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Author Topic: Dragon Quest IX  (Read 24248 times)
Hathen
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« Reply #30 on: July 19, 2010, 12:27:17 AM »

dated, repetitive, and boring

That's funny, that's the exact words I'd use to describe this game.

Rant time folks! I got a little farther in the game so I thought I'd share some of my thoughts as someone who's not a fan of the series in any capacity. If you come to this series specifically FOR the old-school aspects of it, you can probably skip over this post or simply take it as some ignorant hate speech, but here goes.

I've just reached the point where you are allowed more free movement around the map (Got a boat and went to the northeast of the map where's there's a school of some sort), and the biggest annoyance for me is that I now pretty much HAVE to grind in order to go any further. Otherwise, even fighting a normal battle ends up sucking dry a lot of my MP or items. The fact that I can't get a decent amount of equipment (I can get maybe 2, 3 pieces of armor each time a reach a new town....considering how there's something like 8 slots on each character for four characters and there are new pieces of equipment every single town, I'm actually still wearing some of the gear I started the game with) without spending absurd amount of time just killing enemies is something I find really irritating.

I'll give some positives for the game first.
- I actually like the graphics a lot more than games like FF3 and 4, it might be because of Toriyama's artwork just working better with the DS 3D look.
- I like the cheesy and sometimes dry sense of humor the game has. Don't like the random Ganguro fairy though, seems really out of place.
- The story is simple, but not in any way insufferable.

Now here's my nitpicks:
- This is complaint I have about a lot of NDS games actually, but why is there no "turn off animations" control? Considering how DQ used to involve a bunch of boxes fighting still picture of monsters, it'd be nice to have a option to just play that way instead, since I really don't care how nice your animation is if I have to fight 20 battles in every dungeon. Also, there doesn't appear to be any options for increasing text speed, even though there's no voice acting whatsoever in the game.
- Every time I try to escape from combat, it takes something like 5 tries. Why? Honestly, running away should just be 100% except maybe for bosses, because preventing you from running serve no purpose other than to irritate the player. If I'm really having a hard time in a dungeon I'd just use a griffon wing or whatever or teleport to a nearby town. Maybe this wouldn't be nearly as annoying if not for the fact that the game apparently takes your chances of escape off the lowest level member of your party.
- Mentioned before, but class selection should be available from the start. I don't give a shit if I can make other party members in whatever class I want (Which also doesn't happen till a good 2 or 3 hours into the game), there's really no reason that I can't at least choose the class I want at the start- I'm not even talking about class changing, just choosing the starting class.
- The quests are fucking stupid. The quests I've done so far include landing killing blows on 2 metal slimes with a character under the effect of a special buff effect, which is far more annoying than it needs to be. All that just to unlock a class? I wouldn't mind so much if the quest was actually fun, but it's more a test of patience than anything else. Actually, maybe I wouldn't mind so much if I wasn't spending half the time getting chased and failing to run away 16 times from enemies 10 levels below me I didn't feel like fighting.
- The class balance sucks. Mages are worthless, at least in a normal beat-the-game playthrough. While having staves drain MP does help it along a bit, I find that having any sort of melee classes around will just make things more convenient overall. Which leads to my next point.
- Combat is boring. This is probably my biggest complaint. After playing other RPGs with combat that offers things other than spamming attack and cures, such as Grandia or Golden Sun, making a combat system this simplistic feels lazy to me. Status magic has a hard time sticking on to even normal enemies- why bother casting it at all (Of course there's a quest that requires me to kill monsters under the effect, so I guess it'd be too easy if it just stuck 100% of the time on a normal enemy right?)? Raising tension is a waste of time when I could've just spend said time attacking. Coup de Graces seem to just come randomly so there's no way to strategize around their use.

Lots of other little things in the game are irritating me as well. This game is sitting at a C- for me right now, as it doesn't do anything terribly wrong, but its many small flaws along with design straight from 15 years ago makes the game very boring. Furthermore, this game has the same problem Children of Mana has- it's absolutely begging for online play, so why the hell is it not there? This game is just an offline MMORPG, except with none of the class balance or interesting world to explore.
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PaleRobbie
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« Reply #31 on: July 19, 2010, 01:00:29 AM »

I agree with many of your points, Hathen, though I did still enjoy the game.  I beat the last boss this afternoon, and I doubt if I'll ever go back to DQ9.

The way I see it, an RPG has to have at least one of the following three things to keep me interested:

-A great narrative/characters
-Rewarding character progression
-Fun battles.

Now Persona 4 is probably one of my favorite JRPGs in recent years, and it nails all three of these criteria IMO.  DQ8 had the strong characters to keep me going through the game.  But 9, on the other hand, just started to bore me to tears because it lacked anything listed above.  The last three hours or four hours with the game felt more like work than anything else. 

