Well, kinda. It took me 42 hours, but as it turns out, there is post game content that leads to a new ending. However, it doesn't look very interesting: it's one dungeon, that leads to one kinda-new town, that leads to one new boss. The problem: my characters are at level 38 or so, and supposedly you don't stand a chance unless you're at level 70. That means hours and hours and hours of grinding in the same dungeon without seeing much new at all. I think I'll just watch the second ending on youtube in this case. The first one was pretty satisfying anyway.
So it's going to be a long time before I even consider playing this game, since I can only take so much JRPG in my life. But now that I've beaten 1-5 it will happen eventually.
Here's the big question for me: Does the DS version use the exact same music, sprites, etc. as DQIV and DQV for DS? I'm starting to get pretty sick of that stuff (particularly the music, even though its pretty good) after two games and if I have to deal with a third one I'm going to hold off on playing it even longer than I would normally.
@Jargon The music is different compositions but yes, the presentation style is the same as IV and V on DS, it uses the same game engine, and all that. I also feel that VI is one of the weakest DQ games, and that may stick out even more after coming straight from the superior IV and V. Not that it's a bad game or anything, just might be tough to get into following those.
DQ IX is a totally new game, so you may want to consider skipping ahead to that first, unless you have access to VII or VIII which are not on Nintendo systems in the US (and VIII not anywhere).
I'm a completionist so I'm definitely not skipping. I can push through DQVI. I just hope it's not that much longer than the previous titles. If DQVII on 3DS doesn't wind up here I can emulate, I suppose. And then DQVIII is on iOS I think, although that would be a last resort.
@Jargon The length of VI can vary. It has less direction than previous games so I often found myself just wandering around, and it ended up taking me longer than V. If you can quickly figure out where to go though or stumble upon it, then it's about the same as V.
Now that I finished V, I finally (after almost three years!) cracked open VI and dove in. So far, it's a little better than expected. Which might be because I went in with very tempered expectations. But I find the relationship between the two worlds to be very interesting so far, like I'm solving a curious mystery. It almost feels a little Chrono Trigger-ish (since the dream world clearly has elements of the past in it, which I wasn't expecting). I'm about 8 or 9 hours in and going to fight Murdaw. Kinda curious what happens afterward.
Why am I only playing Dragon Quest games when no one else is?
DQVI is still pretty good. I've recently gotten access to job-switching and I rather like the system (even if it seems to hurt my stats overall). I'm having issues keeping Ashlynn alive. I made her a Dancer class since she reminds me of DQVIII's Jessica but she falls quickly in battle after two hits or so. I've sailed in the "middle" section of the world using my new ship and found a few places I can't really go to yet, but I'm enjoying the open-endedness (right now, at least).
One thing that kinda bugs me so far about this game is that the characters' motivations on traveling and staying with your party are kind of weak. It's a bit of a pet peeve of mine in RPGs; I feel that it's important that each character have a strong purpose for risking their lives on adventure.
TRIPLE POST! By a mod, no less. DE-MOD THIS LOSER, ZERO.
I'm about 25 hours in and have just gotten through the Weaver's Peak storyline in the lower ("real") world. Spoilers: So what happened was the hero finally got reunited with his earthly body and memories, and things are starting to make some sense. The opening fight with Murdaw separated his body from his "soul" and he didn't remember anything at the beginning of the game, and so on and so forth.
That's all well and good, but I was a little disappointed with it. Because I thought what was going to happen instead would've been cooler! We see the hero (the real one, in Weaver's Peak) being referred to as a coward, being picked on by bullies, etc. He's kind of a wimp. As I talked to people in town, I started drawing the conclusion that the dream version of the hero--who I'd played as up to that point--was this "idealized" version of the wimpy guy in town. So Real Hero would dream about being this awesome warrior and saving the day, and since dreams have a link to reality in this game, that Dream Hero version would eventually manifest in the real world and fuse with Real Hero. I thought that was an awesome twist--like, it'd be a metaphor that even if you're this milquetoast guy, you have the power to picture this idealized version of who you are and eventually become that person you always wanted to be! It's literally a "follow your dreams" story!
Unfortunately, that's not how it ended up going down, and they instead went with the not-really-relatable fantasy type story of the bad guy splitting you into two with amnesia. But danged if I didn't want to see my interpretation happen. Starting an RPG off as the idealized "dream" version of a wimp? That be an amazing twist!
