Dragon Quest XI - PC and PS4 on September 4

Dragon Quest is a strange series for me. I played VI through an emulator using a fan translation back in 2001 or 2002. It was OK, but I could never get fully into it. I’ve heard often that VI was considered only OK by many fans and I think that explains some of it.

I am currently playing Dragon Quest V on my cell phone. It’s fantastic and a great mobile game. There are some issues since it is a cleaned up version of a 1992 game, but it is a lot of fun.

Anyway, Dragon Quest XI is almost here and is the first one released for PC to my knowledge. It scored the somewhat elusive 40/40 from Famitsu in Japan and it is a return to the single-player game that the series is best known for. Dragon Quest X was a MMORPG and IX, I think, had a lot of online content.

I don’t have a PC that can run it, but I’m wondering if anyone is looking forward to it. It really is the biggest Dragon Quest release in the US since Dragon Quest VIII, another one I never go to.

Note: It is coming to the Nintendo Switch, too, but has no release date. Xbox? No idea. I see no release info for that at all.

Here is a small gameplay trailer.

Slight hijack, but as a coincidence I’ve been playing Dragon Quest I on my phone. It’s a port of a very old and somewhat primitive game (it was the first in the series and the NES release Dragon Warrior was, I believe, the first real RPG for that system) but it was only a few bucks so I took a chance on it. It looks nice, with some updated but still nostalgic graphics (it’s about on par with the SNES/Super Famicom). And it has some improvements over the original, such as being able to quick-save everywhere. I’m digging it so far.

Sadly my favorite entry, Dragon Quest IV, hasn’t been updated in a couple years for the iOS and reportedly doesn’t work well on a new phone/OS (it will run in a tiny window on a high-res screen) so it’s not worth buying yet. I might check out V though.

I’ll look into DQ XI for the PC. I’m a fan of the series so I’m intrigued.

I have to say, V is super impressive. I wish I’d picked it back when I tried on on my old SNES emulator days.

DQV manages to tell a story of the main character as he ages from being a child, going through his teen years, getting married, and growing up and having kids. It’s really cool to see them try that.

And I find that DQV has a great monster recruitment aspect that I don’t remember being as good in VI. And DQVI used classes, but the requirements to achieve anything in those classes were way to high. Even Final Fantasy V made the classes more accessible.

I bought the game on release day, and I’m about 25 hours into it. So far, the game is very impressive: very bright and colorful, with an improved crafting and skill leveling system. The music is magnificent. Dragon Quest VIII was, in my opinion, one of the best console turn based JRPGs ever, and so far I think Dragon Quest XI will be even better.

I don’t know what else to say, since I don’t want to spoil the plot for anyone else. But have any of you played the game? If so, what do you think of it?

I have not played it, but am wondering: Is grinding required?

I don’t mind a bit of grinding, but I am about to give up on DQ5 because it appears to assume that you spend at least an hour or so between sections of the game leveling up everyone. It’s becoming boring.

As I said before, I’m only about 25 hours into the game, so I’m maybe one-third of the way through it. But so far, I can say that grinding is definitely not necessary for either experience or gold.

My primary basis of comparison is the excellent Dragon Quest VIII, the last major console based non-MMORPG in the series. In DQVIII, I felt that grinding was necessary a lot of the time. The alchemy pot took a lot of time and experimenting to get the best weapons/equipment. This is not the case in DQXI. For starters, the alchemy pot has been replaced by the fun sized forge, which doesn’t take a long delay before giving you your weapon. I found that I usually had plenty of gold to buy equipment and ingredients. In DQVIII, there was a lot of experimenting in crafting new equipment (unless you looked recipes up online). In DQXI, you can only craft new equipment when you learn a recipe for that piece of equipment.

I find the game to be relatively easy (so far, I expect this will change eventually). A major change between DQXI and the previous games in the series is that random enemy encounters are gone! Now, when traversing the overworld and dungeons, you can see the enemies populated in the environment. You can choose to attack them or avoid them. If, for example, you are low on health, you can avoid the enemies and return to a campsite or inn to rest up.

I love the game–it will be a contender for Game of the Year. I hope other people will weigh in with their opinions.