Infinity Strash: Dragon Quest review - A classic anime remade into a fun action RPG
Infinity Strash: Dragon Quest is a brand-new action RPG from Square Enix, set in the Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai anime. As a lifelong fan of the Dragon Quest series, I was incredibly excited to take a spin on the franchise via Action RPG instead of the traditional turn-based battles. The anime itself is a fun watch, so being able to control the characters from the series was another major plus. While it’s not a perfect experience, the attention to detail and the remade scenes from the various story arcs were fantastic.
Unfortunately, it does not cover the entire 100-episode anime, but only the first 21. That is still the first three story arcs, giving plenty for fans to enjoy. From the fun, intense story battles to the randomized Temple of Recollection, there’s a lot to enjoy here.
Infinity Strash: Dragon Quest is a faithful interpretation of the anime remake
For those unaware, Infinity Strash: Dragon Quest is based on the anime Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai. The 2020 anime is, in fact, a remake of an anime and manga from 1989 - Dragon Quest: Dai no Daibouken (The great adventure of Dai).
The game itself covers content from the first three story arcs, so I won’t go into details about what story battles you can expect. Those who have already seen the anime know more or less what to expect, and newcomers will receive tons of surprises and heartwarming moments.
Players will have up to four party members: Dai, Popp, Maam, and another who will show up later in the game. Together, they will tackle important story battles from the anime. That’s perhaps what I loved most about Infinity Strash: Dragon Quest.
Many of my favorite moments from the show were represented here. Of course, there are additions, such as more monsters, but that makes for a more enjoyable action RPG.
Infinity Strash: Dragon Quest’s stages are short but sweet
Here’s where one of my few gripes about Square Enix's Infinity Strash: Dragon Quest comes into play: Many of the stages are quite short. For example, you’ll fight a boss battle, and it’ll be just that fight and nothing else. Sure, it’s closer to the anime that way, but I was hoping for more stages that were Dynasty Warriors-esque in their length and number of enemies to battle.
All the stages are well-designed and beautiful, but so many of them just felt so short to me. I was hoping for much more when it came to the stages in Infinity Strash: Dragon Quest. There aren’t many Dragon Quest games that are action RPGs, so I hope in the future, if there’s more for this as a series, the stages are a bit bigger.
Every stage isn’t a battle, either. Some of the stages are cutscenes that fill out the story, and I’m perfectly fine with that. Every section of the anime isn’t filled with battles, so this makes sense.
When you are set up for a main story battle, you have a specific group of characters, and you can adjust things about them, such as the Bond Memory cards you’ve unlocked. These represent moments from the anime and give a variety of buffs based on the card level.
You can swap between characters at will in Infinity Strash: Dragon Quest and use their basic attacks, special attacks, spells, and special abilities. For example, when Dai’s meter is full, he can tap into his Dragon Crest, and Maam can reload the one shot in her Magic Gun.
In addition, you have what are essentially Musou Moves, the Coup de Grace abilities. When the meter for that has at least one stock, you can unleash these powerful moves on your enemies, but I tend to save them for bosses or huge groups of foes.
You also have side quests to go on, which function similarly to the main story quests. They have similar objectives, but you can pick and choose who you want in your party out of everyone you’ve unlocked. If that’s not enough, you have one more option: The Temple of Recollection.
The Temple of Recollection in Infinity Strash: Dragon Quest is fun but grindy
I love a good roguelite/randomizer, and this one’s no exception. You unlock the Temple of Recollection early in Infinity Strash: Dragon Quest. You go into this at level 1 and go through a series of randomized stages. You can take some of the rewards with you, such as Memory Motes and Amber, which are used to upgrade your Bond Memory cards.
That can be a grind, though, unless you focus on specific cards instead of trying to upgrade every single card you own. You can also unlock fantastic Bond Memory cards here as well, making it a worthwhile endeavor.
Each stage may have specific requirements or facts about it, such as particular characters' abilities being stronger or weaker. As you clear a room, you’ll have a series of doors to pick from, which offer things like attack or magic damage buffs. It’s a fun, optional challenge but a great way to upgrade your characters.
Visually speaking, Infinity Strash: Dragon Quest is a gorgeous rendition of the anime
This is where this anime-based action RPG shines the most to me. From the anime voice cast to the visuals, Infinity Strash: Dragon Quest is stunning. The characters, enemies, and settings look exactly like I remember them from the anime.
There are also nods to the original 1989 manga through the Bond Memory cards. These depict moments from the manga in that gorgeous Koji Inada style. As far as anime games go, this is one of the most accurate and visually appealing ones, in my estimation.
Infinity Strash: Dragon Quest is a beautiful, fun anime-action RPG. While I do wish the stages and moment-to-moment battles were longer, I appreciate the work that was put into it. I’m also glad it has varying difficulty levels, but I think “Easy” is perhaps too easy. I love how each character plays as they act in the anime, and the epic battles feel suitably epic.
There’s a lot to love about this action RPG. While it’s not a perfect entry to this genre, I think fans of the anime will really get a lot out of this game. I just wish it were longer - from the game itself to the actual stages.
Infinity Strash: Dragon Quest The Adventure of Dai
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Windows
Platform Reviewed On: PlayStation 5 (Code provided by Square Enix)
Developers: Square Enix, KAI Graphics, Game Studio Inc.
Publisher: Square Enix
Release Date: September 28, 2023