Dragon Quest X for August 2nd in Japan! Online and Memory Fees Spell Trouble.
The time has come. As usual, a Dragon Quest release in Japan is a celebration. However, this is going to be one tough cookie to swallow, because for the first time in the series, it’s going to jump the MMO ship…which means that there are additional fees you need to be aware of. First off are the subscription fees, which range from 12$ a month to 36$ for 90 days. Standard stuff for today’s MMOs only a bit cheaper (than WoW).
The 2nd requirement is an impressive feat from the developer; for the first time in the Wii’s history, someone stepped up and used the USB ports for storage. The modding scene has been doing it for years, but no Wii game had officially took advantage of the Wii’s most underrated and hidden feature until Square-Enix, which is sad when you think of the wasted sea of opportunities during its lifecycle. Anyway, Dragon Quest X requires 16GB of USB memory to run, which should be cheap to buy. It baffles me, however, that the bundled version of the game with the USB costs 100$. Why 40$ for 16GB? Either way, you still need that storage. I’m sure most gamers have it, but if you live under a rock that’s additional cost right there.
Not only that, but DQX ships on two discs…and obviously the Wii doesn’t have any disc writing in sight so we’re expected to flip between the two at certain points in an online MMO, which may spell all sorts of trouble. Unless the 2nd disc is additional data that can be installed in the USB memory.
So yeah, Nintendo’s giving Square Enix all that leeway to have DQX function on the Wii, from having 2 discs to USB storage…two things never done on Wii games. The ultimate question is will it sell as much as its predecessors? The Wii’s user-base is incredibly high so the audience is there, but all these additional fees…will Dragon Quest fans overlook those in favor of the experience? Can they swallow the fact that it’s an MMO with real-time elements to its battle system? Remember when DQ9 had that idea but scrapped it due to threats from hardcore gamers? From the looks of things, in terms of World Design and scope, DQX will wipe the floor with previous installments so whoever plays it will be amazed…but the MMO aspects won’t go away. I, for one, love the risks they’re taking because online play and changes to the battle systems were truly missing from DQIX, a game I devoted 100 hours into. I would love to play it across the world with people like Jarrod. So this experiment is awesome.
Let’s state the obvious; unless the Wii U has a 2013 release date, this version of Dragon Quest X with its current form of play will never make it outside of Japan. Because for all intents and purposes, we should consider DQX for Wii a beta-test for the worldwide Wii U release. Nintendo and Square Enix need to keep an eye out for the subscription model outside of Japan. The series is already niche in the UK and US, so attaching that same typical subscription model will turn people off. I’m not saying that they should completely eliminate it like Monster Hunter Tri, but they should offer an extended time of free play (like two months) and slash the current prices down to half to get people interested.
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