Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age - An heroic adventure
Dragon Quest XI shows how a traditional linear role-playing game with turn-based strategy can still be relevant in today's gaming space
Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age puts you in the shoes of a teenage boy, who is special and whose destiny will change the very world around him. However, you aren't allowed to customise your character in any way — you can choose a name though.
As mentioned, this character is pegged as the saviour — a status that is revealed rather early in the game, true to its Japanese Role Playing Game (JRPG) roots. But instead of taking the obvious approach, the game throws in a twist right at the beginning, which makes the story unfold in a more interesting way.
The hero character is actually too plain to talk about, but the void is filled with an array of interesting characters you meet along the way. Though the regional British accents threw us off balance for a short time, we quickly got used to it. That said, the voice acting is good and there is a lot of it, but for those searching for Japanese audio, don't bother as there isn't any included in the game.
Dragon Quest follows a very linear progression, where you move on from one part of the story to the next — the game is paced very well and plays out beautifully. There are also a bunch of side missions to extend the gameplay. The most interesting bit of the game is the crafting; you can make some cool gear by crafting them on your own. That said, the menu system we felt was a mess — it feels a bit dated and they could have easily enhanced it, to make it more comfortable to use, but the developers chose to go with a more traditional approach.
The game looks visually spectacular, the environment and cell shaded anime style characters and monsters are just beautiful. Don't worry if you think the characters look vaguely familiar, as Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama has designed them. His art-style has bought in a fun look to the otherwise run-of-the-mill monsters and characters.
The combat in the game is a lot of fun too, and because there is no monster ambush, Dragon Quest XI lets you avoid conflict by indicating when you are too close to one. The monsters range from super easy to deadly and the turn-based combat contributes to nail biting results. We did also find the control system to be a bit odd, prompting us to bring up the key map to figure out what button does what. It's a small hurdle in an otherwise great game.
Dragon Quest XI is vast, you will probably spend close to 80 hours just completing the main missions. Jump on all the side missions and that number could easily cross 100 hours. Needless to say, there is a lot of game crammed into the title. If you can get over the weird controls system and menu within menus, the game is a treat to play.
Echoes of an Elusive Age
Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
Price: Rs 2,999
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