Dragon Quest IX Hands-On Impression

Though it’s only been out for a short time in Japan, Dragon Quest IX has already managed to sell over 3 million copies. Dragon Quest IX for the DS is the latest entry into the series and while still keeping faithful to the classic game, it has taken quite a bit from Dragon Quest VIII and even managed to bring in a few new flavors of its own. We got a chance to try out a bit of it and wanted to share some thoughts in this hands on preview.

Coming off the success of Dragon Quest VIII on PS2, Dragon Quest IX has some big shoes to fill. The game is now on DS, which at first might make you think it will take a hit in graphics. Surprisingly, it doesn’t. While the DS isn’t a graphics powerhouse, Square-Enix was able to keep the cell shaded style used in the last game.

The first thing you’ll do is choose a character. You can either be a boy or a girl and what’s better, you can customize the look of your avatar by changing the hairstyles and eye colors. I won’t get too deep into the story, but basically you are on a quest to make it to the land of the gods. Along the way you will meet different characters whom you must help in order to make it to your destination.

The battle system remains pretty much untouched. It’s still turn based, and  anyone who’s familiar with the Dragon Quest series will feel right at home. That being said, you do still get a tutorial, so newcomers won’t have any trouble picking this up and jumping right into it.

This is the first Dragon Quest game on the DS to take advantage of the touch screen. Unlike the other titles, which admiteddy were remakes of past games, this game allows for movement and menu selections to be done via the touch screen. While this may not be much of a big deal for some, it is a nice feature, especially during times when precise movements are needed.

Overall, this game is very well done. It’s taken the best from all the past games and looks to even possibly surpass Dragon Quest VIII. We’ll keep you posted on more news as it comes in.