Dragon Quest. When a new entry in the franchise comes out in Japan, it's practically a national holiday. After a few recent entries where the Dragon Quest series took a bit of a departure with a Minecraft-style game, and a couple of musou "Heroes" games, Dragon Quest XI comes out as a return to form, but not without adopting some of the modern conveniences that those other games introduced.Story:
You play as the silent protagonist, often referred to as the Luminary. On the day of your birth, demons attacked your kingdom. You escaped as a babe in a basket, carried by a young woman, and are set adrift in a river until you are found and raised by a kindly old man and his family. Fast forward to your town's adulthood ceremony, where you and a young woman named Gemma are asked to climb to the top of a mountain and return to town as fully-recognized adults. When you return, your adopted mother explains that it's best to tell you now, but you are the fabled reincarnation of the Luminary, a legendary hero whose destiny it is to fight the forces of Darkness and maintain the peace and prosperity the world has known! It is time to leave your hometown and begin your adventure!
A powerful sorceress, and twin sister to Serena, despite her diminutive size. She's a loudmouth, brash, and bossy. She's not as precocious as Maribel from DQVII, but she has her moments. She's your best magical damage dealer with a wide range of spells and abilities to back it all up.Erik:
A cynical rogue, a bit of a realist, and has something about his past that he doesn't reveal to the party. He's your quintessential thief, and in a game where crafting reagents often are hard to find, or come at a premium, his skills will help, especially if you're doing the No Shopping Draconian Quest.Serena:
Twin sister to Veronica, and a powerful healer. She's quiet, and a bit slow on the uptake. She also seems to have the least amount of face time or things to say throughout the game, with Veronica often speaking for the both of them. If you ever need support or healing, she's your go-to.Jade:
Fighter/monk extraordinaire. Think Alena from DQIV, without the perky Russian accent. She's a little bit cold and serious, but she has good intentions in everything she does. She also has Jessica-level charm and allure, so you can compliment her claw or spear fighting with a few abilities that will daze the enemies.Rab:
A unique mix of fighter and caster, able to use claws and heavy wands, so you can build him as a powerful physical fighter or a heavy magic caster. He's also an equally accomplished healer, and gets a 100% revive skill as an ability as opposed to a spell. He does a little bit of everything, and is great at it.Sylvando:
Entertainer/dancer and all-around good guy. He's characterized as flamboyant, but has moments of being a badass so it doesn't come off as a total joke. He has the largest selection of skills to put points into, being a full support unit with Hustle Dance and Oomphle, but also capable of good damage with access to knives, swords and whips.
Hendrik: A late game character, available only after the game's first act. Up until the point he joins, he's a thorn in your side, and one of your two main villains dogging you, but has a change of heart after the events that lead to him seeing the Luminary as the true hero he is. He's a chivalrous knight through and through, with skills like Forbearance to protect the party, and access to powerful sword, greatsword and axe skills.
Dragon Quest is traditional, but it's less-so than their earlier franchise entries. It's still turn based, however, you no longer select commands for all fighters on the party and then let the combat round unfold. There's a bit of a hidden ATB system in the background. Generally speaking, a full round of your four fighters may go in a row, and then the monster will attack, but the monster might get another attack before one or two your party members get their second turn in.
Since Dragon Quest VIII, gone are completely random combats. You see a monster on the field, and you want to fight? Hit that fool with your sword and enter combat. You want to avoid fights and just get to the next objective, you can do that, too! Be careful as this can make encountering some bosses a bit tough if you're too underleveled, but the game's difficulty curve seems very lenient, so it's actually easy to out-level general areas and boss fights aren't too troublesome. As a means of adding a challenge back into the game, the North American release got Draconian Quests.
Also since Dragon Quest VIII, you earn skill points when you level that you can allocate to various skill trees. The skills are laid out like a grid, and each section on the grid requires a certain amount of points to unlock. Some skills are locked behind requiring you to unlock 4 adjacent skills, and are usually a bridge between two skill trees so you can't just focus in one area to earn it. Unlocking skills also gives those characters new Pep Powers
. Sometimes the skill itself will be the Pep Power, but more often times, it will be a component towards a group Pep Power, like a Dual or Triple Tech from Chrono Trigger.Pep
is this game's version of DQVIII's tension system. You don't need to sit there and spam a command to build it up any more. Instead, you usually enter Pep mode every 25-30 commands, and it lasts for about 5-6 turns. Some of the game's sidequests will involve requiring you to perform a specific Pep Power to meet the objective, and it can be hard to line-up getting the two or three characters required in Pep state at the same time. You can always move a character who enters Pep into the off-party, then bring them in when the characters needed to perform the move are set up.Draconian Quests
are a way of adding more challenge to the game. You can enable all of them at once, or only deal with one or two at a time, and if the challenge is too much, you can disable them at the Church, but doing so means you can not re-enable them again for the remainder of the game. It's ironman or nothing!No Fleeing From Battle
- Fleeing is never 100% guaranteed anyway, and you can never run from a boss fight. This one isn't really added challenge, and you can enable it without detracting from your game experience much, especially since it's so easy to quick heal after every fight.No Shopping
- Just as it says! Since you can craft weapons and armor easily about 4 hours into the game, this isn't too bad either. It'll be felt in the mid-late game when you need more monster materials or can't be bothered to farm crafting materials from shiny spots when the helpful item vendor is right there
and sells a bunch of those materials in the camp.No Armour
- This actually would make a difference. You're stuck with the starting armour each character comes with, and no way to swap it out. Considering a lot of armour in the game comes with resistances, or auto-heal/MP regen perks, and you'll always take a hard hit from any monster attack, you'll be using your healing skills a lot more. You'll also remove about half of the need for the Fun-Sized Forge.Reduced Experience from Easy Fights
- What the game considers "easy" is tough to figure out. If an enemy spots you and runs away from you, you'll be getting 50% exp from that fight, and eventually that will drop down to 0%.All Enemies Are Super Strong
- Enemies deal more damage, but don't take less damage. When they hit you, you'll feel it. Not recommended if you're enabling No Armour, unless you're a masochist.Shypox
- You randomly freeze up in battle, wasting a turn. It's not the worst modifier in the game, except when it is because it happens during a boss fight, and you just got crit and are one hit from dying.
