Dragon Warrior 1
System: Game Boy Color
Publisher & Developer: Enix
Capabilities: Compatible on both Game Boy and Game Boy Color, Also compatible with Super Game Boy
In the mid 1980's the first, true RPG, Dragon Warrior, was released in North America for the Nintendo Entertainment System(NES), which met with rave reviews from everyone congratulating the developers/publishers at Enix on how good a job they did. About a year later around 1989, Dragon Warrior 2 was released stateside, which introduced many new elements to the RPG genre such as multiple characters in your party at once. Now about, 12 years later since the first Dragon Warrior, Enix is re-releasing both hits on one game pak with new features. Will this prove to be a great translation bringing back the good old days of RPG gaming on the NES, or prove unworthy of the Dragon Warrior license? Lets get onto the review and find out.
Dragon Warrior: Everything looks exactly the same as it does from the original 8-bit smash hit! The map looks the same with the mountains, trees, and red poisonous squares to indicate where you are. The characters on the map look a bit bigger than the ones in Dragon Warrior 2, and instead of looking like medieval warriors, they look like a retarded monk. But heck, that was the way it was back then, and Im sure they didnt want to change anything. All the towns, menus, and castles look exactly the way they do from before, which is detailed, colorful, and easy to tell apart. Some new additions to the Game Boy Color version of Dragon Warrior 1 is that there is new animated cinematic scenes which tells the beginning of the story of the game, and some more at the ending. And also there is new added backgrounds in battles so you can tell where you are battling. Like if you start a battle in the forest, you got a dark forest in the background, and theirs other ones too like the desert, open field and so on, which looks really great. Oh, and this game is also compatible with Super Game Boy where you get a special border surrounding the game.
Dragon Warrior 2: Just like Dragon Warrior 1, where everything remains unchanged from the NES version. The amount of detail in the visuals is twice as better than the first Dragon Warrior, and although the characters are smaller, they seem to fit more detail on them then in the first game. The cities look slightly better too, at first glance they may seem like ones out of the original, but these fit way more items and shops and houses in the city than in the first one. All the character models and buildings, look very clean, crisp, updated models from the first Dragon Warrior, and its easy to tell right off the bat. For new additions in the graphics department, you get new cinema scenes which describe the games opening and ending sequences, which looks great, but for some reason, Enix didnt give the new battle scene backgrounds in DW 2 like they did in DW 1. That definitely disappointed me, but its not that bad of a deal.
Dragon Warrior: Well, you got all your basic sound effects here, with the slashes, bumps, etc. sounding exactly the way from the NES original version, and I guess thats ok, but theres nothing special about the sound effects, they all sound plain and basic to me, like any old Game Boy game. The music is the best part here, the tunes really set the tone for playing this game, although most of the music samples are short and loop a lot, but that is forgivable. But sounds really the weakest part of this game.
Dragon Warrior 2: A lot like the original Dragon Warrior, some of the sound effects are improved, mostly in particular the battle slashes from your swords, you get a different sound for the different weapon/spell you use. Not that bad, but a lot of the bland effects from the original are here like the weird noise you get by bumping against the wall and all. The background music is great too and really sets the standard for music in RPGs, most of them are longer than those found in the original, but some are still pretty short and loop, like the music for the towns, for example. But sound is improved, but still a pretty weak spot overall for Dragon Warrior 2.
Dragon Warrior: You got a pretty basic good vs. bad guy story in the first game, and I guess it fits for being the first true RPG, but if we got something like this now, it would appear pretty simple, but heres the story of the game. King Lars XVI rules the continent known as Alefgard. All is fine and dandy their, then one day the DracoLord came and took his monsters into the continent to take it over. With just small towns left of the continent, here comes Loto(who was actually know as Edreck in the NES North American version of the game, but Enix decided to give him his name back from the Japanese version of the game), descendent of his famous family to journey out on a quest to defeat DracoLord and save the Kings daughter, Lady Lora.
