|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: ArtePiazza||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Square Enix||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sept. 16, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
By the time you reach the final chapter, the situation improves substantially as the adventure opens up full-throttle. You can assign specific tasks and behaviors to party members, which they'll follow until prompted otherwise. Characters can be switched in and out of your party, though those in storage will continue to gain experience. There are plenty of new equipment, items, and spells to obtain. New modes of transportation eventually open up, allowing you to explore additional locations. Essentially, early chapters whet your palette for the main course, which continues the grand journey to a satisfying length.
As a nice surprise, the dual screens come into play more frequently than you'd expect from a typical retro remake. In battle, the top screen tracks your vitals for each party member, while the lower screen holds all the excitement. Both screens are used to display a broader expanse of land, when you're roaming around dungeons and towns. The top screen also provides a helpful geographic display that auto-maps as you travel to different regions in the overworld map on the touch screen. In either case, it's a great use of the visual real estate. The rest of the graphics do little to push any boundaries; they balance delicately between being a little outmoded for present times and a fitting match for the old school vibe. They're definitely a tad crisper than the PlayStation version.
In contrast to the smart use of the dual screens, the controls are functionally basic. The lack of any touch control implementation is glaring. It feels like a missed opportunity. Instead, the game utilizes a ho-hum D-Pad and face button setup that works well but lacks innovation. It's an area where some creativity and well thought-out changes could have gone a long way toward modernizing the gameplay. The one neat trick here is the ability to use the L and R buttons to rotate the entire view in 3D to locate secret doors in some areas and gain a different perspective. That's about it.
Chapters of the Chosen serves as a strong reminder of just how good some of the old times really were. It's a lengthy and deep RPG that offers a solid challenge without crushing the spirits of the non-hardcore RPG enthusiast. Those who haven't played a Dragon Quest game would do well to pick this one up; current fans may find themselves hard-pressed to put it back down.
CCC Staff Contributor