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Console: Nintendo DS [Lite] [i] [i XL] Release Date: July 11 2009 [JPN]
July 11 2010 [USA]
July 23 2010 [EU]
August 19 2010 [AUS] Genre: Role-Playing Game [RPG], Adventure Developers: Level-5, Square Enix Publishers: Square Enix, Nintendo
Dragon Quest IX, Sentinels of the Starry Skies is the ninth game in the Dragon Quest series. It follows the turn-based style fighting that the older Dragon Quest games used, and is claimed to be harder than it's predecessors.
This is the first game which I have played in the Dragon Quest series. I am not a huge fan of RPG games, but from high recommendations from friends of this game, I bought it and have found it strangely addicting.
Dragon Quest IX has received lots of positive feedback, from selling out over 2 million pre-order copies in Japan. This has landed Japan some records for the DS, including a world record for biggest chance of a connection anonymously while playing this game.
Story: You start off the game as a Celestrian, a spirit from the Observatory who has been assigned to watch over a small town known as Angel Falls in the Protectorate (the world of Mortals). Your watch over the people and help them out whenever terror may strike them. If a monster is about to attack someone on their travels, you will be there. If someone needs help from a bully, you will be there. Of course the people of the protectorate can't see you, but they know you are the one helping them.
You do this is order of obtaining benevolessence, a certain power which can only be obtained by helping out the mortals within the protectorate. The Benevolessence is the power which is used to empower the fyggs from the Yggdrassil (World Tree). Once you have collected enough Benevolessense from Angel Falls the Yggdrasil is then capable of producing Fyggs. At this time you see the Starflight Express (Train) travel across the skies. When this happens, the observatory is struck with a terrible and ominous force which causes you to fall into the protectorate, along with the Starflight Express and the newly-produced Fyggs, losing your Halo and Wings, and to appear as just a normal human.
As your travels move forward, you notice the Starflight Express, along with Stella, a fairy who can see you since you are a Celestrian. She asks you to help her collect Benevolessence to power the Starflight Express so you can get back up to the Observatory. From doing this, you are able to fly back up there,to receive a mission: to obtain back the Fyggs and bring them back to the Yggdrasil.
Gameplay: Gameplay is your standard Role-Playing Game with turn-based fighting. You can use either the Stylus and the touch screen to move around, or use the control pad. You can have up to four people in your party which can help you fight. As you level up and gain more experience, the game get's harder, along with dungeons and monsters being tougher to beat.
You and your party can be one of six classes: The Warrior class, skilled with Swords and fighting in close combat, The Mage, skilled in using magic and spells, The Priest, skilled in aiding the team with HP revival and skill boosts, The Thief, skilled in agility and quick hits and kills, The Martial Artist, skilled in fighting on close combat with their fists, and the Minstrel, skilled in performance and just your average fighter. Each and every character in your party is also fully customizable from the beginning, including hair, skin colour, and body shape. There are also massive amounts of weapons and armour to choose from for your characters.
The primary focus of the game was the Multiplayer function which the game harbours really well. Once you reach a certain point in the game, you will be able to contact any friends using the games, connection abilities and have up to four people playing the game at the same time. as you progress even further into the game, you can access the Wifi store, also known as the DQVC, where you can buy special items such as clothing or alchemy.
Music and Graphics:
The music in this game is interesting, and easy to listen to all the time, as expected of Nintendo. Of course different towns, areas and battles have their music, and it all blends in well altogether. Boss music is more epic and sophisticated than the regular battle music.
Graphics are amazing from what I was expecting. Being such an amazing game from recommendations, and for the DS, the graphics are quite astounding and the battle sequences are exceptional, with different camera angles and nice smooth camera panning in the overworld and in battles. There are unimportant characters which are just civilians and the like who don't have sophisticated sprites to use, but main characters that are crucial plot look exceptional.
Gameplay: 9/10. The gameplay is brilliant and has many different functions for those who want to control the game a different way. Only let down is the bland fights which get really repetitive after a while. Story: 8/10. It's a little hard to understand and grasp at first, but almost every RPG game is like that. It takes some time to get used to it. Music/Graphics: 10/10. I couldn't think of any way to improve any of these things, except maybe have more soundtrack. Overall: 9/10. It has the potential to be one of the greats of Role-Playing games. I'd recommend it to anyone who is even remotely interested in RP games.
Thank you for your time, and I hope you enjoy my first review.