Dragon Quest XI
|Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age|
North American PlayStation 4 cover art
|Engine||Unreal Engine 4|
Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age[b] is a role-playing video game developed and published by Square Enix. An entry in the longrunning Dragon Quest video game series, it was released in Japan for the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation 4 in July 2017, and worldwide for the PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Windows in September 2018. It will also be released for the Nintendo Switch sometime later. By the end of 2017, the game had sold three million copies across the PlayStation 4 and 3DS.
Dragon Quest XI continues the gameplay of previous games in the series, in which players explore worlds and fight against various monsters, including the ability to explore high areas. The Nintendo 3DS version features a different style to the other versions, showcasing 3D graphics on the top screen and 16-bit styled sprites on the bottom screen. Before entering battle, players can also toggle between the 3D and 2D graphical styles at any time. Like with Dragon Quest IX, the game's battle system features no random encounters and shows all enemies on the overworld. The battle system also adds a free-form camera option that allows players to move around the battlefield, although it remains turn-based and is purely visual.
The game is set in the fantasy world of Erdrea. During a stormy night, as the Kingdom of Dundrasill is invaded and destroyed by a monster army, a little girl flees with a newborn baby on her arms, but both fall into a river and the baby ends up rescued by a man. 16 years later at Cobblestone Village, the protagonist and his childhood friend Gemma participate in a coming-of-age tradition of climbing the local mountain when they are attacked by monsters and the mark on the protagonist's hand glows, summoning a lightning to save them. Upon returning, his adoptive mother reveals to him that he was the baby rescued by her late father, and by his instructions, sends him to meet King Carnelian of Heliodor. However, upon meeting the king, he is thrown into prison under the accusation that his existence is a threat to the world.
Once imprisoned, the protagonist meets a thief called Erik and together, they escape using a tunnel to the sewers. While evading pursuit from Carnelian's retainers, Sir Hendrik and Sir Jasper, they meet two mages from the city of Arborea: Veronica, who fell into a curse that transformed her into a child, and her twin sister Serena. The two immediately recognize the protagonist as the reincarnation of the Luminary, a legendary hero chosen by the world tree Yggdrasil to save Erdrea from evil, and swear their allegiance to him. The four then set on a quest to reach Yggdrasil so that the Luminary can fulfill his destiny, later joined by Sylvando, a traveling performer, Rab, also known as Lord Robert, who is a noble from Dundrasill and the protagonist's grandfather, and Jade, the Princess of Heliodor who was the same child who escaped with the newborn Luminary from Dundrasill 16 years before.
The party eventually reaches the core of Yggdrasil, but just when the Luminary is about to retrieve his destined weapon, the Sword of Light from it, King Carnelian, Hendrik and Jasper intercept them. In the occasion, it is revealed that Carnelian was all this time being possessed by Mordegon, the Lord of Shadows and that Jasper betrayed the king to join forces with him. The two then subdue Hendrik and the party, with Mordegon stealing and corrupting the sword and absorbing the power of Yggdrasil for himself, destroying it. Separated from his companions, the Luminary is rescued by the mermaids from the underwater kingdom of Nautica, where he learns that since the fall of Yggdrasil, Mordegon has sent his forces to terrorize the whole world. After going back to the surface, he returns to Cobblestone, now turned into a refuge to the citizens of Heliodor by King Carnelian and Hendrik, and together, they reclaim Heliodor's castle from Mordegon's forces.
Afterwards, Hendrik and the Luminary depart together to look for a way to defeat Mordegon. On their way, they reunite with the rest of the party, except for Veronica, as they later discover that she had sacrificed herself to save the others when Yggdrasil fell. At Arboria, the party discovers Cetacea, a huge flying whale that takes them to a floating island, where they discover the means to forge a new Sword of Light for their confront with Mordegon.
Dragon Quest XI started development in 2013. Initially, the team considered making the game fully open world, but decided against it as it would have led to issues telling its story. The PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, and Nintendo Switch versions use the Unreal Engine 4 game engine and had developmental assistance from ORCA Inc, while the 3DS version had assistance from Toylogic Inc. In January 2016, series creator Yuji Horii stated that the story was nearly finished and that the game's intro section was playable. In April 2017, Square Enix held a special presentation for the game, where the release date for the PlayStation 4 and 3DS versions of the game were revealed to be July 29, 2017. The same month, Sony Interactive Entertainment and Nintendo unveiled special editions of their PlayStation 4 Slim and New Nintendo 2DS XL hardware for Japan to tie into the game.
