on 27 March 2009
Once voted as the best Dragon Quest of the lot in Japan, it was the first DQ instalment on Japanese SNES and it quickly became popular. That's saying something, especially in those days when every new release was met with a stampede of impatient gamers skipping school and work to get their mitts on a copy.
And I can see why.
All the trademark Dragon Quest/Warrior charm is intact. The world has a cosy, homey feel to it which seeps through my skin to the point that, at the end, I was sorry to have to leave. I dipped myself into it so deeply that it became scary to come back out into real life. Some NPCs can't quite take themselves seriously, with their juvenile sense of humour you'd come to expect, yet peculiarly they are always ever so excruciatingly likable and heart warming. Classical, Baroque style music is beautiful too, complementing its already-cosy feeling.
At times Dragon Quest V is a grind, both in experience and money, but the strange coexistence of its trademark quirk and passion somehow glue everything together to lure you back again and again. This is further reinforced by a remarkable story - a story I would dare not give away here - which is truly Epic to say the least. The span of generations and the depth of main characters are remarkable.
Sentimentalism is sometimes lost on me in recent years, but this brought it right back for me. I would beg you not to read any spoilers or hear anything about the story from your friends/colleagues/family/priests as you will enjoy it far more that way. I thought DQIV was pretty good, but for me, in depth this one blows it out of the water. It's tempting to give a fuller explanation, but it's so hard to do so without mentioning the story as it is pivotal in this journey. So I'll leave it to you to discover it. I trust that you will not regret it.
The game system/battle is good too, but be warned that it remains to be old school. Or rather, typically Dragon-Quest-esque (if that's the right word). You are presented with a simple interface that sometimes feels a bit fiddly, especially with items, but it's a small detail that you can overlook - or even grow fond of. The battle too has a simple presentation, but this time the monster animation is very pleasant to the eye and deepens your involvement. This sort of system really grows on me. It's interesting how simplicity, in today's complicated world, can work well and complements even a mammoth title like DQV.
Oh, and later on you will acquire the ability to befriend monsters who you can nurture like a character. It felt a bit like a gimmick at first, but this turns out to be expansive and I haven't yet uncovered everything despite the fact that I've completed it. I suspect you would be in a similar position the first time, so clearly there is a replay/lasting value here.
Overall, it's a very fine game and a highly refined package. If you like console RPGs and don't mind an old school grind, this title will reward you hugely with its mesmerizing tale of an awesome family ... and the bride.
on 4 December 2009
If you like RPGs, then I'd recommend you buy this one! I'd enjoyed playing number VIII in the series on the PS2 & in my opinion this is a better game & works well on the DS. It doesn't make much use of the touch screen, but I've had a lot of fun playing it. I'm nearing the end now & don't want it to finish! And I've lost count of the number of games I haven't completed over the years. Some people might say it's a little old school, but I haven't enjoyed a game this much in ages.
Good use of 2 screens in boss battles & in dungeons etc.
Looks good, if a bit cartoony
Quick battles & being able to set tactics for other members/all the party
Fun to play
Able to befriend monsters, fight with them & kit them out
Random battles (some might not like this, but I don't mind)
Could be longer
I've spent a fair amount of time over the years on RPGs & this is one of the best for me in a long time.
on 2 July 2009
finally a ds game that lasts longer than 20 hours. I enjoyed this game alot, great characters and a typical rpg storyline that is just right. I liked the battle system and having a fall back crew to rely on. I also appreciated the levelling up speed as I often get so bored of having to do this in rpgs for veery long periods of time, but in this game it does not take forever- infact I completed the game at level 50. Now I'm off to play sacred 2.......
on 13 May 2014
I love RPG that are fun rather than just fighting. This is the first I bought in this series and loved the storyline and the quirky characters. You travel from place to place, fighting strange monsters, leveling up and making friends that progress with you through the game. I now own all four in the series on the DS and am waiting for a 3D version to be made.
on 29 May 2009
+Plenty of things to do off the beaten path
-It's nice to have updated graphics, but there are some gameplay elements that might've benefited as well.
