Square Enix have delisted Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age from digital stores, leaving the Definitive Edition (based on the Nintendo Switch version) as the only version.
As previously reported, Square Enix confirmed later ports of the Definitive Edition were based off the Nintendo Switch version, meaning it had worse graphics than the original version on Windows PC and PlayStation 4. This was made worse by Square Enix confirming users could not upgrade from their current edition to the Definitive Edition.
Now, the Steam and PlayStation Store listings for the original game note that the game can no longer be purchased. The note on the Steam page further directs users to buy the Definitive Edition instead. Only the Definitive Edition appears to be listed on the Microsoft Store.
The game scored a 10 with its original iteration two years ago, and the Definitive Edition scored an 8 in our reviews. However, our Definitive Edition review does note the graphics are lesser. Even so, that may not be a major flaw to some due to improved frame rate, load times, and the game still looking good.
“Definitive Edition dials back on the visual effects when it got ported over to the Nintendo Switch. Sadly, these drawbacks have been carried over to the versions on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
3D models are slightly simplified, but if you weren’t intimately familiar with vanilla Dragon Quest XI you’d never notice. This was a very lush game, and foliage is no where near as thick. The draw distance is lower, and lighting effects are either simplified or removed. Translucence and backlighting made characters feel like flesh and blood people, and the effect is cut in Definitive Edition.
Despite the visual downgrade, Definitive Edition still looks great and does come with some benefits that make up for the loss in fidelity. Gameplay now runs 60 frames per second, a first for a fully 3D Dragon Quest game. This does make scenes play out so much more fluidly, and makes control feel so much more responsive. Battles end up looking very clean and polished as a result.
Load time between areas have been significantly reduced. The party will be traveling much faster, and making more progress quicker than ever. This is compounded by the new option that increases battle speed by quadruple. What could easily be a game that takes over 80 hours, fits comfortably in the 60 hour range.”
Many users are infuriated nonetheless [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. While some were upset at the loss of choice, others were infuriated they had no discount or upgrade option from owning the original game. Others had hoped Square Enix would have kept the graphics to the same standard as the original.
It should be noted some have found ways to allegedly improve the game’s graphics via modifying configuration files [1, 2]. However, we must stress to users all files they modify on their computer are done so at their own risk, and to make the necessary back-ups and research before undertaking any tweaks and alterations.
Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition is available on Nintendo Switch, and is launching December 4th on Windows PC (via Steam, the Epic Games Store, and the Microsoft Store), PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. In case you missed it, you can find our review here (we recommend it!)