Out Now On Gamepass

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Raven10

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So the Definitive Edition hit Gamepass this week(along with Doom Eternal and some others), and I decided to give it a go after Jeff had actual positive things to say about it. I’ve been following Jeff’s game coverage for nearly 25 years at this point, and outside of the Persona games I don’t know that I could name another JRPG that he actually liked. At least none made since the PlayStation era.

Played until around where the quick look was and was surprised to find that I am actually enjoying it as well. The combat is really snappy, with the creative monster designs and their clever names keeping me interested. The story is super standard JRPG and Dragon Quest fare. Great evil set to destroy all reality. An orphan chosen one raised in a remote village who becomes a warrior of light. But the characters are all fun and well written, and honestly I will take simple and cliched over whatever Final Fantasy has become since 13.

This definitive version seems to have some solid quality of life improvements over the original. Just based on the quick look and some reviews I skimmed I noted that you can now craft anywhere, items dropped from trees and such are auto-collected, and I have yet to encounter the shop issue Jeff had in the quick look. Not sure if that is because of a change made to the game or if I am just doing something different, but I have yet to encounter any sort of inventory issue.

I saw on the Steam forums that the character models and/or textures in this version are worse than in the original due to being based off the Switch version. I can’t say I noticed any real issue here. Looking at footage of the original release compared to what I am playing, I am not seeing a huge downgrade, but I am not playing on a 4K monitor so perhaps it is more noticeable in uhd.

I will say that for whatever reason Square Enix went with fxaa over Unreal’s built in taa solution. Easy enough to fix in the config file, but begs the question of why they couldn’t include a toggle in the menu. Also adding motion blur requires going to the config files, and the in game menu also won’t let you render the game above 100% resolution, but again, easily fixed in the config file. Basically, a lot of really simple, built in ue4 features not being used for no reason. Lastly you have to quit using alt-f4, which is not uncommon for SE PC ports, but is it really that hard to make a quit button? (Answer: No it isn’t. I have programmed a quit button into a game in under half an hour. Pretty sure the very first time I made a quit button it took me under 2 hours including research)

So lackluster port but it runs fine being a ue4 game, haven’t noticed any bugs or glitches. Enjoying it so far and am interested to see if on PS5/Series X they can reach the level of visual quality seen in their gorgeous intro cutscene for the next game.

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Humanity

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I kind of wanted to try this ever since I saw Tim Rogers gush about it for hours on end. Then again Tim Rogers is a weird guy that I greatly respect but.. he's a weird guy. That said it looked like a VERY traditional JRPG to a fault. I've never been one for these type of games having grown up on PC Western RPG's but I dunno. It's on Game Pass so what I have to lose really?

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frytup

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As someone who also grew up on western RPGs and doesn't have any special nostalgia for Dragon Quest or JRPGs in general - DQXI is charming AF. If you can get past the combat grind, I think you'll enjoy it.

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TheFlamingo352

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I might try to juggle continuing Wasteland 3 and starting Dragon Quest 11--I'm curious, never played the series before.

I kinda enjoy how batshit crazy Final Fantasy gets, though, so I'm not certain how FF's normal, well-adjusted brother will vibe with me.

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Giefcookie

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Only thing stopping me from jumping into this right now is time. The differences between all the versions of this game since the original release are weird but I guess this "Definitive" one is the one to play now. Maybe if I give it a bit modders will be able to pull some model / texture replacement magic off.

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Ravelle

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Oh man, didn't know this was coming out on Gamepass, thanks for the heads up!

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sombre

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The music was so bad, and so inappropriate, that I stopped playing entirely, it was that bad.

I was exploring a deep, dank dungeon, and there was horns and bugles playing.

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noboners

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#8  Edited By noboners

@sombre: I think the soundtrack is great, but I agree that most of the time the non-overworld music is playing it very much feels out of place. Like the wrong music cues are hitting or something.

I never finished it though and was hoping I would be able to transfer my save from the vanilla game into this one, but alas it doesn't seem like an option. And I was about 30 hours in and don't know if the QoL changes are enough to warrant a restart.

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fanaticalmilk

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@noboners: There's a 10-hour demo for the new version that allows you to take the demo save into the final version of XI S. That way you could at least see if the differences are significant enough. I'm sure there's probably also post-game content that's new and I don't know if you can access the 2D sections right away or if that's something that's past the 10 hours in the demo.

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Raven10

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@sombre: I noticed this as well. I was walking around an abandoned town, which I shall not name for spoiler reasons, but the one right before you go through the door to Hotto. And during this somber scene they started playing the fucking over world theme after the sad track they wrote ended. A couple other times I felt like the music and scene didn’t match.

@fanaticalmilk: You can play the whole game in 2d. You can swap between 2d and 3D at any save point.

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Haz_Kaj

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I would recommend DQXI. Amazing game and runs 60fps on series x and one x.

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development

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@humanity said:

I kind of wanted to try this ever since I saw Tim Rogers gush about it for hours on end. Then again Tim Rogers is a weird guy that I greatly respect but.. he's a weird guy. That said it looked like a VERY traditional JRPG to a fault. I've never been one for these type of games having grown up on PC Western RPG's but I dunno. It's on Game Pass so what I have to lose really?

sounds like you have my RPG background so I would recommend against it.

