Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker
|Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker|
|Distributor(s)|| AUS Ubisoft|
|Series||Dragon Quest Monsters|
|Release date(s)|| JP December 28, 2006|
|Genre(s)||Console role-playing game|
|Mode(s)||Single-player, multiplayer game|
|Rating(s)|| OFLC: PG|
Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker is the first game in the Dragon Quest Monsters series to be in 3D. It uses the Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King game engine out of battle, uses cel-shaded animation, and the battles are of the same type: commands are issued in a turn based style, then are executed in full 3D.
The battle system itself is very similar to previous Dragon Quest Monsters games. The player controls up to three monsters that make up the party, and can issue them direct orders or set them to one of 5 AI settings. The main character does not directly participate in battles except for when the player uses items.
Joker does not have random battles. The only way to encounter enemies is to run into one on the overworld. The monsters can be seen, avoided, and attacked from their back to get a free attack round. Later on, the player gets the Whistle ability. This can be used at any time, other than in the city and where monsters don't appear, and in a way does count as a random battle as the enemies are randomly chosen.
The game takes place in the region known as the Green Bays archipelago, consisting of seven islands.
- Domus Isle - island holding the Jokers' GP Tournament.
- Infant Isle - island with a great tree at the center; it is inhabited by weak monsters.
- Xeroph Isle - desert island.
- Palaish Isle - private garden island.
- Infern Isle - barren island, inhabited by zombies.
- Celeste Isle - an island with two towers and some ruins.
- Fert Isle - jungle island; where the jail is located.
A sea scooter is used to travel from one island to another, with specific paths defined for every couple of jetties. However, the main character may notice uncharted islands beyond some of the main islands. The chances for this are completely random and aren't located on the main map.
The game has a Nintendo Wi-Fi element. The player connects to the server, and their monster team is ranked. The DS then downloads a set of opponents to battle. The battles are against the monster teams of higher and higher ranked other players. For each battle you win, you get a reward, either an item or a monster. These rewards change daily and can range from unexciting items to rare monsters such as liquid metal slimes. This feature is designed to be used once per day. The player can only fight one set of opponents, and get a reward once each day.
The player gets more and more monsters by scouting them. Unlike previous games in the series, this is a battle command, and not the result of using items in battle. The player can make as many scouting attempts as needed during a battle, until the monster decides to join, or takes offense. Success depends on the relative strengths of the monsters making the attempt versus the relative defense of the monster that is being scouted.
The monster families have been rearranged into a different categorization, so some monsters are in different families than they were on previous Dragon Quest Monsters games:
- Slime (スライム, suraimu).
- Dragon (ドラゴン, doragon).
- Nature (しぜん, shizen).
- Beast (まじゅう, majuu).
- Material (ぶっしつ, busshitsu).
- Demon (あくま, akuma).
- Undead (ゾンビ, zonbi).
- Incarni (しんじゅう, Shinjuu).
Unlike previous games in the series, there is not a Boss family. The Boss monsters (end game, or powerful bosses from Dragon Quest games) have been merged with the other families. For example, Zoma is now in the Demon family.
Monsters now all have a rank associated with them: F, E, D, C, B, A, S, and X. The ranks give an idea of how quickly the monster's stats will grow, and how hard they are to get/synthesize. There are 210 different monsters, though some are just color swaps of others, with different stats.
There are three monsters, Trode (トロデ, Torode), Leopold (レオパルド, Reoparudo), and Empyrea (レティス, Retisu) that can not be scouted or bred in the normal game. The only way to get Empyrea is to collect all 210 monsters in the library. Players will receive a Leopold when they have collected all of the different possible skills in the library. Leopold and Empyrea are required in order to synthesize the main monster into its final forms. The only way to get Trode is to visit a DS Station in Japan or to cheat. There, one can use the games' Wireless mode to fight against and attempt to scout him.
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