Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors
Platform: Nintendo Wii
Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: 8ing, Genius Sonority
Genre: Action RPG
Format: DVD-ROM
Release: US 02/19/08
Japan 07/12/07

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Unsurprisingly, there's a church in the game just like in every RPG!
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Use the wii remote as a sword to attack enemies.
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Fans of DQ VIII will be familar with the character design in the game.
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You can also use the remote to block attacks.
John P. Hussey
First Look Preview
John P. Hussey

Even though the Nintendo Wii has been on the shelves for more than a year, we have yet to see a game that has been designed entirely for the console from conception. While there have been some solid RPGs for the system, mainly the latest incarnations of the Zelda, Paper Mario, and Fire Emblem series, these games were originally designed for the GameCube and then ported to the Wii. Next week, that will change with the release of Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors.

Dragon Quest Swords opens in the land of Avalonia, where the people have lived in peace for five years after the Deathbringer was defeated. However, and seemingly without notice, creatures have begun to reappear and at an alarming rate. On top of this, the Queen has taken to suddenly covering her face from everyone which has caused her subjects tremendous worry. It is the hero’s job to solve these puzzles and restore peace to Avalonia. While this is not a stunningly original storyline, it may be just the ticket for those looking for and old school narrative.

The party who undertakes this quest is made up of four distinct personalities including: The hero, a sixteen-year-old swordsman living with his father and looking for adventure; Fleurette, a provocatively dressed magic user much in the vein of Dragon Quest VIII’s Jessica; Anlace, the Prince of Avalonia; and Claymore, the hero’s father, a former legendary warrior in the kingdom. While the details are scarce at this point, the characters’ artwork is distinctive and its good to see Dragon Quest sticking to its traditional roots in design.

Obviously, gameplay is important to detail in this first look preview. Instead of another standard turn based adventure in the mold of the Dragon Quest series, this installation seeks to utilize the motion capabilities of the Wii remote. In a style reminiscent of other “first person rail shooters” such as House of the Dead, players with hack and slash their way through monsters with a sword in the form of the Wii remote. There are many functions the remote can perform including a simple slicing attack, a more complicated special skill called a master stroke, and eventually, with the addition of future companions, the ability to cast spells. In addition, the player must successfully utilize the remote’s ability to become a shield and block incoming attacks.

While the game seems to be shaping up to be an interesting foray into the possibilities of a unique, Wii-type RPG experience, I am concerned about the approach Square Enix might have taken in publishing this game. In the same way Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest was a stripped down version of an authentic RPG in order to pacify an emerging and inexperienced audience, there could be some similarities in incorporating the Wii remote into the RPG experience. All skepticism aside, this title has sold tremendously well in Japan and is the best selling third party game of this seventh generation to date. Stay tuned to RPGFan in the coming weeks for a full review; the game releases February 19th.


© 2008 Square Enix. All Rights Reserved.

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