Coinciding with the release of the Japanese version, lead designer and scenario writer Yuji Horii announced that an international version, localized in five separate languages, would be released in 2018. The exact date was later revealed to be September 4, 2018, along with a version for Microsoft Windows via Steam, a first for the main series. It will include voiced English dialogue, a first-person camera option, support for 4K resolution, and an additional "Draconian Quest" hard mode difficulty setting, among other minor changes. Square Enix stated they wanted to expand the Dragon Quest brand outside of Japan, which they believed that these features, in addition to having a Windows version, would assist it.
The international PlayStation 4 release also saw a special collector's edition, titled Edition of Lost Time, which includes the base game, a set of bonus in-game items, a 128-page hardback art book featuring original character design concepts from Akira Toriyama, a two-disc soundtrack featuring orchestrated versions of the game's music by Koichi Sugiyama, a cloth map of the game's world, and a steelbook case. The 3DS version will not be localized outside of Japan, while the Switch version was delayed while the team updates it to a newer version of the Unreal engine that the system supports.
Dragon Quest XI received "generally favorable reviews" according to review aggregator Metacritic, with critics praising it for its visuals, traditional turn-based combat, plot, and characters. Multiple publications called it the best game in the Dragon Quest series, as well as one of the best contemporary JRPGs. Kotaku's Tim Rogers, a long-time player of the series, called it one of the best games of all time. GamingBolt wrote that it displayed a great command of the "ins and outs of its genre" the way few other games did. USgamer considered the game to be the natural followup to Dragon Quest VIII, the last main-series console game to be released outside of Japan, and an ideal entry point for newcomers to the series.
Despite the common praise, Dragon Quest XI received some criticism for its non-orchestrated, MIDI-sequenced soundtrack, which critics noted was often at odds with the game's visuals. In addition, some critics noted that the traditionalism of the game was a detriment, such as Polygon stating that the upgraded visuals and presentation were "grafted onto a frail and aging skeleton" and that it was unlikely to bring in any new fans to the series due to its non-evolving nature. PC Gamer also agreed, noting that while the Windows port was ran without issue and "looked great", they believed the game itself was "disappointingly safe". While praising its visuals and overall presentation, Metro considered the game to be "old school to a fault", adding that its combat and character customization options was "needlessly simplistic".
The game sold two million copies on its first two days of sale in Japan; the Nintendo 3DS version sold 1.13 million, while the PlayStation 4 version sold 0.95 million. By November 2017, the game had sold over three million copies. By the end of 2017, the game had sold 3.12 million total copies in Japan, 1.76 for the 3DS and 1.35 for the PlayStation 4.
- Additional development support by Orca for the PlayStation 4 version and Toylogic for the 3DS version.
- Dragon Quest XI: Sugisarishi Toki o Motomete (ドラゴンクエストXI 過ぎ去りし時を求めて) in Japanese
- Okamoto, Hokuto. "Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age Journeys West September 4". PlayStation Blog. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
- Sato (January 4, 2017). Akira Toriyama Talks About His Work As A Character Designer For Dragon Quest. Siliconera. Archived from the original on January 5, 2017. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
- Sato (July 28, 2015). "Dragon Quest XI Announced For PlayStation 4, And Nintendo 3DS". Siliconera. Archived from the original on July 28, 2015. Retrieved July 29, 2015.
- Sato (July 28, 2015). "Dragon Quest XI's First 3DS Footage Shows Its 2D And 3D Styles". Siliconera. Archived from the original on July 28, 2015. Retrieved July 29, 2015.
- Sato (July 30, 2015). "Dragon Quest XI On 3DS Won't Simultaneously Play In 3D And 2D For The Entire Game". Siliconera. Archived from the original on July 30, 2015. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
- Williams, Mike. "Dragon Quest XI Is a Comfortable Callback to an Older Style of JRPG". US Gamer. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
- Sato (July 30, 2015). "Dragon Quest XI Shows A Glimpse Of Its Fields And Battles On PlayStation 4 And 3DS". Siliconera. Archived from the original on August 1, 2015. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
- Meister, Rich. "Dragon Quest XI's western release is adding a lot more than English voice acting". Destructoid. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
- "300万本突破！超人気｢ドラクエⅪ｣の舞台裏 | ゲーム・エンタメ". 東洋経済オンライン (in Japanese). August 8, 2017. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
- Arnold, Cory (August 21, 2016). "Dragon Quest XI confirmed for NX, simultaneous launch with PS4 and 3DS versions suggested". Gematsu. Archived from the original on August 22, 2016. Retrieved August 21, 2016.
