Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker Initial Impressions

Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker

I picked up Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker (DS) yesterday and I’ve been able to play the game for a good two or three hours so far. I’ve never played a Dragon Quest Monsters game before, so it’s all new to me, even though I’ve seen all the monsters before in other Dragon Quest games. Anyway, here are my impressions, so far…

When you first begin the game you have to name your main character, a kid with spikey gray hair. I’m not sure why his hair is gray, it just is. I named him Insaneo, as is tradition. You start locked in up in jail. As it turns out, your dad, the leader of an organization named CELL, locked you up for 10 days because you tried to run away and join this crazy monster competition. A little harsh, but whatever. Anyway, he lets you out and allows you to join in the competition.

The world map is separated into a series of islands, each island seemingly having more powerful monsters then the last. After you’re released, you travel to the island where the monster competition is going to be held. Unfortunately, it’s been delayed and I was directed to another island to hunt for monsters. After that, I’ve been provided little direction, so I’m running around an island with weak monsters trying to get them to join my party. The basic flow of the game seems to revolve around scouting new monsters to get them to join your party and then fusing those monsters together to create even more powerful monsters. It’s Pokemon with Dragon Quest characters, there really doesn’t seem to be more to it then that.

Graphically, everything is in 3-D. The graphics honestly look like a N64 game, they weren’t that impressive at all. When running the world around you is displayed in the top screen and the bottom screen shows a map. In battle, the top screen displays the fight, while the bottom screen lists the health of your monsters and other information pertaining to your monsters.

The sound isn’t amazing, either. It just sounds like more Dragon Quest music and nothing has struck me as particularly interesting.

Overall, I’m not really thinking this game is awesome or radical, but I’m going to give it more time. If that fails, I’ll try to finally finish Etrian Odyssey or Front Mission or whatever.

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