Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition |OT| 2D, or not 2D, that is the question

Oct 27, 2017
324
Finished the game last night. Took 104 hours, did moooostly everything but said fuck it to a few things and just charged through to the finish(everyone was like 80-85 at the end). This was the first DQ game I ever completed and I mostly loved the shit out of it.

I still never quite shook the feeling of being more disconnected from the cast during Act 3. It was neat to see how they still got most of the stuff from Act 2 to happen in 3(Irwin, Jasper etc) but none of it had the gravitas that they had in Act 2. The Act 3 party just isn't the Act 2 party. The group you really struggled and fought with. It was a weird feeling but ultimately not one that stopped me from playing or anything.

I also really liked their effort at the end to tie XI into the rest of the series by having the Luminary essentially be the origin of the Hero archetype in DQ. If this game is essentially the origins of the DQ1-3 mythos then maybe XII will be that for the IV-VI mythos? That'd be neat.

Anyway now that this is done I'm gonna take a bit of a DQ break and then continue with DQV, probably try IV after that, and then try to get back into VIII again after.
 

adam prime

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,731
ATX
There is a 2D mode? Very cool.

I would buy this game if this version was on PC and had 60fps support for both 3D and 2D modes.

Critically, also if I could choose a different hair style for the main character. One that is a normal, manly hairstyle. The current one is so ugly, so hideous that I have totally boycotted playing this game even though it was otherwise a must-play for me.
Haha. I think they were going for something both male/female in the hair styling this time around. My daughter is playing the game... she also hates his hair, thinks it looks funny.

I just keep my guy in the DQ8 costume.
 
Oct 27, 2017
324
Need to compile screenshots of all the characters in the game that compliment his hair to combat these haters. Like seriously, it's not "manly" enough lmao
 

Ryuji

Member
Apr 25, 2019
1,121
Can someone give me a rough idea on how far in the game I am at the moment?

I just got to the
Girls’ Academy.

Also, I heard that reaching
Yggdrasil after getting all the orbs
is just about halfway through the game not counting postgame, is that really true?
 

Watershed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,247
I finally beat the main story today. Took me a good 65 hours, not rushing but also not doing many sidequests. I like the characters, combat, and rpg systems much more than the story itself. I've started the epilogue stuff but I'm not enjoying it very much. Unsure if I will continue.
 
Nov 7, 2019
35
He has a handful of costumes that let you deal with the hair.
Great. I am getting this game for PC.

1) Can I give him a short, normal male hairstyle?
2) How many hours does it take to unlock a normal male hairstyle costume?
3) Does a mod exist that will let me use whatever hairstyle I want from the beginning of the game?
4) Does this game have any pre-rendered cutscenes? How many?
 

Kurtikeya

Member
Dec 2, 2017
416
Great. I am getting this game for PC.

1) Can I give him a short, normal male hairstyle?
2) How many hours does it take to unlock a normal male hairstyle costume?
3) Does a mod exist that will let me use whatever hairstyle I want from the beginning of the game?
4) Does this game have any pre-rendered cutscenes? How many?
I played on PS4 and Switch so I don’t know about mods. His hair never changes. The costume I’m talking about just hides his hair under the headgear. You get that in Act 2.
 

Deleted member 9486

User requested account closure
Banned
Oct 26, 2017
4,867
I didn't think I was rushing much--though I have been skipping most sidequests as I hate fetch quest type stuff with little or no story attached--but struggled a bit with the last couple of bosses. I'll put their names is spoilers just in case...

Gyldigga
was a real pain, and I struggle a bit with the
Auroal Serepent.
I made some resist paralysis stuff to help with the latter, but didn't have anything I could craft to block it so I still got hit by it too often. My characters were low 40s for the first boss and few levels higher for the second. Guess I need to do some side stuff (have some Tickington stuff I haven't done yet) and grind some levels since I'm not fan of doing bosses a few times and messing with crafting things for various resistances and managing buffs/debuffs so much. Was hoping I could just keep blasting through battles since I've been trying to do a lot of fights and keep leveled up (ideally over leveled).
 
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Nov 7, 2019
35
I played on PS4 and Switch so I don’t know about mods. His hair never changes. The costume I’m talking about just hides his hair under the headgear. You get that in Act 2.
I have searched for hairstyle mods. The only ones that I see are ones which change his hair colour.

I want to buy this game but 'his' hairstyle is downright disgusting. I just can't. That ruins what otherwise looked like a great game.
 

