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Published October 25, 2018

Dragon Quest XI is the first GOOD Dragon Quest game to come out on a console since Dragon Quest VIII, I’ve played the latter and was taken aback by everything in the game.

The story, the heroes, the weapons, the powers etc. However, when Dragon Quest XI’s trailer came out, I was so amped because the game was similar to Dragon Quest VIII yet it was so different.

Dragon Quest XI, and it goes without saying, did many things better and improved on things that were a hindrance to gamers in DQ VIII. Things like getting a hold of a ship to sail the open waters or a hint on how to get the ultimate flying contraption to make your way to the endgame location where the present big-bad sat upon his throne.

Both games made it so buying things from the shops vs. alchemical creation was a decision that gamers could make freely. One particular thing that many gamers fell in love with was being able to control the Hero and make him either a sword or spear user and whatever secondary skill set you wanted to master.

In this post, I’ll discuss what make Dragon Quest VIII and XI similar and different by the aspects that make them so. Without further ado, here’s my perspective on Dragon Quest XI vs. VIII.

Hero Powers

Now, Dragon Quest XI was great about the Hero’s powers and what all you can get access to as long as you’re willing to work for it and not shortcut. The current Hero has access to powers handed down from both his ancestor and his father i.e. Gigaslash. Also, the Hero is a second generation Luminary which grants him all kinds of powers such as Zap, all forms of Giga-abilities etc.

Dragon Quest VIII’s Hero was no wet behind the ears slouch either; from birth he was always immune to curses and poisonous attacks and spells. This came in handy, as you well know, when you fight Geyzer in the Waterfall Cave. I enjoyed being able to concentrate on just healing Yangus while he did the damage dealing and occasionally, myself.

You get access to powers like Zap earlier in Dragon Quest XI vs. VIII which comes in handy about the time you’re journeying to Lonalulu and fighting enemies that are of a watery nature. The Hero’s powers is unique across both games; I hate how you have to fight to get your Zap spell before attempting to save your 5th heir in Dragon Quest VIII.

Character Building Options

Dragon Quest XI vs. VIII always had one thing in common; how to build your character based on your preference. Dragon Quest VIII, incidentally, encouraged gamers to work on mastering no more than two skill sets at a time. Well, in Dragon Quest XI, you can master as many skills sets or all of the skill sets as possible.

You can have and master as many skills as you want

There’s one thing that gamers that play this game seriously underestimate, and it is the urgency of the characters’ abilities. For example, many gamers I’ve talked to has made it clear to concentrate on one to two skill sets at a time. But, I found that gamers are limiting themselves because they believe that Dragon Quest XI is the same as VIII but its not.

Another example, focusing on Veronica’s Vim skill set alone would suggest that her magic will make her more powerful than even Morcant was at her age. However, Veronica’s attack power with the Whip and Heavy Wands needed some work but that was corrected in her Heavy Wand and Whip attack power increase skill.

Fighting to get those skills was its own badge of honor

Jessica was the team’s magician in DQ VIII, she had attack power and powerful magic to boot; there was never anything to pick up when it came to using Jessica. Changing her from Whips and Staves to Swords and Fisticuffs WAS NOT and I repeat WAS NOT an option.

Only you have the power to avoid/fight enemies

Dragon Quest VIII was good about having you fight enemies with every few steps you took which was good. The reason, you knew that you were getting ever closer to getting that level up, but you had no choice unless you ran from battle. You did, however, have a choice to fight the Infamous Monsters which were either out roaming in broad daylight or are out after darkness has enveloped the earth.

See, you have a choice to fight that thing

What I love about Dragon Quest XI, you have a choice to fight monsters no matter where or when they are. For example, I was working my way around the Eerie Eyrie and I kept running into the same enemies. Well, I kept killing them until I decided that I was bored with doing that and decided to avoid them; it was good to have the option to do so.

Dragon Quest VIII forced you into a fight which worked to your and the game’s advantage, it was almost like you had no choice but to spend every second fighting except when you were in towns.

Hero’s Back Story

Dragon Quest VIII was different in the aspect that gamers didn’t learn anything about Hero’s origin story until the post game; gamers didn’t even get an idea of the Hero’s blood relative until mid-game i.e. Argonia (Love that town and part of the game).

Case in point, my home or what’s left of it

Dragon Quest XI filled gamers in on who the Hero was, his parents, his home and his blood relative Rab, King of Dundrasil. To put a fine point on this, you learned about everything mid-game which meant that there were no secrets as far as who the Hero was and where he came from.

Also, I want to go on record as saying that Dragon Quest XI did an even more impressive job on emphasizing the Hero’s role in the greater scheme of saving the world on account of being the Luminary.

The Hero from Dragon Quest VIII was half Dragovian who Rhapthorne never knew was but feared the Dragovian race overall because of the power he knew they possessed.

Plus, you have to go the way of the Dragovian Path in order to get to the Hero’s home in DQ VIII; it just didn’t seem fair to gamers to beat Rhapthorne then climb the Dragovian Path to face monsters that’re as powerful as Rhapthorne in his first form.


Dragon Quest XI vs. VIII; there are some very notable similarities and differences, but none that would make the games unbuyable. However, the Hero Powers are definitely similar in both games with a difference in their access points and character building aspect

While you have the power to choose if you want to fight enemies or not in XI, you’re encouraged to do so in VIII so as to grow strong enough to get access to the powers needed to kill the more complicated enemies like the Infamous monsters.

