The Good, the Bad, and The Dragonquest (DQ11 review)

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Friday
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The Good, the Bad, and The Dragonquest (DQ11 review)

Postby Friday » Sun Oct 14, 2018 11:56 pm

Hi, this is Friday, age 9, and I'm going to be writing a spoiler free review, though I will talk about the plot in a general sense, like in how it's structured. I won't be talking about specific events.

First things first, lets get something out of the way:

This is a Dragon Quest game. Most of the things I'll be putting under the "Dragonquest" catagory are just... staples of the series. You either like them or not! though this is for sure the most modern Dragonquest game and probably breaks with tradition the most. (Though I haven't played 9 or 10, so, I can't compare it to them.)

CHAPTER 1: COMBAT

The Good: Battles are, with the exception of at sea and bosses, entirely avoidable! Every monster shows up and can be simply walked around! (Though they will chase you, you are faster.) If you're higher level they actually run away from you after spotting you instead of chasing you! They got rid of random encounters in a Dragon Quest game! (Excepting when you're on your ship, but that's a relatively small part of the game.) The battles are pretty fast paced, with the animations kept down to a minimum. Combat feels fast and breezy. You can swap your backline into battle whenever you want (though it costs a turn) and each character is really well designed. Nobody feels useless or even bad. More on characters later.

The Bad: Certain bosses and even random encounters can instantly KO you if your luck is bad if you don't grind. Because turn order is semi-random, a boss can go last and then FIRST, hitting you four times in a row with AOE and status effects before you have time to heal. Pep Up system is kind of stupid because it's random when people get pepped up. I didn't like Tension from DQ8, but at least it was controllable.

The Dragonquest: (Almost) All battles are avoidable, but this is still a DQ game. You will fight a lot. Grinding is part of the game.

CHAPTER 2: CHARACTERS

The Good: The characters are awesome! Sylvando is Yangus tier (but not Sandy tier) and the others are all great too. I'd say the cast is more lovable than in any DQ game to date that I've played. Everyone gets their time to shine. Combat-wise, each character is useful in their own way, and has good variety in how you build them using the skill grid system. They also unlock new skills at certain points, which leads to using them in new ways (my favorite was using Sylvano's "Ladies First" lategame skill to double up on any female character's turn I wanted) and keeps things fresh. Serena is probably the boring one for a while but then isn't and then is just your best healer.

The Bad: Sylvando's constant over the top FAAAAAABULOUS gay tropes CAN be seen as reinforcing harmful gay stereotypes, but then he's also pretty much always presented as being the smartest and quickest on the uptake, so. They consistently portray him in a very positive light, with other characters initially being hesitant about his personal style but then coming around to understand. There's nothing really bad about any of the characters in my opinion! Personally, I love Sylvando a ton and he's my favorite, but I can see how maybe he could rub some people the wrong way.

The Dragonquest: Character quirks (especially Sylvando's, see above) by which I mean accents and such, can be grating. The voice acting is great but a lot of the lines are stock "repeat last thing said". Dragonquest accents are you just part of the series now. You either hate them or put up with them, for the most part.

CHAPTER 3: MAP DESIGN

The Good: Beautiful! Stunning vistas! Gorgeous green fields! Mountains! Islands! Hawaii town!

The Bad: Game is less open than DQ8. Most zones are fairly small and constricted. Entire game feels a lot more like a hallway than DQ8, with limited exploration.

The Dragonquest: Dungeons are still pretty linear, but that's normal for a DQ entry.

CHAPTER 4: PLOT (spoiler free review)

The Good: Some pretty interesting twists! Some I saw coming a mile away, but some were a real gutpunch. Overall the best plot of any DQ game I've played. Sort of peters out in the final third, but that's post game content.

The Bad: Apart from the twists here and there, it's extremely (even excessively) typical fantasy fare. This game is probably the only game I've ever played that can compete with Zelda: OoT for "most straightforward Heroes Journey/monomyth." The "jail/despair/lowest point" part of the myth/game literally sends you to the bottom of the ocean. Subtlety is (usually) not used.

The Dragonquest: Defeat the big bad! He's gonna blow up towns! He has basically no motivation beyond blowing up towns and you never (or hardly ever) talk to him or know who he is, at all!

CHAPTER 5: RANDOM OTHER SHIT

The Good: Forging minigame is fun! I was always excited to find new recipes and make new gear! Fuck shops, shops can be literally turned off. Jade kicks a whole lot of ass! Quests can be interesting and fun! The music is great!

