Dragon Quest XI S Echoes of an Elusive Age Definitive Edition makes its way to Google Stadia. While maintaining all the things players loved in the 2017 remake of the game, this version now includes brand new story content, new ways to play and tons of additional features not available in the original release.
Can Square Enix pull fans back into this experience again in 2021? Let’s dive in and take a look!
Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age Definitive Edition Details
A familiar story with new character side stories
Dragon Quest XI has been available now on almost every platform imaginable, it is quickly becoming one of the most played Dragon Quest titles ever. There’s a good chance if you are reading this, that you yourself have already played this fantastic action adventure. If you haven’t, here’s what you need to know!
While the story won’t shock you, a group of unlikely heroes band together to save the world, the delivery likely will. Dragon Quest XI is building on decades of Dragon Quest lore, mechanics and more. While it delivers a predictable story, it delivers it with a powerful punch. Ultimately, Dragon Quest XI and all the previous titles, bank on one of Square Enix’s best qualities—character creation and progression. It’s the memorable characters in Dragon Quest and their backstories that keep you playing for hours on end!
You play the role of the Luminary, abandoned as a baby but raised by two of the loveliest folks around in a small village. You soon learn your character is destined for great things and off you trudge to save the world, finding unlikely friends and allies along the way. While your own story will drive you forward, those of your companions are equally as entertaining. This ultimately means that even when one storyline might drag, another carries you through. During my entire, fantastic adventure, there wasn’t one single time where I felt like I wanted to quit. I always wanted to learn more.
Unlikely battle systems
While ultimately still a turn-based RPG at its core, the move to 3D has allowed the developers to add in some free roaming for your characters. Everyone still attacks in waves, one-by-one, but in between your own attacks, you are free to move around the battlefield as you see fit. It’s an interesting take on the battle system and while I personally prefer real-time fights like you’ll find in the Tales series, this quickly
grew on me as well.
Like all good Japanese RPG titles, you can auto-assign your teammates to perform specific strategic moves, like focusing on attacks, defense, or even healing your allies. And, when battles begin to drag, as they do at times, you can speed up the clock to quickly exit the encounter and continue on your adventure.
New additions that warrant a second look
This definitive version of Dragon Quest XI is beefy in terms of new content. The term “definitive edition” has lost its meaning over the past few years, with companies doing the bare minimum for an excuse to re-release a product. But Square Enix has stepped up and delivered enough new content to warrant a new play through, in my opinion.
Brand new story quests are available for many of your favourite heroes and each fleshes out just a bit more of the characters backstory. Your first companion on this journey is the quick-fingered thief Erik. Erik is always a bit of a mystery, even after spending hours with him, but thanks to a decently lengthy side quest, we get to learn more about him. Similar story quests also exist for Sylvando, Jade and Rab. These add a hefty dose of story and gameplay content! Thankfully, Square Enix has folded these 4 unique quests in line with the main story, so there is no risk at missing out.
Retro inspired updates that delight
The next two largest updates to the game are focused on old-school, retro fans. The entire Dragon Quest XI S experience is playable in 2D. You hear that right, when I originally hopped into the 2D mode I assumed it was only available at specific story points or in key locations. I soon realized, however, that I was wrong and that the entire game could be played this way. For those looking for a retro experience, this version of Dragon Quest will deliver.
The other retro upgrade is available via a location in the game called Tickington. In Tickington, fans of the entire Dragon Quest series can embark on side quests and battle monsters from key locations across the Dragon Quest universe. While completely optional, I found Tickington was more than just an addition to the definitive edition. Longtime fans will get blasted with a nostalgic shot to the arm, while new Dragon Quest fans will be able to see how important this series is, not only to the franchise as a whole, but all of gaming.
A gorgeous world begging to be explored
What really set Dragon Quest XI apart for me from other sprawling open world Japanese RPGs was the overall look and feel of the game. Graphics are superb. The soundtrack is magical. Together they create a sense of atmosphere rivaled by very few games in this genre. Although not hyper realistic, it is easily one of the prettiest JRPGs to date.
The only downside to the whole experience is the inclusion of English voice acting, which was also available in the original re-release of this title in 2017. The English voice acting is OK, but strays into the realm of annoying on too many occasions. That being said, for a more authentic experience, Japanese voice acting is available, with toggled English captions.
Dragon Quest XI S Echoes of an Elusive Age Definitive Edition is packed with new features worth playing again for
You might think that jumping back in and re-exploring the world of Dragon Quest XI S Echoes of an Elusive Age Definitive Edition is difficult to do. Afterall, it’s a long game that easily takes over 100 hours to complete. However, with the added content and gameplay enhancements, I was more than willing to. There is something in the Dragon Quest series that makes the games timeless.
The additional quests and stories are memorable and worth exploring. And, exploring the series via Tickington is something no Dragon Quest fan should miss. It might be the second or even third time you venture deep into Dragon Quest XI, but I feel it will be worth it again!
+ Huge open world to explore
+ Tons of new and additional features added to the game
+ Plethora of unique and loveable characters
– Overworld music becomes repetitive after a while
– English voice acting isn’t great
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF DRAGON QUEST XI S ECHOES OF AN ELUSIVE AGE DEFINITIVE EDITION
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 5/5