Dragon Quest Treasures is a prequel to Dragon Quest XI, that includes everybody’s favourite rogue siblings, Erik and Mia. In Treasures, they’re rogue youngsters, bored of life with the Vikings. They’ve their eyes on one thing shinier, so that they set out on the lookout for adventures ending in treasure.
And thus, they discover them. Erik and Mia are whisked off to Draconia, a bunch of islands within the clouds which have fallen on exhausting instances. Of their adventures, the siblings scour huge lands on the lookout for treasure, befriend archaeologists, construct a base to retailer their trove, and struggle off pirates seeking to run off with their hard-found shiny objects. That every one seems like a make-believe recreation that neighborhood youngsters may provide you with throughout a weekend hangout.
Don’t count on something too heavy; Dragon Quest Treasures is on the lighter aspect for the collection. Although it stars a pair of characters from Dragon Quest XI, there’s no darkish historical past of how that recreation’s setting of Erdrea got here to be, and also you received’t unearth any backstory exploring Erik and Mia’s relationship or household. The narrative shouldn’t be grand, sweeping, or earth-shattering however a easy, gentle youngsters’s fantasy that so occurs to star these two throughout their youth. They develop a relationship with two tiny creatures, a small cat with wings named Purrsula and a small pig with wings named Porcus, who give them a hand discovering their bearings round Draconia.
As for what this recreation is, that’s not simple to outline. Yuji Horii and firm tried one thing new, and it’s a bit little bit of quite a lot of issues. Dragon Quest Treasures is a component monster accumulating, half base constructing, and a complete ton of exploring a large open world. Greater than something, because the title would allude, it’s about trying to find treasure. As in any open-world RPG, you have got a hefty quest log. Whereas a lot of the sidequests are of the “go to a location” persuasion, the principle quests principally have broader objectives, reminiscent of leveling up your treasure-hunting operation. The way you go about doing that’s largely as much as you. You ultimately uncover most important quests with extra concrete objectives, however even these aren’t so easy.
Not like mainline Dragon Quest video games, your complete map is open from the beginning, with no exhausting boundaries blocking the best way. After all, it wouldn’t be a lot of a recreation if there weren’t some obstacles to beat in your strategy to your vacation spot. Erik and Mia are merely human youngsters, so that they’ll must get by with a bit assist from their monster pals. In Dragon Quest Treasures, every monster you gather has a Forte — a particular motion skill that helps Erik or Mia get to these hard-to-reach locations. Drackies provide the skill to glide for a distance, and the number of little hogs in hats are speedy and dash to get you someplace in a rush. There are 5 Fortes: Dash, Launch, Glide, Stealth, and Scan. As every monster solely has one, and also you solely take three monsters with you whereas exploring, the necessity to take into account get together composition comes into play. If Horii was making an attempt to transpose Dragon Quest right into a Breath of the Wild-like expertise, the Dragon Quest crew has largely succeeded in creating an open world that leaves gamers to their very own units and nonetheless looks like Dragon Quest above all.
It’s an imposing world. Every of the 5 islands you discover is splendidly crafted, together with separate areas with distinctive landmarks. As Draconia rests on the again of an precise deceased dragon, you possibly can usually glimpse options of the dragon itself off within the distance towards an ever-changing sky. In case you see a spot, meaning you may get to it. In between your self and people distant areas lie pure lands with bits of a once-vibrant society now in ruins. It’s apparent that the Dragon Quest crew needed to offer many treats for gamers to find. In all or any of Dragon Quest Treasures’ 5 islands, I like to recommend that you just climb to the very best spot you could find and take a second to survey the breathtaking landscapes. There’s a lovely lore about Draconia that you just’re fed a small bit at a time, often via finishing sidequests, and I used to be at all times hoping to find extra.
It’s a wonderful backdrop for trying to find treasure. If Breath of the Wild’s Captured Recollections have been developed into a whole recreation, it will in all probability appear like Dragon Quest Treasures. While you strategy a buried treasure, your monsters warn you that there’s one thing close by, and every of the three offers you a restricted image of the spot the place the treasure is. While you get shut sufficient to the spot, it glows, and you may dig it up, which requires holding the dig button till you fill a meter.
The treasures themselves are a love letter to Dragon Quest followers and embrace statues of characters from the collection, weapons and gadgets each uncommon and customary, and even some real-world Dragon Quest merch reminiscent of playing cards from the buying and selling card recreation. Every prize has a worth that will get plopped on high of the full quantity you’ve gathered to date to point out how proficient your gang is. Sadly, these treasures are merely for present, to be locked away in your vault for safekeeping, and none are for sensible use as treasures often are in different RPGs.