The access of the Hero’s back story really set the bar high for Dragon Quest VIII to compete with XI; you knew who the Hero was and his entire origin story to boot in Dragon Quest XI.

If you have any questions or comments based on my post then please feel free to leave me a message and I’ll get back to you immediately. Thank you and Happy gaming.

R.J’s Last Minute Tip

Get on your computers, smartphones, tablets or whatever electronic device you have that’s not nailed down and buy these games; trust me, you’ll be happy you did. RPGs are the new puzzlers.


  1. HollyHolly

    I’ve never been much into video games, but this actually looks like one I would enjoy! My husband plays a lot of killing games or sports games and I do not like those at all. Dragon Quest sounds like a lot of fun to me, and it seems like something we could play with the kids around. Thanks for your detailed review on this, I found it really helpful!

    • Rodney McGillRodney McGill

      You’re welcome Holly, I encourage you to buy this game because you’ll like it and it’ll really get you into the game; you won’t want to put the controller down; I didn’t, but there’s a lot to see and do in the game so by all means, get it and enjoy it.

  2. PaolaPaola

    Hi, I just want to say that I’m not a Gamer but my boyfriend is, and I was thinking of buying some new games for him but I’m not sure he will like this one because of what I saw it’s very different from what he is used to play, those games are The last of Us, Battlefield, and Fortnite, do you have a suggestion of what game should I buy for him or an accesory or anything related to that I’m kind of lost.

    • Rodney McGillRodney McGill

      Well, it’s hard to judge that based on your boyfriend’s taste but if you’re looking to get him an accessory then might I suggest you get him a pair of Playstation Gold Wireless Headset for PS4; it’s noise-cancelling and wireless. I have a post on my website to the regard, go here https://strategiesforactionadv… and see if there’s anything there that might interest you.

  3. DarrenDarren

    I’m glad I came across your post as my son has asked for dragon quest for his birthday. He’s 13 is that a good age to start playing? 

    I like the look of Dragon Quest XI and I like my son love games that have a meaning and are played out in a fantasy world and I think Dragon Questbfits the bill. 

    I would not of known the difference between between XI and VIII if I had not read this post and now I know they are very different and offer different things. 

    • Rodney McGillRodney McGill

      Hey Darren, I think 13 is a good age to start playing Dragon Quest XI; I was 29 when I played through and beat DQ VIII so DQ XI isn’t that much more complicated or harder than DQ VIII. Trust me, this game will knock your son’s socks off figuratively speaking because it is so good, you may find it hard to not want to get into it yourself because it is a great game that’s worth the price. 

  4. ShyShy

    I love all kinds of video games.  This one definitley sounds like something that would be very interesting to play.

    It is good that you have the option of avoiding fights.  It is a good thing to fight to level up but it can be very intrusive if you are just trying to get somewhere in your game and you find you must keep stoping for a fight.  It is great that you can avoid a fight if you choose to do so.

    Reminds me a little bit of Final Fantasy when it comes to the fighting or avoiding the fight options.

    • Rodney McGillRodney McGill

      Indeed Shy, that’s what I love about DQ XI is that you can get to a point where if you’re bored fighting the same enemy(ies) then you can avoid them altogether. I encourage you to buy this game because you’re going to love it and it’ll get addicting, I’m telling you that from experience. There were day Shy where I would spend 12+ on the game because I was that addicted to it because it is that good. Trust me, get it, you won’t regret it.

  5. AlexanderAlexander

    I like that Dragon Quest XI offers to build on all the skills at the same time; this is much better than DQ VIII. I also like that you have a choice to fight the monsters or not with DQ XI. It sounds real good that the Hero backstory is learned mid-way through the DQ XI game. Thank you for pointing out the somewhat subtle differences between DQ XI and VIII.

    • Rodney McGillRodney McGill

      No problem Al, I think its important that people who buy these games are made aware what they’re in for and that their money expenditure won’t be for naught. I’ve mastered just about every skill in all of my characters’ skill trees but be warned I had to employ some somewhat tedious actions like if I made my way into a cave or battlefield area, I’d walk right back out while killing the enemies on the way out. 

  6. MatissMatiss

    Hey, Rodney!

    I was about to get both of these games anyway, I just couldn’t decide, which one I should tackle first. Fortunately, your post nailed it down for me perfectly. 

    I’m always such a geek for Hero’s powers and spells. In my opinion the variety of that and the diversity what those provide brings so much fun and possibility. I truly enjoy that. In this regard, I also always get slightly annoyed, if I am somewhat restricted to the skill sets I can choose to master as usually there’s something you’d want from different trees.

    So, Dragon Quest XI it is. 

    Thank you for all the insights, I totally appreciate it!

    Cheers and have a Great One!Matiss

    • Rodney McGillRodney McGill

      Thank you Matiss, definitely buy Dragon Quest XI because you’re going to have fun with it and it’s going to get you so addicted to the gameplay; you’ll feel like you can’t put the controller down. Here’s a little hint. The skill points you gain from level ups early on will be at the bottom 2-4, but at about Lv. 25+ the amount of skill points you get will be increase from 2-4 to 3-6+. 

      Another piece of advice, save up your skill points for at least 3 or 4 levels; in so doing will give you options as far as what you want to spend your skill points on instead of being restricted to just one skill tree. Happy gaming bro, you’re in a treat. 

      I’m here if you need any help or advice within the game; reach out to me if and when that time comes, I got your back.

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