Sunday, January 1, 2012

On a Quest for the New Year

Dragon Quest X Online: Rise Of The Five Tribes is an upcoming massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) for the Nintendo Wii and Wii U consoles. I am eagerly anticipating the release of this title. This is in part due to my previously favorable experience with Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies for the Nintendo DS. (There is, as of yet, no U.S. released date scheduled. The game should be out in Japan sometime in 2012).  For those of you that are unaware, the series doesn't really have a linear timeline. (You don't have to play the games in order for you to understand the story. From my understanding, each game has it's own unique, separate tale.)

In any case, in the October 2011 issue of Nintendo Power Magazine (Vol. 272) it was stated that the game was announced in 2008 by Yuji Horii. There was a long period of silence however and not much was really known about the title until a September 5, 2011 conference in which Mr. Horii officially revealed that Dragon Quest X Online: Rise Of The Five Tribes would be an MMORPG that would not only be expansive but very plot driven (pg. 24, Vol. 272). (A common fear of most veterans of the Dragon Quest franchise would be that  the online story would be lackluster and unimaginative, an unfortunately common trait of most online RPGs). According to Casey Loe, the author of the article, the game itself "will be constantly shaped by the actions of other players, and an Internet connection would be required to play." She also mentioned that a monthly fee may also be a possible prerequisite for play. As far as the gameplay mechanics are concerned, apparently players will have the option of joining friends online in quests or adventuring solo with AI (artificial intelligence) controlled computer characters. Apparently, the game's structure will be similar to that of Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies as it will retain the ability to change vocations (at special shrine locations) and use skill points (pg. 18, Vol. 273).

In the follow-up article by Casey Loe, details regarding the main storyline were unveiled. Specifically, players will be able to chose from among five different races (hence the title), such as the "sprite-like" Pukuripo, Wedies (aquatic "music-loving" creatures), woodland elves, ogres, and lofty dwarves. Humans are not made initially available "as the human populated continent has been sealed away by the game's villain and it's up to the other races to liberate it." (pg. 18, Vol. 273). Based upon screenshots of each of the races and Casey Loe's description, one could make the claim that the Wedie race are comparable to that of the Zora in The Legend of Zelda universe in that both have many similarities between them (i.e. both are blue skinned aquatic races, both like music, and both have fin-like protrusions, etc.).

Finally, according to the previous article, the Wii U version of Dragon Quest X will come with "enhanced features" (pg. 24, Vol. 272).

My only concern with this upcoming game (beyond the possibility of a monthly online fee) is that the Wii version of the game may lag frequently and use up too much bandwidth. I'm hoping that my fears will be assuaged as more information is released.

Keep an eye out for this title! Also, please enjoy your New Year's celebration in moderation.
This image is property of IGN (Imagine Games Network).

This image is property of IGN (Imagine Games Network). From left to right: Pukuripo, Elven, Ogre, Wedie, Dwarf

1.) Loe, Casey. "A Quest of Millions." Nintendo Power Oct. 2011: 24. Print
2.) Loe, Casey. "The Dragon's Hoard" Nintendo Power Nov. 2011: 18. Print