Dragon Quest XI (PS4/PC)

  • I've been playing DQ4 as my "study" game, and all the sudden I'm getting hyped for this game. Really wish 3DS were region free so I could import, but oh well.

  • Already beat this in Japanese months ago, prepare for a treat guys, i actually prefer it to VIII.

    My top 5 DQ as of now are these (not played 7 yet):

    1. DQV

  • @bam541
    said so after playing the Japanese version for a few weeks, this is gonna be one to remember

  • Whoa, the things people are saying... going to be a good holiday game.

  • This question has probably been asked a 1,000 times. Can I jump into this game without playing the prior games? I keep seeing gameplay that looks great and the reviews are coming in with higher than average scores.

  • @cptcobblepot Yep, you're good to go even if you have no prior experience with the series.

  • I finished the Switch version just before the new year, and I have very mixed feelings about it.

    My only exposure to Dragon Quest before that was through the manga The Adventure of Dai which I love to death, so learning that a new anime adaptation and a GAME are in development was unbelievable news!

    But back to DQ XI. On one hand, there's so much to love:

    • Gorgeous art style, and a flawless Switch port. Enemy design in particular is a delight, most of which I recognize from the manga, which makes me think every DQ game has the same enemies?
    • Overall an extremely polished game, very clean UI, quality-of-life features.
    • A very generous wealth of content, particularly the Switch version with the 2D mode and extra scenarios.
    • The Fun-Size Forge is the one original feature in the game and it was entertaining from beginning to end.
    • A cool cast, the party members are all useful in their own way, have fun personalities and solid voice acting.

    But, there's also so much that made the experience bland for me:

    • Most generic combat system ever. Nothing fundamentally wrong with it, but I didn't have a single exciting fight in 60 hours. I'm not asking for Xenoblade but at least try to put a twist, any twist, on the formula. Octopath Traveler or Bravely Default are perfect examples of how to take a classic turn-based system and give it a lot more depth with just one or two fresh mechanics.
    • The story is also very generic, and has very few memorable moments. There's no edge, there's no dread, there's no depth. Even when supposedly tragic events happen, you don't feel the gut punch, either because they're invalidated down the line or the characters don't react realistically enough. Again, nothing wrong with a lighthearted story, but there's no way this game leaves me with any everlasting memory.
    • Awkward dialog and cutscene pacing. The delivery of almost every line is so slow, and the subtitles display so much at once, that I always ended up reading the entire thing and then having to wait 5 to 10 seconds for the voiceover to be done. Which means I ended up skipping audio more and more as I progressed through the game.
    • Worse, when characters are interrupted mid-sentence by someone else talking or an event happening, the editing is so clunky that they'll stop talking, have 2-3 seconds of silence, and then be actually interrupted by whatever comes next. It sounds like a minor gripe but it made pretty much every funny or dramatic moment fall flat.

    Overall, it's a charming, perfectly executed game, but also absolutely forgettable. I could only recommend it as either someone's very first JRPG, or a hardcore fan who has to play them all. If I had to rank it in my own pantheon of favorite JRPGs, I doubt it would crack the top 20.

  • @axel said:

    Most generic combat system ever. Nothing fundamentally wrong with it, but I didn't have a single exciting fight in 60 hours.

    Play Draconic Quest. Every fight becomes a threat. If you want to get really random, turn Shypox on too.

  • 95 hours later and I've finally finished this game. I don't think I've ever played a game as blatantly nostalgic as this one. From the music cues, set-pieces, short vignettes, and character designs, so much of this game was an homage to the series' history (ESPECIALLY DQ1-5, plus a little 8). That's not necessarily a bad thing - I'm a sucker for that kind of stuff - but I do think some people might take issue with it. I'm still letting things settle, but I'm a little more mixed than I was expecting to be.

    Mechanically, this is easily the best entry in the series with probably my favorite battle and character building systems. I do think the crafting system (introduced in DQ8) hurts the central progression loop since it almost negates the role of shops in town, but I also have literally never liked a crafting system in a game before so I recognize I'm viewing that with some baggage. Really, my main issue with this game comes down to the "not really a post-game" post-game. Spoilers below:

    I think the whole justification for the final chapter of this game is narratively bankrupt, undoing essentially all of the character development that has happened, which is pretty dang egregious given how strong the cast had been up until that point. Off the top of my head, you negate all of Serena, Veronica, Sylvando, and Hendrik's growth, as all of their arcs were entirely dependent on the sequences in chapter 2. This could have been somewhat remedied with a short campfire scene after the party re-unites where you essentially just tell everyone what happened, but I also think it's entirely unnecessary. The original "ending" is lovely and bittersweet, allowing the characters to save the world having grown from the sacrifices they made along the way. The only possible justification for the post-game is to tie up the "hero's star" storyline that was thrown in randomly near the end of chapter 2. However, in a game that is already as bloated as this one can be at times, I truly believe that the game would have been better served by just cutting those arcs and characters, or at least incorporating them more naturally into the original story arc. In the end, it really felt like the main reason the creators went down this route was to shoehorn in a big old nostalgia-baiting prequel storyline for the original trilogy of games (albeit after fighting a boss clearly inspired by the design of the final boss from DQIV). I know I'm in the minority on this, but that final reveal fell completely flat for me, and is just not why I play these games.

    Despite my gripes, I still really enjoyed this game and couldn't stop playing it. 5 is still easily the best in the series for me, but I think this is at least better than 8 for me. Can't wait for XII in 2025!