For a surprisingly fun action game, look no further.

User Rating: 8.3 | Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime DS
With it's constant rotating cast of heroes, one of the few recognizable faces from the Dragon Quest series comes in the form of the slimes, the tiny smiling blobs that appear as low-level enemies in every single DQ game. Therefore it's not much of a surprise that one of them finally manages to land a starring role all of it's own. This comes in the form of Rocket Slime, an adventure game in what's normally a role-playing series. The star of the game is none other than Rocket, a bright blue slime with a big smile almost constantly on his face. Rocket's on a quest to save his family and everyone else in town of Boingburg after they're kidnapped by the Plob, an evil criminal organization with a fleet of giant tanks on their side. Rocket gains control of the ancient Schleiman tank for himself, and uses it to ride into battle against them. There are two different forms of gameplay here: the normal action-adventure mode, and the tank battles. There is no all-encompassing overworld to be found here. Normally, you journey around one of the different stages looking for slimes to rescue and items to collect. Every stage has a boss character at the end which you need to defeat to open up another stage and move on in the game. These stages aren't open-ended, you'll usually find yourself heading through different areas or rooms in the same general direction towards whatever's at the end. In the meantime you'll usually find yourself collecting items and solving rather simple puzzles to make progress.

The game functions like a typical top-down action game. Rocket can attack his enemies by stretching out and then releasing himself, causing him to shoot forward in a rocket-like manner. Contact with enemies or items in this fashion will cause them to fly up into the air. If Rocket manages to maneuver under them before they land, he can pick them up and carry them with him. Throwing items that he carries is his only other form of attack, so the gameplay tends to feel a little on the simple side, and possibly even a little repetitive at times. The only way to collect items or other characters permanently is to take them to one of the train cars (riding on the "Trans-Schlimean Railroad") or rafts that are inexplicably found heading into and out of tunnels that lead back to town. Tank Battles are quite different. The controls remain the same, although pausing things will give you the option to give out orders to your crew mates. Your job in these is to load ammunition into the two cannons your giant tank has so that it can be fired at the opposing tank. This ammunition varies depending on what you have loaded into it when you're in town; you can either decide what to load it with yourself or have the computer choose it all for you. Different pieces of ammo do different things. For example, some move faster, some do more damage, some are unblockable by most conventional methods, and some block enemy fire. You can see the entire battlefield on your DS' top screen, as well as the health of both your tank and your opponent's. You also have the ability to select your own crew from both the slimes that you rescue and the enemies that elect to help you after you capture a certain number of them and send them back to town. Each different character will do different things for you, depending on who they are. This adds a second layer of strategy to these battles. You can see the entire battlefield on your DS' top screen, as well as the health of both your tank and your opponent's. After you reduce your enemy's health to zero, your job is to run across the battlefield into their tank and deliver a final blow to the tank's now-exposed heart-shaped engine to destroy it. Tank battles are always rather fun, and there is a good deal of strategy involved in selecting ammo and crewmates, but it seems a bit too easy to simply break into the enemy tank by either launching yourself at it or just plain busting down the front door and then preventing the enemy from placing ammo into the cannons while your crewmates fire at it. But this isn't for everyone, and it does make the fights seem a bit too easy and simplistic.

Rocket Slime is a very cheerful game. Everything about it seems fun, from the cartoony graphics to the comical dialogue and the almost constant puns found within it. It seems rather easy as well, as it's possible to blow through the game without ever getting stuck or simply not knowing what to do. This might disappoint folks out for a hardcore challenge, but it's not that much of a problem in all honesty. Fans of the series will quickly notice all of the different monsters from the game making appearances here. Nearly every different form of slime is represented in this game, and many of the most common enemies in the series are to be found here.

The game puts on a very good visual front. Everything is brightly colored and moves smoothly. There are never any issues with graphical bugs or anything of the sort. All of the game's action normally takes place on the bottom screen, while all of the relevant information can be found on the top screen, which tends to keep things in order and prevent everything from getting too cluttered.

The game's sound works well enough. Most of the music is of the orchestral variety, with different songs for every stage. There are a few voice samples thrown in at different times, such as when an item is discovered. Everything else is limited to various cartoony sounds that occur at appropriate times. It's not anything spectacular, but it does the job.

Dragon Quest: Rocket Slime is a surprisingly good game. It is a bit disappointing that there's not much to do after you finish the game, other than making sure you've rescued all one-hundred slimes and fighting tank battles either against the computer or against anyone else you may find who happens to own this title. The main adventure takes long enough to recommend paying full price for this game, as it's entertaining enough to make both fans of the series and total newcomers happy with it.

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