*Originally published in The Argus Friday, August 31, 2018*
Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age may be the eleventh title in the long-running Japanese role-playing game series, but newcomers have no need to worry, this is a completely standalone story – so you can jump right in.
The story begins by revealing you’re the reincarnation of a hero called the Luminary and from there you’re quickly thrown into a world of adventure, mystery and betrayal. Along the way you’ll meet a marvellous cast of memorable characters who will join you on your journey.
Once you leave your hometown behind you’ll have vast locations to explore as you make your way to the next town, you can do this either on foot or horseback. Each area has a variety of enemies that you can choose to confront, hidden chests and useful items for you to use on crafting powerful weapons and armour. You’ll come face to face with a wide range of different enemies that you’ll battle using a turn-based system, your team and your foes will both be given an opportunity to attack, until a side has no health left.
Dragon Quest XI is one of the easier JRPGs out there, but that doesn’t mean you won’t come up against some strong monsters, but if you try changing your tactics and make sure you have your best items equipped – it’ll really help. The experience and money received after the end of each battle will go towards levelling your party up, which in turn gives you skill points allowing you to acquire various powerful abilities. It’s always a wonderful feeling when an enemy that once caused you trouble, goes down incredibly easily with your new and improved skills.
The exploration, crafting and battle system merge together incredibly well and make for a fantastic experience. On top of the satisfying gameplay, Dragon Quest XI is gorgeous. From the character and monster designs, to the many cities and locations you’ll be visiting, it all adds to the overall charm of the title. There’s also an English voice cast, which is great – for the most part, and a soundtrack that you’ll have stuck in your head for hours after you put your controller down. This is a game that has been made with a lot of love.
Outside of your main adventure, you’ll find plenty of side quests, collectibles and even a casino, where you can exchange your winnings for some very useful items. With Dragon Quest XI there’s always something enjoyable to be found.
If you’re open to a game with turn-based combat and are looking for a charming adventure, then this is a title for you. It has a great amount of depth while remaining accessible to newcomers of the genre. If you’re already a fan of JRPGs then Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age is a must-own game.
Review copy provided by Square Enix