With the Dragon Quest series finally finding its proper footing west, now seems like the perfect time to re-release one of the most ambitious titles in the franchise. In recent years, Square Enix has made a big push for the Dragon Quest series outside of Japan. Thanks to the success of Dragon Quest 11: Echoes of an Elusive Age and a number of spinoff titles, the series seems to be on track to earn its spot as one of the leading RPG franchises, much like in its home country.
For that reason, now could be the perfect time to reintroduce the world to Dragon Quest 9: Sentinels of the Starry Skies, the most successful entry in the franchise, with a remake for the Nintendo Switch.
Jumping from the PlayStation 2 to the Nintendo DS likely came with a number of challenges. The beautiful cel-shaded visuals found in Dragon Quest 8: Journey of the Cursed King could never have worked for the DS, resulting in the unique blend of 2D sprites and 3D models featured in Dragon Quest 9. While this certainly worked in the game's favor at the time, Dragon Quest 9 hasn't aged quite as gracefully as other entries in the series, especially the ones that received remakes and ports to more modern hardware.
Dragon Quest 11 S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition has proven that the Switch is more than capable of running a modern Dragon Quest title without any major drawbacks. Remaking the world of Dragon Quest 9 in the same style would be an amazing upgrade that would likely make any fans of the series (or Dragon Quest 11 specifically) more than happy. A remake of Dragon Quest 9 wouldn't necessarily have to go to this extreme though. A remake of Dragon Quest 9 could maintain the overhead perspective featured in the original, but with updated models. Dragon Quest of the Stars, a mobile game spinoff title, features character models similar to Dragon Quest 9, which could give fans a taste of what a Dragon Quest 9 Switch remake could look like.
Dragon Quest 9 set itself apart from the rest of the series by being the first mainline Dragon Quest title to feature multiplayer. For the first time, players could get together and go on a full-length RPG adventure. It was a unique experience that very few RPGs allow for, but it was unfortunately one that didn't translate quite the same way outside of Japan. While it wasn't uncommon there to find groups gathered for a four player session of Dragon Quest 9, even some of the more hardcore Dragon Quest fans in the west have never gotten the chance to try the feature out due to the game's lack of online functionality.
Even if the original Dragon Quest 9 did feature online play, players would have no way to access the feature today. The Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service has been shut down since 2014, meaning that any DS or Wii game that required them ended up losing any online features that were once included. For Dragon Quest 9, this removed a number of downloadable quests and special items that were added to the game as downloadable content. With Nintendo's new online system in place, this won't be something that players need to worry about, at least not anytime soon.
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