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Topic: Dragon Quest 9: Sentinels of the Starry Skies

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JohnDoe123

461. Posted:

@sykotek Thank youvery much. I'll try these tips out ASAP and tell you how it goes.

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pixelman

462. Posted:

Just checking in to say I beat this game a few days ago. Took me roughly 56 hours over 5 months. I still say it's terribly repetitive, the story sucked, and the battle animations are too lengthy, but I did have enough fun to play it through all the way. :3

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SwerdMurd

463. Posted:

pixelman wrote:

Just checking in to say I beat this game a few days ago. Took me roughly 56 hours over 5 months. I still say it's terribly repetitive, the story sucked, and the battle animations are too lengthy, but I did have enough fun to play it through all the way. :3

I'd steer clear of RPGs in general. Battle animations were about as efficient as they could be, the story was actually pretty decent, and unless you mash fight, it actually has a pretty involved battle system as far as turn-based DQ goes. Lots of options on how to take on fights, almost every fight is avoidable, and given all the various quests you're given a lot of incentive to fight battles with strange tactics. Personally I spent close to 70 before I beat the storyline, changing classes 3-4 times per character, and it remains the best turn-based RPG i've ever played. I just couldn't get bored--between running the world map/finding items, metal slime-grinding, synthesis, storyline, quests--I didn't put this game down for 2 straight weeks.

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pixelman

464. Posted:

I actually love RPGs. I'm blasting through Final Fantasy 4 right now and loving every second of it. I beat Chrono Trigger awhile back and it was equally awesome. I'm also a big fan of the Mario RPGs.

My problem with DQ9 is that it's not exciting (and so effing grindy). I logged most of my hours while I was sitting on the couch watching a movie or a show or something. You don't have to pay much attention to the battles; Attack | Item>Magma Staff | Attack | Abilities>Hard Claw. Spam whatever sequence you've become comfortable with until someone gets low on health, heal 'em with your healer, rinse, repeat. Boss battles were more difficult and fun, but only because said bosses dealt more damage than your normal encounter.

Another problem is that you can evacuate dungeons and zoom back to a town whenever you want to. There's never danger of death in the field. Ran out of MP? Okay, zoom back to the inn, heal up, save, run back and finish the dungeon while easily avoiding enemy encounters. You don't HAVE to do that, but the fact that it's possible takes away the feeling of "am I going to survive the next battle??? I better conserve my MP and items since I don't know if there's a save point or a boss ahead."

My last big issue is that equipment is outrageously priced and finding the items to alchemize them is such a bore. You pretty much have to use an alchemy guide if you don't want to waste dozens of hours searching for recipes and ingredients.

All of this is the exact opposite in FF4 and CT. The ATB system makes battles much more intense since you're anxiously waiting for someone's action bar to refill and then plug in their commands as quickly as possible. The refill speed of each character's action bar mixes up the order in which party members move, so you're constantly changing your strategy during battle. Also, when you're in a dungeon, you're IN IT. You can evacuate in a crisis, yes, but it's not as easy as it is in DQ9, and getting back to where you were is almost as challenging as it was the first time through. It's more intense, you feel the danger more, and it requires you to be cautious with your resources.

So yeah, in short I thought DQ9 was much too grindy and far too easy. FF4 and CT are much better games IMO. :3

Edit: Oh yeah, and the story was awful. Even if you don't compare it to anything, it's still awful. :P

Edited on by pixelman

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CanisWolfred

465. Posted:

The more I hear about this game, the further my motivation to play it drops.

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sykotek

466. Posted:

@pixelman: I've been playing RPGs since the NES days. I agree that DQIX is a game in which you need to grind, but as far as I can remember, so was FFII on the SNES and that was the easy version of FFIV.

As for mindless battles, FF and CT were just as guilty in the "not having to pay attention, I'll just push this one button repeatedly to attack my enemies" department with the exceptions also being the boss battles.

What you mention about the world map is true, there is no worry of death on the world map as long as you're appropriately leveled, but the same can be said in games like FF. In DQIX, in order to restore your party's health completely and in a cost effective manner or save, you need to Zoom back to the nearest town and in FF, you can simply drop a tent and save on the world map, with all things equal, I can argue that FF is far easier in that aspect.

