As a dragon quest fan this is a pretty fun game from a fan service standpoint, all the treasures are throwbacks to various things in the games, some very small!
The treasure hunting is... sort of fun, but there's not much to the 'hunting' other than following an arrow and then doing a (admittedly fun now and then) hidden object game. It is fun to run around the maps and explore, the way the enemies are laid out and their levels are balanced reminds me of early Korean MMORPGs. It's still fun, though, just a bit slow at times.
Quests are also just ok, like most open world games you end up getting 100 quests in a matter of hours, and then sort of ignore them all.
On the downside, this kinda plays like a reskinned gacha. There's a lot of systems all pulling at your attention, each which have the end result of increasing your max treasure amount. Monsters have 10,000,000 different stats, but nothing matters as much as their level.
Most of these systems are just not that interesting - sending monsters out on a dispatch quest amounts to a very typically gacha-esque level of party-making tedium (to optimize what treasure you get). The menu UI is incredibly slow, and not well-designed for what you want to use it for, which is trying to pick the right team compositions, etc.
Another 'scent of gacha' is the randomly generated 10-floor dungeons - hello, Genshin's Spiral Abyss! These play out like Gacha dungeons, where you either struggle to survive, or with a proper team setup, bulldoze the enemies with little trouble. Since it's not a True Gacha, there is a level of skill you can use to finesse your way out of poor preparation, but the game doesn't have much in the way of intriguing action RPG design.
Well, that being said, it is fun you hear your monsters speak out loud (even if the slime puns get repetitive), watching the monsters' special abilities is fun...
Overall, it's fun in bursts and if you're into collecting I think you could probably enjoy finishing this one. Especially if you're a dragon quest fan. The treasure hunting concept is cool, but I think it was executed with the wrong base (typical open world and gacha system design).
Music choices are nice, but not orchestrated - which wouldn't be an issue if these clearly weren't songs that basically are Written For Orchestra - and there's not particularly much thought placed into the MIDI arrangements so sometimes it can sound grating (the MIDI version of the DQ8 overworld theme is particularly disturbing!).
Reviewed on Dec 19, 2022