Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation [Review]

Be a hero, save the world.

Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation

Although not obscure by any means, the Dragon Quest series has slipped by us in America time and time again.  Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelations follows suit, as one of the three games in its “series” to get ported to the DS.  While selling millions of copies in Japan, this title in addition to its predecessors has fallen short of the gleaming gem it is and most of us will never venture in to play any of them.  I have always been a fan of the Dragon Quest/Dragon Warrior series, starting with my absolute favorite Dragon Warrior VII.  With much anticipation on my part, a remake of this game has always been disappointingly out of reach.  Luckily, Dragon Quest VI is a close tide-me-over that brought back a tsunami of nostalgia.

As in most title in the series, you are the hero (who’s name you can choose) who lives in a small village.  Although you begin your story with a party marching into the demon king Murdaw’s castle, you will find yourself awake from that “dream” in your village.  Although the character has an apparent amnesia upon waking, this is not relayed well in the story; you go about your business as you normally would.  Everyone in town knows you, although as the new player in the game you have no idea who these people are.  As in most titles in the series, you are asked to visit a neighboring town for an important purpose.  In this case, it is to retrieve a crown for the Mountain Spirit festival.

Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation???

It would be too easy just to do that as it is a great journey, and you end up falling through a hole in the sky.  When you wake up, you are seemingly a ghost and no one in this mystery town can see you.  A quick trip to a mysterious well, and you seemingly fall through that world and into the next.  This all sounds pretty weird and complicated to the normal gamer, but is common in the world of Dragon Quest.  This new edition is essentially a remake of the same title, originally for the Super Famicom.  Although the subtitles have changed through different releases, it is essentially the same game.

A remake can usually range from extreme, almost insulting skewering of the story and characters, or can be as simple as an update in graphics with minor additions in game mechanics.  Dragon Quest VI sticks with the latter, which was personally a relief.  A refresh in graphics is almost an understatement, as the world in which this tale is set is beautiful and vibrant.   Side by side, the layout of the towns are identical to the original but there is a major noticeable difference in quality.  Characters look the same, although updated and are merely  the simplest of sprites that have a constant walking motion even when stationary.

Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation

The battle system has not changed much, although instead of being able to recruit any monster there are now only certain ones that you can recruit.  At times I wish it had changed, because in the beginning of the game simple constant pressing of the same button can beat your enemies.  It would be nice if you had more attacks or spells in the beginning so you could choose between them and it would not feel so automatic.  Also, you can not use items in the middle of battle which makes level grinding very necessary.  Different from the last Dragon Quest title we saw (Sentinels of the Starry Skies), the armor is not customizable in the sense that you can not see the items you wear.  I actually liked being able to see that what I was wearing actually changed my appearance, but that just might be the girl in me.

The world and how you view it is impressive on the DS, as a lot has to be displayed on a tiny screen.  My favorite aspect of this is the way in which the towns and other areas that are not part of the overworld are displayed on both screens.  Yes, the picture runs onto the tops screen while your walking, although, it is not completely seamless.  You will find that some things are delayed when moving onto the top screen, but it’s so slight that most probably will not even notice it.  When in the overworld, there will be a map on the top screen.  This is especially useful if you are trying to beeline for your destination with minimal monster encounters.  The camera scrolls a lot like it did in Dragon Warrior VII, with the shoulder buttons turning your camera in either direction.  This is not often used unless you want to make sure you did not miss a secret door or stairwell.

Dragon Quest VI Realms of Revelation

Some might disagree with me, but sound is what ties it all together.  The Dragon Quest/Dragon Warrior series has always had it’s cheerful melodies composed by Koichi Sugiyama.  The beginning theme is identical to its successor, as are the save/new game screen sounds.  In fact, not much has changed from even the first Dragon Warrior title.  The level up sound, although shortened, is identical to the first game.  In game, the music is different, which was a great balance for me.  If a game can keep the simpler sound effects much like the original and change the in game music it just seems like a win-win to me.

There are several miscellaneous points to mention about the game that were added to exploit the DS’s capabilities.  The tag mode, which was present in Sentinels of the Starry Skies, is seen in this game.  Also, there is a sliding slime mini game which was harder then I thought; I actually had to read the instructions.  When I did read them, this mini-game suddenly became a chore and was really just a nonsensical reason to use the stylus.

Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation is a must play for fans of the series, and a definite pick up for those who are fans of JRPGs.  Those who like a simpler game or an advanced game may be turned off.  This game definitely has an old world feel, and gamers who are used to todays RPGs (and just today’s games in general) might view it as primitive.

Jessica Weimar
Jessica Weimar
Jessica Weimar

MASH Veteran

Jessica is clearly a fan of video games, or she wouldn't be writing for this site. She attends college and like most other staff on the site, has a day job that she despises. She spends most of her free time playing games with her boyfriend.

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