Dragon Quest has always been less popular in the West than in Japan. This was a bit of a puzzle for Square Enix itself and perhaps the new sequel will change things. As it stands, the series is having another great run in Japan, with over 3 million sold since its release on July 29 – 2 million of which were sold in just two days since launch.
The game came out on PS4 and 3DS, which makes sense as these are two of the most successful consoles in Japan, with 3DS winning over its more powerful competition through sheer numbers – there are around 24 million 3DS consoles sold in Japan, while Sony’s flagship can brag of only 4.5+ million. Of course, the former has been on the market for some time now, having launched in 2011.
Dragon Quest XI continues the more traditional approach compared to Final Fantasy’s constant experiments with battle systems, keeping it turn-based. The series’s signature visual style, with legendary Akira Toriyama behind the wheel, is back again. The 3DS version allows for toggling between 3D and 2D graphical styles before you enter battle, due to having top and bottom screens. The game features a higher definition version, from 900p to 1728p, at rock-solid 30 fps. From what can be seen, load times are fast as well, so there is nothing lacking on the technical side.
Dragon Quest XI is expected to find its way to Nintendo Switch at a later date. The international version of the game featuring five separate languages will be out some time in 2018. As much as fans might be impatient, Square Enix seems to be taking things easy so that the western release could benefit from careful QA and localization and finally take its place among the giants of JRPG where it has been in Japan ever since its inception.
The success of Dragon Quest XI has already started stories of re-releasing the classics: Dragon Quest I, II, and III on PS4 and 3DS later this month in Japan. Hopefully, these games will reach the western market as well.