Sunday, July 11, 2010

Dragon Quest IX Review

Dragon Quest IX has finally arrived here in the US. I have been looking forward to this game for a long time. Did it fulfill my expectations? That's a definite yes! All of the great Dragon Quest gameplay is back, and better than ever. The game slowly opens the world up to you, at a gentle pace - as you begin to start an adventure. The game really gets going once you go into the big city, where you can recruit 3 other members to your party. The customization is very nice - and gets deeper with all of the armor and clothing choices. This becomes very fun, as you can make very stylish looking heroes - or very funny looking comrades. You are limited to what clothing you can buy, and you are somewhat encouraged to equip the best armor, regardless of appearance. You have to balance fashion sense with effectiveness - which does have the benefit of forcing you to try new outfits you might otherwise not want to use.

So far in my time with the game I've made a party with a Priest, Mage, and Martial Artist. Each class of character has their own unique abilities and talents, along with a variety of weapon types to choose from. (I especially like the fan, for the Martial Artist) Your main character is a Minstrel, which is a jack of all trades. Later on in the game you are given the opportunity to change your class.

The game's story is very nice and easy to get into. You're basically playing the role of an angel - but an angel who is quickly forced to the ground on earth having lost your wings and halo. Something disastrous happened to your home in the sky. So the over all goal of the game is to find out what happened - and eventually save the world. Don't worry - saving the world is quite a ways off yet. This game promises at least 40 hours of gameplay, not even including all of the many side quests.

The biggest downside to the game is the multiplayer feature. This might be a cool thing for players in Japan, where everyone seemingly loves Dragon Quest - but over here in America it's a different story. You are able to connect with up to four other players via local wifi - and also has a "tag mode" which allows you're system to silently communicate with other Dragon Quest games in the area, and collect maps. Again - it's all very nice, but not as useful where I'm living. Even the local wireless proves useless for me, as I don't have any friends who play Dragon Quest as well, let alone want to come over to my place and play together. What would have been a big improvement for the American version is the ability to do all of this through wifi, and not just through local connections. They you could connect with all the Dragon Quest fans you could want. Still - this is a small gripe - as I never intended to buy this game for the multiplayer. You're able to play the game perfectly fine alone - and in fact, the pace of the game almost encourages it. It is a bit slower paced of the game for a group of friends to engage in. Again, DQ just isn't going to beat out something like Halo here in America for group gameplay.

I've only begun my game, and there's so much more in store. I'd highly recommend anybody to try this game. It can appeal to all sorts of people - and easily accessible.

Gametrailers put out a translated version of a round table discussion between Nintendo President Iwata with creators Yuji Horii and Ryutaro Ichimura. Here are links to all the parts of the discussion


Here's a review of the game from gametrailers.com

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