I heart platypunks

So, Mega Man 9 is out! That’s nice. Parish will tell you exactly how nice it is, in fact, if you give him half a chance. Sadly, I don’t have access to an online-capable console at the moment, so I can’t take part in this joyous event. Fortunately, I still have Dragon Quest IV to sustain me.

Believe it or not, this is the first proper Dragon Quest game I’ve played! The series’ reputation for willfully archaic design had always given me enough pause to pass it over before, but DQIV is the one installment I’ve never seen receive anything but adoration. So I took the plunge on the DS version, and sure enough, I wasn’t misled. The chapter-based structure is as gripping as promised, and the DS version in particular has smoothed out any stodgy interface issues that could have kept me from enjoying the original.

[[image:nn_080922_draque_01.png:They stare into your soul.:center:0]]
The reason I said this is my first “proper” DQ excursion is that I did indulge in one of the brand’s off-beat spin-offs, Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime, last year; a decision I will never, ever regret. And since I’ve done this all backwards, one thing I’m loving about DQIV is retroactively spotting all the sights, sounds, and creatures Rocket Slime lifted from the main series. Really, the fact that I found these little guys infinitely endearing even when I had no nostalgia for them — and, indeed, no prior exposure at all — only speaks to the strength of Toriyama’s talent as a designer. To that end, if none other, I can easily understand the series’ lasting popularity.

12 thoughts on “I heart platypunks

  1. I have really enjoyed DQIV so far as lately I have gotten to respect retro games more and more.Playing a first person dungeon style rpg had not always interested me but after beating and loving Etrian Odyssey 1 and 2 I have grown a new view on rpgs and video games in general as far as what to expect out of a solid rpg system with less frills and more good core combat.

  2. Kishi, you should give Dragon Quest VIII a spin. It’s wonderfully localized and witty, and although it lacks the customizable party aspect of IV, it does feature item (and cheese!) alchemy.

    (it’s also stupid long, and the post-game challenges are not easy. minor quibbles!)

  3. DQ VIII is good, as djSyndrome says. The thing with it is that it isn’t just long, it’s also slow. Leisurely. I don’t mean this entirely as a negative, but the feeling of the game is closer to amblin’ along rather than a rush to save the world, even though spend a large chunk of the game chasing a guy.

  4. If you’re into the job system from FFV or FFT(which you should be), you should check out DQ III. It’s my favorite of the series.

  5. Sarcasmorator is 100% right about DQVIII being long/slow. It was a fun game at first, but it was so damn slow that I couldn’t deal with it. DQIV, however, moves along at a fairly brisk pace; even if you stop and take time the time to grind. Battles are frequent, but are so quick that they never become a nuisance. It’s leagues above DQVIII in my book.

    Unfortunately, that’s the extent of my DQ experience. But hey, I hear V is pretty good!

  6. If you’re into the job system from FFV or FFT(which you should be), you should check out DQ III. It’s my favorite of the series.

    But make sure you play through DW1 first! Or at the very least read my LP on it.

  7. I’d say DQVI is better for those who enjoy job systems. Heck, DQVI probably has the best game mechanics of any game in the series (its Slime fights inspired the Monster arena of VIII).

    And DQVIII is very good. It isn’t as good as IV and as others have mentioned, it’s not something you can play as the only game getting your attention. But it is really well done. Maybe my third favorite in the series and one I would heartily recommend.

  8. Man, Rocket Slime was totally awesome. And also the only thing DQ-related I’ve ever played. I’d be tempted to try out IV if only my DS backlog weren’t so ridiculous.

  9. I am in love with you. If you dressed up as King Slime, I would probably die, because there would no longer be anything comparable to look forward to in life.

  10. I’ve never played Dragon Quest either, but I loved Rocket Slime. There was something brutally satisfying about using your annoying little sidekick friends as impromptu cannon fodder when supplies got low.

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