July 09, 2012

Dragon Quest II - Ranking

Story & World

The increase in world size is obviously a boon to any RPG.  Dungeons kept with the DQ tradition of simplistic style and did not require mapping.  The addition of the long intro to the game really helped to set the stage.  Sequels have the advantage of having a preceding game to help establish its lore but also more responsibility to properly implement that lore.  DQII does not disappoint in this aspect.

A few side quests were offered up here, netting the party an equipable item of some kind.  Most of the quests were for MacGuffins necessary to kill the foozle, as in DQI14/20

Character Development

Same as DQI but with three characters instead of just one.  They do gain stats differently from each other but tend towards gaining stats in their predetermined roles (e.g. Pure fighter Shen usually gains Strength and HP).  A sliver of player controlled development is available in stat-boosting items.  In DQI, these items obviously are going to the only character available.  Having three characters to choose from here at least gives the player a little developmental control (ah, who am I kidding?  They all went to Shen (except for magic boosting ones)).

A slot for a helmet and an accessory have been added to the three slots from DQI.  Didn't matter too much to Kain and Maria, though, since they were limited in which slots they could use.  7/20

Combat & Monsters

The spell list is filled out a little more than in DQI but even with two spellcasters in the group they still doubled up on a lot of spells.  Not necessarily a bad thing; you can never have enough Healmore sources.  Combat is a little more fun with three characters but each one generally falls into the same routine each fight.  Multiple types and numbers of monsters are encountered instead of a single one.  12/20

Graphics & Sound

Same as DQI.  16/20

Gameplay

The economy ran pretty similar to how it ran in the first game.  There were more gold problems in this game but that's because there were far more full party deaths, which robs you of half your gold.  Yeah, we could have put our golds in the bank but does anybody really trust banks these days?  (I only used the bank at the end of the game after it was pretty pointless to do so.)

DQII breaks up the linearity of DQI quite a bit (the larger world helps a lot).  Certainly after getting the ship, the world opens up significantly, allowing for the five crests to be obtained in any order.  Difficulty is marginally increased (keeping the spellcasters alive is the main reason).  The same great pacing is kept but over a much longer time period than DQI.  15/20

Final Ranking:  64/100