Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age Game Poster Image
Turn-based tale with cartoon violence, mild sexual innuendo.

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Friendship, responsibility, helping those in need are strong themes, though certain events also suggest that actions such as thievery and fighting can go without consequences.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The heroes are clearly good people eager to do what's right, aid each other as well as strangers in need, but each has quirks. One is proud of his thievery skills, another's quick to anger. All show few issues about using violence to accomplish objectives.

Ease of Play

Extremely accessible navigation and combat systems should be easy to grasp for most players. Battles are almost wholly automated, with players merely pausing occasionally to adjust character or party tactics. It's been designed so nearly the entire game can be played one-handed.

Violence

Heroes engage in turn-based combat involving swords, knives, staffs, explosive magical attacks against human and fantastical creatures, including slimes, skeletons, goblins, zombies. Action is highly cartoonish, with googly-eyed creatures disappearing in flashes of light when struck. No blood or gore, though one enemy drips with thick red goo that could be interpreted as blood. Key characters get injured and die, but never by graphic means.

Sex

Some female characters have exaggerated, bouncing breasts and wear outfits showing deep cleavage. Scenes with intentional sexual innuendo involve the player's character paying for an unexplained "puff-puff" treatment, then following a buxom woman into a bedroom where lights are switched off and giggling noises are heard.

Language

Spoken and text dialogue contains mild, infrequent swearing, including the word "damned."

Consumerism

This is an entry in a popular series attached to various toys, games, costumes, other commercial paraphernalia that kids may covet once they become fans.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Several characters are seen drinking at taverns, with one shown as an alcoholic who's neglectful of his child.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age is a fantasy role-playing game (RPG) for the PlayStation 4 and Windows PCs. It features lots of combat and has a cartoonish presentation for its visuals. Players control a group of heroes, male and female, from a third-person perspective as they do turn-based battle with humans, humanoids, and fantastical creatures using swords, staffs, and magic. There's no blood or gore; hits result in flashes of light, and defeated enemies simply disappear. While characters are quick to use violence to solve problems, and one of them is a proud thief, they're clearly all a noble bunch, fighting for the good of the people. Parents should also note that text and spoken dialogue includes infrequent mild swearing like "damned," that some characters are shown drinking and getting drunk in taverns, and that a number of suggestive scenes involve the main character getting a "puff-puff" treatment (the nature of which is never revealed) from a buxom woman in a dark room accompanied by giggles.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's it about?

After enjoying a common childhood in a small town, the anonymous hero (players choose his name) of DRAGON QUEST XI: ECHOES OF AN ELUSIVE AGE is told he's the reincarnation of a powerful person known as the Luminary. As a result, he's sent to find his destiny by traveling to the kingdom's greatest city. But once he arrives, the king proclaims him a threat and locks him up before sending his best knights to destroy his village. With the help of a new friend, our hero escapes the city and embarks on a quest that will take him to Yggdrasil, the world tree, where he will learn the truth about the kingdom, the forces of light and darkness, and himself. As our protagonists explore the world, they encounter a wide variety of cartoonish monsters with which they do automated turn-based battle. Players control strategy, setting each party member to focus on attacking, healing, using magic, or using some mix of tactics, and then watch as their heroes do the fighting. Between exploration and dungeon crawling, the party visits towns and villages, taking on side quests to help locals in need, visiting shops, and engaging characters who further the plot. Growth comes by earning experience to level up characters, choosing abilities in character-specific disciplines, and equipping better armor, accessories, and weapons.

Is it any good?

Anyone pining for an old-school, turn-of-the-century Japanese role-playing game (JRPG) will easily find it here. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age has just about all of the hallmarks of classic games in the series and the genre. That ranges from the franchise's iconic enemies (slimes of all kinds!) and musical jingles for finding treasures and leveling up to the tried-and-true turn-based combat, skill trees, and party growth systems common to older role-playing games. Arguably, the designers went a bit too far in respecting the past: Giving each character his or her own inventory to sort through is tedious. So is finding a church or preacher to save your game and cure party members of their ill status effects -- but players of a certain age may find even these inconveniences comforting in an old-fashioned kind of way. And the move to make the game playable with just one (more or less) hand is genius. The bulk of what we experience is satisfyingly relaxing stuff, and the perfect way to enjoy it is to kick back on a couch with one hand behind your head -- kind of like reading a good fantasy adventure book.

What players of all ages are likely to enjoy is the game's colorful presentation and striking characters. The world of Echoes of an Elusive Age is undeniably gorgeous, covered in tall mountains, expansive oceans, thick forests, sprawling plains, deserted wastelands, active volcanoes, and more, all basking in beautiful lighting effects. And most of the characters -- the beating heart of any RPG -- are either lovable archetypes or quirkily distinctive, stamping a mark on our minds with their feistiness, kindness, loyalty, or humor. Our mute hero is bland by comparison -- he should've had a voice -- but at least his blank personality allows more imaginative players to pretend that they are him. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age is an easy-to-get-into, expertly executed, and surprisingly big-budgeted vintage JRPG. They rarely make 'em like this anymore.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about marketing to kids. When you see products related to characters and stories you like, how do you decide whether or not they're worth your time and money? What makes a brand-based toy or item worthwhile?

  • Are the primary female characters as powerful and intelligent as their male counterparts? Do secondary female characters portray positive or negative qualities?

Game details

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love role-playing games

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate