Dragon Quest Heroes is a game all about sword, sorcery and button mashing. A fantasy adventure, you play as your choice of a male or female protagonist, in a brightly coloured world where monsters and humans used to live side by side - until one day, a wizard cast a spell that caused the monsters to turn on their human friends. As a trusted warrior, it's up to you to set out on a quest to find out what caused the monsters to turn - and put things back to normal.
As a spin-off from the more traditional Dragon Quest titles, which are true role-playing games, Heroes is structured in a slightly different way. Instead of giving you a huge world to explore, you instead get around Heroes by choosing missions from a world map, with important story quests marked with a book icon, to differentiate themselves from side-quests. The missions themselves mostly revolve around either defending an object from attack, or clearing all monsters from the field of battle.
With a handy map in the top right hand corner showing you the location of all enemies, and a simple control scheme (all you really have to do is mash square for normal attacks, or press triangle to attack as normal, but occasionally do a magic spell too), this is pretty easy to get to grips with. As a handy tip for those who do find the game a bit on the tricky side, making good use of your tension meter is key - pressing circle when the meter's full will make you temporarily invulnerable, and mean you dish out more damage. It's also worth knowing that your computer controlled companions won't make use of their tension meter by default, so switching character using L2, and using their special moves manually is hugely helpful. It's also worth noting that the game has a hefty reading requirement, with large chunks of the game not voiced at all. Sample sentences include: "It is as the tales of my royal forebears warn: 'When nightmaws 'cross the realm do rise, The light doth fade, and fading, dies..." and "I am the world's foremost medal collector, and am always looking for more of these shiny delights for my collection."
With a lot of combat, the majority of your time with Dragon Quest will be spent in combat with enemies, hitting them with swords, sticks, boomerangs, spears, and various magical spells to drain their health. However, happily, there's nothing in the way of blood, guts or gore here, and no realistic impacts from weapons. Accompanied by comic-style slashes and "pow!" style graphics that show how much damage you've done when you hit enemies, there's little for parents to be concerned about here, with enemies simply falling over and vanishing in a puff of smoke when defeated.