There are spells to escape dungeons in FF as well, so that comparison against DQIX is moot. If you aren't worried about dying, you really haven't faced the real challenges the game has in store for you.

The equipment is expensive, and you'll receive no argument from me there, but I find it difficult to comprehend how exactly it would make the game better if they just gave equipment to you? It's my personal preference, but I like not having stronger equipment simply handed to me in games, it is nice to earn it and in this game, you definitely have to work towards receiving stronger equipment. Also, I personally haven't needed to use an "alchemy guide" for better equipment either as I haven't really alchemized more than 10-15 different items. The items I did need to alchemize, I've needed for quests or I've used alchemy to make money to buy up items I've previously sold for my in game collecting purposes.

The game style isn't ATB, and really, ATB makes no difference on lower level enemies anyways, but it makes all the difference against high level grotto bosses, there is strategy involved in fighting against them that you most likely haven't experienced yet in the game and its not something you should rush through unless you wish to die and lose a large sum of your money often.

The story might be awful to you since you haven't actually beat the entire game yet. Half of the story is developed in the bonus quests and since they haven't all been unlocked yet, you couldn't possibly pass judgment on the full story...unless you were cheating or playing the Japanese version or reading someone else's summary of it without playing it yourself.

I'm not trying to convince you that DQIX is a good game or that you should go back and invest more time into it. I just wanted to point out that you're arguments against it aren't valid. You are perfectly able to like or dislike a game for any reason you want. I happen to like DQIX and I've spent almost 500 hours playing it. Personally, it is hard to compare it to FFIV and CT as I like both those games too and they hold a lot of nostalgia for me, but I know, in comparison, I've spent a lot less time playing those other two.

TL;DR - The things you complain about are the exact same issues in other RPGs. I'm not trying to convince you to like it, but you're not finished to make a sound judgment about all aspects of the game, (its like getting 100% in Symphony of the Night, you're still missing half), but to each their own.

@Mickeymac: What do you think you'd hear about on a Dragon Quest IX related thread? =P I'm really the same way though, I hate getting into things when they've gone pop. The only game examples I can think of are things like Modern Warfare and Madden. I will never play those games.

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nick_gc

467. Posted:

I think I'm naearly at the end considering I've just been told to save the game by the Starflight Express captain. I don't feel like it's anywhere near 100% complete though. Trouble is, not sure I can be bothered to do many more quests and alchemy just isn't fun.

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pixelman

468. Posted:

sykotek wrote:

@pixelman: I've been playing RPGs since the NES days. I agree that DQIX is a game in which you need to grind, but as far as I can remember, so was FFII on the SNES and that was the easy version of FFIV.

I played FFII SNES all the way up to the moon, and I almost never had to grind simply for the sake of grinding. Playing the game smart, like finding all of the chests in the dungeons and not running from battles keeps you adequately leveled. I'm used to a healthy dose of grinding in an RPG, but that's all there is to DQ9. What's worse is that DQ9 isn't even challenging grinding -- the battles are incredibly easy.

As for mindless battles, FF and CT were just as guilty in the "not having to pay attention, I'll just push this one button repeatedly to attack my enemies" department with the exceptions also being the boss battles.

Yeah, that's pretty mandatory for the easier enemies in any RPG, but the ATB system and diverse enemies make battles feel less like you're the same thing over and over again. In DQ9 I would execute the exact same button sequence for virtually every random battle (except when I needed to heal). In FF4 and CT, the party's move order is different, so you can't go completely on auto-pilot. Besides that, the enemies have varying weaknesses to elements in all of the dungeons, which requires you to pay extra attention. For instance, on Mt. Ordeals in FF4 there are some random battles where fire heals enemies and other enemies are extremely weak to it. It's not like DQ9 where all of the monsters are weak to the same element in each dungeon.

What you mention about the world map is true, there is no worry of death on the world map as long as you're appropriately leveled, but the same can be said in games like FF. In DQIX, in order to restore your party's health completely and in a cost effective manner or save, you need to Zoom back to the nearest town and in FF, you can simply drop a tent and save on the world map, with all things equal, I can argue that FF is far easier in that aspect. There are spells to escape dungeons in FF as well, so that comparison against DQIX is moot.

