The Dragon Quest series is taking some significant strides in the near future, with entries like the next mainline game, Dragon Quest XII, in development and an HD-2D remake of the iconic Dragon Quest III in the works. Though, one that has been overlooked and perhaps overshadowed by its grander brethren is Dragon Quest Treasures, a new game taking inspiration from the Monsters spinoffs, except featuring two notable protagonists fans should know from Dragon Quest XI, Erik and Mia.
To be honest, even after providing extensive coverage for the title, I wasn’t quite sure how I’d feel about the experience when actively playing it. But as the beginning hours passed, Dragon Quest Treasures began to feel like the wonders of childhood personified; a seemingly infinite expanse of literal treasure to discover at one’s leisure.
With Erik and Mia being orphans and cared for by Vikings of all kinds of people, the calling for treasure has essentially become instinctual, and this new adventure they approach on this new land with new creatures and people everywhere they turn is emphasized with glee and anticipation instead of the naturally presumed fear and trepidation.
While Dragon Quest Treasures is far from a character-focused work, this characterization of Erik and Mia reinforces the perceptions brought upon by childhood-like naivete and joy instead of twisting it into something far more sinister. And while minor, this instilled purity and wholesomeness within the story are genuinely gratifying to see at its forefront. Further, Erik’s and Mia’s enthusiasm amplifies the awe of the semi-open world landmasses players are introduced to during the tutorials.
During the opening gameplay hours, where players are initially thrown into the world and are tasked with finding materials for developing their gang’s treasure-hunting base, the environment’s sense of scale impressively depicts itself. I believe that at least part of the reason Erik and Mia were chosen to be youths for this journey is that the sense of adventure is all the more compelling when everything around you, no matter how practical or sensical, is grand. Moreover, the emblematic Dragon Quest art style complements the world well, with a distinct vibrancy that significantly bolsters the inviting ambiance.
Coupled with the scale’s effectiveness is the sense of character progression, which is the element I’m most curious about as I’m making my way through Treasures. While players will befriend countless monsters during their travels, Erik and Mia’s own gameplay growth remains relatively untapped. Considering the title’s focus, I doubt that facet will become an extensive focus, but it’s worth thinking about.
After only a few hours, Dragon Quest Treasures’ general ambitions are clearly portrayed, with a vast world seeming quite thrilling to explore alongside constant discovery. I’m looking forward to sharing more detailed thoughts regarding the game as we publish our review closer to the title’s release. On an offhanded note, our site’s founder, Azario Lopez, thought this was initially a match-three game. I don’t know how; ask him if you’re curious.
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