Kurtikeya

Member
Dec 2, 2017
416
I have searched for hairstyle mods. The only ones that I see are ones which change his hair colour.

I want to buy this game but 'his' hairstyle is downright disgusting. I just can't. That ruins what otherwise looked like a great game.
Here’s the costume that hides it.


I’m more concerned about how you’ll receive one of the best characters in the game if just the Luminary’s hairstyle already bothers you to the point of bringing gender into this, which has nothing to do with it. The hairstyle is fine, the characters talk about how well-kempt it is, and it’s a typical hairstyle, Toriyama or otherwise. Don’t miss out on an amazing game just for that.







 
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Marth

Member
Sep 24, 2019
239
Germany
Still stuck in the desert. Really should get back to playing but Ring Fit and Luigis Mansion eat up my playtime. And there is still Terry DLC.

I have too many things on my Switch and never thought this problem would happen to me.
But I plan to finish DQ at some point in 2020. Hopefully before Animal Crossing.
 
Nov 7, 2019
35
Here’s the costume that hides it.


I’m more concerned about how you’ll receive one of the best characters in the game if just the Luminary’s hairstyle already bothers you to the point of bringing gender into this, which has nothing to do with it. The hairstyle is fine, the characters talk about how well-kempt it is, and it’s a typical hairstyle, Toriyama or otherwise. Don’t miss out on an amazing game just for that.







The 2nd one is not the same thing, I think.

Thanks for ruining the 3rd one for me. I never really paid attention to that. I mean, I never had to play as him or anything so not a big issue for me.
 

snowtire

Member
Nov 17, 2017
660
Okay I’m at what I’m fairly sure is the final boss of act 2, still have harder monsters mode on, and I’m getting completely destroyed. My question is: do the Draconian quests get ‘completed’ at the end of act 2 or 3? If it’s 3 I’ll probably just switch it off, but if it’s 2 I feel like I should just power through at this point.

Also, if it is act 2....does anyone have any tips on this boss?? It feels like how long I last is mostly just luck as to whether or not they use A Cut Above and wipe two or three members at once lol....
 

ILikeFeet

Member
Oct 25, 2017
28,381
man fuck that phomn nomn boss in act 3. bullshit attrition battle with no end in sight. feels like one of those battles where you're better off being overleveled so you don't have to deal with it
 

Kurtikeya

Member
Dec 2, 2017
416
Okay I’m at what I’m fairly sure is the final boss of act 2, still have harder monsters mode on, and I’m getting completely destroyed. My question is: do the Draconian quests get ‘completed’ at the end of act 2 or 3? If it’s 3 I’ll probably just switch it off, but if it’s 2 I feel like I should just power through at this point.

Also, if it is act 2....does anyone have any tips on this boss?? It feels like how long I last is mostly just luck as to whether or not they use A Cut Above and wipe two or three members at once lol....
Completed in Act 2. Dazzle was important for me, as well as stacking resistant gear with Serena’s hymns. Make sure that your equipment is at +3 as that does help a lot. Also, if you have access to it, Kerplunk revives everyone, including any dead reserves. Be aggressive from the get-go, as the boss will inevitably outpower you. I was around level 53 when I beat it, with Stronger Monsters, Shypox, and Super Shypox on.
 
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snowtire

Member
Nov 17, 2017
660
Completed in Act 2. Dazzle was important for me, as well as stacking resistant gear with Serena’s hymns. Make sure that your equipment is at +3 as that does help a lot. Also, if you have access to it, Kerplunk revives everyone, including any dead reserves. Be aggressive from the get-go, as the boss will inevitably outpower you. I was around level 53 when I beat it, with Stronger Monsters, Shypox, and Super Shypox on.
Thank you!! I’d been trying to go for dazzle but it was landing super infrequently; in any case, I’ll switch stuff up again and keep at it.
 

Aexact

Member
Oct 30, 2017
1,636
any down sides if you switch your marriage/partnership ? I want to see all the cutscenes. Went with Gemma because its the obvious choice. Maybe I’ll just watch them on YouTube.
It’s like taking a mulligan. Everyone acts like it was that way all along.

Boy that was a trip.
I also picked Gemma first and a couple people in town mentioned the wedding so when I shuffled through the other characters and Gemma was super chill about who I picked, it was kinda unnerving. All the other character endings are more ambiguous and don’t state marriage though.
 
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Barn

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,426
Los Angeles
OK, I know the Switch has been out for almost three years (and I've been there the whole time), but playing Dragon Quest XI in tabletop mode with headphones at a coffee shop for a half hour because I was early for a recording session is still pretty magical.

