Dragon Quest Swords - hands-on

One of the most interesting games at the Square Enix Party 2007 is Dragon Quest Swords - simply because it's for the Nintendo Wii and it's exciting to see how the company intends to transition the popular RPG series to that hardware.

The good news is that the game is a great deal of fun. While it's clearly aimed at a younger audience - we saw a 10 year old kid going to town on it - it's not a completely simple game.

As you may already know, the game is not a strict RPG like the main series. Instead, it's an action game in which you use the Wii remote as a sword. The game plays from the first person, but you don't have freedom of movement. Inside towns, you can walk freely, but in the world, you're on a pre-determined path. This sounds really lame but it actually works really well in practice (after all, how much freedom do you usually have in an RPG's dungeon anyway?)

As the demo begins, you exit the town and enter a forest. The game gives you the choice of two different companions - we chose to go with Setia, a sexy young priestess. The other choice is Dean, a foppish young prince with a rapier. The third companion you can choose is the main character's father, Baud, but he wasn't available in the demo for whatever reason.

As you journey though the forest, you'll encounter enemies who appear. They usually appear in groups; at one point, several groups appeared in a row as each was defeated, so it's not like your usual intermittent RPG battles. There are also objects (such as rocks) along the path, which you can discover if they are interactive by aiming the cursor around and checking them out. Sometimes you'll encounter a fork in the path and have to choose which way to go. You move forward by holding down the B button on the underside of the Wii remote.