Dragon Quest, Japan’s Biggest RPG, Finally Goes Multi-Platform

29 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Did Square Enix just tease the first games for Nintendo’s NX console?.

Square Enix has announced Dragon Quest XI, the latest in its long-running, very popular line of RPGs that’s something of a Japanese cultural phenomenon. I guess just because the folks at Nintendo are choosing to wait until next year to make any official announcement for their next console, it doesn’t necessarily mean that other companies have to wait too. Following yesterday’s leak of the game’s logo, has been officially announced and it is slated for a 2016 release in Japan to coincide with the series’ 30th anniversary.

The PlayStation 4 version marks the first time that the game will be available for a Sony platform, after being dominated by Nintendo, PC, and smartphones all this time. The latest Dragon Quest will come in two forms, a handheld game for the 3DS and a fancy, Unreal Engine 4 version for the PS4, and (probably) the Nintendo NX. In the past that’s meant its jumped from NES to PlayStation to DS and Wii, but now there’s not really any clear market leader in Japan and many worried the next numbered sequel would end up as a mobile game. The 3DS version of the game is being developed by Square Enix in collaboration with Toy Logic, and it features real-time 2D sprites on the bottom screen, reflecting the action of the 3D models on the top screen. Square also announced that DQ XI will also be heading to the next Nintendo console, known currently as NX, alongside previous Wii/Wii U MMO release Dragon Quest X (which is also coming to the PS4, by the way).

It’s highly rumored to have a holiday 2016 release date, and mounting evidence seems to point to it, but nothing can truly be confirmed for certain. And the series is so monumentally huge that its announcement and release always has the effect of cementing that platform’s victory, since consumers (and other developers) will flock to the platform afterwards. As such as the 3DS game looks very much like a traditional top down Japanese role-player, with the two screens of the portable able to portray both old school 2D sprites and 3D visuals. Evidently realizing the confusion that announcing game for a console that’s currently more mystery than actual machine might cause, the publisher has started backpedaling on the whole NX part of the announcement.

Nintendo has still given no clue as to what NX is, although you might find this speculative article interesting – as it makes a good argument for NX being some sort of ‘social AR’ experience. And in fact, Square Enix actually did announce Dragon Quest of the Stars, a free-to-play, microtransaction-based role-playing game for iOS and Android, just a few days ago. A writer, journalist, and aspiring storyteller, Peter Grimm has been gaming since the days of the Nintendo 64, and reporting on the goings-on in the World of Gaming since late 2011. It’s a great risk-mitigating concept in an uncertain market that seems to have worked well: As expected, Level-5 sold more of the DS version in Japan, but the PlayStation 3 version was more suited to the worldwide market, and outsold the DS version once European and American sales were factored in.

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