Jahanzeb Khan
11 Feb, 2010

Dragon Quest IX Preview

DS Preview | It's not coming on PlayStation 3, get over it!
The Dragon Quest series did not have a profound presence in the PAL region, until Square-Enix released the highly acclaimed PlayStation 2 classic, Dragon Quest: Journey of the Cursed King. Since then, the PAL regions have been getting just about all Dragon Quest games, with the most recent releases being on the Nintendo DS and Nintendo Wii. This trend continues as the upcoming Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies will be exclusive to the Nintendo DS.

Now fans of the previous canonical games are obviously furious at the choice of platform, and many were probably giggling at the thought of Dragon Quest IX being a drop dead gorgeous PlayStation 3 exclusive, but the fact is that Dragon Quest started its journey on Nintendo. So, it makes sense that they would pick this generation’s best selling console for their new magnum opus.

Let’s jump straight to the graphics. Say what you want about the DS but Dragon Quest IX looks like a real stunner. The Final Fantasy DS remakes looked nice but Dragon Quest IX looks like a major leap. The game retains the same visual style of Dragon Quest: Journey of the Cursed King and it comes reasonably close in terms of quality. Akira Toriyama (of the Dragon Ball Z fame) lends his artistic talents once more by designing some really unique and charming characters.

DS, you lookin good bro!

DS, you lookin good bro!

In terms of gameplay, Dragon Quest IX will retain the traditional turn based battle system that was used in past games. In terms of presentation, it closely resembles what we saw in Dragon Quest: Journey of the Cursed King. The game will of course feature the same level of challenge as previous games, and it has been billed as the ‘hardest’ Dragon Quest game by the Japanese press.

Other cool new features include the removal of random battles (finally!), with enemies now appearing on screen instead. The game enters into battle mode upon contact with them. The game will also allow players to fully customise the appearance and abilities of a character, in ways that have never been seen or done before in a Japanese RPG. It will allow players to create a completely unique character with a variety of different clothing sets and physical features. You will also get to choose a ‘profession’, which will influence the type of weapons and fighting style a character can use. Also worth noting is that weapon and armour upgrades will be made visible in-game, something which we saw in Tales of Vesperia. The main gimmick of this game is multiplayer. In fact, that will be the game’s primary focus since it will allow up to four players to play together. There will of course be a single player aspect but the multiplayer seems to be heavily involved in the game.

A lot of customization here.

A lot of customization here.

Although we can’t say much about the story at this stage, we do know that it carries strong religious themes as seen in the previous games. Remember how God was the true final boss of Dragon Quest VII? Still, we can certainly expect the content to be modified for Western release. Musically, we haven’t heard much yet but fans can certainly expect the same style and quality of music that the series is known for.

Dragon Quest IX may become the most commercially successful Dragon Quest ever, mainly because it is on the DS. Critically, the game has done well in Japan, but we shall see soon enough how the rest of the world treats this game.
Dragon Quest IX has all the makings of being an instant handheld classic. RPG veterans should be excited.

Related Dragon Quest IX Content

Dragon Quest IX E3 trailer
09 Jun, 2010 Are there even any dragons left?
New Dragon Quest IX screenshots
02 May, 2007 Go you good thing!
Dragon Quest IX confirmed for the Nintendo DS
12 Dec, 2006 Square Enix drops a bombshell. Updated to include the first images.
4 years ago
I've played Dragon Quest IV on the DS and fell in love with that game more than the FF games I have on the DS (FFIII and FFIV).

I'll definitely get it as the game to play on the go (which strangely I finish more quicker than on consoles, shows you how much I am out and about). Now, I need to get a DS Lite so I don't have to shield my DS from sunlight in the train.
4 years ago
I loved it, too.

If you loved DQ4, you will go crazy for DQ5. It was leaps and bounds better than DQ4, I believe.

I didn't really know much about the series until Journey of the Cursed King, but I immediately fell in love with it. The gameplay was a lot of fun and there was a lot to see and do. I never found it to be too hard or a chore like a lot of reviews were saying at the time, and I appreciated the story. It might not be the best story, but not every game has to end with the world blowing up. The series has a real fairy tale vibe to it and the characters in 8 were all so charming.

I appreciate reading previews and news about this game, but I am really starting to get frustrated waiting for a solid release date for both this and the 6th installment. I don't know what order they're going to release them here, but it's annoying that one's already done and the other is probably nearly due for release in Japan. 9's been out in Japan for a while now, right? I understand there's localisation and all that, but I'm not sure I see why the long wait ...

Talking about this makes me want to play DQ5 again ...
4 years ago
Yea I have heard many great things about Dragon Quest V. Once I am done with Might & Magic Clash of Heroes, you all can look forward to a Dragon Quest V archive review icon_smile.gif
4 years ago
Forget Final Fantasy, this is where it's at.

Just a shame there's no release date, I wouldn't be surprised if we didn't see it until Christmas, and after DQVI is released PAL-side
4 years ago
What!? No random battles? That... that's unbelievable! It took them long enough. All the random battles in Dragon Quest V on the DS made me want to throw my DS and break the cartridge in two.

Character customization looks crazy fun.
4 years ago
Multiplayer will be cool - will it have Wifi though?
4 years ago
I don't get why people hate random battles so much, I don't find them that bad. :S

Anyway, I've actually brought the Japanese version of this and recommend it! The single save slot drove me a little mental but overall the game is well made. Can't wait for it to come out in English, DQ use hard kanji >_<"
4 years ago
So, my most hotly anticipated game for the last year, when do you come out in the West?
4 years ago
Meh I'll skip it seeing as it's on DS.I'm spending a lot less money on games for the PS3 which I play 99% of the time so I'm not going to buy a game for a handheld I barely touch.
4 years ago
bleach1st wrote
I don't get why people hate random battles so much, I don't find them that bad. :S

Anyway, I've actually brought the Japanese version of this and recommend it! The single save slot drove me a little mental but overall the game is well made. Can't wait for it to come out in English, DQ use hard kanji >_<"
Tales of Phantasia killed the fun of random battles for me. Move three steps... random battle. Move another two steps... random battle. Wouldn't have been such an issue if it weren't for that ******* 20 level dungeon or whatever, which also had some encounters that invovled little dudes that could absolutely annihilate any character in one hit. I hated those little ********.

As for DQIX I grew up with DQ, finished games 1-6 but have yet to play 7 or 8 (though with a PS2 now it'll be worth tracking both down), not only were the characters far more memorable than FF (especially in the early days) but it was also the precursor to Pokemon in terms of collecting animals (as soon as you get that caravan it was demon hunting a go go). So to say I'm excited about this particular game would be a massive ******* understatement.
4 years ago
Sin Ogaris wrote
As for DQIX I grew up with DQ, finished games 1-6 but have yet to play 7 or 8 (though with a PS2 now it'll be worth tracking both down)
I'm literally speechless at the thought that you haven't played VIII icon_lol.gif

DQ8 would be in my top 5 RPG's along with FFVIII/X, Suikoden and Grandia.
4 years ago
Believe me it's on my list of things to do before I die.
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