Dragon Quest Game

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Battle Formidable Foes with Billy in Dragon Quest

RPGs are definitely a crowd pleaser when it comes to game genres. Not only does it appeal to the NES to Playstation generation who grew up with Zeldas and Final Fantasies, it also conjures fond memories of late nights spent playing Dungeons & Dragons. Dragon Quest (also known as Billy's Quest, is a browser-based RPG game that features real-time combat and a vast world filled with Orcs, Wolves, Giant Spiders and more just waiting for your hero to slay. Gather hundreds of equipment types and helpful items in order to aid you on your quest.

You can choose to name your hero whatever name you please, however for the sake of this review we will refer to him by his default name which is "Billy", hence the game's alternate title. Anyway, Billy is off to a grand adventure. To start you on the right path, the game offers a pretty lengthy tutorial with explanations for the menus, basic mechanics and, of course, the real-time battle system. The basic controls are standard fare for browser-based RPGs. Move Billy from side to side using the left and right arrow keys. Pressing space bar will make him interact with NPCs and objects. Pressing Shift or clicking on the Character Portrait opens the interface menu which lets you access the Inventory, view and improve Character Stats, read the Quest Journal and even sift through a whole section dedicated to Help topics.

Being a game featuring real-time combat, it is crucial to know Dragon Quest's battle system by heart. Billy performs a Strong Attack if you press 'A'. 'S' corresponds to Quick Attack, 'D' makes him Defend and 'F' uses whatever equipment is designated for a Ranged Attack. You may choose to go for dependable arrows but if you are a mage by heart, there are also single-use magic spells or rare runes.

We do applaud the decision to use a real-time system for Dragon Quest's combat. However, it does feel quite clunky. You could tell from the get-go that aiming an arrow is going to be tricky in swarm situations. If you are a die-hard fan of the Ranger, it may be best to play the game until the battle tutorial. If you can hit those tiny rats without batting an eyelash then you'll probably have no problems later on, otherwise, you may be better off using every weapon in your arsenal or risk battles proceeding at a snail’s pace.

If you've played an RPG before, you would be familiar with the game's level up system. Slaying foes gives experience points and a max EXP bar nets a character level up. You are given three skill points to distribute per level gained. You may choose to improve your character's Strength, Agility, Endurance, Willpower or Reputation. Again, it's all cookie cutter stuff. While we would have preferred a unique twist to the old formula, it may just be the perfect fit for new RPG fans.

Don't worry if you die from attacking that over-leveled Orc. You are given two save slots to use as you see fit. You can resume the game when Billy dies however, you do lose half you Gold and experience as a penalty. The game assures players that there can never be negative gold or experience, though we hardly think it's necessary to explicitly point out in the mandatory tutorial (which it does).

Though the text is understandable, we did spot a number of typos as well as a few grammar errors here and there. But, fear not. As far as we know, there's nothing that resembles alien language or gibberish at least. The graphics resemble well-loved Flash art of yesteryear. If you liked movies by, say, Legendary Frog, then you'll appreciate Dragon Quest's visuals.

Overall, Dragon Quest is great to use as a stepping stone into real-time RPGs. The basics are all covered and the combat pace isn't overwhelming. Those hoping for pure long-range characters may not be as wowed by the battle system but otherwise it's pretty good. The game ends pretty abruptly, so if you end up liking Billy, you'll need to keep a lookout for part two.