Altogether, Dragon Quest Treasures’ treasure looking is a enjoyable loop of preparation, exploration, and discovery, the place you go at your personal tempo. Or you possibly can neglect the treasure so long as you need and simply discover. Sidequests supply one thing extra concrete to do in order for you a break from wandering round, often requiring that you just get to a particular vacation spot and generally ship some gadgets upon arrival, and the rewards are sometimes spectacular. Whereas your actions generally completely have an effect on the world round you, your footprint is lighter than in some open-world video games.
As excited as I used to be to discover Draconia, I used to be equally unenthusiastic about combating the creatures residing in it. On the one hand, it’s refreshing that the core gameplay is exploration targeted. However fight can also be a most important part, and it’s lower than spectacular. Melee fight is carried out by mashing the assault button. That’s it. There are not any weapon upgrades, simply the siblings’ bejeweled daggers, so there isn’t any selection. Utilizing the catapult (suppose slingshot) gives a bit extra. While you goal, the digicam zooms to an over-the-shoulder view, and also you’re nonetheless free to maneuver whereas doing so. There are numerous pellets for ammunition that may deal elemental harm, inflict standing results, and even heal allies. You’ll be able to craft extra forms of pellets by discovering recipes. However you primarily assist your monsters, who do a lot of the heavy lifting in fight. Boss fights are extra interesting than randomly combating monsters within the subject, however primarily due to their spectacular look. Although it dawned on me that mashing the assault button was not considerably completely different from what I might have carried out in a conventional turn-based Dragon Quest recreation, there’s little satisfying about Dragon Quest Treasures’ fight.
Your monsters act nearly completely on their very own. You have got two instructions: go and are available again. At first, I discovered my get together’s self-initiative irritating, although I finally grew an appreciation for it that turned again into irritation. They exhibit the eye span of my 1-year-old cat, who nonetheless desires to chase something that strikes throughout his line of imaginative and prescient. The primary time I went out to discover in Dragon Quest Treasures, I set my navigation mark to a sidequest that was an excellent distance away. However I used to be solely within the subject for a couple of minutes earlier than they discovered extra treasure than they may carry (monsters have to hold treasure, and so they have a restricted capability), and so they additionally ran off to assault any monster nearby, whether or not I needed them to or not. However I grew to understand my get together monsters, as they might clear up close by enemies whereas I wandered round in quest of treasure, choosing up simple expertise. As I began to push into areas with higher-level monsters, I might attempt to keep away from fight so I wouldn’t get destroyed, however my monsters nonetheless attacked something they noticed. I might then must go and save them and the treasure they have been carrying.
Monster accumulating can also be a significant a part of Dragon Quest Treasures, although it’s a lot easier than in video games like Pokémon. While you defeat monsters within the subject, there’s a risk they’ll be impressed with you and wish to be a part of your crew, although it is advisable pay them gadgets earlier than they be a part of. There’s no breeding or everlasting stat boosting aside from choosing up good old school expertise factors via battle. Amassing and fight in Dragon Quest Treasures are so easy, but there are such a lot of methods and stats that don’t appear to make a lot of a distinction, a minimum of not till you get into more difficult post-game content material. These have been features I shied away from, and I discovered that fight principally hinders the wonderful expertise of exploration. It feels as if the builders needed to do an excessive amount of and weren’t capable of give each side the love and a focus they dedicated to crafting the world.
The traditional Dragon Quest music is employed in full power, although with a extra restricted number of background songs. As a most important theme of Dragon Quest Treasures is exploration, the music, as at all times, made me hungry for journey. After all, the traditional sound results for successful a battle and leveling up are at all times invigorating to listen to. The English voiceovers are nice, and it’s enjoyable to take heed to the standard Dragon Quest ethnic accents within the writing acted out. However I most well-liked the Japanese, as these actors introduced way more enthusiasm to their elements, even in smaller roles, like monster yells and grunts, and it’s clear how a lot they liked engaged on this venture.
Dragon Quest Treasures gives a cute story, lovely lore, and an impressive world to find, and whereas that’s all pretty, the expertise is marred by its weak fight. In methods each good and dangerous, this recreation put me within the temper to play different Dragon Quest video games. The treasure is tarnished, however it’s nonetheless a minimum of one thing shiny and new to do, making Dragon Quest Treasures a good appetizer as we proceed to await Dragon Quest XII.