Next Dragon Quest will continue 3D design

Designers say the follow-up to Dragon Quest VIII will stick with the game's anime-esque graphics.

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TOKYO--Dragon Quest creator Yuji Horii has confirmed that the next game in the Dragon Quest series will continue the 3D gameplay featured in Square Enix's latest installment, Dragon Quest VIII. Horii made the announcement at a recent Digital Entertainment Academy seminar, held in Japan, focusing on production of Dragon Quest VIII.

Until Dragon Quest VII, the games in the series were designed in a classic 2D style. Dragon Quest VIII features anime-style, 3D-rendered versions of artist Akira Toriyama's Dragon Quest characters.

Horii said he has been considering a 3D Dragon Quest since the NES days, adding that he was impressed by the prototype developed by Studio Level 5 for Dragon Quest VIII. When asked about the future of the series, Horii said, "I want to make it [Dragon Quest] again in 3D. Dragon Quest VIII was well done, but I believe that it's the starting point for more things."

Level 5 CEO Akihiro Hino said his studio worked hard to give Dragon Quest the right atmosphere, optimizing code to smooth loading times and to match magic effects with those of previous releases. To accurately mimic Toriyama's style, developers studied his art in episodes of the Dragon Ball anime series.

"Dragon Quest still has a lot of potential in 3D. We have a lot of ideas for it," Hino said, hinting that his studio will most likely be developing the series' next installment as well.

Dragon Quest VIII was released in Japan on November 27. The game will be released in America at an as-yet-undetermined date.

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