Oh Dragon Quest - how we love goo. An old-school turn-based Japanese role-playing game that's easy to pick up and play, packed with memorable characters and stories, all wrapped up in an amazing sense of humour (and hilarious regional accents), it's easily one of our favourite series ever. It also has some of the most adorable and puntastically named enemies in a game - much like our other RPG darling, the Ghibli-inspired Ni No Kuni. Which, as it happens, was made by the exact same people as the later Dragon Quests - the Professor Layton legends, Level-5.
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During it's lifetime the DS saw not one, not two, not three, but four Dragon Quest games - the most recent game, Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies, heavily advertised by Jedward as it was (the horror!), is likely the one everyone remembers, but there were also three remakes of the oldies (but still goodies!) IV, V and VI. Yet the 3DS, at least in the West, remains a barren, slimefully Dragon Quest-free handheld. Sure, Japan got a brand-spanking slimey new remake of Dragon Quest VII - but we're not Japan, and while a Western release was 'under evaluation' some two years ago, that's the last we've heard on the subject. Not even a Teeny Sanguini of information, and that makes us one sad Platypunk (and Square Enix a load of Cruelcumbers too).
And so, today's announcement of the remake of the legendary PS2 role player Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King fills us both with trepidation and excitement. Regarded as one of the best in the series - and as we were kind of late to the Dragon Quest party, one we missed out on - this is the full Dragon Quest experience, remade for a handheld format, with a whole host of enhancements. For starters, the music has been totally redone by the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, and full voices added - as well as some promised StreetPass support, although what that entails remains to be seen (we wouldn't be surprised to see a little StreetPass town popping up on the world map, much like in the Dragon Quest VII remake).
Unfortunately, there's very little else known about the remake, save for the fact it's hitting Japan sometime in August - we don't even know if it'll require the upgraded New 3DS consoles, or run on the standard handheld. And we doubly don't know if it'll ever see a Western release, although we certainly hope so - along with Dragon Quest VII. But, given that VII famously had the longest script ever for the series (and they're wordy enough as it is!), we could be in for quite a wait, especially if they have VIII to localise as well!