We take a look at Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of a Lost Past – Definitive Edition, which lands on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. An essential of the JRPG.
Years do not pass for the traditional JRPG. Franchises like Dragon Quest are the interactive example that this creative vision does not have an expiration date. We see it in the influence they make even today. Yakuza, a storied 21st century beat ’em up brand, has been turned into a hit turn-based adventure in Like a Dragon. The wickers are there; It is no coincidence that Yuji Horii is part of the thanks. As we said a year ago, “the problem was never that the genre was obsolete, but rather that there was a lack of talent to maintain the level.”
The journey of Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of a Lost Past has extended since 2018. Although the original game brought together all the positive elements that we pointed out in its Reviews, Square Enix released its particular Director’s Cut a year later, this time exclusively for Nintendo Switch. The “S” that accompanied the title did exactly the same function as eating a mushroom in Super Mario Bros. It increases, enlarges and strengthens a game that was already one of the pillars of the genre in the last decade. 12 months later the circle is closed. PS4, Xbox One and PC receive their particular Definitive Edition, which carries the accessories that accompanied the launch on the Kyoto console.
The Eternal Journey of the Hero
There are many reasons why we recommend going through it. Akira Toriyama’s immortal designs add color to a canvas that shines in every respect. Our colleague Sergio Melero, author of the original Reviews, correctly explained what this eleventh installment was: “If we had to describe Dragon Quest XI in a summarized way, we would classify it as a role-playing game with a high component of adventure, where combat, exploration , the resolution of secondary missions and the enjoyment of small (but addictive) mini-games make up a fun, fascinating set and, above all, with a classic aroma enhanced by a new generation audiovisual presentation ”.
You get a familiar feeling when you take the controls. It is none other than the epic of throwing yourself into the unknown, of the repeated topic delivery after delivery and that continues to work more than 30 years later. Dragon Quest is proof that staying true to your roots is viable, even after several technological leaps along the way. You visit cities like Gondolia and you realize the personality that one of the parents of the JRPG continues to waste.
We were talking at the beginning of Yuji Horii, about the (vital) role he has played for the growth of the industry. His hand concentrates a chain of decisions that go unnoticed by the player, but give meaning to a factory of moments to remember. Horii takes our hand without us knowing it. “The secret: a very varied structure with a balance between moments of combat, those of recreation, those of management, those of calm enjoying the culture of the place, and those of pain in the most difficult moments against the imaginative final enemies” Melero said. Supported by Takeshi Uchikawa, when you see the credits you appreciate what are the reasons that praise the whole.
The virtues of this delivery go beyond what the brand has always given us. As if that weren’t enough, in this Dragon Quest XI “one of the best stories of the saga” coincides. He does it through a special protagonist group, with whom it is very easy to empathize. Servando, Jade, Erik, Verónica, Serena… they end up being your friends. Could the dungeons have given more of themselves? Without a doubt, perhaps the negative point on which we will all agree. A stain that does not dirty more than 80 hours of talent and love for the Japanese role.
Definitive Edition, compelling reasons
The arrival of the Definitive Edition of Dragon Quest XI on PS4, Xbox One and PC forms a special gathering for part of the community. If we look at the Microsoft universe, we have had to wait almost 20 years to see a piece of the long history of the saga debut on Xbox. On the other, as of December 1, it coincides with the first weeks of PS5 and Xbox Series X | S on the market. Although it does not have a version dedicated to taking advantage of the new generation hardware, the game is perfectly playable in them via backward compatibility. It will do so by taking the improvements of the premium model of both consoles, at least in the case of Xbox Series X. This means that you will experience it at 60 images per second, among other improvements.
The first thing we must take into account is its nature. Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of a Lost Past – Definitive Edition is a direct port of the one that reached us on Nintendo Switch, as recognized by the company itself during its reveal. We are straightforward: it has lost graphic muscle compared to the original 2018 release. The sets are less crowded, the vegetation is less dense, the models have lost details and the shadows create artifacts due to their low resolution. The popping remains just as pronounced as in the Nintendo hybrid; you will see the characters appear suddenly at medium distances. However, the increase in resolution (and rescaled to 4K) present a sharper screen than in the original, in addition to doubling the framerate in the commented consoles (limited to 30fps in the base models).
The visual disagreements are the other extreme of the rest of the additions, most successful. Salvador Fernàndez, our editorial coordinator and author of the Reviews of version S on Nintendo Switch, assured that the plots added in each character “work at the narrative level”; yes, “some more and others less.” We are talking about individual playable sections of between 40 minutes and 1 hour in length, placed in a section of the base game where a critical event occurs, which was presented two years ago with a time jump in which it left us more questions than answers. And in playable matter they do not give the feeling of being at the same height as the rest of the moments.
This irregularity contrasts with the presence of the Cronolinos, beings that, speaking in silver, will send us headlong to locations of other Dragon Quests in full 2D. They function as side quests built into the same main path, and they extend the plot with new stories as we try to resolve the conflicts in these realms. Veterans will recognize many of the most relevant installments in its history. You’ll want to find more passwords to exchange with the Cronolinos scattered throughout Erdrea. How comfortable and organic it is collides with the two-dimensional mode. We will be given the opportunity to choose the perspective at the beginning of the game; if we choose in 3D, we can change whenever we want to 2D in the churches, which in turn serve as a save point. Changing will make us save in an alternative slot and we will not be able to continue the game from where we are.
On the other hand, the number of improvements in quality of life reinforce the reasons for prioritizing the Definitive Edition. Combats, for example, allow you to select between three speeds, which greatly speeds up farming and animation transitions. Or the use of the Forge anywhere, which will allow you to create and enhance your team when you have the requirements. Nor can we overlook the orchestrated soundtrack, which enriches and adds nuances to the unreleased and classic songs. You will be able to select Japanese dubbing from the settings menu, something that is always appreciated.
Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of a Lost Past – Definitive Edition lives up to its name. It is the ideal starting point (and reunion) of a title that is part of the history of the franchise. The reasons are well known: this is one of the interactive examples that show that the traditional JRPG still has its place at the gates of 2021. This Definitive Edition loses graphic muscle compared to the original on PS4 and PC, but reinforces it with playable additions that enrich the whole, such as missions and challenges in 2D. On the premium models of PS4 and Xbox One, it can be played at 60 images per second, compared to 30 limited in the basic ones. Even if it does not have a dedicated port, you can enjoy the advantages of this version thanks to the backward compatibility of PS5 and Xbox Series X | S. It marks a special event on the Xbox calendar by being the first title in the series to debut on a Microsoft console. It is an essential title for all lovers of the genre and those who seek to find a special, different game that longs for the great classics of yesteryear.
- It is the Dragon Quest XI that you met in 2018, boosted with additions to enrich the adventure.
- Solid playability, an interactive demonstration that traditional JRPG lives on.
- What the cronolinos bring, a nostalgic journey through the realms of classic deliveries.
- Improved performance on premium PS4 and Xbox One models; the new generation takes advantage of this via backward compatibility.
- Japanese dubbing, multiple quality of life enhancements, and orchestrated soundtrack.
- The saga finally comes to Xbox.
- The dungeons seem too simple, inherited from the original.
- It has lost graphical muscle when compared to the original on PS4 and PC.