I wasn’t quite sold on the idea of Dragon Quest TACT when I first heard about it. The idea of collecting monsters from the series to battle them just didn’t really interest me. However, after playing an early version of the game, I can see that boiling the game down to only that does it a disservice. Instead, Dragon Quest TACT attempts to shape a fully realized Dragon Quest adventure with some nontraditional systems that we get out of it a pretty cool strategy RPG.
Dragon Quest TACT begins with about as much exposition as you’d expect a mobile game to have. You assume the role of some type of hero who can tame monsters with a special wand. This is a rare event, but no one really puts much attention on it after a while. After the first missions, you catch wind of an antagonist who is corrupting the monsters worldwide to do bad things.
Alongside attempting to help the monster race and figure out the cause of the calamity, you will make your way through the world and compete in tournaments. I saw these more as side events because they seem to be a buffer between the next story mission. The game attempts to explain that there’s a reason for these tournaments, but there’s just a way for you to show off your monster crew in the big scheme of things.
Dragon Quest TACT is good at keeping you grounded with a clear idea of what you’re supposed to do next. Nothing is overwhelming within the game, with the UI being exceptionally straightforward, even for a casual mobile player like myself.
This means that I was able to focus more on customizing my team and progressing the narrative. Monsters will join your party through normal play, but you can also do a gacha pull for some rarer beasts. One thing of interest is that even the weaker monsters could hold their own in battle, and there are several in-game options to level them up and awaken new skills.
The battle system is also something new for the Dragon Quest series as it borrows a tactical grid map. Each monster can be moved a few steps as they inch closer towards enemies to launch an attack. Each monster has a few abilities at their disposal, but some skill is needed to get through tougher encounters. Forming a balanced party will make things easier, especially if you have a good healer and attacker.
I ended up really like the battles for their engagement and strategy. Still, you can put it on auto mode and hope for the best. I found this to be okay for the most part, but sometimes the AI does some weird things, and I couldn’t ever get my monsters to get the chests on the field automatically. So that’s something to keep in mind.
Maps have some obstacles, but for the most part, they closely resemble each other save for their theme. Each mission has some optional objects which can earn you more points after the battle. Progress also levels up your party members and provides materials that can strengthen your team.
Dragon Quest TACT has a solid gameloop of catching monsters and fighting through missions. The adventure is very much as charming as any Dragon Quest title, without the epic plotlines saved for the numbered entries. I’m hoping this battle system is enough to still be fun after more than 5 hours, but as of now, I’m enjoying its simplicity and witty narrative.
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