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  1. Dragon Quest fans are about to get another dose of the franchise soon as Square Enix announced today that the first three Dragon Quest titles will be making its way to Nintendo Switch later this month. These include Dragon Quest, Dragon Quest II: Luminaries of the Legendary Line, and Dragon Quest III: The Seeds of Salvation -- all three of which make up what is known as the Erdrick Trilogy. Dragon Quest III in particular is largely considered to be one of the best in the series, so be sure to put that one on your radar if you haven't played any of these previously. The three Dragon Quest titles will cost $4.99, $6.49, and $12.49, respectively, and will be available to buy digitally on Nintendo Switch on September 27. Not coincidentally, Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age also releases that day; it's a good time to be a Dragon Quest fan! Source: Press Release
  2. Dragon Quest fans, you can rest easy now. Square Enix has finally confirmed Dragon Quest XI's release date in the West; you'll finally get to play it in September. Of course, we had previously heard from Dragon Quest creator Yuji Hori that the game would be making its way westward in 2018 so this doesn't come as too much of a surprise. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age will purportedly have over 100 hours of content and will also offer changes not seen in the original Japanese release, such as an English voiceover track, a new mode called "Draconian Quest" (essentially a hard mode for more experienced players), overhauled menus and UI, a camera mode that allows players to take in views of the landscapes and character models, and a new dash function in addition to improved character movement and camera control. If you pre-order the game on the PlayStation store, you'll gain access to "The Legend Reborn" theme in addition to DLC items when the game launches. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age will release on PlayStation 4 and Steam on September 4. You can check out some of the first footage of the Western version of the game below. Source: Press Release Are you excited for the release of Dragon Quest XI in the West?
  3. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age, one of Japan's biggest and most anticipated games of the year, is finally launching in the country this weekend. And while fans of the series in the West will surely be jealous, they also have reason to celebrate today. While some may have seen the news coming, Dragon Quest creator Yuji Hori confirmed in a video to fans that Dragon Quest XI will indeed be making its way west in 2018. The news comes after fans have been patiently waiting for news for years now of whether the game would get a release outside Japan. While no platforms were announced by Hori or Square Enix just yet, it appears likely that the PlayStation 4 version will be released. What's not quite as certain is whether we will get the 3DS version. However, Nintendo has released all main Dragon Quest games since Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen on the DS, with Dragon Quest VII and Dragon Quest VIII just releasing last Fall and early this year, respectively. Square Enix has announced before that it will bring Dragon Quest XI to the Switch at a later date. Check out Yuji Hori's message to fans regarding the announcement below. Source: Press Release
  4. Getting a new numbered Dragon Quest game is a pretty rare and special event these days, similar to getting new console Zelda titles. Fortunately, Japanese fans of the series finally got to hear what they had been waiting for -- the game's release date. Square Enix announced that Dragon Quest XI: In Search of Departed Time will be released in Japan on July 29 on both PlayStation 4 and 3DS. Hardware bundles are underway for each version from their prospective platform holders (Sony and Nintendo), and it was also announced that the story would take some 50 hours to complete, with side quests bringing the total amount to 100 hours in all. Trailers were also shown as well. Check out the one below that mixes the PS4 and 3DS footage together. Hopefully a North American release date isn't far off. We'll be getting a new Nintendo Direct detailing upcoming games so perhaps we'll hear something then or at E3 in two months. Source: Gematsu Are you looking forward to Dragon Quest XI?
  5. The original Dragon Quest Heroes released only just last year and with a handful of a subtitle as well -- The World Tree's Woe and the Blight Below -- but many found it to be a refreshing new spin-off of the series. Enough, in fact, that Square Enix has announced that its sequel, this time just called Dragon Quest Heroes II, is coming to the West early next year. Similar to the first game, DQHII will bring together iconic heroes from past Dragon Quest games and introduce two new heroes -- cousins Lazarel and Teresa -- as they tackle a new threat to the world. Dragon Quest Heroes II is slated for release on April 25, 2017 as a PS4 exclusive. Be sure to check out the trailer below! Source: Press Release Are you looking forward to Dragon Quest Heroes II?
