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

Generally favorable reviews - based on 66 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 47 out of 66
  2. Negative: 0 out of 66
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  1. Definitely a love letter to old-school gaming fans.
  2. 3D Dot Game Heroes is a must-have addition to any RPG-lover's video game library.
  3. The foundation for all this goofiness is a remarkably well-designed, engrossing quest.
  4. 90
    3D Dot stands proud for offering both a charmingly familiar and sublimely unique experience.
  5. It's a fun and gorgeous jaunt through a half-remembered childhood. If this doesn't bring a smile to your face then you must be dead inside.
  6. The game doesn't blow you away with its story or characters, but instead with its charm that shines through with every "dot".
  7. 90
    There's much to like about 3D Dot Game Heroes, and though it may seem cheap to appreciate a game where so much has been borrowed from games of the past, it's hard to deny that Heroes executes on these stolen ideas commendably.
  8. 3D Dot Game Heroes is a fantastic game that can scratch the Zelda itch for PS3 owners looking for some retro sexy action. Though we could see the main story being beaten in about 12 to 15 hours if you declined to explore the world, we explored enough that it took us 25 hours to beat the game and complete a number of side quests.
  9. 3D Dot Game Heroes is challenging, but it's nowhere near as difficult as Demon's Souls - but it really doesn't need to be. The overall experience is relaxed and humorous, and the retro concept stays amusing for the whole ride.
  10. It's faithful to its source material, sometimes to a fault, but it also adds enough depth and playablity to make it a worthwhile title in its own right.
  11. Play UK
    On the one hand it brings nothing new to the table and has some irritating faults. On the other, it's a joyful experience and will warm the cockles of anyone who plays. [Issue#192, p.88]
  12. This game offers a lot to action adventure fans especially ones that have memories of classic 8-bit titles.
  13. 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.
  14. 85
    This game is not going to mark a milestone in the console portfolio, but can easily turn into one of those cult classics that gamers won't forget for years.
  15. Everything tends to work really well, it's just as addictive and involving as those old 2D games could often be, and really…guys, this is Zelda.
  16. The ultimate retro love letter has convinced me to remain in the past. Highly addictive, great allusions towards other games, a perfect presentation and cool gimmicks make 3D Dot Game Heroes to one hell of a must-have for retro fans, even though the engine doesn't handle the lighting very well.
  17. 85
    3D Dot Game Heroes was clearly inspired by the good, old Zelda games and does it in a way that would make Miyamoto proud. The game is challenging and has enough variety to stay entertaining until the very end.
  18. 85
    Other Zelda imitators seem to lose sight of the playfulness and irreverence that Miyamoto and others infused classic games with, but 3D Dot Game Heroes never pretends that it's anything but a game, and games like 3D Dot Game Heroes should be played.
  19. Ultimately, 3D Dot Game Heroes combines the original Legend of Zelda's world with A Link to the Past-style gameplay, which proves to be an absolute blast.
  20. I think anyone who enjoys the older 2D RPGs from years ago will quickly fall in love with 3D Dot Game Heroes.
  21. 3D Dot Game Heroes is as charming as the trailers may have led you to believe. The price you pay for your trip across memory lane, however, comes with both the good and the bad of retro gaming.
  22. 3D Dot Game Heroes is an enjoyable and playable trip through the past.
  23. Here's a fair litmus test. If you're on the fence about this game, and you have a Wii, spend $5 on the Virtual Console version of The Legend of Zelda. Spend an hour or two with it. Did you enjoy that? Now imagine it with gorgeous graphics and a lot of self-referential humor. That's 3D Dot Game Heroes, and while it's not for everyone, it's one of the most unique, charming and fun PS3 exclusives released so far this year.
  24. A distinctive game that borrows an awful lot, but still remains fun.
  25. 82
    3D Dot Game Heroes is an original game with fun gameplay, and a nice story, nice graphics and nice audio. The whole game is cool, but the online annoying thing is the loading times. Besides of that there are also some moments that are a kind of repetitive. But 3D Dot Game Heroes is still a great game.
  26. Jan 9, 2011
    An interesting experiment: the classic gameplay makes it perfect for old school gaming lovers.
  27. 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.
  28. 80
    Despite a few places where the retro chic gets a bit too retro, 3D Dot Game Heroes is a terrific example of how to make old new again.
  29. Playstation: The Official Magazine (US)
    But perhaps it doesn't need to, because Dot brings enough new to the table, and delivers its homage with enough charm and character to make it worthy on it's own merits. [Jun 2010, p.70]
  30. Thankfully, 3D Dot Game Heroes is a memorable game that winds up being more than just an homage to the past. It takes the top-down Zelda formula and expands upon it.
  31. 80
    Fortunately, the game never overstays its welcome, and that alone makes it worth a recommendation to anyone who enjoyed The Legend of Zelda or other NES classics.
  32. The experience is quite nostalgic, and the game features plenty of side quests and special missions to extend the experience.
  33. games(TM)
    Massively derivative and dated. [Issue#96, p.102]
  34. A true gem for those who feel nostalgia of the old times.
  35. For those that have grown up with video games, 3D Dot Game Heroes is a celebration of everything that encapsulates the concept of retro. It wraps you up in a blanket of nostalgia and whisks you off to a world that just isn't seen in video games today.
  36. It might not be original, but it's certainly good fun, and all credit to Southpeak for picking up the slightly esoteric title for a European release – spread the word, 3D Dot Game Heroes deserves a place in your PS3 this Spring.
  37. 3D Dot Game Heroes is an enjoyable stroll through the past. While it offers very few new ideas, it is utterly charming and a joy to play.
