Monday, April 25, 2011

Dragon Quest V for the DS appears to have been reprinted (and musings on RPG localizations)

So it looks like Amazon is restocking new copies of Dragon Quest V for the DS. You should probably buy this - even though they're $40, per its original retail price, it quickly went out of print, and most online places were selling used copies in excess of $60. (Granted, it's always been $35 at Gamestop, but they are difficult to find and may not even have the case/manual, due to some new policies of keeping them off the store floor to make way for 3DS titles.) It is definitely worth grabbing - it's basically the game that convinced me the Dragon Quest series in general was pretty good, and I still feel it's the best of them, even though the series overall is a little too conservative for my tastes. (Check out the review for a bit of gushing and very slight spoilers for the few hours of the game, of which explanation is necessary to convey why it's so fantastic.) (And apologies for not grabbing any English pics of the DS version of V, or for the DS version of VI at all - I just got the latter one myself last week.)

The case of Dragon Quest V is interesting in relation to how it got to valuable so quickly. Square-Enix prepped up Dragon Quest IV to be a relatively big title, but it looks like they overshipped it and the title underperformed, so copies can still be easily found for $15 and under. As a result, they printed substantially fewer copies of Dragon Quest V, even though that particular entry has a far greater reputation. It must've under sold too, since Nintendo took over marketing and distribution for IX and VI, but now since IX has gained some popularity, more gamers are looking back for the titles they missed, and V has the best word of mouth.

I think a lot of bigger publishers underestimate the power of word of mouth for RPG titles. The type of folks who play RPGs are also usually the types to hang out in forums and converse with other like-minded folk, and have a good idea of what's good and what isn't. If a particular entry in a series is bad, unfortunately, it then suggests that there's no interest in the series at all, cancelling further localization plans. Sure, Front Mission 4 flopped, but that's because it wasn't very good, not because there wasn't interest in Front Mission 5. And what about Valkyria Chronicles 2? It probably also stumbled, not only due to its downgraded release on the PSP, but the general reaction (at least in English speaking territories) of it being substantially inferior, but will that doom the localization of Valkyria Chronicles 3, even though it's purported to be better?

At any rate, buy Dragon Quest V. Show that there's SOME type of interest portable RPGs. I'd rather be playing my games on a TV or computer monitor, but I'd also play them on a portable over not getting to play them in English at all. (And while it's not on sale, you should also get Radiant Historia on the case of it being pretty damn good.)


  1. Agree wholeheartedly!! DQ V has always been my favorite in the series. Those in the community who know me will tell you I have always maintained it was the best in the series...although, in it's own right DQ9 comes very close to topping it.

    The storyline of DQ5 wins, hands down. But DQ9 has literally unlimited replay value, and the grottoes are a bunch of fun...they really give the feel of the old-fashioned dungeon-crawler games...the beauty of it is...while you have to GRIND to get a lot of stuff, DQ 9 - IT DOESN'T FEEL LIKE GRINDING!!

    Now, for me, storyline is always most important...and the storyline of DQ9 is really very good....but it still doesn't beat DQ5's storyline.

    Where DQ9 in it's replay value,,,the literally limitless post-game replay that is available via the grottoes.

  2. The DS releases for the DQ series are a pretty low priority for me. For starters, the franchise always felt like the RPG equivalent of an appointment at the dentist. On top of that, my DS backlog is a mile wide. Just can't seem to pry myself away from the 360 these days.

    RPGs seem kind of like the anti-handheld genre, as well. They aren't made for pick-up and play sessions. They last upwards of 40 hours. It's easy to reach long stretches in the plot where nothing's really happening.

    Still, there must be an audience out there for that type of experience, otherwise DQV wouldn't be in such high demand.

  3. If I had a job with a super long commute or otherwise traveled a lot, the RPGs on the PSP and DS would be a god send. I don't though, so I'm not as enthused by it. They're good time wasters, at least.

  4. I've been playing a lot of PSP and DS RPGs lately, since it's easy to do that and watch stuff on Netflix at the same time.

    I'm glad that V got a reprint because it is one of the best in the series (also, I feel less bad about having given the $10 new copy I got at Fry's to a friend, who then traded it in for credit toward Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions).

    Also, is anyone even playing Dragon Quest VI? Nobody's been talking about it. It's probably one of my least favorite in the series (it has the same kind of muddled objectives as VII, and a screwed up job leveling system) but it's still a lot of fun if you enjoy "classic-style" RPGs.