So I've had a little more time with DQ9. Since the game came out ages ago, this is not a review by any means, but more my thoughts on the game.
First off, I like how it's almost a back to basics sort of RPG. There are no flashy over the top attempts to disguise it for what it is, a hearkening back to the days of SNES RPGs. Battles are turn based, and if you're not regular about grinding levels or upgrading your equipment, monsters will stomp your face harder than an elephant at a breakdancing competition.
I've also already mentioned in earlier posts how much I love the fact that each and every piece of equipment you buy or make shows up on your characters. This had a slight drawback for me at one point because there was a pair of pants that were really well suited for my Mage. Unfortunately, he never got to wear them because the model was a pair of briefs. Bright. Blue. Briefs.
DQ9 also has a pretty extensive crafting system. Sure you can buy equipment from the store, but if you take the time to scour bookshelves for recipes and the wilderness for ingredients, you can easily make gear that surpasses what you can buy for your level. It helps to give you that extra edge against monsters and bosses and well, theres nothing like making your own stuff.
You may have noticed that I haven't mentioned anything of the story though. I will admit, it's pretty generic fantasy, but the NPC's and the way they are written make up for this somewhat. However, the story in DQ9 is merely an excuse to get you from Town A to Dungeon B and then on to Town C.
All the while, however, throwing wonderful loot and goodies at your face. Eventually, you get the ability to change a characters Vocation, and from this point how you handle battles depends on how well you can balance your characters skill points, abilities and strengths. For example, at the moment I am levelling Mikey as a thief. However, he still has his bonuses from the time I levelled him as a Warrior, and as such, is not as squishy as a regular thief. Basically, I don't have to worry about him too much.
This will probably not be the last post about Dragon Quest IX, seeing as how when I get this far or invested in an RPG I usually end up finishing it. (Except for Warcraft... /cry)
All in all though, it's an awesome game for fans of old school RPGs and probably also people who like dressing up little people in matching outfits to fight monsters.