Can you feel the tension? More like super high tension!

We’re talking about Dragon Quest X already!? Dragon Quest IX is probably a year away from a North American release, and the carefully rationed trickle of new screens for that game has made the anticipation almost unbearable. With another three and a half months to go until it’s Japanese release and Famitsu‘s… let’s say “efficient” use of the same dozen screenshots, it seems like the wait has only just begun. Fortunately there were some nuggets of information revealed during this week’s impromptu Dragon Quest X announcement. A date (March 28th) and price (5,980 yen! Cheap!) and a demonstration of the game’s multiplayer mode by Yuji Horii, which is the real reason I’m so excited. Not the Horii part, although his balding head and long, stringy bangs look, uh, precious. No, It’s the multiplayer that I find so intriguing.

I’ve been introducing my wife to the DQ series with the Dragon Quest IV remake. We’re sharing a copy and playing in tandem, swapping the cart with every hour or two of game time to keep from getting too far ahead of one another as well as sharing tips and strategies. It’s like our own private Fun Club, except we can’t really play together. Most of the games we share have a prominent multiplayer element, and to be honest, my expectations for DQIX are probably unreasonable considering how little information is known. But when I’m not playing DQIV I’ve been curling up with Dragon Warrior III for the Game Boy Color, and I know this much: generic characters in a DQ game are awesome.

And I can’t deny the twinge of disappointment I felt when I heard the series would be headed for the Wii. I love my Wii, but I don’t get to see it very often. When I’m in front of a TV, it means I’m watching something with my family, so most of my gaming is now done on handhelds. I’m not complaining exactly — it’s encouraging to see a huge franchise like this embrace gameplay over graphics. But my dream of a video game industry that caters exclusively to me has been shattered, like a brick going through a window. Fortunately, the brick is made of delicious chocolate.

P.S. Have you seen the Japanese Dragon Quest hub site? It’s the first website I’ve ever wanted to live inside of.

4 thoughts on “Can you feel the tension? More like super high tension!

  1. I know what you mean! I love my RPGs yet don’t have the ability to make a 100 hour journey from the couch. DS has been my gaming savior.

  2. Ditto about the DS allowing adult me to enjoy video games again.

    And yes, the DQ website is awesome. With all the back and forth about “Hollywood” games vs. old school, I will say that the DQ developers (or at least their marketing department) at least appear to actually like gaming (hence the fan service), which is always nice. The DQ site is especially refreshing after reading about Sony Home, which is apparently antithetical to gaming (the Penny Arcade post on the subject is great).

  3. Great post; I really enjoyed this one. I absolutely love the Wii, and I wish there were more really good games for it, so I’m thrilled that one of the most important series in gaming is doing an installment on Wii. On the other hand, I’m not sure about the reception of the Wii in Japan; it seems to be mostly jerks over here who hate the Wii so passionately, and I guess it’s been my impression that it hasn’t met with so much disdain there.

    That said, I think my DS is my favorite game system ever. I have more games for it than I’ve ever owned for any other system, and I actually play them! It’s wonderful. I can even finish RPGs on it, which I sure don’t seem to do on consoles anymore. Every time I get ready to play Wii, the (moderate) selection of games I own for it seems intimidating, because I know my time is limited, but whenever I pull out the DS, I feel like a kid in a candy shop. So again, thanks so much for this post!

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