#1 2020-08-04 12:13:09

Registered: 2020-08-04
Posts: 1,150

I’d never played a Dragon Quest game before

Dragon Quest is a franchise that is closely tied to my becoming a fan of Japanese RPGs

Fans of Japanese RPGs should certainly take note, as there’s no shortage of them announced for the system.
It was one of the first RPGs I ever played, way back on the NES when it was still known in the west as Dragon Warrior, and I have managed to play nearly every mainline entry in the series and a number of the spinoffs.
I rented Dragon Warrior for three straight weeks, knowing that if I returned it, my saved game would likely be lost.
Despite this, however, the original game has always been my white whale.
No matter how many times I’ve played the game in either its original NES incarnation or the later Game Boy Color port, I’ve never managed to finish it.
It took everything great about the NES originals and turned it up to 11.
I’m not sure if I should chalk it up to the poor localization the game received in the 80s or the fact that the game doesn’t offer a lot of insight into where to go.
Regardless, it’s something that’s always bothered me.
This is a series I’ve dedicated countless hours to across nearly as many platforms and somehow I’d never finished any of the games until Dragon Quest IX in 2010.
It may be another ten years later, but I’ve finally broken the streak and Dragon Quest is finally a game that I can mark off of my list.
I’d never played a Dragon Quest game before, but I did have my fair share of experience when it came to JRPGs.

Dragon Quest has a simple enough story

Would it work for the Quest.
You are the descendant of the hero Loto, the man who once saved the Kingdom of Alefgard from the evil Dragon Lord.
After many generations, Dragon Lord has returned and taken both the Princess and the Ball of Light, the item responsible for Alefgard’s prosperity.
It is now up to you to find the items scattered across the land by Loto and storm Charlock castle to defeat the Dragon Lord and retrieve the Ball of Light to restore peace to the land.

Dragon Quest released in 1986 and was the progenitor of the entire JRPG genre

Everything we enjoy today from the Final Fantasys to the Personas, it all started here, and because of that, I’m more than willing to give the game a pass when it comes to the paper-thin plot.
Outside of opening the path to Charlock and defeating Dragon Lord, .

There’s little to do in Dragon Quest

You don’t even need to save Princess Gwaelin to beat the game.
It’s more of a fun little sidequest and something that gives you a nice bonus if you do manage to find her.
It’s a nice throwback to a simpler time in video games, .

But don’t expect anything crazy from Dragon Quest

It’s a nearly 35-year-old Japanese RPG that was made on very limited hardware without any of the fancy chipsets that would make later NES games as impressive as they are.
Even the recent Nintendo Switch port is barebones when compared to other offerings, but that also lets the game be true to its original form without the bells and whistles that were added in later ports of the likes of Final Fantasy.
The Nintendo Switch port of the game offers the same visuals as the previous mobile ports, which themselves are based on the Super Famicom port of the game.
This means the visuals have a nice upgrade from the NES original.
The biggest update though is to the monster sprites.
Seeing Akira Toriyama’s monster designs with more detail is always welcome.
The Dragon Quest monster designs are iconic and seeing them with the extra coat of HD paint in this Switch release was a real joy.

When it comes to Dragon Quest‘s iconography however

the music is probably its most iconic feature.
RPG fans of a certain age can probably recite the opening melody off the top of their head.
Koichi Sugiyama’s use of certain hooks throughout the Dragon Quest soundtrack makes the songs almost instantly recognizable.
To make this package even better, the Switch release forgoes the classic chiptune renditions of the songs in favor of the orchestral score.

This gives this version of Dragon Quest the best possible version of its legendary score
Finally beating Dragon Quest felt like lifting a huge weight off of my shoulders

It may have been thirty years late, but getting to experience this version that combined the Super Nintendo’s visuals with the beautiful orchestral soundtrack gave me one of the best versions of the game available today.
Maybe someday I’ll go back and finish the original version of the game, but for now, .

I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished and I look forward to moving on to Dragon Quest II
The post Dragon Quest Review appeared first on Kulture Shocked



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