Dragon Quest XI

So, 92 hours into this game, I rolled credits. There is a post-game – and it’s apparently 15+ hours depending just how crazy you wanna get – but I’ll wait on that, even though it has a story.

This is a fantastic game and you should play it.

It’s a modern 3D JRPG that, nonetheless, retains its classic roots. It uses the 3D graphics to give a very anime feel, but the gameplay is solidly based on old school, turn-based fights. It has little quality of life improvements that help – there are ways to automate battles if you need to, there is a skill point system to let you build your characters, and there are a lot of cool abilities and spells to learn. And, if you want (on Switch, at least), you can swap to 2D graphics and play an expansive and new game in 2D (and without some of the jankiness of those RPGs that are trying way too hard to just be Chrono Trigger/FF6/etc again).

The story is excellent. Yes, you have your silent protagonist, and your characters that basically have character classes. But, they use some really top notch voice acting to make characters come to life, with a plot that’s fun but not super convoluted. The guy who did the designs for Chrono Trigger did the art here, and it shows. It’s hard to not love the characters, including some well thought out NPCs; there’s local NPCs I thoroughly enjoyed, and a couple of villains really stood out.

If you got a Switch, pick this thing up. You’ll probably like it.

i’ve been on the fence about this for ages, on the one hand I’ve heard good things, on the other hand it’s yet another massive game in my backlog.

…also it’s a bit weird to refer to Akira Toriyama as “the same guy who did the designs for Chrono Trigger.” Like, I feel like this particular band of nerds is at least tangentially familiar with one of the most successful manga artists of all time, and I’m willing to bet most of us at least watched Dragonball Z, even if we’re going to pretend we were too cool for it.

Pff, fair. It does really, really invoke DBZ more than once. Like.

You can tell Toriyama did it when they get to the martial arts scenes.

But, the monster design is very Chrono Trigger?

Ok, you convinced me to give the Demo a try at least.

…the Switch actually has lots of demos, it’s weird, but it is nice. Some games I am immediately amazed by at launch, and some I’m just like “uh…no.”

I know there are some games that are famous for only becoming good once you’re 15-20 hours in, but I don’t know if I have the patience for that these days.

DQ XI is, I think, a game you’ll know if you like in the first 5 hours.

And I hear you. I’ve done the 90 hour plus ones, but… if it makes sense, I know by about 10 hours if I wanna give a game the 2-3 months it’ll take to do that?

I’m a huge fan of Dragon Quest Builders I and II. Its basically polished Minecraft with a Dragon quest plot. Played a little XI but it didn’t grab me right away, but it could be I wasn’t in the right frame on mind to play.

I’m not opposed to this… I think I’d like an old school JRPG that artistically evokes the greatest JRPG of all time.
Two things:

  1. I’ve never played a DQ game before. Are they isolated from each other story-wise the same way Final Fantasy games are?
  2. It’s worth pointing out that a queue is forming: I’m currently committed to setting up my Wii and working through a full playthrough of FF4: The After Years while in quarantine. (I mean I paid for the Wii version all those years ago, and besides it has the decent-looking sprites as opposed to the new-style Squeenix mobile garbage sprites)

DQ is weird. DQXI is with at most some references/in-jokes. There are side quests where you go visit (in 2D SNES style graphics) the previous games’ worlds.

Otherwise: DQ1 through 3 are one loosely connected trilogy, 4 through 6 are a separate loosely connected trilogy, and 7 through 11 are standalone.

All feature art by Toriyama and similar battle systems. They’re some fantastic stuff and they’ve not changed the formula dramatically the way that FF has.

I’d try the demo. I think it let’s you continue that save if you’re interested in getting the rest.

And yeah, Mike. I’ve had times where a game wasn’t what I wanted right then.