The game is huge, and one of the best entries to date. I've been playing for 50+ hours, and I think I'm only halfway through the game? A lot of fun mini-games and sidequests are in, although I don't think the gameboard is, and that one's probably my favourite, even if chance is a cruel damn mistress.
If anyone can think of anything else to add to the OP, let me know and I'll add it. I think I covered the basics, and will update when other games like Dragon Quest Builders 2 or any other DQ related thing comes up.
And love this entire series. Even the spinoffs and such always bring such a smile to my face. DQ really is so delightful.
sylvando is amazing and magnificent and i will not have you insulting him in MY HOUSE
edit: real talk tho i thought i was gonna hate sylvando and i ended up loving him. what a fun fuckin' character.
Battle.net Tag: Dibby#1582
i am playing with two draconian quest restrictions on: enemies are stronger and weaker enemies give half/no exp. which feels good. it's a very nice challenge. umm, if you're playing with stronger enemies on and you get to gallopolis though..... hoooooly shit prepare for a goddamn difficulty spike ESPECIALLY THE BOSS
anywho i like that each town has its own distinct flavor and themes and aesthetic. it makes them all very memorable.
Battle.net Tag: Dibby#1582
Yeah. That was a great moment.
There's quite a few moments with the game where... I saw the end point coming a mile away, but to the story's credit, instead of a predictable straight line they instead curved off just enough to surprise me a little.
Yes - or the delivery was just really well done!
I love Sylvando, too. I mean, he’s the most mature and intelligent member of the team (although I only just added Rab and Jade to my party, so can’t speak for them), so his arrogant OTT delivery works, IMO.
Non-essential spoiler, but spoiling just in case:
Sylvando is the best character.
Act 2 stuff, minor spoilers.
At the end of this quest line, he gets major character development, and learns a really awesome new Pep Power.
Also, yes, you get to keep that outfit, called the Mardi Garb, and you get one for Sylvando too. Wearing it on the MC makes him walk around like that the entire time. Bad news is though you can't run in it, but it's got impressive defense, and making it +3 gives it 150 Charm, which is needed for a quest later.
Yeah I've actually had to stop playing it until we get some kind of patch. The game crashing during random cutscenes in cities kills the flow of gaming dead and the micro-stutters are now really starting to get to me.
With enough of an initial bankroll, I found Slime Quest virtually plays itself, if somewhat slowly. I'm also pretty sure it's of the "skill slot" variety where your timing matters. Early on I got that initial bankroll when a gem slime showed up and I managed to time the 3 gems. I'm just not quite sure yet if autoplay is inefficient, because it doesn't seem to even try to hit big wins. I had a feeding time on auto last 5 monsters, while the next one I did manually, I got like 50. BTW feeding time is literally just throwing tokens at you.
I then tried poker for a bit. It's nice for some quick, big wins if you're lucky at the double or nothing. Then the game just dealt me a royal slime flush and handed me the 100k. So that was fun.
You want to manually do some 10 token poker rounds and double-or-nothing to your comfort level. If you win big at like 8k, or 16k, that's probably good enough. Stop, walk out/back in of the Casino to auto-save so if you end up losing big, you have a contingency plan in place. Poker also is a good way to get some accessories and crafting materials. You'll occasionally get black and red/gold chests which require winning double-or-nothing a few times, but if you lose, the chest gets held and you can try again when you win another hand. Best accessory I found on the 10-chip table was a Sorcerer's Ring, which auto-regens MP at the end of battle. If you can +3 it, it's a free 10MP return, so it helps to keep your casters MP at a steady level.
Once you've saved enough, I would just hit the regular slots. It's less chaotic than Slime Quest slots, and the payouts have bigger potential. There's no tell for which machine is hot, just pick one and hope you get a few rounds of Free Spins and Metal Time. Metal Time almost always guarantees coming out ahead.
I get to a new town and I'm able to afford everything the vendors offer, plus have enough comfortably leftover.
But I also hear it’s strongly recommended that you complete as many as possible before going to Yggdrasil.
Definitely a good idea:
Act 2 spoilers
At least when you get Sylvando again, he starts with the Mardi Garb on which is like, 55 Defense.
Gallopolis's sidequests suck butts, but so far every other sidequest has been... generally okay?
I recommend revisiting Gallopolis's later. The Golden Globe one in particular is ANNOYING because it comes down to RNG whether or not it actually spawns, AAAAND it... has an OHKO spell that it may or may not cast, which may or may not hit. But on the plus side, guaranteed drop if you kill it. Definitely come back when you're stronger.
The other one is just a standard Pep Power one, Zoom back later once you've got the required party members in Pep then activate Wild Side and have Erik kill the Spitzfire, ez.
Battle.net Tag: Dibby#1582
I didn’t find the golden globe at all difficult, but I’m also not playing on Draconian mode.