The year 2016 saw the release of a Dragon Warrior 7 that had ignited my anticipation like few others. A game that I had eagerly previewed within the context of my Dragon Warrior 7 retrospective. The spotlight now shines on Dragon Quest 7 for the 3DS, and with my expectations soaring sky-high, I delved into it with fervor. However, the experience that unfolded before me proved to be intriguingly distinct from my initial projections. The question that loomed was: is this divergence a favorable one? Does it beckon returning players to revisit this realm, once familiar yet newly nuanced? And for those encountering this title for the first time, does it extend a welcoming hand? Join me as we embark on a quest to uncover the answers.
Origins and Evolution
The tale of Dragon Quest 7 traces back to October 2012, when its impending arrival on February 7th, 2013, was heralded in Japan. The narrative’s episodic nature and expansive scope prompted a pivotal decision – to make the game accessible on a portable console. Hence, the chosen vessel was the Nintendo 3DS, which liberated gamers from the confines of a static television screen, enabling them to savour the experience in bite-sized increments. It’s worth noting that the prospect of introducing the game to international audiences was initially deemed too formidable, entailing the formidable hurdles of conversion and translation.
A Global Appeal Beckoned
The community’s passion, persistence, and advocacy reached new heights. Hailing from France, a chorus of voices united in a plea to the development team, reaching even the upper echelons of Square Enix and Nintendo. Letters brimming with fervor materialized, beseeching the localization of this cherished title. An extraordinary testament to the synergy between creators and enthusiasts emerged, bolstered by external offers to champion the cause of localization. A unique translation endeavor was envisioned, aligned with Square Enix’s modern localization sensibilities. As producer Yu Miyake recounted, the ardor of the fans was the true driving force behind this transformative chapter.
The turning point arrived in a resounding announcement during a November 2015 Nintendo Direct. Dragon Quest 7, christened with the subtitle “Fragments of the Forgotten Past,” was poised to traverse international borders. The culmination of relentless dedication culminated in the game’s debut in North America on September 16th, 2016. The fervor that preceded this unveiling was palpable, yet the reception in terms of sales was notably modest. According to vgcharts.com, the 3DS rendition of DQ7 tallied an impressive 1.58 million copies sold, though a mere fraction found its way to the North American and PAL regions, standing at approximately 120,000 and 130,000 copies, respectively.
The Unveiling and Initial Impressions
The opening moments of the game have not escaped critique. My initial impressions led me to anticipate a more streamlined iteration, reminiscent of its PlayStation predecessor. Yet, to my surprise, the beginning unveiled an even more extensive transformation, where the once-present puzzles and challenges have been conspicuously streamlined and, in some cases, altogether excised. While I acknowledge the critique aimed at the cryptic nature of the PS1 rendition, this shift left me pondering the very essence of the experience.
Characters Woven by Destiny
Prince Keifer: The Adventurous Spirit
Prince Keifer strides upon the stage, his spirit is aflame with daring and adventure. A scion of royal lineage, he casts aside the cloak of convention to embrace the untamed wilderness of exploration. His sword and shield are his companions, carving a path through the unknown with unyielding valor.
Maribel: The Resolute Scion
Maribel, daughter of the town’s esteemed mayor, emerges as a resolute figure, her determination unshakable. Armed with her convictions, she treads a path carved by her own mettle, unwavering in her pursuit of truth. In her gaze, one perceives the unyielding fire of her resolve.
Ruff: The Enigmatic Wolf-Turned-Boy
From the mystique of transformation, Ruff emerges, a boy who once prowled as a wolf. An enigma cloaked in fur and humanity, his journey is one of discovery, an exploration of his duality. With each step, he forges a bridge between the worlds of man and beast.
Asia: The Nomadic Dancer
In the whirlwind of the nomadic winds, Asia dances into our midst, a symbol of ephemeral grace. Her steps traverse the sands of diverse lands, her rhythm echoing tales of cultures encountered and embraced. Her dance is both art and power, a manifestation of her soul’s journey.
Sir Mervyn: The Reborn Warrior
From the tapestry of ages past, Sir Mervyn is resurrected, a warrior reborn. His armor bears the weight of experience, his sword honed by battles unforgotten. A sentinel of history, he stands as a bridge between eras, a guardian sworn to protect the legacy of time.
A Symphony of Progression: Job System and Beyond
In contrast to its predecessor, this iteration expedites the journey of character growth by approximately 10%. This acceleration becomes more than mere mechanics; it encapsulates the portable nature of the 3DS. The newfound accessibility ushers players toward an ever-expanding horizon of mastery, unveiling advanced vocations that beckon to be conquered. Furthermore, the prospect of transforming into formidable monster classes provides a tantalizing avenue for strategic exploration.
