Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies Image
Metascore
87

Generally favorable reviews - based on 65 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 171 Ratings

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  • Summary: Developed by Level 5 (the developers of "Dragon Quest VIII," "Dark Cloud" and "Rogue Galaxy") Dragon Quest IX unites the key components that made the previous Dragon Quest titles such as success. Horii and Sugiyama are on board to provide their talents as DQIX takes the series in a decidedlyDeveloped by Level 5 (the developers of "Dragon Quest VIII," "Dark Cloud" and "Rogue Galaxy") Dragon Quest IX unites the key components that made the previous Dragon Quest titles such as success. Horii and Sugiyama are on board to provide their talents as DQIX takes the series in a decidedly different direction. For the first time, the DQ franchise has an action-oriented title where battles take place on the field (much like "Crystal Chronicles"). To cap off the presentation, SQEX announced that the game supports four-player multiplayer. [Famitsu/Square Enix] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 65 out of 65
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 65
  3. Negative: 0 out of 65
  1. Jan 3, 2011
    100
    With Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies, Square Enix and Level-5 have delivered what is without doubt one of the most stunning RPG experiences not only on the Nintendo DS, but in existence, full stop.
  2. Gameplay-wise there is a hell of a lot to do, with the focus primarily being on the endgame - you can still continue playing after beating the final boss and a lot of side quests even require it.
  3. Huge in scope and strong on detail, IX has ironed out the kinks that have made the series less palatable outside Japan, and with Nintendo's support, IX is sure to have the wider impact that the series has craved. [Aug 2010, p.92]
  4. An epic return for the series that once launched on a Nintendo console, we welcome Dragon Quest back with open arms and embrace it for the being the brilliant title that it is.
  5. Jan 1, 2011
    85
    This is a really big game for something found on a handheld, an epic yarn that offers up hundreds of hours of gameplay for those willing to invest the time.
  6. What it really comes down to is if you're in the mood for some classic Dragon Quest gameplay, because though the game struggles to add a lot of different aspects to the gameplay such as switching classes and side quests, the most important parts of the game, such as combat, still have that distinctive classic flair.
  7. 75
    There's nothing really special to report in terms of the controls.

See all 65 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 33
  2. Negative: 1 out of 33
  1. Sep 9, 2010
    10
    Super addictive game that doesn't get weighed down by inane characters or story. Bright, fun graphics and the ability to personalize yourSuper addictive game that doesn't get weighed down by inane characters or story. Bright, fun graphics and the ability to personalize your characters appearance and skills = instant win. Best game I have played this year! Expand
  2. Oct 8, 2010
    10
    Although the 87 Metascore may not seem overly impressive, the fact that out SIXTY-TWO critics, there were no negative scores really speaksAlthough the 87 Metascore may not seem overly impressive, the fact that out SIXTY-TWO critics, there were no negative scores really speaks volumes. Not even any Mixed scores. This game is simply put, beautiful. The music is catchy, but not annoying, the characters are very colorful, the plot is simple yet deep, the combat simply works well, and the game is just plain fun. Especially in multiplayer. Expand
  3. Jul 25, 2013
    10
    If you love old-fashioned JRPG's and traditional turn-based combat, this is the perfect game that you simply can't pass up. Dragon Quest IX isIf you love old-fashioned JRPG's and traditional turn-based combat, this is the perfect game that you simply can't pass up. Dragon Quest IX is a very traditional JRPG that apologetically uses game mechanics identical to old RPG's on the NES the series first started on, but this is by no means a bad thing. Your character and your allies are all made from scratch, giving you free reign to come up with personalities and backstories for each of them, but some might not like the fact that the entire party is a voiceless cast. I do like the freedom to determine your party size. Go solo, and you'll have more challenges while getting more EXP. have one, two, or even three companions with you and you can make battles easier while at the same time making it longer to grind with each party member and upping the cost of equipment for each character.

    The menu based system for buying and selling is really one of the only flaws I can point out. It makes buying and selling items very long and drawn out and you spend a lot of unnecessary time just trying to scrape up some money for your next set of armor. Another thing I didn't like was the fact that I spent more time grinding money than I was experience trying to keep my party updated with equipment. I only had a party of 3, but it was still very hard to get the armor and weapons everyone needs. If this game got rid of the menu based shop system and gave you discounts for large party sizes on equipment, this game would be perfect. Definitely a game that you cannot miss.
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  4. Nov 13, 2010
    9
    This game is quite possibly the perfect mix between retro and modern RPG elements I have ever seen.
    Although most of the elements such as
    This game is quite possibly the perfect mix between retro and modern RPG elements I have ever seen.
    Although most of the elements such as battles are pretty nostalgic and retro in design, the beautiful 3D character models and maps, amazing music and large amount of customization gives a deep modern and unique twist on what is a heart a very old and classic core system. Downloadable content such as rare equipment shop which changes each day, new quests and dungeons, and much more there is lots to do even after the main storyline is complete, especially with wireless multiplayer. Its a shame that Wifi multiplayer was not possible but the amount of effort put forward to make this game the best it can be more than forgives that.
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  5. Sep 28, 2013
    9
    I have spent an unhealthy 300+ hours on this game, but it was worth every second. This game is very addictive, but that's because there's soI have spent an unhealthy 300+ hours on this game, but it was worth every second. This game is very addictive, but that's because there's so many things to do. While I wasn't a big fan of Akira Toriyama's art at first, it did grow on me because of this game. The story isn't blockbuster worthy, but it still pulls you further in, and the localization quirks and touches are absolutely hilarious. And as a last word, I'm always a sucker for character customization and diverse class options. There's just so many ways to really make you, you.
    Art: 8
    Music: 8
    Writing: 9
    Gameplay: 10
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  6. Nov 21, 2011
    9
    Gameplay: 10 - Perfect. This is a JRPG at its best. Turn-based combat is perfected; random encounters are absent; there's even co-op!
    Story:
    Gameplay: 10 - Perfect. This is a JRPG at its best. Turn-based combat is perfected; random encounters are absent; there's even co-op!
    Story: 8 - Great. The story is hindered by the silent protagonists, but the ability to customize your party allows for greater immersion.
    Graphics: 9 - Amazing. The style fits the game perfectly, and looks good, too!
    Sound: 9 - Amazing. Catchy music during battles, emotional music during cutscenes. DQIX has some good music.
    Overall: 9 - Amazing.
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  7. Jun 21, 2014
    5
    Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies just doesn't live up to its predecessor. This is mediocrity at its best.

    The story and most
    Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies just doesn't live up to its predecessor. This is mediocrity at its best.

    The story and most of the characters are dull for the most part.
    The big draw to this game was supposed to be the four player co-op but I doubt a lot of people actually got to play it that way and as a result you end up with a group of silent protagonists which obviously doesn't help the plot.
    This game really seems to be aimed at a younger audience, nothing wrong with that of course, but it offers close to zero value for a more mature gamer.
    This was one of the few games that might've convinced me to buy a DS but instead it ended up making me take a pass.

    The art style is great but nothing new here since it's just like previous games.
    The only real positive thing about this game is the wide variety of customization options.
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See all 33 User Reviews