Dragon Quest VIII fever burned through Japan late last year, but Americans looking to hook up with one of Square Enix's most popular role-playing games were left cold. A little more than a month later, the publisher gave US RPG fans news they were dying to hear: Dragon Quest VIII is coming to America.
However, Square never said when it would be hitting stateside. Fear of not getting to play a US version of DQ8 this year were laid to rest today when Square announced the PlayStation 2 game would be available November 22.
The choice of date was no shot in the dark--November 22 is also the day the Xbox 360 launches. After Bill Gates pulled out his six-shooters last May and announced that Halo 3 would launch the same day as the PlayStation 3 (date still to be determined), Sony, with less time to work with, did its best impression of Microsoft's business strategy by revealing that Dragon Quest VIII would be bundled with a playable demo of one of its highly anticipated games, Final Fantasy XII. This obviously won't tank 360 sales, but it could pull a few consumers who were on the fence back over to their PS2s.
In Dragon Quest VIII, the first to be in 3D, players try to save a kingdom trapped in enchanted vines cast forth by an evil jester. The American version features new voice-overs, a soundtrack played by a full orchestra, and improved animations. The franchise has been a sensation in Japan, and has sold more than 40 million units worldwide.
Dragon Quest VIII, developed by Level 5, is rated T for Teen and will retail for $49.99.