R P G A M E R - J A P A N D E M O N I U M
Horseshoes and Hand Grenades
This week's episode is filled with dragons, release dates, and twenty minutes of two superhuman fighters staring at eachother grunting.
What a striking change a week can cause in game sales. Unlike last week, the last week's Dengeki chart shows a huge drop in sales across the genre, with a scant five games in the Top 30.
Square Enix has let a ton of Dragon Quest information out of their Secret Information Vault! Dragon Quest VIII's subtitle has been released, which is 'The Sky, the Sea, the Earth and the Cursed Princess.' Also included in the large release are some new screens and art for DQ VIII, specifically the game's logo and some shots of the characters, as you can see below.
Square Enix also released a near 30 second video of Dragon Quest Meeting 2004, which is available here (4.13 MB). It shows some footage of Dragon Quest Online and Dragon Quest VIII. The meeting was crowned by a performance by the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, playing a number of selections from Dragon Quest V, as well as a number of presentations by Akira Toriyama, S-E president Yoichi Wada, and Yuji Horii himself. The latter was quoted as saying that working on two Dragon Quest titles at once was one of the hardest efforts of his career. There's a good chance it was worth the effort!
Even more Dragon Quest information follows, with new images of Dragon Quest V: Tenku no Hanayome. As well, they have announced it will feature a Carriage System, which can hold up to eight characters. However, you can only use four party members at any time in your party. Square Enix is planning a March 25th release. It will be available for 7800 of your hard-earned yen.
Square Enix has also commissioned a number of limited edition T-shirts from Beams T clothing company. They will be available in Japan later in the year.
Sega is planning to rerelease a version of Eternal Arcadia Legend (Skies of Arcadia Legend in North America) for GameCube in Japan. To be released on May 20th, it will be priced at a non-wallet-busting 2800 yen!
Not to be completely outdone by Square Enix in the information department, Konami as released new character information on Genso Suikoden IV. New characters released are: Glen Cott, the Gaian Knights commander; Katarina, his second in command; and Chiepo a Nekobold merchant.
As previously reported, Gust is gearing up for Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana's release. If all goes to plan, it will be released in Japan on May 27th.
To quench my personal thirst for some Tactical RPG goodness, Idea Factory has released new screens of their real-time TRPG "Generation of Chaos IV: Shinten Makai". I want.
Sony Music Entertainment as announced a tribute album to Dark Cloud 2, whose soundtrack was composed by Tomohito Nishiura. The album is going to be arranged and performed by a number of prominent game composers, as follows:
Actual content! Another enjoyable update complete! Now on to something more personal.
When not doing stuff here in the land of Japandemonium, and when not at work stocking bread on a shelf, I'm an independant developer. I've played with such fun stuff as Game Boy Advance development, and even touched PS2 a little (very little). There was recently a thread on the RPGamer boards on weither or not independant developers or independant studios can produce game content that can rival the big wigs. I really believe they (we) can, if we try. It is done quite often; albeit, most of said content is usually mods for other games, most not RPG related.
One of the few RPGs that I know that thrives on independant content is BioWare's Neverwinter Nights. If you hang out on BioWare's forums, and read a bit, you can see just how the Neverwinter community is involved with Neverwinter Night's evolution. So, as a response to that thread, I'm throwing a nod at two groups who are doing amazing things with the tools BioWare has provided. Even then, they often come up with their own tools! The City of Doors Initiative (CODI) and DragonLance Adventures (DLA) groups spend huge amounts of their free time, unpaid, to bring extremely high quality content to the community. BioWare has more than once acknowledged these groups and others.
All this boils down to a developer giving the public the tools to create their own content. BioWare has even published documentation on their file formats so third-party developers can come up with their own tools, instead of having to hack around and find out for themselves.
What I'm getting at, I suppose, is that as a developer, I wish more companies would follow the same lead. These companies could highly benefit by it, in the end, especially in the staffing possibilities. BioWare, for example, has hired community members in the past, and I'm sure they will again in the future, because they were willing to put aside some issues and release information.
Anyway, that's it for this week's R3 (Random Rob Rant).
See you all next week!
WHAT?!? I MISSED AN EPISODE!? Check out the archives!