Published by: Square Enix
Developed by: ArtePiazza
Release Date: US: February 14, 2011
Rated: T for Teen
Dragon Quest VI is a game I had been waiting a very long time to play. It was released only in Japan on the Super Famicom back in 1995. 15 years later, they finally decided to localize a western release of the title on the Nintendo DS and I picked it up as soon as I could. Was the localization worth the effort? Read on to find out.
Dragon Quest VI is very similar to other Dragon Quest games and will feel extremely familiar to veterans of the franchise. If you are a fan of JRPG elements like turn-based combat, grinding and random enemy encounters, you'll find all that here. With that said, the game was a slight letdown and certainly not the best Dragon Quest has to offer. It's certainly not a bad game, but it wasn't anything stellar to write home about. One of the reasons I felt letdown may have to do with the fact that I had to wait 15 years to play the game.
In the game, you choose from nine different character classes and start an adventure that takes you through three different worlds - The Dream World, The Real World and The Dread Realm. In this game, you have the option to add familiar monsters to your party which makes things interesting. One bright spot in Dragon Quest VI is the story, which is interesting considering the fact that Dragon Quest is never known for good storytelling. The first few hours of the game are very predictable as you basically just collect companions for your quest to fight against evil. After about 8-10 hours of playing, the plotline rapidly expands as you start teleporting between different worlds. Your travels feel very "open world" even though it's still a fairly linear experience. The plot remains fairly interesting all the way to the end. If you don't mess around too much, you should be able to beat the game in about 30 hours. This includes at least several hours of grinding.
The best part of the game is the well developed class system. You can assign classes to each character and develop them exactly the way you want to. You don't see this with all portable RPGs, so it was certainly a great thing that added depth to the experience. Some might consider the job system to be simple, but it had enough depth behind it for me.
There are a few small things in the game that I found enjoyable as well including intersting minigames. The graphics were obviously upgraded on the game and the sound was "ok" for a DS game. The music was a little too repetitive for my tastes.
While I can't really say too many bad things about Dragon Quest VI, I can say that the game definitely didn't "wow" me. It felt dated at times and I definitely feel like there are quite a few JRPG options on the DS that are better games. Some people will enjoy the game, but quite a few others will not. If you aren't a die-hard JRPG kind of gamer, I'd definitely avoid this. If classic JRPGs are your thing, I'd definitely give it a shot. While it takes approximately 30 hours to beat the game, if you mess around, you could easily get 40+ hours out of the title.