Blue Dragon Plus is only a few months away (if you happen to live in Japan). It's not too much of a stretch to expect a delay in North America, despite the vague "fiscal year" confirmations we've been hearing about. The artwork of Akira Toriyama must be acknowledged on a tiny screen real soon, or RPG fans are going to start dishing out angry mob justice.
The "promise" we experienced with the Blue Dragon Pluswebsite has been somewhat fulfilled, after being updated with a new Japanese trailer. While this isn't especially handy for English speakers, it does run for over three minutes, giving fans a good deal of gameplay footage, CG cutscenes and character art. We've managed to circumvent the awkward media player on the website and rustle up the trailer in all of its YouTube glory, so check it out and get your Blue Dragon nerve twitching.
This comes as little surprise, since AQ Interactive announced that Blue Dragon Plus would release in the U.S. by the end of the fiscal year, but we're still glad to see a firm Japanese release date for Mistwalker/feelplus's strategy-RPG sequel. It's scheduled to be out September 4, for 5,229 yen ($50).
We're slightly less enthused by what AQ Interactive decided to do with the box. It's less "grand adventure" (which is the feeling that most Blue Dragon artwork evokes for us) and more "horrific See 'N Say." The giant, blue, snake-tailed, winged horse says "Neigh! See you in your nightmares!"
Blue Dragon Plus's combat interface has been revealed in the latest set of screens. It involves a set of three icons that appear on the right side of the touch screen. The top icon allows you to set one particular character's movement, and the bottom icon moves everybody. The middle icon allows you (we believe) to highlight multiple characters by drawing a circle around them.
Each character has a selection of "killer techniques" accessible via the bottom left of the touch screen. Players cycle through them with the shoulder buttons and then must wait for a countdown before they are activated.
We're encouraged by the presence of a new battle system in the DS game. It shows evidence of thought toward the platform, at least.
After the opening of the official site for Blue Dragon Plus late last week, we can start fretting less about the game's protracted development, and concentrate more on gawking at pretty pictures.
Conveniently enough, Famitsu has just posted a selection of fresh Blue Dragon Plus screens and art, and things are looking as vibrant as ever -- it's encouraging to see Mistwalker and Brownie Brown cramming so many enemies and pyrotechnics into the DS's relatively small screens. Apparently, finding something/someone to fight will not be difficult.
And by "promise" we mean "screenshots." And also the fact that if AQ Interactive is bothering to set up a site at all, it means that they're probably planning to release the game for really reals. The "system" page on the new website confirms that Blue Dragon Plus is a "real-time simulation RPG," although the screens (which, by the way, are the first we've seen that haven't been scanned from a magazine) do a pretty good job doing that by themselves!
If you've played through the original Xbox 360 game, the site will make it immediately obvious to you that this is a direct sequel, taking place after the events of that game.
Publisher AQ Interactive announced that Blue Dragon Plus has been delayed until summer. But rather than being disappointed by this, we're quite delighted, because summer is much sooner than never. Mistwalker announced earlier this week that it had been delayed indefinitely, leading some to believe that might be shelved for good.
Away: Shuffle Dungeon has also been delayed by AQ Interactive, resulting in somewhat of a different reaction. We were surprised to find that Blue Dragon Plus has a release date now after its presumed cancellation, but this delay was a reminder to us that Away had a release date at all.Back in October, Mistwalker said that Away would be out on January 31st, and in the latest scans you can just barely make out a February 28th date. We just didn't realize that it was (supposed to be) out so soon. It's currently planned for a summer release as well.
We thought March might be a little sudden for Blue Dragon Plus, and it turns out we weren't alone. Mistwalker announced that the title has been pushed back, and there is no current release window in sight. No reason was given for the delay, but do we really need one? We'll just go ahead and assume that they need more than a few months to put together the sort of title we deserve.
The deluge of pre-Jump Festa info continues, and with it comes a three-page spread on Blue Dragon, complete with new images. Unsurprisingly, there's a lot of blue in the pictures. Who'd have thought?
We've seen and heard a lot of rumblings about whether or not Blue Dragon can make the leap from console to handheld, but it's worked for so many other games and franchises that we don't have any major worries. Certainly it will look good, but after the mediocre reaction to ASH, we've got fingers crossed concerning the game play. We'll have to wait a bit longer to see that, however. For now, you can check out the scans after the break.
Remember those vicious rumors regarding Blue Dragon DS being a card-based RPG? Well, looks like they may have been wide of the mark, as a new scan gleaned from the pages of Japanese publication Shonen Jump suggests otherwise. Instead, the magazine describes the game as a "real-time simulation RPG," a label that brings to mind the recently released Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings. Whatever the hell Mistwalker's game is -- and the screens do suggest a kind of real-time strategy/RPG hybrid -- there's certainly no mention of cards.
Pleasingly, that March 2008 Japanese release date seems to have held, which surely means we'll have more information on this in the not-too-distant future. Go past the break for the Shonen Jump scan.
Looks like the Blue Dragon DS game will get a limited edition for its Japanese release. While that certainly comes as no surprise, it does remind everyone else that our limited edition quota is somewhat unfulfilled. Sure, we got the Zelda and Nintendogs Lites, and that's great, but we'd love to see a few more game-specific bundles. Which game's logo or characters would you like to have emblazoned on your DS?
When it was revealed that Blue Dragon would make its way onto the DS, albeit in a different shape and form than it appears on the Xbox 360, there was also another title that developer Mistwalker was to bring to the DS. Titled Away: The Kidnapped People, little was known regarding it, other than Hironobu Sakaguchi and Nobuo Uematsu were working on it directly. Now, courtesy of a Japanese press release (link goes to pdf file), new details regarding the game have surfaced.
It appears that Away: The Kidnapped People is to utilize a unique randomized dungeon system. Described as an action RPG, the fine folks over at Siliconera deduced that since the Japanese press release calls the game Away: Shuffle Dungeon, and with the Blue Dragon random dungeon generator DLC for Xbox 360 being titled "Shuffle Dungeon Maker," that Away must use the same randomized dungeon feature.
Blue Dragon DS, the spin-off (or possible continuation) of the Xbox 360 RPG, was just announced and now Mistwalker promises it will be on shelves by next March. Those guys work fast! But just to sweeten the pot, they've also promised another title to release even sooner -- AWAY Tsuresarareta Hitobito, aka Away: The Kidnapped People -- which is slated for January 31 in Japan. There are some big names working on Away, most notably Mistwalker's Hironobu Sakaguchi and renowned composer Nobuo Uematsu.
Both titles look to have some serious potential, and if ASH is any indication, we can start expected a flood of scans right about ... now, and video precisely three days before the games are released.
With yesterday's DS Daily, we thought about all of the franchises that generally aren't represented or have recently made their way onto the DS. We thought about how a game (take Blue Dragon, for example) could make its way onto the DS, totally disregarding its initial genre, utilizing the unique functions of the handheld.
So, if you could take a franchise and adapt it for play on the DS, what franchise would it be and how would you augment its initial genre and style for the handheld? Would you take a game in the FPS genre and turn it into a side-scroller on the platform? Would you adapt a card game into a shoot-em-up?
Take those two cents out of your pocket and toss them in.
Having several friends who're all kinds of knee-deep in the Xbox 360 game Blue Dragon, we found that we too wanted to get our role-play on and started it up. We didn't get far, but the 2 hours or so of the game got us pumped. We genuinely felt that this game could be excellent beyond all comprehension.
And now it's coming to the DS?! Holy hand grenade, we can't wait for it, even if it's a card-based game. How about you, folks? Are you as excited as we are? Or, could you care less?