Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride Hands-On

We embark on another slime-infested journey to fulfill our destiny--whatever that may be.

Originally released in 1992 for the Super Famicom in Japan, and again as a Japan-only PlayStation 2 remake in 2004, this will mark the first time that Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride is seen in North America. Feeling and looking very much like last year's remake of Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen, Hand of the Heavenly Bride follows the story of an adventurous young boy tagging along with his father as he grows into a brave hero with the ability to befriend monsters in the field. The entire journey will span the course of three generations, and at some point, you will be faced with a life-altering decision that will affect the outcome of the story. We didn't quite get that far yet, but from what we've seen, it looks like our little hero will become a strapping young man soon enough and take destiny into his own hands.

It would be nice to have the ability to slap certain people.

After a curious flashback about a king and his newborn son (that's you), you begin the game as an adorable and innocent boy who isn't old enough to read, traveling with his father Pankraz, a seasoned warrior. In-between him dragging you from one place to another, you'll have the opportunity to go on a few adventures on your own, accompanied by your chipper friend Bianca. We can't go too deep into the story without giving away spoilers, but we've enjoyed what we've played so far and are curious to see how the story unfolds.

Between random turn-based battles, you'll travel around the world, taking in strays with your undeniable charm and devilish good looks. There's just something about you that connects with monsters--not a bad skill to have. Later in the game, once you've acquired a wagon, you'll be able to have up to eight companions in tow (human and nonhuman alike), and you can create a party with up to four members. This will let you swap and customize your own group, and there's always a backup in case the battle goes sour. Like in the previous game, you can either set tactics for your party members so that they prioritize based on your decisions or have them take your orders directly. Nevertheless, there are some who will act on their own accord, so you'll just have to hope for the best. The game generally isn't very hard because it consists of straightforward turn-based battles, so you should have fun and play around with the setup.

There are some features worth mentioning even though we didn't get a chance to fully explore them yet, such as minigames to take your mind off of adventuring. They include Bruise the Ooze, T 'n' T, the Slurpodrome, and the Tombola. There are also knickknacks to collect and customize so you can have your own personalized Knick-knackatory (we didn't make that one up). Through the Nintendo DS's wireless, you can exchange with friends to expand your collection of knickknacks.

It's Whack-a-Slime!

If you're already played Dragon Quest IV, the visuals are very similar. The areas that you'll visit span both screens, and everything has a vibrant, painterly feel. It's easy to forget, but the L and R buttons can be used to rotate the camera, which is essential if you want to locate doors or other entrances that can't be seen in the standard view. As soon as you pop in the game, you'll be greeted by the rousing opening theme, a new composition by Koichi Sugiyama and performed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. The rest of Sugiyama's score is delightful and catchy, making your frequent random encounters and endless exploration more enjoyable.

Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride will let North American fans play for the first time yet another classic role-playing game from this endearing and well-respected franchise. Given that the story isn't linked to the previous game, it won't matter if this is your first entry into the series. Those who have been following the remakes will be pleased to know that Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Reverie has also been announced, but we're still waiting on a release date. In the meantime, check out Hand of the Heavenly Bride when it ships on February 17, 2009.

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Discussion

31 comments
sirbargearse
sirbargearse

Being a Phantasy Star and Final Fantasy freak I never got exposure to this whole DQ thing. Time I changed all that me thinks!

paul_hubans
paul_hubans

This is probably my most anticipated release of 09 so far... I can't wait! ;)

brygon100
brygon100

Never was a DQ fan but this game has caught my attention. Also it comes out one day after Fire Emblem Shadow Dragon comes out so two games to play.

Ghost120x
Ghost120x

I enjoyed DQ IV and I'm definitely getting this.

dedhedthe1rst
dedhedthe1rst

I wish i the time i used to to play RPGs like this. I will sneek away from the missus and work and hide somewhere and play it ;)

EyeShatteredSky
EyeShatteredSky

Looks great! Never really been a big fan of the Dragon Quest series before, but this looks to be a solid adventure worth taking! I'll definitely consider a purchase once this little beaut is released.

splendormk7
splendormk7

this will be really good too.. i think i'll buy it

DarKnite32
DarKnite32

sounds good but i wonder if that they will include the classic breading system like they did for the gb or gba version of DQ 2, 3, AND 4. all in all it is great

kickCHENEY
kickCHENEY

If I have some extra dough, I'm definitely getting this. I love the Dragon Quest games, and I think the DS is a perfect fit for the series.

Marder-I
Marder-I

Looking forward to this one as well!! Cheers Tom

trick6952
trick6952

cool what a perfect excuse to fix my DS pretty soon its been broken for like ever

Bigcol1611
Bigcol1611

Well looking forward to this, bring it on!!!

Soilworkcob
Soilworkcob

I've played the Super Famicon version of DQ 5 and it is an awesome game, no doubt!

bjohnson003
bjohnson003

I like DQM better, I thought Joker was a great break from the same ol same ol.

nftw
nftw

Finally! I really MUST have this game. I hope there is at least some marketing done for this game in the US, but not until I have my copy. :P

Cantius
Cantius

Definitely an interesting game. Dragon Quest is a very good series, and it's sales in Japan prove it so.

nick0091
nick0091

I have one thing ot say about this game and one thing only......"WOOT!"

KathR
KathR

Seems like I've been waiting for this game forever.. lol.. only one more month! :D

Al_i
Al_i

i like how all the DQ characters look alike

acknowledge101
acknowledge101

soon enough i can finally play every entry of the dq series on a US system (legally). yippee!

teknicz
teknicz

I loved DQ IV, it was the most fun (and humor!) I had in a JRPG in some time. I'm looking forward to this.

aryoshi
aryoshi

Finally, after years. Also another addition to my shrine ;)

cloud_strifeXxX
cloud_strifeXxX

Looking forward to it. I really enjoyed DQ4. Can't wait to get my hands on this.

kappareign
kappareign

this game looks like it's packed with a lot of fun content... reviews should be pouring in soon

WAIW
WAIW

I'm kind of disappointed they're not upgrading the graphics at all. IV's were pretty, but they could have been improved a lot.