Western fans of Dragon Quest just got a bit of good news today: Kotaku just spotted the Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King in the New Zealand iTunes App Store.
For those not in the know, the New Zealand App Store is typically the testing ground for new games and applications on iOS. An English-language port of the 2004 RPG could mean we might see it here in the U.S. in the not-too-distant future. Priced at approximately $20 USD, it might be one of the steeper impulse buys I’ll make if it ends up released in the U.S.
The PS2 Dragon Quest VIII was the second game in the series to get a console release here in the States after the series went portable with V, VI, and the only entry for the PlayStation 2 (VII made its debut on the PSOne). The RPG brought together Square-Enix alongside developer LEVEL-5 (Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch) and Dragonball creator Akira Toriyama, who provided character designs for the game. The result was one of the best looking games in the series which became a bestseller back in Japan.
The story follows a young adventurer who must reverse an evil jester’s curse which has turned all of the people in the kingdom into thorns and the prince and king into monsters. You know, as you will.
Square Enix has been HD Remake crazy in the last couple of years, and Dragon Quest VIII might be due for a visual overhaul with a port to PSN. I guess we should really wait and see what the iOS port – released in 2013 in Japan – looks like before we start champing at the bit for an updated console version.