My initial thoughts on Dragon Quest XI can be summed up very quickly, why have I never played one of these games before?
To preface my thoughts, I have NEVER been a fan of turn based combat or traditional jrpg’s in general. The only turn based games I can stomach without growing extremely tired of them are the main series Pokemon games. I think it has something to do with just liking the look and idea of Pokemon as a whole and not the gameplay. If the main series Pokemon games had battles akin to a fighting game instead of turn based combat, I would probably like the games even more. But enough about Pokemon and on to what the articles about, Dragon Quest XI.
It still blows my mind that there has been 11 entries in this series and I have never played any entry. My main platform of choice nowadays is PC, but I generally always have a Nintendo and Sony console, so there was never a point in time where I didn’t have access to the games. I guess I just thought they weren’t for me, but something stood out to me when I was browsing Steam and stumbled upon the listing. My first thought was, “This is on PC?” I had never seen a Dragon Quest game on Steam, although I will admit I hadn’t really gone out of my way to search to see if there was one. While I was perusing through the images they provided on the store page, I landed on this image.
Now it sounds silly, but one of my favorite things in open world/rpg games is walking around in towns/cities. Not doing quests, not talking to NPC’s, not buying new gear, simply just walking around. I love seeing what houses/buildings the developers let you enter, what secrets they might have hid, how the people react and if they have daily routines or are just essentially nailed to the ground, I just love walking around. So when I saw that image I was 90% sold. I later watched this fantastic review from Kotaku that finally added that last 10%, and I was off to the races.
I only got to play around two hours which to my surprise landed me in that exact same city in the picture, and it was fantastic every step of the way. The combat isn’t as dreary as I was imagining it to be, although you can imagine in such a long game I was only fighting the low level fodder they throw at you in the beginning that perish in two hits. The visuals are stunning, it doesn’t seem like there are random encounters which is a major plus in my book, and the world is so full of life and Akira Toriyama’s character designs fit perfectly with the design of the world. The only complaint that I have so far is that the music is a little bland for such a grand world. Whenever I have some free time I’ll definitely keep updating this, and hopefully there’s nothing but good in store.