To commemorate the 25th anniversary of Japan's best-selling RPG series. SQUARE-ENIX has released an exclusive Wii compilation disc containing the first three DRAGON QUEST games in both their original 8-bit versions and 16-bit remakes.
But just how good (and worthwhile) is this compilation?
■25TH SILVER ANNIVERSARY CONTENTS
Note that I'm only covering the game disc itself, so I'm not going to bother with the other physical goodies of this package (which is mostly an art book and a commemorative coin/medal).
Here's basically what you will find in this disc then : ● EXCLUSIVE OPENING ANIMATION MOVIE !
A special (and pretty awesome) opening movie made exclusively for this compilation.
● FAMICOM and SUPER FAMICOM - DRAGON QUEST I・II・III
Let's adventure like it's 1986 !
Obviously the main content of this compilation.
All of the 5 games featured here have been emulated faithfully and offer 480p support as well as a new all-glorious save state feature that's certainly to please anybody who's actually interested in playing these games from this disc (I mean, let's be realistic here).
The games retain their original 4:3 aspect ratios though. So if you have a widescreen TV you will be playing them with two black bars on the sides.
Considering the beautiful artwork that characterizes the series (and the huge amount of it). It is very disappointing that the programmers didn't took the time to put some nice-looking border backgrounds instead of just using the lame black bars.
How hard could that have been ?
● TREASURE CHEST
What's a good game compilation without some nice extras? By selecting the「Data Look」option you will be able to view fully-rotatable high-res scans of the game's boxes, as well as of their original flyers and production notes.
I wish they had also included the game manuals, but I guess you can't have everything...
● DRAGON QUEST X GAME TRAILER
It looks like because of some copyright issues, the exclusive (or at least I think it is exclusive, I haven't checked around or anything) DRAGON QUEST X trailer featured on this disc cannot be uploaded on neither YouTube or NicoNico Douga at this moment.
You aren't missing much from this 5 minute-long or so trailer though. Actually, I have to say I found it very funny how they first show you some cinematics that probably could have been done in real-time on the XBOX 360 or PlayStation 3, so you think that's how the game is going to look. But then you are presented to the actual game graphics and end up realizing that the game only looks slightly better than DRAGON QUEST VIII... (>｡<)
Of course the DQ series have never been about graphics. And while I'm not crazy about DRAGON QUEST X being online, the game is definitely looking interesting.
Personally I'm very disappointed with this compilation disc, and more specially when comparing it to other recent examples. Seriously, all the extras in the world can't hide the fact that they're selling you three 8-bit and two 16-bit games on a full-fledged current generation software disc.
So what are we gonna get on the 30th anniversary ? Famicom and PlayStation - DRAGON QUEST IV!? Ridiculous!
In my opinion we're already on a point where we should be getting game compilations from the 32-bit era at the very least - yet for some reason game companies insist on selling us their same old stuff from the 8 and 16-bit eras over and over again. And worse in this case since it's only 5 of them on one disc!
But what bothers me the most is that It is only due to the DQ series huge popularity that SQUARE-ENIX can release such a meager compilation and get away with it. They know this and that's why they did it.
A compilation like this maybe (just barely) would have been worth it on a handheld game system. But on a current generation console?
I still can't believe they couldn't even include the DRAGON QUEST IV ROM. That's just pitful...