The Bad: The music is overused. Whats there is good, but just like Persona 4, you will wish for more tracks. Some of the quests are not fun and instead frustrating/random to pull off, usually the ones that require such and such enemy to be defeated with a specific pep up power. Jade falls off in usefulness in the final third. :(

The Dragonquest: Loading times! There's not -terrible- but they're still irritating! Some stuff seems to be in the game simply to waste your time! Why the fuck can you mount monsters, what does this add to the game at all other than making you slowly hop up cliffs in an egg robot or slowly fly up cliffs on a dragon! Why are ladders so slow! Why are there even tightropes and narrow ledges that do nothing but make you go -really slow- over them!? Puff puff "joke" is juvenile!

FINAL SCORE: It's at least as good as DQ8! It might be better! It might be slightly worse! Who cares it's DQ8 with some new ideas, some changes, and some refinements!

if I think of other things to talk about I will! The game is fucking 120 hours long there's a lot to talk about!
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Re: The Good, the Bad, and The Dragonquest (DQ11 review)

Postby Rico » Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:50 am

Counterpoint: Did you get Magic Sword Mine Puff Puff?

(I can't hate on the pit of despair moment you're just SO. CUTE. during it)

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Re: The Good, the Bad, and The Dragonquest (DQ11 review)

Postby Friday » Mon Oct 15, 2018 6:22 am

Counterpoint: Did you get Magic Sword Mine Puff Puff?


I did! (and the +5 charm bonus, and the cheevo for getting them all.)

Notice I did not put Puff Puff under "bad". I enjoyed them for what they were (especially the DQ3 throwback one and the one you mentioned).

However they did not do Haiku Puff Puff in Haiku Town and for this, there is no forgiveness.

(I can't hate on the pit of despair moment you're just SO. CUTE. during it)


"Finally, I can talk to the fucking shark!"

"oops sorry mate i'm out of inventory"

"ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff"

ADDITIONAL THINGS:

Horseracing wheeeeeeee (I actually pretty much liked all the minigames except the casino because I never do the DQ casino shit.)

Who was the mysterious masked fighter Sterling Sylva!? I feel like they did not resolve this dangling plot thread and I for one would be greatly interested to discover who this mysterious stranger was but until then I will just continue to do 100 push ups, 100 pull ups, and 100 laps each day to train my body

Every Mermaid who swims speaks in rhyme! I find this effect to be quite sublime.

Verrrrrrrrronica wins again!

Each individual character has a unique dance when they are forced to jig in battle; this is amazing

Sylvando makes you join his parade

The crit animations/slowdown/sfx are fucking amazing, best crits since Earthbound

At the very very end I made a joke about how Serena was going to have to go home because oh my god she's wearing my same outfit
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Re: The Good, the Bad, and The Dragonquest (DQ11 review)

Postby Thad » Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:06 am

Friday wrote:The Good: Battles are, with the exception of at sea and bosses, entirely avoidable! Every monster shows up and can be simply walked around! (Though they will chase you, you are faster.) If you're higher level they actually run away from you after spotting you instead of chasing you! They got rid of random encounters in a Dragon Quest game! (Excepting when you're on your ship, but that's a relatively small part of the game.)

Yeah, that started in 9. You should play 9; it's pretty good! It's more in the vein of 3 and 7, with a focus on the class system and character customization.

It loses something now that the DS online network is down and you can't access the bonus content (mostly cameos by characters from previous games, who give you bonus items also from previous games), but it's still pretty good. (I don't know if there's a way to mod it to get stuff from fan servers; haven't looked into it.) I guess it might be worth waiting to see if a remake comes out in the next few years; they usually do.

And the 3DS remake of DQ7 is really the only way to play DQ7 (and I say that as somebody who's finished the PS1 original twice).

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Re: The Good, the Bad, and The Dragonquest (DQ11 review)

Postby Friday » Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:51 pm

Yeah, that started in 9. You should play 9; it's pretty good! It's more in the vein of 3 and 7, with a focus on the class system and character customization.


Oh, wow, okay. Well, good on them then. I don't hate random encounters as much as some but they are still dumb.
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Re: The Good, the Bad, and The Dragonquest (DQ11 review)

Postby mharr » Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:43 pm

This conversation has somehow inspired me to install a Zubat ringtone.

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Re: The Good, the Bad, and The Dragonquest (DQ11 review)

Postby Rico » Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:19 am

Thad wrote:
Friday wrote:The Good: Battles are, with the exception of at sea and bosses, entirely avoidable! Every monster shows up and can be simply walked around! (Though they will chase you, you are faster.) If you're higher level they actually run away from you after spotting you instead of chasing you! They got rid of random encounters in a Dragon Quest game! (Excepting when you're on your ship, but that's a relatively small part of the game.)

Yeah, that started in 9. You should play 9; it's pretty good! It's more in the vein of 3 and 7, with a focus on the class system and character customization.

It loses something now that the DS online network is down and you can't access the bonus content (mostly cameos by characters from previous games, who give you bonus items also from previous games), but it's still pretty good. (I don't know if there's a way to mod it to get stuff from fan servers; haven't looked into it.) I guess it might be worth waiting to see if a remake comes out in the next few years; they usually do.

