Trying to get into the Dragon Quest series

With DQ 9 coming out soon, I’ve thinking about trying to get into the series. I consider myself a big RPG fan, but I haven’t ever really gotten into DQ. Overall, the games didn’t seem to focus much on stories and the series gameplay seems to pride itself on not changing. So I never really got into the series since I didn’t see what made DQ games different from your typical rpg game.
Do you guys know why DQ is so popular in Japan? Which DQ games, if any, have a good storyline? Which DQ game is the best?

Also, how good is the exploration and story in DQ 8? I like the look of the enviroments and enemies, but I heard the game doesn’t have much of a story.

The DS remakes of IV and V are both awesome games. IV’s story has you going through a number of chapters featuring future party members going on personal quests all the while the main plot quietly forms in the background before the final chapter where the main character finally appears and brings the everyone together for the final battle. While V’s takes place over the course of the main character’s entire lifetime from birth to parenthood.

Basically when people say that the story in a DQ game isn’t all that good, they’re typically lying to you (or have only played the first two games). The game’s plot is all about the journey rather than saving the world from yet another generic evil by exploiting the power of friendship (although it does sorta kinda do that too but at least you’re not just fetching rubies to make into apples for some reason or going through a sewer level for a golden fly to make for dinner to prove that your frog is a prince).

Another way to think about it is like Chrono Trigger but without the time travel or the unique threat to the world/endboss known as Lavos.

Also the exploration in VIII is glorious. The environments are huge and colorful but there’s also chests, recruitable monsters, and other small secrets scattered about that most modern RPGs fail completely at. And fights are generally quick enough that you can get through most of the game without feeling like you’re grinding (just make sure to look up alchemy pot recipes and a skill guide so that you know what you’re getting since there aren’t enough skill points to go around and alchemy takes such a long time per transmutation that you’ll want to skip some of the less useful combinations).

The DQ games have a certain charm to them because of their visual style and their simplicity. DQ1,2,3 don’t have much in terms of story, its very basic stuff, but the gameplay was generally pretty mindless and usually avoided being aggravating. The non-NES versions are very playable. DQ3 is a classic. It is a big game, particularly in the context of what games were like for the NES.

DQ3 started a trend followed by DQ4 and above. However simple the stories may be, the DQs each have their individual flare and spin. Is there some kind of evil overlord to kill every time? Yes, but the setting its happening in differs every time and that’s what keeps the series fresh. Do the games have recurring elements like classes? Yes, but not all of them have classes and when they do, the balancing and how you evolve is different.

DQ8’s story is fantastic, the characters are very well written and the voice acting is some of the best of any video game ever made. The music was top notch and orchestrated. The fact they put DQ9 on the DS and 10 on the Wii upsets me because I enjoy seeing productions of this caliber. If you don’t like DQ8, steer clear of the series. Whether or not you like DQs depends entirely on what you play RPGs for. The kind of story you get with a DQ is not the same kind of story as you get with a Tales game or with Persona. Each of these kind of have their niche. Not all RPGs come from the same mold. If you’re an anime-RPG kind of person who wants to play stuff like Star Ocean or Xenosaga, then DQ will be startlingly different. Start with 8, work your way down. DQ8 is the pinnacle of everything the series is supposed to be about.

I liked DQ7 , but it freaked some people out since it was so massive. DQ 4 and 5 are interesting, have simple, but likeable stories. They’re much quicker and easier to approach than 7. I played the emulated version of 6 quite a bit and I’m anxiously waiting for 6 to arrive in NA.

I’ve only played the first one and VIII. There’s not much to say about the first one, and VIII had an amusing story, AWESOME voicework and a great cast. Gameplay-wise it was boring as shit. It was the aforementioned items that made me slog through it. That said, I plan on getting DQIX if I can afford it.

Anyone want to share memories of Dragon Warrior IV?

This was a great game for the old NES- one of my favorite RPG’S -i remember when i bought this game and took the Strategy Guide to school to see if anyone else was playing this game i got in trouble because a teacher took one look at the book and accused me of being a devil worshipper and bringing a satanic book to school- anyone else have this “satanic” Strategy Guide?

i still have it with box and instructions but i would like to keep it because it is the only 1 i have- but check out ebay- it shows up there often- but probably overpriced too.

So far I’ve only played DW VII and VIII. VII was a tremendous bore… though I must admit I never finished it (I had my first epileptic attack while playing it and I never got around to finish it) so I can’t judge it fairly. VIII was a whole world of difference and not just because it was a PS2 game- it was superior in every way. Not the best game I’ve played but it was easy, fun, and had [strike]lots of cheesecake[/strike] really good graphics. Plus with all the Toriyama designs it was like playing Dragonball: The Fantasy RPG. :smiley:

^^

That was another problem I had with it. No matter what, I kept thinking Dragonball, and I can’t stand Dragonball. Same is said for anything else he designs for.

I’ve played them all except VII at this point. Hadn’t finished II, but that because I don’t feel like putting forth the effort to do it.

Basically, the first two games are pretty old-school as far as things go. III is a classic and truly pays off towards the last third of the game. IV and V have been discussed above, and they’re pretty good games. VI takes the job system from III and expands on it along with some other stuff. It’s a fairly impressive game and a bit non-linear at times, but the story’s not quite as good as IV and V. (I heard that they neutered the DS remake by cutting out the good recruitable monsters.)

VIII is a very impressive game, and yes the world map is HUGE. It’s pretty staggering the first time you realize just how big it is. Story isn’t bad though. From what I’ve heard of IX, it’s a bit shorter than some of the other games (around 40 hours I hear), but it has a interesting focus on local wireless multiplayer, which I have no idea how well that’s gonna go over in the US.

From what I’ve played of the DQ series, it doesn’t seem like something you “get” into. You either like it or you don’t, and trying to force it just makes you feel like you’re wasting your time. That’s been my experience.

Well, I never liked DQs and after playing the remakes of IV and V, I am ready to write testimonials. Simple, addictive, charming. I’ll be grabbing VI/IX the day they come out.

This is not true. All the good recruitable monsters in V are still there and they even tripled that amount. What was unfortunately cut out from IV was the party talk which sucks a lot and I’ve held off in getting it (though its more due to the fact that I already have the NES version than anything else).

You may be thinking of the remake of VI that got rid of the old monster recruitment system and replaced it with one where you can acquire only a few slimes in your party after meeting specific requirements (I can see why they did this as you already had the class system return from III and monsters could have their classes changed too making the number of them largely redundant). I’m waiting for better impressions than loving GameFAQs.

DQIX on the other hand I’m actually tempted to pick up tomorrow, speaking of which, we’re gonna need a bigger thread (for spoilers and stuff).