• Publisher: Atlus
  • Release Date: May 11, 2010
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 84 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 72 out of 84
  2. Negative: 5 out of 84

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  1. Aug 24, 2010
    I enjoyed this game, I did but my enjoyment was tarnished at just how much of a clone of Zelda it is. It was a game that after two dungeons I was tired of because the puzzles are all ones I've seen before. I really looked forward to this game but maybe it was too much nostalgia. The one bad thing with a retro game is that I've beaten them before. The graphics were cool. The combat is really old school I am used to God of War type combat and this is methodical and you have to think not just mash buttons. The game becomes way more difficult when you dont have full health. If you have never played zelda then get this game if you are a zelda fanatic get this game. It was a really good game I just thought it felt tired and I knew the game. Its strange I like the game but I was disapointed by it. I almost forgot the character creation is great it took me nearly three hours to tweak my character to what I wanted it to be. Expand
  2. LBC
    Sep 8, 2010
    While 3D Dot Game Heroes is not particularly innovative, it certainly makes its intentions clear and delivers on what it promises. 3D DGTH is a full length retro action / adventure game built for your HD television. The game is jam packed with secrets, dungeons, bosses, NPC dialogue events, and areas that you can't reach without getting a certain item (just like everyone's favorite, Legend of Zelda). Probably the most interesting feature of this game is the ability to make your own characters, which is really easy to do and is quite entertaining. I think i may have spent an equal amount of time building characters as I did playing the actual game. Expand
  3. Sep 20, 2010
    Only buy/rent this one if you're looking to play a Zelda-Clone. This game does nothing to further or detract from the Zelda design, except make a few alterations. The other reviewers of this site and the critics really said it best, "retro adventure game built for HD." That's really all it is. With that said, if you fully enjoy this genre and can see yourself playing it all the way through, then it is definitely worth renting (first), and buying (if you want 100% completion). Expand
  4. May 25, 2012
    I suspect that this game will become a cult classic. Purely on its originality and what it aspires to give gamers it deserves a good score. Not only does it create a sense of nostalgia, but provides a good challenge with some great puzzles, side quests and dungeon crawling. That said, its not going to be for everyone - the game is directed at gamers who remember when RPG games were a mysterious brand of game that gave you very little idea of what you were supposed to be doing, or why. While you get tips along the way, its mostly up to the player to find out whats going on if they want to get the numerous power ups and bonuses that this game gives. If you want to relive those days with a modern twist then this game cannot be missed. On the down side, the character customisation element seemed a little pointless and the music, while trying to stick within the retro theme, did become a little irritating. Minor quibbles aside, inject your PS3 with some 8 bit nostalgia, theres no other game quite like it Expand
  5. Dec 5, 2010
    Excellent game that brings back memories from the past, zelda, final fantasy, those low bit games we liked so much. 10/10 flawless epic looking forward to some more blast from the past like this one
  6. Jan 17, 2011
    Capitalizing on nostalgia has always been a successful tactic of marketing and media. Now it's time for our generation (i.e. Children of the 80s) to experience it. All of our favorite comic books, TV shows, and games from the past are now being re-imagined for today's market. Sometimes we get something good (Star Trek the movie), and sometimes something abysmal (*retch* Transformers 2).

    3D Dot Game Heroes...the love-letter3D Dot Game Heroes tries to capitalize on all of our nerd-stalgia from the 1980s by giving us a near cut-and-paste parody/homage to The Legend of Zelda, while sprinkling in a heavy dose of game-culture references to several Nintendo (and Famicom) games of yesteryear. The result is a funny and somewhat interesting experience through familiar territory which ultimately doesn't do anything new or endearing.

    The story is your typical 80s fantasy-adventure plot. A unspeakable evil that was once thought banished by your great ancestor is being resurrected by a dark wizard. As the descendant of the great hero, it's up to you to collect all of the orbs necessary to seal the great evil once and for all. How could this have happened? The king of Dotonia decides to move everything into 3D (to improve tourism), which ultimately sets things in motion for the great evil to be released.

    If you've played a Link to the Past (or any top-down Zelda-esque game), you'll have a good idea what your getting with 3D Dot Game Heroes. Once you get your sword, you'll move from one elemental(ly?) themed dungeon to the next, collecting orbs of *insert element here*...and you get the idea. In between dungeons are towns, where you can purchase useful items, help the locals with side-quests, and upgrade your sword to ridiculous proportions. You'll need to spend all your hard earned cash if you want to clear the game's seven dungeons, which can be pretty difficult at times.

    Speaking of difficulty, 3D Dot Game Heroes will net you a platinum...if you're willing to work for it. You'll need to play though the game several times to find all of the items, complete all side-quests (some which become unavailable after certain events), and finish the game on the one-hit-death "SPELUNKER" mode. Some of the trophies are easily attainable on your first play-through, but the really difficult ones are there for the hardcore only.