That said, two nitpicky questions:

1) What is up with this game constantly trying to put Jade into degrading outfits? I said "no" to that Booga shit 1,000 times, but it didn't matter. Come on, Japan -- ya'll know she could've just kicked his ass immediately.

2) Is the part where
everyone separates
the new character-specific Switch DLC? Because it's really jamming up the pace -- I'm powering through, but it definitely hampered my momentum.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,017
OK, I know the Switch has been out for almost three years (and I've been there the whole time), but playing Dragon Quest XI in tabletop mode with headphones at a coffee shop for a half hour because I was early for a recording session is still pretty magical.

That said, two nitpicky questions:

1) What is up with this game constantly trying to put Jade into degrading outfits? I said "no" to that Booga shit 1,000 times, but it didn't matter. Come on, Japan -- ya'll know she could've just kicked his ass immediately.

2) Is the part where
everyone separates
the new character-specific Switch DLC? Because it's really jamming up the pace -- I'm powering through, but it definitely hampered my momentum.
1) Its a really irritating thing given she has so much potential and is a cool character
2) yea thats the DLC Added in
 

Anteo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,908
I finally got around playing this, im playing with draconian quests for harder enemy and reduced exp from lower levels and so far its pretty enjoyable, but im still suuuupeeeer early. Just about to get into Kingsbarrow, still with a party of 2 chars. Also I just realized I can buy stuff at camps, which should make this easier as I really need herbs to sustain me in battle and I was running out. Idk if updating my equipment often is going to be useful, enemies hit hard enough that i really doubt slightly more defense its going to make me last one more hit.

Edit: Is there any way to get an idea of turn order? Sometimes idk if I should use an item to heal from critical health or just kill the low hp enemy because I have no idea who is going to move next.
 
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Joltik

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,250
Edit: Is there any way to get an idea of turn order? Sometimes idk if I should use an item to heal from critical health or just kill the low hp enemy because I have no idea who is going to move next.
The character with the highest speed usually goes first. In your case, it should be Erik who is the fastest right now.
 

adam prime

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,731
ATX
I finally got around playing this, im playing with draconian quests for harder enemy and reduced exp from lower levels and so far its pretty enjoyable, but im still suuuupeeeer early. Just about to get into Kingsbarrow, still with a party of 2 chars. Also I just realized I can buy stuff at camps, which should make this easier as I really need herbs to sustain me in battle and I was running out. Idk if updating my equipment often is going to be useful, enemies hit hard enough that i really doubt slightly more defense its going to make me last one more hit.

Edit: Is there any way to get an idea of turn order? Sometimes idk if I should use an item to heal from critical health or just kill the low hp enemy because I have no idea who is going to move next.
Yeah, I'm trying to decide if JRPGs are better when they tell you turn order, or if it's more balanced and actually better when you don't know.

I know I prefer to know turn order. But it can keep the game feeling "surprising" and keeping some old school dice rolling surprise when you don't know.
 

Anteo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,908
The character with the highest speed usually goes first. In your case, it should be Erik who is the fastest right now.
So, every character takes a turn and then it starts again right? So if Erik moves then he wont get a turn until every other character has acted? There were a couple of times where it seems he took 2 turns in a row, but I guess it was those metal bird things using accelerate and pushing his turn to the last of the round I guess

Yeah, I'm trying to decide if JRPGs are better when they tell you turn order, or if it's more balanced and actually better when you don't know.

I know I prefer to know turn order. But it can keep the game feeling "surprising" and keeping some old school dice rolling surprise when you don't know.
I think im just too used to Etrian Oddysey. That game doesnt tell you the turn order (but its not hard to figure out the order of your party), the game also shows a turn/round counter at all times (which is what im missing the most right now, the rounds blur a little) and you pick your actions at the start of the round and see how everything plays out.
 

Tpallidum

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,044
There. Finally beat the hardest boss. Hooolly shit that was fuckin hard. Took me 232 turns. Can prob do it faster if you seed farm + stock up on rare consumables (aka cheese strats) but I didn’t want to do that. I did go in with the best weapons and armor. Didn’t use any Yggdrasil leafs/dew and pep pops all game until this fight and by the end I think I ran out of stuff. Certain equipment items are so important for this fight. I don’t know how it’s doable without them.

think I’m officially done with dq11. Hell of a game. 10/10. On to fire emblem!
 