  38. 80
    3D Dot Game Heroes might be a blatant rip-off of Zelda, but in cribbing from one of the most enduring games of the 8-bit era - and allowing us to populate a faux Hyrule in a new, tactile way - the game more than earns the right to swipe.
  39. Though 3D Dot Game Heroes is a fun game on its own, it's impossible to divorce it from the games it parodies. Your overall enjoyment will depend on whether you're in on the joke or not. But if you do "get it," then it's the perfect game for the nostalgic fan looking for another taste of their childhood while getting a few good laughs at the same time.
  40. If you were a huge Zelda nerd as a kid, or if you still are, this is probably going to be a complete and welcome nostalgia trip for you.
  41. At a lower price and a great deal of entertaining content, 3D Dot Heroes is worth your time, especially if you're a fan of old school games with a modern twist.
  42. Ultimately 3D Dot Game Heroes does exactly what it sets out to do. It's a nostalgic look back at the classic Zelda games sprinkled with some commentary on gaming history, and a great example of retro gaming done right, even if it does keep the flaws along with the goodness.
  43. 3D Dot Game Heroes is a pleasant retreat for anyone who pines for the good old days, but even those without nostalgic links to the past will find an enjoyable experience.
  44. 3D Dot Game Heroes is more than an honoring to Zelda franchise, is the way to play an old school gameplay in Playstation 3. Its doesn't surprise and copies the success of Nintendo's series, but is fun.
  45. The gameplay is a great mix of new and old, the visual design is clever and colorful, and the challenge is welcomed by veterans of the source material.
  46. 3D Dot Game Heroes is more than a three-dimensional remake of The Legend of Zelda. It's an obvious homage to the NES-classic, but brings its own flavour to the table. 3D Dot Game Heroes is the embodiment of retro gaming, in the present.
  47. t's a shame that 3D Dot Game Heroes does not have the lasting power required in order to be truly special. As it stands, this homage/plagiarism to/of The Legend of Zelda is an enjoyable little adventure that will give PS3 owners the retro fix they need. Unfortunately, and I hate to say it, 3D Dot Game Heroes may have benefited more from being half the length and coming out as a digital title.
  48. Games Master UK
    A decent adventure with some good ideas, mostly ripped off from better games. [July 2010, p.93]
  49. 3D Dot Game Heroes is fun for a while, but its nostalgia factor wears off too soon, and gamers are left with a title that is more fun to look at than it is to play.
  50. 3D Dot Game Heroes is a wonderfully presented game, with a clever concept that is well-executed throughout.
  51. 70
    As it stands, though, you'll need to be really hankering for some old-school gameplay to enjoy 3D Dot Game Heroes. I wasn't able to manage it, but I suspect there are quite a few of you out there who would actually enjoy this game from start to finish. You know who you are.
  52. 3D Dot Game Heroes is a beautiful homage to the gaming industry. It's a great adventure, but the basic gameplay will make you want to play the upcoming Zelda even more.
  53. Playstation Official Magazine Australia
    Essentially, Dot Game is a next-gen homage to early NES RPGs. This is a 23-year-old game design with a 3D graphic 'overhaul' - no more, no less. If you pine for the past, this should keep you entertained, but it may frustrate new gamers. [July 2010 p75]
  54. PSM3 Magazine UK
    If you're of the mind that the Zelda series has been recycling the same ideas for far too long now then 3D Dot Game Heroes will only exacerbate your grounded frustrations. [June 2010, p.88]
  55. 67
    To their credit, Atlus seems to acknowledge 3DDGH as the lightweight diversion it is, pricing the game well below the standard for a PlayStation 3 title and bundling a bunch of Japan's bonus DLC content onto the disc to boot.
  56. AceGamez
    There will be some gluttons for punishment out there who will love Silicon Studio's tribute from end to end, and more power to them for their perseverance against all good reason, but the vast majority of gamers in this day and age will find that 3D Dot Game Heroes wears out its welcome all too soon.
  57. It's a funny and charming little game, but it plays the retro card a little bit too much. A lot of the gameplay feels very dated in a modern game, and you can't make the same allowances for age that you can with an actual retro title.
  58. If you look past the tricky visuals, something that's admittedly pretty hard to do, you'll see a game that's operating on a lot of borrowed charm.
  59. Often funny, visually good and very inspired by Zelda […], 3D Dot Game Heroes does a great job without ever be boring.
  60. At the budget price of $39.99, 3D Dot Game Heroes is cheap, nostalgic fun, and will find a very special place in old-school gamers' hearts, but it ultimately falls short of source material that is roughly two decades old.
  61. Edge Magazine
    A curiosity. An inferior imitation of a two-decade-old series, it's nevertheless delivered with obvious affection for its inspiration and considerable charm of its own. [June 2010, p.105]
  62. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    A rather mediocre adventure. [June 2010, p.111]
  63. 60
    Nostalgic moments are crushed by poor design choices in an ultimately futile attempt to recreate classic gaming.
  64. 3D Dot Game Heroes does have its moments and fun features, like a cute little avatar editor (guess what I made), and the ability to take screenshots and save them to your PS3's photo gallery. But every one of the problems it suffers from elsewhere is something that Legend of Zelda, through its longevity and the massive expertise of its designers, has either long since overcome or never had to worry about anyway.
  65. One of the best looking games ever, but its awe for retro Zelda ruins hopes for similarly inspired gameplay.
  66. There are a ton of in-jokes, sure. But when you've heard them all before, it feels less like a tribute and more of a "we ran out of interesting things to say for ourselves", and when you haven't heard them you won't get them anyway.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 110 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 74 out of 110
  2. Negative: 11 out of 110
  1. 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 epicExcellent 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 Full Review »
  2. 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'llThis 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. Full Review »
  3. 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, reallyThis 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! Full Review »