Of monsters and a hero, magic and illusion, and other mysterious tales

I have not watched a movie in weeks and the last book I finished was in early April. What has become of me? Well, I have turned a hardcore gamer, at least for the time being.

It happened on a bored Sunday evening when the husband was busy playing some thing on his shiny new PS3, and I walked around aimlessly in search of something to do. That is when I stumbled upon my Nintendo DS, which had been sitting in a corner since I finished Professor Layton and the Curious Village, months ago. I browsed through the games I had and suddenly found Dragon Quest IV – Chapters of the Chosen. I remembered reading an article about it and how it had piqued my interest.

A couple of hours into the game, I realized this was one of those game that will have me hooked for days but I was wrong. Dragon Quest, like any true RPG, will have you hooked not for days but weeks, months even if you have a busy routine like mine.

Now, this game has been adapted for the DS and was originally created for the classic NES. The veterans have found many flaws in the adaptation, they mostly find it simpler, but the game totally rocked my socks off. Besides having a solid storyline, the game gives you everything that an adventure game offers, only with a twist of Japanese. So, the evil monsters that you have to fight and kill are the cutest things ever, since everything Japanese must be adorable. But soon you forget to ooh-aah about this cuteness, because they are terrible monsters behind that cute face and they kill you so bad.  The enemy grows stronger as you level up, of course, but what I love is that enemy changes too and so do its characteristics. So, if you have mastered to kill the slime with a particular magic spell, you have to rethink your strategy when a new type of slime appears. Every time you are faced with a new type of enemy, you must first gauge its strengths and weaknesses and then, decide your plan of action accordingly. Just because your zapped the daylights out of your last enemy with this particular attack, there is no guarantee that you can even harm a hair of this bright new monster. And in all this, lies a lot of fun.

Another awesome little touch in the game is how you save the game or heal yourself. I often see very creative and fun save points in games, but this one has to be most awesome. To save your game, you must go to the nearest city, town, or village and look for a Church. In the church, you must go and confess all that you have done to the priest, who makes a log of it. Splendid! You can also ask the priest to perform a purification, which will cure you of poison but my favorite (and most crucial) is resurrection. Oh, but the priest does not resurrect you for free and his fee levels up along with your character. The other characters seen in the cities and towns are also very diverse, and as you move around the world and cross continents, their language changes too. Of course, I am playing the game in English so it is always the language but there are colloquial terms thrown in to give you the flavor of Russia and even Indian continent. I freaked out when a character went “Arey, you should run fast-fast.” Her name is Maya, and she is *so* Indian (Yes, she does come from the world where India is all about snake charmers and elephants, but I am not in a complaining mood right now.) Oh and you also see more tiger and cheetah monsters in the Indian continent.

 

Out of the eight main characters that the game allows you to play with, I cannot pick my top three favorites. Some are awesome fun to play with but you want to kick their ass for the ass they become in the battle. Some are just so adorable but not powerful enough. But they are all well done and have a strong character of their own, which is a great thing to have in any form of story-telling.

I also love shopping and hunting for the perfect weapon and armor for each of them; but side-quests to get the better armor are not always rewarding, though they are definitely fun. Like the other day, I fought half-a-million monsters and reached the deepest pit in mother earth and what did I get? A double-edged sword! It will surely kill my enemy but will leave me half-dead too. Thank you very much.

So, you first play five quick chapters with different cool characters and then you unlock them all and can play with any four of your choice. You can switch between the characters to choose which one you think is most fit for the particular battle.

I do not think I have played enough games to comment sensibly on game play and other technical aspects of the game, but as a gamer, I have been completely absorbed and frequently enamored by the little twists and fantastic adventures it takes me on. I have been playing it for around 35 hours and at least 10 more to go. Happiness.

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