The age of the Super Nintendo was an age of imagination. Games contained incredibly rich worlds that were rendered with incredibly simplistic graphics. The nature of their design forced you to picture something other than what you saw on the screen.
To me, towns weren’t a collection of near-identical buildings, but thriving cities worth exploring. Characters weren’t adorable sprites, but regal figures clad in otherwordly garments. Fights weren’t simple turn-based affairs, but epic battles filled with action.
Basically, I imagined Dragon Quest Heroes.
Most retro-inspired have a fairly modern vibe, but Heroes feels exactly like the games I grew up with. It’s like someone took a time machine back to 1994 and let old-school developers make a brand-new Dragon Quest game. The second enemies appeared on the screen, I was hit with a blast of nostalgia, and it still hasn’t worn off.
When I used to daydream about the future of games, this is what I thought they’d look like. Games like Final Fantasy XIII or Skyrim were beyond the scope of my imagination, but Heroes looks like a fancier version of the titles I loved decades ago.
I’ll always love pixelated graphics. Games are often more involving when your mind does the heavy lifting, and sprites will never lose their charm.
Still, it’s exciting to see a game that looks so new and feels so old at the same time. When I was a kid, I constantly fantasized about playing games like Dragon Quest Heroes. Soon, I’ll finally have the chance to.