For the first time ever in the US, the first Dragon Quest trilogy has finally been released under the Dragon Quest title. When originally released in the US they were labeled as Dragon Warrior, and that’s how it was until the Square Enix merger, and they finally started releasing the series under the real series title of Dragon Quest. Now that only leaves Dragon Quest VII as the only one with the Dragon Warrior title, that is until Squeenix finally decides to release the 3DS remake, which they should…
These versions of the games were originally released on Japanese mobile phones, and then were updated for Android/iOS devices. I will say, for the first two games, these are the best versions you can get. For Dragon Quest III, I would say the SNES versions is slightly better. Though that’s only because the SNES and GBC versions have monster animations during the battles, but this version doesn’t. You would think if the GBC could handle it the mobile games could, but I digress.
That doesn’t mean this version of DQ3 is bad, you are basically just getting a port of the SNES version, but with better audio quality for the music. The lack of monster animations definitely don’t break the game. For DQ1 and 2, it looks like they got the ideas of the graphics from DQ3, as they look very similar and look several times better than their SNES counterparts, which didn’t look that much better than their NES counterparts.
The gameplay itself for these games are relatively unchanged. Similar to their GBC demakes, they allow a quick save feature, except these work a bit better. In those games, if you loaded the quick save, the file is instantly deleted. So if you restarted the game, your save point is lost forever. In these versions, they stay. The only minor drawback, is that you can only do this for one game file. So if you have multiple save files, you’re stuck with hard saving at a King.
The gameplay has been optimized for playing on touchscreen, and has also been optimized for playing with one hand. It does take a bit of getting used to, but you’ll get the hang of it. Also it’s not like you really need two hands to play a Dragon Quest game anyway, there were several times where I was playing one handed, as all I needed was the D-Pad and used the L button to talk and confirm menu choices.
Also these games optimized for phones, not really for tablets. While I can’t vouche for Android tablets, the iPad version is really blown up and pixely compared to playing on the iPhone. You would think they would up the screen resolution if they say it’s an iPad app. The iPhone version is the same resolution, but it doesn’t look as bad as the iPad, as you’re on a smaller screen. It doesn’t really look that bad, but it’s still pretty pixelated.
Here’s a screenshot I took myself:
So if you’re looking for some good retro RPG’s and want to play some classics, then definitely jump on board with these games. Personally I believe DQ3 is the better out of the three, and has aged the least. DQ1 may feel a bit too archaic compared to the other two, but if you want to play the game that laid the templates for console RPG’s to come, then jump on board with this.