Codex Gamicus

3D Dot Game Heroes is a 2009 action-adventure video game developed by Silicon Studio and published by From Software in Japan and Atlus in North America. The game uses a unique style, presenting 2D, retro style graphics in a 3D environment. The game was released in Japan on November 5, 2009 and is to be released in North America on May 11, 2010 exclusively for the PlayStation 3


The game's gameplay strongly resembles that of retro 8-bit games of the past, particularly that of The Legend of Zelda. Players move characters from screen to screen exploring dungeons, battling enemies, collecting items and solving puzzles reminiscent of the classic games of past. When the player's health bar is full, the player's sword will grow to tremendous sizes whenever swung. Swords in game can be customized and levelled up to increase its length, girth as well as magical power, other special items that can also be used include boomerangs, lanterns, candles and bows.

Players can also create their own character model using the game's 3D sprite editor. Players are also able to collect monsters to be featured in an encyclopedia which is done through beating the monster on its head with a book until its profile shows up in the encyclopedia's pages. Loading screens in-game also feature recreated box arts of classic video games using the game's 3D sprites.


The game follows a hero on a quest to rid the Dotnia Kingdom of a dark plague caused by the forces of evil in order to restore peace to the land. Legend tells of an evil king known as the Dark King Onyx who brought tragedy and darkness to the kingdom by stealing six magical orbs. However a hero rose up against the Dark King and with his legendary sword as well as the power of the orbs, he sealed Onyx away within another orb. However, the forces of evil rose again as the Dark Bishop Fuelle stole the orb and threw the Kingdom of Dotnia into a state of chaos once more. The game's main protagonist is the grandchild of the brave hero who sealed away the Dark King and thus is entrusted with the responsibility to save the land.

The kingdom was once a 2D pixelated world but as the King of the Land felt that sprites were outdated and thus decreed for the kingdom to make the switch to 3D. This caused the entire world to become 3D but still retaining its original pixelated look.


The game was first teased by From Software on August 10, 2009 with a teaser site showing simply a cube and a countdown-timer to August 20, 2009. However the game was officially unveiled before the countdown ended by Japanese gaming magazine, Famitsu, on August 18, 2009. A North American release of the game was confirmed by the official Twitter account of Sony Computer Entertainment America which said that the game was "definitely" coming to North America. On November 17, 2009 Atlus confirmed that they would be localizing and publishing the game in North America for a May 11, 2010 release.


Review scores
Publication Score
Famitsu 30 out of 40

The game received a positive reception from critics. Famitsu gave the game a 8/8/7/7 a total of 30 out of 40 saying that the gameplay is a huge homage to the Legend of Zelda and there are numerous references to Nintendo Entertainment System games throughout the game causing the game to be a "nostalgia-laden trip". Famitsu also praised the graphics saying that the blocky animations are pretty and that they fuse the old with the new seamlessly, also saying that it was a fun and well-made title, though it does not qualify as a new and original game.

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