When Atlus releases 3D Dot Game Heroes hits May 11, 2010 it will be sporting some new features not seen in the Japanese release. These include an optional hard drive install that "dramatically improves load times" as stated by Atlus, new custom characters such as Santa Claus, a shark, and a ninja (but no pirate), an improved user interface for character creation, and new mini-game stages that were available as DLC in Japan. New loading screen art that pays homage to other classic games has been added for North America, along with a gallery to view this art.
During a web demo Atlus gave today, we were able to check out the game's overworld, a dungeon, boss battle, and some of the mini-games packed in. For those worried that this game would merely feel like an old 8-bit clone, worry no longer. 3D Dot Game Heroes offers many UI improvements such as being able to quickly cycle through
Link's the Hero's alternate weapon inventory without having to go to the inventory screen. The game really looked like a fine-tuned and completely original take on the classic style offered in The Legend of Zelda, with all the quirky humor and easter eggs found in lots of Atlus titles.
There are also three mini-games: Block Defense, Blockout, and Dash Circuit. Block Defense is a tower defense game, Blockout is a Breakdown-style game where the Hero uses his sword to swat the ball around, and Dash Circuit is a little racer. All of these will be included on the disc when 3D Dot Game Heroes hits retail in May for the low price of $39.99.