Not really, since you can instantly get out of a dungeon and back to town in DQ9. FF4 does have Emergency Exits and evacuating spells, but you're less inclined to use them since you don't know if there's a save point just ahead, and getting back to where you were in the dungeon will be almost as equally difficult as it was before. Also, you don't always have a mage that has an exit spell with you. If you evacuate in DQ9, you can easily avoid most of the already easy monsters to get back to where you were in the dungeon.

If you aren't worried about dying, you really haven't faced the real challenges the game has in store for you.

Oh. So after 60+ hours and beating the game, I haven't faced the "real" challenges? I'm sorry, but that's just messed up.

The equipment is expensive, and you'll receive no argument from me there, but I find it difficult to comprehend how exactly it would make the game better if they just gave equipment to you? It's my personal preference, but I like not having stronger equipment simply handed to me in games, it is nice to earn it and in this game, you definitely have to work towards receiving stronger equipment.

The problem is that it requires me to expend ALL of my cash at once just to buy ONE new sword or set of claws. When I have four party members that each have like, 7 slots of equipment, that's just ridiculous. If I take the plunge and buy a new weapon, I have to spend another 30 minutes to an hour grinding just to be able to afford one more. Again, that's messed up.

Also, I personally haven't needed to use an "alchemy guide" for better equipment either as I haven't really alchemized more than 10-15 different items. The items I did need to alchemize, I've needed for quests or I've used alchemy to make money to buy up items I've previously sold for my in game collecting purposes.

You must really love grinding for money then. :P

The game style isn't ATB, and really, ATB makes no difference on lower level enemies anyways, but it makes all the difference against high level grotto bosses, there is strategy involved in fighting against them that you most likely haven't experienced yet in the game and its not something you should rush through unless you wish to die and lose a large sum of your money often.

Again, I just played the game for 60 hours and I haven't even heard of high level grottos. The challenge should be during the story, not after you beat the game. If I have to spend 60 hours just to get to the challenging part, then that's a silly game design flaw.

The story might be awful to you since you haven't actually beat the entire game yet. Half of the story is developed in the bonus quests and since they haven't all been unlocked yet, you couldn't possibly pass judgment on the full story...unless you were cheating or playing the Japanese version or reading someone else's summary of it without playing it yourself.

And again, I think that's ridiculous. All of the story before the credits rolled was rubbish. The game hardly made me care for any of the characters in the game, and certainly not enough to spend another 440 hours of grinding just to find out about them.

I'm not trying to convince you that DQIX is a good game or that you should go back and invest more time into it. I just wanted to point out that you're arguments against it aren't valid. You are perfectly able to like or dislike a game for any reason you want. I happen to like DQIX and I've spent almost 500 hours playing it.

Thanks for letting me know.

Personally, it is hard to compare it to FFIV and CT as I like both those games too and they hold a lot of nostalgia for me, but I know, in comparison, I've spent a lot less time playing those other two.

I guess you're right. FF4 and CT have interesting storylines and characters, are challenging throughout, and DQ9 is one long easy grindfest. They don't even compare.

TL;DR - The things you complain about are the exact same issues in other RPGs. I'm not trying to convince you to like it, but you're not finished to make a sound judgment about all aspects of the game, (its like getting 100% in Symphony of the Night, you're still missing half), but to each their own.

I can make a sound judgement on the 60 hours that I played to beat the game, and that's that it has an uninteresting story and is mostly a mindless grindfest with a few challenging bosses before the credits roll. I guess grinding's your thing, since you've done it for 500 hours, but to each their own.

Edited on by pixelman

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[16:39] BadKitty: you trying to steal stuff from me? u_u
[16:41] kribs: don't worry Emmy, even if poix tried to steal something from you, he wouldn't finish stealing it

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sykotek

469. Posted:

@pixelman: Hey, it sucks that you spent 60 hours on an RPG you really don't enjoy. I'm really not trying to get you to spend more time on it, just give up already and trade in your game, I'm sure someone else would enjoy it.

DQIX isn't for everyone, but it really isn't as different from other RPG experiences as you make it out to be. FFII and CT are just as easy when it comes to battles on the first part of DQIX, SMRPG is more engaging in comparison to those three.

