Customer Reviews: Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride - Nintendo DS
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on August 1, 2011
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).

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 :)

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, 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

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 :(

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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on 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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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 September 18, 2016
The game is awesome. I especially like how you can recruit monsters to be on your team and you'll end up having them with you for most of the time. A very good story (as far as Dragon Quest games go) where it follows the hero on a path from a little kid to an adult, to getting married and being a dad himself. Most Dragon Quest fans rate part 5 at or near the top of their favorite DQ games, including me.
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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 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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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 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 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 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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