Hades' Concise DQ9 Review

This is the best game I’ve played in a while. Definitely the best I’ve played on DS.

The music is awesome. My favourite songs are the boat theme, the song that plays in the grottoes, the song that plays in the observatory, and the Alltrades theme, which anyone should be embarrassed not to recognizing as the DW1 title theme.

The game is short enough that you can probably beat it in 20 hours if you wanted to. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to though. I’ve logged over 160 (that’s one-hundred and sixty, not a typo) just from exploring the game’s various systems and abilities and I still haven’t bothered to finish it, even though my characters are probably strong enough to beat two of the final boss at once. And I’m not even a little bored. The alchemy system is very fun to explore, and the fact that the game tracks a bunch of your stats and gives you accolades for doing certain things makes me naturally want to play it to death.

The graphics are typical DS 3D like you’d find in a game like Rune Factory. My only problem with them is that most of the NPCs are sprites whereas your own characters are all rendered in 3d. Overall, the graphics contribute to the atmosphere about as well as you could expect DS graphics to.

The fights are pathetically easy compared to previous games, but there’s more than enough other content to make up for it, and even though the monsters are easy to beat, I still have fun fighting them, much in the same way you never get bored of popping goombas. The game does a lot to reduce the need for grinding. Characters level up VERY quickly, and a lot of the rarest item drops can be stolen or found on the world map instead of gambling on a lucky kill. A lot of the alchemy ingredients can be bought in shops. Like other DQ games, you’ll mostly be fighting for money, but only if you care to. You can complete the story portion of the game without a whole lot of grindstone, if any.

The story itself is great. It’s the kind of story you find in a game that isn’t trying to be the best game you’ll ever play. It’s a humble story. But it’s that humble atmosphere that makes it so charming. There are a few pretty dark story arcs that a kid would never realize are dark, but would totally creep out a more mature player who “gets” them. I found the arc about the living doll and the Coffinwell arc pretty damn creepy, but a kid playing this game would only think “walking doll! MAGIC!” and the way the story kind of plays double duty like that is impressive to me. So, while I consider the story humble, in no way do I want to imply it’s not written with finesse. It IS.

There are downloadable story (and non-story) quests and an online item shop you can connect to via wi-fi. I don’t play a lot of online RPGs, haven’t really touched one since Diablo2, so I can’t compare it with other games, but I’ve enjoyed this content enough to say it adds a lot to the game. You can also invite other characters to your world from someone else’s game and fight battles with them, or they can run around on their own, stealing loot from your world. You can assign them rooms in your hotel, and there are even bonus items you can get from having enough friends in your hotel at once. The only downside is that you need to remove your fourth party member to make room for the new guy.

Uh, that’s all for now.

Nice. It must be pretty impressive, given your distaste for the other Dragon Warrior games, haha.

So, you say it could be beaten (probably) as quickly as 20 hours. Do you think that’s an average time, or just a fastest time? I’ve been sitting on the game for a while because I don’t feel like I have enough free time for RPGs at the moment, but if it can really be done that quickly I might try to make the time.

20h is probably closer to a speed run than an average play time, but someone really ambitious could probably do it in less. If you just want to get to the end without completing everything while also not walking a razor’s edge from death, you should probably give yourself 35. It’s a monster game if you want it to be, but if it’s just for a review and you’re bored, it doesn’t have to be.

Lol, well I do like to enjoy my games, I just tend not to be interested in side quests and stuff. Either way, yeah I might turn it on every now and then, it generally sounds pretty cool from what everyone’s been saying.

Does the game move at a quick pace? Some Dragon Warrior games are soooooooooooooooo slow!

It’s faster than other DQs. You’re all Mr. SF2 and Megaman over there though, so quick by your standards is likely not what you’ll get with this game :stuck_out_tongue: I think you’ll enjoy it though. I would only recommend not to try to “fit it in.” If you don’t have a lot of time, you should probably wait until you do. Like I said, it doesn’t TAKE a lot of time and the pacing is great imo, but I just kinda feel like you’ll do it (and by extension, it’ll do you) more justice to not feel like you’re on a deadline with this one. JMO.

Hades likes a game unconditionally? They should slap this on the box, heh.

I’m nearly done with it. If you don’t fiddle around too much with the extras, you should be done in 30-35 hours. I’m at what I think is the final dungeon, having beaten the of the Triumgorevirate or whatever they’re called. I’m debating doing more quests and making more gear or finishing the game. So much left to play …And still there is SC2!

