If this isn’t the very first time you’ve ever read an article about videogames, then you already know that Dragon Quest is one of the industry’s oldest and most successful franchises. You might also know that the ninth installment, sub-titled Protectors of the Starry Sky, is due out in Japan next month, and is the first numbered DQ game to be released on a handheld. No release date for us lowly gaijin yet, but I’m sure it’s coming.
To make the wait easier (or harder, depending on your point of view), Square Enix released a new trailer yesterday. It’s all in moonspeak, of course, but games are a universal language. Even through the language barrier, a few of the details are clear — I can tell by the pixels and by having seen quite a few Japanese RPGs in my time.
- There seems to be a character creation/customization feature
- Inventory is managed à la Diablo, and the armor and weapons you equip show up on the character model
- Item synthesis via Alchemy Pot is back
- Combat is traditional and turn-based, but enemies are visible on the overworld
- There seems to be some sort of upgrade system (jump to the 3:40 mark)
- Akira Toryama is back (obviously), and there seem to be some fully animated scenes
I’m not terribly familiar with the Dragon Quest series, nor have I followed DQIX very closely (although I will from now on!) so I’m not sure how much of this is new, but it’s certainly news to me.
Of particular interest is the multiplayer action (which starts at about the 4:15 mark): it looks awesome, but I have some questions about the implementation. How difficult will it be to communicate with your team? Can players drop in and drop out? Can you use your own, personalized character; and, if so, will the experience or loot you acquire in multiplayer translate to your own game?
I don’t have answers to any of these questions, but Square’s seven-minute trailer (below the jump) does a lot to convince me that I would love to learn the answers first-hand. If the comments over in Novokaine’s c-blog are any indication, it seems that you guys agree with me.
If Dragon Quest IX trailers are, like, your thing, check out this beauty from TGS last year.