The first part of the game gets you used to the mechanics so you can be ready for the real challenges later, grottoes, but it sounds like you've made up your mind about not pursuing it any further, to each their own. A typical RPG will last you around 60-100 hours, so for those that just wanna say they beat the game already, this effectively gives DQIX players a way out from having to spend more time on it.

I'm sorry for stating the fact that you're not really finished, especially if it upset you, but they don't give you the full story or access to the places that really kick your tail until after the credits roll, it may be screwed up to you, but it is plenty fine for most people that are still current DQIX players and for younger players that may not have the attention span to spend as long on a typical RPG. I can't speak on how conclusive the story was only up to the credits because I've already past that 400 hours ago and have already learned more about the goings on in the world, but obviously it wasn't bad enough for me to stop playing.

I don't enjoy grinding when its unenjoyable, but for me and many others, playing DQIX is enjoyable and I'm sure that is why people still do it. I haven't really completed DQIX yet, so I can't compare it to CT or FFII which I have completed, so I can't vouch and say it is better than CT or FFII.

I also find it funny that you mention FFII, because I can clearly remember grinding when I played it as a child. I can especially remember doing so once you get to the moon since you are incredibly underpowered at that point and cannot reach the end of the game unless you're at the higher levels. I'm not mentioning CT specifically because I really just can't remember the details I'd want beyond knowing it was an enjoyable experience.

I normally wouldn't find a point in responding to the type of posts you have posted, but for the sake of those still actually interested in getting into DQIX, I find it important to state the facts surrounding DQIX which are,

  • It is akin to seeing the bad ending of a game like SotN if you simply stop immediately after seeing the credits roll. Sadly, WiFi access is needed or connection to a friend that has downloaded the bonus quest unlocks in order to play the bonus quests.
  • The real challenges come from bonus quests, grotto and legacy boss battles far after the credits roll.
  • You can avoid most enemies and lower level battle encounters often end up being tedious later on in the game.
  • It has the same issues as a typical RPG such as FFII and MMORPGs such as WoW, grinding for levels, grinding for gold.
  • You may pick and choose your quests for the most part, same as in WoW with certain quests advancing the story.
  • YMMV depending on what you expect from the story.
  • It will take far longer than the typical 60-100 hours to fully complete.

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CanisWolfred

470. Posted:

sykotek wrote:

@Mickeymac: What do you think you'd hear about on a Dragon Quest IX related thread? =P I'm really the same way though, I hate getting into things when they've gone pop. The only game examples I can think of are things like Modern Warfare and Madden. I will never play those games.

It's not that, it's just that everything, even the positive comments, make this game sound extremely tedious and boring.

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SonicMaster

471. Posted:

lol, I sold it the other day so I could buy a new Dreamcast. I had only beaten one dungeon. :D

I have trouble finishing games.
Current victims of shelving: Ni no Kuni, Dragon Quest VIII, Ratchet Deadlocked

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pixelman

472. Posted:

@sykotek: I never said I didn't enjoy it. On the contrary, if you look back to one of my previous posts I said I did. I just found it very flawed, and I had to emphasize and elaborate on the flaws since you said my arguments against the game were "invalid". If you look back again, you'll see that I beat the game over the course of 5 months, which averages to just 12 hours a month. So yes, I enjoyed it enough to beat it, but not enough to beat it within a month or a couple weeks; I got burnt out on it quite a few times and needed a week or so's break from it. Also, like I said, I spent most of my play-time while I was watching TV.

Since I played FF2 a few months ago and am currently playing the DS version, I honestly think I'm more qualified to say how much grinding you do in the game, and it's nothing like DQ9. I didn't beat the moon (which is the very end of the game, btw) in FF2 because you definitely are insanely underpowered, but prior to that point I rarely had to do any grinding. And by grinding, I mean running around in circles in a dungeon or on the world map purposely trying to encounter enemies. Which you do in DQ9. A lot. If you don't run away from battles then the amount of grinding you need to do is very small.

