How Square Enix Can Win Their Fans Back: Dragon Quest Edition
Well here we are, the final part of this epic five part feature on how Square Enix can win its fans back. Over the past few weeks we have hit on Final Fantasy, the Ivalice Alliance, the Chrono series, and Kingdom Hearts. I think it is high time we get to an Enix title. Here you have it, what Square Enix should do with Dragon Quest to win its fans back!
Just Say No To MMO’s
Ya know Square Enix, I hate having to say the same thing over and over to you, but stop making major entries to your beloved series into MMO’s. Your fans have loved your Dragon Quest games since the very beginning. It was cool when you added some multiplayer functionality to Dragon Quest IX but that was all it was. Most fans probably didn’t see this idea coming and think how much they wish the game could only be played this way but that is exactly what you have done with Dragon Quest X. It was announced a few years ago and fans assumed it would be the next big console Dragon Quest game. While it is on the Wii and Wii U, why make it an MMO? Even more questionable is the choice of putting it on the Wii and Wii U. Nintendo has had a fairly bad track record with online gaming this generation. If that doesn’t change with the Wii U it could mean bad things for this MMO from the beginning. All that can come from this is alienation of your core players is a loss of many of said players. The gamers that play Dragon Quest have not played all these years wishing the series would become an MMO. We have always loved the games for the single player affairs that they have been. Can’t you just keep it that way?
Focus More On Storytelling
The Dragon Quest series is very beloved by many gamers. Back on the NES it was one of the few alternatives to Final Fantasy when you were looking for a good RPG to play. It has always felt great gameplay wise, as of Dragon Quest IX however the story has fallen quite flat. Dragon Quest IX had one of the laziest stories I have seen in a Dragon Quest game ever. You have the gameplay down, that is for sure. What needs to happen now is you should get back to telling stories that can only be told within the Dragon Quest universe. Dragon Quest VIII was a fantastic example of this. It is one of the most beloved in the series for a reason. On top of the great gameplay you have fantastic characters that are impossible to mistake for any other character and tell a story that is interesting. Get back to this and get back to making a story worth telling. Give us a good reason to be travelling the world and fighting the monsters we see. We can only fight monsters without much of a reason for so long Square Enix.
Have Preset Party Members
It was cool that you could make your own character in Dragon Quest IX but the fact that you made your own party members as well meant that they had no story. There was no chatter to be had between the characters and honestly they just felt lifeless. This needs to change immediately Square Enix. Give us a lovable batch of characters that we can have in our party. In Dragon Quest VIII it was impossible to mistake each of your party members. They each gave off very different vibes and it was clear what type of character they were even before hearing their dialogue. Give us more of this Square Enix. Nameless characters without a real background or reason why they are with you are worthless. Give us characters to care about when they are hurt or have problems. We don’t just want them there to be our healer or tank. They mean much more to players than that.
Make Travel More Frequent
The Dragon Quest games are a lot of things and one of them is slow. It can take quite a while to finally move from one town to another in Dragon Quest. You have many parts of a story that take place in one town and it can become quite boring visiting the same small hamlet over and over again. To fix this boredom you should make travel between towns much more frequent and quick. Dragon Quest VI is one game in the series that did this right. The amount of different locations in that game and the haste with which you traveled between them was quite refreshing for a genre that can often be a bit slow. You should move back more toward this design philosophy Square Enix. Give players either a quick travel mechanic, shorter distances between major locations, or airships to ride. I know airships aren’t necessarily a norm for the Dragon Quest franchise but hey, live a little. Invigorate the routine anyway that you have to Square Enix, just please hurry it up.
Update Battle Options
I don’t mean to trample over the fantastic battle system that is set up in Dragon Quest, but it is starting to show its age. Where people often complain about Final Fantasies always changing battle systems, Dragon Quests almost never change. We always have the same view and mainly the same options. I think the first thing that needs to be resolved is the odd view. Players like to look at their characters Square Enix. It is fun to look at the different weapons and equipment you have equipped while deciding what attack to use. This has been remedied a bit with DQVIII and DQIX but still doesn’t stay in that view. Go ahead and just leave us out of that first person sort of view. Also just give players the choice to either use the original battle systems that are tried and true. Final Fantasy XIII may not have been perfect but it had a great battle system. If you came up with a great new battle system for Dragon Quest it might just be enough to bring in into the mainstream around the world the way Final Fantasy is. Just give us some options Square Enix. It can’t hurt to experiment just once with this franchise can it?
And there you have it dear readers! We have covered a lot of different series over the last few weeks and it has been quite a ride. From Final Fantasy to Dragon Quest, I tried to cover what I felt Square Enix truly should consider altering to gain more of their fan base back. Judging by the popularity of this feature there may be more of this on different developers in the future so stay tuned and thank you for reading!
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