Review by AacerX

"Dragon Quest 9: A Modern RPG with a Tinge of the 90's"

Dragon Quest is a classic RPG that has been going for 23 years and is one of the oldest video games of time. It is amazing how long it has survived with storyline, gameplay, and music alone, because of the rivalry of Final Fantasy, with its outstanding graphics. With its 9th installment, Dragon Quest 9, it has sold over 3.4 million copies in japan, making it the most popular Dragon Quest. The creators added a substantial amount of extra activities, such as multiplayer gameplay, alcollades, secret dungeons, and change of vocation, or combat job.

Gameplay: 9.5
One of the reasons I love this game so much is that I can never put the DS down. I am happy to see that they have kept the same old-school battle style, but have added the twist of not going up to the enemy, attack, then run back to the exact same position like Dragon Quest 8, or even worse, just attacking the monster, not seeing the character at all like the really old versions. Happily they went and had the character run to the enemy, attack, but not run back, they all go to random positions to make it have the feel of a real battle. The one big thing that makes it different from the old-school RPGs is that there are no random battles, but you see the monster, and with contact a battle begins, with a selection of 256 monsters and 53 bosses, wow! You will remember all of the monsters from previous Dragon Quests, with a lot of new monsters to boot. you can battle the final bosses from Dragon Quest 8 and 4, too. There is no real level grinding, but most people do it anyway, because it is so tempting to make your characters as awsomely strong as possible. You can spend dozens of hours custimizing your characters. You can create a secondary character, and choose it's vocation: Warrior, Priest, Mage, Martial Artist, Theif, and Minstrel, but as you progress in the story line, you can unlock the following classes: Gladiator, Armamentalist, Paladin, Ranger, Sage, and Luminary, which are mainly way better versions of the first 6. You then get to choose what your character looks like with a variety of looks, and then get to choose a name. Later in the game you can change vocation to get even stronger. One of the boosts that lots of people like is the "dress up" addition. You can see what all your characters look like with different clothes, and there are over 1000 pieces of equipment. There is an activity where you can use wi-fi to get special equipment once a week.

Graphics: 9 and Sound: 10
You are in a colorful, realistic 3D world, with 3D houses, 3D main characters, 3D towns, but....2D minor townspeople. Otherwise I would have given this a 10. It has the best graphics otherwise out of all the DS games I have played. It is very colorful, and has a manga-style to it, drawn by Akira Toriyama, the creator of Dragon Ball. The graphics really boosted from Dragon Quest 4 and 5, the games that came out on the DS right before Dragon Quest 9. The sound is amazing. With over 10 symphonies of classical music for different areas, this is over the top. You can easily hear trumpets, flutes, precussion, piano, and tons of other instruments composed into beautiful pieces. There are very few songs that have been transferred from Dragon Quest 8 to Dragon Quest 9. You will never get bored of the awsome music in the game. There are little sounds when you do things too, such as get an item, level up, or kill a group of enemies. There isn't almost any differences with the limitations of the DS' sound quality, but one of the things I miss is the people in the game accually speaking. This doesn't happen almost in any DS games, but it would be really cool if Dragon Quest could do that on thier next DS game (which they might not do, because the Dragon Quest makers are a 3rd party and go from system to system, which I like and creates variety).

Story: 7.5
I admit, the story is pretty good, but I have seen much better with lots of deeper plot and character development. You are a Celestrian, a Guardian Angel, and you lose your wings and halo and fall to the ground. In search of fyggs, the magical fruit that the Yggdrasil tree bears, you go to lots of different towns and regions, and the plot thickens. The problem with this is that as you go to find the fyggs, there are lots of little story arcs, one little story for each fygg. That is okay for a TV series, but I don't think it is all that good for a video game. This is the one downfall that is not a problem in earlier games in the series. The other problem is that there is NO character development whatsoever, and the main characters that help you in combat (including yourself) never say a word. None at all. That makes the story a lot less deep, turning it into a shallower story. All the Dragon Quests before it have allies that speak for themselves. But it accually, even with those cons, it is a very unique, moving, and enlightening story that makes you want to keep playing.

Overall: 9
This is a very good game. It has a happy medium of story, battle, and extras. It isn't so hard-core that you have to battle for hours to keep up in the game, but it isn't so easy you beat every monster in one hit. If you like battle RPGs you can play forever and still have things to do, this is the game for you. I think the Dragon Quest team did a fine job putting this together, and is definitely one for the books.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 08/13/10

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

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