPG, play the DQV. This remake is worth buying the DS for.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2009
+ Addictive monster recruiting - The expansive monster recruiting system gives the game a unique feel because you can play the game using dozens of different characters.
+ Classic DQ charm - I got a chuckle at the enemy designs, and some of the humorous actions they take, like staring off into space. When your characters get confused, there are hilarious descriptions of what they do.
+ Epic story - It has mystery and talk of legendary heroes. Kept me mildly curious.

- Cumbersome inventory system - It's difficult to move items between characters
- Repetitive quest structure - The game follows a pattern of visiting a new town, then going to a dungeon to get something for someone in that town.
- Repetitive battles - Most battles just require you to repeatedly press the fight button, because enemies don't have many resistances or specific weaknesses.
- Grinding - I waltzed into the second dungeon without upgrading my weapons and got beaten down instantly. You also lose 1/2 your gold on dying, so that set me back as well. After some grinding and buying shiny new weapons, the dungeon was fine. But you need to do a lot of fighting to keep your level and equipment on pace.
- Slow scrolling text - There is no way to show dialog 1 speech bubble at a time. It slows down the game as you wait for the letters to appear.

Most of the cons are minor gripes which are not as noticeable in the grand scheme of the game. The game is a must buy for RPG fans. For people who are unsure, I recommend Dragon Quest 8 for the PS2 instead. DQ8 is the pinnacle of classic RPGs. It has stunning 3D cell shaded graphics, flawless voice acting, a full orchestral soundtrack, deeper character leveling and better monster recruiting. It has a terrific story with a memorable villain and easily lasts 80 hours of gameplay.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
One of the first RPG's I ever played was Dragon Quest IV for the DS. I spent over 60 hours traveling about fighting monsters and having a great time. The system and menu's performed extremely well for me. So I knew I would love this game!

I actually prefer DQIV but this one is no slouch. It is good enough for my 5 stars. I love the graphics and the art as it has a very unique style. The gameplay is engaging and provides a nice balance between easy and difficult. The story is a bit more developed than in DQIV but not quite as engaging. Don't get me wrong I still loved it but I did find recruiting monsters took some adjusting. I am just more used to fighting them than having them on my team! Also I did find that monsters do not really provide personality for your party - non monsters do that better. I thought the storyline of getting married was very cute and quite fun to play.

The Dragon Quest series are some of the best RPG's out there if you like traditional JRPG. Although very different than Final Fantasy I must confess that these two series hold a special place in my heart. Consistent quality is also a bonus as there were no issues at all with the technical side of things.

A highly recommended purchase!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2010
Remember when RPG's were fun? You'd get a hero or a band of heroes, and you'd run about the world killing everything that got in your way? Remember when you didn't have some angsty-emo-teen as a main character that wielded a sword the size of a box truck? Well, Square-Enix smartened up for a change and remade several classic RPG's from the NES and SNES days. Final Fantasy IV, Dragon Quest IV and this title in question: Dragon Quest V. Unfortunately I never learned Japanese or got my hands on a translated ROM version of the original installment, so I can't compare how it is now to how it was. But I can tell you that this version is outstanding!

Story, music, characters, things to do... This game seems to deliver on all fronts! The fact that you can recruit monsters to fight on your party adds a bit of randomness, which is nice. You can change up your party many times and get a slightly different feel for combat each time. One thing I noticed is a distinct sense of humor here: It feels rather Japanese, which is nice. To me, that means they probably kept the translation as close to the original as possible. I could be wrong, but that's just an impression I got.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on March 1, 2009
If you are a fan of Dragon Quest series and love RPG games in general you will enjoy this game. I enjoyed playing DQIV and love every minuet with the new DQV. Basic leveling up still there and at times frustrating yet still fun. The story line in DQV is classic but better than in DQIV. I think the mu=ost fun I am having is being able to use the monsters you train to battle along side of you. Different than DQIV. I loved the Playstation DQ's and now you have a chance to 'have game will travel'. This series is for RPG gamers of all ages and even those new to Role Playing Games. Kudos to Square-enix. I just wish it didn't take so long between games, but worth the wait.
Once you pick up either DQ V or DQ IV you just can't put it down.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2010
Dragon Quest V hand of the heavenly bride shows that video games can have excellent stories. I'll admit that i never played the original version so i'm not quite qualified to tell you how good of a remake this is.
However this is really top notch in almost every area. the graphics are among the best i've ever seen for a 2d game. the music almost always is excellent. i do have some minor gripes though.

You can't buy more then 9 of an item at a time(only 1 of an item at the casino). Way too many battles(holy water is almost useless). Also it takes a little too long to be able to recuit a monster,and your wife while she can useful in battle you are barely given acess to her(about 10-20% of the game) but still this a good game inspite of those minor complaints.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2009
In an RPG, I look for two things mainly: memorable story and strong gameplay. Dragon Quest V supplies both in spades.

From the main story arc and the heroes down to the minor plot points and secondary characters, everything is very well-developed and a joy to take in. This game is exemplary of video games as a storytelling art form.

The gameplay is a little bit more dated, inventory management in particular being a bit cumbersome, though it does add to the strategy, which is a strong point. Battles are top-notch turn-based affairs, rivaling Final Fantasy VI (FF3 on SNES) for intensity, and surpassing it in detail.

Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys a good and unique story. A must-have for even passing RPG fans.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2009
When Dragon Quest V was released in japan back in September of 1992, North American fans were excited. But, due to the poor sales of Dragon Warrior IV and the fact that Enix America had closed down, it was never brought to our shores. Now, we can experince this classic game completely re-done with new graphics and story elements.

If you're a fan of classic, old school, turn-based gaming, Dragon Quest V is a must have for you. It's multiple generation spanning story is still one of the best of all time!
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