User Score
8.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 261 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 16 out of 261
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  1. Oct 2, 2019
    7
    It's nice but would have been *so* much better as the action rpg it was meant to be. Goddammit, purists!
  2. 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 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
    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.
    Expand
  3. Jusoni
    Jul 12, 2010
    7
    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 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 . Expand
  4. Aug 5, 2013
    7
    A modest adventure is bogged with over-complication of items, spiky difficulty and anti-strategic mechanics. For the premium experience you may have been expecting, consider Dragon Quest IV DS instead.
  5. Jul 13, 2014
    6
    I find this game highly overrated. It has a mediocre story, no character progression which is compounded by your party is nobodies so they are robots following you, and the camera is awful.

    Monsters spawn on map can be seen as both a novel idea because battles can be avoided or a huge annoyance because some of the spawn right in front of you or spawn/wander around when you have the menu
    I find this game highly overrated. It has a mediocre story, no character progression which is compounded by your party is nobodies so they are robots following you, and the camera is awful.

    Monsters spawn on map can be seen as both a novel idea because battles can be avoided or a huge annoyance because some of the spawn right in front of you or spawn/wander around when you have the menu open which will allow them to enter battle when the menu closes.

    Which brings me to the camera. The world is 3d but doesn't rotate 360 because to save on detail some characters are 2d sprites (think Ragnarok online) this becomes a huge pain in certain dungeons with high walls so you can actually see where you are going well (Prime example Quarantomb) and also compounded by the fact that monsters spawn right in front of you. Since the camera is also zoomed close to the ground it is difficult to avoid certain mobs.

    Which brings me to map design, the maps are actually pretty nice but they seemed to be designed for monsters not being spawned on map. Some monsters take up a whole walkway and can't be avoided and can be quite annoying to deal with.

    Few other points
    -The characters classes are alright and it is nice that there are so many different ones
    -Being able to change classes is great but it comes a bit too late in my opinion
    -The world is well crafted and nice to have alchemy pickups
    -Alchemy is a bit annoying but is fixed a bit better with a lot of recipes being available more readily. The alchemy pot should be at EVERY inn though or with you.

    All in all I think this is just a cry for the old times instead of a push to improve. I love old RPGs like this, DQ8 is one of my top fav RPGs but I feel that DQ9 was a small misstep.
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  6. Aug 24, 2016
    7
    It starts off great - great music, great quirky feel, great somewhat original story idea, great party creation. But it slowly degenerates into a grind. Quests are ridiculously time-consuming for modest rewards and leveling up is slow before long.

    I'm still giving it a 7 because I got almost 20 hours before the grind killed all the fun.
  7. Mar 17, 2011
    7
    "Old School" definitely describes this game. Mostly, that's a good thing. The mechanics work. The dungeons are interesting. The storyline is servicable. Honestly the only thing I didn't like about this game is that item drop rates are low and the Thief's steal skill is so outrageously ineffective that you can spend 15 minutes doing nothing but repeating the steal command trying to get one"Old School" definitely describes this game. Mostly, that's a good thing. The mechanics work. The dungeons are interesting. The storyline is servicable. Honestly the only thing I didn't like about this game is that item drop rates are low and the Thief's steal skill is so outrageously ineffective that you can spend 15 minutes doing nothing but repeating the steal command trying to get one common item. When you need seven more to make something with alchemy, the grindy nature of it starts to wear you down. Expand
  8. Mar 29, 2021
    6
    This game starts off at a good pace and eventually gets boring. Egregious use of recolored enemies instead of new ones, slow ship exploring, everything and place being a pun instead of taking itself at least a little bit seriously, and the same damn music for every town and dungeon and cutscene; it all adds up to a large growing frustration as you play deeper into the game.

Awards & Rankings

1
4
#4 Most Discussed DS Game of 2010
1
#1 Most Shared DS Game of 2010
Metascore
87

Generally favorable reviews - based on 65 Critic Reviews

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
    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. 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.
  3. Oct 21, 2010
    100
    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.