Dragon Quest Treasures REVIEW (NSW)
''A Treasure Hunt''
Genre: Role Playing
Release Date: Dec 9th,2022
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
*Review copy provided to me by Square-Enix*
Dragon Quest Treasures is the latest spin off in the massive franchise Dragon Quest and it is developed and published by Square-Enix. With Square-Enix bombarding everyone and their mamas with game after game after game this year, Square-Enix decided, here's one for the road to end 2022. But was it worth releasing in 2022 alongside other hit tiles? or is this one that should've been left to cook just little bit longer?. Only one way to find out, so lets go!
Erik and his sister Mia live on a Viking longship, dreaming of the day they can explore the world in search of grand treasure. One night they encounter a pair of otherworldly creatures, Porcus and Purrsula, and are whisked away to a mysterious place known as Draconia - a legendary land full of treasures just waiting to be discovered. The adventure Erik and Mia have always dreamed of is finally underway.
Dragon Quest returns to our consoles once more to bring us yet another spin off title in this long running franchise. Coming off great spin offs like Dragon Quest Heroes and the cute and fun Dragon Quest Builders, Square-Enix now brings us another little action adventure called Dragon Quest Treasures. Starring the characters Erik and his sister Mia, two prominent characters from the mainline entry, Dragon Quest 11, which was an amazing game by the way, you join them on their quest and exploration across the land of Draconia, as they search for the seven legendary Dragonstones. That way they can make their wish for panties. Wait hold on, scratch that, this isn't Dragon Ball or Oolong, so that's the wrong lore were talking about. Although being that its Dragon Quest, it is still Akira Toriyama, so it half makes sense either way, right?. Yikes, were not even fully into this review yet and were off topic already, so lets focus and not let my attention span disorder distract us any further, so like with all my Akira Toriyama related content, let's do the mandatory thing and kill off Yamcha before continuing. Ok, 1, 2 3 and.... perfect.
When this title was first announced, I was immediately intrigued because it looked cute and addictive as all heck, but what really confused me and probably many others was the fact that we are playing as Erik and Mia, again, from Dragon Quest 11. Of all characters, why them? why not some new characters? how many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop? the world may never know. But what I do know is, this game was exactly what I thought it would be, but alongside some things that I also wished were not in the game as well. Pros and cons people. As youths and orphans raised by Vikings, no not ones from Minnesota like Ash Ketchum thinks, but ones who love treasure - which of course in turn, makes Erik and his sister Mia, also want to search out and explore to find treasure of their own. After sneaking out when they weren't supposed to. onto the main deck that they call home, they come across two strange and bizarre creatures named Purrsula and Pocus. Right away they knew PETA weren't going to like this and knew they didnt have social media to get a trend hashtag going for FreePurssula and FreePocus, so they did the next thing that made sense, they set them free. Thankfully it wasn't in the way that Stan and Kyle freed their whale friend, otherwise they'd end up dead on the moon. But again.. were off topic.
As their voyage sails on via their mini boat, they come across two magical daggers that lie in dormant on a mysterious island they happen to come upon. Sadly for Gilligan, Skipper, a millionaire and his wife, a movie star and a professor and Mary Ann, it wasnt their their island, so they did not get rescued at this time. Once Mia and Erik approach the daggers, the world starts shifting with magic and the crew is now transported to a brand new world, a world named Draconia. This world is made up of five explorable islands and it sort of reminds me of how Earth Defense Force World Brothers is set up, if you all have ever played that one. From here on the goal is simple, explore, traverse and find all the treasure you can find, such as materials, new monster friends to tame to join you in your adventure and enter a full search for the previously mentioned Dragonstones. Simple enough right? sorta. While that plot may seem straight forward with youths eager for an adventure and eventually might lead to something on a grander stage, well not so much. Don't feel bad though, just because you got bamboozled doesn't make you a blockhead like Steve from Minecraft. I'm sorry Steve, I didn't mean It I swear. Instead the story overall acts as a background piece to the core aspects of the gameplay of exploration in the semi open world, completing tasks and uncovering treasure.
Besides setting up your own facilities around islands or rather in the base for your crew, you will freely explore the world alongside your party and combat against villainous monsters. Luckily for you, should you find a super cute one or a really bad ass monster that you do not wish to kill, well both a hurray and an I'm sorry, should be said to you. While technically you still DO have to kill these little buggers, they do not stay dead on a permanent basis. After engaging into combat mode.. oh no, not you again lady, no activating combat mode will be had here, go back to your own game crisis core lady. As I was saying, upon engaging into combat mode, you must slay your favorite monster and upon death, they can have a chance to show up back at your home base. Honestly its pretty similar to Pokemon in a way too. For example everyone knows in Pokemon, you have to damage a Pokemon to be able to catch it, well a similar mechanic works here to with Mia or Erik being able to use a projectile to higher the chances of your favorite monster showing up for you to tame. The one kicker? they don't do it for free. Those friggin jerks. I whipped your butt, you should obey me now, that's how its supposed to work!. But alas, nope, the little dumb dumbs want specific items and materials in order to make them happy before they join you. Which is.. sorta like me? I mean if people want me to go out and hang with them, I'm like no way, I'm binging Fraggle Rock guys, that is until they offer to buy me food and I'm like well crap... time to get ready then. Who knew me and Dragon Quest monsters would be spiritually linked. That wasn't on my 2022 bingo card.
