My biggest complaint about Dragon Warrior II was the grinding. Sadly, it may actually be worse in this chapter, as I felt like I spent countless hours being forced to grind away for experience points in an effort to progress in the game.
Still, this was a damn good installment in the series and in spite of my fun and the adventure screeching to a halt too often, the game was great when I was able to actually play it and not get my ass kicked.
I like that the overworld map was very similar to Earth and that once you’ve been everywhere and have defeated the big evil, a chasm opens up, revealing a new darkworld where the real big evil lives. So once you think that you’ve beat the game, you realize that there is a whole new world to explore and save from darkness.
Also, the ending of this game leads into the story of Dragon Warrior I. So this is a prequel. Although, that can be figured out if you pay attention to and remember all the details from the first and third games.
Overall, this game felt much larger in scale than the others. The second game felt massive compared to the first but this one feels like it also dwarfed its predecessor since it gave you a second world map. Additionally, this one also took the longest to play. But, again, a lot of that was grinding and grinding hard.
For fans of the series, this is a pretty satisfying chapter. Dragon Warrior always had the edge for me over Final Fantasy back in the early days of the two franchises. However, after I play through Dragon Warrior IV, I do plan to give the 8-bit Final Fantasy games a replay, as it’s been decades and my opinion on which franchise was better, could now be very different.
If it weren’t for all the tedious grinding, this would have been a 10 out of 10.
Pairs well with: The other Dragon Warrior a.k.a. Dragon Quest games for the original NES, as well as the NES Final Fantasy games.