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Final Score: Dragon Quest 11: Echoes of an Elusive Age

Dragon Quest XI is the first game in the series to hit a North American console in over a decade. Today, we revisit the Shacknews review, along with reviews from some of our friends in the gaming world.


The Dragon Quest series has been around for decades, but it hasn't always found its way to the Western side of the world. The last home console release was Dragon Quest VIII, which came to PlayStation 2 all the way back in 2005. So for JRPG fans, Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age's release is a pretty big deal.

The first Dragon Quest to hit North America since the Nintendo DS' Dragon Quest IX arrives today. So it's a good time to revisit the Shacknews review. We're also looking at reviews from some of our gaming colleagues from other outlets, particularly focusing on a few RPG-centric sites.

Shacknews 9/10: "Still, if you’re a fan of the JRPG genre, especially classics Final Fantasy 6, Chrono Trigger, or any of the original Dragon Quests I would heavily encourage you to check out Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age. I spent some time with Ni No Kuni II earlier this year and I found it to be leap and bounds more engaging, enthralling, and yes, despite NNK2 having studio Ghibli animators working on it, more visually stunning. If you were only going to pick up one JRPG this year, this is the one to pick. I have not been this drawn into a game like this since I played Final Fantasy X and that says a lot. Now, if someone can just explain what exactly “Puff-Puff” is I’ll be all set!"
-Blake Morse

Game Informer 8.25/10: "Dragon Quest XI stays true to the series’ sense of adventure, and the long journey culminates in something cool for longtime fans (be sure to reload your save after the credits roll). I had my share of fun, especially as someone who grew up with the franchise and could appreciate the callbacks littered throughout. At times, I was glued to my controller as I discovered the next village, plot revelation, or impressive boss. Dragon Quest has stuck around for a reason: It does what it does well, and the formula still works. However, Dragon Quest XI’s lack of evolution is a hindrance. It’s about time the series took some risks."
-Kimberley Wallace

US Gamer 5/5: "Despite being only slightly older than Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest isn't prone to nutty leaps and weird stunts. He dresses sensibly. He keeps both feet on the ground. Does that mean he's boring? Far from it: He's steadfast, dependable, and great company for extended periods of time. He's even capable of surprising you from time to time; he just prefers to serve up something he knows his company will enjoy instead of taking big risks like his brother.

"That's why Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age for the PlayStation 4 and PC is as dependable as Dragon Quest gets. In fact, it doubles down on familiarity and nostalgia by design. The opening movie alone is threaded with "Hey, 'member this?" moments, including a glimpse of Loto's sword, a logo that echoes the first game's, and a quick flash of a flying creature that vaguely resembles at least one of the legendary animals that carry you in previous Dragon Quest games (I'm not telling). As for the core of Dragon Quest XI itself, it most closely resembles Dragon Quest VIII—right down to a bonus set of "Trodain Togs" that might be in your inventory if you buy certain editions of the game. It's not inaccurate to call Dragon Quest XI a bigger, better Dragon Quest VIII that's liberally sprinkled with callbacks and cues from other well-loved entries in the series."
-Nadia Oxford

RPGFan 95/100: "Dragon Quest creator Yuji Horii deemed DQXI the culmination of the series' thirty years of tradition. I'm more than inclined to agree with him, as it embraces and enhances almost all of the virtues that make DQ such a beloved franchise. It remains unabashedly true to its roots as a JRPG fan's JRPG, and fans of the series are in for a treat at a scale of epic proportions. The best DQ games embody the spirit of grand adventure. In Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age, Square Enix has delivered to us the grandest Dragon Quest of them all."
-Rob Rogen 8/10: "Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age scratches that nostalgic itch for a traditional JRPG without looking like it had to try too hard at it. It’s not leaning on the crutch of pixel art or fake imitations. It’s the natural extension of what the Dragon Quest series of yore has grown into for an audience today. Turn based combat? Check. Traditional Dragon Quest aesthetics? Check and check. Blue slimes? Of course, there are blue slimes! Fun and relevant in today’s modern age? You bet. While it may be unintentional XI’s subtitle is more than fitting for just the story, it’s also fitting for Dragon Quest in today’s modern age. It echoes back to that elusive golden age of the JRPG."
-Robert Lashley

BONUS UNSCORED VIDEO REVIEW: Here's the review-in-progress from JRPG content creator Jay RPG:

Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age is available now on PlayStation 4 and PC.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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