We don't really understand Square Enix sometimes. Their Dragon Quest games are always awesome, with their sprawling worlds, great turn-based battles and awesome sense of humour - but for one reason or another, the company seem to have a bit of an allergy to releasing them over here. The DS fared pretty well, with one new title and three remakes, but since then the games have pretty much dried up, with the West missing out on both the recent Dragon Quest VII and Dragon Quest VIII remakes for the 3DS - and there's no word on the upcoming Dragon Quest XI either. Still, for one reason or another, Square Enix seem more than happy to bring out a spin-off, and so we've been counting down the days to Dragon Quest Heroes, a game which takes the laid-back take-it-in-turn battles and swaps them for some more action-orientated hack-and-slash ones instead, but should still give us our Dragon Quest fix.
With the release of the aforementioned action role-playing game, Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe and the Blight Below (try saying that one three times fast!) around a month away, it seems Square Enix are kicking things up a notch, with a drip feed of more information. The game, which hit Japan earlier in the year, followed up its launch with a slew of extra downloads, adding new levels to the game, along with letting you unlock new outfits and even an extra character when you completed the extra challenges. In a move that doesn't really surprise anyone, it appears Square Enix will be bringing the same freebies over to America and Europe, this time included on the disc come launch day - which at least saves you from heading over to the Playstation Store and downloading them all manually. As an example, tomboy Tsarevna Alena's episode sees her entering a competition for the Colissea Cup, and completing the mission unlocks her original Dragon Quest VI get-up, as well as an alternate outfit for her loyal companion Kiryl and a handful of rare accessories too.
There is one small caveat though - these downloadable extras will only be playable after you've got to a certain point in the game, or have satisfied some specific, and as yet undisclosed, conditions first. Most will unlock after you've beaten the King Hydra boss, at which point you'll likely find a whole load of letters landing in the in-game Post Office addressed to you, seemingly overnight. Requests for help, character-specific challenges and most likely a heavy dollop of fetch quests, these extra missions can bring all sorts of cool rewards for those who put the work in to complete them. Some episodes will bring back memories for existing Dragon Quest fans too, with rematches against past bosses - including some seriously hard end-of-game ones!
For an additional touch of nostalgia, those of you who've played Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen (and you really should, because it's amazing) may be familiar with the extra character you can unlock for finishing all the requests, bad guy Psaro The Manslayer. And, much like the Nintendo DS remake of the game, if you manage to beat him in battle, he'll join your party - which is handy, as he's the only character capable of wielding humongous Greatswords - although whether he'll also be able to shoot heat rays from his eyes to burn all your enemies to a crisp remains to be seen!
Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe and the Blight Below will be making it's way to the Playstation 4 on the 16th October - which isn't too far away now! In fact, you just about have slime to get in a pre-order for the goo-ber fancy special edition, which includes a super squish cuddly Slime!