  6. Developer: Square-Enix, ArtePiazza Publisher: Nintendo Platform: Nintendo 3DS Release Date: September 16th, 2016 ESRB: E10+ Dragon Quest must seem like a weird series to look in on from the outside. If you were to travel to Japan, there“d be no arguing its relevance there. The main theme plays on trains today, Dragon Quest III made kids and adults go crazy a few decades back... It“s certainly safe to say that it“s as recognizable there as something like Final Fantasy is in the West. Fans here are much harder to come by. But they are legion, so to speak — often having to form campaigns or move proverbial mountains to convince Nintendo and Square-Enix that the franchise still has a place in the West, outside of quirky spin-offs and mobile ports. As history is known to repeat itself, the two 3DS Dragon Quest games that die-hard fans have been clamoring for since at least 2012...were finally confirmed for release outside Japan, last year. Dragon Quest VIII is the only entry left in the main series that I“ve yet to play. From what I hear...it“s bold & beautiful, it“s very character-driven, it“s newcomer friendly, and it“s one of only a few examples of Dragon Quest feeling “modern”. Dragon Warrior VII, as the West knew it in the days of the original PlayStation... is none of those things. As you can tell from the graphics alone, there was little separating it from the Super Nintendo entries that came before it. It“s been harped on for its obscene length — some saying it took over 100 hours to see the credits roll. Even die-hard fans could list numerous flaws, without so much as a second to think about it. Enter: Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past on Nintendo 3DS, a remake of the PlayStation game many once knew... that rebuilt everything from the ground up, including fully 3D-rendered graphics, a fully orchestrated soundtrack in Japan, and a brand new script for the West. There are a few out there to tell you what exactly has changed between the original game and its remake. But I'm not one of them. This was my very first time with VII. I can“t really tell you how things were, but I can certainly tell you plainly how things are. And that“s why — before I say anything else — I have to give caution where it“s due. If you are brand new to Dragon Quest, I promise that VII on 3DS is not the place to start. It took me 80 hours to reach the credits, and I“d guess anyone who touches the game will average a minimum of 72-75. Its length alone is incredibly daunting! Again: the original game was over 100 hours; the developers consider 80 hours to be that journey at its most trimmed down... and I genuinely feel they“re right. I can“t confidently say that any substantial part of the narrative or world deserved to be cut in transition from PlayStation to 3DS. Everything I ever did felt worthwhile, even if I didn“t necessarily agree with some mechanics or choices made. And that“s the other point I“ve got to hammer in. Many of my contemporaries have or will harp on Dragon Quest VII for being “stuck in the past”. Don“t get me wrong: I love that about these games. But the voices of dissent are absolutely correct. You can“t select a single enemy to target out of a group of them. There“s inventory management: characters in your party are only able to hold up to a certain number of items, while a Bag you pull things in and out of takes care of the rest. Permanent saving can only be done in towns, often making dungeons harder [or at least more of an endurance test] than they should be. There are numerous caveats about Dragon Quest games in general that most hobbyists will call “archaic” and “poorly aged”, at best. If you are intimidated by a super long Japanese RPG that“s the equivalent of a stubborn old man, in terms of its mechanics, I implore you to wait for the port of Dragon Quest VIII on 3DS instead. That game was much more beloved in its time, and it definitely seems like an easier pill to swallow. ...If I still have your attention after that, then the rest of what I have to say is mostly smooth sailing. Let“s keep coasting along, shall we? Fragments of the Forgotten Past is, at its core, a tale of world-building... literally. The world starts out as just a single island. You play as a fisherman“s son, who begins his day running a series of mundane errands that automatically try your patience right from the start. But if you stick with it past that first 90 minutes or so, you“ll wind up in a mysterious land with your best friend the prince and the mayor“s daughter... as the very first monster you“ve ever seen, a Slime, draws near. As the story slowly unfolds, you“ll set out to find 130 strange fragments... whose purpose is to literally piece together the 18 major civilizations of the world. Whether one set of fragments takes you to a tiny village, or another has you traversing an entire continent... this wide, wild world is handled in brilliantly strung together vignettes. The fisherman“s son is destined to become a hero, and figure out why the whole world became so small in the first place... by saving one island at a time. Each major location has a history... and you“ll often get to experience and change its history for the better, first-hand! There“s not a whole lot of character development in the party, if I“m being honest. Your cast of playable characters is certainly unique (and they typically have something funny, helpful or honest to contribute to the unfolding story, if you press the “Party Chat” button right as a crucial plot point happens), but the people they meet are of much more importance to the narrative