The Dragon Quest series is one of the longest running JRPG series ever, with ten main entries of the series and plenty of spin-off titles. While the latest entry of the series, the MMORPG Dragon Quest X, has yet to be released West, Square Enix is releasing the mobile ports of the first eight entries of the series in both North America and Europe, allowing more gamers to check out these excellent games on their iOS devices.
Following the release of Dragon Quest VIII, the Japanese company has finally released Dragon Quest IV: Chapters Of The Chosen on the App Store last week, one of the more solid entries of the series. The iOS port, which is even better than the Dragon Quest VIII port for obvious technical reasons, has shown how this game is one of the best entries of the series that manages to feel fresh even decades after its original release.
Dragon Quest IV: Chapters Of The Chosen iOS is based on the Nintendo DS version, which is, in turn, based on the PlayStation remake of the original game. The game uses full 3D background with 2D characters, giving the game a really nice, old school, feel. The iOS version has received some graphical upgrades that unfortunately feel a bit hit and miss, as the backgrounds do look better thanks to them, but not the sprites, which haven’t received any update. Luckily things fare better during battles, as the visible portion of the screen is reduced thanks to the menus which occupy the upper and lower portions of the screen.
Luckily the gameplay experience hasn’t been changed in any way, something that’s definitely for the best, considering its high quality. Dragon Quest IV: Chapters Of The Chosen has a different progression than other Dragon Quest games and role playing games in general. As the name suggests, you will be controlling different characters in the first four chapter of the game, each one with his own or her story. Things pick up on the fifth chapter, when you take control of the hero and start gathering your party members. The hero itself is the main character of the first chapter, which is actually a tutorial. This unique way of making the story move along is really nice, since it allows the player to learn more about the characters and their motivations for joining the hero. The overall characterization is made even better by the return of the Party Chat, which was removed in the Western DS release.
Dragon Quest IV: Chapters Of The Chosen battle system is a classic turn based system which isn’t really innovative. Players will be able to attack with equipped weapons, defend, use skills and magic and more. Just like for other Dragon Quest games, Dragon Quest IV: Chapters Of The Chosen can be quite unforgiving so it’s important to be always prepared for the West. Sadly the game lacks the customization possibilities of other entries of the series so players will have to make do with the characters they have and the classes they come with. Luckily the grinding has been toned down a bit from the original release so you will be getting more gold and experience points after winning battles.
As we said at the beginning of the review, Dragon Quest IV: Chapters Of The Chosen is a better port than Dragon Quest VIII for obvious reasons. The game’s touch controls work better since you don’t have to control the camera. While the game can only be played in portrait view, everything is really comfortable and you will hardly have any reason to complain.
The only issue I have with Dragon Quest IV: Chapters Of The Chosen iOS is the way the soundtrack has been handled. After a battle, the backgounr music will start from the beginning and not from where it left one, forcing gamers to listen to the beginning of these tracks way too often. It’s a shame, because the soundtrack is truly excellent and one of the better features of the game.