"Later Is Better Than Never"
Finally released in the United States for the first time (only a 16 year delay!), Dragon Quest VI comes to us on the DS with all the greatness that makes the Dragon Quest series hard not to love (for JRPGers, that is). If you have played any games in the series, then Dragon Quest is uber-familiar territory, but if you are new to the series, then Dragon Quest VI may not be the perfect starting point – not because it is number six, but because it just doesn’t seem as grand the others.
Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation tells the story of two worlds – Real and Dream – in between which our hero can travel. The story begins somewhat basic, but only slows to a crawl as the game progresses. Not that the previous Dragon Quest entries have amazing story arcs, but Dragon Quest IV and especially V seemed to progress in an epic, tight way, whereas VI flounders around aimlessly, dropping off plot arcs and starting up new ones without much thought to what will happen next.
- The story and worlds might be the weakest link -
While the travelling between the worlds is a nice concept, it has never been one I have been in love with. My preference has always been to have one big sprawling world, rather than two versions of the same. It was this, along with a story I cared little about, that has made it hard to decide whether I want to keep playing or give up on Dragon Quest VI - which is sad, because even though Dragon Quest is incredibly archaic, I have been able to plow through the other games with much joy, even in the later years. For some reason the sixth installment feels sticky. However, the game has been ported majestically, and the fact it is a Dragon Quest has kept the game in my DS.
For those who have never played Dragon Quest – understand that these games are ‘old’. They are random battle JRPGs that require patience. Even if you found the remake of Final Fantasy IV for DS exciting, you may not find Dragon Quest exciting. But, if you are willing to dive into the series, I do not recommend six as the starting ground you should be looking for. I recommend picking up V or even VIII. However, if you are a long time fan of the series, it is worth buying simply to complete your library and relive a piece of unreleased Dragon Quest history.
Regardless, it is great to see how reliable this port to the DS is. The job system found in the original is still there, and this is a good thing, because it is probably the best part of the game. The job system is simply just a way to customize your party, and as they level up, they learn new skills pertaining to their chosen class. This makes the game much more playable and exciting, as you will find yourself caring more about beefing up your characters and learning these skills than actually progressing forward with the story. There are a few additions, like mini-games, but these are generally forgettable.
- Party members can be customized with new skills -
As the DS looks towards the end of its days, I am glad there are still decent games coming out for it, and it is great for us DQ fans who have wanted to get our hands on an official release of Dragon Quest VI – but many people will see Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation as an outdated JRPG in a world of much more dynamic and fast-paced games.
GameDynamo's Score for Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation (DS/DSi)
Three things describe Rando: Good beer, good food, and video games. On occasion, Rando flies a zeppelin through time seeking power crystals.
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