There’s something so special to me about roleplaying games. Whether they’re tabletop quests like Dungeons and Dragons or virtual adventures like The Witcher, I love being able to play the intrepid hero, destined for greatness (or failure.) RPGs take you on grand adventures in amazing places, and Valorware’s 9th Dawn III does just that.
9th Dawn III is an open-world RPG that takes you on a quest to defeat a corrupt king. Along the way, you’ll fight through dark dungeons, bandit hideouts, sewers, and more to make it to Lorwyck Castle for your destined battle. In between these huge mazes of monsters, you’ll explore villages, learning to craft armor and weapons and how to fish and cook. You can run errands for people, ranging from simply collecting a few things to killing dangerous foes. Or, if you’re looking to just chill for a while, you can play a few games of Fyued, a card game of numbers and monsters.
All which means there’s never a lack of things to do in the game. There are numerous side-quests of all types in addition to the main goal. You can focus on collecting all of the over 300 weapons and 550 pieces of armor or all 180 Fyued cards. If all of that isn’t quite your scene, there’s also plenty of exploring to be done in the land of Cedaltia, finding new villages, dungeons, and enemies to vanquish.
9th Dawn III offers a bit of everything in terms of game play. There’s battles with both weapons and magic. There’s plenty of things to craft, such as armor, weapons, and clothes to boost your defense and attack. You can learn to fish and cook, which will give you recipes for foods that give you all sorts of health and abilities. You can even play card games with villagers to earn special items. Dungeons are often mazes that require you to remember where you’ve been and where you haven’t, so prepare for lots of deadends and backtracking when trying to find certain levers or treasure chests.
Don’t expect to run into random rooms for safety from enemies, either; enemies will open the doors and go right on through. It’s usually do or die in combat, and can be terribly exciting – or terribly terrifying.
There’s a pretty petty gripe I have with the game, and it’s about controls. Attacks are made by using the right analog stick, which is also how you move your character. You have to aim towards enemies, and you can’t really move while you aim. It leaves you open to attacks, which is definitely an incentive to craft better armor, but when first starting out it can get you killed pretty easily. Honestly, even this becomes more manageable over time, but it’s awkward and there’s no way to change that control to something more comfortable.
9th Dawn III is a fantastic RPG offering hours of entertainment with its combat, exploring, and never-ending collecting. It has a solid soundtrack and the pixelated graphics are done well and fit the game’s distinctive feel. The story is hardly original for the RPG genre, but has several twists that add uniqueness, as well as incredible amounts of things to discover and characters to talk with that give the game tons of charm. This is one adventure that’s call should be answered.