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The other day I was perusing my intimidating gaming backlog. I’m the proud owner of a new 3DS XL, and one game on my shelf stood out: Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies. I have only ever play a bit of the first Dragon Quest in the Game Boy Color reboot, but I don’t feel it gave me a sense of the series. I heard fans pumped hundreds of hours into Dragon Quest IX, so it sounded like the perfect opportunity to experiment with the series. After investing about 5-6 hours, I’m looking for reasons to continue with it.
Before I continue, let me summarize my feelings on the game:
For a sense of how far I am, I just recently filled up my party. However, the battles I’ve fought have been too easy to get a sense of how extra characters change the flow. So if I’m not impressed at this point, is there some greatness around the corner? I want to catch the Dragon Quest fever everyone seemed to come down with playing this title. I know there's a job system that's yet to be integrated, but is that a real deal-breaker?
Thanks in advance for the feedback.
Email the author Tim Turi, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.
i got to the exact same point you did before putting it down. i thought the game was cool but i'm just finding it harder and harder to invest so much time into any one game. i used to play sim games and jrpgs exclusively, but as ive grown up im more of an action/ adventure person. the games are shorter and i never feel like they drag on. while i wish i had the attention span for Skyrim, DQ and games of the like, my gf, job and other hobbies are happy i stick to Uncharted, Ratchet and Clank, Rockstar games and soforth.
although, i do still play all the FF games, until they inevitably get to a point where even if you've battled consistently throughout you have to grind for a few hours to break a dungeon. dont have time for that stuff.
What appealed about the game to me was the endless grind you could engage in. There were advantages to leveling your jobs in combat and there were several post-story quests to keep the game interesting after you beat it.
The game really shines when you are in the middle of an active community where you can acquire/trade the maps (I think they were called) for rare loot.
I liked the game. Found the development of my team with the jobs far more satisfying than many traditional JRPGs at the time it came out. It definitely suffers from most of the problems that have always plagued DQ, which you pointed out. However, once you are used to it, you can rest assured you know exactly what you are going to get with a DQ title. But if you really aren't enjoying it, then by all means don't continue is my opinion. It really won't get much different, just more complex as you'd imagine in the ways you've discussed.
I invested a good 50 hours into that game. It's a great JRPG for the DS.
When I heard DQ9 was coming out I just had to have it. I played DQ8 for the PS2 and I loved the story line, I knew I couldnt pass up DQ for the DS. DQ9 really excited me when I saw that you can not only customize your first character, but a varitey of characters that you can choose to make anytime. Also, the class system with other unlockable classes is what aslo made me excited. With leveling up as many characters with as many classes as you want is what makes this game so fun and gives the reason of why people spend more than just the hours it takes to complete the story.
Tim, give it ten hours at least. I felt the same way with DQ 4 on ds, and after putting more time into it I really started to get attached to the game. RPG's usually start heating up at that time as well. Another example of an RPG taking a while for me to get used/attached to is Dark Souls. I remember approaching it in a hesitant 'oh no I'm stuck again' way, but after spending a weekend getting my bearings on the systems and the world I cleared Sen's fortress and I'm loving the game passionately.
BTW the music in DQ is phenomenal
Personally, as fun as DQ 9 was, I don't see it as a great starter entry to get a feel for the series, especially if you only have experience with the Gameboy Color releases. The first DQ game I played was 8 (Thank you PAL regions for not getting any of the previous entries!) and that felt like it hit that balance of jRPG nostalgia and gameplay. When you consider the changes that Final Fantasy X had made to the series, DQ8 didn't feel like it took a radical departure.
If 9 doesn't do it for you, I'd recommend giving 5 a go before turning your back on the series. It is like a mash-up of the Japan exclusive Super Famicom & PS2 versions, so it feels really good to go through. 9 was a brand new entry when it was released so it didn't have the same framework to build on, and playing it solo feels quite empty in comparison to playing it with friends.
The battle system is why Dragon Quest crushes the competition. Keep me away from yawn-fests like FF 12 or Two Worlds. I want quality.