Dragon Quest VIII shipping this Winter in Japan

Square Enix will be releasing its anticipated RPG game at the end of the year

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TOKYO--Square Enix today announced that it will be releasing Dragon Quest VIII on the PlayStation 2 in winter 2004. No retail price has been set for the game yet, which is called Dragon Warrior VIII in North America.

Dragon Quest VIII will be animated with cel-shaded graphics, a first for the series. Staffers from previous Dragon Quest games are currently working on DQVIII's development, with Yuji Horii writing the script, Kouichi Sugiyama composing the music, and Dragon Ball Z artist Akira Toriyama handling the character designs. The game is being developed by Level 5, the studio behind the recently canceled True Fantasy Live Online for the Xbox.

While the Dragon Quest series hasn't been a big seller in America, it has always been a major hit in Japan. Since the first game was released in 1986 for the Famicom (NES) system, long lines have formed in front of stores whenever a new title is launched. The latest release in the series was a PS2 remake of Dragon Quest V (Super Famicom/NES, 1992), which shipped 1.3 million copies in the first two days after its launch in March.

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