E3 10: Hands-on with Dragon Quest IX

All this week I am going to be giving ridiculously quick hands-on impressions of all the games I see on the E3 show floor. Since I think everything is a little amazing, they will be rated, from least to most favorite: 1 (A Little Amazing!), 2 (Kind of Amazing!), 3 (Pretty Amazing!), 4 (AMAZING!), and 5 (The Most Amazing Thing I Have Ever Seen!).

The girl who worked in the Nintendo booth that showed me the demo of Dragon Quest IX has been playing the Japanese version of the already ridiculously successful RPG sequel for months and has logged more than 150 hours playing the game.

First off, THAT IS SO HOT! But, more importantly, after playing the demo and finally getting my hands on something I have been wanting to play for years, I can understand her obsession. Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Sky (what a mouthful!) is beautiful, charming, addictive, and exactly what a Dragon Quest game should feel like.

If you are a fan of the series you probably already know what the game offers. For the first time ever, Dragon Quest IX has no random battles. You can see each and every enemy wandering around the map, which is a very welcome change. Unfortunately, being an E3 demo, the much lauded multiplayer was not demoed in my playtime. But, according to the lovely Nintendo rep, it sounds incredible. Instead of making the game focus entirely on multiplayer, Dragon Quest IX remains primarily a single-player game (thank GOD!), with friends able to jump in and out at any time to help you fight through the numerous battles. Also, connecting with friends over the DS Wi-fi will allow you to trade and obtain treasure maps, which help you find rare items and weapons.

Basically, Dragon Quest IX seems to be a pretty perfect package. And as colorful and pretty I thought Golden Sun: Dark Dawn looked, DQIX‘s 3D visuals blow it out of the water. As a super fan of the series, there is no way I won’t be picking this game up the minute it comes out. I am going to give the Nintendo rep a run for her money …

Rating: 5 out of 5 (The Most Amazing Thing I Have Ever Seen!)

Chad Concelmo