Dragon Quest IV

By David Rasmussen, 7th Mar 09
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What can I say? It's been a mixed bag for the Dragon Quest series with me. I want to play DQVII for the PS2, yes I do. But I was disappointed to hear what a downer Draqon Quest for the Wii was. I want to play (now) Dragon Quest Monsters for the Game Boy Advance… Because I played the DS version I had fun playing it. So what's on my plate now with Dragon Quest? Why the first chapter of a three game trilogy reliving the past prior to DQVII (PS2) with Dragon Quest IV (this review), V and VI.

Ah, old school RPGing. The DS & PSP do so excel in bringing back classics (or games that draw heavily upon the classics, Popolocrois for the PSP for instance) in RPG gaming. The end of 2008 saw a few good games of this caliber. Besides this game there was Chrono Trigger DS, Disgaea DS, Final Fantasy IV (only two more to go since it looks like Sony has the right to all things Final Fantasy VII) for starters. All of which, BTW, are on my plate for review (sometime down the line I do plan to review them all, just you wait and see). But I digress, we're here to talk about this game aren't we.

Standard end of the world yarn. You (either male or female) lose your entire village and end up on a quest to save the world from darkness… after about 20 or so hours. The first 20 hours of the game gather the people who will join forces with you and help

you go out and save the world. And what a colorful cast we have! We have the prestigious army captain who is not afraid of any monsters (or of wearing dayglo pink armor throughout the kingdom), an adventurous (tomboy) princess and her two "keepers" (who try to keep her out of trouble), a humble merchant (with a smokin' hot wife and young child)…

Ah, briefly on this! This level brings to life the daily grind of a weapons store merchant, and the daily chore of selling new and buying used… you can actually buy all your gear and stuff you need for your trip without leaving the village once by working your day job daily until you bought every piece of armor, weapon and item you need… really! Anyway if you ever wanted to know what the daily life of a weapons merchant in an RPG is like… well, here you go. Now you know.

Then there's the twin sisters (one's a dancer, the other is a fortune teller though she doesn't do very much of that during the game), and then… after you played through all their scenarios and did EVERYTHING there is to do with them… then, only then, about 20 or so hours into the game, will you all finally meet and begin to adventure together.

Then, about 25-30 hours into the game, you meet a man who builds his own village, and opens up his new village for you to populate (and thus opens the game's online function as you can link with other DS owners (not sure if you have to be

owning this game or not, probably so) and swap villagers (custom made villager for moving into villages) over wireless, as well as within the game itself as villagers tell you where you can find people in the world to recruit).

So far I have clocked in over 40 hours of gameplay and there's more yet to come. I am betting (though it might just be me) I bet I can squeeze about 60 or so hours of gameplay… but then again it might be more, who can say. That is quite abit of gameplay to be sure, and add to that the fact this is a solid well done classic RPG all about with a colorful world to explore, monsters to fight, quests and sub quests to take on, and the ever driving main story piting you on a quest to save the world… what is there not to love about this classic game DS-ized.

The game, however, does seem to suffer from some flaws which I wished wasn't there. For instance the game seems to have a dreadful obsession with making everyone speak in tongues (accents) as if they were from rather familiar foreign lands. Bad French, Irish or Scottish and Russian highlight the bad vocal tuning of several countries of the world (each supposedly set apart by the funny way the people in the game speak). Speaking of speak, by the way, I heard this game originally had an ability for you to talk to your allies as you traveled, a function now missing in this new version (though the "Talk" button is still

on the menu screen as if people didn't think to remove it before unleashing this game on the world). Oh, and the dialogue at times is misspelled (and I don't mean misspelled because of a bad accent misspelled).

Also I heard this game's original version is supposed to be harder than this… oh, no, no, no, no, I really don't miss that sort of redress of the game's mechanics, thanks. I really do like it when it's manageable (the gameplay). Really? I am going to say we might log in 60 or so hours of gameplay into this one and it might still be too easy? Are you serious?!? At times I'm firing on all cylinders trying to think my way out of some of the problems this game's put before me that I needed tp pass! So go on, tell me again how easy this one is.

Oh, look! The monsters from Demisters : Joker are in this game as well… figures since Monsters is about taming and controlling the "wild things" as it were, so that'd make sense since this one is chock full of monsters. Otherwise standard RPG, standard adventure brought back to life as good as it can be… sure, it could be less "quirky" in some places but overall if you are looking for a good old fashioned RPG beat you down with this game I couldn't recommend better. So until next time (when I hope to be reviewing Chrono Trigger DS) I'm giving Dragon Quest IV a similarly numbered score of 4, 4, 4, 4 out of 5! Enjoy!

By David Rasmussen, 7th Mar 09

Dragon Quest IV

Dragon Quest IV game review

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