Game Review #13

Dragon Quest IX

Dragon Quest IX is the ninth game of the Dragon Quest series.  It is an RPG game on the DS. This game begins in the Observatory, the floating kingdom where the angelic beings called Celestrians, including the main protagonist, reside. The main character begins as the guardian who has just undertaken protection of Angel Falls, a human village. The Celestrians have been trying for some time to move into the God’s Land. However, before they can leave, they require a fruit called the fygg. The fruit is very rare and Yggdrasil the “World Tree” it grows on must be empowered with benevolessence, which is spiritual energy that can only be obtained by helping people in Protectorate, the world of mortals.

By helping and protecting Angel Falls and earning the gratitude of its people, the main character obtains enough benevolessence for the World Tree to produce the fyggs. Just as the Starflight Express that will take the angels to the kingdom of God arrives, the Observatory is attacked from below by a mysterious and powerful force. The force scatters the assembled angels and knocks the fyggs, the Starflight Express, and the main character down to the Protectorate. The main character awakens without wings or a halo and finds he has been rescued from the base of the waterfall in Angel Falls.

Battle is conducted from a combination of first and third-person perspectives. The character plans his or her attack from a first person perspective, selecting which opponents to target (including the ability to target specific monsters in a single group) and then switches to a moving third-person view to watch the main character’s party and the monsters battle for the round. Combat includes a combo system available both to players and monsters. When two or more identical attacks are performed consecutively on the same opponent the attack damage increases by a multiplier. A two-hit combo receives a 1.2x multiplier, a three-hit combo a 1.5x multiplier, and a four-hit combo a 2.0x multiplier. Experience points earned from battle are divided amongst all party members based on level, higher level characters receive a greater share of the experience points than lower level characters.

Each playable character has a vocation that determines his or her stat increases per level, usable weapons and armor, and spells. Six vocations are available early in the game: warrior, mage, priest, martial artist, thief and minstrel. An additional six classes (armamentalist, ranger, gladiator, sage, paladin, and luminary) can be unlocked through successful completion of quests. The protagonist starts as a minstrel, and when additional party members first become available, they can be created with any unlocked vocation. The ability to change a character’s active vocation can be unlocked through gameplay. Characters have separate levels and experience totals for each vocation, and a character’s stats and spells are based on his or her active vocation. The game also includes a skill system similar to the one in Dragon Quest VIII, each vocation has five skills: one skill exclusive to the vocation, three weapon skills shared with one or more other vocations, and either Shield or Fisticuffs, an unarmed attack. As characters gain levels, they obtain skill points, which can be spent to increase any of the current vocation’s skills Whenever the points invested in a skill reach a certain threshold, a new ability (active command) or trait (passive bonus) is gained, with the 10th and final ability or trait gained at 100 points. In the case of weapon skills, the 100 point trait allows a character to use the relevant weapon with any vocation, while the 100 point shield trait allows any vocation to use shields. Abilities and trait which have been gained through the skill system are carried over to other vocations, as are unspent skill points.

There is so much more to the game, but you should play it to find out!

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Though I am not into RPG games, I found this entertaining!

    Reply

  2. One of my favorite games as a kid. Played the original on SNES…very difficult but enjoyable.

    Reply

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