ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Review: 3D Dot Game Heroes

Updated on May 21, 2013

Developer: Silicon Studio - Publisher: Atlus - Platform: Playstation 3 - Release Date: May 11, 2010

Concept: Write a giant love letter to The Legend of Zelda while adding some new twists that gives PS3 owners a taste of Nintendo's best

Graphics: Blocky (in a good way), clean, and colorful. Seeing objects explode into bits never gets old and the purposely stilted animations are a nice touch. The light reflected by the water is blindingly bright, though

Sound: The apt soundtrack manages to evoke feelings of nostalgia despite being contemporary

Playability: Moving with the more precise d-pad is actually preferred over the somewhat loose analog and quick-selecting items is a huge convenience

Entertainment: It doesn't top Zelda, but 3D Dot Game Heroes is a fun and amusing tribute to one of gaming's greatest franchises

Replay Value: High

The Legend of Zelda is arguably the most influential game of all time, and as such, several tributes have been made to it, but none quite like 3D Dot Game Heroes. By converting the retro 8-bit style into full 3D, Silicon Studio has helped refreshed the aging Zelda template. While Game Heroes doesn't surpass Shigeru Miyamoto's masterpiece, it's a great shout-out to one of the gaming's finest.

The setup will sound familiar to fans of Nintendo's premier adventurer. Ages ago, a legendary hero wielding a powerful, battled a powerful darkness. With the help of six sages and their power orbs, they sealed the evil inside of another orb, bringing about an era of peace. Years later, an dark bishop has stolen the orb, ushering a new era of darkness. As the new chosen hero, it's up to you and your fairy sidekick to collect the orbs of the six sages and prevent the dark bishop from releasing the great evil once again.

The kingdom of Dotnia once existed on a 2D plane until the King ordered that everything be switched to 3D in order to stay up-to-date. The fourth wall is broken like this consistently and the humor pokes fun at genre conventions and game development in general. Dotnia is split into the standard grass, forest, desert, and mountain zones, with towns sprinkled about. Towns are littered with side quests and activities. Fetch-quests in the vein of Link's Awakening, comprise most of them; bring a cook book to an aspiring chef, and she'll give you an item that a boy in another village requires, and so on. Other quests, such as finding a missing princess, are much more involved. Inns offer a few mini-games, such as tower defense, that provide limited fun at best but reward players with rare loot.

Dungeons are basically a medley of Zelda staples, for better or worse. Classic elements like block puzzles, conveyor floors, and more are all present. Collecting dungeon maps, compasses, and unique items is still the name of the game. In addition to standard and boss keys, special multi-colored keys mix things up by only opening corresponding doors (red key to red door, etc). These keys are somewhat rare, and you'll likely make return trips to previous dungeons to unlock their doors and the goodies behind them. Dungeons are designed exceptionally well and are enjoyable to explore overall, but some annoying elements of the past rear their ugly heads.

I've never been a big fan of starting at the beginning of a dungeon after dying or quitting, and it becomes a huge pain in the later, larger dungeons, particularly the switch-block one. Zelda uses mid-dungeon warp zones to alleviate this annoyance, but Game Heroes has traded them for end-dungeon versions. That means you'll have to complete the entire maze before being allowed to fast-travel to the start (unless you have an item that lets you). In terms of appearance, dungeons are painfully bland and too identical to each other, with the only real difference between them being their hue.

In 2D Zelda games, the Master Sword usually fires beams when Link is at full health. Silicon Studios took that idea, but instead of shooting lasers, your blade grows gigantic. Cutting down everything in sight with such a huge sword is overwhelmingly satisfying, which makes taking hits feel all the more deflating. Sword stats, such as the power, height and length, can be upgraded at town shops. Play your cards right, and an almost screen-filling blade could be yours. There are a plethora of cool swords to collect and some are as absurd as they are awesome. Two of the more bizarre weapons I got were a lightsaber and, I kid you not, a giant, realistic, fish.

Other indispensable items like bombs, the hookshot, and dash boots appear as well. What's really great is that frequently used items can be assigned to a quick-select inventory, accessed via the shoulder buttons, for on-the-fly swapping. This drastically reduces the need to pause the game for inventory checks and keeps you in the action. Enemies are humorous doppelgangers of Link's rogue gallery and I loved blasting them into literal bits. The huge boss battles provide a great challenge and require as much patience as skill.

One of the Game Heroes' more original features is the character creation. Creative players can craft any 8-bit hero they desire, from warriors, creatures, to favorite characters (creating Link is practically a must). If you'd rather not bother, there's an entire roster of ready-made characters that range from awesome, to hilarious, to straight up odd (Santa Claus is a character).

Despite it's shortcomings, I had a hard time putting Game Heroes down. It captures the Zelda-formula excellently and by injecting it's unique brand of humor and features like the character creation, it exemplifies the potential for innovation in this style, if only a little. Zelda fans will find plenty to love here. Sony players that have never touched a Nintendo console should take a look to see why these types of games are so celebrated.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Souther29 profile image


      5 years ago from London, UK

      Loving the visual style of this one. I remember when it came out but had too much of a backlog at the time. Not surprised it's from Atlus... they love a niche, quirky game of decent quality. Thanks for putting this one back into my mind!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)