Let’s see, I’ve had Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies for a little over a week now, and I’m happy to report that — for me — it’s more than living up to all the expectations I had placed on it as a huge fan of the series, and as a big fan of Level 5’s work (who worked on one of my all-time favorites, Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King for the PS2). I’ve been hard pressed to put it down since unwrapping it last week and any time I can catch a few uninterrupted minutes of free time on a break or what not I try to fire it up.
As for where I am in the game for anyone that’s playing: I just reached Cap’n Max Meddlin’, “swashbucklin’, seafarin’ collector of only the miniest o’ medals” at Dourbridge and am leveling up in the fields and caves nearby before tackling the next boss. My party consists of the a minstrel (the silent hero) who I named Roto after the original DQ warrior, a green haired female warrior named Lyn, a blue haired female thief named Natasha, and a priest named T’ Challa. Most are hovering around Lv. 24 and I’m having an awful lot of fun upgrading their weapons and armor just as the creators knew we would.
Someone recently described the Dragon Quest series as something of a ‘game you play as a vacation from games’ and I have to agree wholeheartedly with that summation. The DQ games are always a return to fun, a joy to play and chock full of charm. With all the new features, it’s still a series that unapologetically revels in what has worked so well for it for over 20 years now and I couldn’t be happier.