as a whole. The “world” of Dragon Quest VII is absolutely my favorite part of the game, by far. It scratches a personal itch for me that games like Golden Sun managed in the past. And — consistent with the rest of the series — it“s filled to the brim with puns, strong accents, and allusions to real world places and endeavors. Certain aspects of the game are arguable, but its script and story are absolutely wonderful. Before I start to pick things apart, here“s just a few more high notes. The visuals were practically peerless when the game first came out almost four years ago, and they“ll still impress today. Nobody brings a monster to life quite like [character designer Akira] Toriyama does! Battle scenes are consistent with the dungeons you“re exploring in, often going out of their way to reflect precise detail that goes above and beyond most generic battle backdrops. Characters themselves are perhaps the most animated I have ever seen in my 25 years as a Dragon Quest faithful. When the king is mad at your foolhardy best friend, the camera pans as he slowly looks you both in the eye, and strums his fingers impatiently along the side of his chair, tapping and waiting for the prince“s latest excuse. While the music isn“t fully orchestrated here in the West, it“s definitely a few steps up in quality from the PlayStation MIDIs of the year 2000. Its arranged expertly enough to fool an untrained ear, at times. The level of care and attention I've seen here far exceeds series standards. Even when the game would test my patience, the ludicrous degree of polish is what kept me pushing forward. And gosh, does Dragon Quest VII test your patience. Its stubbornness is among its biggest flaws. Here“s an example: One part of my quest took me to an island with a tiny village called Providence. There“s a mountain right outside the village that leads up to a church, and... I must have climbed up and down that mountain five separate times in order to advance the story, and only one of them had the place rid of monsters. The concepts of backtracking or retreading old ground is something Dragon Quest VII takes pride in, for goodness sake. You may think you left the fiery volcano you journeyed down around Hour 15 behind — but you“ll be coming back around to it around Hour 65! Sure... there are new enemies, and a brief bit of a new location inside your retreading... but that aged, stubborn concept is what“s going to make even the most patient RPG fan or Dragon Quest veteran scratch their head. One bit that is unique to the remake is the act of initiating battles. The PlayStation original featured random battles, where enemies could not be seen. The remake generates enemies you come in contact with to prompt a battle. While this concept worked fine in Dragon Quest IX... the level design in VII has you going down a bunch of tiny corridors where encounters are often impossible to avoid. It“s easy to dodge a big, fat dragon on the world map as you“re going from one town to the next. But that same dragon will probably take up your whole bit of walking space, if you“re packed into a tiny hallway after some treasure. And because the enemies are randomly generated and not set….you could kill a dragon in front of the chest, take about 5 seconds to open it up, and have another dragon spawn right behind you where you just were. It didn“t grate on me too much, but... goodness, is this an example of a time where a balanced random battle system is sometimes superior to an unbalanced enemy encounter system. Fragments of the Forgotten Past is, at its core, an endurance test. If you can endure the first 90 minutes without a fight... things pick up, and I feel most players will genuinely appreciate where you are & how you got there. If you can endure the more rugged parts the entire 80 hour journey... you“ll probably walk away with a smile on your face, as I feel this world is among the best Dragon Quest as a series has to offer. I've had a blast, and I“m going to push my time with the game beyond what“s required and go explore some post-game dungeons, recruit some monsters, and even create Traveler's Tablets to StreetPass with. But this isn“t a game where I can say, “Everyone should try this! Everyone will love it!” For all of the above reasons and more, Dragon Quest VII is an incredibly nuanced experience. It“s a great game that“s targeted at a very specific crowd of people — I just happen to be one of those people! If anything I“ve said appeals to you, especially if you“re familiar with how Dragon Quest as a series “works,” I don“t think you“ll regret giving this one a try. Pros + Herein lies a spectacular example of world-building as a plot device. The story is told in a series of vignettes that capture a range of emotions. + Dragon Quest mechanics are tried and true. If traditional turn-based battles and bosses that test endurance versus a certain gimmick are your cup of tea, you'll fare all right. + For being such a long game, there is adequate signposting every step of the way. Easily playable in small bursts. Cons - The game is stubborn to a fault, often forcing backtracking and dungeon retreading to hammer in the idea of hardship. - The encounter system does not mesh well with the dungeon design. Small corridors lead to many a forced fight. - Length could work against the experience here, if you're not patient with some antiquated game mechanics. Overall Score: 8 (out of 10) Great The remake of Dragon Quest VII will test your patience. But if you endure, you'll come away knowing (and probably enjoying) one of the best worlds that Dragon Quest has to offer.