But let us pause for a moment of unbridled exultation—the fabled Metal Slimes! An elusive quarry that has, on numerous occasions, eluded our grasp. But fret not, dear compatriots, for in the heat of battle, a triumphant cry rings out! The arduous pursuit culminates in success—a Metal Slime captured, a testament to patience and persistence.
The Expansive Scope of the Game
An indelible mark distinguishes Dragon Quest 7, etching it into the annals of colossal undertakings. Behold, a titanic journey that spans an astounding 100 hours of immersive gameplay. Yet, heed this cautionary tale: to tread the path of side quests, to embark upon the conquest of additional pedestals, to traverse the realm of post-game pursuits – such aspirations burgeon the hour count exponentially. For it is within these stretches of time that the true breadth of the realm unfurls, a land of possibilities where the steadfast may yet uncover hidden facets.
Features of Dragon Warrior 7
Visuals and Interfaces: Dual-Screen Dynamics
- Two screens: Lower for maps and progress icons, upper for action and interaction
- Unusual transparency effect on walls, while windows remain opaque
Translation and Legacy: Evolution of Names
- Names and designations transformed through translation
- Comparison to predecessor’s linguistic depth
Playful Naming: Whimsical Characters and Creatures
- Creative and playful naming choices
- Examples: ‘Ruff,’ ‘Death Cargot,’ ‘Meowgician’
Orchestral Resonance: Symphony of Sound
- Music by Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra
- Melodic wonder and symphonic impact
Visual Transformation: Reflections and Aspirations
- Playstyle and visual changes from PS1
- Yearning for DQ8-like technical evolution
Translucent Design: Transparency and Navigation
- Walls with transparency, enhancing environmental exploration
- Effective screen design for enhanced navigation
Expectations vs. Reality: Visual Dissonance
- The discrepancy between pre-release visuals and actual experience
- The desire for a more impactful visual overhaul
Character Visuals vs. Environmental Textures
- Contrasting vibrant character sprites with lacklustre environment textures
- Need for more vibrant and engaging visuals
Battle Mechanics: Departure from Random Encounters
- Shift from random battles to visible enemies on the overworld
- Turn-based battles with strategic nuances
Renewed Visuals: A Familiar Yet Fresh Experience
- Balancing familiarity and newness in visual renewal
- The essence of nostalgia within a revitalized world
Bounties Beyond the Main Quest: The Treasures of Content
- Side quests and challenges expand the realm’s horizons.
- Intricate job classes and bonus dungeons beckon.
- Mini medals, casino games—poker, slots, memory cards—add allure.
A Town’s Flourishing Legacy: The Haven Beckons
- The Haven thrives, reflecting deeds and alliances.
- Evolving sanctuary transforms with population growth.
- StreetPass encounters and travelers tablets create a gateway.
Tablets of Travels and Trials
- Enigmatic traveller’s tablets reveal hidden realms.
- Unique dungeons with diverse challenges.
- Arena of Monster Meadows and their quests.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is Dragon Quest 7 for the 3DS, and how does it differ from its predecessor? Dragon Quest 7 for the Nintendo 3DS is a reimagined version of the original game released in 2016. It features an expansive storyline with episodic gameplay and has undergone significant changes from its PlayStation predecessor. The game has streamlined puzzles and challenges, making it more accessible to players.
2. How did the global gaming community influence the localization of Dragon Quest 7? Passionate fans from around the world played a pivotal role in bringing Dragon Quest 7 to international audiences. Through advocacy, letters, and persistent requests, the community’s passion led to the game’s localization. This collaboration between fans and developers resulted in a unique translation endeavor that aligned with modern localization sensibilities.
3. What are the standout features of Dragon Quest 7’s gameplay? Dragon Quest 7 offers a diverse cast of characters, each with their own unique traits and storylines. The game boasts a job system that accelerates character growth by about 10%, enhancing the portable nature of the Nintendo 3DS. Players can explore advanced vocations and even transform into formidable monster classes, adding strategic depth to the gameplay.
4. How does Dragon Quest 7’s visual and auditory experience contribute to its appeal? The game features dual-screen dynamics, with one screen dedicated to maps and progress icons and the other for action and interaction. The music, composed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, adds a melodic wonder and symphonic impact to the gameplay. While there may be some visual dissonance and a desire for enhanced graphics, the game still captures the essence of nostalgia in a revitalized world.
5. What additional content and challenges does Dragon Quest 7 offer beyond the main quest? Dragon Quest 7 extends its appeal through various side quests, bonus dungeons, and intricate job classes. Mini medals and casino games like poker, slots, and memory card games provide additional allure. The Haven, a thriving sanctuary, evolves with population growth and alliances, while enigmatic traveler’s tablets offer unique dungeons and challenges for players to explore.