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Dragon Quest XI Review (For PC) (Avoiding spoilers)

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I'm finished with the main portion, but have not started the postgame. I bought the game on PC after a sale and after I got a new computer that I didn't intend to buy (old one died). I needed to get a controller as well, but the controller is worth the money in its own rights (Bought Mass Effect Andromeda as well once I got controller). I thought DQXI was a great improvement over the boring DQIX (didn't play X as I don't do multiplayer).

Graphics - A  - Reminds me a lot of DQVIII graphics which was DQ's high water mark. I haven't played PS4 version, but PC's was good.

Story and Atmosphere - B - Big improvement over IX and similar to DQVIII although I put it below IV, V, and VII. The storyline is predictable to a degree with an expected doublecross and expected heel-face turn. Among the characters, I put DQ IV, V, VII, and VIII's characters ahead of this one, but most of them are good. I thought Serena's development was weak. I found Sylvano to be extremely annoying and a bad 80's era stereotype and will leave it at that.  I'm not PC, but c'mon man. Veronica reminds me of a blonde Maribel which is good for a few laughs. Rab, Jade, Erik, and the heel-face turn guy are the best developed characters.  The real stars however are the monsters. I will admit that I got a knot in my stomach when I saw the old Dragon Rider make a comeback. Anyone who's gone through DQIV for NES understands that. I got another knot from the Blue/Red Eaters (forgot their new name) from the SNES emulator. They weren't as bad in this game, but it was good to see the monster comebacks. BTW - Bloody Hand (Graboopi) still calls Granite Titan (or whatever their new name is). Cannibox, Mimic, and Pandora's box are all back as well, along with the mimic version of slot machines. 

Length - A - Main portion of the game is a good 50-60 hours. It's not 100 hours plus like DQVII, but you aren't getting ripped off here.

Difficulty C - I can't judge the postgame, but this was way too easy. I hope I unwittingly played this on easy mode. I got knocked out one time (I was Sonny Corleoned so I grinded and guarded against the nasty attack) and thought I was going down twice more thanks to getting put to sleep That's it. The big boss was easier than some of the mid bosses. I was in my mid 50's levels and hammered him. The only one that got me was the surprise attack near Arbonia near the end of the game and the status effects.  I had more trouble with one version some of the lump mages (The Mr Potatohead wizards seen in many DQ games) attacking before I was ready and getting put to sleep. Multi-thrust with the spear is a game changer.

Combat and Play Control (PC)  - D without gamepad, A with gamepad -  The gamepad is a must. The battle system is familiar and that's a good thing.

Beginnings and Endings - B - Beginning is a typical DQ beginning and ending. I'm sure there's a "best" ending as well with postgame. This one so far is alright not counting the postgame ending. It's not in DQVII or DQVIII's league.

Bugs - B - It's a new game for PC and I had only two freezes. Lesson - Don't ride a animal into town.

Overall - B - It's a good game. I think when you get to higher number sequels, it is tougher and tougher to get a good game to improve on the past. Even sports games have that problem. I think DQ has aged better than the FF series. XIII was boring to me despite the graphics. What DQ does well is bring back what people like about it. The monsters. The spells. The weapons/armor. They are familiar. The nostalgia really appealed to me and I wasted a lot of productivity on this game as a result. If you like DQVIII, you'll probably like this game, although maybe not as much. As of now, I'd rank this in the middle of the pack on DQ's (5th) and that's still a good game.

Best (in order) - VII, V, IV,

Very good - VIII, XI, III

Good - VI, II, I

Mediocre to bad - IX

Did not play - X

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I agree. However, I have a lot issues with this game way more than you would think. My favorite parts of the game was easily the nostalgia. Seeing the Knight from DW1 and the Dragon Riders from DW4 and Goopi's and Grand Titan's was awesome. I thought Sylvando and Veronica were the only tolerable characters. The rest sucked to me at least I didn't give two damns about them (I prefer 4/6/7/8's cast more).  The story was alright it had twists and turns but it wasn't as interesting as I wanted but that's fine I guess it's DQ after all. The game is way to easy, however, putting on strong monsters has it's own set of issues. The game feels very unbalanced and unfinished in a lot of ways. The post game I think is better and is necessary to see the real ending of the game, however, it's not mind blowing (A lot of people think differently). I don't believe that the game has no "True" post game.  The world also feels tiny, and uninteresting due to linearity (This is probably my major flaw with this game.)