There's also a lot of little things that annoy me about DQ9.  The crazy difficulty spikes during treasure hunts about sent my DS across the room (gotta love stomping every random encounter in the game and then getting demolished by a boss in two turns), and the last few dungeons pile on the cheese by giving the enemies critical strikes that can outright kill a party member in one shot.  I love the elimination of the random battles, but having to use the awkward menu system to heal on the field and then getting sucked into another battle right away is just obnoxious.  I liked DQ9, but I would have preferred something more in line with DQ8.  But hey, this game made a metric shit-ton of money for Sqaure-Enix in Japan, so good for them!

I must admit I"m missing out on the multiplayer, which is supposed to be a huge draw of DQ9. 
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Raze
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« Reply #32 on: July 19, 2010, 01:55:13 AM »

Calling it a solo mmo is spot on, but it's working for me so far. I like the crafting, the scavenging that goes with it and getting results from it that I can see, both numerically and 'My hat is stylin'.' The steal rate is only about 20% which can put a wrench in alchemy plants for some, but I knew about it before hand and started with two thieves.

Just hit the abby.

After a quick stop on thief and using my minstrel points to get a 3rd steal and some nice speed passives went mage on my main to be different.

My warrior went gladiator. And once the other guys catch up to my old levels and he won't be a exp hog I'm going right back to warrior. I need my spear and the option to trade a little power for a lot of speed when appropriate with mercurial thrust.

Thief one went monk. No complaints, just need to decide if I'm going staff or fan. Claws look like the better weapon so just going on style here.

I don't know what the hell to do with thief 2. Don't want to make a priest until the game outright forces me too. Went minstrel just because I need someone to heal. When levels catch up I'll see if it or thief has more mp and roll accordingly. When can I unlock ranger? It looks like both a blatant thief upgrade and the best healer after priest/sage.

Edit-Armamentalist quest was bullshit though, and that's even with me getting lucky killing the first one early before the pain started. Gladiator quest too(Though that could have been remedied if I had someone to sleep the slime or something). And you get both quests at the same time. Whoever is responsible for that needs slapped.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2010, 02:20:59 AM by Raze » Logged
Eusis
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« Reply #33 on: July 19, 2010, 03:21:02 AM »

Eh. Some of the quests are annoying, but I think most of them are also trying to tell you how to play in a different way, IE the Spear quest at the level 30 skill level, which requires
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killing Metal Medleys with an instant kill attack, which serves to show that such attacks ARE viable for farming metal slime enemies.

Unfortunately, the Armamentalist quest isn't really that, since I don't see how wizard ward is of much use for that. I guess the point is to get someone who can manage to do in the metal slime with combat abilities but has some training in being a mage, but I just threw 8 spare points onto mage to learn it then took them down normally.

I'll save full impressions for when I beat the game (if I DO post them) but I'm disappointed at how useless status ailments are compared to prior DQs. My AI would liberally throw them around in them because they reliably worked, but here it's not that often, and usually my attempts don't work out. Bosses ARE still susceptible to debuffs though, and part of the problem with status ailments being relatively useless is that you simply don't fight the large groups of enemies that would require it like in earlier titles.
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daschrier
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« Reply #34 on: July 21, 2010, 09:58:04 AM »

About 10 hours in
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Got back to the observatory for the first time

Game is fun, but it's missing something that keeps me wanting to play. Maybe it's the faster pace and lack of challenge. Even dungeons, while in DQ games aren't particularly long, in this game they have been pathetically easy and short.
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Fei
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« Reply #35 on: July 22, 2010, 12:15:11 AM »

Honestly, I hated the DQ series, found them dated, repetitive, and boring. The only DQ games that I've played and never finished were DQVII, DQVIII, DQII and I for the GB and DQV.

Buuut... After playing DQIX, I'm now looking forward to DQX... But I don't have a Wii so I'll be looking forward to Ninokuni, which is the closest thing to DQ. :P

Also, will be playing DQV after DQIX.

I'm glad to hear this, because I feel the same as you. I finished DQV and VIII and while in some part of them I did enjoy them, in at least the other half I thought it was a drag. I've said to myself that DQIX may be my last take on the Dragon Quest series but seeing that you feel like me towards the series and yet you're liking IX seems like a light of hope to me.
I'm yet to start it, as I'm alternating between Resonance of Fate and Dragon Age.

These posts and Seth Green have put DQIX on my wishlist.  I am assuming that having a dedicated partner to group with (multiplayer style) will make the game easier... believe it or not, difficulty was my main problem with DQVIII... I've gotten farther in Megaten games than I did in DQVIII, but I will play through it one day.  I respect its polish.
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Adapheon
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« Reply #36 on: July 22, 2010, 06:17:25 PM »

I've put about 20 hours into it so far and I'm loving it. I am finding the game kind of easy but I tend to metal slime grind a lot when I find new kinds so I'm probably several levels above where I'm supposed to be. I like the treasure hunting too, it's a fun diversion and one that I'll explore a bit more after I get bored of the main quest.The Alchemy system is not bad at all and it's not too much of a chore to go back and grab the items from the map if you need them although at first I wasn't really paying attention to the areas so I missed where I could get iron ore and lava lumps for a bit. Now that I am aware of that a bit more I'm having a good time exploring each new area I arrive in.