    The voxel style is interesting at first, but can get tiring after a while. Many of the characters and enemies look bland, and it can be a little difficult to discern what's an interactive part of the game world from just scenery. After a while, areas begin to look the same, and enemies don't put up much resistance (especially with a maxed out sword). Boss battles don't feel very epic either. It could have been the voxel graphics, or the feeling that bosses are copies of traditional boss-archtypes, but the battles amount to uninspired confrontations that are over pretty quickly. It would have made encounters more interesting if you had to find a weakness using your newly acquired tools, but that's the one thing from the Zelda series you won't find here.

    Fortunately one thing the game does well is parody, which really shows during it's several loading screens. By using NPCs from the game, the developers have cleverly recreated box art from famous Japanese and American Nintendo games of the past. It's always fun trying to guess which box art represented which game (and in some cases...it's really hard).

    The writing is also pretty funny and well localized. This game doesn't take itself too seriously and it's constantly coming out in the dialogue with pithy one-liners and references to other nostalgic games of past. Like, when the Dark Lord asks you if you would join him in conquering the world, and is actually surprised when you say "yes".

    To wrap this up, the game was decent, but felt like it tread too much on familiar ground and didn't introduce anything new. By the 3rd dungeon, everything looked and felt similar to the previous dungeons and I began to lose interest. Even though I played to the end (and I appreciated all the nostalgic homage), I was left unimpressed. I'd recommend this to a hardcore Zelda fan who's jonesing for a top-down adventure, but for everyone else...save this one for a weekend rental. ~Mojamojakumasan http://blogs.ign.com/mojamojakumasan/
  7. May 31, 2011
    "Excellent game that brings back memories from the past, zelda, final fantasy, those low bit games we liked so much. 10/10 flawless epic looking forward to some more blast from the past like this one."
    -nuff said
  8. Jul 3, 2011
    Oversimplifying this game and giving it obscenely high ratings simply because it evoked memories of Retro gaming experiences seems a little hasty. While I was pleasantly nostalgic upon beginning this game, I quickly tired of the dull game-play and the 'groan' humor. I agree that throwback games like this are necessary to keep a wealth of variety available on the system, but as we are in such an advanced age of gaming, I think we should expect a little more depth from games and their mechanics, even if they are intended to be somewhat simpler and retrospective in game-play. I finished this game to the end, but any speed with which I played toward the end can be attributed to the fact that I didn't want to drag it out any longer. Expand
  9. Sep 25, 2012
    This game is a true throw back to old school gaming. If you ever wan't to see a game like the original Zelda, this is as close as you'll probably get. The graphics look beautiful, it looks like someone took a bunch of cubes and stuck them together. This game is also really fun.
  10. Mar 5, 2012
    This game is simply amazing and, as stated on the backcover, indeed is a loveletter to retro gaming! It offers a long storymode, really challenging boss battles and alot of humour! People who love the old Zelda games like A Link To The Past will love this one!
  11. May 11, 2012
    A great throwback to the classic Zelda and Final Fantasy games, it has a nice visual style but after extended play it gets a bit boring. Would've been better as a downloadable title.
  12. Apr 29, 2012
    3D Dot Game Heroes is an a Zelda-like game which should be on any Zelda fan shelf. From the very beginning you learn the basics of the game and the controls to solve the first puzzles which are also extremely similar to the first Zelda for NES. However the FROM team has introduced some of their essence that makes this game really tough in the second run or even worse in the third, in which you die if you get hit once. Really challenging if you are one of those people who like unlock every secret in a game. As for the plot, quite simple, but enough to enjoy the experience.

    I recommend it to any retro-game lover.
  13. Nov 20, 2014
    Clone? Parody? Homage? All those three and a little more in this marvelous little adventure gem. For those of us who grew up with the nes and snes zelda games this is a obligatory item to have, im sure some gamers miss the pixel or artificial synthetic quality of early console aesthetic, what 3d Dot Game Heroes does perfectly is updating the artstyles of early games like dragonquest or zelda into a newer generation system (ps3) and does it perfectly, adding amazing gameplay in the mix.

    So yes, plays a LOT like link to the past, and thats GOOD! Controls are very good but you gotta practice a while for diagonal hits. (a combination of up+left, down+left, etc etc)

    Recommended for those who want amazing visuals without loosing the essence of what a videogame is for real retro fans!

Generally favorable reviews - based on 66 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 47 out of 66
  2. Negative: 0 out of 66
  1. Dec 15, 2011
    3D Dot Game Heroes was clearly inspired by the old Zelda games. It takes the charm of the old school games, while at the same time updating the style and adding a plethora of new elements to keep gameplay fresh, all without losing the classic feel.
  2. Jan 9, 2011
    An interesting experiment: the classic gameplay makes it perfect for old school gaming lovers.
  3. Despite a few weaknesses, 3D Dot Game Heroes combines borrowed ideas with a novel presentation and a good sense of humor to rise above the level of shameless cash-in.