- Sato. "Square Enix Initially Considered Making Dragon Quest XI An Open-World Game". Siliconera. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
- "シリーズ最新作 「ドラゴンクエストXI 過ぎ去りし時を求めて」 発売決定のお知らせ" (in Japanese). Square Enix. Archived from the original on January 3, 2016. Retrieved January 30, 2016.
- Romano, Sal (January 13, 2016). "Dragon Quest XI aiming for release before May 27, 2017 in Japan". Gematsu. Archived from the original on January 16, 2016. Retrieved January 18, 2016.
- Romano, Sal (March 21, 2017). "Dragon Quest XI Japanese Release Date Presentation set for April 11". Gematsu. Archived from the original on March 26, 2017. Retrieved March 25, 2017.
- "Dragon Quest XI Releases July 29 In Japan For PlayStation 4 And Nintendo 3DS". Siliconera. April 10, 2017. Archived from the original on April 11, 2017. Retrieved April 11, 2017.
- "Dragon Quest XI for PS4, 3DS launches July 29 in Japan - Gematsu". Gematsu. April 11, 2017. Archived from the original on April 12, 2017. Retrieved April 11, 2017.
- "'Dragon Quest XI' spawns the best and worst special edition consoles". Engadget. Archived from the original on April 28, 2017. Retrieved April 29, 2017.
- Osborn, Alex. "Dragon Quest XI Coming to the West". IGN. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
- Skrebels, Joe. "Dragon Quest 11: PS4 and PC Release Date Announced, Switch Coming 'Much Later', No 3DS Version". IGN. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
- Bailey, Kat. "Dragon Quest XI PC Will Support Native 4K, Learn From Nier: Automata's Problems". US Gamer. Retrieved April 15, 2018.
- Barnett, Brian. "Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age Release Date Collector's Edition". IGN. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
- Frank, Allegra. "Dragon Quest 11 aims for Monster Hunter: World's Western success". Retrieved August 1, 2018.
- Romano, Sal. "Dragon Quest XI 'Edition of Light' and 'Edition of Lost Time' special editions announced". Gematsu. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
- Romano, Sal. "Dragon Quest XI for Switch delay due to outdated Unreal Engine 4". Gematsu. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
- "Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age for PlayStation 4 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
- Carter, Chris (August 28, 2018). "Review: Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age". Destructoid. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
- Patterson, Mollie (August 28, 2018). "Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age review". EGM. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
- Romano, Sal. "Famitsu Review Scores: Issue 1497". Gematsu. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
- Faulkner, Jason (August 28, 2018). "Dragon Quest 11 Review – A Tradition Continues". Game Revolution. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
- Wallace, Kimberley (August 28, 2018). "Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age". Game Informer. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
- Kemps, Heidi (August 28, 2018). "Dragon Quest XI: Echoes Of An Elusive Age Review - Back To The Good-Old Days". Retrieved August 28, 2018.
- Petty, Jared (August 28, 2018). "Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age Review". IGN. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
- Schilling, Chris. "Dragon Quest 11: Echoes of an Elusive Age review". PC Gamer. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
- Oxford, Nadia (August 28, 2018). "Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age Review". USgamer. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
- "Dragon Quest XI review – pretty old-fashioned". metro.co.uk. GameCentral. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
- Kemps, Heidi (August 28, 2018). "Dragon Quest XI: Echoes Of An Elusive Age Review - Back To The Good-Old Days". GameSpot. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
- "Dragon Quest 11: Echoes of an Elusive Age review - a staunchly traditional return for the stately RPG series". Eurogamer.net. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
- "Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age Review – A Blueprint For JRPGs". gamingbolt.com. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
- Rogers, Tim. "Dragon Quest XI: The Kotaku Review". Kotaku. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
- Parkin, Jeffrey. "Dragon Quest 11 review". Polygon. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
- Wilde, Tyler; Walton, Jarred; Fenlon, Wes. "Dragon Quest 11's PC port is barebones, but it looks great anyway". PC Gamer. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
- 『ドラゴンクエストXI 過ぎ去りし時を求めて』発売2日間で208.1万本を販売. famitsu.com. August 2, 2017. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
- Sinclair, Brendan. "New Dragon Quest, old Final Fantasy drive Square Enix growth". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
- "2017年度国内家庭用ゲーム市場規模は3878.1億円。前年比121.8％で、2年連続ハード・ソフト両市場が前年超えに". Famitsu (in Japanese). 2018-04-02.