Anyway, to sum it up I don't think any game should take 60 hours to get challenging; to me, that's excessive. I think an RPG should have an engaging story, offer a consistent challenge, not overdo the grind, and have a fun battle system with diverse and interesting enemies. I understand people like certain types of games and some people don't -- I just wanted to throw my opinion into the mix. Sorry to hurt your baby, sykotek. ;3

Edited on by pixelman

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sykotek

473. Posted:

Mickeymac wrote:

It's not that, it's just that everything, even the positive comments, make this game sound extremely tedious and boring.

Oh okay, I understand where you're coming from. Its hard to convey the enjoyability of an RPG into words. Also, everybody likes different types of games. Playing a game and reading about what others are saying about it are two different things. For you, if you've waited this long and heard what people have to say about the game already, are still not convinced to play the game, it probably isn't a good idea to try, it'll never live up to any of the expectations set for it. It is better to experience a game yourself than wait to hear what others have to say about it.

Example description: Complete quests from villagers, farm for items from monsters and spawn points, farm for gold to buy stuff like better equipment, grind monsters and bosses to gain levels for better stats, progress the story and find out what happened.

Sounds utterly boring, but tons of people play it the world over.

WoW is an incredibly addicting game.

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pixelman

474. Posted:

It was a joke, and I was trying to tell you "no hard feelings". I apologize.

I'm not trying to alter anyone's enjoyment of a game. Like I've said a bajillion times, I'm just throwing my two cents in. And no, my opinions are not based on playing it for 500 hours and "completing" it. They're based on playing it for 60 hours and seeing the credits roll, which I've reiterated countless times. My opinions were based on what people normally play in RPGs -- from the beginning and all the way up to where the credits roll.

Edit: Well that post is gone, but I'm leaving this up for sykotek anyway.

Edited on by pixelman

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sykotek

475. Posted:

pixelman wrote:

Sorry to hurt your baby, sykotek. ;3

@pixelman: My previous comment was edited because the perception from the admin was that I overreacted to YOU calling ME a baby. That is NOT how I perceived it in the first place and I don't take back what I wrote which was deleted. Irregardless, I personally feel slighted as I still don't think that makes the quoted comment okay since you know my replies were only informing you of the fact that you haven't completed the game to form your judgment, in addition to the generalities of your comments about regarding DQIX when it can be applied to almost all RPGs.

You can speak what you want about the game, I don't care, your opinions are your own, but it needs to be said that you have based your opinions on a game which you have been informed you have not truly completed because it could dissuade others from starting it. This will be the end of my participation in this off topic discussion with you.

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pixelman

476. Posted:

I'm sorry this got out of hand, sykotek. :/ By "your baby" I meant DQ9, which I've been criticizing over my past few posts. Like I said, it was a joke, no harm intended.

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theblackdragon

477. Posted:

@syko: that's enough. please calm down; you don't have to play a game through to know you don't like it. pix has explained the problems he's had with the game to me before, and I was grateful to him for helping me to realize that, as someone who already wasn't a DQ fan, there wasn't anything new here that would captivate me either. I'm sure there are others who feel the same and are also glad to see people who do and don't love the game expressing how they feel about it. :/

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Fuzzy

478. Posted:

I enjoyed this game, as I did the other DQ games, and a lot of the changes and improvements to the formula (eg. No random battles) were great. But it's pretty much still a dragon quest game, so if you didn't really get into it before you probably still won't. I think though they've set themselves up to make the next game even better. :)

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nick_gc

479. Posted:

The thing I don't like about the game is the fact that you always feel there is so much to do but you can't do anything about it. There are so many quests with descriptions that are more than obscure. How do I complete them? There are areas on the map clearly with thigns on but no way to access them. I don't want to read a guide to figure out this stuff. The game is giving me no clues as to whether or not I'll find out how to complete them. It's somewhat making me feel that I won't want to play after I finish it as I approach the 60 hour mark. In fact, it's actually making me feel like I don't want to finish it at all.

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Squiggle55

480. Posted:

I'm currently grinding levels to be able to finish off the final boss of the storyline. I made sure all of my characters have defending champion, but my celestrian was a ranger so I turned him back into a minstrel so he can hold a shield. Problem is the minstrel is level 25 and I need him up around 40 I think.
Anyone think a lvl 40 ranger w/o a shield or defending champion could get the job done? I have Paladin, Priest, and Mage in my party, all around 40. or what do you think the quickest way to level up from 25 to 40 is?

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