Just got out of the Blue Dragon meeting where Sakaguchi-san demoed the game. The first scene that I saw was with Shu wearing what looks like an explosive collar on his neck. Jiro, Kluke, and Zola are unconscious. All of the sudden a giant robot foot comes crashing down on them. Shu screams and Nene, the villain, grabs Shu by the neck and says “This world belongs to me now, my little friend”.
Next up was a demo on the field where Shu uses a field skill to make a red barrier appear around him. When he uses the field skill he can run into enemies and not worry about getting encounters. Another field ability lets Shu throw bombs which paralyze enemies and let Shu’s party surprise an enemy from behind. When in combat the party summons their shadows to get ready for combat. Battle sequences are turn based and have dramatic special effects like giant tidal waves of water and the huge blue shadows punching enemies. I took quick notes of the battle commands, Kluke has black magic spells, Zola has “control” and “steal”, Shu has “magic sword” and “mow” and Marumaro has “Yoga”. During the combat sequence one of Shu’s special attacks was demoed where his dragon shadow comes to life and Shu gets on its back while it blasts a burst of fire. In the boss battle sequence we see Shu’s party up against a T-Rex with a metal claw hand. Zola used her special attack where her shadow came to life and it did a claw combination. Something to note about the boss battles is the music is a vocal track sung by the lead singer in “Deep Purple”. The boss battle music was excellent and after the battle the victory song sounds vaguely like the classic Final Fantasy chime.
Blue Dragon is scheduled to come out around August 2007 in North America. Now to get to your questions. About the anime, there are plans to bring it over. It premieres in April in Japan and depending on the localization process it should come out sometime in the fall/holiday season. Downloadable content? Yeah there’s a lot of that coming. The new game plus mode has a difficulty level called “impossible” that requires players to be level 50+. There are three other pieces of downloadable content coming months after its release and the final item makes randomized dungeons with random enemy placement. What’s the cost? It’s to be determined if it will cost anything extra, but even if it does cost a handful of MS points, a random dungeon creator will extend Blue Dragon’s life far more than most RPGs.
Blue Dragon was the meat of the discussion, but there was a surprise during the talk, Lost Odyssey! Details coming real soon…. hang tight.