Gaming

Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age Review

No longer exclusive in Japan

Published

on

The way video games have evolved over time is nothing short of impressive. Studios and franchises keep finding ways to improve and adapt to cater to the demand of the modern gamer. Blocky characters became more realistic, gameplay more complex, worlds vastly expanded. But it can get overwhelming and sometimes you just want to come home to something familiar.

Enter Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age, a classic JRPG that will warm your heart and hit you hard with nostalgia.

What a wonderful world

I was welcomed into the bright world of Erdrea with a cinematic that explained how the hero (you get to name him) ended up in the humble town of Cobblestone. It’s later revealed that he’s the Luminary, a legendary hero tasked to save Erdrea from darkness. This catapults our hero into his journey to fulfill his destiny. It’s honestly not a spectacular opening, not even remotely original. But I was glad to find that as the game progressed, the story started to introduce twists to the story. Sooner, much rather than later, I was hooked.

The characters are as wonderfully colorful and diverse as the world they live in. The crazy menagerie of monsters, bumbling NPCs, and quirky members of your party add another level of entertainment. Your party, for example, despite sticking to the classic JRPG classes, have their own distinct personalities that try and stray away from the expected. No big, macho tanks here but you do get a fun, dancing circus performer.

The towns that you visit also have their own identities (and accents!) which make them unique; it’s like visiting a different country each time.

Fun fact: The artist of Dragon Quest is also the artist of Dragon Ball, hence the similarity in character designs.

New but familiar

Dragon Quest XI is an apple that doesn’t fall far from the classic dungeon crawler tree by sticking to turn-based fighting and point-based character building. What’s great this time around is that enemies are visible in the overworld which eliminates the element of random encounters. This may be a good or bad thing depending on what kind of player you are. For me, it was incredibly helpful because I was able to choose my battles. Once I got to a certain level, I started avoiding the weaker enemies so I could save my HP and MP for the ones that that gave higher experience points or just go straight to the boss battles.

Staying true to the formula, it’s a lather-rinse-repeat kind of game. To progress the story and level up, you fight several enemies and bosses, go to towns, accomplish quests and then do it all over again. Dragon Quest attempts to relieve the repetitiveness of this kind of gameplay by giving the option to have your party attack automatically. It worked great in getting past easy monsters without much effort and also for level grinding.

Pep Powers are also introduced in the game. When a member of your party is hit a number of times, they get “Pepped Up” which increases their stats and adds special moves that he/she can perform alone or with another pepped-up party member; different combinations of characters yield different attacks/buffs. If you’re familiar with Limit Breaks, it’s similar to that. I found it hard to manage, though, as only the main hero will attain the ability to get pepped up on command. The rest of your party will do it at random, making it more difficult if you want to execute a certain ability.

Linear but large

As expected, Dragon Quest XI is not an open-world game. And while you are free to roam around the map, you won’t get far without following the main story, as new areas are usually blocked. For each town, there are different story arcs that not only support the main story but add to the rich tapestry of Dragon World XI’s world. It’s surprising how easily each town’s story seamlessly weaves into the next making it quite hard to stop playing.

Moving around is easy with the option to fast travel using a spell given in the early levels of the main character. But unless there’s a specific goal to achieve in these towns, I found going by foot or by horse was much more enjoyable, plus you’ll be able to search for treasure chests and crafting materials hidden throughout the world. The game also rewards you for breaking pots and barrels, as well as looting cabinets and bookshelves in the homes of townspeople.

Dragon Quest makes up for being linear by offering so much content. On average, you’ll need about 70 hours to finish the main game, but with the post-game content, you can easily stretch your play time well above the hundred-hour mark. Thankfully, Erdrea is huge (Mild spoiler: You’ll be needing a boat) and the story is strong enough to support this lengthy game.

Overall, Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age is a wonderful testament to the JRPG genre and a great example of how a classic formula can be successfully brought into the modern age of video games. It’s a familiar and comfortable game that still offers quite a challenge. It lives up to its name, surely pleasing fans of the series and the genre but also creating a welcome atmosphere for new players. Despite the slow start, you’ll soon find yourself lost in the beautiful world of Erdrea and heavily invested in the story and its characters.

From scouring corners of the world for crafting materials to spending time on each character’s skill tree or even playing some of the town’s mini-games, Dragon Quest XI offers a multitude of things to accomplish that will leave you playing for hours. If you find yourself wanting to play a new game but also yearning for a touch of the classic dungeon crawlers of before, Echoes of an Elusive Age is definitely a game to consider

Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age was released worldwide on September 4, 2018 and is available on PS4 and Steam. This article was based on a digital copy for the PS4.

