It's certainly no secret that Nintendo made the right move in choosing to publish Dragon Quest IX outside of Japan as the game not only drew rave reviews from the gaming media, but also broke numerous sales records along the way as well. Now in an effort to keep the momentum rolling, it's decided to help Square-Enix resurrect one of the classic Dragon Quest titles which, until now, has never seen an official release outside of Japan. And as if this weren't enough, the game's also been given a complete makeover from top to bottom and received a host of bonus features for fans to sink their slime-slashing teeth into.
Since the Dragon Quest series has changed very little over the years in terms of gameplay, the game should immediately feel familiar to longtime fans. You'll spend the majority of your time traversing the world map and exploring the game's many towns and dungeons throughout your quest. Of course along the way you'll have to deal with the constant flow of random enemy encounters, a longtime staple of the series. You'll find doing battle to be a very integral part of your journey, at least if you hope to survive for very long, and will also provide you with gold needed to upgrade your equipment and purchase healing items.
Battles in Dragon Quest VI stick to the tried-and-true turn-based system that's been used in the games since their inception. You'll be given the usual menu choices such as using your main weapon or performing magic spells you learn, as well as fleeing battles entirely. As you make your way through your adventure, you'll pick up additional characters in your party that can aid you in battle and even be switched in and out once you acquire the use of the covered wagon. You'll soon find that some characters tend to be more effective in certain situations than others and choosing them will become more and more important as you reach the latter stages of the game. You'll even be able to set up the tactics of these additional characters or take control of them just as you would your main character if you so choose.
Slimes have always been a huge part of the Dragon Quest titles, but they play an even more integral role in this sixth release. As you do battle, you'll sometimes have the opportunity to capture a slime and add it to your party. You'll then be able to level it up and change its character class, just as you do your main characters, and even pit your slime against enemies of various difficulty in Slimopolis. So just as it's important to carefully level up and change vocations among your party members, so too is it important to grow your slime into a solid fighter as well.
As if the lengthy main adventure wasn't enough, the developers have included a host of new features and game modes for players to tackle. Slime Slippin' is a unique minigame that you'll be able to play once you reach a certain section of the game. Here you'll be using the touchscreen to launch your slime down various runways, performing tasks that range from trying to land your slime in the bullseye to knocking down soldiers in typical bowling fashion. Another unique addition is the Dream Sharing mode where you'll be able to create your own Dream Card and then share it with other player's using the DS Wi-Fi function. While these additions might seem a bit tacked on, they're actually a lot of fun for gamers who'll take the time to try them out and provide a nice diversion from the main adventure.
It's difficult to fault the developers for keeping the execution and feel of the gameplay fairly typical for this release. There's always been something enjoyable about the old-school approach the series has made use of over the years and it works equally well in this remake. The combat system is extremely well implemented and feels even more smooth and polished, at times, than the system used in the newer Dragon Quest IX release. When you toss in an extremely lengthy and challenging quest with the already rock solid controls, you get yet another amazing Dragon Quest experience that should more than please fans of the series, not to mention bring in many new fans with the modern twists that are introduced.
Anyone that's played Dragon Quest IX knows how amazing the visual presentation was, but you'll be every bit as impressed with the fresh coat of paint the developers were able to impart on this remake. Lush environments and some very well designed and animated monsters really make the world come alive around you. There's also a huge degree of variety between the various locales you'll visit, so you'll never hardly see the same visual styles repeated very often, yet another aspect that gives the game such a grand scape in size.
From the moment you start the game you'll immediately know your inside of a Dragon Quest game just from the sound effects and music alone. You'll be treated to a barrage of classic remixed tracks from past Dragon Quest releases, not to mention a host of new orchestrated tunes to go along with them. Since there's no real cutscenes, there's also no voiced dialogue, but given the charm and personality of the various characters and monsters you'll meet during your adventure, as well as the beautiful musical score, it's really not something you'll miss all that much in the overall scheme of things.
Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation might not be as flashy or intricate as Dragon Quest IX was, but that certainly doesn't keep the game from being every bit as charming and engaging. Square-Enix has once again retained all of the game's classic 16-bit style while still upgrading the various aspects of the game to make it look and feel like a much more modern RPG experience. If you're one of those RPG fans who can still appreciate a good old-fashioned turn-based role-playing adventure that doesn't deviate too far from the classic formula, Realms of Revelation should prove to be right up your alley and yet another fantastic addition to the impressive DS RPG library.