  7. Jonathan Higgins

    E3 2016 Hands-on: Dragon Quest Builders

    My love for Dragon Quest is infamous in certain circles. I bounced around the room like a game of racquetball when Nintendo announced that Dragon Quest VII and VIII on 3DS were finally coming West. As much as I pined for those games to leave Japan for years, I didn“t really feel the same way about Dragon Quest Builders. I approached the demo at E3 2016 willing to give it a chance because it“s Dragon Quest, and plenty of their spinoffs have had enough charm to win me over. But see, Minecraft and I have never really gotten along. I found its beginnings largely intimidating, since it didn“t really tell me what to do or where to go. And, from what I gather, Minecraft is a game where you kind of imagine your own story, versus see one unfold before you. If you feel the same way I do about Minecraft, I am happy to report that putting a Dragon Quest spin on that game“s conventions gives players a sense of direction, as well as an underlying story that gives the world you create meaning beyond what you make of it. If you don“t, and you love the kind of creativity that Minecraft yields, there“s absolutely plenty of that, too. Still, I“m going to spend most of this reflection offering up how Dragon Quest does Minecraft a fair bit differently. For those who don“t know, the original Dragon Quest was one of the first NES games to give you the ability to choose whether you want to “join forces with the last boss” or not. The Dragonlord offers the hero from that game the option to rule half a world with him. If you hit “Yes” at the time, it“s a trap and you get a Game Over. But see: Dragon Quest Builders takes place after that Game Over, in a ruined world (Alefgard) where the hero failed. Bad stuff happened, but now a new hero, the player, has been graced with the ability to build. Folks have apparently forgotten what the word “build” even means, so it“s up to you to -- quite literally -- rebuild and restore the civilization that the Dragonlord destroyed. The hero has a direct line of communication to the spirit that watches over the world, and said spirit guides you with a loose sense of what to do next. One of the first things that made me happy about Builders was the interaction between the silent protagonist and spirit. It plays with the trope in a bit of a humorous way -- it seems the hero of this game is largely reluctant to do anything, and doesn“t really understand what the heck is going on. You“re more or less prodded along your journey as God gives you a to-do list, and the few NPCs you meet probably think you“re crazy because you “hear voices” and what have you. It“s a fun plot that makes getting into a lighter, more directi version of Minecraft more interesting, to me. The experience is Minecraft, more or less. You build stuff out of raw materials, and the point of the game is to rebuild entire villages however you see fit. That kind of gameplay is entirely what you make of it, but that“s what“s made Minecraft is wildly popular as it“s become. The way Dragon Quest spins on it is by offering a more direct line of communication to the player, that stops things from ever becoming too intimidating. It sheds complexity in favor of telling a simple story, but that“s par for the course in even the mainline Dragon Quest series, much less its spinoffs. Replace Minecraft“s zombies with Slimes and other common Dragon Quest enemies, and you“ve got a decent picture of how combat works too. You“ll need to create healing items for yourself, simple replacement weapons if the one you“re using breaks, and more. You“ll get hungry and need to hide in your home at night -- it really does borrow heavily from Minecraft. I“m not exaggerating for the sake of it. At the end of the day, it seems like Dragon Quest Builders was created to give the conventions of that game a little more context, and a fun Dragon Quest plot. It“s honestly the first game to ever get me even remotely interested in what philosophies Minecraft is trying to communicate. I approached the demo expecting it to confuse and intimidate me, but it definitely delighted me, and has certainly warmed me up enough to put it on my personal “to buy” list. I“d absolutely recommend it, and it may be one of my favorite parts about the Square-Enix booth at this year's E3. Dragon Quest Builders releases for both the PlayStation 4 (physical and digital) and PlayStation Vita (digital only) on October 11th, 2016. We“ll offer more information as it comes.