Overall here's how it fairs in my rankings.

Best (In Order)-3, 7.

Very Good- 6 (Debatable, think of this as  Very good and Good), 4

Good- 1, 2, 8, 9 (I hate putting 9 so low because it was my first and I have a lot of nostalgia for it but I recognize it's flaws.)

Meh- 5, 11 (11 used to be good, but the more I played it the more awkward it felt.) (2 should be here, but I enjoyed the first half well enough and I got lucky in Rhone, so I don't hate it as much as other people.)

Edited by Reddragon18

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I hate to break up the Red Dragon show here (note the 2 usernames above).  Sure, I had a couple annoyances with DQXI, but I'm thinking given a little more time and once the nostalgia for this game, this awesome fall spent on 110 hours of it, these characters... I think it's going to be my #1 DQ game overall.  I just beat the final post-game boss and got the final final ending and wow is that cool.

Top Tier: DQXI, DQVII, DQVIII

Tried & True Tier: DQIX, DQIV, DQV

Tired of Tier: DQ1, DQ2, DQ3

Trash Tier: DQVI

Translation needed Tier: DQX

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Nice. Too be honest I’m glad people are enjoying it, helps either way. But I hope DQ12 delivers a bit more. And yea the true ending is cool, however, very strange ending who knows.

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Just now, Reddragon18 said:

Nice. Too be honest I’m glad people are enjoying it, helps either way. But I hope DQ12 delivers a bit more. And yea the true ending is cool, however, very strange ending who knows.

I'm always hopeful that the next game delivers more.  DQIX was one of my favorites and I played the hell out of it, but yeah, looking back it was a step backwards from VIII.  DQXI got the needle moving in the awesome direction again.  If DQXII does the same, I'll be through the roof!

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28 minutes ago, Plattym3 said:

Top Tier: DQXI, DQVII, DQVIII

Tried & True Tier: DQIX, DQIV, DQV

Tired of Tier: DQ1, DQ2, DQ3

Trash Tier: DQVI

 Translation needed Tier: DQX

I’m going to borrow your tiers a second. The individual games are in no particular order on the tiers:

Top Tier: DQVII, DQXI, DQIV, DQIII

Tried & True Tier: DQV, DQVI, DQI, DQII

Trash That Should Burn in a Fire Tier: DQIX

 Translation needed Tier: DQX

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My personal favorites are 1-3 just as 1 game.

When it comes to burning in fire that would be 5 and half of eleven.

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On 12/18/2018 at 12:00 PM, Red Dragon said:

I'm finished with the main portion, but have not started the postgame.

My only comment to those who might stop after beating Mordegon, I IMPLORE you, to play the post game material before ultimately forming an opinion on this game.

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23 hours ago, hawkeye77o4 said:

My only comment to those who might stop after beating Mordegon, I IMPLORE you, to play the post game material before ultimately forming an opinion on this game.

I'm playing the postgame now.  It's more like "part 3" than a postgame.

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After finishing the postgame (really a part 3), I still would rank it as 5th on my list, but that's not a bad thing. It's a fun game that strikes me a bit of a cross between DQVIII sequel in style. It's not as good a VIII, but that's a tough standard. It's a massive improvement for me over IX. There's something to be said about either improving or being the game before a bad or mediocre game.

To me, this is DQVIII light. For a series 11 games in plus the spinoffs, that's not a bad thing at all. Many long running game series went to crap long before 11 games. I was worried DQ was on its way there after IX. Ultima went downhill fast after VII. Final Fantasy 13 was boring and the series was hit and miss before that (with IV being my favorite). 
 

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I did think VIII was better by far. I just had higher expectations but I should also be happy DQ hasn’t gone to #$*! to yet, you do make a great point there.

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