Dragon Quest IX was the first Dragon Quest or Dragon Warrior game that I had ever gotten. It was good enough that now I am searching all over for more Dragon Quest games. Sentinels of the Starry Skies is fantastic for many reasons, but there are a few drawbacks.

The story was very well made. You are a celestrian (this world's equivalent to an angel) and you have to travel around the world doing good deeds for other people. The only drawback I saw in the story was that there is not as many towns in DQIX as in DQIV or DQVI. But during the main story you can find certain people in the towns, down wells, or up on the tallest mountains that can offer you side quests. You have do run little errands for people and if it is causing to much trouble for you, you can always quit the quest. Of course, there are story based side quests which are often given to you by people who had something to do with the story such as the King of Stornway. You cannot quit these quests.

A key factor for me in the game was customization. It is getting harder to find a good RPG that has great customizing abilities. At the very beginning, you get to make your main character. You can choose body type, hair, hair color, eye shape, eye color, skin color and the name. And soon you will arrive at Stornway where you can go to Patty's Party Planning Place, which was in many other Dragon Quest games (however, Patty's is only in Stornway so you will end up returning to Stornway often to change party members). You can choose what your party members look like so you can have a ton of clones or a posse. The customizing doesn't stop at this. Throughout the game, you will receive clothing and weapons. You get to see the clothing on yourself and your party rather than always seeing the same set costume. You can't, however, see accessories.

There are very many monsters for you to find. DQIX stuck with the timeless DQ tradition of changing the colors and abilities to make stronger versions of the monsters. There are many monsters from previous games, but not all of them are. After the main story is over you can do a lot of things. You can do quests (some can only be accessed via wi-fi), continue with the post game story and search the deepest, darkest grottoes. Bosses in grottoes are recycled so you may find yourself fighting some bosses dozens of times. There are legacy bosses in special grottoes and they are bosses from previous DQ games.

During the game, you can get accolades. They serve no purpose but so you can show off to your friends and a couple of quests require you to get certain accolades. Accolades can be gotten by doing any number of things. Getting enough gold in the bank gets you an accolade. Performing alchemy enough times will get you one as well as simply defeating 1000 monsters.

I should probably address vocations. After awhile in the game, you can get to Alltrades Abbey. First, of course, you must defeat a boss. The head priest of Alltrades is Jack of Alltrades and he turned into a monster called Master of Nu'un. After you defeat him, you are able to change vocations. However, you loses all of your previous skills and are reduced back to level one. During the game you will encounter certain people who will give you quests. These quests will give you clothing and abilities for your vocation. Some will let you uses a new vocation that was not available from the start of the game. Every couple of level ups, yo will get skill points which let you upgrade your skills in your vocation and with the weapon you use. However, you do not get very many skill points at a time.

Overall I think that Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies was a fantastic game. It is a must have for any RPG fans. It lives up to previous DQ games easily. I played DQIV, DQVI and DQIX on the DsiXL so I hope that DQX will have a version for the DS. The game is not for everyone, but for those of you who like RPGs like Dragon Warrior or Final Fantasy, this is the game for you.