Friday, May 9, 2014

Dragon Quest IX finished

Bringing everyone's level up to 45 did the trick. I finally beat Corvus. Dragon Quest IX is over.

Looking back, the shape of the successful final battle was weirdly by the numbers. 

It had its first act, in which things were going well for my party of Minstrel, Thief, Mage, and Priest. Then, the second act rolled around when Corvus recovered his HP and his MP and it reached a climax after Corvus knocked out Nizk the Minstrel and left everyone else with just a few HP. Finally, the third act kicked off with Peridot the Priest successfully healing everyone over the course of a few turns and then climaxed with the final blow to the big bad. 

I know that much of the battle wound up as it was largely because of chance, but still. Its shape is perfectly that of a grand cinematic battle. 

Unfortunately, the game's ending doesn't share that quality. 

After a pseudo-anime sequence in which Corvus is appeased and reminded of his true Celestrian nature, the standard RPG "what are they doing now?" scenes play over the credits as each major area and character is revisited. Scenes that are rendered in the in-game graphics. 

What makes this so disappointing is that it feels like the developers forgot to replace the in-game graphic scenes with their animated counterparts. Unless, simply because it directly involves a dragon (and this is a Dragon Quest game after all), Greygnarl's fight with Barbarus was meant to be the only animated cutscene.  

Overall, as an RPG, Dragon Quest IX is, for the most part, a bog standard J-RPG.

Its story is interesting, if spread a little thin from the start of the fygg quest to the discovery of Corvus. Actually, the game's characters are much more interesting than most of its story events. 

The game's job system holds potential for those who don't mind grinding as a matter of fact, but is quite frustrating for those who would rather grind with broader goals in mind. 

The game's music is quite grand, but lacks variety. 

And the game's combat system is simply that of a classic turn-based RPG.

Anyway, despite the shortcomings listed above outnumbering the game's strengths, I find myself interested in the promise of the post-game's being its "mortal" phase. It feels like a shorter, perhaps deeper, adventure is about to start.

Yet, I can't say I'll be dedicating myself to finishing what's left on the Dragon Quest IX cartridge before moving on to something else. I have other Dragon Quest games to check out after all, not to mention other games that are much much shorter than this grand adventure proved to be.

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