I Keep Buying Dragon Quest XI
I own two digital copies of Dragon Quest XI. One for the PS4, and one for the PC.
After the recent PS4 firmware incident, my only real option for playing it was that PC copy. At least, until a few weeks from now.
Yesterday, Square Enix dropped a massive demo of the upcoming Switch version of Dragon Quest XI. It features overhauled visuals, bonus sequences created in the style of retro Dragon Quest games, some extra content that hasn’t been released yet outside of Japan, and brand new orchestrated music.
I’ve downloaded the demo and I’m hoping I’ll actually start playing it later today. That gets to the heart of the problem here:
I’ve never played more than the first hour or so of the game, for baffling reasons.
I know that the game is great. It’s a sprawling open world adventure with all the game mechanics and trappings of Dragon Quest. Fun turn-based combat. Interesting colorful places to go. Characters with real charm, personality, and wit. And slimes. So many slimes!
I came to Dragon Quest/Dragon Warrior late. I rented the first game a few times for the NES as a kid, but it never really connected with me. Unfortunately, I missed out on the infamous Nintendo Power promo where they gave away copies of the game. Perhaps if I’d owned it and had the dopamine rush of getting it for free, I might have tried harder to enjoy it.
That first game was clunky, and amazingly, the US release was less janky than its Japanese predecessor. You had to use menus to do a lot of things other games just took care of through action, and the game was entirely built around a casual grinding mechanic.
In my early teenage years suddenly the series clicked with me. I devoured the GameBoy re-releases of the classics, and finally understood the appeal of its cheery earnest adventure.
Every Dragon Quest is a similar high quality fantasy epic, with gameplay that anyone can pick up and master. Spend enough time on a Dragon Quest game, and you will get to the end. That’s appealing in a world where Dark Souls is the new bastion of RPG mechanics.
Someday I will play Dragon Quest XI. Maybe I’ll go really crazy and play all three versions.
That’s right, I already have the Switch version pre-ordered.