Dragon Quest Heroes will be releasing in North America and Europe later this year according to an announcement made by Square Enix today. The game has been confirmed for launch on PlayStation 4 and will carry a price tag of $59.99 in the United States.
The action/RPG mash-up draws heavily from developer Omega Force’s history of making their long running hack and slash Dynasty Warriors / Musou games. The Tecmo Koei studio is no stranger to collaborations, having already teamed up with Nintendo last year to develop the very successful Zelda themed Hyrule Warriors on top of other themed Musou style games including titles based on One Piece, Gundam and Fist of the North Star.
The game just launched in their domestic market of Japan for PS4 and PS3 (February 26, because it’s the future there) so early sales numbers are not yet available. But given the typically staggering popularity of Dragon Quest, on top of the loyal following Omega Force developed Musou games carry, it should be a safe bet that Dragon Quest Heroes does well. Dragon Quest Heroes does, after all, have one of the best advertisements in recent memory.
There is no official confirmation on whether the PlayStation 3 version of the game will make its way west, but I expect to see it released as a possible digital download, depending on the activity of PS3 users. Also unconfirmed are bubble wrap themed advertisements.
Polygon – Dragon Quest Heroes is headed west to PS4 this year
Japan’s love for Dragon Quest is well documented. It is the game that put Enix on the map and the franchise that has enjoyed more success in Japan than even its Square counter-part, Final Fantasy. So what happens when you pair Dragon Quest with the most addictive oddity in human history, bubble wrap?
Japanese citizens who have no choice but to be drawn like moths to a flame.
Displayed at the incredibly busy Shinjuku train station, Square-Enix created a bubble wrap medium ad for Dragon Quest Heroes, which launches this week in Japan. The have been spectacularly engaging, drawing young and old to defeat the bubble wrapped slimes that cover the wall.
The ad reads “みんなで力を合わせてやっつけよ” which translates roughly to “The combined power of everyone will defeat” or “With everyone’s power combined we will defeat our foes.” Or something to that effect. There are several messages encouraging passers-by to partake in the never ending battle between adorable blue slimes.
It’s a pretty cool ad for a game that franchise that doesn’t need a ton of marketing. Dragon Quest has a far reaching popularity, with many noteworthy celebrities appreciating the franchise, including famed baseball player Ichiro Suzuki.
Dragon Quest Heroes is a spin-off iteration of Dragon Quest, this time taking an action-RPG approach to the classic turn-based RPG. Developed by Omega Force, the team responsible for the Musou/Dynasty Warriors franchise, Dragon Quest Heroes draws heavily from this style of game, which is also very popular in Japan.
The game has yet to be announced for western audiences, as both Dragon Quest and Musou-style games have a more niche popularity in the west. Also there is no word on whether viral bubble wrap marketing will go international.
Kotaku – Dragon Quest PR Stunt Cruelly Exploits Peoples Love for Bubble Wrap
I should probably stop torturing myself over every gorgeous 3DS handheld that North America will likely never get. To help usher in the next installment of Japan’s favorite monster themed RPG spin-off, Nintendo will be releasing a limited edition Dragon Quest: Monsters 2 themed 3DS XL alongside the game’s launch on February 6, 2014.
The snazzy clamshell features grey silhouettes of some of the iconic monsters from the Dragon Quest series along with everybody’s favorite spinless starter fight, the Slime scattered across the case in his signature blue. The system will retail for 24,390 Yen (approximately $240) and will include a copy of Dragon Quest: Monsters 2.
Never gotten a chance to play much of the Dragon Quest spin-offs, but I do have a fond adoration for the core series. Dragon Quest VIII is a game that I constantly revisit but have no idea what I’m supposed to be doing. However, I can say I put a ton of time into and conquered Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime, the strangest slime flinging tank fortress game I’ve ever played.
The Japanese RPG is truly an icon. It is odd that it gets differentiated so greatly from western RPGs because both feature stat crunching, crafting and plucky adventurers striving to save the world. But JRPGs are clearly a particular niche that emphasize mature themes and narrative, as told through coming of age stories. Random encounters, separate battle systems and sweeping cutscenes are all part of the JRPG mystique, and something that I have come to love as a gamer.
The JRPG is clearly more than just Final Fantasy, who itself is a textbook definition of the mechanics that make up a JRPG. While I love the Final Fantasy franchise, Japan has much more to offer for this incredibly varied genre.
To a certain degree, Xenosaga needs to be recognized for its own merits. After all, it succeeded in creating a bonafide icon in KOS-MOS, the calculating female android that is a central figure throughout the entire franchise. While a decade of age has not been terribly kind to the slow battle system of Xenosaga, it will forever be known as the JRPG saga that strove to make cutscenes a theatrical experience (over 8 hours in the first game alone). It was a chore, yes, but the spiritual successor to the revered Xenogears gets the nod for its sweeping nature and never wavering from a ludicrous goal. Continue reading