What's the most adorable thing you've ever killed by the hundreds? For fans of the Dragon Warrior series, the answer is "Slime." Those who haven't had their fill of the lovable little monster can get a fix with Slime Morimori Dragon Quest for the GBA. It hasn't been localized, but that shouldn't scare off fans of the series; the game speaks in the international language of cute.
Square-Enix's Slime Morimori is a little different from other games under the Dragon Quest/Dragon Warrior title. Instead of a traditional hero, the player controls a cute little Slime monster who has to save his village. The turn-based rpg style is replaced by a more Zelda-ish style of action/rpg.
For a guy without any arms, the slime has a lot of tricks up his sleeve. The slime, who can be named in either language, attacks by stretching his body and slingshotting into enemies, or by catching them on his head and throwing them. He can jump into the air and float for a few seconds to cross gaps or avoid attacks. His health takes the form of a row of hearts on the screen, and more hearts can be obtained by exploring the areas in the game. In some areas of the game knight dolls can be found, letting him become a Slime Knight. Slime Knight can slash at enemies with his sword and parry fireballs. This is, of course, awesome.
The goal of exploring the areas of the game is to rescue villagers who have been somewhat inexplicably kidnapped and shoved into boxes. Every villager you return home adds to the cloying cuteness of the place, with the possible exception of the King Babbles who look a bit hungover. These villagers also help open up new sections of the village as they become numerous enough to move large objects blocking paths. Enemies can also be sent home to the village, where they apparently become upstanding citizens.
An ability to read Japanese will add to the cute value, but isn't necessary to understand or complete the game. Objectives are fairly obvious, and some trial and error can deduce exactly what NPCs want.
The game keeps a very bright, upbeat and yes, cute, tone throughout. Gameplay isn't too difficult overall. Regular enemies can be dispatched or avoided with little difficulty, and bosses have recognizable patterns. The occasional puzzles can be easily understood and conquered. Graphics are bright and attractive, and NPCs include a huge cast of unusual Dragon Quest monsters that are fun to look at, even if you can't understand their small talk.
For the Dragon Quest fanatic who has a row of Slime plushes on his mantle, this game is a squishy little godsend. Children and people who appreciate cute will probably also enjoy it. However, someone looking for a challenge should definitely look elsewhere.