I’ve been chomping at the bit to play western release of Dragon Quest XI for quite some time now. So much so that, in fact, it was the first game I’ve pre-ordered in many years. So far, I have put about four hours into the game, and it is every bit a delight as I hoped it would be. While this impression article will be very brief, rest assured, you can expect a detailed, full review of the game in the future. If the speculated length of the game is accurate, however, you may be waiting for quite a while. With that out of the way, let me give a brief overview of some of the highlights (as well as my concerns) so far.
Dragon Quest XI is absolutely stunning and manages that feat via a non-cutting edge approach. By that, I mean that the textures and graphical effects aren’t necessarily top notch, but they manage to entice by really honing in on their clearly-defined artistic style. The world is beautiful and vibrant, and the high definition inhabitants within sporting the iconic Toriyama design is just a treat for the eyes. It’s hard to dislike anything here, and that is coming from someone that is critical on the overused anime look in JRPGs. But really, who doesn’t like a Dragon Ball-esque aesthetic?
This was a point of contention amongst many pre-launch reviewers, but I don’t see an issue with the music whatsoever. While the soundtrack is void of orchestral tones, that doesn’t make it an earsore by any means. You will love what they’ve done here if you’re no stranger to Dragon Quest music in general. Again, I see no issues with what they have presented here.
While the English voice acting is quality, it isn’t going to set the world on fire either. I have no real complaints about them so far, though the occasional voice effects after a combat are pretty annoying. Like, how many times do I need to hear “another one bites the dust” upon victory? This style of voice effects are prevalent in most JRPGs, but I’ve never been a fan of them. Overall, the sound effects are great though because they, much like the music, are retrieved from your staple Dragon Quest pool, and that is not a bad thing.
It is shaping up to be very interesting indeed. From my experience so far, you’re a hero reincarnate that quickly becomes accused of desiring death and destruction rather than your typical heroic, “do-good” traits. The reasoning behind this harsh labeling is unknown to me at this time, however. Obviously, I’m very early into the game but the groundwork is laid for an engaging experience in regards to storytelling.
The combat in Dragon Quest XI is a solid, albeit fairly traditional affair. I did just unlock the Pep system, however, that is essentially a Super Saiyan meets multi-character combo skillset that gives me hopes of additional depth and strategy in the future. Up to this point, the overall difficulty of the game is pretty low, but that’s coming from four hours in to a 100 hour game. I’d imagine that this will become a non-issue as the game progresses on. If not, there are some tweaks that can be made at any time for added difficulty, which I will definitely partake in should the challenge continue to be non-existent.
Like I said, I’m still very early on in Dragon Quest XI. I’m looking forward to sharing my entire experience with you once I have completed the game in its entirety.