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on June 21, 2016
This is a great game. Like the other DragonQuest games, this one has a great story and is full of adventure, quests, area's to explore and secrets to discover. The class base in this game is a bit different than other DragonQuest games. You get to pick and choose any class you want to play and level up in that area as you see fit. There's also an area in the Inn that you can trade party members with other players or hire mercenaries. One thing that is also unique are the random dungeons that just appear on the map throughout the game. There's some secrets and hidden things as well based on your performance in certain maps. The graphics are pretty cute and standard for the time this game was released. It's a definite must-have if you like RPG's.
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on December 17, 2013
A wonderful Dragon Quest experience. I have been wanting a Dragon Quest game since 8 on the PS2. The game is linear and have spent the majority of the game walking from area to area fighting monsters to level up. This is a typical JRPG after all. The side quests I find to be more optional than necessary. They reward you with items not experience points. When you reach the next shop in the next town, the Rewards usually become useless. The only Side Quests worth doing are ones associated with Postgame Quests. Not only are they challenging, but you receive great rewards. The story evolves around your main character. You then recruit optional, non story related characters to help you in battle. You do have classes which can be changed when you are at a certain place in the game. Mage, Fighter, etc. I must recommend this experience.
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on September 11, 2010
I'm an online MMORPG gamer, and am always in search of a great game in this realm. Who'd have thought that you could get a near-MMORPG game on a DS! These folks have achieved this in Dragon Quest IX.

DQIX has a LOT of bang for the buck. This game not only does not disappoint but it goes above and beyond one's expectations.

GAMEPLAY:
The gameplay at first was disappointing to me - I felt like I was running through a field in a Pokeman game, having monsters pop up in the field to fight. But I soon realized how different this game was than that. It's very cool when you have several characters and you sit and watch them fight. The animations are fantastic. Today I saw my healer party heal for the first time - it's a really lovely animation and comes unexpectedly. Little things like that make the gameplay and fighting really fun.

GRAPHICS:
Graphics are GREAT! I'm playing on the DS Lite and they look awesome.

STORYLINE:
I'm all about the story in my games - the better the story the more I love the game. The story is easy to understand and your goals area clear.

CHARACTER CREATION AND PARTY MEMBERS:
It's best when games give you some control over the creation of your characters. DQIX allows you to create cute or cool playing character that fit you. But what I found cooler was the capability to make your own additional characters (with their own classes) to run with you. You get to set all their skills as each character levels.

WEAPONS AND ARMOR:
There are a LOT of items here! Who doesn't love collecting equipment and weapons, and when you get a new one checking it out to see if one of your characters can get an upgrade? Fighting in blue jeans that offer good defense for my newish character - yeah!

NEGATIVES:

1. I was attracted to this game from the Nintendo Channel (Wii) videos where they reviewed the tag mode. I really liked this feature and thought it'd be great. However, I've been out many days now and haven't tagged anyone. There actually has to be someone else out there with their game on in tag mode that runs across you, so you can get folks in your inn. What's the chance of that? Slim to none it's seeming. I've been told to go find meetups or make my own. Ack. In Japan they're not having problems with this because of the craze of the game there, but here in the US it's a problem. If you think you're going to just go out to the store and run across 30 people (so you can upgrade your inn) you'll be disappointed. I still have hope that over some months there'll be a few that I'll tag, but I really don't see how. I'm an adult and don't have any other friends near me that game. If you're still in high school or younger, there's probably a better chance of getting tagged more quickly.

2. I wish there was a true world-multiplayer mode. Other DS games I've had had the capability to play with others across the world. I'm not sure why they didn't include this type of gameplay in the game. This would have resolved the first negative issue I have with this game. If Animal Crossing can let your game have visitors from across the world, why not this game? Having this feature would make the game PERFECT.

Regardless of these negatives, I give this game five stars because I'm so pleased with it.
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on March 6, 2014
I adore this cutesy game. You have the power to fully customize your character up to the clothing, job/class, and skills and spells you could learn. I've contributed 200+ hours upon this monster and still have a ways to go. You can harvest, kill monsters, and play with the Krock Pot. I recommend this game for those who like turn-based games and animated cut scenes. The Amazon services were also pretty good, considering it had to go to Alaska. Thanks!
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on April 14, 2016
Favorite game! Someone stole my first copy of the game when I was almost finished with it. And it had a lot of time put into it so that was devastating. I was worried I wouldn't be able to replace it and found it here! I love how every time you think "It's the end of the game after this battle," there's more game to play! And it's more play time than read time even if you talk with EVERY NPC. There are silly names for monsters in the English, and if you like graphics that are both old and recent looking, though I guess it all looks old now, these are great. 360° maneuverable map and characters, tons of clothes and weapons, you can buy or make all of them. Tons of quest to work on when you're in a leveling slump, the plot to the story is amazing, and the soundtrack is hard to get bord of.
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on February 14, 2014
This is the first game I've played from the Dragon Quest series and I am in love. I can't believe I hadn't heard about this sooner! The combat is typical of a handheld JRPG- walk around, approach enemies, combat screen appears, fight them with your party. Win. Yay. But it's so much more than that. The game is reasonably difficult, and requires the grinding I have become so fond of from JRPGs. I even find myself following along with the plot! Imagine that. This game is highly impressive. I bought it on sale but would easily pay full price if necessary. Dragon Quest is definitely a series worth looking at.
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on December 6, 2013
There's so much to do and explore in this game, you can easily spend 200 hours playing it. Not bad for the ticket price. You start as an angel and lose your wings, then you traverse through the mortal world, helping the problems of various townspeople and city folk while solving 2 main plots--one that deals with a ruthless emperor trying to enslave the world, the other dealing with a fallen angel. Even after beating the game, you are allowed to continue playing in the form of finishing quests and exploring grottos. Exploring grottos is a game in itself. You are given a map to follow, which shows a piece of the world map. Once you find out where you have to go, you easily can find the grotto, enter it, and battle monsters until you get to the last level of the grotto and fight the boss monster. This usually results in you getting more maps. Rinse and repeat, you keep doing that until you get the map to a very rare grotto with monsters that yield more exp and drop better items.

