Have Yuji Horii caught the elusive nostalgia that is missing in modern JRPGs through Dragon Quest XI?
Yes! Yes! And Yes! Dragon Quest XI have brought back the experience I so craved from playing a JRPG game. From the battle system to the tiny, simple and familiar sound bit that plays when you go to a new area.
This game is long, very long. I have clocked 100 hours just going through the story. And even in those hours, I have yet to complete all sidequests nor fashioned myself the most powerful weapons. I am gonna write about the story after all the tehnical stuff because it would contain major spoilers..and like lots of them!
I was at maximum level (99), second best equipments and even then, had a challenge from the final boss (without *SPOILER* using a certain gimmick to turn the battle around). I LOVE that. Most games was pretty much a sure-win when you get to maximum level. Battle system was simple, easy and again, old school. I love it. Famous JRPGs have mostly abandoned the ole simple turn based combat. Wonder why?(Yes, still bitter at how Final Fantasy series went). The music or rather sound effect was so much nostalgia. That sound that most games used when you go into another area? Superb. “ph-ph-fzz” (or so it goes). The game have also contained lots of voiced dialogues. Which is great, playing a silent game sometimes makes me sleepy in the middle of the story. The graphic is just wow. I did not expect a game developed on 2013 to have such graphic standard. But then again it took 5 years, maybe it was to be expected. The end result, being this game, showed that care and effort was made into the game. However, the story had bits which I disliked and love at the same time.
The story was very old school. Very. Even some parts of it I found it to be mostly lazy writing (*Ahem* Michelle arc…*Cough* Erik). I do however, love the plot twists and character developments. All main characters developed throughout the journey and also pretty much had legitimate reasons for fighting the fight (yes, I am directing this to Vaan of FFXII). The dialogues are a tad bit cheesy and very much hard to hear (…Gemma), but I do applaud their effort to include various English accent in order to establish the social status and/or citizenry.
And it is good to have the ole silent protagonist – it did work for Persona and Suikoden. Did it work here? Not really. Half the time in dialogues whereby you would expect some sort of emotions coming from the MC was dealt with blank slate look. “oh Hey my family and a whole town got screwed up because of me – Imma stare down a wall smiling”. The game also presents choice for us, as the protagonist, to choose. However, these are ALL false choices we had to make. F*ck you Erik and your orb, a genocide is about to happen to my freaking hometown.
And as all games and stories that involves time traveling, plot holes are almost always created (So who is Karin? she Yuri mom or not?!? [Shadow Hearts 2]). Did the game nicely wrapped it up? No, it did not – is what I felt. What was worse was that the game used time traveling plot thrice!
Did the first timeline ever happened?
If it was erased or that time continues in the first timeline without MC, why did the characters in second timeline had deja vus and had skills that would only be acquired if they had experienced the first timeline. (Rab & Pearly Gates, Jade & Re-Vamp)
At the end of the second timeline, we gave Serenica the chance to go back in time to save the world by saving her lover. So, as third timeline happened, would the first and second timeline ever happened? Serenica would have prevented the evil that led to the events first timeline happening. And yet, we saw that the second timeline was not changed and continued as if Serenica traveling back in time did absolutely nothing to the second timeline. There is a possibility that Serenica failed again, and it that is the case – well, that was a waste of time.
We saw that Serenica “died” while trying to go back in time and save her love. So how could Serena and Veronica be her descendants and have her powers when I assume that Serenica’s bloodline would have stopped because she is madly in love with Erdwin? Was she pregnant with the twins’ ancestors before the untimely betrayal? Doesn’t that make a few of the people of Arbora be direct descendants of Erdwin? So why a Luminary so out of place?
At the post credit scene, we saw that “Serenica” is a mother, reading a book in green about the exploits of DQXI heroes. SO DQ11 did happen. And there was another book about the luminary in red on the shelf. What story is the red book about? Is it about the first luminary – Serenica’s lover and DQXI luminary? How would these stories come about in the third timeline? Was this scene even in the third timeline? It would be if the “mother” is Serenica, she being a member of the third timeline in defeating evil and her being the watcher of time during the exploits of DQXI.And it was said that the scene ties-in to the beginning of DQIII – being “Cooey” the protagonist of DQIII.
If the timelines’ new time is a fused time between different timelines (hence deja vus), DQXI would not have happened (so there shouldnt be a green book) unless Serenica abandoned her plight to rid evil and let DQXI to happen. DQIII would have happened before DQXI because Serenica still looked almost at the same age when she woke “Cooey”. “Cooey” would have been born before DQXI luminary.
Or are we gonna chalk it up that first and second timeline never happened and that the fiction, written by Serenica for her baby in DQIII? Was the stories ever important in the events of the Erdwick trilogy? Was DQXI made to cover plot holes of the Erdwick trilogy (DQI – II – III)?
Man! i am gonna go play all dragon quests games now!