And the 3DS remake of DQ7 is really the only way to play DQ7 (and I say that as somebody who's finished the PS1 original twice).

As someone who loves DQ9 and has finished the PS1 DQ7 at least 5 times, all of this is completely correct.

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Re: The Good, the Bad, and The Dragonquest (DQ11 review)

Postby WingSounds » Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:30 am

Fishy ladies rhymes' amidst the sea
warms my heart tremendously!

That and bad puns, and I'm good. DQ depresses me a little since I'm missing somebody I know, but, it's a good way to think of them.
If that makes sense.
What would you say about areas in particular? Did any stand out (sorry if this makes it hard to avoid spoilers)?

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Re: The Good, the Bad, and The Dragonquest (DQ11 review)

Postby Friday » Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:56 am

Lonalulu (Hawaii town) I mentioned earlier is for sure my favorite place in the game. I love Hawaii irl, so.

Snow areas are always very neutral for me. I think the only snow area in a game I've actually thought was great was in Secret of Mana, and that's 90% because of the music and 10% because HOWLER GETS WHACKED

The final dungeon (of act 2) is large and in charge.

Zwaardsrust with the wheat fields was pretty. Emerald Coast was pretty. The marshy area leading up to the spring cave was super pretty.

The islands were all great, but I'm super gay for islands and Hawaii and i just like beaches okay, I'm from California

The dungeons were, for the most part, pretty drab. I like Eerie Eyrie both visually and in terms of layout, though.

Nautica was a good underwater zone. Colorful and bubbly, but nothing I hadn't really seen before.

MINI MEDAL FRENCH SCHOOL FOR GIRLS was great. Probably second best zone with cool flower gardens.

I dunno. Most places looked really good. You could tell they put a lot of effort into making them look great. I appreciate visual design in games a lot.

All the costumes were great. Especially:

1. Veronica Kitty
2. Veronica Fairy
3. Any girl in French Schoolgirl
4. Hendrick's final costume
5. Sylvando's extremely fabulous costumes
6. Jade's final costume
7. Bunnygirl (or Revamp) Jade
8. Dancing Dress Serena
9. I assume the bikinis for Jade I should just youtube them fuck casino grinding
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Re: The Good, the Bad, and The Dragonquest (DQ11 review)

Postby WingSounds » Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:03 am

Did every person alive use that area for their grinding? Heh...

Large final dungeons are kind of important for me. A lot of dungeons that cause people headaches, I was neutral to positive on; since grinding doesn't really bother me (though I do like that monsters go running if you're tuff), feeling like the last, or penultimate areas are a long farewell... Guess it's just important. So large and in charge is pretty excellent...Arge...

Marshes and wheat are my jam. Swamps and agriculture, that's me... The swampy agriculture person.
Oh, and flowers, too. So, thanks!..

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Re: The Good, the Bad, and The Dragonquest (DQ11 review)

Postby ocksi » Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:45 am

DQ9 might have surpassed 7 as my favorite in the series when it came out. I absolutely loved the job system, and the way jlevels were handled by accomplishing challenges with the quest, rather than a second exp gauge. I recently played the DQ7 remake though, and the story/progression of that game is so interesting to me I'll always love it.

I beat the shit out of XI. I loved the characters (I wish you ever got to have Gemma around to talk to you after the beginning though;
"I'm so proud of you!" was maybe my favorite single thing in the game).

The Pep Up system was garbage, and probably the most disappointing thing in the game. I wish the double/triple/quadruple techs were weaker and more reliably usable. Some of them had absolutely delightful animations and it is redeemed by Hallelujah.

I wish the skill maps were a little more diverse and/or people didn't so obviously have "main" weapons. I never switched from boomerangs for Erik and they eventually stop sucking when you get dual wielding! (overall, at least. They could still only push 1/4ish the damage of his knife skills.) Jade with spears was super strong, but claws would have been more interesting to use, Rab with claws was super cool but he was just infinitely more effective with wands, etc.

The entire second act was excellent storytelling and really touching. I wish the post-game weren't so reliant on The Choice and you could play through (at least most of it) before doing that.

The credits-roll with the flashbacks to all other DQ games was a nice touch. The game was absolutely and unexpectedly beautiful. It was well-localized and very punny as is the way of these things. Overall, a wonderful game I'll probably go back through eventually (maybe even on a Draconic Quest).

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Re: The Good, the Bad, and The Dragonquest (DQ11 review)

Postby WingSounds » Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:56 pm

I always love seeing '... I loved the characters!..' crop up. It makes my day a bit brighter, because way underneath my crusty exterior, I...
Like stuff like that. It encourages me to give the game a try, for sure - as does even more promises of puns!
And that sounds like a lovely credits, I should... Stop hanging around this thread and play it already!..

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