I don’t play video games much these days due to time in general, books, other books and everything else. But I do have big Nintendo 3DS for when I just get the urge to play games rather than read on the train.
So I was quite excited to hear that a Dragon Quest game was coming out. Technically a remake of Play Station game from 2000, the new 3DS version offers updated graphics more like those used in the frankly awesome Dragon Quest 9.
Like all of the Dragon Quest games, this is a sprawling RPG with signature monsters (including the iconic little blue slimes). In this particular case, there is an additional time-travel twist which sends you back in time to a series of island communities.
Each community gets its own cringe-worthy regional accent (Yorkshire people in the volcanic ‘Emberdale’ with speech rendered in idiosyncratic vowel combinations) as well as some emotional backstory and a mystery/threat to resolve via dungeon crawling and boss-battle beating.
If you like that sort of thing (and I do) then this is hours and hours worth of fun. The usual dodgy gender stereotypes and odd sexualization of some female NPC is also sadly still there, like a voyage back to the 1980s. The customisation is not as extensive as Dragon Quest 9 and the battles are simpler and also easier. Yet, the careful parcelling out of a huge explorable world keeps the game from feeling repetitive.