Final Fantasy Versus XIII isn't the only Square Enix title to be announced and then not heard from for years. Dragon Quest X, announced for the Nintendo Wii back in 2008, hasn't had so much as a logo unveil until...well, just last night.
At a special press conference Square Enix finally unveiled the first details on the next entry in the Dragon Quest series: Dragon Quest X: Waking of the Five Tribes Online.
Here's what we know so far:
Dragon Quest X is being developed in-house by Square Enix, a first for the series, with title mainstays Akira Toriyama and Koichi Sugiyama handling the character designs and musical scores respectively. Jin Fujisawa, who worked on Dragon Quests VIII and IX will act as Director. As previously announced the game is for for the Nintendo Wii but will also have a second more visually impressive version released for the Wii U. According to the game's official site the Wii version will hit Japanese stores in 2012 while the Wii U version is still TBA.
This will likely be a HUGE sales driver for Nintendo's new console, with Dragon Quest being the most popular game series in Japan; routinely shutting the country down.
But the most exciting thing about the new title? It's going online.
Dragon Quest X can reportedly be played entirely in single-player mode
if you have no friends with computer controlled allies, but to get the fullest experience players will have to head online and team-up with others. It's the logical next step for the franchise following Dragon Quest IX's innovative, and well received, multiplayer-centric gameplay. You might recall our very own Wootini having trouble coordinating his friends to play DQIX locally, and now he'll be spared the hassle. Even better, both the Wii and Wii U versions of the game will be able to interact seamlessly online. one will just be a lot prettier is all
The game is not a full-fledged MMO, more just an RPG with heavy online functionality along the lines of the Monster Hunter franchise. The official site suggests that a TBA online fee will be involved but let's hope that just like Monster Hunter, those fees aren't enacted outside of Japan.
Despite being online the battle system will remain largely unchanged, with simple command menus and turn based mechanics that will now have real-time elements incorporated.
Players will be able to customize their own characters, choosing from Human, Ogre, Elf, Dwarf, Pukiripo, and Wedi classes as well as being able to create their own special weapons and equipment via Alchemy and Sewing skills.
The game will take full advantage of Nintendo's console connectivity, allowing players to download their customized character to the 3DS for Spot Pass exchanges.
It's an exciting and bold direction for both Square Enix and Nintendo. For Square it'll be a chance to redeem themselves after the debacle that was Final Fantasy XIV. They struck online gold with Final Fantasy XI nearly ten years ago, a game that still sees healthy revenue, can they do it again? And can they do it with Nintendo who, with the Wii U, are desperately trying to break into the online gaming world?