Sunday, September 21, 2008

Dragon Quest IV DS Impressions

A little background info, here... Dragon Warrior III on the NES was my first RPG. While I'm not sure the NES mechanics have held up so great, the game still holds a soft spot in my heart. I even bought the Gameboy remake. So when Dragon Warrior IV came out, you'd think it was a sure thing for me, right? It might have been, had I not been a poor young boy who relied entirely on gift-giving holidays for new games. So when I got Dragon Warrior IV for Christmas, I actually manged to keep from opening it, ultimately returning it to the store so that I could get Megaman 5. For those of you who don't know me, I'm a HUGE Megaman fan, so I don't regret my choice, but I did wonder what I missed.

I suppose I could have played it on an emulator, but as I mentioned, the NES mechanics don't hold up so well. But now I'm finally getting my chance with Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen on the Nintendo DS. It's basically a remake Dragon Quest IV. Some things are still pretty old-school; I hate Dragon Quest's inventory management, there is ZERO touch screen function, and while the graphics are a huge step up from the NES, they're not really more than what you'd see on the SNES. I do suspect that it's easier on the DS than the NES, as grinding for loot and XP doesn't seem as much of a task, and bosses fall pretty easy when your level is high enough. It's still harder than most modern RPGs, especially when you're tossed alone into the world at level 1 and even a few slimes can take you out.

You might think that I'm not liking it, but it's actually the total opposite. I'm actually finding the game a little addicting. When I hit a town, I figure out what's the best weapons and armor are the best my party can have at that point, then I hunt monsters outside the town until I have enough money for ALL of it. And while that'd be enough to bore me into quitting any other JRPGs, I found myself in the kitchen grinding away even as I was cooking dinner.

If you didn't start playing RPGs until Final Fantasy VII, Dragon Quest IV might feel a little dated to you. But if you grew up playing them on the NES and SNES, you'll find a lot to like in Dragon Quest IV.

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