Making gear is one of the only kinda-grindy parts of the game, but honestly, it’s one of my favourites. Some of the equipment you get is really worth going the extra mile for, especially if you get it early or you plan on completing all the grottoes. The stuff they sell in stores is cool and will get you far, but forging your own equipment and knowing that all that extra work is letting you kick just a little bit more ass, or scrape through a tough grotto, really feels good. Plus, most of it just LOOKS cooler. This game has turned me into a shallow bastard, but if my warriors don’t look as badass as they are, it really hurts me :stuck_out_tongue: If nothing else, it gives me a reason to hang around a little longer in a world I like, and that alone is good enough.

Man, you’ve sunk more time in 1 run of DQ9 than in any of the times I played through DQ7. If you liked DQ9, you should def at least check out DQ4 and 5 (6 isn’t out yet in NA) for the DS. They don’t have the item synthesis system you seem to enjoy so much, but if you liked the story and battle system, you’ll certainly enjoy those. They’re fairly short for DQ games.

How close is DQ4 DS to the NES version? I enjoyed the original.

In fact, what SG said isn’t true. I enjoy the DQ series in general. It was only DQ7’s system of finding an island, meeting the boss, getting raped by the boss, grinding until everything on the island is dead, beating the shit out of their corpses until there’s nothing left but dust, returning to the boss, and still getting molested by him that I hated. There was no smooth progression of character development, so although I actually enjoyed DQ7’s world, I just didn’t have the willpower to stare at the same damn monsters dying for five or ten hours straight just to get a shard from a boss that’s 150 times stronger than anything you can train on to beat him :confused:

They added a new chapter and character for the post game which are kinda terrible given how it retcons said character, motivation and all, and slaps a new big bad at the end of it. But it DOES give you full control over your chapter 5 party which means Kristo isn’t nearly as useless as he was in the NES version. They’ve also added accents so thick you’ll be wondering what the fuck a bairn is, but in exchange there’s no party talk which was the only new feature I was interested in.

Additionally DQV is a must get. They stay away from too much unreadable accent (only Sancho and a few badguys still require some deciphering time), the overall plot is probably the best of the series, and the one extra scene they added to this version was actually a nice addition for once. There’s also a third bride but I haven’t played her yet (still probably useless though given the options available to you, however is probably worth it anyways for the lulz of the MC getting emasculated by her).

DQIV is pretty awesome, though the lack of party chat really hurts… As for the Extra Chapter, it gives you a pretty awesome character, but there’s not really much to say other than that (it’s been a while since I’ve played the game).

As for V, most people are of the opinion that it’s the best version, and I’d agree. The third bride is worth getting for the Party Chat alone…she’s really pretty awesome.

For DQIX, I really did enjoy the Alchemy and Postgame stuff. The Legacy bosses are a pretty good challenge, as are some of the higher-level grottoes (on that note, Darkonium Slimes can piss off). It really is an impressive game.

My bad, I thought I remembered a long time ago that you said you really disliked the Dragon Warrior games except 4.

I thought the accents in DQIV were great! I loved the vocab. I can see how it can put people off though. DQ7 is a BRUTAL game. I loved it, but it is just a massive, confusing mess.

I did DQ7 end game because I was stuck in a recliner for a week (had a wisdom tooth out). I thought the game was amazing at the start, but it got very repetitive and just seemed to be long for the sake of being long. Was “God” the final boss? I remember taking him down, but I don’t remember if there was anything after him.

Man, anyone currently playing DQ9 needs to hit up the DQVC every day this week. There’s a Dragon Warrior 3 sale! AWESOME VINTAGE GEAR FROM DQ3 IS TO BE HAD. Don’t miss it.

SG: At the time, the only ones I played were 1, 4, and 7. I enjoyed 1 and 4 :stuck_out_tongue: And I enjoyed 7 story-wise.

Goddammit nothing I do can get the Wi-fi to recognize my DS. Now I’m pissed as hell.

Go to your wireless settings, select auto-connect, select search for an access point, and continue to reselect it once you’re sure you found someone with unprotected WEP WiFi. Preferably someone within your neighborhood, better still if they’re located between you and a public place like a park, and once you’ve found an open port make sure you test and retest to make sure you have a steady connection.

Otherwise you can either buy a wireless broadcasting USB device or somesuch. Either that or you’re boned.

I’m in a college dorm without wi-fi, so I am kinda boned in that regard already. Tried going to some local cafes and bookstores with free wi-fi, but couldn’t figure out how to connect there (and given how mine is a desktop, can’t check online). None of the people there could help me because it was a DS, and I’m about as bad as an 80-year-old grandmother when it coems to electronics.

All in all, aside from my inabaility with this so far, it’s been a great game, and for once I agree with Hades’ opinions wholeheartedly.