Dear Dragon Quest IX. We're Sorry

Nintendo are pushing DQIX so hard and via the various channels that we consume all things video games we run the risk of getting Dragon Quest indigestion. Both EDGE magazine and ONM have run DQ retrospectives and articles in addition to those horrid PROMOTIONAL FEATURES that look like NON-PROMOTIONAL OBJECTIVE FEATURES. There have also been a couple of DQIX videos on the Nintendo Channel and a number of prime-time TV spots. Even the bloody real-life newspapers were carrying reviews and previews on Sunday. There was no escaping it.

Sorry guys
And yes, we know how they all go. "DQ sold a bagillion copies in Japan". "Nobody is interested here". Except for the PS2 version. That was quite good. Yet, for all this rhetoric and the unanimous glowing reviews we aren't even going to bother buying it, here's why.

Firstly, and least importantly, there just isn't the culture of ad-hoc multiplayer play here that there is in Japan. I lose count of the games that have these 'nifty in principle' ideas that use the Wi-Fi jiggery pockery but that you never ever get to use: the letters in Final Fantasy III, rescue missions in Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates multiplayer and bark mode in Nintendogs. Great ideas but rarely used in our experience. Hell, we can barely manage to get together to have a bloody Pokemon battle once every nine years let alone co-ordinate four players with full DS batteries and copies of whatever game. Because this is the case it feels like a bit of a rip-off buying games like DQIX where I won't get to experience the game to its fullest on a technical get-out. It would be like buying Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 exclusively for its single player campaign.

Secondly, if we did buy DQIX it would just end up on the Pile of Unfinished RPGStm. Hell, that pile got so big that we made a separate pile for the unfinished DS games alone. We're outside one of the towns on Final Fantasy III and have been for years. What was I doing again? Where was I heading? We'll never know I guess. We enjoyed Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates in multiplayer but picking it up again and we're not sure where we were heading or what we were doing in the singleplayer mode. Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings is okay and we fall in and out of playing it but the winning strategy seems to be "spawn loads of guys" over any kind of deeper strategy. We've still got both Pokemon Diamond and Pokemon Soul Silver games on the go as well as Pokemon Mystery Dungeon and all of that leaves us exhausted just thinking about RPGs and we aren't even counting "RPGs" Animal Crossing Wild World and all those Pokemon-clone Dinosaur games like Dinosaur King and Fossil League Dino Tournament Challenge. As for non DS RPGs we've perhaps 'completed' (the storyline at least) maybe three or four total? Okami, Koudelka, Final Fantasy VIII and for that matter Dragon Quest VIII are a handful of the unfinished RPGs we have in the collection.

Thirdly, there's bloody loads of RPGs on the DS and the likes of Infinite Space, Mario and Luigi Inside Story, Chrono Trigger and Fire Emblem already gnaw at our conscience. "Why don't you play me?" they whisper when I walk past a game retailer. STOP IT! IT ISN'T PERSONAL. I DON'T HAVE ENOUGH TIME......

So sorry DQIX. There's very little doubt that we wouldn't have absolutely loved the first five hours of you but that is about as far as we would have got and we can think of five things we'd rather spend £6 an hour on.

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