Soon, the slimes will feel your cooperative, online wrath!
Now and then, it's a good idea for a long-running series to try something new. Following the success of Dragon Quest IX on the DS, Square Enix decided to stick with Nintendo for its next installment. Dragon Quest X will come out for the Wii and the WiiU, but don't expect another traditional single-player installment. Instead, the game will adopt MMO features, allowing players to quest cooperatively.
How much of the game is really an MMO and how much is a single-player game with cooperative elements is still unknown, but Square Enix has revealed a few helpful details. Players can solo the game if they wish, although they will need the help of computer-controlled party members. They may also require a constant internet connection. For human parties, each player will input a single command in a traditional Dragon Quest-style menu, then wait for his or her next turn to roll around. Square Enix has also highlighted features such as hub cities, a crafting system, persistent characters and locations, and a potential monthly fee.
While players of the Wii and WiiU versions will be able to play on the same servers, the WiiU version will boast enhanced graphics. Both versions may also be compatible with the 3DS, which would allow players to download characters to their handhelds and share them with other physical consoles.
Final Fantasy, another venerable JRPG franchise, has already tried the MMO route twice with varying degrees of success. Dragon Quest X looks to be keeping much of its original formula intact, which should help it avoid some of the growing pains that its analogue has faced. Japan will see Dragon Quest X sometime in 2012.