By Spencer . February 11, 2009 . 3:10pm
Games like The World Ends With You and Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker dabbled with passive Nintendo DS connectivity. Dragon Quest IX takes it a step further if you park your character in Rikki’s Inn.
An option there allows players to passively invite other Dragon Quest IX heroes in your game when you “meet” them in the real world. You don’t have to actively seek out other Dragon Quest IX players. If you walk out with your DS clamshelled in your backpack the game will automatically pick up Dragon Quest IX data from chance encounters.
Visiting characters show up in the inn where you can survey them. The transferred stat list looks pretty detailed since you can see another player’s play time, multiplayer playtime, number of quests completed, monster list percentage, item list percentage, and even a personal profile. You can customize your profile by selecting your birthday, choosing a job, and writing a personal message for others to read when your avatar appears in another player’s inn.
Passive players also come bearing treasure maps. You can take these treasure maps and use them, but they’re branded with the name of the discoverer. If the map isn’t completed and you pass it to another player your name is listed as an updater. The system makes completing maps a collaborative effort with the help of (many?) strangers provided you’re in the right location. The passive social system should be a hit in dense urban areas like Tokyo and Osaka. In spread out North America this might not be as much fun to use unless you’re in a major city with a good public transportation system. As funny as Dragon Quest IX “drivebys” would be I can’t imagine the game transferring data that fast. Perhaps, Square Enix will update Dragon Quest IX with map trading over Nintendo Wi-Fi.
Images courtesy of Square Enix.