Nov 11, 2017
549
I've been taking my time with this game, just now at
the part where you're doing the individual character sections after Yggdrasil falls, and Sylvando's merry band adventures was great but holy cow this Jade one is bad. Based on how her character has been presented so far the whole 'forced into a sexy bunny suit' thing was sadly not surprising, but I just got to the part where you fight Boodica and it's literally just the standard giant model with big beefcake dude body and the bare chest but it has like a heart tattoo so now it's a girl I guess? I swear I can't with this game sometimes
 
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snowtire

Member
Nov 17, 2017
660
I finished act 2 over the weekend after 85 or so hours and haven’t done anything after that yet, but gosh what a game....even if that was the end of it this would be one of the best and most impressive RPGs I’ve ever played. A question about that last boss fight:
When the tail casts Zing on the head after you knock it out, is it just a bluff to freak you out or can it actually bring it back? It missed like four or five times while I was whittling it down and it was very tense every time since my party was very much on its last legs at that point lol
 

Kurtikeya

Member
Dec 2, 2017
416
I finished act 2 over the weekend after 85 or so hours and haven’t done anything after that yet, but gosh what a game....even if that was the end of it this would be one of the best and most impressive RPGs I’ve ever played. A question about that last boss fight:
When the tail casts Zing on the head after you knock it out, is it just a bluff to freak you out or can it actually bring it back? It missed like four or five times while I was whittling it down and it was very tense every time since my party was very much on its last legs at that point lol
It can happen. It happened to me back in PS4.
 
Nov 3, 2017
126
Playing on Normal difficulty on the PC. Just got to Octagonia in Act 2 at 50 hours. Roughly how far into the game am I / how much time to see the full ending?

Loving the game but just curious.
 

Mr.Fletcher

Member
Nov 18, 2017
2,228
Started the game earlier today via the generous Switch demo and ploughed a few hours into it... and it’s just not for me.

My opinion after a handful of hours is quite negative. There’s certainly a lot to love, but sadly, like Persona 5 before it, Dragon Quest just hasn’t really pulled me in.

I’m aware I’ve barely scratched the surface and I’m sure it blossoms into a great experience for those who love the series. It feels like a good place to start for newcomers like me. But it’s left me cold and I probably won’t continue.

I think both Persona 5 and Dragon Quest have made me realise I’m not a fan of mute main characters.

Watching Ann breakdown as she tells Joker about her abuse at the hands of a teacher in Persona 5, only to see him offer little to no reaction completely took me out of that game.

And that moment came much earlier in Dragon Quest when a tearful Gemma realises her childhood sweetheart/friend has to leave. She talks about how she thought they’d never be apart, recounts the legend of the luminary and runs off crying. But our hero does nothing. He doesn’t really react at all. It hurts more here because NPC dialogue in the beginning really wants you to believe in this relationship. But this sad moment feels totally unearned.

It comes after a bizarre cutscene where your ‘mother’ reveals you’re the reincarnation of the luminary - much to the shock of our hero and Gemma. It’s a big secret she’s sat on for years, but she doesn’t mind spilling the beans in front of your mate. She then brushes it under the carpet in seconds to get tea on the table, while also telling us we need to leave to pursue our destiny. It’s just weird.

Then there’s little things. Gemma is gobsmacked that I can call lightening down from the sky, but didn’t bat an eyelid when I was throwing fireballs around minutes earlier. It’s a world in which magic exists and is accepted, so why is she surprised? Then again, she quickly forgets about it.

Later on, Erik doesn’t even question if you’re the luminary. He believes you straight away, starts knocking out guards and puts his life on the line to help you escape.

Add it all together and its hard to suspend your disbelief. I’m aware that our hero being the centre of the universe is a classic JRPG trope but it’s so transparent here. If the protagonist had a swagger, or any kind of charisma, you could understand it. But, in the early game at least, he’s a non character. I’m not a cynical player either - I can roll with a ‘power of friendship’ style adventure. But they lay it on really thick here.

Even early combat progression feels equally ‘gamey’ if you know what I mean? A few levels in I can use a fireball, turn my sword into a blazing weapon and cast a healing spell - but why?

I’m a huge Xenoblade fan and I really like how those games contextualise your combat abilities in the story. The monado is a magical weapon that, through various cutscenes, we learn can grant it’s user a vision of the future. So when that mechanic is added into the combat, it feels natural. In Xenoblade 2, Rex’s hook shot ability gains extra utility when he is shown how to use it properly by a mentor character. A cutscene introduces the topple concept (which opens up driver combos) and the player then uses it in the following battle. It opens up more combat options and makes sense in the story.

