Alright, I caved and just started playing Dragon Quest 7 two days ago. In my defence, it was a drearily rainy weekend and I was sick with a cold. There’s nothing better than huddling up in bed with a handheld gaming console and a brightly coloured, light-hearted JRPG! This was exactly what I needed.
I am about nine hours into the game, and now I know what they meant by the game having a slow beginning. But I don’t think that’s a bad thing. First reason: I wasn’t bored. I like exploring cities and talking to NPCs, smashing all the barrels and all the jars. I rotate the camera to admire the gorgeous graphics. Even running around the overworld (which isn’t a world map) excites me because it makes me feel like I’m controlling a cute anime with the Toriyama character designs of my childhood. There’s something dynamic and lively about this game, even when there’s not much action. Everything screams attention to detail, too, so it feels worth talking to everyone, exploring every corner … Second reason: It is very appropriate to run around this small island, devoid of dangers or excitement, for an hour or so. After all, the protagonists are three bored kids who dream of escaping their tedious island life, discover new places and go on adventures! You’re put in their shoes.
One thing I enjoy a lot about the game so far is that it’s all about the adventure, the discovery, the experience. And it is not about fighting all the time. I spent an hour or so yesterday advancing the plot without a single battle. And it was engaging.
Still, I am so happy that the battle screen is more visual than the classic Dragon Quest first-person-view battle screen. You see your character when they attack, which may not be a big deal for everyone, but it’s weirdly crucial for my immersion.
OK, enough blogging. Back to DRagon Quest VII.