MAKUHARI, Japan--Dragon Quest: Monster Battle Road is the upcoming Japanese arcade game coming from Square Enix. The game mixes monster battling and trading cards into a simple game geared toward youngsters. Though the game on display wasn't playable, we got a quick rundown from Square reps on hand at the game's booth on the Square Enix Party show floor.
The game is based around battles between groups of monsters: three on three, three on one, or six on one. The action takes place in a coliseum setting, where the monsters duke it out. Your monsters will come from the game or, if you have them, cards you'll insert into a slot on the arcade cabinet. You'll be able to register a group of up to three and fight against opponents. The combat is based on a simple two-button system that lets you have your team of monsters attack. If you're lucky and have a rare card in your possession, the game will recognize it and allow you a third attack option: a special attack triggered by pushing the sword in the middle of the cabinet down. Players will get cards out of the machine, which gives you a free card when you finish a match; it's also possible to get cards that come free with certain Square Enix goods. The single-player will have you fighting artificial intelligence opponents, which range from teams of enemies to single bosses. Based on this, it appears that most matches will be three on three. Boss fights will be three on one, with the bosses taking on your whole team. If you meet up with a particularly difficult boss you can have a friend join in and improve the odds, upping the match size to six on six.
From the looks of it, Dragon Quest: Monster Battle Road should fit into the Japanese arcade scene nicely when it ships this June. The card system is atypical of similar games on the market. Unfortunately, Square Enix has no current plans to release the title in the States, although reps said they'd like to. So anyone interested in trying the game out will have to find their way to Japan.