Unless you’ve been living under a rock or are an average person who doesn’t fervently search the internet for news through Japanese websites about anything and everything Dragon Quest – A new mobile game has been announced by Square Enix titled Dragon Quest Champions.

Heading over to the Japanese-only website to get more information about the game, we can see that this is an RPG complete with a Story Mode and Tournament mode where 50 players will go head to head to win the “Heroic Martial Arts Tournament” which honours the legacy of the ancient hero.

Dragon Quest Champions sounds fancy. After looking at the announcement on Livestream, it also looks fancy. However, the reality is that while the FINAL FANTASY VII: THE FIRST SOLDIER community still mourne the loss of their unique mobile Battle Royal, Square Enix announces its successor.

Announcement Video

Let’s try and break down what was announced and what we know so far:

Story Mode is on the left while Tournament Mode is on the right!

Story Mode

As someone who isn’t fluent in Japanese, I’m going to paraphrase the story based on the translations available. 

The story is set after a great evil is defeated by the brave hero and his two companions. Some time has passed since then, and the people are absorbed in the “Heroic Martial Arts Tournaments” that honour the ancient hero’s legacy. 

There wasn’t a lot regarding the solo game mode. We’re shown a screenshot of how the map system will work. If you’ve played a mobile RPG before, you’ll be used to the presentation here. On the map, there are quest icons and NPCs to interact with. 

Once you’ve picked a quest, you’re taken to a mission page which gives you the details of the quest, enemies you’ll encounter and your party members before pressing Depart. Here we’re given a glimpse of how microtransactions might look within the game, as there’s a stamina system in play.

After a brief loading time, your character is dropped into a beautifully rendered environment and allowed to explore, fight monsters and collect items. While there’s not much information, the story will likely develop through these small episodes.

After a brief little run around during the demonstration, they run into the Jailcats in the field and combat starts – It’s very Dragon Quest! 

Tournament Mode

With the story mode surrounding the Heroic Martial Arts Tournament, it would be silly not to mention it, especially as it is the game’s main feature. Tournament Mode is a 50v50 mode where everyone is duking it out to become the hero.

During the announcement video, we can see a boat circling the island. When the player is ready to disembark, they use the Zoom ability, which sends them flying off into the battlefield.

What’s someone jarring here is the sheer amount of enemies out in the open field – Outside of the game’s aesthetic, they’re trying hard to remind you that this is a Dragon Quest game.

What’s most interesting here is that if another player is in the middle of combat with either monsters or other players. You, as the player, will see a dust cloud, which, if you run into will put you into the fray. Outside of this, it’s your standard JRPG mechanics at play. If you see a monster or player, you can run into them to start battling, or if you strike from behind, you’ll begin a pre-emptive strike, giving you the first turn in the fight.

Am I Excited? Do I want this?

As someone who recently wrote, “Give us more Dragon Quest, you cowards!“, It would be out of character to say that I’m not interested. Sure this is going to be a mobile game, and the chances of Square Enix localising it are slim – It just looks so charming!

I’m currently undergoing a Dragon Quest deficiency, where outside of the numbered titles in the series, there’s not a lot of new happening in the West. Dragon Quest Treasures doesn’t count. 

I miss the adventure and the grandeur which come with a Dragon Quest game. While the meat of Champions will be PVP, there’s still the aspect of creating a party of characters, levelling and unlocking character vocations which I miss and need in my life.

When I remove myself from the fact that this is a Dragon Quest game, this is a genre I never knew I wanted, a turn-based battle royal. Honestly, I haven’t been excited about a battle royal since the introduction of ‘No Build mode’ to Fortnite.

When I first sat down to write this article, desperately wanting another Dragon Quest game in the West. This game comes when Square Enix is shutting down many of their mobile titles in the West. January hasn’t ended, and they’ve closed down FINAL FANTASY VII: THE FIRST SOLIDER and DRAGON QUEST DAI: A Hero’s Bonds.

Written by Colin.