Dragon Quest 11 – Review Chapter 2 – All Those Voices
When games are developed and released in Japan, western audiences sometimes feel left out. This was definitely the case for Dragon Quest 11, which was released in July of 2017 in Japan for the Nintendo 3DS and the PlayStation 4. Over a year later, and the game has finally landed on western shores, with many fans asking, “What took so long.” When playing through the first 10 or so hours of Dragon Quest 11, I realized one major thing: there is a lot of text in this game. I mean a lot! On top of the translation that would need to occur, there is also one other thing Dragon Quest 11 does so well, but yet would take a long time to localize in the west: voice acting.
Thanks to our friends at Square Enix for providing this code! Since the review window has largely passed, we are working on a series of article about the game, focusing on specific parts. You can read our first part, The Beautiful Visuals, right now!
So much of Dragon Quest 11 is voice acted. I would have assumed the major characters you meet and who join your party would be voice acted, but I wasn’t prepared for how many other characters have received unique voices and characteristics. Sure, sometimes the choice of voices sounded a bit odd – and even more odd when people in the same village or town don’t speak the same, despite not being world travelers – but overall, anytime a character opens their mouth, I’m quite shocked at the quality.
Square Enix has always gone above and beyond to make sure their games are unique as possible, and their uniqueness isn’t good enough unless everything that surrounds it is top notch. I think that is an accurate picture of what we have here. Do these characters need to be voice acted? Likely not, but it definitely adds to the overall charm of the game, as well as the perceived value I’m getting while playing it. The development team could have easily sliced the voiced portions of the game in half, perhaps only focusing on the major plot points presented in in-game cinematic, or perhaps when something major happens. But not, they opted to do almost everything.
The good rule of thumb in Dragon Quest 11 is that if the quest or moment you are playing through is part of the main story, it most definitely will be voice acted, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of the narration and conversation. Usually in these types of games, I quickly read through the text and get past it all as soon as possible. Despite being text / speech and story heavy in the first few hours, I took my time listening to every conversation. If Square Enix was going to put the time into getting voice actors for all these characters, I was going to spend the time listening to what they had to say.
Even when voices don’t seem to match the character they’ve been leant too, there is still something special about having the story and characters come to life in this way. Good on you Square Enix! This is a big win in my books.