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GameStop: Blue Dragon roars in June

We don't always report on GameStop ship dates (you should see the pile of Halo 3 release date tips we get on a regular basis) but this one is special. According to GameStop's Blue Dragon entry, the game is set to hit the US on June 5, 2007. This meshes well with a recent Game Informer cover story claiming that the game would hit this summer (Game Informer, incidentally, is owned by GameStop).

We know that the Japanese version of the game received some decent reviews, but Joystiq sheds what little light it can on the US localized version. Essentially, the game will remain the same apart from translated text and re-dubbed English voices (which can blessedly be replaced with the original Japanese voices if desired). Some of the songs will be re-dubbed in English as well (that should be interesting). Joystiq also notes that episodic content may be available for download after the game is released.

[Via Joystiq]

Blue Dragon flying high in Japan


Websites (including us) have been spouting Blue Dragon's significance for ages now -- just look at all these stories -- and it's finally time for the game to put up or shut up. The game released today -- both individually and in a spiffy bundle -- and Joystiq reports that it already looks to become the most popular 360 game in Japan by far. Of course, that's not really saying much, though it is important to note that the game is also driving hardware sales. If Microsoft has any hope in the Land of the Rising Sun, it rests in the arms (wings?) of Blue Dragon. After all, if the RPG dream team of Hironobu Sakaguchi, Akira Toriyama, and Nobuo Uematsu aren't enough to entice the Japanese, there just isn't much more that Microsoft can do. Hit the read link for more pictures.

We've asked this question before, but do you think Microsoft needs Japan in order to win the new-gen console war?

Watch Blue Dragon's opening sequence


We missed the Blue Dragon update last week, so this week we have two new videos for you. The first -- embedded above -- is Blue Dragon's playable opening sequence. It's very serene and poetic in that Howl's Moving Castle sort of way, though we're not sure how much we like the robotic voice that announces what you're doing. Hearing the digital female voice say "item" as you pick something up sort of pulls you out of the narrative. Still, the game is gorgeous. The second video -- embedded after the break -- showcases a shooting sequence, which takes place in (what else?) an airship. The shooting sequence is in real time, which might allay some of the fears of RPG fans that are more accustomed to KOTOR. Watch both videos and tell us what you think . (As always, high definition versions are available at the official Blue Dragon site.)

Continue reading Watch Blue Dragon's opening sequence

Blue Dragon 2 already in the works?


Blue Dragon, Microsoft's great white blue hope in Japan, isn't even available yet, and rumors are already flying about Blue Dragon 2: the Dragoning*. According to Strategyinformer.com, Famitsu is reporting that Mistwalker is already in production on Blue Dragon 2. It's a well-known fact that Microsoft is pinning all its hopes on Blue Dragon to lift limp 360 sales in Japan. If a sequel is already in development, they must be very confident that it will do just that. Then again, the article doesn't actually mention what platform the game would appear on, so it's possible that Blue Dragon's developer, Mistwalker, is planning to take the game multi-platform. Whatever MS and Mistwalker have up their sleeves, we'll wait to see how good the first Blue Dragon is before we start clamoring for a sequel.

*This is a fake (though hilarious) subtitile.

[Via Evil Avatar]

Video: Blue Dragon non player characters


The official Blue Dragon website has been updated yet again with a new video (and new screenshots, too). The video features some of the game's non player characters (NPCs) that the player can interact with. They range from weird looking Snifit doppelgangers to minotaurs. Our favorite in the video is what appears to be a living mural on a wall. Check out the video after the break. Oh, and be warned, the music is ... different.

Continue reading Video: Blue Dragon non player characters

Japan: Blue Dragon bigger than Zelda, MGS4


It's windy and cold outside Fanboy Towers today, and we're betting it's a cold day in Hell, too. First, EA's Superman Returns demo is actually good, and now an Xbox 360 game is in the top 5 on Famitsu's most wanted list. Blue Dragon has landed in 3rd place on the recent poll, outdoing both Metal Gear Solid 4 and the beloved Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. We've blogged (probably too much) about Blue Dragon's importance before, but it now stands at an all time high. With the Playstation 3 launched (and sold out) and the Wii as well, Microsoft has their work cut out for them if they want to make a dent in the Land of the Rising Sun. Ironically, this is also their biggest opportunity. With the PS3 sold out, Microsoft has a big chance to take money away from those who were unable to get a PS3 (hell, with PS3 money you could buy the Blue Dragon bundle and have enough yen left for a sushi dinner).

