Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime is a game in the Dragon Quest game series series for the Nintendo DS. It was developed by TOSE, the studio responsible for the first four Dragon Quest titles (as well as several other spinoff games.)
Rather than being a turn-based RPG as is typical of games in the series, Rocket Slime is more action-oriented. Gameplay consists primarily of gathering parts to build tanks and then pitting those constructions against those of the enemy.
The player views Rocket Slime from an overhead view, and controls Rocket entirely with the face and shoulder buttons. This mode of play is based on the previous title's. Rocket has the ability to jump as well as hover, though his primary technique is the Elasto Blast, an attack that launches Rocket forward. The Elasto Blast's strength is determined by how long the player allows for it to charge. This technique is constantly used throughout the game, used to pick up objects and attack enemies. When an enemy or object is hit by the Elasto Blast, it is sent flying, requiring the player to move forward and grab the item or enemy before they land if they wish to pick them up. The player may hold up to three items and/or enemies at any given time. Any item or enemy may be used as a weapon against an enemy if thrown at them. Rocket has a health meter that consists of multiple hearts, where Rocket will lose half a heart if damaged. The player may increase it by finding a rare item.
Each stage has a certain number of Slimes, and a variety of different items and enemies that can be found within. The game uses a day/night system, causing differences in enemies. Enemies that can be found awake during the day are asleep at night, and vice versa. There are several differences in the levels, but one thing they have in common are the railways. These railways typically lead back to Boingburg, allowing the player to send items, enemies, and other Slimes back to Boingburg, or leave the level via the railways. When a Slime is sent back, the Slime will send a letter to the player, including either an item or a recipe for an item. When an enemy is sent back, that enemy will become a resident of Boingburg, though only one enemy per species is allowed. Once the player collects 30 of specific enemy, a statue of that enemy will appear in the art gallery allowing it to be recruited as a tank crew member. When an item is sent back, it can be used as ammunition for Rocket's tank or sold at a shop. Another common element are the tank battles, where the player may battle a Plob tank. Defeating a tank gives Rocket a specific item and a Slime, who returns back to Boingburg. Most stages have a boss battle near the end of the stage. All bosses have a health meter, which must be depleted for Rocket to progress any further. When the player leaves the stage, a screen is shown detailing what Slimes the player acquired in this session of the stage, as well as any items and enemies that he or she collected.
In between stages, the player is sent back to Boingburg to rest. In the beginning after the Plob attack, there are no Slimes remaining, and the Plobs have destroyed much of the town, leaving large spiked balls blocking much of the houses and the village. Most of these spiked balls have ST written on them, meaning "Slime Tons". The number listed is the number of Slimes the player must rescue in order to get rid of the spiked ball in question. After a certain point in the game, the rescued Slimes rebuild Boingburg back to its state in the prologue. There are several things the player may do while in Boingburg. Early on, the player only has the ability to save his or her game, but eventually gains access to much more, including tank customization, a shop, a tank arena, a surfing mini-game, and an area where the player may synthesize items using recipes that are collected throughout the game.
Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime is based in the fictional world of Slimenia, specifically in the capital city of Boingburg. It begins with four Slimes, Rocket, Hooly, Bo, and Swotsy, who are playing in front of the castle. The four of them later get their hands on a flute, and in response to the flute being blown by Rocket, his father comes running over, forcing Hooly to stick the flute in Rocket's mouth. Afterwards, an organization known as the Plob invades Boingburg, capturing 100 of its 101 inhabitants. Because he was distorted and long, the Plob mistakenly believed Rocket was not a Slime, but a worm, and discarded him in a nearby wooded area. At this point, Rocket begins his quest to rescue all 100 Slimes, who have been locked up in large treasure chests. Rocket later happens upon a large tank called the Schleiman tank, which he activates with the flute that he had acquired. This tank now allows him to battle other tanks employed by the Plob. He also must do battle with many other enemies, including the leader, Don Clawleone, and an evil Slime named Slival.
A primary game mechanic are the tank battles. Tank battles either occur in the stages or at the tank battle arena in Boingburg. In stages, when the player encounters a platform with an enemy on it standing in front of a tank, he or she may summon his or her tank to do battle with them. When the player goes into the battle, the top screen displays a zoomed out view of the two tanks on either side of the screen, and the bottom screen displays the standard gameplay. Each tank has two cannons that ammunition may be loaded into, and an HP meter, the latter which varies from CPU to CPU. Ammunition comes from varying points in the tank; the location of these drop points varies depending on which tank is being used. The player picks up ammunition using the Elasto Blast, like he or she picks up items in the other mode of play. He or she then may throw the ammunition into one or both of the cannons, causing the ammunition to be fired at the opposing tank. The opponent, however, will also fire ammunition at the player's tank. If two pieces of ammunition collide with each other, both pieces will fall to the ground, though some pieces of ammunition have more defensive and/or offensive power than others.
The player may leave his or her tank, either by shooting him or herself out of one of the cannons or by leaving the tank and breaking into the opposing tank. If the player makes it to the other tank by means of the cannon, he or she will enter the main area of their tank. While in their tank, the player may use the Elasto Blast attack to break their computers, making it more difficult for them to retaliate. The player may also attack his or her opponents or steal ammunition to use in his or her tank. The opponent may also do the same, either breaking in or going in via the cannon. A tank is not destroyed when its HP is depleted to zero; instead, a door protecting the tank's heart is destroyed, and at which point, the opposing tank's crew will invade and try to destroy the heart. If it is destroyed, the tank battle is over. Most tank battles that the player wins rewards the player with a particular item and a Slime, the latter only appearing once per tank battle.
In Boingburg, the player may load ammunition into his or her tank. This ammunition consists of items the player has collected throughout the game. After a certain point in the game, the player may also choose three computer-controlled tank assistants. These consists of particular Slimes that are able to participate. Under certain conditions, the player may also gain the ability to recruit enemies. Each tank assistance has a unique set of commands that they can be ordered to follow. While in Boingburg, the player may play multi-player with another player who owns a Nintendo DS system and Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime. If another player does not own a copy, he or she may only play a tank battle demo.
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