As we’re sure many of you saw during Xbox Games Showcase, Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition is releasing for Xbox One family on December 4. What’s more, it’s coming to Xbox Game Pass Console and PC on the same day!
This is a release worth getting excited about – not only an enhanced and expanded version of one of the most critically-acclaimed RPGs of the last few years, it’s the first time the Dragon Quest series has appeared on a Microsoft platform. That means that some of you may be coming to the series for the first time and wondering… what’s the big deal?
Before we dig into the details of Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition, we thought we’d offer a short primer on the series and answer a few basic questions.
What is Dragon Quest?
Dragon Quest isn’t just one of the most celebrated game series in history; it’s also one of the longest running.
The first title (Dragon Quest) was released in Japan way back in 1986, and the core figures behind the game, including Game Designer Yuji Horii (the creator of the series), Character Designer Akira Toriyama (creator of Dragon Ball) and composer Koichi Sugiyama (also known for other popular music in Japan) continue to be involved in the series to this day.
Koichi Sugiyama’s soundtrack adopted orchestral music which was rare at the time and added to the fantasy feel of the game. Thanks to their work, and Koichi Nakamura’s programming and direction, the game captured the imagination of everyone who played it. It achieved a tremendous amount of success in Japan, both in terms of critical reception and sales.
Not only did it gain widespread popularity, it also had a massive influence. It’s no exaggeration to say that Dragon Quest created an entirely new genre – anyone who’s played a JRPG will have felt the influence of the series.
Dragon Quest eventually made its debut in the United States in 1989. However, it was released by a different (yet equally draconic) name, Dragon Warrior.
The series stuck with that title in the US until 2005, and the release of Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King – and it has been Dragon Quest across the West ever since.
In the 34 years since the release of the first title, many Dragon Quest titles have been released, including the 11 main series titles and many spin-offs. It’s popular all over the world, and in Japan especially it’s became a cultural phenomenon.
And now at last Xbox owners get to experience the series for themselves with Dragon Quest XI… and learn exactly why it’s earned such a following.
What’s Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition?
So, let’s talk about Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition. This is an expansive and epic (and trust us – that is exactly the correct descriptor) adventure that puts you into the shoes of a young hero, known as the Luminary.
Hunted by a powerful enemy, you and a growing party of friends and allies, will embark on a quest across vast continents and dangerous oceans. You’ll fight fearsome foes in fast-paced turn-based battles, collect and craft valuable equipment and learn of a threat that threatens to destroy the world itself.
What’s new with Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition?
Already a genuinely fantastic game, the Definitive Edition makes it even better with enhanced and refined features, including additional story content and a fully orchestrated soundtrack.
Here are just some of the additions:
- New side stories for companions – Dragon Quest XI has some of the most charming characters of any RPG. This edition of game includes new side stories and adventures that weren’t in the original release, so you can get to know them better than ever.
- 2D mode – You can play the game with either beautifully detailed 3D graphics, but if you want to celebrate the series’ roots, you can also play the entire adventure in retro-inspired 2D. You can even switch between the styles mid-adventure.
- 16-bit World of Tickington – this optional activity lets you visit locations from previous Dragon Quest worlds, full of characters to talk to and quests to complete.
- Japanese audio – You can now play the entire game, including the additional content, with a new Japanese voice track
- Photo mode – As you can tell from the screenshots, Dragon Quest XI is a real pretty game. Now you can immortalize your adventures with a comprehensive photo mode. You can rearrange characters, make them pose, change angles and much more.
Finally, here’s a question we know people new to the series often ask:
Do you need to have played any other Dragon Quest games to play this?
Here’s the short answer: no.
Here’s the longer, more useful answer: Almost every entry in the Dragon Quest series is a standalone adventure – similar to the Final Fantasy series. Each has its own unique characters, setting, and story and requires no knowledge of previous entries to enjoy. Dragon Quest XI is no different.
Of course, there are certainly Easter Eggs and callbacks to other games in the series, but they’re the kind of references that will make long-time fans stroke their chins and smile knowingly, rather than having any material impact on the plot.
So, feel free to dive in – even if it’s your first time. Especially if it’s your first time, as this is one of the best in the entire series.
Find out for yourself on December 4 when Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition launches for Xbox One consoles and PC. Pre-order now or play with Xbox Game Pass when it launches later this year.