Generally favorable reviews - based on 65 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 65 out of 65
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 65
  3. Negative: 0 out of 65
  1. Jan 3, 2011
    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. Oct 21, 2010
    Coupled with its simple story and addicting post-game play, one of the greatest triumphs of Dragon Quest IX is that it manages to be a serious role-playing game without taking itself too seriously.
  3. Dragon Quest IX delivers on its promises. The old school gameplay mechanics, unchanged for the most part, really shine in a multiplayer mode that is surprisingly comfy and accessible. Hardened players will probably grunt at the easier 10 or so hours of the beginning, which doesn't really prompt for any strategic thinking. But the high production values and the richness of content are reason enough to enjoy the dozens of gameplay hours, solo, or otherwise.
  4. Dragon Quest IX: Sentinel of the Starry Skies is an epic game that will keep most players enthralled for hours on end.
  5. 100
    Whatever you decide to do, and however deep you decide to make your journey into Dragon Quest IX you'll be treated to one of the most accessibly complicated and cheerily good hearted role playing experiences to come along in some time and one of the absolute best role playing games of the year.
  6. 100
    DQIX is a subtly sophisticated game, and while it doesn't quite revolutionize RPGs it definitely pushes them forward.
  7. In other words, if you have a passing interest in the Dragon Quest series, you need to play Dragon Quest 9. It's not going to win any awards for originality, but it shows that, in some cases, iteration is preferable to evolution.
  8. Dragon Quest is one of the most popular franchises ever in Japan, yet has not hit anywhere close to the same level here in North America. This iteration could very well change that as it not only makes it more accessible to Western audiences in general, but provides an welcoming experience for new fans while not alienating the long-time fans.
  9. Dragon Quest IX is a fantastic game, and it is easily the best new traditional RPG to grace the DS.
  10. Only the most jaded of gamers could play this game and not smile.
  11. 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.
  12. Fun customisation grounds an RPG so epic you needn't ever buy another. Until X, of course.
  13. Life-consuming, epic entertainment. [July 2010, p.44]
  14. Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Sky is absolutely packed with content. Despite the lack of an unique plot and defined characters, fans of the genre will be pleased with such a polished gameplay. The visuals are brilliant and cheerful, probably one of Level 5's best efforts on Nintendo DS. Without any doubt the best RPG of this summer and on the system itself.
  15. 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]
  16. There's a childlike simplicity in its approach to story and systems that may put off older players who prefer complication and convolution. But Dragon Quest IX cleanses the palate with its straightforwardness, allowing the workmanship to shine, and its clutch of nested fairytales to inspire.
  17. Dragon Quest IX, above all else, is a fascinating merger of age-old design and modern sensibilities.
  18. 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.
  19. Japan's biggest RPG finally arrives in the west and the wait has most definitely been worth it. Dragon Quest IX is possibly the finest example of the genre available on Nintendo's handheld.
  20. You can't help but marvel at how the developers were somehow able to squeeze a console-sized RPG epic onto the diminutive DS, especially given how mammoth the quest itself is.
  21. Even as a solitary pursuit, Dragon Quest IX is an absorbing and accessible voyage through a world founded on traditional JRPG philosophy, but executed with craft and style that is wholly universal.
  22. An old school japanese RPG that will appeal to fans of the franchise and those who thought that the genre was dying. If you're into this kind of game you really should buy it.
  23. Fans and newcomers alike should get this title as it has everything that an RPG needs to be great. Engaging stories, multiplayer fun, hundreds of quests and of course Seth Green's approval of customizing your heroes' looks anyway you choose.
  24. Dragon Quest IX is easily the boldest installment of the series's 24-year run. [Aug 2010, p.88]
  25. Dragon Quest IX doesn't do much to break new ground in the genre, but adheres quite closely to elements that have helped define the series over the years. Thankfully it does this very well, providing an entertaining experience well worth spending some time with.
  26. Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies is an old-school RPG with a lot of charm. It has moved toward modernized gameplay, but at heart, it's still the same Dragon Quest that people enjoy.
  27. 90
    If a gamer gives DQ IX a chance, the odds are stacked that it won't leave the DS cartridge slot for countless hours.
  28. Despite its unfortunate lack of character development thanks to its new emphasis multiplayer and continued emphasis on grinding, Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies has one of the most complete and polished original RPG's currently available on the Nintendo DS, and it is well worthy of the franchise name.
  29. 90
    Overall, if you own a DS and have ever played or are interested in a JRPG, you need to own this game.
  30. Whether it's teamplay you want or epic solo adventuring, DQIX handles both with class. [Aug 2010, p.83]
  31. Dragon Quest IX is epic entertainment. It is possibly one of the finest examples of the genre available on Nintendo DS.
  32. Being as it's a marvelous example of how to rebuilt a JRPG from a traditional fan-base, DQIX's very much everything what we can expect on a Square Enix game, specially under this franchise: a considerable mixture of monsters, 50+ hours of pure fun and an interesting story. Bear in mind that this's multiplayer focused cartridge - you'll only take the 100% of its content playing along with some friends.
  33. One of the most complex RPGs of the recent times, and still manages to maintain the simplicity in the narrative and gameplay.
  34. Dragon Quest is synonymous with classic Japanese RPG, and this ninth entry in the series keeps itself loyal to that spirit. But its multiplayer focus brings new features, which result in obvious improvements but also in some flaws.
  35. Dragon Quest IX is an incredible masterpiece. The classic battle system meets a brand new co-op option and a well designed structure, perfect for quick play.
  36. Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies is the latest Dragon Quest adventure to capture my heart. From the incredibly deep character building and item alchemy to the sheer depth of the game (compared to previous DS remakes), DQIX is one of the best RPGs on the DS to date.
  37. 90
    Even without any hope of using the multiplayer, Dragon Quest IX is so upbeat, goofy, and, well, pleasant that I can only smile. It's the kind of game you can play as a vacation from other games.
  38. All in all you get a cute old school role playing game with a cute story, nice graphical effects and solid gameplay! A really cool game!
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 151 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 27
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 27
  3. Negative: 1 out of 27
  1. Sep 9, 2010
    Super 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! Full Review »
  2. Aug 23, 2010
    Easily my favourite DS game, Dragon Quest IX is top RPG goodness, with some of the best graphics on DS. While the battle system is old hat, the levels of customisation and excellent storyline make fr a life consuming RPG, and probably the best game on DS. If you get one DS game, make it this one. Full Review »
  3. Jusoni
    Jul 12, 2010
    The newest installment in the DQ-series was a bit of a disapointment for me. While the game doesn't have any major flaws, it had some things that i found annoying. The main story was very easy, I didn't do any grinding and my party wiped only a few times during the story. Akira Toriyamas desing is allover the game, a thing wich I hate. At first it was okay, but the more I played the more it started annoying. I just wanted to strangle my party for looking so Toriyama-like. The story is plain dull and straightforward. Goto next town, solve a problem, repeat. The party system is clearly developed towards multiplayer. Whole party doesn't speak a single line at any point. The battlesystem is so streamlined that no tactis are required. You can just auto attack 95% of the fights. The equipment system is decent and the fact that you actually see what your characters wearing is nice, but when the whole party is running around in blue jeans and white t-shirts, it's just not funny. Most of the time your characters look just stupid because the gear is sometimes just incredibly stupid looking (tree trunks for helmet, panties and kneesocks, fishnet stockings, etc.) I didn't get a chance of trying the multiplayer, but as singleplayer DQIX doesn't bring anything new to the genre. It is very casual and easy to pick up and play. But if you're a veteran of JRPG, I would pick something else to play . Full Review »