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. 80
    If you can look past the lack of character development and the overly simplistic battle system, Dragon Quest IX is really enjoyable and will keep players interested for many hours.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Charm and classic gameplay abound in this rollicking role-playing adventure.
  5. 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.
  6. Jan 1, 2011
    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.
  7. 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.
  8. Dragon Quest IX, above all else, is a fascinating merger of age-old design and modern sensibilities.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. A well-crafted game. It has plenty of polish, an absolute ton of things to see and do, and plenty of spot-on references to past games in the series (the combat text is still the best in the business).
  15. Though certainly not a huge shift for the series, Dragon Quest IX has a near-perfect mix of classic JRPG style and grand (for the DS) visuals to make a great portable adventure.
  16. While clich├ęd, the story is entertaining, the battle system is refined and the visuals are impressive. It's very Dragon Quest. Even so, I can't escape the feeling that the game feels more like a spin-off; a stop gap on the way to a 'proper' sequel.
  17. The simple combat system and the large amount of grinding make this a game for a particular type of gamer, and the lack of an online multiplayer is a missed opportunity. Nevertheless, Dragon Quest IX is a very complete RPG which will offer countless hours of fun. This is probably the prettiest and biggest RPG available on the DS right now.
  18. Masterful shake-up of not just Dragon Quest but the whole of the Japanese role-playing genre.
  19. A slight departure from previous chapters, Dragon Quest IX offers everything that made previous entries so popular and something more... funny side quests, alchemy and pretty multiplayer mode. Too bad for the lack of voice acting and the repetitive music.
  20. Old school and proud of it, Dragon Quest IX gives us an epic role-playing adventure with loads of customisability and great writing. The gameplay is smooth and collecting rare weapons and gear soon becomes addictive. Only drawback is the lack of a real online mode.
  21. Ultimately, DQIX is a true Dragon Quest, with no spin-off aftertaste, but a great single player storyline, lengthy and full of events, plus plenty of elements to make it last longer and justify its multiplayer ambitions.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. Dragon Quest IX is a fantastic game, and it is easily the best new traditional RPG to grace the DS.
  25. Only the most jaded of gamers could play this game and not smile.
  26. Fun customisation grounds an RPG so epic you needn't ever buy another. Until X, of course.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 164 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 30
  2. Negative: 1 out of 30
  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 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! 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,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 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 »