One of the great things about catching or rather taming a lot of these monsters is the way it eases your traversal through the semi open worlds. They're pretty vast and open and it can sometimes feel like it takes forever to cross them, but lucky, there are specific monsters that will be nicer than most and let you ride them for a faster and more reliant form of transportation and even at times fly you to a desired section of the map, should you find one capable of that ability. This makes strategizing a monsters unique abilities in the field mandatory, alongside keeping them leveled to a respectable degree for higher efficiency. So what about the core gameplay, not just exploration, well glad you asked(you didn't), because using character and monster abilities as you search for treasure will be vital to your overall success. For instance combining your eye sight ability of Mia and Erik alongside with the monster transmitting their sight with you, it will make it easier to find, locate and obtain desired loot, should your monsters view and eyesight actually end up good. Which plot twist, not all of them have great eyesight and it just makes me think of them as Mister Magoo. Now that's a reference you didn't expect to hear, did ya?. Further exploring the land and finding treasures like Bric a Bracs, you will be able to increase your treasure hunting capabilities by raising your treasures overall value in order to not only raise your rank for even greater benefits of your party and monsters, but if you don't want your monsters that you aren't using to be lonely, they may be sent out individually on their own expeditions and journeys. Then you just have to wait for them to return to you over a hill like Sassy, Chance and Shadow, towing rewards and loot in hand. But the fun does not stop there. Nope.
Even after exploring 5 vast islands, recruiting new monster friends by your side, collecting tons of bric a brac to raise treasure value, sending monsters out on their own journey, engaging in combat, using monster abilities to your advantage, there's still ways for you to entertain yourself and get the most of your experience. How do you do this? by being the biggest freaking jerk alive by stealing from other gangs and taking all their treasure. Finders keepers guys, whats yours is mine and whats mine s mine, I may be a jerk, but I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam. But you could be a goodie two shoes too I guess and just complete regular ol daily missions too. Go ahead teachers pet, do it, be a wuss, I triple dog dare you. However, the game is not all sunshine, rainbows and squishy bunnies because the same things that make this game so much fun, can also be a detriment to it at certain points. While yes exploring the world, battling and gaining and gathering new materials is really fun, it does tend to lean on the tedious side at times just a tad bit. Having your monster fight for you in a very passive way or using dagger for the 100th time tends to get tiresome or even cumbersome, should you not mix up your chores every now and then with daily missions or monster recruiting - sticking to combat for long periods is a VERY bad idea. Even though combat wise you have pellets, dagger and special abilities like Wild Sides to use, it still remains a tad bit underwhelming due to combat not being that robust with a ton of abilities to cycle between to give it more oomph or variety.
Having a bulk of gameplay being combat related, you would think we would've gotten at least some sort of skill tree, even if its not dozens of moves.. I felt it still would've been beneficial to have a larger array of combat abilities to use to make up for the tedium that you will no doubt shake your head at. The shortcomings are especially felt when taking part in Dungeons, who's main purpose is to have you fight and use combat to get around in. It doesn't feel as refined and fleshed out as the games other mechanics and world, and that to me is pretty disheartening. Makes you want to poke it with a stick and be like ''Come on... do something''. I know I know, perhaps I'm being a tad bit harsh considering this IS just a spin off title and its more aimed towards a casual audience, but hey, its my party and I'll cry if I want to. Lucky I didn't let it get to me TOO much and instead either went back to grinding out levels for my monsters, finding better loot or interacting with base vendors after completing specific missions, which in turn grant you access to a brand new workshop that allows you to craft items such as pellets for monster taming, item shops, and even your own cafeteria to cook some super good food.. WAY better than the slop we got from the big angry lady with prison tattoos on her face from when I went to school, that's for sure. Lastly, even with being scrooge mcduck and hording the in game currency, that's embarrassingly high in abundance, there is also an online mode, but due to my internet service going up and down as of late, I couldn't stay online long enough to participate, so for that I apologize.
At the end of the day, I thoroughly enjoyed Dragon Quest Treasures for what it is. It's cuteness is here, the charm and feel of Dragon Quest and its series is well and present and its a great casual game that you can pick up and play with ease. Sure, I get it, combat can get a tad bit repetitive, lack of abilities to use can make it cumbersome, but with the great world to explore with 5 islands, being able to recruit monsters to your party, use special abilities of monsters to find treasures or fly to a location, discover mysteries hidden in dungeons, cute catchy music and a general feeling of relaxation while playing, make this game an overall joy to play, even with its shortcomings and imperfections. So with all that having been said, my verdict is clear, GameNChick says BUY NOW