follow us:

Latest News

Join the Thieves Guild in upcoming Elder Scrolls Online DLC
A new DLC pack for Elder Scrolls Online lets players join the iconic Thieves Guild. It's time to make the pockets across Tamriel a little lighter. ... [read more]
New trailer gives you a behind the scenes look at Unravel
With the release of Unravel, the indie 2D platformer with the adorable character made of yarn, in just a few weeks, EA unveiled a new trailer with more info about the gameplay. ... [read more]
Far Cry Primal story revealed in new trailer
A new video for FarCry Primal is available and shows what lies ahead for our hero, Takkar. Massive hunting grounds showcase the new wildlife and enemies that inhabit the ecosystem of Oros. It is up to you to defend your people from the enemy tribes and find your place in thi... [read more]

Latest Articles

Your safe space doesn't belong in my competitive game
Whether it’s trash talking or teabagging, some people are looking for a nicer online experience. Guess what? We’re not in elementary school anymore. This is digital dodgeball and players like me are aiming for your head. ... [read more]
Smite Preview: Hey look at me, I'm playing a MOBA on my console
There's no doubt that the top two MOBA games are DotA 2 and League of Legends, and with the control layout for those games, it's unlikely we'll see those games make the jump to the consoles. However, Smite, the third-person perspective MOBA game and arguably the third most p... [read more]
It doesn't matter how you get your Gjallarhorn
Destiny has seen its share of ups and downs. From the amazingly unbalanced Vex Mythoclast Fusion Rifle to its poor story, players have had plenty of reasons to trash the game. And now, the ultimate storm of garbage has landed. The Destiny community lost its mind when the Gja... [read more]

Latest Reviews

Undertale Review: An 8-bit RPG with a twist
Toby Fox first made himself known to the public with his ROM hack, “Press the B Button, Stupid!” for an Earthbound Halloween Pack back in 2008. With the help of artist Temmie Chang, he created a game that will take you back in time with its 8-bit look, music and turn-bas... [read more]
Batman: Arkham Knight Review: A fitting end for the Dark Knight
Rocksteady Studios did the unthinkable in 2009 by making a game based on a comic an actual GOTY contender. The follow-up, Arkham City, continued the pattern of quality and faithfulness to the comic making for another great game. To finish off the series, Rocksteady is back w... [read more]
Heroes of the Storm Review: The WoW of MOBAs is here
MOBAs are becoming more and more common as the competitive arena of choice. League of Legends and DotA changed the face of eSports by putting the new genre in the spotlight. Blizzard has entered the fray with their answer in the form of Heroes of the Storm.... [read more]

Latest Videos

Top 10 Hardest NES Games of All-Time
The NES was a console that had a huge library that had some of the most notoriously difficult games of all time. 8-Bit Eric counts down the Top 10 Hardest NES Games of All-Time. ... [read more]
8-Bit Eric Review: Yoshi's Woolly World
8-Bit Eric reviews the woolly adventure of Yoshi in Yoshi's Woolly World. ... [read more]
8-Bit Eric Review: Citizens of Earth Review (Wii U)
Remember Earthbound? Well, Citizens of Earth is like Earthbound, but not really. 8-Bit Eric explains why. ... [read more]
Dragon Quest IX - Sentinels of the Starry Skies Review
Posted on July 29, 2010 by Oscar Gonzalez




The latest entry in Enix’s long running RPG series, Skies is Dragon Quest through and through. The game begins with you in the role of a guardian of a small village, tasked to defend the people from evil and help them solve their problems. The purpose of you and fellow Celestrians is to gather spiritual essence from your worshippers in the form of benevolessence. This is offered to the World Tree in ever-greater quantities, as a means of your race reaching the next stage of evolution. It’s an intriguing way to begin a game, but the inevitable plot twist happens and the game takes on a whole new reality, both for the player and your character themselves. I liked this twist even though I saw it coming. Think about it, you’re a demigod at the beginning of the game and you can’t directly interact with anyone. How long do you think that could possibly last?

DQ9's graphics are typical of Japanese RPG’s, with well-drawn and expressive anime characters, highly reminiscent of the work of Akira Toriyama. Characters manage to retain their charm despite their stock character design and motivations. The character creation system allows you to select from both male and female with a good amount of variety for body types and other features. While this system allows you to create a different looking hero from anyone else, it won’t help their personality as a silent protagonist. And this isn’t the same kind as the ones in the Chrono series. The main character is a blank slate through and through and it doesn’t mesh well at all with the opening storyline elements. A disappointment.

Monsters are fairly typical in design as well, but it is in their styling’s that makes them memorable, be it the dancing of the cruelcumber or the crazy gleam in the eye of the Bodkin Archer. These foes may be among the archetypes of fantasy foes, but they are not without their charm.

I don’t care for the look of the worlds in DQ9. While competently designed, they are normal as normal can be, with dungeons, forests, villages, rivers, and so on that function exactly as can be expected, offering little surprises. It’s not quite dull, but it is generic and uninspired, further giving the feeling that DQ9 is really just going through the motions. It makes sure to have what is expected for the series and little else.



Koichi Suyigama arrives for the latest game in the series that he has composed music for since the series’ inception. Most of the music is well done but does little to stand out among RPG tunes. Some may say that Dragon Quest has a musical style all its own, and that I should give it a fair shake before judging it. This is true, and I will check out the rest of the games in the series, but I must tell you that for a composer of legendary stature, I wasn’t impressed by the Suyigama’s compositions for DQ9.

DQ9 is your standard RPG through and through. You talk to people, find items, go on quests, encounter enemies, earn experience, and level up. The leveling and gameplay system are old school to the core, with physical attacks, magic, and special attacks to give some variety to the very basic combat. You also earn skill points that can be invested in various job-like archetypes. As you invest more points, you unlock new abilities, ranging from powerful special attacks to bonus damage to weapons you wield, be it swords, whips, and more.

The game picks up as your party expands to fill your roster with up to 3 more humans or NPC’s. While combat and the skill system remain the same, the micromanaging that the player can engage in to make each character different (one party member a healer, one a mage and so on) does a lot to make the game more interesting. You might be doing the same stuff over and over again like in any RPG, but it is the ability to experience it in different ways each time that makes the trip worthwhile. Mileage can vary depending on how much the game can suck you into its world.

Depending on your enjoyment of playing through a DQ game will affect your desire to replay the game. As for me, I enjoy it about as much as another type of DQ’s so far which isn’t very much. There simply isn’t enough ways to play this game for me to want to pick it up again, except for maybe once in a great while.

Dragon Quest IX - Sentinels of the Starry Skies is the kind of game that is technically sound, but does little to stand out from the pack. I understand its fans like it this way, but the series’ lack of interesting differences from most RPG’s isn’t going to create a new fan out of me. Just because your series is one of the first in the genre is no excuse to not innovate. I don’t care what the fans expect; you shouldn’t unnecessarily prolong a series just because it has loyal followers. Series should persist because they have something interesting to offer video games, even to this day, years after they were first created.

- Ugly Bob

Send your comments to the author uglybob@original-gamer.com

Oscar Gonzalez - Editor-in-Chief og (@) original-gamer.com | all author's articles

What's your most anticipated game for February?

Project X Zone 2
Fire Emblem Fates
XCOM 2
Dying Light: The Following
Mighty No. 9
Unravel
Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2
Megadimension Neptunia VII
Firewatch
Far Cry Primal
View Results - View Comments

Podcast


Catching up with Koretzky


Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning Review

Dragon Quest IX Coming to the States

Get $15 Gift Card with Purchase of Dragon Quest IX from Toys R Us

Other Gaming News From The Web