@TriforceBun Ha ha, that is exactly what I was hoping for as well when I played this game. There's so much they could have done with this concept, but they didn't really tap into that potential very well. Instead, the motivations of most characters feels pretty flimsy, and the story is just like the game itself: aimless wandering to see what sticks.
@Mop it up Have you finished it? I was hoping they'd have some sort of satisfying reasons to why the dream world exists. I like the main story well enough, but it'd really benefit from some ground "rules." The concept of a dream world doesn't really make sense on its own--is everyone just dreaming about the same place? Why aren't the dream world's rules and events significantly crazier as dreams often are? One of the M&L games covered dream worlds in more of an abstract way, which I think is more accurate to how they typically go down. With DQVI, it's pretty much just an excuse to have a different world that looks and feels very much like the real one.
For a while, it looked like the dream world took place 20 or so years in the past from the mainland, which was really compelling and mysterious for the first 10 hours or so. But they haven't really done anything with it since then.
Fortunately, the rest of the game is solid enough to make up for that. I really like the job-based gameplay, and I'm enjoying the exploration for the most part (filling in the gray on the world maps). The world is impressively large, too. I'm not as big a fan of the underwater area because it's large without a real map, so I feel like I'm wandering around just hoping to stumble upon something (and the enemies are frequent and obnoxious there). Even so, the nonlinearity is overall pretty refreshing and worth the occasional feeling of being lost, IMO.
@TriforceBun Yeah, I eventually completed the game, though it was over the course of a year which was not a good idea as it only amplified the aimlessness of the game, now having trouble remembering where I'd already been and what I'd done. I don't remember there being much further explanation or resolutions in the second half of the game, which is part of why it was so difficult for me to keep my interest. Just too messy for me.
I've been enjoying myself, but it is starting to feel like the game's focus is waning. Like my main issue with the latter third of DQV (a great game overall), DQVI has started to fall into the "town-dungeon-town-dungeon" repetition without a larger narrative. I guess that's just an issue with the series in general, though, isn't it? More of a set of mini-stories than a large, overarching main one. I'll keep at it so I don't get into that "haze" that happens when you take a break from an RPG then go back to it. I've got a statute of limitations in my mind on where I've been and what I've been doing, so I don't want to lose that!
@TriforceBun I was lucky in that I had a friend who knows the game well and could tell me where to go when I needed it. I preferred this to looking at a walkthrough because it can sometimes be difficult to avoid spoilers or other things I don't want to know when looking up info on a game. Without that, I probably would not have finished this one.
While it's true that most DQ games don't have as much focus on an over-arching plot as they do about the towns and characters you meet in the world, I still feel like this game takes that to the extreme and is a lot worse about that than the other games in the series. Or at least, coming off IV and V which were both more driven by party characters, I guess it was just a stark contrast that I didn't appreciate.
All in all, this was another solid Dragon Quest adventure. I'll probably whip up a full review of it soon, but for now I'll say that I generally enjoyed it.
One frustrating thing I'm beginning to notice with this series is that it often gets very close to storytelling greatness...then drops the ball in one way or another. DQVI is possibly the most "close but no cigar" in this regard of all the games in the series I've played; there was potential for an awesome mid-game twist (that I mentioned earlier) but it went without a trace, the Dream World was a cool concept that never seemed to get the story exploration it deserved, and the ending brought about a surprising poignant element that didn't really have the buildup or execution needed to really hit home.
Then again, DQV hit a home run with a couple of its plot points, so maybe it's just a VI thing.
That said, I'll remember this game for it's very solid gameplay, addictive and customizable job system, fairly likable cast of characters (my favorites being Carver, Ashlynn, and the rather sweet relationship between Hero and Tania), and enjoyably open-world design with multiple rather large maps to explore at your leisure. The minigames were better than DQV as well, eliminating some of the goofy luck-based stuff in favor of some neater diversions like the Slime Arena and Fashion Show. Some of the staple mini-story scenarios were fun too, like the tragedy at Castle Graceskull, the understated backstory of Milly, the ominous Isle of Smiles and the king/mirror story.
To sum up, a solid game but one I'd rank below IV and V due to its kinda janky storytelling and a bit of a lack of focus. Next up: Rocket Slime and Dragon Quest IX!
Yeah, I kind of went in with tempered expectations and it exceeded them. I'm a little concerned it'll get lost in the shuffle once I play all the games (for instance, I'm wondering if it'll pale in comparison to VII and IX, which do similar things with job classes), but I think it's a strong B-tier RPG for the SFC. I still need to get around to reviewing it while it's fresh in my mind.