Dragon Quest IX is like a classic car that's been recently restored: There might be some new stuff under the hood and additional bells and whistles, but it's still the same vehicle from years ago. That's not entirely a bad thing. Dragon Quest's appeal lies in its sense of warm, welcoming familiarity. It's refreshingly free of the pretension and overwrought cinematics of much of the current JRPG crop, instead presenting a lighthearted, charming adventure romp akin to what made the original Chrono Trigger such a beloved classic.
The cartoonlike setting, clever banter, and delightfully goofy-looking monsters and characters give the DQ titles a distinct atmosphere and appeal, and that appeal is of the big reasons why the series continues to thrive.