Review by Link_Stelar

"*MAJOR SPOILERAGE* A RPG that reaches the stars."

Remember the days of the old RPGs? You know, no action meters, only your speed stat matters. And, it was HARD as hell. Heck, you even died more than a dozen times trying to beat the damn thing. But, it was worth the time you spent on it and you can finally sleep easy at night. Nowadays, we have Final Fantasy, where you have you have Active Time Battle Gauge, balanced difficulty and it's story was a masterpiece. But, there was ONE RPG that stood by that old formula. And that is Dragon Quest. It has been a while since our last DQ (Last 2004-05? I dunno. I never owned it.) and we waited quite a while for this one. Let's dive into the ninth installment and the first DQ handheld game, Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels Of The Starry Skies.

Gameplay: 10\10 (8\10 for those used to the Active Time Battles)
I love how the DQ series still embraces the old style of battling, TURN-BASED STYLE. Basically, you and your enemy take turns attacking each other (WHY WOULDN'T THE ENEMY JUST ATTACK YOU?!). The one with the highest speed stat goes first, and the opposite holds true.Your attack power depends on your current equipment, tension and your attack stat. You can attack by "Abilities", "Spells", some special items, or "Attack". Abilities are special to some weapons such as swords, whips, etc. and your special vocation. "Spells" are basically magic. Some items can be used to attack. I won't tell you so you have to experiment with items! Attack is self-explanatory. Overall, I like it. If you are a retro gamer (Like me.) or an old-schooler, then THIS IS THE RPG FOR YOU. If you liked Final Fantasy XIII and XII, well, you'll get used to it.

Sound: 8\10
The sound is orchestral but it is easily forgettable. The main overworld theme is nicely done, along with some town themes. It's good and it's sound. MOVING ON!

Graphics: 9\10
Tell me, HOW CAN LEVEL-5 AND SQUARE-ENIX PUT SO MUCH GRAPHICS INTO THE GAME?! And this is where the biggest draw of DQIX is. Almost EVERYTHING YOU SEE is 3D. Armor, character, weapons... Almost all of it. The enemies and environments are colorful, lively. I LOVE it. AND IT'S FITTED TO ONLY ONE SMALL GAME CARD!!!

Story: 9\10
You are a Celestrian, a Guardian of the Earth (Protectorate, if you want.) and people. Your task is to make Yggdrasil, the World Tree, bloom into fruition. After you make it bloom, suddenly, the Observatory (Your home as a Celestrian.) is hit by big freaking purple LAZORS from the Earth (AND STAR WARS HASN'T EVEN BEEN RELEASED YET!) and you come crashing down to the ground. And finally, the game starts and you get caught up in a battle between the Almighty and evil itself, rising above the heavens. Yeah, powerful imagery. This game has a HUGE amount references to Catholicity, so maybe Catholics may be able to know the references. The scenarios in the game are truly touching. It may make you cry so it's just amazing this game is but the story itself has a few plot holes. Overlook that and you have yourself an amazing game.

Final Word:
I have played Final Fantasy I and II for the GBA via Dawn of Souls and I LOVED EVERY MINUTE PLAYING IT. The same applies to DQIX. Now, I have nothing against the new RPGs but nowadays, I don't seem to play the new RPGs. Maybe I just need some training, though. Dragon Quest IX deserves a gold medal for the great multiplayer (I won't talk about that since I haven't played that yet but I heard it was good.), great pacing and the gold gameplay. Now, WE WAIT FOR DQ X!

Short Version:
Pros
-Gold Gameplay
-Good Story
-Big world on ONE GAME CARD

Cons
-SO. FREAKING. HARD!

Link_Stelar: Dragon Quest IX: Sentinel Of The Starry Skies
Total Score- 9\10


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 11/27/12

Game Release: Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies (US, 07/11/10)


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