" A cool wind blows, ushering the scent of a nearby campfire into your nostrils, causing you to awaken. "
A cool wind blows, ushering the scent of a nearby campfire into your nostrils, causing you to awaken.
"Eh? Are you back with us now?" a blonde girl in robes asks you. You silently confirm. From the trees to the west, a wild-haired, overly-muscular man bounds and affirms that they will be able to reach a castle off in the distance. You and your two companions leave the camp and head north, to a cape.
The blonde girl makes her way to the end of the cape, and produces a small ocarina. She plays some beautiful music and it summons a massive golden dragon. However, this dragon isn't a foe. It is the only way for you to reach the castle of Mudo, the destination you and your companions have been striving for on your long journey. And thus you board your winged ally and fly to an ominous castle.
Inside the castle, everything seems... Empty. You look around, and enemies are nowhere to be found. You make your way through the hollow corridors of Mudo's castle, finally reaching his throne room. But something isn't right. A strange field of energy swirls around you, rendering you incapacitate. Mudo appears, taunting your foolishness for even beginning to think you stood a chance against his power. He lifts you into the air, spins your allies around, as if to play with them, and one after the other, takes their lives in a brilliant explosion. You, being the only one left, swirl around for another revolution, then you too lose your life at the hands of Mudo.
Then you wake up. Everything was just a dream. You breathe a sigh of relief as that cold sweat on the back of your neck evaporates.
This is how Dragon Quest VI, one of the most underappreciated games ever made, opens its excellent storyline. Although it's the most popular game series in Japan (Beating out even Final Fantasy in sales), its popularity has never reached such heights in the States, and thus Enix never saw a reason to have this game translated.
Enix's 1994 Super Famicom creation is one of the best games in the series, and even contends for one of the best games ever made, easily beating out any Final Fantasy you'll ever play. Here's why:
The graphics in DQVI are great. Not the best that the Super Famicom could produce, but they are very good and detailed nonetheless. Thanks to Akira Toriyama's artwork being prevalent throughout the game, fans of Chrono Trigger will feel very at home, as the graphics are similar on many aspects. Furthermore, the monsters are very fuidly animated and look nice on the screen. They range from the classic, ever-lovable Slime to more horrid beasts such as massive blue demons with wings and large, putrid yellow fangs. The sprites are coloured well and the areas look very nice and anime-ish. Overall the graphics are great, but there have been better. (Such as Tales of Phantasia's.)
Thanks to Koichi Sugiyama, the music has a very "Dragon Quest-y" feel to it. That is to say, the music isn't memorable, by any means, but it also lacks the annoyance factor that many songs have after hearing a track numerous times. Each song in the game is effective and good, but the chances of humming along to any of the songs is fairly low. The battle music is epic and fierce, and the town themes are bright and chipper. Each song fits where one would expect it to fit. (Except perhaps the boss theme, the only song in which I found disappointment in.)
If you couldn't tell from my overly long introduction, the story sucks you in from the minute you play it. What appears to be just a dream results into an adventure in which you must travel between two worlds: the real world and a 'Dream' world that exists because of the people that inhabit it. About 1/6th of the way into the game or so, DQVI offers a MAJOR plot twist, powerful enough to actually make you have this face as you sit in utter awe for a moment: =O
It's that powerful, and it's one of DQVI's most brilliant features.
Let me get this out of the way first: Those of you that complain because of the traditional Dragon Quest VI battle system and yet hail FF with its rehashed ATB shit, go die now. I say this because DQVI requires strategy to win. You cannot simply slap a few materia on your characters to make instant gods, you have to plan your attacks wisely and choose a good combination of classes for your 4-person party. If you don't actually think to fight, you will quickly find yourself being beaten down by many of the game's bosses. This game challenges you to become a better gamer, and those that have the skill and effort to play through this difficult game realize that. Not only that, but you can also recruit monsters into your party, giving you a new degree of strategy. Why have a 4-PERSON party when you can have 3 monsters and the hero fighting alongside each other? The amount of choices and combinations are staggering, and even the high difficulty level weeds out weaker gamers.
Overall, you have to get this game. If you can read Japanese then this should be no problem, simply import it. If you can't, however, there are translation patches you can get on the internet to play the ROM. You owe it to yourself to play this game, unless you're not man(or woman) enough.
Community review by espiga (February 22, 2005)
Espiga likes big butts, and cannot lie.
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