Spoiler block for my negative review that I imagine most would not like to see:

I beat the whole thing, including the end game, even using cheat engine to eliminate the final-final boss grind, and can without a doubt not recommend it. That was like 150 hours wasted. Kept waiting for the shoe to drop and for me to fall in love, but not having nostalgia or reverence for JRPG tropes I didn't find anything for me. The characters are all 100% unlikeable, the story is literally intentionally bland and predictable but not in any kind of fun self-aware way. The music is uniquely boring and horrendous, even going out of my way to hack in the "orchestral" soundtrack didn't help. The Lump Wizard from the Quick Look is the peak of the game; there are no more fun monsters after that, unless you count the 2 or 3 harder versions of Lump Wizard. The combat consists of "these enemies will inflict or debuff these ailments. Grind for the exact correct gear or get fucked forever." That's all of the combat past the 2nd act (of like 8 acts). You will have 2 buffers/debuffers for every battle and every turn will be spent managing status ailments. No cool gimmicks. That is the beginning and end of the combat. It's a grind for the point of grind, and even listening to podcasts while playing it didn't stop me from feeling like my life was wasted on this. It had promise that was never utilized, and that's what kept me playing; like some abusive relationship.

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Efesell

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DQXI is charming as hell top to bottom. It's very intentionally traditional to be sure but sometimes the fundamentals are fun to go back to.

I would absolutely pick it up to play again if it were a better time for a very long JRPG.

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Raven10

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An update after 20 hours played. I am currently on a quest to build a rainbow bridge to reach the floating tree in the center of the world. It also seems that the kindly king may be possessed by an ancient demon of darkness. So, yea this is about as much of a Dragon Quest story as it gets. I’m just waiting for the magic tree to tell me about a set of magic armor I need to collect to defeat the demon, who also turns out to only be the servant of the real demon who is controlling everything from behind the scenes.

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Humanity

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@development: Yah that sounds a lot like traditional JRPGs and also not all that inviting. Well if it's still on Game Pass when I'm done with Cyberpunk then I'll maybe dip my toe. I thought Monster Hunter was definitely not going to be my thing but then I fell for it real hard so who knows.

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development

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@raven10: Hah! I don't want to spoil it, but... lol damn.

@humanity:I loved Monster Hunter World. I can tell you DQ XI has none of what makes MH fun.

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Raven10

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@development: @humanity: I will echo what development has said about this being about as bog standard traditional of a JRPG that you can get, but I will say that it has a bunch of solid QOL features that you wouldn't have gotten in those older games. Enemies appear in the world on land (not so much at sea and I haven't gotten flying powers yet) so no random battles, plus easier to grind when you know what you are about to fight, all your party gains experience from every battle even if they aren't actually present, the game autosaves at various points so you don't lose a ton of progress if you forget to manually save, a handy "zoom" spell lets you automatically teleport to almost any location you have previously visited, and plenty of other little QOL improvements across the board. I'm not going to say anything here is especially innovative or even newish. But for a Dragon Quest game, these are features years overdue. Plus to finally get a true HD Dragon Quest game after years of Wii and DS titles is a real treat. While not as visually impressive technically as the best western RPGs, or even Monster Hunter World, the amazing art direction, character, and monster design make it one of the more artistically impressive games I've played. The VO in both Japanese and English is incredibly solid, the characters are largely likeable in my opinion, and the music is great just horribly placed. It's almost like the music was written without any real input from Horii about where each track was going to be placed in the game, or even what the actual plot of the game was going to be. Some tracks don't seem to last long enough, or vary in tone and mood despite the scene they are playing over retaining the same tone throughout. It's incredibly odd. In many cutscenes the music just fades out entirely before starting up an entirely separate track that doesn't in any way connect thematically or aurally to the track that was playing beforehand. For a composer who has been doing this for 40 years it honestly feels amateurish in a way I would not have expected. But the music editing is really my only real complaint with the game. As long as you go in expecting a traditional, turn based, JRPG, this is among the best I've played.

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denisxcore

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I love this game so much. I encourage anyone even remotely interested to give it a shot!!

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Having played through the game on the switch, I would echo @development critique. I love the music; Only, I do not think there is enough variety. Extended sections of a very long game loop through the same few tracks and too few places have independent theme songs. The characterization reaches its apex in the first half of the second part (of 3). The plot is ice thin. The combat, likewise, never achieves a greater depth beyond say, the first third of the game. I did find fun, me being a numbers person, in regularly re-spec'ing characters, minimaxing and switching up my party lineup. I love the artwork and enemy types and much of this game does feel right - especially up to the second half of the second part. Then the grind starts. Hours of same-y gameplay through recycled narratives/ environments for morsels of newness. I would recommend not playing the third part, unless someone really enjoys and wants more of the mechanics.

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xanadu

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#20 xanadu  Online

So does this version have the "good music" or do you still have to mod that?

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Efesell

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@mc13ane: While I think it's a great game overall I will definitely agree that part 3 is an interesting idea that's not very fun to play.

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Justin258

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@sombre said:

The music was so bad, and so inappropriate, that I stopped playing entirely, it was that bad.

I was exploring a deep, dank dungeon, and there was horns and bugles playing.

This is the issue I had.

Well, rather, not that it was bad, but that it was so loud, in-your-face, and blaring above seemingly everything else. It's like the music wanted to take front stage over everything else. I probably would have played a lot more of the game if I could have set the music to just chill the fuck out/not play anything at all. I'm not sure if this was because all of the in-game music actually consisted of MIDI files (it all sounded a little too bright and sharp) or if this was because I'd rather music be atmospheric until something truly dramatic happens (like a dragon showing up in Skyrim or a big story moment or something).

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wollywoo

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#23  Edited By wollywoo

@justin258@sombre I only played the demo, but, absolutely agreed on the music. The battle music is just incessantly annoying - why does it sound like the theme song to a bad '70s cop show? And the main theme sounds like it is just way too reverent for the original game without maturing into its own. I like the Zelda approach to its original source material - it often has musical hints of the overworld theme from the NES game but rarely replays it entirely.

Also wasn't a big fan of the character art style or the cliche story. That said... there was a certain charm and warmth to everything. I could see myself getting into it if I kept with it.

Oh, and the main guy really needs a cooler haircut.