A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation is a classic Japanese role-playing game with frequent -- but mild -- turn-based battles against fantastical monsters. The game’s characters and protagonists occasionally flirt with one another, and some can be seen drinking from mugs in pubs. However, the good guys are generally well-intentioned and focused on helping others and saving the world. Note that Tag Mode allows players to share personal information with one another via local, ad-hoc wireless connections.
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What's it about?
The final entry in the nine-part Dragon Quest series to see a Western release, DRAGON QUEST VI: REALMS OF REVELATION was originally released 16 years ago in Japan for Super Nintendo. This remake retains the same plot, characters, and locations, but offers enhanced graphics created specifically for the DS as well as a few new features, like the ability for players to wirelessly share “dreamcards” with each other in Tag Mode. The story centers around a young hero who travels with an ever-growing party of friends on a quest to defeat the evil demon Murdaw, who is terrorizing the entire planet. The group journeys seamlessly between a pair of worlds that seem different at first but are, in fact, quite similar. They engage in traditional turn-based RPG battles with a wide variety of fantastical enemies, levelling up and becoming more powerful all the while.
Is it any good?
Dual-world novelty aside, Dragon Quest VI should prove very familiar to fans. Players will encounter the series’ famed slime monsters, visit churches to save their progress and heal their party members, and even collect rare mini-medals -- all hallmarks of the franchise. The series’ sense of humor is intact as well, thanks to some droll dialogue that’s certain to elicit a few chuckles from kids and grown-ups alike. It might be generations old, but it stacks up nicely against more modern Japanese RPGs.
That said, we encountered a few telling signs of the game’s age. The battle system, for example, simply provides a view of the player’s enemies from a head-on perspective. Players don’t get to see their heroes in action. Also, it lacks a quest log and notebook, which makes keeping track of objectives and figuring out what to do next a little tricky at times. Still, it’s hard to imagine traditional RPG enthusiasts turning this game down based on those two quibbles. This one’s been a long time coming.
Online interaction: Players can create and share “dreamcards” -- profiles composed of text information regarding hobbies, appearance, and other traits -- with nearby players in Tag Mode. It’s not online (players have to be within wireless range of each other) but there is potential to share personal information with strangers. Nintendo recommends that players not give out their names, ages, phone numbers, or other identifying details.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the dangers of sharing personal information with other players online and over wireless connections. What should you do if you suspect a stranger you’ve encountered online is up to no good?
Families can also discuss whether they see a difference between video games that pit heroes against monsters and those where the primary enemies are human. Do you think beating up or killing a fantastical creature in a game is less affecting then doing the same to a person?
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