  8. Jonathan Higgins

    Nintendo Direct Recap: November 12, 2015

    And so it goes. The first Nintendo Direct since E3, and since the passing of Mr. Iwata, took place just hours ago. In summation, I“d call it everything the people disappointed by Nintendo“s E3 Direct could have hoped for, plus a few unexpected twists. A majority of the presentation covered games announced during E3, but gave them concrete release dates...plus a little extra flare, in some cases. The presentation began with The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD being announced officially. It has a release date of March 4th, 2016 and comes bundled with--wait for it--a Midna & Wolf Link amiibo. This amiibo isn“t the only one compatible with the game (all the Smash Bros. Zelda characters seem to be), but Reggie mentioned that the Wolf Link amiibo“s data will somehow be transferrable to The Legend of Zelda for Wii U, which is still planned for 2016 and got a bit of new footage featuring a cloaked Link on Epona. In the realm of new things coming to already announced games: Pokkén Tournament is still confirmed for Spring 2016, but they had new information to share. There“s a Shadow Mewtwo amiibo card that will come with first-run editions of the game. It“s gonna be full retail price at $59.99 here in the states. Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam is coming on January 22nd, 2016. Hyrule Warriors: Legends with newly announced character “Linkle” (the long-rumored girl Link) is coming on March 25th, 2016. Star Fox Zero is coming April 22nd, 2016. There“s three important release dates for games you saw at E3. I“ll give some others a little special attention: Fire Emblem: Fates has a bit of an explanation to it. As it was in Japan, there are two versions of the game: Conquest and Birthright. You can purchase one at regular retail price, then the other digitally for only $19.99 when you“re ready to experience it. There“s also a third dubbed Revelations which will be available in the near future. For Fire Emblem fans, a special edition will be available that includes all three games, an artbook and a cool 3DS XL pouch for $79.99. It's coming on February 19th, 2016. New content is coming to both Splatoon and Tri Force Heroes. Splatoon“s new bits include over 40 pieces of new gear coming first--today, at 5 PM PT, 8 PM ET. Tomorrow at 6 PM PT, there“s a new stage coming called Museum d“Alfonsino. Even more stages and features will be added in future updates through January. A Nintendo Treehouse Splatoon Tournament will happen in December, too. Tri Force Heroes“ big update is coming on December 2nd, and adds Linebeck“s Uniform and Fierce Deity Armor outfits. The first outfit allows you to see items in chests before you open them. The second makes you even more powerful than you were before, with four beams that shoot from your sword. Also new to the update is the Den of Trials, with 30+ stages. The update will also make it easier to get Friendly Tokens, and easily blacklist players who leave during online gameplay. Oh, right. In December, a new Web portal will offer “a more robust search function to find and filter levels in Super Mario Maker”. Okay. Okay. I hope you were ready for something awesome there. Both 3DS Dragon Quest remakes are officially confirmed for North America and Europe, coming in 2016. That“s right--Fragments of the Forgotten Past and Journey of the Cursed King are a thing outside of Japan! I can“t believe it either. I always held out hope, but I never really expected it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZABoeaMm9KM Speaking of things I never would have expected...and returning to Pokémon briefly: The original Red, Blue and Yellow versions are coming to the 3DS Virtual Console on February 27th, 2016. Everything about the originals will be preserved, except: you“ll be able to trade Pokémon using the 3DS“s infrared communication. Nice! If old classics aren't enough for you, Pokémon Picross is a new free-to-play venture coming in early December. Here's a trailer for that, too. The amiibo figures for Lucas from Smash, and several Animal Crossing series amiibos like Resetti and Blathers are coming on January 22nd, 2016. That“s also when you“ll be able to purchase Series 2 of the Animal Crossing amiibo cards. The end of the presentation had an indie sizzle reel and the kinds of stuff Direct Faithful have come to expect. But here“s the grand finale: Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII is confirmed DLC for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS & Wii U. I“m not the biggest fan of VII these days, but my inner-child most definitely was brought out in full force when the Smash cut began with the Final Fantasy VII opening music. Wow. By the way, a Special Smash Bros presentation is happening in December, so look forward to that...which will probably house a release date for Cloud, and more. Here“s the full Direct. What were your favorite parts? What news has you the most excited? Be sure to let us know!
