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Dragon Quest Heroes II may be full of cute and colourful monsters, but you should never take them lightly. Indeed, the hack and slash sequel can be pretty darn tough at times, offering up some really tricky boss fights and foes that just don't know when to quit. As such, we've put together seven tips and tricks for rookie knights to be aware of before setting out on this grand adventure.

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Find your favourite class early

At the very beginning of the game, you'll have to choose either Lazarel or Teresa to be your story's main hero. It's important to note that whoever you decide on, they'll be a permanent fixture of your party for the rest of the release. Larazel starts with twin swords, while Teresa starts with a sword and shield.

Fortunately, if you don't like your chosen character's fighting style, you can change it a little while into the release by talking to the priest inside the inn. Both Lazarel and Teresa can switch their class, and each class plays differently and features a different set of attacks. The only problem is that each class always starts out at level 1, regardless of your progress with other fighting styles.

This means that you should try and find your favourite class early on in the game so that you can maximise its effectiveness. The best way to do this is pick out a style that sounds like your sort of thing, head out into the field, and mess around with its abilities. If you like the feel of the class that you've chosen, stick with it and watch it grow.

Dodge, dodge, and dodge some more

Dragon Quest Heroes II isn't your standard Dynasty Warriors-style slash-'em-up - you can't just wade into hordes of enemies and mash buttons until you win. Most of the time, bigger enemies in particular won't be staggered by your standard attacks, so you'll need to quickly learn how to avoid incoming blows. This is where your all-important dodge roll comes into play.

Now, not all characters actually have a dodge roll. Some simply have a sidestep, which requires a little more timing to get right. Still, your evasive technique is something that you'll need to use often if you want to go up against the game's most powerful opponents.

Generally speaking, the best way to go about fighting larger enemies is to get a few hits in and then roll away to a safe distance. These kinds of hit-and-run tactics can be surprisingly effective, especially against foes who string multiple attacks together.

It's also worth noting that you can block incoming blows but holding L1, but you'll rarely be able to nullify damage altogether. As such, your dodge roll should always be your go-to technique when trying to survive. Save your blocking for when you know you won't be able to move away in time.

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Switch it up to survive

With a simple tap of L2, you can switch between your current party members during combat or exploration. You'll no doubt have favourite characters and play as them more than others, but switching can really come in handy when the going gets tough.

You see, computer controlled characters are seriously good at dodging enemy attacks. More often than not, they'll know exactly when to dive away from an incoming strike or jump to avoid a shockwave. With this in mind, switching characters can actually be of great benefit when you're trying desperately to survive.

For example, if the hero that you're controlling is low on health, switch control to an ally and have the computer keep them alive with its crazy evasion skills. It might not work every time - the artificial intelligence isn't invincible, after all - but it can save your life against enemy attack patterns that you're unfamiliar with.

Always bring a healer

Having a reliable way to restore your health in Dragon Quest Heroes II is incredibly important. Waiting for defeated enemies to drop healing herbs isn't ideal, and you have no control over how often Healix throws out a much needed healing spell. Your healing stones can certainly get you out of a sticky situation, but because they only be recharg upon returning to town, you'll want to save them for when they're needed. It's best, therefore, to bank on a party member who has access to a healing spell or ability.

Healing spells and abilities are almost always an option because the magic points that are needed to cast them gradually replenish over time. As such, you should always include a healer in your party. The AI does a good job of keeping your health topped up, and you can always switch to that character and activate the spell or ability manually if necessary.

Some heroes are better than others when it comes to healing: Meena's multiheal spell, for example, is particularly potent, while Jessica's hustle dance doesn't have much kick to it - but something is better than nothing, especially since you're bound to take a few knocks during prolonged battles.

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Save your bonus balls for the right time

Throughout your adventure, you'll stumble across rare items called bonus balls. These strange little spheres temporarily increase the amount of experience that you earn from defeating monsters, and although you may be tempted to use one almost as soon as you find it, you're better off saving them for later.

Once you hit level 40 or so, levelling up your heroes starts to take a lot longer because you'll begin outpacing even the game's toughest enemies. It's at this point that you may want to think about using your bonus balls in order to grind out a few extra levels here and there - just make sure that you find a good location with plenty of powerful baddies first.

Keep an eye out for metal slimes

Bonus balls aren't the only way to gain some extra experience. As you travel from place to place, you'll likely spot a metal slime at some point. Whether it's a standard metal slime, a liquid metal slime, or even a metal king slime, these critters gift you a huge amount of experience points once they're defeated, so you should always try and whack them if you're lucky enough to see one.

The problem here is that metal slimes are annoyingly quick. They'll dart about the environment at speed, and they're adept at dodging your attacks entirely. Fortunately, they can be killed in just a handful of hits, so your best bet is to try and corner one before unleashing an attack that hits multiple times in quick succession. Even better if you can get a critical hit, as that'll be enough to take them down in one shot.

Never ignore the martial arts master

The martial arts master is an old man who waits around inside the inn, and when it comes to powering up your party, he's just about the most important non-playable character in the game. Why? Well, because every time that you deal damage to an enemy, you're actually increasing your proficiency with that fighting style. And this isn't exclusive to Lazarel and Teresa - every party member has their own proficiency level that increases as you fight.

Levelling up proficiency is easy, but it takes time - especially if you're trying to max everyone out. Ultimately, though, it's well worth the potential grind, as the martial arts master will reward you with permanent stat boots and powerful new moves with every proficiency level that you gain.

So, when you return to town after a long day of monster slaying, you'll definitely want to check in with the old man and see if he has any knowledge to pass on.

Do you have any Dragon Quest Heroes II tips to share? Never stop mashing monsters in the comments section below.