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Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime

Rocket Slime was a small surprise at E3, but a really nice one. The game, which seems built out of the best elements of the Dragon Quest and Zelda series, like some huggable Frankenstein's monster, should be another reason to be happy you own a DS.

But why create a game based around one of the monsters from the ultra-traditional Dragon Quest role-playing series? According to producer Yoshiki Watabe, the slime is as recognizable in Japan as the Chocobo or Moogle - the symbols of the Final Fantasy games. From there, Square Enix got the idea to make a game revolving around the character, mainly for kids.

Though the game doesn't benefit from the DS' touch-screen gameplay, the dual screens come into action when you enter into a tank battle. In this mode, you fight a battle against 1-3 other players. Each has his or her own tank, which is really more like a mobile fortress with multiple rooms. You and your team of helpers send weapons across the battlefield in cannons, to beat down your opponents. Once one is damaged enough, you move in for the kill, actually journeying to the other tank, infiltrating it, and smashing its heart.

Though tanks seem faintly out of place in the fantasy world of Dragon Quest, the colorful personality of the designs lets 'em squeak by. According to Watabe, the only hard and fast rule for Dragon Quest is that the game be simple and fun for everyone, but with enough hardcore game mechanics to keep series fans interested. The variety helps keep a lot of people interested in the games. This approach has to be working - Rocket Slime is one of the most instantly appealing DS games we've recently seen.

If you're curious to find out more, just check out these screenshots - you'll get the drift.

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