  9. Jonathan Higgins

    Dragon Quest Builders - More Info, First Trailer

    Remember Dragon Quest Builders, the Minecraft-like “block-make RPG” spin on the Dragon Quest formula? The first footage of the game was shown at this morning“s Dragon Quest Event alongside the big Dragon Quest XI blowout. The whole “block-make RPG” premise is pretty immediately apparent here. The entire world, post Dragonlord takeover, is made of blocks! You start out with a hammer to collect material, then eventually build up to bigger and better things. You“ll go from creating your own home (likely from the minimum required materials) to bigger and better versions of everything, to eventually entire villages. You can even make your own castles, in time! This game is very Minecraft-like, indeed. It seems to capture that game“s quintessential philosophy while providing a unique Dragon Quest spin on combat and story. The combat is very action-based. You can swing your sword to take out slimes, and take cover from enemy magic and attacks by ducking behind blocks. That“s enough from me--have a look at the game“s first trailer below! The game is still confirmed for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita in Japan. No localization has been confirmed yet. Has this new footage piqued your interest? Are you excited for Minecraft-like Dragon Quest? Be sure to let us know!
  10. Earlier this morning, Square-Enix held a Dragon Quest-focused event announcing a ton of new Dragon Quest content, as well as elaborating on a few previously announced titles. The star of the show was definitely Dragon Quest XI: In Search of Departed Time--a game confirmed for PlayStation 4, Nintendo 3DS...and possibly the Nintendo NX, alongside Dragon Quest X. Before elaborating on Dragon Quest XI, it“s important to note that Square-Enix has said Dragon Quest X and XI are “being considered” for the NX. Still, this marks the first set of games publicly mentioned as (possibly) coming to the platform, so a bunch of eyes are on these games. Without further ado: Dragon Quest XI“s producer is Saito Yosuke. Known Dragon Quest composer Koichi Sugiyama is returning for this game, and spoke during the event about how series creator Yuji Horii asked him to capture the same spirit as the very first Dragon Quest game in his work. Between this game and Dragon Quest Builders, it seems the 30th Anniversary of Dragon Quest will show how far the series has come by developing games with visible ties to the first ever Dragon Quest. Onto what makes each version of the game unique. The screens you see above are from the PlayStation 4 version of the game, which is being made using Unreal Engine 4. The environments are something Square-Enix are putting a lot of time into. Monsters will appear in the world before battles start, similar to Dragon Quest IX. Players have been given full range of motion for the first time in the series, allowing them to potentially explore high or hard to reach areas, too. They showed off the game“s protagonist, a look at an Inn (featuring pots to break and drawers to rummage through), and much more. Orca are helping Square-Enix with the PlayStation 4 version of the game. Take a look at the Nintendo 3DS version! This one“s being developed with the help of Toylogic, a team known for their involvement with Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Kid Icarus: Uprising in the past. It“s still got the same team of people at Square-Enix behind it, and it“ll have the same story as its console counterpart. But as you can see--instead of a large focus on graphics, this game takes a bit of a different approach when it comes to visuals. The top screen features a modern Dragon Quest aesthetic, while the bottom has players indulging what the game would look like if it were made 20 years ago for the Super Famicom/NES. I“m such a huge fan of this visual style! The question is--which versions of the game will be localized? Will we miss out on the Nintendo 3DS version? Are we going to get the PlayStation 4 version for sure, since Dragon Quest Heroes is mere months away from a western release? Will X and XI be localized for the very first time on the Nintendo NX when it releases...sometime? There are many questions we don“t yet know the answers to, but I“ll offer more information as it comes. Dragon Quest XI is aiming for a 2016 release in Japan, to coincide with the 30th Anniversary. If you're interested in watching the entire presentation (in Japanese), I've embedded it below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Kgmb_k3q5U Are you excited for Dragon Quest XI? Be sure to let us know!
