Dragon Quest IX screens, impressions and US/UK release date

Latest chapter in the mega-franchise arrives July 11. More EVERYTHING inside

Anyone remember Nintendogs? How about its quirky Bark Mode? The concept returns in DQIX, where your closed but operational DS will send out a signal (reaching about 50 feet) to any other DS in the area with Tag Mode activated and swap profile information like hours played, percentage complete and pictures of your custom fighter. Doesn’t really affect gameplay, though if you perhaps saw someone with a really cool shield or a body made of DQ slimes, that might spur you to play a bit further.

Above: Not an image of Tag Mode


Closing thoughts

JRPGs, Dragon Quest in particular, are usually solo affairs. The idea that you can opt to play through the entire thing with a friend, pieces at a time, could be the gimmick the series needs to gain real traction in the US. What’s more, the US and UK versions will be compatible with each other for the multiplayer, though it’s all still local – no global Wi-Fi Connection team-ups just yet.

The opening cinema was downright beautiful, with a visual style right in between the already lovely Dragon Quest VIII and the impressive movies from PSP’sFinal Fantasy Tactics remake. Just wanted to share my affection for it.

With 120 optional sidequests, 180 monsters and other impressive numbers attached to standard features, DQIX will undoubtedly offer dozens of hours of RPG bliss for the initiated. But will the unconverted give it a chance? We’ll know shortly after July 11 (or July 23 in Europe).

Plenty more screens are just a click away.

May 19, 2010

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