What's so good about Dragon Quest games? - http://www.mmcafe.com/ Forums


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Time Mage
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"What's so good about Dragon Quest games?" , posted Tue 27 Sep 08:28post reply

I haven't played any, but I recently came across a site dedicated to DQ6, and when reading about the job system, it felt reaaally limited in comparison to the other RPGs of that time. Since the graphics of DQ games aren't exactly top notch... What does make DQ games so popular and well sold? Amazing story? Great characters? Toriyama designs? Superb music? Tons of marketing? Something else?






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Pollyanna
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"Re(1):What's so good about Dragon Quest games" , posted Tue 27 Sep 09:20post reply

Which "RPGs of the time" are you comparing it to? FF5?

The DQ games just have charm. I think that's it. I mean, the systems usually work well enough, the enemy designs are fun and the music is beyond amazing. (excluding the only decent DQ8 soundtrack)

These are all good things, but I don't think they account for the popularity as much as having a game that retains the same charm that "old school" RPGs have. So many people don't like "new" RPGs and complain that they want more "old school" despite the fact that the characters were often bland, the stories were predictable and the systems were limited. However, the intangible charm is still there.

The only DQ I really liked was 7, because it gave you so much to do, was challenging, had a good job system, an excellent soundtrack, great subplots and mostly likable characters. Of course, it still had its share of problems...





Nickey
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"Re(2):What's so good about Dragon Quest games" , posted Tue 27 Sep 12:51post reply

I like dragon quest games cause of their awesome shop system. Its the most creative i've ever seen. See you go into a shop and you see all the things you need, but too bad cause you can't afford it. Ever.





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"Re(1):What's so good about Dragon Quest games" , posted Tue 27 Sep 14:27post reply

quote:
Toriyama designs?


While I think some of the Toriyama's designs are very cool (Piccolo, Freezer, Cell, Janemba, Magus, for example), I find most of them boring, repetitive and uninspired. I've never played a DQ, but I bet there's always a Goku, Bulma, Piccolo, a weird bubble shaped robot, and so on.
What's the appeal on Toriyama's designs anyway?





Maou
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"Re(2):What's so good about Dragon Quest games" , posted Tue 27 Sep 15:03post reply

quote:

What's the appeal on Toriyama's designs anyway?


Hmm, I'd say probably his villains. His good guys tend to look the same all of the time (Chrono Trigger happened to be pleasantly different, I thought), but his bad guys have always had such zing to 'em. From the DQ Slimes to Vinegar/Ozzie in CT to people like Piccolo, Toriyama's villains have this sort of delightfully jolly, unusual look to them that makes him fun, I think.





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Pollyanna
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"Re(3):What's so good about Dragon Quest games" , posted Tue 27 Sep 15:25post reply

I don't like Toriyama's human DQ8 designs at all, though the monsters turned out all right.

I like the coloring style (in the scenario pictures especially) and cute simplicity of the DQ7 designs. The hero and Maribel both had cute designs with a lot of personality.

But it's more than just characters. I think DQ is as much, if not more about the monsters. Also, it's something that's "absorbed" into the graphic style of the game. It's not like Toriyama's designs are just pasted onto a random game. The whole world accomodates it.





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"Re(4):What's so good about Dragon Quest games" , posted Tue 27 Sep 16:42post reply

As Polly said, the ambiance is everything.
As a game, I can't help to find it hypnotizingly bad.
It's really just a matter of numbers. You play to have more of this, then more of that, for the sole purpose of having more of that. It has that strange power MMORPG have.





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Time Mage
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"Re(5):What's so good about Dragon Quest games" , posted Tue 27 Sep 23:04post reply

quote:
It's really just a matter of numbers. You play to have more of this, then more of that, for the sole purpose of having more of that. It has that strange power MMORPG have.



Ugh, is that so? I'm not a fan of amassing numbers. Skills, weapons, or other more meaningful things, yes, but not numbers: I hate leveling.

Anyway, if I've asked specifically about Toriyama is because, as Polly said, the games seem to revolve around his designs. It's true that many of his human designs are bland, but even some of those have charm in my opinion.

None of you have mentioned the story. Are the stories so bad/uninteresting?

Oh, and I was comparing DQ6 system to Chrono Trigger and FF6 (which also has a simple system, but not as simple). I don't know if other DQ games will have a better ability system, but what I read about DQ6 seemed a bit limited.





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"Re(6):What's so good about Dragon Quest games" , posted Tue 27 Sep 23:34post reply

I agree about the ambience. DQ8 was a horrible game in almost every aspect, but the ambience just felt great. Until I realised what a chore it was to walk around in that world. I can't really remember DQ6 anymore. But it felt great too.