It sounds like a tiny thing to harp on about. But that kind of cohesion between storytelling and gameplay mechanics just make an experience all the better for me. It feels like you can throw a fireball and cast a healing spell because it’s a Dragon Quest game. You might say he’s the luminary but, early on, that’s such a nebulous concept.

The voice performances are great - but due to the way the game handles on screen text, you get these cutscenes with lots of unnatural pauses. Scenes don’t flow as well as they could and it gives the impression exchanges are more stiff than they are. Though I will say, Erik’s accent is strange. He’s a Brit putting on an American accent and, at least initially, it sounds off.

There’s plenty more I don’t like too, but I’ll leave it there.

The small selection of towns I’ve experienced are really good, the dialogue is fun and bursting with character, traversal and map navigation feels smooth, combat is cool too, etc.

This post has turned into something much longer than I intended and I hope no one takes offence to my ramblings. But when I say a game isn’t doing it for me, I like to explain why. It’s just my opinion and I’m sure plenty of people will disagree.

I’ve barely played it, relative to its overall length. But, like Persona 5, I’m sad that I can’t appreciate it as much as others. :(
 

HotHamBoy

Member
Oct 27, 2017
13,547
I'm about 15 hours in and I think I'm starting to crack RE: the ultra repetitive music.

Why are there so few tracks?
Why are the loops so short?
Why does every town and every area have the same music?
 
Nov 1, 2017
2,022
Any tips for the final boss, like equipment, skills, etc.? I'm apparently over-leveled but I keep getting bodied after the red mist, even with fully buffed defense. ; _ ;
 

werezompire

Zeboyd Games
Verified
Oct 26, 2017
3,443
Almost done with Act 2. Got a really powerful whip from a 2D sidequest and now a certain female whip-slinger can deal crazy amounts of single-target damage with a whip when promperly oomphed & enemy sapped.

Also, this playthrough, I've been focusing on the luminary's magic might stat (not using stat seeds, just focused on equipment that boosts the stat) and wow is the Zap line of spells powerful if you don't ignore magic might. Dealing something like 700+ damage to a group with the final zap spell, with no buffs or debuffs.

Then there’s little things. Gemma is gobsmacked that I can call lightening down from the sky, but didn’t bat an eyelid when I was throwing fireballs around minutes earlier. It’s a world in which magic exists and is accepted, so why is she surprised? Then again, she quickly forgets about it.
It's not that she's surprised that you can use magic; it's that she's surprised you can use THAT magic. Frizz (that fireball spell) is the lowest level attack magic in the world. Dedicated mages learn it at LV1 and other classes can learn it at low levels so seeing someone use it is not a big deal. Zap, on the other hand, is not only a drastically more powerful spell, but it's traditionally a line of spells that are only available to Hero-class characters in the Dragon Quest series. In gameplay terms, the 1st rank Zap spell (which you can unlock by putting 16 points into the Luminary section of the hero's skill tree) remains powerful through to the end of Act 1 (of 3) as long as you keep your Magic Might stat up.

Later on, Erik doesn’t even question if you’re the luminary. He believes you straight away, starts knocking out guards and puts his life on the line to help you escape.
It mentions it briefly at the time and goes into more depth later in the game, but a powerful fortune teller told Erik to find and help the Luminary and that certain aspects of his past would eventually be fixed if he did so. Because of this, it's not that surprising that when he ran into someone that the king imprisoned for being the luminary, he'd take things at face value.

Even early combat progression feels equally ‘gamey’ if you know what I mean? A few levels in I can use a fireball, turn my sword into a blazing weapon and cast a healing spell - but why?

I’m a huge Xenoblade fan and I really like how those games contextualise your combat abilities in the story. The monado is a magical weapon that, through various cutscenes, we learn can grant it’s user a vision of the future. So when that mechanic is added into the combat, it feels natural. In Xenoblade 2, Rex’s hook shot ability gains extra utility when he is shown how to use it properly by a mentor character. A cutscene introduces the topple concept (which opens up driver combos) and the player then uses it in the following battle. It opens up more combat options and makes sense in the story.

It sounds like a tiny thing to harp on about. But that kind of cohesion between storytelling and gameplay mechanics just make an experience all the better for me. It feels like you can throw a fireball and cast a healing spell because it’s a Dragon Quest game. You might say he’s the luminary but, early on, that’s such a nebulous concept.
Yes, a lot of the skill progression is standard RPG fare (and particularly standard DQ fare), but I will say that 1) every character in the game has at least 1 moment where a story event causes their skill grid to transform or expand and 2) some abilities are learned via the story rather than LVs or the skill grid.

