Saturday, March 2, 2013

Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation

Cue the Inception "BURRRR" after the first plot twist- Domodragon53

Story- 9/10
Dragon Quest VI has a very complex story that is executed pretty well. The story revolves around the player jumping back and forth between two worlds (or realms) performing actions that consequently affects one another. The two realms, a “dream” realm and a “real-life” realm, are worlds that the player can explore, making Dragon Quest VI the largest game out of the remakes for the DS. The game world is large, and works well with the theme of the game, illusions. There are many times where I had to stop and process what was going on in the world of Dragon Quest VI. An example would be (and it’s not a spoiler) when the hero wakes up from a dream where his party lost to an evil fiend. The hero later finds out that he has been living in the dream realm, and he needs to explore the “real” realm where the hero can find his “true” self to be able to save the world. Now take a step back and view the example here. The hero was an inhabitant of the dream realm, had a dream about the “final” battle, only to wake up back into the dream realm, and later discovers that he needs to find his “true” self to save the world. The only way I can describe the example is that the story has a vibe of “Inception-ness” to it, where the plot goes in far in depth into the world of Dragon Quest VI. There are many more convoluted events that really twisted the plot around, which forces the player to take a break and deeply examine what is happening to the world of Dragon Quest VI.

Characters- 7/10
The characters in the game come from their own background, but when compared to Dragon Quest IV, the background of each character is not as strong. The best way to get more out of the characters, in terms of character development, would be the party chat system. After certain events or interactions with the various NPCs, each character will give their personal thoughts about that event. The party talk will give the characters some depth, but nothing that is necessary to move the plot. Although, sometimes characters will give advice on what to do next, should the player be stuck in an area. There are minor character developments, but not enough to the point where the player can see that the character has truly grew from the adventure.

Gameplay- 8/10
True to the series, Dragon Quest VI has the typical RPG gameplay style. Spells and equipments may have been changed, but the gameplay still plays similar to the previous remakes on the DS. The only additional point that Dragon Quest VI has to offer is the class system. The player can change the class of any characters, allowing for a combination of strategies. The hero can now have magic spells, that were once restricted to mages, while having the class of a gladiator. With the addition to class changing, the player can recruit some monsters and give the monsters class changes too.

Presentation- 8/10
The graphics of the game has the same style as the previous remakes on the DS. The world is colorful and inviting to the player’s eyes. Battle animations are smooth, and with the large variety of monsters and spells, each animation is unique. The cut scenes, and there are more than usual, are satisfying because of the change in animation.

Replay Values- 7/10
After the game is completed, the player has another chance to fight the last boss for an alternate ending (under a really difficult condition). There are two job classes that can be discovered and master. Potential new monsters can now be recruited in the post-game. Other than that, Dragon Quest VI does not offer a variety of post-game content.

The Good:
-Complex story line that requires a thorough examination.
-Class changing for characters
-Monster recruitment
-Difficult post-game ending

The Bad:
-Minor details regarding how things could have been improved.

Final Thoughts-8/10
Dragon Quest VI is an enjoyable game. It took me around 35 hours to complete the game (not counting post-game). The story was the real meat of the game. Being able to get through the complex plot and see the ending was satisfying for me. The characters were interesting, but when compared to Dragon Quest IV, the characters did not develop as much as I hoped for. I did not care for the class changing system, and I felt that the monster recruitment was not up to par compared to Dragon Quest V. But do not let that stop you from playing Dragon Quest VI. Regardless of the tweaks that could have been better, the game is really solid and satisfying.

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