Fujiwara Kamui's DQ comics keeps making me think I'm totally in love with the DQ world.





aderack
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"Re(6):What's so good about Dragon Quest games" , posted Tue 27 Sep 23:38:post reply

There's no nonsense to them. Keep in mind every other JRPG is a Dragon Quest clone, and has to contrive something to set itself apart from Dragon Quest. Draon Quest is, therefore, the fundamental game that everything else is a deviation from.

And there is a certain purity and wholeness to it, as an experience. It's balanced for a certain sense of immediacy: all that matters is right now.

For the most part, the game realizes where its abstractions are and that they are abstractions. Although it's mostly just statistics, fighting means something in and of itself: the stronger you get, the further you can safely explore. The larger your world becomes. It's a barrier you must butt heads with if you want to grow. Nothing to glory in; it's just a fact. This is compared to most RPGs where you fight to make it easier to beat upcoming bosses, or to level up for the sake of levelling up, or where fighting appears to be the whole point, for whatever reason, rather than a mere fact of exploration in dangerous places -- and where you move forward to get to the next area and forward the plot and finish the game.

Its simplicity and its honestness really drive home how most other JPRGs have missed the point -- by slapping on extra systems, extra layers of complexity just to make themselves different, trinkets, fetishes, by taking literally things that were abstract for a reason (like the numbers, or the concept of an "overworld"), by putting the focus on petty issues rather than practical ones.

When it comes down to it, Dragon Quest is about growing up, maturing, seeing the world. Experience has meaning, because the more experience you have the broader your world becomes. Money is practical because it allows you buy tools to help you in your travels.

You will constantly be hitting your head against your limit and being forced to go home, rest, recuperate. The next day you go out and hit the world again, a little wiser, a little stronger. Maybe today you'll see something you never saw before.

That's more or less the focus of every game. DQ8 makes it more clear by making trees trees, making mountains mountains, giving you a horizon and putting things on it to inspire you to go out and look for them. You will still keep having to go home. Stray too far, too quickly, and you will get in over your head and you will be in trouble. And you might just get killed. Yet that danger just adds all the more excitement to every day's travel.

Curiously, if you can get around the interface issues (like having to choose "stairs" from a menu every time you want to climb them), the original Dragon Warrior has hardly dated at all. Again, that's just a matter of the game's fundamental simplicity. It's like playing Super Mario Bros. or Asteroids. They're all complete, as far as they go. Not as complex as current games, but so what. What's complexity other than complexity. Compare that to Final Fantasy 1, which is pretty much unplayable by current standards. It just doesn't know what it's doing, or -- more importantly -- why it's doing what it does.

When it comes down to it, playing Dragon Quest is a meditative experience. In Dragon Quest, things just Are. When you play, you just Are. It's a game about Being. There's no real goal; anything that the game might throw at you is a MacGuffin, really. Something to get you out the door. It's a joyous game, a little melancholy, all about the patterns of life and change while always remaining the same. It's happy simply to exist, and do what it does because that's what it was put there to do. No ambition. No glory. No drama. Just a quest. A quest after dragons.





[this message was edited by aderack on Wed 28 Sep 00:29]

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"Re(5):What's so good about Dragon Quest games" , posted Wed 28 Sep 00:50post reply

quote:
As Polly said, the ambiance is everything.
As a game, I can't help to find it hypnotizingly bad.
It's really just a matter of numbers. You play to have more of this, then more of that, for the sole purpose of having more of that. It has that strange power MMORPG have.



If the Final Fantasy series spawned FFXI, then I assume a Dragon Quest mmorpg would be the slowest leveling game ever.






Iggy
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"Re(7):What's so good about Dragon Quest games" , posted Wed 28 Sep 03:10post reply

quote:
Keep in mind every other JRPG is a Dragon Quest clone, and has to contrive something to set itself apart from Dragon Quest. Draon Quest is, therefore, the fundamental game that everything else is a deviation from.

I'm fucking jealous, because that's exactly what I would have wanted to be able to explain.
[insert Kawazu love here]





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Pollyanna
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"Re(6):What's so good about Dragon Quest games" , posted Wed 28 Sep 05:14post reply

quote:

None of you have mentioned the story. Are the stories so bad/uninteresting?



The stories are generally quite bland. I think the exception is DQ7, which had lots of tragic fairytale-like mini stories. While the overlying plot was relatively uninteresting, it had some of the best subplots I've ever seen in an RPG.

