Saturday, September 23, 2017

Dragon Quest XI : Sugisarishi toki wo motome PS4 review

I love old school turn based RPGs. Its such a niche genre nowadays because Japanese companies have mostly gone into making gatcha smartphone games that you mostly get low budget ones that rely on gimmicks to sell and when somone makes a good one with a proper story like I am Setsuna, it doesn't sell.

Now, I've never been a Dragon Quest fan. The only one I played was DQ8 on the 3DS and I really tried to like it and finish I but it bored the hell out of me. I was thinking of skipping DQ11 but in the end, I thought its the only big budget old school RPG I can play so I had no choice but to support the genre.


GRAPHICS - JRPGS used to be in the forefront of graphics and looking at pretty pictures and movies was part of the charm and FF11 is a sight to behold. There were some places where I would just stand still and pan the camera around enjoying the beautiful world before my eyes thinking if only SquareEnix would  lend the engine and give GameArts to do a Grandia remake on this.

OLD SCHOOL TURN BASED - DQ11 has the 'modern' auto attack system but you can switch to old school manual.

NOT EVERYONE IS A FIGHTER-HEALER-MAGE - Every character has their own tech tree upgrade path similar to the FF10 board system and bonus points for being able to reset your points. I love that every character is different with their own strengths and weaknesses because their own personal character class is what helps give each character their own personality.

REALLY FUN AND LIKABLE CHARACTERS - While the characters in DQ8 bored me, I really liked the personalities of the characters in DQ11 from the thief Kamyu to the twin sisters.

RIDING MONSTERS IS GOOD - I thought the ability to ride monsters would be too gimmicky but it brought a nice puzzle solving element to exploring levels to the flambouyant Sylvia.

THE BITTERSWEET STORIES OF THE FIRST ENDING - The emotional punch of the events leading up to the first ending was great.


YOU CAN NEVER GET LOST IN THE GAME - There is always a summary of the story when loading your save game, the options screen tells you what your next objective is and places you have to go are marked on your world map.



PACING, PADDING AND REPETITIVENESS - It took me 150 hours to finish the game. The story is divided into three parts, similar to Nier Automata and for each part you need to travel through the whole world again. Problem is a lot of it is unnecessary like the stupid trials before the true final boss.
 MUSIC - So generic and boring. Every world should have had their own individual music instead of using a generic score everytime you visit a castle or has something to do with royalty etc. JRPGs are about visiting exotic and memorable locations but the generic music makes everything blend in instead of giving each location a memorable tune. The less said about the boring running around the field music the better.

NO VOICE ACTING - Voice acting would have made the game 30% better.

THE FIRST ENDING WAS BETTER - The first ending after going through the world the second time and getting the first credits is so much better than the real ending. It was bittersweet, had pacing and I cared about revenge. The real ending is way too happy for me and just destroys the emotions of the first ending. Imagine if the real ending of Nier Automata was about sunflowers and rainbows. Ugh.


Dragon Quest XI could have joined the pantheon of all time great JRPGS like Grandia, FF6 and FF9 but the third part of the game ruined it for me. Great effort and must play for old school JRPG fans and I can't fault the effort. Fun game with faults.


dgundam said...

hi mike. been a while since i commented, how are you doing?
hmmm only dq i played was 8 as well. i have never finished one since i get bored too. i havent finished a ff since 10. have all of em but just cant seem to get them off my to do list. also games in general i dont seem to find the time plus because my backlog is so huge, i tend to get games later at a cheaper price, hence why im kinda to blame too for not getting i am setsuna lol. trying to finish yakuza 5 currently. have you heard of divinity original sin 2? been playing it, and the gameplay is good
you should try it out.

Akiramike said...

@dgundam My backlog is huge as well. I've got Radiant Historia, Alliance Alive, God Wars, Shiin, Zero Escape Collection and lots of retrogames on my list. I think Divinity Original Sin 2 is the one that's like Baldur's Gate, right?

Hope you are enjoying Yakuza 5. I didn't like the baseball guy's story but I liked everything else.

dgundam said...

hi mike, ya its like baldurs gate/neverwinter night. multiple ways to solve a problem. you can choose to kill anyone in game. 4 characters that you can choose to control separately or together. or u can go solo. fun intuitive battle systems. u can mix and match different spells and multiple classes. fully voiced. much better than the first divinity original sin plus u dont need to have played the first one.

been enjoying yakuza 5, but youre right baseball guy has been boring.
oh u should try radiant historia. pretty good like chrono trigger.

on another note, i tried introducing jdramas to my gf, with the awesomeness of KDO. suffice it to say that shes just so so with it. now im struggling to think of what jdrama would be good to get her hooked into watching more dramas, and if KDO was too much uniqueness for her lol. any suggestions?