DRAGON QUEST IX
RELEASE DATE (JAPAN):
July 11th, 2009
RELEASE DATE (US): JULY 11th, 2010
one year to the day, what a coincidence! GO BUY IT RIGHT NOW! DRIVE ALL NIGHT IF YOU HAVE TO!
RELEASE DATE (EU):
No one cares (A few weeks.
WHAT'S SO SPECIAL ABOUT DQ IX?
It's Dragon Quest. The best Selling PSX game in Japan is Dragon Quest VII. The best selling PS2 game in Japan? DQ VIII. The best selling game in the series? Dragon Quest NINE. That's not the only thing unique about the game. It's the first main line DQ game to be on a handheld in its first release. It is the first multiplayer game in the series. It is the first game without random encounters (for the most part) all enemies are on screen ala Chrono Trigger/Cross. That being said, a lot of the game will be familar and loved by fans of Dragon Quest in the west, all ten of them. Turn based first person viewpoint. Classic spells, enemies, bad puns, classes, and even some interesting equipment cameos. Even the job system and character recruitment are more or less amalgamated from DQ III, VI/VII, and VIII.
Watch the videos here, including the creepy Seth Green Commercials!
40 Hour Main Game: Classic heart warming DQ storyline. Guaranteed to charm your pants off.
Dedicated Quest System: Inspired by games such as Oblivion and Diablo II (Seriously) the Quests in this game will keep you coming back for months or years after. Quests are obtained from NPCs, from real life friends, and from the Online Store. No real cash involved, just hop online and download. Unlike certain sale items though Quest Maps never become unavailable if they are on the online store. Maps from friends/randoms strangers though? Randomly generated holes in the ground filled with loot and monsters, sometimes unique loot and monsters.
Make Your Character(s): You pick the name and appearance of your main hero. When you unlock Patty's Pub you can then recruit more members which you also create. Name, Sex, Face, Hair, Body, Class. See the video link posted above for more details. It's fairly in depth for a DS character creator. Later on in the game you can change the class of your characters, so feel free to experiment.
1-4 Players: You can play almost the entire game besides the very beginning of the game with up to 4 players locally. Only the host can open certain chests and complete important story quests, but people who import characters can gain levels, equipment, gold, whatever. You don't even have to hang out with your fellow players, you can go do whatever you want. If you are near a player when they engage in combat you can join in, and the host can summon you if he or she needs help. Speaking about Loot:
ARMOR and WEAPONS ARE DISPLAYED ON YOUR CHARACTERS AT ALL TIMES: Change your sword, it shows up on your avatar. Change your headband, armor, legs, shield, boots. Real time character change, the future is now. There are 8 slots for equipment instead of the usual five.
I ONLY PLAYED DQ I, II, IV, V, OR VIII? PLEASE TELL ME MORE ABOUT THIS CLASS SYSTEM?
Well, its pretty simple. You pick a class to start out with between warrior, priest, mage, minstrel, martial artist and thief ala DQ III! In fact the exact same beginning choices in the SFC/GBC version if you trade goof off for the superior minstrel! Classes can be changed by visiting the [strike]Dharma Temple[/strike] ALLTRADES ABBEY later on, also much like DQ III. However they merged this with the multi skill system from DQ VIII, where each level you are given a set number of points into one of the skills (Warrior has sword, spear, dagger, shield and courage.
) It should be fairly intuitive when you start playing it.
BEHOLD, CLASS PICTURES!
Behold Your Starting Classes!
WARRIOR: Meat Shields No Cast Good! Smash with Weapon! Heal Stick Heal Us Good or We Smash! Lady Warriors Expose Much Skin to Lure Enemies In!
CLASS SKILLS: Sword, Spear, Knife, Shield, Bravery
MAGE: Cast offensive and some buff spells. Usually have weak weapons that add to MP pools or casting stats, or give free casts of lower level spells. Standard glass cannons.
CLASS SKILLS: Wand, Knife, Whip, Shield, Magic
PRIEST: Heals, buffs, more heals, an elemental spell, heals, resurrections, heals. You've played a healstick before, you know what is going on here.
CLASS SKILLS: Spear, Wand, Staff, Shield, Faith
MARTIAL ARTIST: The path of the true martial artist. Goofy theme weapons, unarmed strikes. Super Power ups through tension. Critical Hits. Sometimes takes a ton of damage though due to gimmicky armor. Snickt, Snickt Bub.
CLASS SKILLS: Claw, Staff, Fan, Fisticuffs, Battle Spirit
THIEF: Dashing rogue/roguettes. Quick on their feet, deft with their fingers. Use lighter weapons, lightning quick strikes.
CLASS SKILLS: Knife, Sword, Claw, Fisticuffs, Thievery
MINSTREL: Entertainers, Goof-offs. Dancers. Bards. They have a long and storied history with RPGs. Usually interesting characters in DQ games with what one would consider eclectic at best. At least you don't need to be one to become a Sage anymore. Oh and they aren't useless anymore!
CLASS SKILLS: Sword, Whip, Fan, Shield, Acrobatics
HOW DO CLASSES WORK?
When you make a character you pick a class. As you level you gain skill points you can put into one of 5 skills. Sometimes you also gain spells which are seperate from skills and are only available when you are a member of that class. After a certain point in the game you gain access to Alltrades Abbey, where the Jack of Alltrades will allow you to change your class. You start at level one in the new class but retain any levels gained in the previous class. So a level 5 Mage who becomes a Cleric will be level 1 again, but if he goes back to Mage at a later time he/she will be level 5 again.
Each Class has 5 skills. As you level, you put points into said skill trees. If you reach a certain level you learn either new skills (attack everyone, cast something, you know the idea) or a passive buff (+ to MP, + to attack power with that weapon) If you reach 100 with a weapon skill you can use that weapon with any class. Any overlapping skills between classes you keep the points in. A level 10 thief with swords 15 turns into a Warrior, he still has swords 15. Reaching 100 in any skill also allows you to do a quest that gives you an ultra power for said skill.
Beast Master, Paladin, Magic Knight, Ranger.
Sage and Superstar. Latter one is available only after beating the game. All advanced jobs are earned via quests.
I HEARD THIS WAS A 4 PLAYER ACTION RPG?
It was, but they changed that almost two years ago. It still seems to have some sort of local co-op, a series first. Probably will do something similar to FF:CC in which you can move your character temporarily to someone elses game and go questing with them. Speaking about Quests this game has quite a few of optional quests to pad out the story, a series first. Also confirmed that there are downloadable quests for people who can't get enough.
SOUNDS GREAT, WHEN IS IT COMING OUT IN ENGLISH/OTHER LESS AWESOME NON JAPANESE LANGUAGES?
Out right now...if you can find someone to sell it that's open 24/7. 10 more hours east coast, 13 west, maybe earlier. GO BUY IT.