Debuting in the Xbox family, DRAGON QUEST XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition comes to the green side of the force to show why it is one of the most relevant Japanese RPG franchises. Is it the Square Enix game that's as good as its Final Fantasy sibling? That's what you find in our review!
the hero's fate
Before we begin our story, we need to talk about the legend of the Luminary, the one chosen by Yggdrasil, the world tree, to be its champion in times of great calamity. When a Luminary is born in Erdrea's world, its leaf blooms in a burst of light that lights up the sky. The child also receives the Mark of Yggdrasil, from which divine power can be summoned to aid him in accordance with Yggdrasil's will.
Em Dragon Quest XI, only two people were born with the title of Luminary, one of them is our protagonist. However, even before discovering his destiny, he is attacked by the forces of evil even as a newborn. Surviving through a miracle, the hero ends up being taken in by a small village, where he grows up to be a healthy young man. It is during his coming of age ceremony that the protagonist discovers that he is the reincarnation of a legendary hero. So he sets out on a journey to fulfill his destiny and stop Edrea's world from falling under the power of the forces of evil.
Thus, an epic journey begins. A journey where our hero will make great friendships, face powerful adversaries, and discover his past. Despite using the well-worn formula of the battle of good versus evil, the player will realize its depth and complexity over at least 70 hours of gameplay. And don't be surprised by the numbers, Dragon Quest XI offers content with such quality that you won't even see this time go by. It's good to prepare, as this will be one of those memorable stories, full of twists and conspiracies.
Dragon Quest is a Japanese series, but its inspirations have always been based on Western mythologies, with a certain abundance of Norse mythology. Starting with Yggdrasil itself, the world tree. On our way to it, we witnessed several popular elements such as vikings, dragons, mermaids, and many others.
even though Dragon Quest XI have a vast world to explore, this one is not open. It is divided into several smaller sections, which end up helping to define the characteristics of each area. Bears and ice creatures you can only find in the icy region of Sniflheim. Scorpions in the Gallopolis Desert. Frogs in rainforest areas near Yggdrasil. So on.
The same goes for cities and their population. Each city the player visits has buildings, items, and a unique people. The city of Hotto, for example, is located in a volcanic region. There, you will find baths in hot springs, weapons and equipment that recall Japanese culture. The city of Arboria looks straight out of Greek mythology, with its people wearing robes and monuments reminiscent of Athena's Acropolis.
This shows the care taken in making each place the player visits a unique experience. Amazing places, full of stories, folklore and characters to interact with.
following the tradition
Like Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest is one of the oldest and most influential franchises in the gaming world. However, while Final Fantasy has sought to reinvent itself with each edition in recent years, Dragon Quest comes down to tradition, maintaining its main features and making subtle changes with each new edition.
The game is still one of the few that uses turn-based combat in RPGs. The design of characters and scenarios are still under the tutelage of Akira Toriyama, creator of Dragon Ball, with a model similar to what was presented on the Playstation 2. Of course, with much more defined graphics and greater richness of detail. As soon as I started playing, the first impression I had is that I was playing the last Dragon Quest I had the opportunity, Dragon Quest VIII. So much so that the definitive version offers a skin for our hero based on the protagonist of VIII.
At a time when most games follow the same formula to attract players, with huge maps to explore, endless sidequests to complete, thousands of collectibles to find. All accompanied by a description or a giant sign pointing to what to do or where to go, Dragon Quest XI stands out precisely for maintaining its ancient tradition.
Yes, we still have a map showing where the stores are. Side quests are also highlighted, but with a brief description where you must come to a conclusion of what must be done. But attention, each object or character in the game has an important role, there is just no arrow indicating it. That's why talking to each NPC is important. You can get an exclusive mission. An item cheaper than sold at the merchant, or even a very rare armor where you can't even find it exploring on the map or in stores.
It's something that holds you back. Exploring. interacting. If you can't get an item, at least learn more about the lore of the place and people where you find yourself. Even tips to facilitate a battle against a challenging boss. You feel that nothing is there just to "fill sausage". An exquisite work done by the developers.
the definitive edition
Since 2004, I haven't been able to follow many games from the beloved franchise Dragon Quest, unfortunately, because until then no game had been released for Xbox. So, I researched to find out the news that Dragon Quest XI brought to the series, and what the definitive edition brought to the game itself.
Starting with the main, the game's battles. As mentioned before, it follows turn-based battles, but new elements have been added to spice up the combat. There are the already classic commands like attack, defend, use item, magic or skill. But an interesting addition is the Pep Powers. Basically, when your character gets beaten up like hell he gets pissed off and unleashes a hidden power. Their stats go up even higher, and they can use devastating special attacks. Also, there are cases where characters can combine their attacks when they enter Pep mode. Our hero can match all the characters, while the others can match according to the link between them. Like the mage twins Veronica and Serena. Rab and his pupil Jade, and so on.
You can also choose the combat style your character will be with the character builder. When a character levels up, his stats go up and he gains skill points. These skill points are used to unlock new spells and skills in the character builder. So you can make the same character an expert in the use of daggers and boomerangs. Or focus on a single strand, such as support skills. With this, you can assemble the most diverse strategies with each character in your group.
Now speaking of the additions of the definitive edition, there are several very cool ones. You can forge equipment and weapons with Fun-Size Forge almost anywhere with an interesting minigame of hammering the right amount of times. Depending on your performance, you can either get a perfect item with various stat bonuses, or fail and create a half-assed item.
The option to switch to 2D mode was a nice treat for the nostalgic. Note that switching to 2D mode changes the dynamics of the game itself. While in 3D you can decide when to face an enemy by approaching him, in 2D encounters are random, like most classic RPGs.
The game also has Photo Mode. New clothes for your characters. The option to marry or partner with a character in your party. Choose orchestrated or electronic audio. Speaking of orchestrated audio, this has always been one of the great highlights of the franchise, responsible for presenting incredible melodies. Dubbing in English (unprecedented) and Japanese. And many others.
The definitive edition actually improves the game in many ways. It's worth even a new move for those who have done it before.
the ideal group
Last but not least, we have our hero's companions on the incredible journey that is Dragon Quest XI S. Each with very different styles and personalities. Still, they share a common sense of loyalty and friendship between them. One willing to sacrifice himself for the other.
The game even has an option for dialogue between party members while you are exploring or camping. So you end up getting to know more and more the members who accompany you on the adventure. And believe me, after more than 100 hours of play, it's easy to bond with each of them. You suffer with them in the moment of pain, and you are happy with them in the moments of joy. As a true RPG should be.
In the definitive edition, each of the group members received extra missions to explore a little more of their history. The fun is guaranteed with several comical moments, like old Rad and his perversions for erotic magazines. Everything makes the game experience even more memorable.
DRAGON QUEST XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition shows that the classics still carry their value. Keeping many of its traditions, the game stands out in the midst of a time when many games deliver a similar experience. It offers beautiful graphics with a characteristic design and delivers one of the best stories, deep and full of twists. I couldn't play anything else Dragon Quest XI during my trial period, such a passion I acquired for the game.
Unfortunately, the game has a great aggravating factor for our country's public. There are no Portuguese subtitles or any prediction of a future addition.
It is worth remembering that the game will be available in the Xbox Game Pass catalog on December 04th!
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