Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age has finally arrived on the Nintendo Switch, earning a new title along the way (Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age Definitive Edition) and bringing with it a slew of new content.
Originally released worldwide on the PS4 back in 2018, this Definitive Edition on the Switch certainly lives up to its name. The amount of new content is staggering; graphical tweaks, soundtrack additions, quality of life improvements, and even a new 2D game mode. If you’re thinking of picking the game up but have already played it on PS4 (or if you’re just curious as to what’s been added), you can check out a comprehensive list of changes below.
Battle Speed Selector
This small addition makes the game significantly more enjoyable. Grinding out a few extra levels before a boss fight can sometimes be a drag, but by ramping the battle speed to ultra-fast you can help mitigate some of the pain. It’s a common feature on emulators, and we’re glad to see it make an appearance here.
Fun-Size Forge Can Be Used Everywhere
One of the best parts of Dragon Quest XI is crafting, as it’s incorporated into a nifty little mini-game. Not only is it fun, but you can actually craft items that are extremely helpful on your journey. In the PS4 version crafting was relegated to campsites. On the Switch, you can bust out the forge whenever your heart desires.
New Soundtrack And Voice Overs
Not only do Switch owners get the original MIDI soundtrack as well as a new orchestrated version of the soundtrack, but they are also treated to the soundtrack from Dragon Quest VIII in the form of day one DLC. The base game music can become grating after forty hours of gameplay, so having the option to change it up is a welcome addition. You can also select a Japanese voice over option if you find the English voice overs to be a bit annoying (which you probably will).
A surprisingly robust photo mode allows players to pose each of the characters in their party and snap some pictures with the beautifully designed world of Erdrea in the background. It’s embarrassing to admit how much time I lost just messing around with this feature…
The World Of Tickington
One of the larger additions to the game is the 16-bit town of Tickington. Here, you can visit recreations of past Dragon Quest worlds and take on quests to help restore them to their former glory. You must first discover residents of this world, called Tockles, scattered about Erdrea in order to learn their secret ‘pastcode’. Once you’ve acquired this, you can head back to Tickington and tackle the new content. It’s a fun diversion that adds hours of gameplay and offers a nice diversion of the main questline.
The biggest addition to the game, however, is another game entirely. Dragon Quest XI was originally released back in 2017 on the 3DS in Japan, and that game has made its way to the Switch version of Dragon Quest. Players have the option to switch back and forth between the 3D game and the 2D game by visiting an in-game church. The way it works is a bit rough around the edges, as you can only choose to start your game from a few predetermined story segments. This means a portion of your progress might be lost in the transition, so it’s wise to use two different save files here to mitigate any losses.
However, we’re practically getting two games for the price of one, and this alone might get people who played the PS4 version of Dragon Quest to pick it up again on the Switch.
While the above items are some of the biggest changes, there are dozens of others that are worth mentioning:
- Party members are now viewable in the overworld
- Cutscenes are immediately skippable
- The addition of cosmetic only outfits
- The Horse Hailer item allows you summon your horse when away from bell posts
- Quick Commands menu has been added to easily access commonly used features
- Harvested materials are placed into inventory instead of dropping on the ground
- Defeating monsters using a mount grants experience
- The ability to switch camera styles during battle (Classic or Free Movement)
- Party member dialog appears in speech bubbles during combat
- Interact with party members via the ‘-‘ button
- Party member quests have been added
- New costumes
- No first-person camera
- New marriage options
- More rideable monsters
- Draconian Quest options have been expanded
Dragon Quest XI was already a massive game when it launched last year. With all this new content, the Switch version is certainly the best version available on the market and one that will keep you playing for close to 100 hours. Whether you decide to play the game in 2D or 3D, you’ll certainly be thankful for all the quality of life changes.
Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age Definitive Edition is available now on the Nintendo Switch.