Still, one game may help Microsoft gain a foothold, but it is not enough to sustain interest. If they don't keep rolling out the Japanese flavored content, Japan could quickly drop the 360. As our sister site, Joystiq, points out, the Japanese are not shy about buying a system for one game and then selling it. Then again, Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 has managed to crack the number 15 spot. Maybe that will be enough to hold Japan until Lost Odyssey.

[Via Joystiq]

Video: Blue Dragon's not so random battles


The official Blue Dragon website was updated with a new video on Friday. The video displays some of the combat evasion tactics that are available to players. This should come as a relief to those that hate constant battle. There are several different ways to evade monster detection: bombs can be thrown to paralyze enemies, players can turn invisible to avoid detection, and enemies can even be killed, avoiding a battle sequence entirely. We'd like to know if killing enemies pre-battle still nets you experience points, but the ability -- presumably granted with a special item -- is welcome. It adds some freshness to the game, which is always welcome in an RPG. Watch the video after the break.

Continue reading Video: Blue Dragon's not so random battles

Blue boy walking, new Blue Dragon videos


There are two new Blue Dragon videos up on the official site. The first, set to some of the most terrible rock music imaginable, demonstrates the game's shadow combat system. Somehow, the music gives it a very weird twist. It's as if it were a joke. Seriously, it sounds like Bob Dylan after a stroke. The second video showcases one of Blue Dragon's most overlooked features: walking! If you've ever wanted to see a kid walking around looking at stuff, now's your chance. Both videos are embedded after the break.

Continue reading Blue boy walking, new Blue Dragon videos

Japan gets Lost Odyssey demo, we get squat

Godfree over at Gamertag Radio sent us a note that a demo of Lost Odyssey was available in Japan. Eager to try it out, we went and fired up our Japanese Live account to download it. After minutes of frantic searching, we gave up; it wasn't there. That's about the time that we finished reading the note. It turns out that a Lost Odyssey demo disc is available in the latest Famitsu. It's not known whether or not an English demo is in the works. Still, the fact that it's far enough along to release a demo bodes well for an early 2007 release.

We don't really understand the aversion to putting big titles on Marketplace in Japan (they did the same thing with Ninety-Nine Nights). Does having it on a physical disc make it special somehow, like a collector's item? Would any of our readers in Japan care to comment?

Blue Dragon fight video, new screens


Today we bring you two entirely new screens from Blue Dragon, that wacky Japanese system seller. We particularly enjoy the screen above, with its "big fish eats smaller fish" mentality. But that's not all, we have even more Blue Dragon goodness: a new video of the game's combat. Check out the video after the break, and check Xboxyde for some screen grabs taken from the video.

Continue reading Blue Dragon fight video, new screens

HD Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey tomorrow


YouTube shaky cam be damned! Microsoft is set to bring us the real goods on both Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey tomorrow. That is to say, we'll be getting big, beautiful high definition trailers for both games on Marketplace. Make sure you grab 'em tomorrow and soak up the high resolution goodness.

Makes us wish the 360 could queue up scheduled downloads, Tivo style.

[Thanks, Sjohn]

Blue Dragon, could it save Japan?


Mistwalker has re-released the extended trailer for Blue Dragon, the original RPG from Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi. Many have said that this is one of the titles that will make or break the 360 in Japan. What do you think? Can one title really make that much difference? Check out the video after the break. If you're a Japanese gamer who reads this site, tell us what you think (come to think of it, are there any Japanese 360 fans dedicated enough to visit a site called Xbox 360 Fanboy?)

Continue reading Blue Dragon, could it save Japan?

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