So, over the weekend, I got to try a little co-op adventuring in Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies. And I have to sum up my experience in the very words of the many dogs you’ll meet during your journey to collect seven fyggs (magical fruit that have been eaten by townspeople only then be returned to you whole and untouched…if that is even possible): nng nng nnnnnggg. In short, co-op is kind of a flop, but then again, I suspect I know why.
See, my sister and I got the game on the same day, its release day at that, and we played for a good amount later that evening. But then I had to return to the hubbub of life up north, and she stayed home in South Jersey on a mini-cation, wherein she got to play a lot more DQIX than I did. Needless to say, by the time we got together again for some co-op play, she was double my levels (37 or so to my paltry 16s) and nearing end-game material. This made for lame co-op questing since…I was not there yet.
For co-op play, you can do two things: let someone into your world, to help you on your quests, or travel to someone else’s world, to help them on their quest. Experience and gold is shared, and visiting adventurers can open as many blue treasure chests as they want. Now, if you want their help in battle, you have to make room in your team, basically dropping off a party member or two. This also means that, while adventuring in my sister’s world of really high-leveled enemies, if caught in a battle too far away from her, it’d just be me, solo, fighting against the devil’s army. Sure, I could call her into action, but it wouldn’t work if she too was already in a battle, now a fighter short. So we had to stick together, and I basically just visited some of the new towns and grabbed some early recipes since I couldn’t afford anything. Then she came into my world to help me beat Leviathan, which was nice of her to do. Other than that, there wasn’t anything crazy exciting about the experience. She also got some additional quests from me since I was to DL them from WiFi and she was not.
I can see where the co-op would work best. Either playing together from the start, or playing together for all the post-game quests and treasure maps and so on. Those are probably the best options, but I doubt it’ll happen again for me. Still gotta figure out how this “tag mode” works as there’s a special event coming up at the local GameStop…