Friday, December 12, 2008

Namco Bandai Annouces Blue Dragon: Ikai no Kyojuu

Blue Dragon is an IP that tends to get around. A lot. Having multiple anime, manga, and merch adaptations (some only barely related to the original game), Blue Dragon's limited appeal in North America leaves it unfazed in its home country.

Well, don't think the games have bowed out, as Namco Bandai has announced in the recent issue of Jump that they will be publishing and co-developing the third game in the Blue Dragon series.

Currently named Blue Dragon: Ikai no Kyojuu (lit. Giant Beast of the Underworld), the game is bringing Hironobu Sakaguchi (the series' creator) and Akira Toriyama (character designer) back to the series, with Namdai's own Hideo Baba (of the company's Tales of department) onboard.

Ikai no Kyojuu will be tackling an action-RPG take on the world of Blue Dragon, and will be (finally) bringing equippable weapons to the table.

Series staple characters Shu, Jiro, and Kluke have all been confirmed to be making a return, but the hero of the story will actually be a character of your own making. Additionally, your Shadow will also be unique to you, though exactly how this works has not been made clear.

While this all sounds like a step in the right direction for the series (though I could live without character customization), I admit that I'm disappointed to see it on DS, and in ugly DS 3D no less. (Sigh)

However, what really makes this interesting is the fact that its a Mistwalker + Namco Bandai collaboration working on a Microsoft IP. Will we see more Mistwalker + Namdai? Could (and I hesitate to speculate on this) former AQ + Mistwalker projects be transferred to Namdai? I don't know, but it's fun to think about.

Blue Dragon: Ikai no Kyojuu is slated for Nintendo DS sometime next year in Japan. No release date has been mentioned for North America or Europe.


No comments: