I played almost the entirety of Dragon Quest XI S demo (which is about 10 hours). It's a great RPG, gorgeous to look at (even on the Switch, i'd say docked more impressive than handheld) very classic in its gameplay which is totally okay for me (i still love turn based battles), and very easy/accessible which is not necessarily a bad thing. Note that there is a Draconian quest AKA hard difficulty but i decided to play the first run the way developers intended.
The story is full of JRPG cliches, i'd say not that memorable although it has moments, and the cast is very charming. Also they kept all sorts of jokes typical of a DQ game which is nice.
The symphonic music surprised me: Nintendo originally said they were only field and battle themes, when there are actually more, almost all tracks i've heard so far are orchestrated and they add a lot compared to the MIDI versions of the previous release. Though i'd still say past DQ games like IX have better tracks. (the composition is just more interesting)
They added QoL improvements which really smooth the experience a lot like you can forge weapons everywhere, the ring command for the horse, or the super fast battle option which is great for grinding.
Now onto the things i didn't like:
the free movement battle is so stupid (i'm sorry but that's true) since it adds nothing to the game, everyone still behave the same regardless of where you attack an enemy and the camera actually makes watching the attacks from your party members more difficult. There are other JRPGs who implemented a far better version of this, like Xenoblade games where they reward the correct positioning (for example if you attack from the side you can do this move which deals more damage than usual, or this enemy has a weaker spot on the tail so you should attack it from behind). Anyway thankfully it's not that big of a deal, since you can set the default camera locked option in classic DQ style which is better.
There are certain aspects of the game that are kept archaic because that's how they were in previous entries and i get it, some of those i don't mind like you can only save by praying in a church or in front of a statue: it could be a deal breaker for some not having a save option before a boss battle but you can get used to it if you plan things in advance (a bit like in Monster Hunter games); while others are just annoying like menus intentionally convoluted, they often have an extra step that makes everything confusing. For example you press X to view the map of your zone but if you want the entire map of Erdrea it's on an entirely different menu, on general settings, why? it could have been just a button option from the map menu. Same goes for example for the battle speed which is not a quick toggle.
Like i said the music are fine but all towns have the same 2 tracks: one for daytime and the other at night. I was a bit disappointed by it especially coming from JRPGs again like Xenoblade or Octopath Traveller which have so much variety in the tracks even for each town with different genres, different vibes for the village themes. It's a shame cause the towns in Dragon Quest XI S are so great and detailed, you'd want that attention to details reflected on the music as well, which sometimes doesn't even fit the mood.
Anyway i have the full game pre-ordered already, i couldn't resist to that Toriyama art for the retail version, so i'll probably finish it once it comes out (with possible multiple playthroughs): besides the flaws it's still a great game, and ofc i'm very curious to try out 2D mode and the new stories.