Most of my free time this weekend, which wasn’t very much actually, was spent playing Dragon Quest IX on my DS. It was fairly obvious that I was near the end; the story had me hooked and I was quite eager to see how things would unfold.
It’s been a while since I’ve been engrossed enough in a game to the point where I couldn’t put it down, as opposed to finishing a game just to get it over with already. DQIX has earned a place among my favourite console-style RPGs, Secret of Mana and Final Fantasy III (VI, if you’re from Japan).
Without spoiling anything, I really liked how the story played out. It was really well done. As an added bonus, the game doesn’t really end either. Once the credits finish rolling you’re dropped back into the world, free to continue your adventures. There are hidden grottoes sprinkled throughout that require a treasure map to find. So far I’ve found three, and each subsequent grotto increases in difficulty. I’ll likely take a break from playing the game exclusively, but I’ll definitely pop in now and then to get a fix.
I logged in to World of Warcraft the other night for the first time in about two weeks. I played for almost an hour and a half and if I were to sum up the experience in one word, it would be “meh”. In fact, that’s sort of been my feeling towards WoW in general since Cataclysm released. I like the expansion; the changes to the old world are great, but I think the WoW train may be running out of steam for me. My Mage is currently half way towards level 83, and pretty much the only thing keeping me playing is to get him to 85. I just got the achievement for doing 160 quests in Vashj’ir, and I’m sick to death of that zone. I have another quest to finish off there, something about a battle on a boat or something, and then I’ll be more than happy to head somewhere else. Perhaps the current lull in enjoyment that I’m experiencing with WoW will reverse itself with a change of scenery, but if it doesn’t, I’ll likely be taking another break from WoW for a while.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, I find my enjoyment of Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies on the Nintendo DS increasing daily. I haven’t been this “into” a game for quite some time. I haven’t looked at a walkthrough for it so I can’t say for sure, but I’m almost positive I’m right at the end of the main story, so I’ve taken a detour to do some last minute grinding before heading out to save the world. The thing about DQIX though, is that to me, the grinding doesn’t feel like grinding. I have fun doing it and it’s strictly by choice; my party is probably strong enough as it is, I just want to make them stronger. I can’t get enough of this game right now.