Dragon’s Dogma definitely wasn’t for everyone, but I consider it one of the most underrated games of this generation — it had an interesting world that was fun to explore, pretty graphics, and most importantly, it was one of the few open world RPG’s whose combat didn’t completely suck (sorry Elder Scrolls fans… I love Skyrim and Fallout as much as the next guy, but there’s no denying that the fighting in those games is still awkward and boring as hell.) While DD never became the smash hit it deserved to be, the game did sell well enough to warrant the release of an expansion pack (which hit store shelves in the US a few weeks ago,) and Capcom announced today that they’re creating a free-to-play, 2D spin-off from the series for the PS Vita.
The new game, entitled Dragon’s Dogma Quest, was first revealed in a blurb from this week’s issue of Famitsu, so there’s no screenshots or videos available yet. According to info from the magazine, Dragon’s Dogma Quest will let you customize your character with over 150 character classes. As in the original game, players will be able to create and exchange “pawn” characters (AI controlled party members) online. The new game reportedly ditches the original DD’s action-based combat for more hands-off strategic gameplay: instead of controlling the fights directly, players issue orders and watch the battles unfold. Players will need to create a party of complimentary character classes in order to succeed. The game will also ditch the open world, 3D nature of its console predecessor, and will instead be a strictly 2D game.
Dragon’s Dogma Quest will be free to play with microtransactions. According to Famitsu, the microtransactions will help people who don’t have a lot of time on their hands keep up with more experienced players.
I love me some Dragon’s Dogma, but I’m pretty sure this isn’t exactly the follow-up I wanted. The polished combat and the titanic boss fights were what made Dragon’s Dogma so special, so it’s kind of weird that they’re ditching those elements for this spin-off. Still, I’m glad that Capcom still sees DD as a viable franchise, so hopefully they’ll make a proper Dragon’s Dogma sequel if DD Quest is successful. There’s no word yet if Capcom is planning on releasing DD Quest in the West.
It’s already been proven that F2P games can be successful on the Vita: Sega coincidentally announced today that the Vita version of Phantasy Star Online 2, another freemium RPG, has surpassed over half-a-million users in Japan. While Sega hasn’t confirmed the Vita version of PSO2 for a US release yet, they have announced that the original PC version will be released in the States sometime soon.