Nintendo announced it will ship Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies in North America this July 11th (Europe will receive it two weeks later on July 23rd) — much sooner than the fall or holiday release many predicted for the Square Enix/Level-5 RPG. I at least expected the Dragon Quest VI DS remake, which hit Japan last January, to come out here first!
Unfortunately, it looks like the game’s “Tag Mode”, which has added so much to DQIX’s popularity in Japan’s dense cities by allowing gamers to share treasure maps and greetings with passerbys even when their DSes are closed and stowed away, remains a local wireless-only feature. I know more than a few people who hoped Nintendo and Square Enix would adapt the game for North American gamers by adding online support for this feature.
At least the downloadable quests and four-player adventures (local wireless) are still in, though! After all, it wouldn’t be the first time Square Enix removed a feature from a Dragon Quest DS game for its Western release.
Story details and screenshots after the break!:
“In Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies, players begin their adventure as a city guardian who is sent to retrieve a sacred tree’s fruits, which have the power to grant wishes. Players travel the world, conquer fearsome monsters and unravel an epic storyline.”
“During their journey, players will encounter mighty opponents in fast-paced battles, and also interact with a colorful cast of characters.”
“Before setting off on their adventure, players can create their own heroes, deciding how they would like their face, hair and clothing to look. As the story unfolds, players become stronger, smarter and more powerful, and can customize companions who join their group.”
“Players will have fun discovering more than 1,000 pieces of clothing, armor, weapons and other items that will provide them with a unique appearance and special abilities. Players can also change the class of their character at any time, choosing from a variety of vocations that will affect their abilities and strengths in the game.”