  11. Jonathan Higgins

    Dragon Quest Builders Announced in Japan

    If Dragon Quest Heroes wasn“t out of left field enough for you, a new type of Dragon Quest game draws near! Dragon Quest Builders: Revive Alefgard is coming to PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita in Japan. It“s reportedly a Minecraft-like “block-make RPG” that“s going to mix elements of two iconic gameplay styles. It“s certainly a unique premise for the long-running franchise! If you recognize the name “Alefgard”, it“s because that“s the name of the first ever Dragon Quest world, from way back when it was known as Dragon Warrior in the West. It seems to be a direct sequel to the first Dragon Quest game, where it“s up to the player to build the ravaged world back to life. You“ll get to revive/rebuild the world as you see fit, and the story progresses as you do so...like any “block-make RPG” should! There“s not much more information, but I“ll certainly keep you posted. In the meantime, you can check out the game“s official website for more. It“s coming this winter in Japan. No localization has been announced for any Dragon Quest game outside of Heroes in a long while, but...I wouldn“t necessarily lose hope. Are you excited for more unique kinds of Dragon Quest games? Be sure to let us know!
  12. Jonathan Higgins

    E3 2015 Hands-On: Dragon Quest Heroes

    I have little experience with “Musou” games outside of Hyrule Warriors, which I found ultimately satisfying in the end. I do, however, have a metric ton of Dragon Quest experience, having beaten most of the numbered games in the series, played the ones I didn“t finish a great deal, and even dabbled in some of the side games. Instead of lamenting that a Dragon Quest VIII 3DS localization hasn“t happened yet, I“ll tell you a little bit about the Dragon Quest experience we are getting on PlayStation 4 later this year... which happens to be a Musou game at its core. I had a chance to play through both experiences offered in the demo. One put my party in a field where the goal was to eradicate many monsters (one of whom was particularly stronger than the others). And the other was to topple a giant boss monster. Before going into each type of gameplay and what made them alike and different, let“s first discuss how the game operates. Have you played through Hyrule Warriors or any other Musou game? If you have, then you know battling is a matter of mastering combos and using the right attacks at the right time. There are plenty of different variations to attacking and there are many types of characters in your party — from brawlers that focus on close combat, to a mage that can use long and short range spells. You can freely switch between your entire party with just the single press of a button, so you have access to all of your team to fight through any combat situation. The field quest felt more like a typical Musou game, where there are handfuls of enemies to defeat all at once, none of whom required any critical thinking in combat. Smash everything you see, and do so handily. Until there“s something a little stronger that shows up, that leads the squad and makes you think outside the box for just a moment. Still, the “defeat all enemies” portion of the demo had me thinking everything was going to be easy street, then I pictured myself telling you all "It“s Hyrule Warriors, but Dragon Quest." Moving on… When I got to the boss, it was a different matter entirely. Rather than relying on the use of a specific weapon, toppling the giant golem terrorizing the town was a matter of using the town to your advantage; not prioritizing using one unit over another. Want to topple the beast? Find a way to jump onto the actual roofs of buildings and approach it from above with any fighter you choose — whether you zap its eye with a spell, or lunge at it with your blade or fist. Having a little trouble? Build your tension, and let each character reach an actual breaking point where they can then unleash a devastating blow. So, at the end of the day, I suppose it is a Dragon Quest variant of Hyrule Warriors. But the charm of those games is definitely loud and clear in Dragon Quest Heroes. And how the boss worked makes me think this game could offer some unique moments that make it memorable versus just another Musou game. It releases on October 13th, 2015 for PlayStation 4. You can check out the Square Enix store site which has details on Limited Editions and more, here.
  13. We don't think much about gaming controllers nowadays. Except for Nintendo's typically left field control options, the gaming industry has found a pretty good sweet spot when it comes to controllers. While some may complain that the 360's and PS3's controllers may have a bit too many buttons, the controllers do their jobs well and offer developers easy to map options. Of course, it wasn't always like this. As the gaming industry itself grew, gaming controllers went through some growing pains, and some truly unusual controllers were made as a result. From the overly complicated, to the awkward, to the just plain odd, let's look at some of the weirdest controllers released for our consoles. Atari 5200 Controller Most people know what the iconic Atari controller looks like - it's just a joystick, with a red button in one of the corners. Simple, effective, and easy to wrap your hand around. But, that's the Atari 2600 controller. The Atari 5200 controller, on the other hand, has some unusual design choices. First, there are now two of the red buttons... but they're on the side, which isn't the best choice considering the shape of the controller. Then there's the reset button; it seems like a cool addition, but having it near the pause button would mean a lot of accidental resets. Then, there's the number pad. Why a number pad? It's so awkward and out of place... I can't even imagine what the purpose of it is. Oh, silly Atari 5200. Nintendo 64 Controller When people think of unusual Nintendo controllers, they are most likely going to think of the Wii Remote or the Wii U GamePad. While those certainly aren't the norm in today's gaming world, the Nintendo 64 controller was really something different in its time. The N64 was one of the first consoles to support true 3D gaming; therefore, Nintendo had the task of trying to design something to help control these new games. Though the N64 controller may get the job done, it's still very cumbersome and awkward, especially by today's standards. The controller's physical design makes it almost impossible to use a third of it (you can't really use the D-Pad and the analog stick at the same time (though at least one game made use of that control scheme), and the C buttons are just plain odd. There's one thing that can said for the N64, though... it's easily recognizable! Steel Battalion Controller There's little doubt that you haven't heard of this monstrosity by now. The Xbox game Steel Battalion had an unique concept: You will feel as though you are truly in the cockpit of these hulking mechs. How? With this huge controller. If anything, it really does emulate how piloting this sort of machine is like; you have to flip switches to turn your mech on, make sure to pilot correctly so you don't fall over, and so on. If your mech's about to blow, you have to get out quick with the eject button, too: If you don't, your save file will be erased and you'll have to start all over again! This is pilot simulation taken to the limit... and it's a limit that may or may not jive with a lot of gamers. The controller alone is enough to scare most people away! Slime PS2 Controller While the other controllers above are odd in a way that affect how you play in an awkward or bad way, but this controller isn't all that bad to use, despite its looks. At first glance, this slime controller may simply look like a Dragon Quest statue, but lo and behold, it's actually a PlayStation 2 controller. Holding the slime as a controller may seem very cumbersome, but reportedly it's actually quite comfortable. It goes to show you that you can make a controller that's unique and still useable. That's it for this spotlight of odd, unusual, and weird controllers. While nowadays we're used to the same offerings from companies for our controllers, there was, and probably always will be, that controller odd-ball. What weird controllers do you remember trying out? Any more you think should make it on this list? Let me know in the comments below!
  14. Many thought Square Enix was done remaking the older Dragon Quest SNES titles for DS (Dragon Quest 4, 5, and 6, respectively), but Siliconera has revealed that the seventh game is also getting the remake treatment as well, this time for the 3DS. Dragon Quest VII originally released on the Playstation some 12 years ago (where it was known as Dragon Warrior VII in the West), so this is a surprising announcement indeed. It will be fully remade in 3D and feature orchestrated music from the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, and is also being developed by ArtePiazza (the developer behind the Dragon Quest remakes on DS and the original Dragon Quest VII). While no announcement has been made for localization in North America or Europe yet, Joystiq has reported that Square Enix is evaluating the game for Western markets. Dragon Quest VII: Warriors of Eden is slated to release in Japan on February 7, 2013.