Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies Image
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87

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

User Score
8.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 265 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
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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. Edge Magazine
    90
    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: 39 out of 47
  2. Negative: 0 out of 47
  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 7, 2010
    10
    I loved this game, probably my favorite DS game I've played so far. I found the story line to be impressive and creative. The adventure inI loved this game, probably my favorite DS game I've played so far. I found the story line to be impressive and creative. The adventure in this game was awesome. I can tell they really put the effort and time into making this game. I loved all the different kinds of monsters and bosses, the creativity was wild. Even when the storyline is finished there is still lots you can do like favours for people in the different towns you've discovered. Not to mention finding little islands with treasure on your boat. One of my favorite adventure games. Expand
  3. Dec 19, 2019
    10
    While comparing it to the rest of the Dragon Quest series (a.k.a DQ1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9, Monster Joker 1 + 2 and slime) it can be said clearlyWhile comparing it to the rest of the Dragon Quest series (a.k.a DQ1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9, Monster Joker 1 + 2 and slime) it can be said clearly that Dragon Quest IX is one of the best in the series. Although it's a DS only it's a massive experience. Involves a rich story, has outfits which can be seen, a perfect party system and a good leveling up system. Comparing this game further on to DQ10 and DQ 11 it can be even more said that this game is the best one and the most advanced which makes it the odd one out. I would highly recommend this RPG game to everyone because I just can't describe how good my experience was with it. I have been playing it ever since it's release and I still am playing it postgame leveling up my grotto bosses! Expand
  4. 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.
    Expand
  5. Sep 14, 2011
    9
    I usually don't play JRPG's. I don't hate them, but they're just not my thing. However, on a whim, I bought Dragon Quest IX and I can't stopI usually don't play JRPG's. I don't hate them, but they're just not my thing. However, on a whim, I bought Dragon Quest IX and I can't stop playing it. The combat system is the usual JRPG fare, but it's tried and tested and works very well. I'm only 15 hours in but the story is the perfect amount of complex: there's a lot to keep interest yet there's never too much for you to lose track or get confused. The graphics are pretty great for a DS game and full of charm, just like other DQ games seem to do.

    My main issue would be vocations. The problem being that you can only switch them after you've played a significant chunk of the game, and then you start at Lv. 1 again. Some skills carry over but it's still annoying to train up a character again.

    However, DQIX is an excellent game and definitely a recommended buy. And take that from a rookie JRPG player.
    Expand
  6. Jul 13, 2018
    9
    A traditional JRPG that does about everything right. It has the classic turn based combat system that we all know (and most people like/love)A traditional JRPG that does about everything right. It has the classic turn based combat system that we all know (and most people like/love) but it has an edge over the older JRPG's with the new addition of seeing random encounters on the overworld and because of that being able to dodge or attack specific monsters.
    The story is typical dragon quest, yet it has some refined edges around it that make it stand out in the series. Not to mention the sheer size of this game, just the story will take you over 50 hours to complete and none of it will feel like a bore.
    As usual with Dragon quest games: the music Is a piece of art written by the well known Koichi Sugiyama. His music sounds epic and nostalgic without being bloated or pretentious.
    The character designs are great as well, being made by the legendary Akira Toriyama (Dragon ball Z).

    What sets this game apart from the other Dragon quest titles:

    + Enemies visible when out of combat (no more pure random encounters)
    + Massive postgame content in the form of dungeons, weapons and much more (some are download by wi-fi and thus discontinued though)
    + Creatable characters: you create your own character AND companions (choosing their class and appearance)

    - The companions have pretty much no impact on the story since they're self-inserts

    For those new to Dragon Quest:

    - You can create weapons, armor and items by using drops or items that grow in the overworld
    - Turn based combat
    - Great music
    - Long interesting storyline
    -Class system (Warrior, mage, ranger...)

    Would definetly recommend this game to anyone who has played or wants to play a classic JRPG, heck I would recommend this game to just about anyone.
    Expand
  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 47 User Reviews

Awards & Rankings

1
4
#4 Most Discussed DS Game of 2010
1
#1 Most Shared DS Game of 2010