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Friday, December 9, 2022

Dragon Quest Treasures Should Get a Demo

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I could be totally convinced with one! (Or... repulsed.)

I spent much of the pre-release period of Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet making comparisons to Monster Hunter Stories, though my comparison to Pokémon Legends Arceus and Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin is actually...accurate.

I didn't make that comparison in my article about the first DRAGON QUEST TREASURES Gameplay Overview video, and now... there's another gameplay overview video, also called the DRAGON QUEST TREASURES Gameplay Overview video. Like, these co-exist with the same name.

This isn't narrated... it's just 14 minutes of gameplay. What was narrated was a SQUARE ENIX livestream with a couple of marketing people on Wednesday, which also featured code giveaways. Unfortunately, I didn't win one.

But from my impression watching the above video and somewhat paying attention to that livestream, I think DRAGON QUEST TREASURES is supposed to hit the same core gameplay loop and appeal as Monster Hunter Stories 2, but without the latter's genetics/egg-hatching mechanics.

Both games are spin-offs and have a cast of belovedly designed monsters and style from the main game series. You can recruit your choice of those monsters in both games, and a lot of the fun is wandering about relatively large (but static) areas that you can travel between (trains or caravans) to find valuable things, be it treasure or rarer monsters/crafting ingredient drops from monsters. Exploration in those worlds is mostly dependent on the abilities of the current monsters on your party, and you have a limited party size, so you'll make several explorations to properly explore everywhere. There is a story, but the appeal is really in how fun it is to explore the place and take diversions on your path to collect things, and then go back and manage what you just collected. (Treasures or Monstie Eggs, depending on the game.)

DRAGON QUEST TREASURES floating islands map
Map of Draconia's floating islands.

Still, I needed to play the demo of Monster Hunter Stories 2 before I became convinced to buy it. (The same thing with Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition demo, actually!)

Anyway, today DRAGON QUEST TREASURES has released as a Nintendo Switch exclusive for $60. Unfortunately, the game lacks a demo. Fortunately, the game is published by SQUARE ENIX and not by Nintendo (unlike Dragon Quest XI S, which is the game that DRAGON QUEST TREASURES's protagonists, Erik and Mia, come from). That means that the game should be able to join SQUARE ENIX's more frequent and deeper sales discounts than what Nintendo would typically provide with Dragon Quest XI S. That should make plunging into DRAGON QUEST TREASURES more bearable.

DRAGON QUEST TREASURES Erik found a restless armour medal
Erik could only get up here with jumping and gliding abilities.

Or they could just do a demo! The game is either going to be addictive or feel like chores, and I'd like to get a feel for how DRAGON QUEST TREASURES is before buying it.

Ludwig would absolutely play a demo and judge the game based off that, and if he's hooked from the gameplay he'd get the game. Until then, it's a bit murky!

DRAGON QUEST TREASURES did get a demo! And it ended before the actual gameplay loop could start.

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