Saturday, August 3, 2019

Backlog

I have too many games. Way too many games. It's clear that as much as might like gaming, I seem to like collecting even more. It doesn't help that my collection is mostly made up of longer RPG-esque titles that do not take to being beat in one sitting. Couple that with a desire to 100% many games and I end up losing ground on my backlog pretty consistently.

So in addition to the general MMO focus on this blog I want to chronicle my efforts towards slaying this beast of my own making.



Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age
Platform: PS4
Time to Beat: ~110 Hours
Completion: 100% with Platinum Trophy

NOTE: This is a quasi-review with some mild spoilers.

I won't lie, this got to be a bit of a slog near the end. I haven't played a modern Dragon Quest, having only complete the first two in their NES incarnations. On sale at a Best Buy I happened to be in for only $20 I decided to give it a shot.

Discussing the story is weird, mostly because while there isn't much meat on these bones, the structure of the story is very clever. The world is in peril, you are the chosen one and you grab a band of adventurers to save it. The game takes the typical RPGs cliches and then does try to expand and subvert them to a bit. But this is a 70-80 hour game even without going for 100% completion and that's a lot of runtime to put on top of a not particularly sturdy base. It's difficult to go into the story without going too much into spoilers but the game takes the idea of a post game and introduces it in a very organic way, I appreciated that.

The music was catchy and the character and monster design are iconic even if you don't really follow the series. The ever present slimes are mostly what I will take away from this game. I bought a fairly large plush slime in Japan last year and it's goofy smile still brings me joy whenever I look at it.

It was refreshing to play an honest to goodness turn based RPG again. I vastly prefer this setup to the direction the Final Fantasy series insists on going. I don't actually want an RPG desperately pretending to be an action game to appeal to the cool kids. The combat in DQ11 can be a bit rough around the edges, particularly when it comes to it's Pep Up powers (DQ11's version of "Limit Breaks"), but there was both enough depth and character building here to sustain it the length of the game.

DQ11 was good, not great. The upcoming Nintendo Switch release with expanded content doesn't appeal to me. It was a nice, steady adventure to come back to over the course of a month where I bought a house and made a very stressful move. But in a vacuum, this might end up being a mostly forgettable experience.



The Dragon Quest 11's hero was also released to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate about two days ago. The character is fun enough but I think I may played all I really want out of the game. I did spend some time making custom characters though. The cosmetic DLC that accompanies the Dragon Quest Hero update allows you make a fairly accurate portrayal of Veronica from DQ11. Unfortunately, they pigeonhole her as a melee brawler. As a black mage type, the gunner Mii option had abilities that were far more appropriate, but it's not a huge issue.

I also tried making a Goku from Dragon Ball Z, but the Mii face customizer doesn't give you the iconic spiky hair necessary to really sell it. Oh well.

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