Dragon Quest X Online revealed for Wii and Wii U, coming in 2012

It’s been years since Square Enix first revealed it was going to release the tenth mainline Dragon Quest game on Wii, and today at a special press event in Japan the public got to see the game for the first time. With a title that roughly translates to Dragon Quest X Online: Rise of the Five Tribes, the game makers reconfirmed it was coming to Wii, but dropped the big surprise it would be hitting the Wii U as well.

Above: Forgive the image quality, as these come directly from the live streaming event

After detailing the other DQ games coming soon (Fortune Street and Rocket Slime 3D among them), series creator Yuji Horii took the stage to introduce the new title. After showing off a snazzy intro cinema showcasing the five tribes from the title, he started going into the online aspects of the game. Though they stressed it can be enjoyed offline with computer-created party members, you can take your created character online and interact with other players, trade items, download new quests, many things familiar to players of Dragon Quest IX.

Graphically the early footage looked slightly better than Dragon Quest VIII did for PS2, and the gameplay also looked similar to VIII, as your cel-shaded character explored wide-open spaces in a fully 3D world. The commands in and out of fights are still menu-based, so the traditional DQ fans shouldn’t be worried there. We were intrigued to hear that the game is being internally developed at Square Enix, instead of by a third party like Level-5 or Chunsoft. One of the producer for the game is Yosuke Saito who worked on… Nier… Hmm, well, you know that game had its charms… DQX is also directed by Jin Fujisawa, who played the same role in making DQVIII and IX.

After a gameplay demo with some eye-catching exploration and some honestly less than impressive battles, the team revealed that an enhanced version of DQX is in the works for Wii U. They went on to say that while it would look better, the worlds would be the same and even include some cross platform play. They also mentioned that the 3DS’s Streetpass would also be involved somehow, perhaps in just trading characters with other DQX players. It can be played with a Wii Remote and Nunchuck, Classic Controller, and even uses a USB keyboard, plus the game uses a USB device of some kind for data management.

The team is shooting for a 2012 Japanese release on Wii, but don’t expect it to hit the Wii U at the same time, though it has been implied you’ll be able to transfer your character from one version to the other. Does this new chapter in the Dragon Quest franchise entice you, or is the online aspect too strange? Does the fact that it’s still on Wii turn you off? Will you be waiting for the Wii U version? And will both versions see a US release for that matter? We expect at the very least Nintendo will publish one of those versions in the US, as they published the last few Dragon Quest games in the US. Stay tuned as more info sneaks out.

Sep 5, 2011

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