Okay. Full disclosure, here. I haven't exactly had the opportunity to actually essentially… you know… PLAY Dragon Quest XI yet, but at the same time, I would be remiss not to give Square Enix a nod for, yet again, taking a risk on a franchise that rarely performs well in the United States.

Also, the game's universal acclaim Dragon Quest XI never falters once across the internet, which I believe gives me the minimal amount of insight necessary to at least do a tiny write-up about it here. I won't claim it as Game of the Year without having a full opportunity to experience it, but I do have a few thoughts.

No, the time and the opportunity to dive into creator Yuji Horii's latest alluded me in 2018, but fellow writers and fans I follow, those who equally, and most likely more so, adore the series as much as myself have piled on the praise since the game launched in September. I've even seen some die-hard fans who have followed the franchise for three decades declare it to be the absolute best yet.

When you're competing with some of the most time-honored games of their genre and era, that's no easy compliment to get, especially given how much the old-school JRPG crowd loves their classic favorites.

From what I can see, the game excels at doing exactly what Dragon Quest has always excelled at doing: inserting the series' mainstay themes into a modern RPG style, in this case the more Western stylized "open-world RPG," and opening up its impenetrable walls to all. Kids who don't get The Witcher 3 will more easily fall in love with Dragon Quest XI, and adults who have gamed along with Dragon Quest XI enjoy seeing three decades of charm and legacy take shape in the modern world.

As I said, I haven't played it, but I do need to congratulate Square Enix showing such a good sign of faith to its North American audience. Hopefully, it will show the same sign next year when we have a bit more information on the Nintendo Switch port.


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