I am back to playing Dragon Quest VI on my DS. Like nearly every other entry in the series, I like it. The Dragon Quest series is comfortable. The games may no break much ground, but they are crafted with so much skill and affection that they never feel tired.
Dragon Quest VI highlights one of the series greatest strengths: the episodic nature of its plot. Some other RPGs do this to an extent as well, like the Suikoden series, but Dragon Quest is notable for placing greater focus on the trials and tribulations of each small town and their inhabitants rather than the larger world saving quest. Not that the world saving is ignored, just that the small vignettes are the focus and therefore more memorable. Dragon Quest VI puts even more emphasis on them than other Dragon Quest games. It really helps make the game world seem big and real when not everyone and everything is focused on the central conflict.
Unfortunately, DQVI also continues a trend in the series that is awful and inexplicable: hiding the job system. Nearly half of the DQ series uses a job system and all of them, save maybe DQIII that I have not played, bury it behind ten or more hours of the game. I just do not understand it. A job/class system is a real draw for me; I want to play around with teaching my characters interesting combinations of abilities. Why hide the game’s biggest draw behind a quarter game’s worth of simplified combat? The Final Fantasy games with job systems make it available within an hour of turning the game on. They limit the class options, but still allow the player some early choices. I would rather DQ do that than just dump the system on the player after ten rote hours.