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Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies is an action RPG designed specifically for handheld play on the DSi. The ninth game in the beloved Japanese Dragon Quest series, like its predecessors Sentinels of the Starry Skies features third-person oriented turn-based battles and a deep combo/multiplier system. In addition to this the game possess powerful new features including multiplayer and online functionality, extensive customization options, new play modes and a means to share content with other players

Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Sky game logo Battle screen from Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Sky

Turn-based, combo-driven combat.
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Wireless multiplayer screen from Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Sky
4-player multi-card game support.
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Character customization screen from Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Sky
Extensive customization options.
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Cutscene from Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Sky
Dramatic, yet seamless cutscenes.
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An Epic Adventure that Everyone Can Join
Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies lets players enjoy an adventure that is entirely their own, yet can be shared with others anywhere, anytime. Players begin their adventure as an angel-like guardian. In order to achieve a heavenly design players are sent to the world of mortals to retrieve the magical fruits of a sacred tree. These fruit have the power to grant wishes, but are also perilous, containing the unexpected power to transform those who eat of them into monsters. Together with up to three friends players must battle those transformed beings, and in the process improve their angelic skills and regain the heavenly fruit in order to gain their heavenly reward.

Customization
Players can create their own heroes, deciding how they would like their face, hair and clothing to look. As the story unfolds, players become stronger, smarter and more powerful, and can create custom companions to join their group as well. Players will also have fun discovering more than 900 pieces of clothing, armor, weapons and other items that will provide them with a unique appearance and special abilities. Even occupations can be customized and changed at any time. Players can take on one of a dozen different jobs with varying strengths, weaknesses, spells and skills.

Battle
Fast-paced turn-based battles unfold as players decide what to do and then view cinematic action scenes. This format rewards careful thinking and strategy over quick reflexes. The more foes players defeat, the stronger their characters become. In the lead up to conflicts, talking with different characters will unfold the story and point players toward their next mission. All quests come with a reward, which might be anything from a rare item to a new, unlocked occupation.

Tag Mode
Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies includes the interactive Tag Mode that allows players to keep the game active even while their Nintendo DS system is stored in their pocket, purse or backpack. When two players come within range of one another, Tag Mode enables them to wirelessly--and automatically--exchange character information, customized greetings and treasure maps. These treasure maps allow players to find otherwise inaccessible dungeons called grottoes featuring special boss monsters and even rare items.

Social Play Aspects
One of the most enticing things about Sentinels of the Starry Skies are its many social aspects built into its gameplay. First, you need never be alone. Special multiplayer modes let players share their adventure with others, allowing up to four players to team up via a local wireless connection and experience the fun of tackling challenging monsters and dungeons cooperatively with their own characters. Players can even leave the game active in their backpacks, pockets or purses and still interact with other players via an interactive Tag Mode. In addition, information about players' characters can be wirelessly transmitted to others. Also the game contains treasure maps that allow players to find otherwise inaccessible special dungeons called grottoes, which can contain rare items or enemies. In Tag mode, treasure maps and customized greetings can be exchanged automatically by players who come within range of one another. Finally, players with wireless broadband Internet access can visit an online shop to find new items or download additional quests. The selection of items changes daily. Some downloadable quests will continue the main storyline of the game, while others offer standalone missions or quests themed to a particular time of year.

Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Sky 1UP Best DS Game of E3 Winner

Key Game Features

  • Handheld action RPG action where players engage in epic quests in undiscovered lands filled with dangerous monsters and untold stories
  • Connect locally with up to three friends in cooperative gameplay modes
  • Customization allowing you to create your own hero, either male or female, changing your hair, face, body style and equipping them from a selection of over 1,000 in-game items including weapons, shields, armor and accessories
  • Wireless features that allow access to changing exclusive items and quests
  • In-game treasure maps that reveal otherwise inaccessible special dungeons called grottoes, which can contain rare items or enemies
  • Gameplay with differing stories and missions depending on NPCs encountered
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review by . February 23
posted in The Gaming Hub
Dragon Quest has been the pioneering name in RPGs since the 80's. In fact, Dragon Quest was the series that codified a lot of the little, established facts of life about RPGs that we now take for granted: Class changing, battle bonuses, and head to head combat all have their roots in Dragon Quest.     Now, someone please tell me that Sentinels of the Starry Skies, the ninth entry into the Dragon Quest series, is more of a hiccup than a standard. Dragon Quest IX is my first encounter …
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