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Dragon Quest VI Realms of Reverie DS Review - -

Gameplay 7.5
Graphics 7.7
Sound 7.7
Value 7.6
Distributor: Nintendo
Review Date:
May 2011
Alison Kane


Dragon Quest VI
Realms of Reverie

The popular Japanese RPG (JRPG) series Dragon Quest arrives on the Nintendo DS for western gamers to embark on a classic yet clichéd story of good versus evil as they explore the realms of Reverie with traditional turn based combat.

The story of Dragon Quest VI Realms of Reverie moves around a hero from a small sleepy village who has been sent to defeat Murdaw, the Demon Lord of Darkness. Your journey will involve classic dungeon crawls to exploring new towns and even new realities as this title takes places in two worlds, the real-world and the dreaming.

For some, Dragon Quest VI, originally released in 1986 is also considered the precursor to the Final Fantasy series (1987) that really launched the JRPG template of gaming. With Realms of Reverie, the developers continue on this premise with good old fashioned gameplay on the Nintendo DS console.

For those who have never played a Dragon Quest title before, the mechanics are similar to those employed by Final Fantasy which is the more popular game of the two that require the player and their group of characters to explore both the real-world and the dream-world.

The gameplay involves lots of random encounters that leads to fights, boss challenges, level-ups, customisation of characters and fine tuning of statistics. It's the standard archetype for Japanese RPG. Although at the start of the game, characters are just the basic fighters or mages but as you progress, you can specialise that moves to unlocking additional character vocations as the game calls it.

Given the scope of gaming in this title and the rather large gaming universe that literally boasts two worlds, seasoned JRPG veterans would probably complete this title in around 35 or so hours. If you're a newcomer to the series, add an extra 5 or 15 but best of all, this game does not disadvantage those new to the series as it is quite easy to pick up and play, provided you're a fanboy or fangirl of this genre. Quests can be found in almost every nook and cranny but like all JRPG titles, the gamer will be inundated with screens and screens of text. This was a little annoying.

Another highlight of the game is the customisation of your characters and the developers have included a considerably amount of range to what kind of class and direction you want to employ. As opposed to just one type of class, Dragon Quest VI allows you to further customise your characters via the skill trees in order to become a more powerful warrior or a mage that uses a particular type of skill. It's actually quite a good character system.

The statistics included in the game are strength, agility, resilience, wisdom, style, attack and defence. Style is the weird attribute that is basically a "fashion show" included in the game which does distract enemies and gives you additional bonuses during fights. Weird! There's plenty of characters to recruit in your party and the game gives you lots of opportunities to become quite powerful before the final battle with Murdaw.

There are plenty of mini-games used in this DS, thanks to the touch screen of the DS from playing games in the casino to a weird slime curling mini-game. I'm still confused about slime curling and still cannot get my head around it. It does break up the gameplay and sometimes after a long night of questing, you do need a break.

Graphically, Dragon Quest VI is a little dated and looks like it moved from SNES to the DS but still looks acceptable on the DS with colourful environments and a nice collection of Japanese inspired characters and special effects. The title also comes with a rather catchy and memorable soundtrack with all those 8-bit noises to enhance the gameplay. Classic best sums up the graphics and the sound. Given all this, Dragon Quest VI is a good game to control on the DS without too many complicated menus.

In conclusion, Dragon Quest VI is pure Japanese RPG and harkens back to a simpler time of exploration, turn-based combat and characters that sometimes never stop talking... err... texting. The problem with Dragon Quest VI is that it doesn't offer the player anything new in terms of new gameplay which is like playing a similar game of this genre 5 or 10 years ago. However there is something endearing about this title that offers both relaxation and excitement. Even though I've seen it all before, there was something inside me that wanted me to keep playing due to the combat, class customisation, discoveries and to an extent the story. However for those looking for the next big JRPG, you may be a little disappointed because Dragon Quest VI is like a time-warp.


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