The announcement this morning that the rumors were true and Dragon Quest XI is a real thing came with a few interesting tidbits regarding the upcoming game. The first of course is the announcement of the consoles it will be appearing on which include the obvious PS4 version along with the more surprising 3DS version and the extremely surprising Nintendo NX version. The announcement makes Dragon Quest XI the first title to be announced for the as of yet formally unannounced Nintendo NX along with its predecessor the MMO Dragon Quest X also announced for the system. Although it is unknown I’m expecting the PS4 version to be the version ported to the NX just being the most logical move if Nintendo intends to phase out the under performing Wii U.
That being said with two versions it seems Square Enix is forcing its players to make a very difficult choice as both versions seem to offer very different game play experiences. This is backed up by the two gameplay video’s that were shown off at today’s press conference. The first up involves the 3DS version of the game which seems to show a very unique use of the duel screen functionality of the system.
As one can clearly see from the video. The top screen appears to display a more modern take on the franchise looking very similar to JRPG’s already present on the system. While simultaneously the bottom screen seems to display a more classic interpretation of Dragon Quest as the bottom screens display is reminiscent of the earlier Dragon Quest remakes on the old DS such as Dragon Quest VI. Furthermore as shown off by the game play demo the battle system remains a turn based affair much like older games in the series.
Finally the PS4 version (possibly NX Version?) looks very different as is expected due to it running on the current generation exclusive Unreal Engine 4. Unfortunately the majority of the footage shown is just town and world exploration not giving away anything of the battle system. However the world does look gorgeous with bright colors and wide open vista’s. It’s unknown if it will feature a over world such as the 3DS version or be more akin to the multiple detailed pathway layout featured in games like Final Fantasy XII and Tales of Xillia. Beyond that the character designs are a marked difference from the more stilted character models present in the 3DS version being much more lifelike and realistic, while of course still carrying the charm of Toriyama style designs.
Overall other then sharing the same name very little seems to be comparable between the two versions of the game. In the end Square Enix looks to have covered its bases with the development of this title by offering very distinctive options for its many fans. I myself as a fan of the series am looking forward to it returning to its single player roots after quite a few years.