Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
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Easily one of the best Dragon Quest games in the series, Dragon Quest V has finally made its way to iOS. It’s been a bumpy time for the game given it had the tendency to remain exclusive to Japan for a long time over the years, even after being remade. It’s still far from easy to find on the Nintendo DS (although I’m lucky enough to have a copy) so that should make the decision to buy the iOS version very simple.
It’s the story that will grab you the most. It’s full of the typical elements of a JRPG (destiny, an unlikely hero, and the need to save the world), but it tells it in a much more interesting way than usual. Starting at birth and going through the main character’s life, it might be linear, but it’s done in a way that hooks you in so much more than most. That’s also where the full subtitle of Dragon Quest V comes into effect - Hand of the Heavenly Bride. You’re given the choice of one of three brides, with things playing out slightly differently depending on what you decide.
Elsewhere, Dragon Quest V is business as usual. Job classes are gone but otherwise, you’re fighting it out amongst various dungeons and world map encounters. You can recruit monsters to help you out too, which is both interesting and useful.
In terms of the iOS port, Dragon Quest V isn’t entirely comfortably designed. Solely viewed from a portrait perspective, Dragon Quest V is aimed towards one handed play with a virtual d-pad and buttons to dictate things like menus. It’s not entirely accurate, with it all too easy for you to go in the wrong direction, but you get used to it.
Given the high price of other copies of Dragon Quest V, fans will certainly be forgiving, and rightly so. It’s a particularly fine installment for the solidly dependable series and one that’s sure to hook you in for a long time. Even if you do stumble awkwardly back into buildings thanks to that virtual d-pad.