Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an elusive age is a classic turn-based JRPG that mixes old school ideas with modern concepts and features. It stars a silent protagonist who also happens to be the reincarnation of the luminary, a legendary hero who had saved the world eons ago. He then sets out on a journey to find more about his past and fulfil his destiny as the luminary.
Dragon Quest XI features a traditional turn based battle system. In addition to casting various spells and abilities, your party members can also move around the battlefield if you have the Free-Form Fighting battle mode selected. If your party members perform enough actions, they can get “Pepped up” which causes them to glow and increases their damage as well as defence. Your pepped status only lasts for a few turns, but can be carried over to the next battle should you end a fight in pepped state. The turn-based combat system works well thanks to the snappy battles and fluid animations. Bosses can be tense and while it doesn’t have the same sense of style present in other modern JRPGs; it’s a system that is both deep and approachable.
The progression system follows a tile-based structure similar to Final Fantasy 12. Upon levelling up, you gain skill points which can be used to unlock active and passive abilities. There are some secret tiles on your grid, which can be accessed by unlocking all others around it. Characters can also spend their points in various categories, each focusing on a particular weapon or type of skills. The world is intricately designed, with multiple layers, secrets and a staggering attention to detail. The English version of the game comes with some significant differences from the original Japanese release. The game’s story scenes are now fully voiced, as compared to the complete absence of voice acting in the Japanese version. They have also added a dash button, which helps in traversing the world and can be used to avoid enemies.
My only real complaint with the game is the MIDI soundtrack. But if you enjoy classic JRPGs, Dragon Quest 11 will fulfil your requirements in many different ways....