My favorite types of games are RPG's, and even though I'm spoiled by more current games within the genre (MMO's like Warcraft), I still enjoy playing the more linear, turn based RPG's from 15-20 years ago. I was extremely excited to see DQ4 make it's way to the DS, it was one of my favorite all time RPG's on the old NES, even more so than the Final Fantasy series. Overall an excellent game, very well done storeline. The game is divided into 5 chapters: the first 4 are fairly easy to complete, and give the perspective of 4 separate storylines on a wide range of characters, all with their own unique quests (one chapter focuses on a warrior class playing solo, another focuses on group play with a mage & warrior, etc). The 5th chapter is very very long, and merges the 4 prior chapter stories with the main story about the hero; this is where the game really begins. As the hero begins his/her travels, the hero eventually meets up and joins all the prior chapters characters. It's a lot of fun to see what happened to your characters after their chapters ended but before the hero meets them; each of the first 4 chapters all end in a cliff hanger as well. Start to finish, definitely one of the best epic storylines in an RPG; definitely the first time I saw the overlapping of multiple story arcs within one game. Very in depth gameplay that moves at a good pace, I never feel as if I'm getting slowed down by endless grinding just to advance; as long as you fight most of the monsters you encounter while completing quests, you will level up at a good rate & be able to buy the best weapons/armor for all party members. Not overly challenging for the die hard RPG'ers, but still enough of a challenge that you will get well above 40 hours of game play. What is also nice is that even when you have upwards of 12 characters in your party, and only 4 can participate in battle at a time, the other characters not in battle still earn experience & level up, thus avoiding a ton of pointless grinding. Controls are pretty standard, game does not require the use of the stylus pen, which I never thought was a good option for RPG's anyway. No memory option for the battle user interface, so you every time you want to repeat the prior fight's commands, you have to reselect everything, but that's only a minor inconvenience. The graphics are on par with most 16-bit games, and Square/Enix did a good job revamping them, very colorful & adding cut scenes and animating the battle sequences. The music is also really well done, but very repetitive; it's the same background score for every town/castle/house, and for some reason the underlying bass line is super annoying to me. I do have one major complaint, that I've also seen mentioned in other reviews; the translation is the worst I've ever seen (yes, even worse than "all your base are belong to us"). I'd say you have to read about 80% of the in game text mulitple times to understand it, I mean you can figure out what the NPC's are trying to say, but some of the text is one step above gibberish. How hard is it to plug Japanese into an auto-translator, then run a spell check? If I can do it through any number of free websites, why can't one of the largest & wealthiest game companies not do it better? Overall though, definitely worth buying & playing, whether new to the genre or an experiened gamer. Still just as fun as I remember, and maybe we'll get some DQ's that were released in Japan only brought over to the US.
yes: I recommend this product