Dragon Warrior 2: The story for the second installment of the game, is much better than the original, and had to be an inspiration for the rest of the RPGs for years to come, and here it is. After being victorious over DracoLord, Loto and Lady Lora got married, and left Alefgard, to a new continents, and formed 3 different kingdoms there(Moonbrook, Lorasia, and Cannock), and the place remained a happy continent for 100 years until a injured soldier came to Lorasia bringing news that the evil cult leader, Hargon, attacked and destroyed Moonbrook castle, and assassinated the king, and transformed her daughter, Sarah, into a dog. So you, the hero(which you may name whatever you wanted), started out on a quest, where others join you on your journey to help you defeat Hargon.
Dragon Warrior 1: The controls are quite easy for this game, since most of the commands in here are menu based, you just move around with the control pad, and press the A button to talk to people and to accept choices, or press the B button to cancel them. In the game, you start out on your journey, with a set number of hit points(life bar) and stats for strength, defense, etc. exploring the map, and getting in battles with a monsters where you start out going against weak monsters like slimes, ghosts, etc. and you get experience points, gold pieces, and if they happen to be carrying any items like healing herbs, you get those too. The tougher a foe, the more rewards you get. Once you get a certain number of experience points your character moves up a level, where he gets increased hit points, and stats. Along the road you also learn how to cast magic spells like healing spells and fireball attacks through the use of magic points.
As you journey along to different towns and fighting grounds, you talk to its inhabitants, learn more about the story, or go take a sleep at the inn to recover lost hit and magic points, or buy brand new weapons and armor at the towns shops to increase your stats. You then move on, keep on defeating more enemies to boost up your levels, and basically repeat the whole process until you beat the game. There are also different puzzles in the game for you to solve along the way to make the game challenging and not a breeze to beat, I wont give any away but will let you find out what they are.
Dragon Warrior 2: Controls are exactly the same as the first one where its menu based. The same experience points system is here, and so is the upgrading system by buying new armor, weapons, etc. You do the same progressing like in the first game by talking, exploring, fighting and so on, but the world is much larger in this game, and so new elements are added to make the game progress easier. Like you now can have up to 3 people fight with you in your party in battles, and you can now fight up to against 5 enemies at once, enemies can call upon other foes to help them out midway through a battle. And if youre having trouble journeying through the larger continent, you can now travel by a boat you run into during the game, to get to far lands way easier. Also a host of new monsters, items, spells, and other gaming elements are introduced like new puzzles to gain new items, brand new dungeons and caves to explore to make this even more challenging then the first installment.
Dragon Warrior: Well, once you beat the first version, you pretty much dont wanna play it again, their isnt a whole lot more hidden stuff to find after you beat the game. But the added cinemas are nice to watch. Of course there is 3 save files, so you can play up to 3 games, taking different paths seeing if theirs anything different, and unlike the NES version you dont have to worry about your game getting deleted because of forgetting to hold the reset button in while you turned off the power.
Dragon Warrior 2: Now there is a bit more stuff to do Dragon Warrior 2 than there is in the first game, first of all, the world is so huge, you should definitely play through the game a second time thoroughly to see if you missed anything and to find as many items as you can. Also with 2 RPGs in one pak, youll be in for lots of hours of fun playing both games. Possibly up 80 hours of combined RPG fun.
+: 2 great classic RPGs for the price of 1, nice added cinema scenes and battle backgrounds, Possibly up to 80 hours of game play first time through each game!
-: Most of the sound effects are pretty bland for both games, even though its forgivable you gotta admit the character models in the first game arent the greatest
The Final Ratings Rundown
Game play: 7.8
Replay Value: 3.9
Dragon Warrior 2
Game play: 9.2
Replay Value: 6.4
Combined Overall Average: 6.6
Rounded to fit GameFAQs score: 7
Comments(formerly known as the Final Analysis in my other reviews)
Two great classic RPGs for the price of one. Enix sure did a great job in these translations, and the nice little bonuses they give here makes the game even a blast to play. But I really enjoy Dragon Warrior 2 much more than one here, and thats the main reason why I bought this game pak, but if you want to see what the first RPGs were like, then you owe it to yourself to get yourself this game. Just make sure you got the volume off while playing it.