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The story line
Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride has an engaging story line of growing up in a world of monsters that, while hardly original, is extremely well told and shows the hand of a master story teller. The dialogue is also innovative and it's clear that a lot more effort was put into this game than simply translating the script from the Japanese version. The story follows the main character from birth to him marrying and starting a family some thirty years later, fighting both against and alongside monsters as he overcomes the challenges of his life.
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Graphics and Artwork
The amazing imagination and style of Toriyama shines in the colorful and stylistic look of all the characters and monsters in Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride. Fans of anime will quickly recognize the artist and the similarity of the characters of Dragon Quest to his work in the Dragon Ball series.
The graphical presentation and details of the environments is flawless, with no bugs or fluctuations of any kind in the game play. With such refreshing visuals you don't mind the heavy devotion needed to grinding for this game, the scenery is so good you don't mind seeming them over and over.
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Sounds in the game
The sound track rises and falls suitably to the flow of the action and there were several orchestral tracks that sounded wonderful and helped to pick up the pace of the game. The same composer from the previous games returns and the style hasn't changed much over the past games. The music tempo picks up in the battles and slows down in the heavier moments of the story, always setting the right atmosphere.
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Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride is a very well designed and developed game that has everything you expect in the right places, but you will need to spend a lot of time playing to work your way through the story. The game may be too long for the casual replay, but it's certainly able to keep you entertained for at least one play through.
Combat is the same as earlier titles, with monsters appearing in a first-person perspective on the screen, and a few basic commands for taking care of them. Where Dragon Quest V departs from earlier titles in this area is the addition of your ability to recruit enemy monsters. Commanding them is similar to your own character and therefore requires little additional learning but adds an element of variety and collection to the game.
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The good parts
Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride does an excellent job of updating the franchise for the Nintendo DS, with gorgeous and funny character designs and a few new twists that make it a new experience.
The consistently masterful artwork of Akira Toriyama is always nice to see, and he once again fails to disappoint.
Challenging game concept has steep learning curve and difficulty of game make this uncompromising title a true gem that just keeps giving and giving every time I play it.
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Parts that could be improved
Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride can be a slow and laborious climb through levels that requires a devotion you might not have had since your fanatical RPG days. Many gamers will pull back from the need for an intense grind to progress through Dragon Quest V. The length of the story can also give it a low replay rating for some.
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The final mark
Hand of the Heavenly bride does an admirable job of improving the experience I remember from previous Dragon Quest and Dragon Warrior games. Gamers who love the style and game play of many old time RPG titles will love the experience, while gamers who prefer a faster pace will be reaching for a title with more energy. In short, if you've liked past Dragon Quest games then you'll likely enjoy this one as well. If they didn't suit your tastes before: there are other RPGS for the DS for you instead.