Eons ago when I played the first Dragon Quest, my plan was to play II next and progress through the series one game at a time.
Well, I ended up dropping my playthrough of Dragon Quest II, mainly because I don’t play mobile games often and it’s not a tiny game like its predecessor.
But the Dragon Quest 35th anniversary got me all fired up for the series again, so I returned to my Dragon Quest II playthrough and stayed with it until I finished it!
Dragon Quest II is a noticeable evolution of the basic JRPG formula found in the original. Instead of a single character, you gain two party members over the course of the game. The world is bigger, with the first part of the game being somewhat guided while the later part opens up for you to explore and choose which objective to pursue first. And the story is also more detailed, although still pretty basic.
Now… while I finished Dragon Quest finding it to be quite charming and pleasant despite its simplicity, Dragon Quest II frustrated me more. Sometimes your goal is vague, and the larger world meant I spent a lot of time wandering around lost. There’s also a hefty difficulty spike near the end compared to the rest of the game.
So I’d say I enjoyed Dragon Quest II less, even though I appreciate how it further developed the JRPG formula. It also had some nice touches that I enjoyed.
Overall, I’m glad I stuck with it to the end. My original plan was to play III next, but with that beautiful remake announced, I’ve put that on hold in favor of waiting. I’ve got Dragon Quest IV, VII, and XI as options right now, so I think the next one I play will be Dragon Quest XI. I’ve been looking forward to it for a long time.---
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