Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation should feel familiar for fans of the franchise. That's good, as Dragon Quest is a solid role-playing series. But is this retro RPG still palatable after sixteen years in the vault? Mostly, yes, though it does leave behind a dry aftertaste that takes some getting used to.
ESRB Rating: Teen
THE BASICS: Two Worlds in Need of Saving
Dragon Quest VI serves up oldschool RPG fare that will ring familiar to fans of the genre. Your party responds to commands you dole out via a menu system, and you all take turns wailing on monsters using physical blows, magic, or special skills. You'll travel the world, visit towns, fulfill special requests, and generally spend up to 40 hours wending your way through the game before you take down the final bad guy.
Dragon Quest VI does have a unique trait: The gameplay is split up between two parallel worlds. The actions you take in one world might have consequences in the other.
Great Monster Designs - You'll be taking on some pretty original baddies in the game, all designed by the master manga-ka, Akira Toriyama. The beasts are also well-animated, which helps relieve some of the tedium of repetitive battles.
It's Challenging - You'll face numerous bosses in Dragon Quest VI, and they're all capable of flattening you unless you draw up the right strategy. The Dragon Quest series has never been very forgiving, and this one's no pushover, either.
Lots to Explore - With two worlds to hike through and plenty of loose ends to tie up, you'll be kept very busy with Dragon Quest VI for a long time.
The World-Switching Can be Confusing - The action in Dragon Quest VI takes place across two versions of the same world, and keeping track of the subtle differences between each world can be quite a task.
The Extra Features are Unimpressive - The Nintendo DS remakes of the Dragon Quest games usually add some fun extras to keep you engaged when you need a diversion from saving the world. Dragon Quest VI offers up "Slime Curling," which is moderately fun but overly difficult, and a "Dream Journal" which works similarly to Dragon Quest IX's Inn-building, but doesn't yield much reward.
Some gameplay features are antiquated by Dragon Quest IX - 2010's Dragon Quest IX successfully updated the old formula for Dragon Quest games, and going back to "the old ways" feels like a major step down. Random encounters, for instance, are present--and anyone who plays VI after coming off IX probably won't celebrate.