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Dragon Quest IX Flying Get!

Friendly Tokyo retailer breaks street date. Epic RPG obtained in advance.

 

If you've been following my Twitter, you'll know that I managed to get my hands on Dragon Quest IX just a bit ahead of its Saturday release.

Here are some of the pics I posted in the Twitter feed (excluding any cheeseburger and Pokemon-related shots).

I've only managed to play for a few minutes so far, but here's a quick summary. There are no spoilers in here, but if you're looking forward to DQIX, I'd suggest you avoid reading since the surprise of the experience will be lost.

When you first start up the game, the intro movie and staff roll plays out on the top screen. The video is typical low DS quality, but with the Sugiyama score and fantastic art, it's definitely worth a watch.

Get to the title screen, and you have two options at first: start up the game, and set up Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi setup is just a general setup for your DS. There's nothing game related in there. As previously detailed, all the Wi-Fi connectivity is built directly into the game through Ryudo's Pub and the like.

Selecting to start the game, I was taken to a character creation screen. Creating a character in DQIX is a simple process. You make adjustments in seven areas: gender, body type, hair type, hair color, face type, skin color, and eye color. Each of these offer eight to ten pre set options. It's not as powerful as Level-5's White Knight Chronicles character creation system or even Nintendo's Mii system, but it's simple enough that you can make your own personalized Toriyama character in just a few seconds.

After creation, your character spawns angel wings and floats off into the sky. The game kicks off immediately, with some mysterious dialogue (all text, of course -- there's no voice in DQIX), then a view of the small village of Wolloro. The camera pans around a bit, showing the townfolk leading their peaceful lives, then flies up to reveal two angels -- you, along with Izayal, one of the previously announced characters (Izayal is the bald angel). Apparently, Izayal had asked you to protect the town in his place. He was worried at first, but says that because of your hard work, the people of the town are able to live happily.

Suddenly, Izayal sees something that catches his attention. Rikka, another character introduced by Square Enix before, and her grandfather, are walking to town. A couple of Slimes and a Zuccini emerge from a tree and take cover behind a rock, apparently planning to ambush the two. As guardian angels, you won't stand for that! Izayal leads you in a dash towards the foes.

This first battle gives you a quick sampling of the game's battle system. Not much has changed from the game's Jump Festa showing, it seems. You have exclusive control of your character's menu. Izayal is controlled by the CPU.

Following your quick battle, Rikka and her grandfather make it to town. Rikka, although unaware of your intervention against the enemies, says that their safe arrival was surely due to the protection of the guardian angels. The two are unable to see you.

Izayal and your character zoom off back to the heavens. And that's where I stopped my early play session in order to deliver these impressions.

Stay tuned for more on Dragon Quest IX and its launch, both here and at my Twitter.

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