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Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation

by Nathan Mustafa - February 14, 2011, 9:01 am PST
Total comments: 5

I still can't zoom in a cave.

The release of last year's Dragon Quest IX was likely the first time many Nintendo DS owners had experienced a Dragon Quest game. This year, Nintendo has released the fourth Dragon Quest title to appear on the DS: Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation, a DS remake of the original SNES title that was never released outside of Japan.

Those who have only experienced Dragon Quest IX may be shocked by just how similar Realms of Revelation is to Sentinels of the Starry Skies, while veteran Dragon Quest players will be unsurprised with its familiarity. While I have never played Dragon Quest VI, the similarities that run through all Dragon Quest games instantly gave me a sense of déjà vu. Everything, from the visuals to the sounds, and even the battle mechanics, are facsimiles of something that has already been done in a Dragon Quest title. Even some of the less used Dragon Quest mechanics are present: the Alltrades Abbey is available for class changes, and players can recruit monsters into their parties. 

Though I am still just shy of ten hours into the game, it is apparent that I have already seen most of what this game has to offer. Or have I? Dragon Quest VI’s story only took around half an hour to completely sell itself to me. The story, after all, is what keeps me returning to Dragon Quest games. Realms of Revelation features a dual-world structure, in which players jump between the "real world" and the phantom world.

As a soldier for the king of Somnia, it is your job to investigate this phantom world as part of the effort to combat the evil Murdaw. Dragon Quest VI starts out with what appears to be a dream sequence, but is actually a flash-forward to coming events. There is a level of mystery and intrigue to everything that transpires in Realms of Revelation that makes the game hard put down. Perhaps it is good, then, that the rest of the game is so familiar.

Even for those that are not well-versed in Dragon Quest, the turn-based role-playing mechanics are easy enough to pick up and play. Still, I cannot help but wish that Square Enix had put more effort in to developing this remake, especially considering that Tactics Ogre (another SNES remake) releases this month on the PSP and is, by all accounts, a definitive reworking of the original game. Why did Square Enix not use the beautiful Dragon Quest IX engine to recreate Realms of Revelation? Why can I rotate the camera in some dungeons, but not others? Why must I return to a church to save my game? Why can I still not use the Zoom spell to exit a cave? This isn't to imply that Dragon Quest VI seems to be a bad remake, but rather that it seems satisfied with just being a good remake.

Considering how much time players will likely put into this game, I would have loved to see Square Enix take the opportunity to put more time into revising the game. While the familiarity of the game is appreciated, Dragon Quest IX demonstrated that a game can still retain all of its Dragon Quest trappings while still feeling fresh and modern. Everything you like about Dragon Quest is here, but so is everything you don’t. So far, the story is easily the best reason to consider a Dragon Quest VI purchase, and I am looking forward to seeing it unravel as I work my way towards the end of the game. Expect a full review of Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation later this week.

Talkback

farnhamFebruary 14, 2011

this game is hardly a port

this is what the snes version looked like

http://www.gamasutra.com/db_area/images/feature/3520/dq65.png

greybrickNathan Mustafa, Staff AlumnusFebruary 14, 2011

Farnham, you're right. My quibble with the remake quality is that we have seen they can do so much better with DQ IX.

(Note: I started off using the word remake and accidentally slipped into "port")

farnhamFebruary 14, 2011

Well. The DQ DS remakes (IV to VI) are made by Arte Piazza while DQ IX is made by Level 5. I believe Level 5 is easily one of the most talented DS studio out there (nino kuni for example has stunning visuals topping even DQ IX imo) while Arte Piazza is relatively weak (their Wii game Opoona for example is not exactly up to most of the JRPGs released this gen). I do think that the DQ remakes have pretty visuals for their own right but using the old PSone engine (as the remakes are based on the same engine Heartbeat used for the DQ IV remake) over and over again is kinda sad. Especially after DQ IV and V sold over million copies each in japan.

I can only hope SE will remake DQ III with a proper new engine on DS or 3DS.

Luigi DudeFebruary 14, 2011

Quote from: farnham

I do think that the DQ remakes have pretty visuals for their own right but using the old PSone engine (as the remakes are based on the same engine Heartbeat used for the DQ IV remake) over and over again is kinda sad. Especially after DQ IV and V sold over million copies each in japan.

I can only hope SE will remake DQ III with a proper new engine on DS or 3DS.


You have to remember that Square Enix originally wanted to release all three remakes before DQIX came out even though the DQVI remake ended up being delayed so it wouldn't interfier with DQIX launch.  Considering the amount of time they had, it's no surprise they kept using the same engine since it would have been kind of hard to make something new.

I'd imagine for any future remakes they'll use the PS2 DQV engine since the 3DS is powerful enough to handle it.

greybrickNathan Mustafa, Staff AlumnusFebruary 14, 2011

Quote from: farnham

Well. The DQ DS remakes (IV to VI) are made by Arte Piazza while DQ IX is made by Level 5. I believe Level 5 is easily one of the most talented DS studio out there (nino kuni for example has stunning visuals topping even DQ IX imo) while Arte Piazza is relatively weak

I thought Arte Piazza's work on Harvest Moon: Innocent Life was fantastic.

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Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation Box Art

Genre RPG
Developer Square Enix
Players1

Worldwide Releases

na: Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation
Release Feb 14, 2011
PublisherSquare Enix
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