This is the second(obviously) of my opinion pieces on the Dragon Quest series except for X. Has been awhile since I have talked about this. Currently I am on V and have taken my time to get to this. Now that I have that out of the way, the version I chose to play was the GBC version. As I did with the first 1 I felt it was the best one to play at the time since the Switch port was not out yet when I played DQ/Warrior II.
One thing that is a big change is we now have parties. Which in this day and age seems like something JRPGs just have. But it changes things up from part 1. While in the first game the Main character had healing magic and attack magic and buffs, here those abilities are split between the 3 characters. They are 3 bloodlines that descended after the Hero from 1 so I guess that makes sense in a way.
One of the things about DQ II Or Dragon Warrior II is that it does something that Zelda II did as well. You can see the area from the first game which I think is really cool. Like the world map from part 1 is so small in comparison. It was probably insane on the NES seeing that. While game worlds have advanced to the point where NPCs even have schedules and live daily lives, I still cannot help but admire that they did that. It feels a lot like a sequel in a very good way. It advances things and it is larger in scope.
Another nice touch which spoilers the Dragon Lord was the grandson of the original one. He apologizes for his grandpa. Which I liked. I thought it was funny. I was prepared for a rematch. The layout was the same and instead he is quite helpful. I feel like the Dragon Quest/Warrior series early on had some charm.
Now the NES version I always here is very unbalanced and unfair. Seeing as I played the GBC version I don’t know if it was yet since I do plan on playing the original versions at some point. But the beginning of the game I do know I died a lot. You start out with one character but you fight a lot of enemies. They can destroy you fast and you do not make money. I think Yuji Horie said that the games are liking climbing a mountain. So when you lose, you just lose money so you do not lose progress, that like a mountain, even if you stumble and lose ground, you keep trying to climb, I am paraphrasing it though. This game I could see that philosophy. I think when you get your first party member it gets a lot easier. Which you get early on but I kept grinding so I could take on a few and just need herbs. The battle system is what you expect from a JRPG. Magic, buffs, debuffs, attacks and healing.
Like the first game you have limited inventory, which at the time I had forgotten how much it annoyed me in Golden Sun since I am an item hoarder. But in one you just had one person. You also need Key items in your inventory. So with equipment it can be a hassle. But it did make me think about what I needed. So I had to check and the item bank was added to the GBC remakes from what I am seeing, not 100% sure so if I am wrong feel free to let me know.
Now the story, it is a very simple story as expected from a game that originated on the NES. But it is a lot deeper than the first games story. Which is still pretty shallow. But this one does have more death. Game starts with innocent people getting slaughtered. The villain is what is now a staple in the genre and evil sorcerer that wants to summon an ancient evil. The three members are somewhat generic, the most interesting one imo is the Princess, but only because she was a doggy for a bit due to the events of the beginning. But she is also the weakest in the party and the last to join. Like the first you get the heros relics. You have to stop the coming darkness from taking over which is pretty standard JRPG.
I feel like I missed out on a lot of what I wanted to say because I took so long to write this which is unfortunate though I guess it being shorter is fortunate? Overall I liked the game, I did lose to the last boss but that was my fault for not being prepared. The rematch I won because I was prepared. The story is not groundbreaking, not even sure if it was when it came out, the gameplay at this point is a stable in JRPGs. But the GBC version is still very playable for anyone who likes classic JRPGs that does not hold your hand the whole way. The main characters are not that interesting, later games have better characters. But the stuff it did was pretty amazing when you think about the gaming landscape when the NES game was released. Plus now it is on the Switch so if you ever want to go for it. Just be prepared for barebones story and things that have been done better. I am not doing a great job at selling it but I do like this game and I did have fun. Plus the overworld music I found myself singing.