The job system is very reminiscent of the Final Fantasy job system. Each character can change their job, and switch to more advanced job upon earning them through key quests in the game. Though the only way to get the most powerful character you could possible get is to level up each job to 99, as they yield skill points which can be used on whichever job you want and each job has certain skills you can earn that are passive no matter what job you currently make use of.

The graphics are some of the best I've seen on the DS, and makes me excited about what Square will be able to do on the 3DS.
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on September 14, 2012
I'm playing this game right now and it is very enjoyable. The world map is huge. There is a lot of exploring to be done. The story is pretty typical of the genre and the main quest is what you'd expect, but there is a lot of interesting content off the beaten path which makes this a great game. Here are some examples:

1) Quests - By talking to certain NPCs (or otherwise interacting with the environment) you can find quests that are separate from the central story line. Some of these are silly, most result in money or rare items. Some unlock additional vocations, which are useful for progress in the main storyline.

2) Alchemy - Certain items that you acquire can be alchemized together to create new, special items. Some items are dropped by specific enemies. Some are found in particular regions or natural phenomena. Old equipment can be alchemized into better equipment and super strength items can also be made. There is a nice 'Battle Records' system that tracks all of the monsters and items you encounter - where the monsters are found and which monsters drop which items. This is useful for gathering items for alchemy recipes.

3) Grottoes - You can acquire treasure maps throughout the game that show you the location of secret dungeons called grottoes. You have to use the treasure map to find the 'X' and then click on the location to reveal the dungeon. I've only unlocked one such dungeon and the boss is tough as hell.

4) Mini medals - These can be found in pots, barrels and treasure chests. As you collect them, you can redeem them for special items.

5) Restocked vessels - Blue treasure chests and pots can be 'restocked'. So you can return to an area you already visited, and those vessels will be replenished. A small feature but it gives you some incentive to revisit areas.

6) Secret skeleton keys - You can find skeleton keys in the game that allow you to unlock certain locked chests/doors.

The amount of customization you can do to your party, including creating your characters from scratch and assigning, changing and finding the best combination of vocations, is a cool feature. The only drawback is that since you create the characters, there isn't much story surrounding them. The story is really only relevant to the main character. Regardless, this is a top-notch game.
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on November 9, 2013
This is my favorite game of all time. I won't even mince words. I never posted a product review before, and I have to say, this game is simply worth it.

First off, it is a big nod to all the things I loved about RPG games ever since the good old Super Nintendo games. However, I found the main character to be a really interesting choice - without spoiling anything (as you find out literally with the opening of the game), it is an angel/celestial type being.

Fans of Dragon Quest will not be disappointed. Disenfranchised Final Fantasy fans that may be tired of the dog and pony show of what FF has become will find themselves enjoying this as well.

The game involves running and completing numerous quests, some of which are main storyline quests, others of which are side quests and additional quests. The storyline is interesting and whimsical, and does not become plodding or overly complicated. Some games nowadays will have plodding walls of text you scroll through as it unravels insanely intricate plot lines. That is not so with DQ9. Your game advances at a natural pace, and there aren't any lengthy, text-filled breaks in the gameplay.

Obviously, the game has the look of an early Playstation RPG, so those looking for games with all the bells and whistles of fancy, movie-like graphics might not like it. I was charmed by it, however, and preferred the game play experience tenfold over my game play experience with Final Fantasy 13.
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on March 11, 2013
I loved Dragon Quest 8 for the PS2, so when I was considering a new DS game, and I saw this title, I decided I needed to give it a try. Within minutes of starting to play, I was already entirely hooked. I've put in over 60 hours now and have just gotten to the main boss. Assuming it's like DQ8 (I believe it is), there is still more play after that.

This is the most comprehensive handheld RPG I've found. It has so many different side quests and the most customizable party possible. I love that you can customize both the hero and all the party members including how many you have and what their roles/jobs are. You can later change jobs of anyone, unlock new careers, and get side quests for each one. The leveling up is like DQ8, where skill points can be allocated. This systems makes this a very replayable game, moreso than most RPGs. The only negative point I have for play is that there is only one save file. I would love to have a second one so I could either play through again or lend the game to a friend without losing my file.

The monsters are amusing, and even repetitive fighting doesn't get boring. There are no random battles. All enemies are visible on the map. If you are at a high level, they try to run away from you. You can dodge practically all of them if you want or hang out near spawning points to battle and level up. There is an easy to access quick save, which is useful when you play for so long that your battery starts to die, which I did -- many times. The controls are great, very simple. It can be played entirely without a stylus if you prefer. (That's how I played.) You can also use the stylus if you want. Everything about the mechanics of the game are perfect. Like other DQ games, you save in churches, and if you die, it doesn't game over but instead takes half your money and puts you in a nearby town.

The graphics and sound are great. It has all the charm of other Dragon Quest games, but it has been appropriately proportioned for the DS. I love the style of the game over all. It's very charming. The only thing missing for me was voice acting, but I'm sure it would be tough to pull off in a handheld game like this.

The story is also charming. It's less intense then DQ 8 and a bit more "feel good." There are elements of death and sorrow and ghosts but nothing too depressing. It's a game I like to pick up any time, and I think I will play again when I finish, try all the different careers, and complete all the side quests. This is the one DS game I am always in the mood to play. I recommend it heartily to anyone who enjoys the old school turn-based RPGs. This is the best one for a handheld system.
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