Thursday, August 19, 2010

NDS: Dragon Quest 9 -- Sentinels of the Starry Skies

I'm not a fan of turn based JRPGs but this one's got me hooked. Dragon Quest 9 is set in a huge and pretty much open world to explore in, with monsters wandering the landscape (or in some cases, drop in on you.) and the map is dotted with towns filled with shops and quest givers. Of course, there's an epic main quest that will take 40-50 hours to complete.

Your character is a celestial who has lost his wings and halo after an earthquake that shook all the heavens and earth. After falling down to earth and being picked up by a kind villager girl who happens to run an inn. He will have to do good in the world in order to gain back his angelic qualities as well as... well... save the world (what else is new?). As with all traditional JRPGs, the game eases you in as introduces your background and the world in which you find yourself. The real game starts when you reach your first town and create your party of adventurers.

Party customization is basic but aesthetically very pleasing since all that you equip is reflected on your character. Gameplay isn't anything new but it is all very pretty, well implemented and traditional. There a whole bunch of equipment and items to make and collect, and lots of monsters to fight. Overworld map is huge with lots of optional areas for exploration and material collection (for your item making) and dungeons are properly designed and some have puzzle elements.

Over all, although this is an epic size roleplaying game, it's a rather casual one. You might need to level grind a little (or at least just don't avoid any encounters), the game plays smooth and without much frustration.

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