If you own a DS and love RPGs, I hope you picked up a copy of Dragon Quest IX this weekend. While there’s no way it’s going to become the cultural phenomenon over here like it is in Japan, the fact that Nintendo’s publishingÂ it statesideÂ – and appointing Seth Green as its officialÂ celebrity spokesguyÂ – is promising.Â Perhaps aÂ modest following is not out of the question. The only problem is that most of us won’t be playing it “correctly.”
Â Though the Toriyama art and turn-based battles might suggest another traditional outing, IX‘s multiplayer emphasis is a significant departure. Not only does the game feature four-player cooperative dungeon crawling, but there’s also a tag mode that automatically shares data and treasure maps with other players.Â This mode is inconveniently tucked away in a specific inn, but the potential benefits are huge.Â However, we’re all well aware that American gamers just aren’t geared to this kind of play, so too bad, right?
Or at least that’s the standard line. I, for one, am going to try a little experiment for the next month. During my daily commutes throughout New York City, I’m going to “canvas” for like-minded DQIX players in the hopes that we can become accidental buddies. I suggest that everyone reading this should do the same. Let’s keep our minds open and check back in 30 days.