Dragon Quest’s Grand Return

For the past few days I’ve found myself completely engrossed in Dragon Quest 11. Having not played a traditional Dragon Quest to entirety since Dragon Quest 8 on the Playstation 2, with only bits of Dragon Quest 9 on the Nintendo DS and as someone who has had a strong nostalgia for the Dragon Quest series as a whole beginning with Dragon Quest VII on the original Playstation, then known as Dragon Warrior. This was a title I have been looking forward to for years now. As with the other Dragon Quests this is another in the series with that recognizable Akira Toriyama art style, with sound tracks in field and in towns that feels familiar to past entries and gave a nice feeling towards memories of playing Dragon Quest 8 for hours on end over a decade ago.

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After putting in around 50 hours so far, this is definitely a game I want to see through to the end just to see where everything in the story will lead. From the opening you’re greeted with a small cut scene that results in some chaos after which ends with a baby floating down a river who is then picked up by an old man fishing. Beginning the game with our hero and his childhood friend Gemma who venture to visit the spirit of the landmark to offer prayers where they are attacked by a bird. With the hero saving Gemma after the mark on his hand starts to glow shooting lightning. Upon returning after their prayer session the hero is told he is the reincarnation of the Luminary and is to go see the King of Heliodor who confirms he is the Luminary however the mark of the Luminary means the coming of the Harbinger of the Calamity and our hero is thrown into prison. At this point you meet Erik who is also held captive across from the main protagonist’s prison cell who then tells you he had been there all along waiting for you and helps you escape through a hole he had been digging in his prison cell. After escaping at this point you’re greeted to the title, Dragon Quest 11. Then beginning the journey full of memorable quests and characters. Over the course of the game I’ve found myself going through different tasks including fighting in an arena with the groups initial goal being to get something called the Rainbough, to helping a mermaid find a long-lost love who promised to marry her along with a fight against a giant Octopus.

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Overall it’s been the way of which everything is strung out to where the game keeps staying interesting in my mind. With enjoyable fights and a traditional jrpg combat, that of which you can change starting with a rotating camera mode where you can run around a small circle or changing an option in the menu’s to play with a more classic style. Adding to things you also are given skill points after each level that you can then use to build your characters in different ways, specializing in swords, claws, lances and a few other ways. While it’s not overly complex there is enough variety to where you can have fun playing around with certain characters and seeing what sort of skills work best for your own personal play style. The game also includes a semi open world split by zones with an additional map once you unlock boating. There are sub quests on top of the main story missions which also can bring you out into the world either on fetch quests or using certain pep power combos, which are basically sort of like a mini berserk mode that will give your characters enhanced stats as well as the ability to unleash powerful skills or further boost stats even further. There is also a crafting system with a mini game included in the game, though it seems to be very simplistic it can give an incentive to craft armor or even rework current equipment to boost their stats.

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In closing, Dragon Quest 11 is a game that I can safely say is probably the best jrpg this generation. I still have a great fondness for the classic turn based combat so this one hits me on every level of nostalgia. Between this and Octopath Traveler I’d say it’s been a great year for Square Enix in the RPG department and I sincerely hope it continues because Dragon Quest 11 is a fantastic title and more RPG’s in this world will never be a bad thing.

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