Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age finally released in the West for the PS4 and PC on the 5th of September. It is developed and published by Square Enix. This release features content not present in the Japanese version such as voice acting and Draconian Quest which gives players a choice of multiple difficulty additions. I’ve played through up to the first credits, however there’s a decent amount of story and game left.
Coming To The Nintendo Switch… Eventually
When this game was initially announced it was for the PlayStation 4, 3DS and possibly the NX. Which was yet to be revealed as the Nintendo Switch. Last week the Nintendo Switch version was re announced as Dragon Quest XI S. It’s said to have voice acting, which the Japanese version did not have. I think it may add some of the features that were in the Western version. Possibly as a way to entice people to re purchase the game. Still no word on when, but since we’ve gotten the localisation the gap between the Switch’s Japanese and Western release shouldn’t be too long. Depending on when it comes out I might not buy it straight away again. That said, I do really like this game and being able to play it properly in handheld would be nice.
On the 3DS
A 3DS version was released at the same time as the PlayStation 4 version in Japan. It even came with a special edition New 2DS LL/XL. Neither the game or 2DS released outside of Japan. I absolutely adored the design of this 2DS and had to get one myself. The liquid metal slime is very reflective. While my brother has managed to play through RPGs in a language he doesn’t understand, I found it too complicated. I had to wait to really be able to play the game.
The 3DS version has very different graphics from the PS4. It’s more in a chibi style. The bottom screen depicts what’s going on in the top screen but in pixel art. Making it look more like a SNES game. It’s really fun to see the differences between how things are depicted on the two screens. Even comparing how things between the 3DS and PS4 versions look is funny.
The YouTuber: Project COE has a video on the differences between the two versions. The one I found most interesting was that you can Zoom indoors in the PS4 version. Which had annoyed me since in any other game in the series you would hit your head on the roof. There’s also a lot more content, so in a way the 3DS version is actually better. I really hope the Switch version gets this content because then I will definitely pick it up.
On the PlayStation
I’ve been having a great time on the PlayStation 4 version. It looks absolutely gorgeous. I’m pretty sure the Switch port will be based on this version so I can see why they are having some trouble with it. The game is pretty stable however when I enter some towns I can hit some frame drops initially. If I travel too quickly I can also get stopped by a loading icon.
I really like this game although I’m not sure if I like it better than Dragon Quest VIII. In this game I did actually use the Pep Power mechanic, whereas in eight I went through the entire game without using the Hyper one.
My favourite character in this is Erik and I really like his voice. The dialogue is charming as always. The only point in the game I didn’t like it was yet again the way “Australian” like characters are written. There is a town that looks like a vague South East Asian place and all the characters talk with exaggerated Australian slang and accents. Some of the words are accurate but I have never heard someone say a few of these things, even out in the country. Not sure what the tourists were in Japanese but this localization makes me think it’s a take on Australian tourists in Bali. Thankfully it’s one of the shorter places in the story and no party members come from there.
The Waiting Game
We don’t know how long until we can get our hands on the Nintendo Switch version of this game. Speaking of Dragon Quest Heroes I and II got a Switch release in Japan, and still haven’t gotten a Western one. While we’re waiting though, there are plenty of Dragon Quest games available on handheld systems. The 3DS recently had ports of Dragon Quest VII and VIII. With changes and additional content. The DS has ports of IV, V and VI. As well as Dragon Quest IX made exclusively for that system, and features co-op play. There are also quite a few spin-off games such as Dragon Quest Builders which is out on Nintendo Switch and it’s sequel will be as well.
My recommendation would be Dragon Quest VIII being the only other game in the series I’ve played. If you do want a game to last you a very long time VII is quite good for that, but not the best for those starting with the franchise. Who else is looking forward to the Nintendo Switch release of Dragon Quest XI?