A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Themes of friendship, loyalty, responsibility, and spirituality run throughout the lengthy story, which is founded on simple, traditional concepts of good and evil.
Positive Role Models
The large cast of characters exhibits a range of behaviors, from selflessness and bravery to greed and thievery. The main hero, who doesn't speak, proves himself through his actions to be kind and dependable, always willing to help those in need. He fights without regret, and tries to avoid combat with people whenever he can.
Ease of Play
Role-playing games don't get much more accessible. Movement is intuitive, combat can be almost entirely automated by selecting certain tactics, and it takes more than a dozen hours for enemies to become very challenging.
Violence & Scariness
Heroes use medieval-style weapons -- swords, crossbows, daggers -- and magic abilities to attack fantasy enemies including slimes, goblins, and wraithlike "smogs" in turn-based combat. Attacks are scripted animations (the player doesn't have direct control) that involve weapon swipes, stabs, and shots, but there's no blood or gore. Enemies quickly disappear once defeated. The bodies of dead soldiers can be seen in a handful of locations.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some female characters wear outfits that reveal deep cleavage. Dialogue contains a bit of innuendo, including men excitedly commenting on a beautiful dancing woman as well as references to an unexplained thing called a "puff-puff."
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Spoken and text dialogue contains occasional mild language, including the word "damn."
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Products & Purchases
Latest installment in the long-running Dragon Quest franchise.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Scenes take place in taverns with bottles on tables and shelves, and some characters are depicted as drunk, slurring their words.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition is a turn-based role-playing game (RPG) for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PCs. Players explore an enormous fantasy world filled with imaginative monsters ranging from slimes and enormous lips to bats and pigs that wear big hats. The heroes do battle with these creatures via scripted animations that involve swords, crossbows, boomerangs, and magic. There's no blood or gore -- defeated foes simply fall down and disappear -- though a few areas include dead human soldiers lying on the floor. The sprawling narrative includes dozens of characters who display a range of behaviors both good and bad, from selflessly helping those in need to thievery, but the main hero is a force for good. The game's cartoonish appearance and ease of play may make it appealing to younger players, but parents should be aware that a handful of scenes include light sexual overtones. Plus, some characters use mild profanity while others appear to be drunk.
Is It Any Good?
This is a case of a so-called "definitive version" of a game earning its designation. Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definite Edition is the same great game originally designed for PlayStation 4 and PC for all consoles, and updated on Windows machines. That also means you can now play this enormous RPG (Role-playing game) anywhere you take Nintendo's hybrid console -- surprisingly, with almost no noticeable compromise in graphics quality. More than that, Square Enix has updated and improved the experience in some substantive ways, the most notable of which is a 2D mode that lets us switch from modern 3D cartoon visuals to a much more old-school presentation -- and back again -- whenever we visit a church. It's not only a new way to see the kingdom of Erdrea; it provides a means of playing faster, which can be handy should you need to grind levels, harvest resources, or if you're just short on time. Other changes, meanwhile, have a noticeable quality-of-life impact, especially the ability to access the mini-forge to craft and acquire new items wherever you happen to be. That means you no longer need to head back to a campsite to upgrade your gear in the middle of a tough dungeon -- you can just do it on the spot.
But the fundamental appeal of Echoes of an Elusive Age is still the core game. The cartoon world is absolutely gorgeous and never anything less than a pleasure to explore on foot or horseback, and the lively characters who inhabit it are always willing to deliver interesting anecdotes and clever quips. Combat remains blissfully comprehensible, with players able to choose between commanding their characters' every action or simply setting them to fight automatically with the style of your choosing. It's a game designed to be played and experienced on your terms and with minimal frustration. Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition is indeed the best way to play a great modern Japanese role-playing game, and its 2D mode may even make it worth re-experiencing for those who've already played the original version on another platform.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.