If you missed playing the original Dragon Quest IV back in the glory days of the original NES system, you're in luck: you now have the opportunity to play one of the most uniquely structured classics around.

Although it's no longer the game to end all RPGs (role-playing games), Dragon Quest IV's aged simplicity is perfect for the DS and it should appeal to both casual and hardcore RPG gamers.

What really sets DQIV apart from countless other RPGs is its story, or rather the way that story is told. Instead of a predictable plot that relies on tired genre conventions, DQIV introduces a memorable cast of characters in several separate stories.

Although your main character is central to the plot as "The Chosen One" you won't be playing with him (or her) for much of the game. Instead, after you choose your character's name and gender, the game breaks the story up into six chapters. In each act, you play though different events that chronicle each party member's travels before uniting with the main group for the conclusion.

This style of storytelling works especially well since it gives a distinctive motivation for each character's quest - Maya and Meena, a pair of magic wielding sisters, seek revenge for their father's mysterious murder; tomboyish princess Alena runs away from home to travel the world, aging knight Ragnar McRyan leaves his kingdom to investigate a grim prophecy, and series favorite Torneko Taloon ventures across the country in order to become the world's greatest merchant.

When everyone eventually meets up, DQIV has already delivered four eventful chapters of masterful storytelling. As if the cast wasn't diverse enough, the dialogue for each character is unique to their respective home country, showing a welcome extra step in localization detail from developer ArtePiazza.

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