Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime

If there's one RPG series that can go toe-to-toe with Final Fantasy any day of the week, it's Dragon Quest. Both franchises have brought social lives to a screeching halt with their 100 hour adventures and engrossing storylines, but they've also splintered into mini-franchises that delve into unseen worlds within the main series. The latest would be Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime, an overhead affair that ditches puny humans altogether.

Instead of knights, mages or cursed kings, you'll be playing as the fan-favorite blue slime character from the Quest series. Rocket, as he is now called, can stretch and bounce through maze-like levels, searching for, oh let's guess keys or gems or color-coded cards. As puzzles are solved, you'll rescue slime friends and unravel a nefarious plot put into motion by a mysterious entity called "the Plob."

If that makes too much sense for you, try this: at the end of each level Rocket climbs into a massive tank and blasts away at rival pieces of hulking technology. You can customize your own Schleiman Tank with new items and even launch tank-dismantling slimes at enemies to break them down from the inside.

So, yeah, Rocket Slime sounds more Pokemon than Final Fantasy, but it's purposely being designed that way. As such, expect a versus mode where you pit tricked-out tanks against each other, and we'll assume some form of quirky touch screen support when it ships later this year.

May 2, 2006