Hello and welcome to The Starlight Megaphone’s playthrough of Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age, a classic turn-based JRPG originally released for the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo 3DS consoles in Japan on 29 July 2017; and then released rest-of-the-worldwide for PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Windows on 4 September 2018.
Scarcely a few weeks have passed since the release of Dragon Quest XI, but the game has already achieved a near-legendary status as perhaps not only the finest Dragon Quest game ever made, but perhaps also the finest JRPG of the past decade. After the recent, less-than-stunning Square Enix release of Final Fantasy XV and Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition, both of which were narratively underwhelming and burdened with in-game-marketing, fans of Square Enix were delighted to hear that Dragon Quest XI had been slated for release on the Switch and PlayStation 4, and that, because of Yuji Horii’s careful gatekeeping of his franchise, the newest DQ game would not disappoint.
Although the rest-of-the-worldwide release does not include the charming 3DS version, which rendered the game as if it were a classic 16-bit JRPG, fans were still willing to give the franchise the benefit of the doubt.
As a result of delivering on fan expectations, the game is a smash hit, selling over four million copies in Japan alone, and receiving universal praise from the notoriously difficult-to-please The Starlight Megaphone staff members, from its Japanese launch until the present. Caspius himself has praised it in the highest terms, placing it even above Dragon Quest VIII.
Dragon Quest XI builds upon the gameplay systems of previous Dragon Quest games, although the setting remains a unique entry in the series, as is typical of games of that series (similar to the way in which Final Fantasy games share themes or names, but each rendered in a different form on a per-game basis). The ostensibly beautiful setting is the setup for the protagonist’s difficult beginning: his life is turned upside-down when he discovers that he is no normal village boy: in fact, he is the reincarnation of the Luminary, a hero who is destined to save the world from the forces of darkness.
Use the comment thread below to discuss your approach to the game, challenges you have faced, secrets you have uncovered, and what you are getting out of your playthrough. Do you feel that the Dragon Quest series has truly advanced since its origins in the 2D era? Or, do you prefer the aesthetics and gameplay of the classic titles? Has your experience with other Dragon Quest titles affected your perception of the latest game? Do you find the world immersive, or constricting in its linearity? Tell us all about it and join in our discussion below! We will select some of the best comments, each week, for our podcast discussion.
The aim in this playthrough is to complete the entirety of the game in four weeks:
– Week 1: Reach Sniflheim.
– Week 2: Obtain the ability to fly.
– Week 3: See the end credits(!), and then obtain eight total party members.
– Week 4: Finish the main story line in the post-credits game.
Please join in, even if you are behind on the playthrough. Anyone and everyone is invited to participate, regardless of speed of play or familiarity with the series. Comment and tell your friends!
Without further adieu, it is our pleasure to invite you to join The Starlight Megaphone’s staff members and readers as we explore the latest quest from Yuji Horii in Echoes of the Past: A Dragon Quest XI Playthrough!