Back on August 24th, 1999, Gamebits contributor Rob Boyd asked what my Top 20 RPGs were. I dutifully complied, and though he was disappointed my choices didn't reflect more modern titles such as Suikoden, he also didn't disagree with my choices, which placed Dragon Warrior IV at #2 (behind Final Fantasy II). I loved the multiple storylines and how they wove together in the final chapter, watching PCs become NPCs and reintroducing myself to them as if we were strangers and had not just shared a great quest together.
Now, the December issue of Game Informer lists a remake of Dragon Quest IV for the Nintendo DS. My jaded self prevents any excitement from building over this news, though. Such a remake was one planned — and cancelled — for the PSOne. Even if it finally comes to fruition in this handheld format, there's no guarantee that Japan will unclench this precious commodity for American release — or, if they do, that it'll be in a timely fashion. I happily poured 80 hours into Dragon Warrior VIII, but when its predecessor was already old when it arrived Stateside for the PSOne and garnered little interest from an American audience — which may've fueled the original cancellation of the DQIV remake. What a vicious circle Square Enix weaves. I can only hope this time the gamers will win out.
Actually, reports from people with hacking devices has revealed that there is a very rough English draft in the Japanese DS already: http://forums.exophase.com/showthread.php?p=25791
So yeah, a US version of Dragon Quest IV early next year is all but inevitable. I can't wait: besides updating the visuals & giving the player the ability to control everyone in the 5th chapter, there's also an additional bonus 6th chapter with an extra playable character.
I'm very excited to see a Dragon Quest/Warrior IV coming. I missed it on the NES, and was disappointed after playing III on the Gameboy Color only to find out the re-make wasn't going to be on the handhelds. My one lament about this, is that with so many games to play, I wonder if I'll ever have time to play them all.
Courtesy Slashdot comes a teaser site for Dragon Quest IV for the DS — though oddly, no official announcement about this game's American release preceded this site's launch. The only content currently on the site is the North American release date: September 16th, 2008!