Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Dragon Quest IX to sells zillions

That the next official installment of DQ is moving from a home console to a portable is an extremely significant event. I don’t think it’s ever happened to a series of this stature, and it couldn’t have happened at a better time, for me that is. There is no way I will ever have time to play DQ VIII on PS2, but DQ IX on the DS is another matter. It’s relatively easy to squeeze in time with the quick booting DS, plus the graphic look established in VIII can be achieved to an acceptable degree on the portable system.

There is plenty of differing opinions on this, mostly by the vocal community of RPG fans who would rather have seen the series move to the PS3 or even continue on the PS2. I’m as big of a graphics whore as anyone out there, but there are some experiences I must have on the couch and HDTV, and others that are more accessible on a portable. Take Blue Dragon as an example. It looks pretty sweet from what I’ve seen, but will I ever play it on my 360? Highly, highly doubtful.

I know what you’re about to say, “How come you had time to sink 40 hours into Okami and potentially 70+ into Twilight Princess?” That depends on the way a game keeps my attention. I did wish Okami was a little shorter at times, but I loved playing it and the ending was a great. It was a well-thought out journey that never bored me. I expect Twilight Princess to be the same.

In any case, the installed base of the DS, especially in Japan, is going to send DQ sales through the roof. I bet they charge a lot for the game too. Can you say "the first $60 DS game"?

Lately, I’ve been getting the craving to pick up Yakuza. It was high on my list for most of the year, but videos containing the US voices really turned me off. I think that disappointment has died down for the most part and I’m ready to accept it and enjoy the game. There’s also a part of me that wants to import the Japanese game and its sequel for the purer experience. The problem is my import PS2 is on the fritz and my alternate plan of picking up a Japanese PS3 (as a means to play imported PS2, PS3, Region 2 DVD and Blu-ray) is at least two years away.

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Plus, even if it’s late, I want to support Sega for bringing out the game here. I really believe the game had the potential to be a big hit in the US, but it seems the game didn’t have the marketing budget to lure in the general audience. I mean, why go through the trouble of hiring Hollywood voice actors if you aren’t going to court the masses?

I would have loved to see how a web-sales only, limited edition featuring the original Japanese VO with English subtitles would have sold. I would have even paid a premium $59.99 for that version. Oh well.

Maybe they’ll do that for part two if they decide to take a chance on that release. Here’s a free idea Sega, set up a pre-order page for Yakuza 2 Special Edition featuring Japanese voice and English subtitles. Also included is Yakuza 1 with Japanese voice and English subtitles for $79.99. That would be one killer set, especially since the first game will see price drops to the $30/20 level soon, if it already hasn’t happened.

Cool things like that rarely happen though, and having been a lifelong Sega fanboy, I’m used to being let down by them time after time.


J said...

This seems like a cool game! I'm still waiting for SEGA to put me out of my misery and at least acknowledge Shenmue 3. I'll wait as long as it takes. I mean shoot - I'm still waiting for Burning Rangers 2!

Wataru Maruyama said...

Maaan, I would be happy even with a re-release of Burning Rangers. Fixed up a bit though, at least getting rid of the slowdown and smoothing out the graphics a bit. Fantastic game.

Anonymous said...

Burning Rangers? Interesting.