I don’t often get a chance to participate in some of the interesting comic and gaming events that go on here in the North Texas area, and normally I’m alright with that, but as you’re probably well aware of by now the Dragon Quest series holds a special place in my heart and it just so happened that a local Gamestop was participating in one of the Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies (DS) “Sampling Events” that took place Saturday 7/31.
These events were set up so that you could take your copy of the game to the designated area and download a special map that Nintendo was offering (a dungeon adding extra content to the game) as well as “tag” other Dragon Quest players and download any extra dungeons that they had unlocked in their play through the game. You could also link up with the worlds other fans were playing in and battle with each other to gain more experience, loot, etc. (I didn’t have the time to try this but others were definitely having fun battling together). It was really cool to be able to participate in something like this and I ended up with ~ 5 extra maps for my effort, including the official one Nintendo offered.
But that wasn’t all that was great about spending ~ an hour checking out the DQ event. In addition, Nintendo and Square-Enix provided some Dragon Quest goodies for the fans that attended. The first handful were given a classic blue slime t-shirt (happy to say that I was one of them) and most were awarded a DQIX poster, sticker sheet and introduction booklet for coming. I didn’t expect anything like that and really appreciate Nintendo and Square-Enix’ extra effort in setting this up. I’ll proudly be adding these items to my Dragon Quest collection (which I’ll definitely have to show you guys at some point) and keeping an eye on any future events like this that I may be able to participate in. And anything that will allow me to enjoy more time with the game, like those 5 extra maps, is that much more icing on an already fantastic cake.
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Like so many others, I’ve been anxiously awaiting DQIX for a heck of a long time now, passing up the temptation to purchase the JP version ($19 in some stores in Tokyo) but it looks like the wait is finally coming to an end with game becoming available July 11th! Surprisingly, I went to pre-order it and thanks to a promotional code I received on a previous game I was able to reserve my copy for $24.95! Glad I waited.
More about the game should be avialable soon on the official Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Sky site.
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Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King (PS2; 2005) was my first foray into the world of Yuuji Horii and Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Quest series since the early days of the NES’ Dragon Warrior (which I obtained in the popular Nintendo Power giveaway) and I was so enamored with the game, its mechanics, rich world, and characters that I decided to use it as a springboard to start my own DQ collection. I quickly re-obtained that original NES cartridge, and spent a couple of years hunting down complete versions of the Game Boy DQ Remakes I-III, Dragon Quest Monsters I-II, and DQVII for future rainy days. I scarfed up Rocket Slime and Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker for the DS a couple of years ago, and of course, the shiny new version of DQIV was released only a few weeks ago as the first of 3 remakes on the Nintendo DS which will bring the series up-to-date here in the states, all the way up to Dragon Quest IX: Protectors of the Sky which should be hitting our shores sometime in 2009.
A better version of the TGS trailer for the game can be found in the video sidebar and from the looks of it, its going to exceed my own lofty expectations coming out of the epic Journey of the Cursed King. Toriyama’s classic art style is handled so well in the impressive cut scene footage and while the DS can’t quite muster the detail found in DQVIII, it certainly still knocks it out of the park on the hand-held. What’s more, I’m jazzed at the prospect of creating and equipping my characters as shown in the video. So, if you haven’t seen it, sit back and take a moment to enjoy the music and the way in which the video quickly endears the characters to the audience as they try to fight back the forces of evil endangering the land.
It’s amazing how far we’ve come in the last 20 years.
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