Saturday, January 07, 2017

Are we f$%kin' there yet? (or, more thoughts on Dragon Quest VII after spending 40-plus hours with the 3DS remake)

When I last wrote about my on-again, off-again playthrough of Dragon Quest VII, I'd just passed the 20-hour mark of my journey.

In the comments section of that post, I mentioned that I wouldn't publish any additional impressions of the 3DS remake of Square Enix's classic RPG until I hit the 40-hour threshold. Well, I did just that--over a week ago. I'm now a smidge north of 50 hours.

Have I enjoyed Dragon Quest VII more in the last 30 hours than I did during the first 20? I'd say that's a fair assessment. Now, I'm not head over heels in love with this sprawling adventure or anything like that, but I am liking it a lot more than I did previously.

I'm not entirely sure why that is, either. After all, it's not like the never-ending conveyor belt of vignettes that make up Dragon Quest VII has stopped or even slowed down in the last 10 or so hours of my playthrough. And it's not like they've become a lot more interesting than they were earlier. Hell, I still think the first vignette you encounter in the game is its best--and by quite a margin.

That's not to say none of those that follow in its footsteps are memorable. A good handful are surprisingly intriguing, like the one involving a town where its citizens and livestock have switched places, or the one involving a burg that's stuck in a time loop.

Others, though, are little more than variations on a theme--or at least that's how they seem to me. Admittedly, this could be due to the fact that almost every new village or town looks eerily like the last one. Of course, that's what happens when you populate each locale with churches, inns, shops and homes made of the same cookie-cutter designs. (Sadly, the people who live and work in those buildings also barely change from place to place, although there are occasional exceptions.)

All that said, I basically came to peace with all of these niggles in the last 10 or so hours of my Dragon Quest VII playthrough and I now have hope I'll see its end credits sometime soon.

Don't take this to mean I'm going to jump into the soon-to-be-released 3DS port of Dragon Quest VIII as soon as it arrives on my doorstep later this month (or, more likely, sometime next month). Despite my change of heart regarding Dragon Quest VII, I'm feeling pretty burned out on Dragon Quest at the moment. Plus, I'd really like to spend some time in the coming weeks with games that don't take tens of hours to complete, and I'd also really like to play games on other systems--like the Vita, the original PlayStation and even the WonderSwan--in that time.

First, though, I actually have to beat Dragon Quest VII. While I work on that, are any of you still working you way through its extensive adventure? If so, what's your opinion on the experience?

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