Hahaha...Aderack's post is so correct and insightful that it's almost irritating. It's like "You don't even need to bother discussing this anymore, because this is anything and everything about it."





Stifu
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"Re(2):What's so good about Dragon Quest games" , posted Wed 28 Sep 06:03post reply

quote:
While I think some of the Toriyama's designs are very cool (Piccolo, Freezer, Cell, Janemba, Magus, for example)

Hmmm, has Janemba really been designed by Toriyama ? Since he's from an OAV...
And his fat version is just a copy of Buu...

I like Toriyama's stuff even if it's repetitive, and that you often see characters with a similar design from one manga/game to another... It's still cool.





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"Re(3):What's so good about Dragon Quest games" , posted Wed 28 Sep 06:16post reply

quote:

Hmmm, has Janemba really been designed by Toriyama ? Since he's from an OAV...
And his fat version is just a copy of Buu...


I don't know about that, but I like his final form, not the fat baby one.
In any case, I agree his bad guys are 100% more interesting than the good boys.





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"the importance of being Toriyama" , posted Wed 28 Sep 20:22post reply

quote:


Anyway, if I've asked specifically about Toriyama is because, as Polly said, the games seem to revolve around his designs. It's true that many of his human designs are bland, but even some of those have charm in my opinion.



I think Toriyama´s designs have much to do in DQ´success. He began doing this stuff when he was almost at the top of his popularity in Japan and, AFAIK, he was the first manga artist in doing character designs for a videogame. Besides being a most innovative strategy, I guess this hyped Arale and Dragon Ball fans, wich were a huge target audience for the game, and thus DQ became a hit. Enix did a fairly good marketing job in my opinion.

Since I haven´t played a single DQ I really don´t know about the virtues of the games, though. I can only guess, but I´ve always believed that Enix was sharp enough to choose the right man at the right moment to make the game as appealing as they could get. Despite other factors, I think that was the key of the franchise´s success.





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CHAZumaru
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"Re(1):the importance of being Toriyama" , posted Wed 28 Sep 23:11post reply

It's actually the chief editor of Jump who convinced Horii to get Toriyama for charadesign as he had high hopes in the project and felt getting the new hot guy to work for the game would help it a lot (Horii was still part-time columnist for Jump at the time). A large part of DQ's phenomenal sales can be attributed to Jump's support.





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Olivier Hague
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"Re(3):What's so good about Dragon Quest games" , posted Wed 28 Sep 23:37post reply

quote:
has Janemba really been designed by Toriyama ? Since he's from an OAV...

A movie.





aderack
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"Re(2):the importance of being Toriyama" , posted Thu 29 Sep 03:42post reply

quote:
It's actually the chief editor of Jump who convinced Horii to get Toriyama for charadesign as he had high hopes in the project and felt getting the new hot guy to work for the game would help it a lot (Horii was still part-time columnist for Jump at the time). A large part of DQ's phenomenal sales can be attributed to Jump's support.


That's really curious.

Are you implying that Horii is a Jump superstar?





CHAZumaru
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"Re(3):the importance of being Horii" , posted Thu 29 Sep 18:10post reply

Horii was a journalist for Jump when he covered an Enix game design contest for which he decided to participate. He ended up as one of the winners and started working for Enix. There he wrote and directed Portopia, which was a huge hit and the inspiration for all future japanese visual novels (and all those things we generalize as Digicos), much like how DQ is the source of all RPGs - and one could argue Snatcher is to Portopia what FF is to DQ. After directing Portopia (and playing Ultima), he decided to make DQ. As he still worked part-time for Jump, the chief-editor was a good friend back then.

This could also explain why Dragon Quest games have always had a special bond with Shonen Jump and V Jump, whereas Enix has its own weekly publications in the manga industry that directly compete with Jump.





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"Re(4):the importance of being Horii" , posted Thu 29 Sep 18:22post reply

quote:


This could also explain why Dragon Quest games have always had a special bond with Shonen Jump and V Jump, whereas Enix has its own weekly publications in the manga industry that directly compete with Jump.



Oh, I was aware that Toriyama´s editor encouraged him to participate in DQ project, but I had no clue Horii had such a deep relationship with Shônen Jump. That explains a lot of things.





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Stifu
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"Re(4):What's so good about Dragon Quest games" , posted Thu 29 Sep 18:59post reply

quote:
A movie.

Same difference.





aderack
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"Re(4):the importance of being Horii" , posted Thu 29 Sep 21:43post reply

Hell, put that in the wiki.