Infinity Strash: Dragon Quest - The Adventures of Dai brings the anime to life
During Anime Expo 2023, we had the chance to sit down and get an early look at Infinity Strash: Dragon Quest - The Adventures of Dai, the upcoming Action RPG to be published by Square Enix - and an adaptation of the anime of a similar name. While we’ve had Dragon Quest spinoffs before, the game so far instead feels much more like a spinoff of the anime, which itself is an adaptation of the original manga - something entirely different from spinoffs of the past such as Dragon Quest Heroes, Dragon Quest Builders, or Dragon Quest Monsters.
First things first; what type of game is Infinity Strash? Simply put, if you’ve played any manner of anime arena fighter in the past, then you mostly know what to expect. Infinity Strash plays like that title genre, albeit with several RPG elements at your disposal, and a roguelite-style mode in the Temple of Recollection. Players can unlock Bond Memories, collections of iconic scenes from the manga that work as accessories for your characters, and level them up through the Temple, which is randomly generated.
Presentation-wise, it’s harder to gauge Infinity Strash; while players are greeted with plenty of story scenes in-between missions, many of these moments are based on stills from the anime with voice-acting overlayed on top, instead of in-engine cutscenes. As far as the game’s scope, some might be disappointed to see most missions take place in a simple arena, with the world map merely being an image with a number of nodes placed on top of it.
Combat itself felt good, and we were able to lightly customize the abilities and skills Dai had equipped for the missions at our disposal; but, again, it’s a simpler affair. During a battle with Hyunckel we swapped between Dai, Popp, and Maam to utilize their different playstyles - but we mostly stuck to Dai, for obvious reasons. Each character has their own Unique Skill they can activate; Dai’s will vastly improve his stats and even change the properties of certain skills. Popp can shorten the recovery time for his skills, and Maam must reload her Magic Bullet Gun for some of her most important skills.
As for the scope of the project; we were told that Infinity Strash’s story will adapt through the Sovereign Rock Castle arc of the anime. Overall, I don’t know what I expected heading into our hands-on for Infinity Strash: Dragon Quest The Adventures of Dai, but it’s perhaps not what I was prepared for. It is, however, fitting that Square Enix chose to demo the title during Anime Expo - as was made abundantly clear after we had the chance to play it for ourselves. If you enjoyed the Adventues of Dai anime and enjoy Arena Fighters, this game might just be the right one for you when it launches on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One and Series X|S and PC on September 28.