For many RPGers, Dragon Quest has a special place in their heart. Unfortunately, two Dragon Quest games never made it to the states. Those games are finally getting that chance to shine, with Dragon Quest V landing down now, and Dragon Quest VI landing down sometime in the near future. This is the first time many gamers have gotten to experience Dragon Quest V, and it turns out to be one of the better DS RPGs out there. Unfortunately, there's still a matter of how long it'll take for Square-Enix to update the Dragon Quest series.
As usual, there's not too much to expect from a story in Dragon Quest. It's a run of the mill story. Dragon Quest has primarily been about gameplay. Even after so many years, Dragon Quest is still an incredibly fun game to play, despite being dated. The series basic crux for battling hasn't changed since the first game. It's incredibly simplistic, looks incredibly dated, but still plays incredibly well.
You'll go exploring dungeons and getting into random battles. When in battle it takes place from a first person perspective where you select commands and watch them get acted out. While your enemies have more movements, which is a far better upgrade from the still life shots of the Super Famicom original, you won't actually see your character run up and physically strike the enemy. After so long, it would be nice if Dragon Quest really made it's battles come alive. This isn't in 16 bits, this is now on the Nintendo DS and has gotten a few notable upgrades. Unfortunately there are some upgrades that it didn't receive.
As much fun as battling is, the random encounter rate within the dungeons is through the roof. Dragon Quest has always been a series that has forced you to battle, but it can be annoying to be getting into a battle every few seconds. This is fun for many RPGers, but it's not quite as fun when you tire of battles. The dungeons aren't too big, at least, but they feel much longer. Along those lines, the game is not exactly easy. You'll have to do quite a bit of level grinding throughout the game. This can be a drag for those who began playing RPGs later on in the Playstation era where you could slog through just about anything at almost any level. Dragon Quest V doesn't let you get away with that. If you're having trouble in a dungeon... it's because your level isn't high enough. Level grinding can be fun, but it's also hard to deny that for some this will be a repetitive task.
More old school appeal that Dragon Quest V appeals to is the idea that the game rarely (if ever) tells you where to go next. In order to figure some things out, you'll have to talk to various NPCs in various towns. While this might annoy some gamers, it really opens things up to exploring. If you have a chance to jump a little further ahead, there's no real penalty for doing it. It's a little easy to get lost, but if you're willing to talk to a few NPCs, it becomes very easy to find your way. There are also several things to do off the beaten path, and even more to do after the game is completed. Dragon Quest V can easily keep you busy for several hours.
An update that the series could probably benefit from is making a much simpler menu to navigate. Dragon Quest has yet to make it's menu system simpler to navigate and manage. It's a little better on the DS, but interface in RPG menu systems have been more user friendly since the early 90's. It can take more time than it needs to equip and unequip a character. Dragon Quest V's menu system isn't that different from the first game in the series, and it would've been easier to navigate had it adopted some of the mechanics of Dragon Quest VIII's. It won't bother you that much, but with giving the visuals and sound such a huge update, it would've been nice had other dated areas gotten that same update.
In terms of the updates it did receive, however, they're overall very nice. There's some well written dialog in special dialects. It might annoy some gamers, but it really makes the world come alive. The music, as usual, sounds fantastic. It's been remastered and it sounds better than most other DS games out there. Among the most obvious of the updates are the visuals. It's very similar to how Dragon Quest VII looked on the original Playstation. You might see some denizens or objects that look a little pixelated, but it still looks good. The backgrounds in many of the dungeons or in the battles look divine.
Aside from a couple of things that didn't get updated, Dragon Quest V is still a solid RPG. It's got plenty of gameplay, and it has plenty of extra things to do off the beaten path. Not to mention that there are a few new goodies thrown in for good measure. If you're a Dragon Quest fan, Dragon Quest V is a fantastic experience. You'll quickly overcome some of the issues and settle in for a long and rewarding gameplay experience.