I had a ton of fun playing this game. I am all about leveling up, earning money and getting the best equipment I can buy. The characters are great and the game doesn't do long drawn out "scenes".
But... here is my but.. Sometimes I would go a day or two without playing Dragon Quest. I would turn the game on and have no clue what to do next as it doesn't give any hints... I had to use a walk through many times. So thank my lucky stars for walk throughs. But that was kind of a pain in the butt. Most games at least give some clue as what to do next.
Play this game if you want to spend hours and hours leveling up... everything about it is fun!
When compared to other Dragon Quest games this is not as good, unless of course you like going through the same low levels 5 times in a row. It still is a decent game and if you dont mind spending 15+ hours getting through the first part then it turns into a decent game.
...if it wasn't for the horrible translation and the total lack of any utilization of the touch screen.
I'm not the type of person that really cares about the quality of a game's translation---as long as it's legible and the story isn't completely altered by some overbearing weeaboo, I'm fine with it. In this case, however, the translators must have thought they were being cute and clever when they went around and gave all the characters different accents depending on their location in the game world. They weren't.
Accents are notoriously difficult to pull off properly in a text format, and this effort is a prime example of how not to do it. It's obvious that the two people involved in this just used search and replace, which leads to a lot of text that needs way too much thought in order to decipher. In addition to this, there are a number of made up "foreign" words that can't even be translated through the use of context clues.
Yes, there were only two people translating this title. This does not excuse this incredibly sloppy work. If they were stretched too thin, they should have abandoned the accents (or toned the usage down significantly). I honestly preferred the Early Modern English used in the NES localizations of the first Dragon Quest to this.
My other major gripe with the game is that there's almost no reason for this to be on the DS. There is absolutely no usage of the touch screen capability---the top screen merely acts an extension of the 3D view, a world map, or a status screen. There's no real excuse for it either---the interface was perfectly scaled for stylus use.
All my complaints aside, the content of the game itself is decent. You'll get about 20-30 hours of play out of it (excluding the bonus chapter). The combat system is tedious outside of involved boss battles though, which is a shame. The graphics (especially in battle) are impressive, with incredibly detailed sprites and animations, all running at a smooth 60 FPS.