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DS  header logo

Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime

For: DS

Ooze up for some good clean fun?

Product: Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime | Developer: TOSE | Publisher: Square Enix | Format: DS | Genre: Action, Adventure | Players: 1-2 | Networking: wireless (adhoc) | Version: US
 
Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime DS, thumbnail 1
There comes a time in your life when, as St. Paul advised the Corinthians, you're supposed to put away childish things. We must admit to being confused exactly what the apostle was doing advising a Brazilian football team, but maybe he had a point. 

Certainly the world is now top heavy with middle-escents: paunchy, thirtysomething hipsters, perched precariously on top of Raleigh choppers waving replica lightsabers. They are examples of the denial of responsibility writ large. Sometimes grown-ups should have the good grace to leave the kids' stuff well alone, go home and play scrabble.

Thankfully, despite the fact Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime is unashamedly aimed at children, this isn't one of those times.

A spin-off from the popular-in-Japan Dragon Quest series, it's a topdown roleplaying game featuring Rocket, a small, sentient blob of blue slime who must rescue his friends and family from the platypus mafiosi, the Platiosi (you see what they did there?) and their mob (The Plob, natch) of henchmen.

The action begins in the deserted village of Boingburg, empty of its slimy inhabitants since the Plob kidnapped them. Your mission is to start the liberation of your countrymen. Get them home and they'll tidy the village and open up areas and buildings, but at the beginning there's little to do in the 'burg, so it's off to the first of various locations on the Slimenia island map. (Rather than keep all their prisoners in one, easily policed central stronghold, the Plob have chosen to leave them locked up in chests all over the place.)

The environment is rife with villains, but our gooey goodguy has a special attack – the elastoblast – which is a stretchy powerslam that propels him through enemies and objects alike. This is powered by holding down the 'A' button and stretching Rocket out using the D-pad. Releasing 'A' fires him off in the desired direction.

When Rocket hits an object, it's knocked into air, enabling him to catch it. Indeed, everything that Rocket plows through can be caught, carried and thrown – up to a maximum of three bits of junk, dazed enemies or rescued slimes at any given time. The game rewards obsessive/compulsive collection, and there are usually railway carriages nearby waiting to ferry your acquisitions back home.

Even bad guys that end up there will change their wicked ways and assist in Boingburg's beautification. How sweet.

Much of the game is spent exploring and acquiring things in this adventure mode, and if this was all there was to be said about Rocket Slime, it would still be a decent DS title for younger gamers. However it's only half the story: before too long Rocket discovers a gigantic vehicle, which is shaped like a slime and studded with castle turrets.

It's the Schleiman tank, of course.

Once tanked up, you'll periodically have to battle similarly bizarre behemoths in order to progress, and here the point of all that object collection becomes clear. Before leaving Boingburg, you must arm your tank with ammo selected from your junk.

Each tank has upper and lower cannons and during the battle you run around its decks picking up stuff and throwing it into your guns. The goal is to knock the enemy's health down to zero, but you can fire defensively to deflect incoming fire before it hits you, too. You can even fire yourself or your fellow slimes in an attempt to capture the other tanks, while the opposing Platiosi sometimes try the same move on you.

This gives the game an oddly strategic and involving aspect. Different types of junk have different properties, so you'll need to equip your tank with the right payload and crew. And each rescued slime has particular tank combat attributes, which range from sneaking into the opposing tank to defending your own tank from invaders. Collecting junk and slimes is, therefore, the heart of Rocket Slime.

Slimes will also give you alchemical recipes for combining items to create rare and powerful junk. Throw in the option to take the tank combat multiplayer via adhoc networked play, and you've got a strange and involving game – one that despite its gentle difficulty level has surprising depth.

Doubtless it might have left St. Paul yearning for something sober-minded, like a football management game or a flight simulator. But for the rest of us, it's most definitely a lot of fun.
 
Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime
Reviewer photo
Gavin MacDonald | 31 October 2006
With its welcoming learning curve, Rocket Slime offers charm, weirdness and huge, huge tanks
 
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Joined:
Sep 2005
Post count:
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Bigbear | 15:12 - 31 October 2006
Looks like great fun this and nothing wrong with games for kids, Pokemon managed pretty well after all!