Anyway, good on you for giving it a shot. It's one of my favorite games ever (love the gameplay on hard mode) and I think the post-demo stuff is better than the demo stuff, but if it's really not clicking for you, I doubt you'll suddenly change your mind later.
 

adam prime

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,731
ATX
I'm about 15 hours in and I think I'm starting to crack RE: the ultra repetitive music.

Why are there so few tracks?
Why are the loops so short?
Why does every town and every area have the same music?
This is all true.

But the DQVIII overworld track makes it a better. I NEVER get sick of it, even after listening to it for hours in VIII and again here in XI. So good!
 

Mr.Fletcher

Member
Nov 18, 2017
2,228
Almost done with Act 2. Got a really powerful whip from a 2D sidequest and now a certain female whip-slinger can deal crazy amounts of single-target damage with a whip when promperly oomphed & enemy sapped.

Also, this playthrough, I've been focusing on the luminary's magic might stat (not using stat seeds, just focused on equipment that boosts the stat) and wow is the Zap line of spells powerful if you don't ignore magic might. Dealing something like 700+ damage to a group with the final zap spell, with no buffs or debuffs.



It's not that she's surprised that you can use magic; it's that she's surprised you can use THAT magic. Frizz (that fireball spell) is the lowest level attack magic in the world. Dedicated mages learn it at LV1 and other classes can learn it at low levels so seeing someone use it is not a big deal. Zap, on the other hand, is not only a drastically more powerful spell, but it's traditionally a line of spells that are only available to Hero-class characters in the Dragon Quest series. In gameplay terms, the 1st rank Zap spell (which you can unlock by putting 16 points into the Luminary section of the hero's skill tree) remains powerful through to the end of Act 1 (of 3) as long as you keep your Magic Might stat up.



It mentions it briefly at the time and goes into more depth later in the game, but a powerful fortune teller told Erik to find and help the Luminary and that certain aspects of his past would eventually be fixed if he did so. Because of this, it's not that surprising that when he ran into someone that the king imprisoned for being the luminary, he'd take things at face value.



Yes, a lot of the skill progression is standard RPG fare (and particularly standard DQ fare), but I will say that 1) every character in the game has at least 1 moment where a story event causes their skill grid to transform or expand and 2) some abilities are learned via the story rather than LVs or the skill grid.

Anyway, good on you for giving it a shot. It's one of my favorite games ever (love the gameplay on hard mode) and I think the post-demo stuff is better than the demo stuff, but if it's really not clicking for you, I doubt you'll suddenly change your mind later.
Thanks for the response and enlightening me!

I deleted the demo, but actually found myself itching to give it another go yesterday, so I downloaded it again and jumped back in.

I put a few more hours in before I gave up. But it’s such a shame. I love the way it controls, and I like the combat and the world. As I said previously, the voice work is good and I like the game’s sense of humour. I also like traversal and really enjoy the fact that the game makes it part of the gameplay. Going into a back garden, climbing up some boxes, walking along some ropes and confronting Derk made the act of navigating the world feel much more involved than most JRPGs I’ve played. Add in great on foot movement and a satisfying sprint, and I like just roaming the environments. Moving around in combat, while superficial and a missed opportunity, adds to that sense that I’ve got control at all times.

I also love the customisation options in regards to game speed, text progression and the like. It feels like a super polished experience across the board.

Heliodor feels like a fantastically realised place and the praise I’ve seen for the game’s towns seems more than justified from what little I’ve played.

As you can probably tell, I’ve got conflicting feelings about the game. There’s lots I really like, which is why I‘ve been reluctant to let it go. I researched this game endlessly, watched loads of reviews and can see why so many people love it. My positive experience with the Xenoblade series has really encouraged me to give other JRPGs a go and I’m glad I’ve tried it.

But there’s something about the overbearing, looped music, the framing of the plot and mechanics and the way it all comes together that just turns me off.

Revisiting a certain location early on took an unexpected turn that I appreciated - though why our hero has a voice then, but not now, doesn’t make sense. I’m sure people know what I mean. He also didn’t really react to quite a big revelation about his past, which just made the whole scene jarring. Link in Wind Walker is how you do a mute main character. He’s incredibly expressive and brims with character throughout.

It’s an interesting game. One that I’m glad exists and would recommend to those who like classic JRPGs. I’m also glad I got to try it out for nothing! I’m sure I’ll take a good look at the next one when it comes. And fingers crossed I’ll love that one.
 
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