Dragon Quest VI
Realms of Reverie
The popular Japanese RPG (JRPG) series Dragon Quest arrives on the
Nintendo DS for western gamers to embark on a classic yet clichéd story
of good versus evil as they explore the realms of Reverie with
traditional turn based combat.
The story of Dragon Quest VI Realms of
around a hero from a small sleepy village who has been sent to defeat
Murdaw, the Demon Lord of Darkness. Your journey will involve classic
dungeon crawls to exploring new towns and even new realities as this
title takes places in two worlds, the real-world and the dreaming.
some, Dragon Quest VI, originally released in 1986 is also considered the precursor to the
Final Fantasy series (1987) that really launched the JRPG template of gaming.
With Realms of Reverie, the developers continue on this premise with
good old fashioned gameplay on the Nintendo DS console.
For those who have never played a Dragon Quest title before, the
mechanics are similar to those employed by Final Fantasy which is the
more popular game of the two that require
the player and their group of characters to explore both the real-world
and the dream-world.
The gameplay involves lots of random encounters
that leads to fights, boss challenges,
level-ups, customisation of characters and fine tuning of statistics.
It's the standard archetype for Japanese RPG. Although at the start of
the game, characters are just the basic fighters or mages but as you
progress, you can specialise that moves to unlocking additional
character vocations as the game calls it.
Given the scope of gaming in this
title and the rather large gaming universe that literally boasts two
worlds, seasoned JRPG veterans would probably complete this title in around 35 or
so hours. If you're a newcomer to the series, add an extra 5 or 15 but
best of all, this game does not disadvantage those new to the series as
it is quite easy to pick up and play, provided you're a fanboy or fangirl of this genre. Quests can be found in almost every nook and
cranny but like all JRPG titles, the gamer will
be inundated with screens and screens of text. This was a little
Another highlight of the game is the customisation of your characters
and the developers have included a considerably amount of range to what
kind of class and direction you want to employ. As opposed to just one
type of class, Dragon Quest VI allows you to further customise your
characters via the skill trees in order to become a more powerful
warrior or a mage that uses a particular type of skill. It's actually
quite a good character system.
The statistics included
in the game are strength, agility, resilience, wisdom, style, attack and
defence. Style is the weird attribute that is basically a "fashion show"
included in the game which does distract enemies and gives you
additional bonuses during fights. Weird! There's plenty of characters to
recruit in your party and the game gives you lots of opportunities to
become quite powerful before the final battle with Murdaw.
There are plenty of
mini-games used in this DS, thanks to the touch screen of the DS from
playing games in the casino to a weird slime curling mini-game. I'm
still confused about slime curling and still cannot get my head around
it. It does break up the gameplay and sometimes after a long night of
questing, you do need a break.
Graphically, Dragon Quest VI is a little dated
and looks like it moved from SNES to the DS but still looks
acceptable on the DS with colourful environments and a nice collection
of Japanese inspired characters and special effects. The title also
comes with a rather catchy and memorable soundtrack with all those 8-bit
noises to enhance the gameplay. Classic best sums up the graphics and
the sound. Given all this, Dragon Quest VI is a good game to control on
the DS without too many complicated menus.
In conclusion, Dragon Quest VI is pure Japanese RPG and harkens back to
a simpler time of exploration, turn-based combat and characters that
sometimes never stop talking... err... texting. The problem with Dragon
Quest VI is that it doesn't offer the player anything new in terms of
new gameplay which is like playing a similar game of this genre 5 or 10
years ago. However there is something endearing about this title that
offers both relaxation and excitement. Even though I've seen it all
before, there was something inside me that wanted me to keep playing due
to the combat, class customisation, discoveries and to an extent the story. However
for those looking for the next big JRPG, you may be a little
disappointed because Dragon Quest VI is like a time-warp.