I'd do more online stuff like the DQVC but my router has actual protection on it and well the ds does suck at being useful there, I halfway want to buy a new one just so I can get on my router but I'll be waiting for the 3ds so I can do that. I'll just stick with changing my router every now and then.
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Raze
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« Reply #37 on: July 22, 2010, 11:59:57 PM »

Quote
I am finding the game kind of easy but I tend to metal slime grind a lot when I find new kinds so I'm probably several levels above where I'm supposed to be.

A nice trick is you can just power yourself down(Yet still build yourself up longterm raking in skillpoints) by changing everyone's job and moving on with the story at a lower level. I was feeling overleveled today so I went from a 27 group to a 17 group. Was still pretty strong offensively, weapons and skill bonuses being more a factor than the 10 level strength difference, but not as sturdy/fast and was pretty satisfied with it.
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Darilon
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« Reply #38 on: July 23, 2010, 05:53:59 PM »

Just finished the game today. The first two thirds really reminded me of Dragon Quest VII. I really enjoyed it although
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if you have a name and look different from generic NPC's you have a 75% chance of dying.

As Dragon Quest IV was the last Dragon Quest I played I kind of missed the accents. They were there just not as much. Still it did have a lot of puns.
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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #39 on: July 23, 2010, 10:44:33 PM »

Quote
- This is complaint I have about a lot of NDS games actually, but why is there no "turn off animations" control? Considering how DQ used to involve a bunch of boxes fighting still picture of monsters, it'd be nice to have a option to just play that way instead, since I really don't care how nice your animation is if I have to fight 20 battles in every dungeon. Also, there doesn't appear to be any options for increasing text speed, even though there's no voice acting whatsoever in the game.

Hi this is why I like DQ5 more than 8. The attack animations in DQ5 are short as hell. They are still short in DQ8 compared to a lot of RPGs but not short enough.

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This is probably my biggest complaint. After playing other RPGs with combat that offers things other than spamming attack and cures, such as Grandia or Golden Sun

Grandia breaks down into a pretty simple pattern from what I saw. At least, Grandia 2 did. You either spam crits or combos based on who's first in combat from what I saw and it got pretty boring since the pattern never varied.

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Status magic has a hard time sticking on to even normal enemies- why bother casting it at all

Status magic was actually really useful from 5 onwards and led to the battles being pretty strategic. It's bizarre they changed that in 9.

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Raising tension

Also bugged me in DQ8.

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As Dragon Quest IV was the last Dragon Quest I played I kind of missed the accents.

The accents were fucking horrible what is wrong with you.

Partially I just have a vendetta against anything involving the Zamoskva guys because I fucking majored in Russian and Russians whose second language is English do not talk like that at all and I honestly found it borderline offensive.
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Darilon
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« Reply #40 on: July 24, 2010, 10:24:15 AM »


The accents were fucking horrible what is wrong with you.

Partially I just have a vendetta against anything involving the Zamoskva guys because I fucking majored in Russian and Russians whose second language is English do not talk like that at all and I honestly found it borderline offensive.

It is all a matter of opinion if you liked them or not. I liked them, I did not say they were great for everyone.

I think they did it like that more to let us know they were Russian. I agree that normal English speaking Russians sound nothing like that but not everyone would know that they were Russian in DQ just from the word Tsar. It is similar to how the Scottish say Ach in every sentence and the Irish say every cliche barring Top o the mornin to ya. I saw it all as some fun, not that it was offensive.
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jalexbrown
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« Reply #41 on: July 24, 2010, 02:46:09 PM »

I bought it, but I haven't started it yet.  I don't care if the game is built primarily for multiplayer as long as it's not nearly impossible (see Peace Walker) to beat solo.
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daschrier
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« Reply #42 on: July 24, 2010, 02:58:08 PM »

I bought it, but I haven't started it yet.  I don't care if the game is built primarily for multiplayer as long as it's not nearly impossible (see Peace Walker) to beat solo.

Opposite really... game is pretty easy in single player, although there are plenty of ways to make the game harder, create fewer characters, use basic classes etc.
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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #43 on: July 24, 2010, 02:59:20 PM »

The scottish dudes in DQ4 actually spoke a somewhat accurate version of Scots, although it obviously had a lot of English mixed in for the sake of making sense. And they inserted apostrophes into places where there were 'dropped' consonants even though those consonants are just not there in Scots.
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jalexbrown
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« Reply #44 on: July 24, 2010, 03:24:04 PM »

I bought it, but I haven't started it yet.  I don't care if the game is built primarily for multiplayer as long as it's not nearly impossible (see Peace Walker) to beat solo.

Opposite really... game is pretty easy in single player, although there are plenty of ways to make the game harder, create fewer characters, use basic classes etc.
Oh, well I can deal with easy most of the time.  In fact it would probably seem a somewhat pleasant change for Dragon Quest.
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