Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. Where Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker really surprises is in how different it manages to be to Pokémon whilst still maintaining the addictive gameplay mechanics that made the latter so damned popular in the first place.
  2. The game takes patience and plenty of top-grade monster scouting.
  3. Bright, addictive and fun - Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker is a great addition to the DS adventure line-up.
  4. 70
    As a monster-collecting game, Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker isn’t in the same league as Pokémon. As an RPG however, it’s a big success.
  5. It's difficult to shake off the suspicion that the game is a bit slight. You can get through the whole thing in little over 20 hours, which seems a bit short for an RPG - especially considering the amount of level-grinding.
  6. Despite a horrendously nonsensical title and some time consuming level exploration, Square Enix's Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker has everything a monster battling role-playing fan could want, including sassy accented text and tons of monsters to recruit and battle.
  7. This is a game that people are going to really enjoy if they can get into it, but Joker does a player no favors when it comes to helping you get into the game.
  8. Dragon Quest Monsters – Joker delivers some much-needed freshness to the monster collecting genre, but don’t expect it to be Dragon Quest IX. It’s just pure monster-collecting fun.
  9. The game features some interesting additions to the monster-collector format, but isn’t as deep or compelling as other Dragon Quest games.
  10. It may not have the built-in fanbase of Pokémon, but in terms of gameplay and visuals, Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker puts up a good fight.
  11. 79
    Combining some impressive 3D work on the DS with over 200 collectable monsters, a lack of the somewhat irritating random dungeon generator, far more depth and production value overall, and impressive depth in a monster battler, Joker is a great chance for the more niche RPG gamers on DS to dive into the Monsters series for the first time and see for themselves what all the fuss is about.
  12. After the 30 hours of gameplay in the single-player mode, the game has pretty much peaked and waned. For the money, that's still a pretty good deal considering that you'd pay this for games that lasts less than 10 hours.
  13. Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker feeds that compulsive need to customize as many monsters as you can and is great if you don't mind a little level grinding.
  14. 75
    It's certainly not a bad game by any means -- it has plenty of depth and looks fantastic -- but it never quite rises above the sensation that it's just a warm-up for better things coming (hopefully next year) in the form "Dragon Quest IX."
  15. 75
    If you're a fan of the genre and appreciate the ability to challenge others in battles, you'll do well with Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker. Otherwise, you'll just find a mediocre game with silly dialogue.
  16. Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker provides a good spin on the monster collecting style of gameplay, and it is definitely more challenging than what the other companies out there provide.
  17. 80
    The next Dragon Quest Monsters installment on DS will probably be even better, but in the meantime players can enjoy this fun and innovative experience that is more than just another Pokemon game.
  18. 60
    SquareEnix did its hardest to push the Nintendo DS on a technical level, and this crude approximation of Level 5's graphical work with Dragon Quest VIII can at least be admired on that level.
  19. I was also a little disappointed that the game didn’t take more advantage of the DS capabilities. For one thing, it barely utilizes the stylus and touch-screen, forcing you to work through the game the old-fashioned way by pushing buttons.
  20. If you enjoy micromanaging monsters and think Poemon is for babies, then you will be hard pressed to find a deeper game than Joker on the market.
  21. 65
    Joker could've used a heaping helping of the friendly big touch-screen button style interface that the latest Pokemon mastered, but ultimately with these monster hunter games, it's really just just up to your brand preference.
  22. Joker is a massive jump forwards from the first GBC game of '98. In terms of depth, storyline and sense of real adventure and progression, it's an enjoyable and compulsive game. [Feb 2008, p.76]
  23. Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker is not quite a Pokemon pretender. [Dec 2007, p.86]
  24. Solid stuff. [Mar 2008, p.82]
  25. A welcome twist on the Pokemon formula, but only an English translation will really uncover the game's possible depths. For now, it's fun and a joy to look at. [Mar 2007, p.75]
  26. If you don't dig Pokemon, do DQM. Or, if you've already beaten Pokemon, take a stab at DQM. In the end, though, it's just more of the same. [Nov 2007, p.77]
  27. 70
    Though the pacing is quite nice for a 40 hour quest, you spend way too much time gallivanting about the land to just level up. The scenery may be pretty, but it's a chore to go through.
  28. Controls are rigid and unforgiving using the d-pad. Thankfully, you can use the R and L buttons to rotate the camera and move forward at the same time, this makes for much more fluid turning than using the d-pad.
  29. It's awesome. Joker features the same style of RPG-lite storyline and team-based combat from the earlier "Monsters" games, only everything here has been prettied up. [Dec 2007, p.62]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 23 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Nov 30, 2012
    I am an avid fan of the original DWM series. The newest monster game does it best to bring back all the cute (or ugly) monsters we love. But I find the entire world to be too contained and linear for it to be a great monster game. I wish i could have explored countless worlds like I have with DWM2. Full Review »
  2. Dec 19, 2011
    This game have a very good combat system, cool monsters, good system of fuse monsters and heir or evolve abilities from previous monsters. The only bad aspect of game is in the scenarios. Is poor. But is a very good game. It's very cool see the monsters in your natural size in the scenarios. Full Review »
  3. ChrisS.
    Jun 1, 2008
    This is a game that keeps you excited to pick it up and is impossible to put down. You control the characters, their traits and their success. This is the first Dragon Quest game that I have ever played, I just completed it, and my next game will def be a DQ one. Full Review »