And so, another review begins. *Fanfare sounds* Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present to you…
This game is the latest installment in a massive 24-year long franchise. Dragon Quest is often seen as one of the definitive RPGs, right up there with the likes of Final Fantasy and Pokemon, and everything you’d expect from a game of this type is there. Turn-based battles, monsters and heros, saving the world… Yep, all present. Then what makes this one different from the eight before it? And why is it so darn popular in Japan? Well, don your armor, pick up a sword, and let’s take a look…
For anyone who has played an RPG of any sorts, some elements will be very familiar. Menus and text, spring to mind. There’s a fair bit of reading as you go around doing jobs for all sorts of people. However, this is balanced out by the immense amount of freedom you have to explore and train your characters. The world really is your oyster. As for battles, it’s a simple job of choosing your attack or spell, and then selecting a target, and watching the characters do their stuff. Then repeat as necessary. As for story line, you play as a Celestrian, a type of guardian angel, who falls to earth. You spend the first part of the game trying to get back to the heavens, and the rest of it gathering sacred fruits that fell from your home. Despite sounding cliché, it’s actually very engaging.
Nothing massively new or ground-breaking, but it is done very well. Both newcomers and veterans of RPGs will feel welcome in this extremely expansive game.
The world, and all those who inhabit it, looks fantastic. Using both 3-D models with 2-D sprites, it manages to pack in an awful lot of detail into one little cartridge. From snowy mountains and deserts to vibrant, bustling cities, this game features one of the most expansive worlds available on DS. The soundtrack is very catchy, and changes depending on time of day and location. Sound effects too, are great. There’s nothing better than the sound of a one-hit instant kill that your thief just pulled off on some unsuspecting enemy…
Some of the best visuals on DS, without a doubt. A big part of this is the constantly moving camera in battles, making them feel fluid. A far cry from the old turn-based battles, where everything stood dead still.
Not much to say about controls, except that they work fine. Both buttons and stylus control are available, and both are solid and well put together… That’s about it.
As per above. Simple and well done, end of.
I’ve sometimes heard RPGs refered to as the Marmite of gaming… You either love it, or you hate it. So I guess if you don’t like the style, you won’t find much fun in it at all. For those who DO like RPGs however, you will have more fun than you’ve had in a long time. If exploring is your kind of thing, there’s that. If you like fighting monsters, there’s plenty of that. If carrying out tricky tasks and seeking rare items is your bag, there’s that too. Heck, if you like dressing up, there’s even that! The character customisation is near limitless, what with all the clothes, armor, weapons, classes and what-not. Great stuff.
Dragon Quest IX is all the great things about RPGs refined into one game. I wouldn’t have wasted almost 50 hours in 6 days on it if I wasn’t enjoying every moment.
One of Dragon Quest XI’s big selling points is its four-way adventuring. After clearing the first town, you can join forces with up to three friends and run about the world. You can team up on a tricky boss, explore the deepest edges of the lands, do a spot of training or simply mess around. The only limit is how far you are in the story, and even then you and your friends can advance it.
The co-op mode is great fun. I got the game at the start of the week, and since then have convinced my sister, my best friend and his brother to get it. Now, we all go around slaying monsters like there’s no tomorrow.
A simply fantastic game. After playing this, I can understand why the Japanese are obsessed by this series. It’s a joy to play, either alone or with friends, and great to look at too. What more do you want from a game?