Game: Dragon Quest Treasures
Genre: Action, Adventure, RPG
System: Nintendo Switch
Developers | Publishers: Square Enix
Age Rating: US E10+ | EU 7+
Price: US $59.99 | UK £49.99 | EU € 59,99
Release Date: December 9th, 2022
No review code was used, as I purchased the game myself.
Dragon Quest Treasures is the latest spinoff in the Dragon Quest series. Released on Nintendo Switch on December 9th, and I’ve been busy playing it. So let’s see what it’s all about.
Hunt for Treasure
In Dragon Quest Treasures, you play the dual role of Erik and his sister Mia. If you have played Dragon Quest games before, you will be familiar with Erik and Mia from Dragon Quest XI; in Treasures, they are much younger.
Erik and Mia live aboard a Viking Ship but always sneak off searching for adventure and treasure. Late one night, Erik and Mia creep above deck to find that the Vikings have trapped two unusual creatures in a cage. Using Erik’s trusty slingshot, you free the creatures, unveiling them as a floating cat and pig.
The foursome leaves on a boat, and soon after, on an island, Erik and Mia find two unusual glowing weapons called Dragon Daggers. When Erik and Mia take one dagger each, the siblings are transported to the islands of Draconia.
Purrsula and Porcus
Once there, they learn from the two animals they freed, Purrsula and Porcus, who are demigods, that the islands are home to a near-infinite supply of treasure to find. In addition, there are seven stones they must find as they are of great importance to the animals they saved.
Readily eager for adventure, our duo set out into Draconia. They will amass a fortune of treasure here, enlist the help of allies, and track down the seven stones for Purrsula and Porcus, who brought them there.
So begins your journey through a familiar and not-so-familiar world of Draconian in Dragon Quest Treasures. You’ll know you are playing a Dragon Quest game; it has all the ingredients we associate with a DQ game. The music, the monsters, the humour and the characters are all familiar, but the gameplay loop and mechanics are all new and fresh.
Form Your team
Your main goal in Dragon Quest Treasures is to gather as much treasure from the islands as possible, increasing the value of your team’s horde of sparkling treasure. You can control either Erik or Mia; they are interchangeable, though they play exactly the same. You have a team of three monsters who follow you everywhere, and you all work together to traverse the different islands and fight other monsters, and, of course, search for that all-important treasure.
Along the way, you’ll meet many friends and plenty of enemies. Some rival treasure hunters show you the ropes and aim to take just about any treasure they can get their hands on, including yours.
One of the first mechanics for treasure hunting you are shown consists of allying with your team monsters to receive “magical visions” that reveal the hiding place of treasure. Next, a picture is captured of a location that you must find.
The view of each creature is somewhat different, and when you have several monsters in your team, you are given three pictures of the location but from different angles. The pictures can be in black and white or with mud stains, depending on what monsters are in your team. With the help of a compass and pictures, you can easily find lots of treasure.
One of the strengths of Dragon Quest Treasures is that it gives the sensation of an adventure that is great for you as the protagonist. There are plenty of enemies to fight and recruit to your team. In addition, you have a base from which to send monsters on their quests to find resources and large semi-open maps to explore.
The different monsters that accompany you come into play, some monsters that, once recruited, will be used in and out of combat. Fortes are skills the monsters possess to help you in your search for treasure. For example, during exploration, they come in very useful from Slimes that propel you up high or over significant gaps, monsters you can use as mounts, as gliders, and for stealth, or sneaking through small spaces.
Gone is the turn-based combat; in Dragon Quest Treasures, it’s real-time action, and your monster crew will attack automatically. So, everyone gets involved during combat, though Erik or Mia can melee attack enemies with their daggers; they are far more helpful as support characters.
You can use the trusty slingshot from a distance with many different pellets, from healing pellets to ones that buff and boost your team. As you defeat monsters in the field, some will ask you to join your squad. To have them onboard, you’ll have to spend the materials you harvest to cover their fee. The better the monster, the higher their fee will be.
Dragon Quest games have always been my happy place, I adore the humour in the games, and they always make me smile. Dragon Quest Builders has been my favourite spinoff to date. So Dragon Quest Treasures has been a source of apprehension for me since it was announced, as I wasn’t sure it was for me.
But let me tell you, it is a brilliant combination of monster collecting, real-time combat and open-world adventuring. While that may sound complex, it’s been designed to be super friendly to casual players. However, that’s not to say that Dragon Quest veterans like myself won’t enjoy it; I’ve barely been able to leave my Switch alone.
The only drawback I’ve found so far is that there are so many quests to complete it would be easy to feel overwhelmed. However, you can complete them in any order, and there are storyline quests that push the story forward.
Visuals and Controls
Graphically the game is up to the usual Dragon Quest standards; areas are bright, vibrant and with plenty of treasures to find.
Sound-wise the game is familiar as well. There are the usual sweeping orchestral themes most Dragon Quest title boasts. In addition, many iconic sound effects and musical stings are tied to level-ups, attacks, and triggered spells. Finally, there is voice acting for key scenes and the occasional catchphrase from characters. Your team monsters always have something to say, and they chatter as you move through the world; that can get a little repetitive.
Controls are easy to remember, and everything works as you would expect. Dragon Quest Treasures is a single-player adventure, but there’s online functionality where players can interact with each other’s islands. Once you reach a certain level, a repurposed killing machine appears at the station, allowing you to seek treasure in other players’ worlds.
The world of Draconia’s floating islands is a beautiful setting for an open-ended adventure. An adventure where hunting for treasure and monsters can become equally addictive.
Dragon Quest Treasures is an absolute delight to play, where you can take your time and discover all corners of Draconia without pressure. There is an amazing amount of quests to complete, accompanied by a recognisable cast of lovable characters. Hunting for shiny, sparking treasure is such fun and full of surprises.
Final Verdict: Two Thumbs Up