Dragon Quest X Announced for Wii and Wii U, To Be Online Game

Square Enix, in an announcement that quite possibly shut down Japan for the length of time it took to reveal, held a conference to divulge some details in the next numbered entry in the Dragon Quest franchise. Dragon Quest X, or Dragon Quest X Online as it sometimes appears as, will be released on both the Wii as well as the Wii U and will allow owners of both versions to play together, though the Wii U version will have the better looking visuals. It will also feature connectivity with the 3DS and make use of the Street Pass functionality to swap game data. It will release in Japan in 2012, though no word yet of a release in North America or Europe.

Probably the biggest surprise aside from the dual console release, is the fact that the entire title will be focused on the online aspect. Judging from the small bit of gameplay footage as well as the possible usage fees, it would seem as though DQX will lean more into the realm of an MMORPG than its predecessors, though it was revealed that you can play it offline if you wish. It’s also being developed internally by Square Enix rather than Level-5 who created the previous two entries, or ArtePiazza who designed the DS remakes.

When you begin the game, you can create a character based on one of five different tribes, and can customize its appearance as well as the skills taken into battle. You can also obtain skills in which to craft your own clothing and gear, as well as own property if your inner realtor wills it. Even if you’re not actively playing, fellow players can use your character as an NPC in their party. Here’s a bit of the gameplay footage taken at the conference:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QU2nZlF5Mjc&feature=player_embedded

Regardless of the radical changes being made to the franchise, it will still sell like hot cakes in its native country of Japan. After all, Dragon Quest IX had some multiplayer aspects added to it, and that didn’t stop it from becoming a huge success. However, Square Enix turning a numbered entry of one of its biggest franchises into an MMO has backfired before, so I hope for their sake and the sake of all the Dragon Quest fans out there that they know what they are doing. Also, despite their disinterest in localizing RPG’s for the Wii, I do hope that DQX makes it to North America. Most likely, Nintendo will opt to skip over the Wii and just release the Wii U version, but I have no doubt they will release some variation of it at some point. They’ve pushed the marketing behind Dragon Quest pretty hard in the past, especially with the last entry, so I don’t think they’ll stop now. Not if they want to appeal to the hardcore crowd that they claim the Wii U will be aimed at.

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