Review by durran
"Oldschool to a fault and overrated"
I've played every dq game from 1-8 and every dqm game (even caravan hearts, in japanese, without being able to understand most of it) and have loved each one, so I was obviously pretty stoked for dq9.
This game, however, is oldschool to a fault. It's one thing if a game is being remade but for a new title in 2010 to be THIS oldschool is a little much. It's not a bad game, but if you've played dq3 you've basically played this game. I feel it's overrated and is milking the name and since every other review lavishes praise on the game, I'll focus on what's not so hot.
You're a silent hero with 3 silent generic party members and the only dialogue from any sort of recurring character you'll get is a navi-like fairy who basically talks to herself for the entire game. It's a HUGE step backwards from DQ4-8 (not to mention every other RPG released in the past 15 years), all of which had playable characters I liked. 90% of the game excluding the very beginning and end are short non-sequitor stories about the people you meet on your travels, and it's very hard to care about any of them because they having nothing to do with each other or the main story of the game.
The core gameplay is classic DQ and there's no complaints there really, just more of the same old tried and true. There's a few new secondary classes but combat is basically still mash A and heal. The game is very, very easy though. The only thing that you could consider challenging is the multiple times that you are given no lead or idea on what you're supposed to do and thus the only thing you can do is run around and talk to every single npc you can find.
Graphics are pretty standard for DS, and DQ as well. Pretty good and what you would expect but not amazing. Music is standard as well but nothing sticks out. None of the battle themes are catchy, which is a bit of a shame because they are a huge part of enjoying yourself when you're grinding.
Puns. Oh god, the puns. Expect stuff like "Cruelcumber", "Bewarewolf", "the Fource" and "Brusque Lee" for the entire game. Some of them are almost clever but on the whole, it's really overdone and unnecessary.
Multiplayer. Yeaaaah, about that. The game was delayed because they worked hard to implement it, but in the end it's pretty pointless unless for some reason you want to power level with someone. Which is unnecessary because the game is so easy already.
If you don't mind really oldschool gameplay, DQ9 isn't a bad game. But keep in mind that I'm a hardcore DQ fan and I found this game to be mediocre at best.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Originally Posted: 09/07/10
Game Release: Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies (US, 07/11/10)
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