Although the reason for DQ’s failure to catch on in the West is multi-faceted, one of the biggest gripes many had was that little seemed to have changed since the first game debuted in Japan in 1986. Although we did recently get two NDS remakes, Dragon Quest IV and V, the games were mostly graphical upgrades with little gameplay changes from their Famicom and Super Famicom origins, and the series still was more than a blip on most gamers’ radars outside of Japan. A new entry in the franchise, Dragon Quest VIII, released on PS2, also failed to make a significant splash in western waters. Obviously, something had to change if the series was ever to be truly successful in the rest of the world. The result of that experiment is Dragon Quest IX, which, while not perfect, is certainly one of the best RPGs available for Nintendo’s handheld.