Checkpoint: April Fools 2012 Edition

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Was Google always so prolific with their April Fools gags? There are over 10 from the search overlord already.

My favorite is easily the Google Maps 8-bit which you can actually try out here. For those who are wondering, they’re mimicking the Dragon Quest aesthetic. Don’t forget to go to StreetView for more old school nostalgia.

Topping this all off is the NES cartridge which I’m sure folks would love to own (if they actually made it a reality):

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Dragon Quest X Online Announced for Wii & WiiU

posted in: Game News 0

squareenix-logo.gifDragon Quest X Online is coming to the Nintendo Wii. Square Enix is bringing an online game to the Wii and WiiU. It sounds like a recipe for disaster.

Dragon Quest IX was my first Dragon Quest game. I liked it and found it to be an ideal fit for the Nintendo DS.

Would it be an ideal fit as an online game with a subscription fee? I don’t know. Sure? They made Final Fantasy into an online MMO, I don’t see why Dragon Quest wouldn’t work.

But getting it to work and convincing the millions of Japanese fans to hop online for their Dragon Quest fix is an entirely different beast. I wasn’t swayed to go online with Final Fantasy XI or XIV (the latter with very good reason) and I certainly do not see myself paying a fee to play Dragon Quest X Online — especially on the Wii.

There is a WiiU version with no release date, but if Dragon Quest X Online ends up like Final Fantasy XIV Online, I can see that version of the game remaining TBD for quite some time.

Why Aren’t My Friends Playing Dragon Quest IX?

The iPhone has turned everyone into hardcore handheld gamers. But if you ask them,”Are you a gamer?” most of them will deny it.

However, if you ask them if they’ve “Three starred every level in Cut the Rope?” or “Did you perfect every level in Angry Birds?” They’ll say “Yes! It was awesome.”.

On several occasions, the lunch lounge at was turned into an iPhone gaming lounge. It reminded me of the stories people tell of Japan, but instead of Dragon Quest IX on Nintendo DS or Monster Hunter for PSP, it’s Angry Birds on iPhones.

So why aren’t they playing other portable games like DQIX? I don’t believe it’s because of the game itself — it’s the platform. The iPhone 4 is cool; it doesn’t have the social stigma of a Nintendo DS or a PlayStation Portable. You could play Civilization Revolution or run a virtual game development company without fear of ridicule when it’s on an iPhone.

But what about the fact that those dedicated handheld devices cannot browse the net or make calls? Isn’t that the reason why people are using the iPhone 4? As actual smartphones?

I don’t see it like that. Especially with the iPhone 4 owners I know. Out of all the smartphone owners I know, only one pulls theirs out to dispel arguments based on misinformation. And he owns a Blackberry. In the meantime, others are watching a piece of candy swing on a rope. I’m willing to bet that some of these folks spent more time playing games on their iPhones than talking.

However, don’t get me wrong. I welcome this new platform. The more people who play games, the better! I do wish the games were more involved than the ones offered on a touch screen, but that may take more time. Or perhaps another platform. Maybe one with more traditional controls?

Dragon Quest IX Review

posted in: Reviews 0

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Dragon Quest IX was the first Dragon Quest game I had ever completed. It was also my first Nintendo DS role playing game. After spending so much time with the game I couldn’t help, but think that these two were made for each other. I don’t think I would have enjoyed Dragon Quest IX on any other platform. The traditional design was made for small spurts of play that the handheld accommodated so well.

I’ve never played a role playing game where I molded my character and their traveling companions. I was able to customize them to my liking from head to toe, but that was interesting for the first 15 minutes or so. No matter what I did, they were nothing more than empty shells. My Elena and her crew, Chunners, Brawlee and McAngree, were mutes. Emotionless avatars that did not contribute to the narrative, share quips or voice opinions in any fashion. That was a bit disappointing.

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