Gaming

ICYMI: The World University Cyber League 2020 has begun

The best gamers from the brightest in the region duke it out for gaming supremacy

Published

on

Tencent Sports wanted to up the competition a little bit more in Southeast Asia, following Esports’ rapid rise in the region. Obviously, the best option for that is to hold a tournament to bring in the best of the best for some healthy competition. With the help of Mineski Global, they’ve done exactly just that, and are now on their final stages of the entire tournament.

The World University Cyber League 2020 started last June 28, and featured players from four markets in Southeast Asia. This time around, these players don’t come from established teams and franchises from their home countries. Instead, they are university-sponsored students, as they compete for a prize pool of over US$ 5,000. The Philippines host the SEA qualifiers, through Mineski Global’s Philippine division and its Youth Esports Program.

Students from the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Thailand are competing across three different games. The roster of games Tencent prepared include popular mobile games like Clash Royale and PUBG Mobile, and an Esports classic in League of Legends.

Qualifiers will end on July 9, with the best teams moving to the WUCL Finals from July 10-15. To know more about the WUCL, you may visit their official website.

Continue Reading

Gaming

KFC announces its own gaming console with a built-in chicken cooker

Might be a gag

Published

on

It’s fair to say that the console wars have begun. Over the past few months, Sony and Microsoft have launched amazing, hype-inducing tidbits at the adoring audience of gamers. With both consoles finally getting their individual chances at the spotlight, are you getting the PlayStation 5 or the Xbox Series X?

Strangely enough, a surprise contender wants to join the next-generation conversation. Earlier last month, KFC Gaming (yes, it’s real) released a teaser video for an upcoming branded console, the KFConsole.

The console is shaped like a KFC chicken bucket, complete with red and white underlights. Sitting close to the bottom, it has the standard disc slot and a power button. Inside, the console sports a “Zinger processor chip clocked at 11GHz.” It has cross platform compatibility and 4K/120fps support.

However, the console’s biggest feature goes beyond gaming. Most of the console’s front is a “chicken chamber,” obviously for cooking chicken. It gives another meaning to an overheating gaming machine.

The short teaser video ends with a probably launch date: November 12, 2020.

Now, if you’re hoping to grab your own gaming bucket, the console is likely an elaborate gag. Though the company has not confirmed the console’s legitimacy, it’s unlikely that a modern gaming console can have a huge “chicken chamber.” Next-generation consoles are already huge without an oven in them.

That said, KFC has released very-real gaming-related campaigns in the past. Very recently, the company launched an official island on the popular island simulator, Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Who knows? They might actually launch something on November 12.

If they do, they are in good company. In the past, Razer has also done a similar off-brand prank to promote a toaster. However, because of universal demand, the gaming company eventually made a real toaster. KFC might fall into the same trend. We definitely wouldn’t say no to our very own chicken chamber.

SEE ALSO: Sony announces huge list of games for the PS5

Continue Reading

Gaming

Microsoft to hold a big Xbox event on July 23

Time to showcase the console’s new games

Published

on

Last month, Sony hosted the most eventful games showcase for the PlayStation 5. Besides a game for everyone, the event finally unveiled the mysterious console in all its glory. Naturally, all the hype is on the PlayStation 5. To those intently following the console wars, the inherent question is what Microsoft has up its sleeve for the Xbox Series X.

Now, Microsoft has confirmed that it is taking the same route as the PlayStation 5. Specifically, the company will hold a similar games showcase on July 23. The event will likely feature all the current projects from the Xbox Games Studios. This includes the new Halo Infinity, a potential return to Fable, Psychonauts 2, and Gears of War.

Of course, as with the PlayStation event, we weren’t really expecting anything. However, the event probably has a few tricks up its sleeve. If anything, it will also showcase the console itself. Though we already know what it looks like, Microsoft can still reveal a few more details about the upcoming console, especially if it hopes to upend the hype generated by the PlayStation 5.

Recently, a leak hinted at a more affordable console in the series. Given that the PlayStation 5 will also have a Digital Edition, the Xbox Series X might go the same route.

The series will likely launch sometime during the holiday season.

SEE ALSO: Will PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X games be more expensive?

Continue Reading

Trending