Review by tomoh

"Very challenging and long"

I've played every single DQ games (Japanese) in the series and I have to say that this was the toughest and the longest. Previous difficult for me in the series was DQ 3, where I couldn't progress at one point. With the magic of internet and FAQs (Thank god for the Japanese sites), I was able to progress and still had problems.

Story 8/10
The story is about a boy in a little fishing village who finds a way to go back into the past with help of his friends. Everytime he solves a crisis/situation in the past, a new area is created in the present. He takes a loooooooooooooooooooooooong trip to open up new areas and uncover the secrets of evil being. I will go no further to avoid spoiling. Mini-quest type story worked well for me since I do not have the luxury of time. Little did I know that there would be so many quests and things to do to finish the game. The story is your usual RPG fare with a boy becoming a hero and defeating the evil. These mini-quests range from excellent and touching to needless.

Graphics/Audio 3/10 for DQ newbie & 8/10 for DQ fans
Enix intentionally went for a retro look to this game. Everything will look and sound very familiar to DQ fans. Visually, it looks very much like the Super Famicom version. Sound effects are straight out of DQ 1~3. Nostalgia factor was sky high for someone like me. I was disappointed at first, but later came to like to retro look. The same old music for the opening, saves, level-up, etc. were also enjoyable for me.

Gameplay 6/10
The game plays almost exactly like the previous DQ. This can be good or bad. I felt that equipment and item management could have been upgraded. It's the same old DQ formula with sometimes fun and sometimes very frustrating puzzles. The game flows very nicely when you are on a roll and it comes to a crawl when you are stuck. If you do not have a decent command of Japanese, I would recommend waiting for the English version. This is certainly not a FF game. I am a fluent reader/speaker with experience with all FF and DQ games.

Overall 8/10
I give it an 8 since you really get your money's worth with this game. I must have logged in close to 180 hours to finish. There is just so much to do in this game like leveling up, changing jobs, collecting small medal, casinos, collecting ? tablets to access 1st bonus & 2nd bonus dungeons, creating a village and a monster park, etc. I finished just about everything and it was a long journey. It's a catch-22. I played for 3.5 months. I certainly got my money's worth but at the same time, I wasted so much time. In the end, the satisfaction of finishing the game is outweighed by the exhaustion, emptiness and sadness that comes from completing the quest. My wife gives this game a -10000000.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 12/20/00, Updated 12/20/00

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