Blue Dragon steps out of the shadows

Wednesday 10 May 2006
Microsoft has announced that Blue Dragon, a new role-playing game from Hironobu Sakaguchi - the creator of the Final Fantasy games - is currently in development for Xbox 360.

Co-developed by Sakaguchi's Mistwalker studio and design company Artoon Co, Blue Dragon follows the fortunes of a young boy called Shu and his friends as they try to save their world which is under threat from an "antiquated race of people".

While a bunch of kids doesn't seem like the most likely set of heroes, what makes matters slightly better is that they all possess the power to summon phantom shadows that mimic every move they make.

Take a glance at the shots on the right and you may find the character design slightly familiar. This is because it's the work of Akira Toriyama who came up with the angry and big-haired look for Dragon Ball Z.

Blue Dragon was announced at Microsoft's pre-E3 conference where Peter Moore, Microsoft's corporate vice president of interactive business, stated that the new RPG was part of the company's initiative to publish games made by Japanese studios for Japanese gamers.

Aware that 360 has received a lukewarm reception in Japan, Microsoft is conscious that it can't just export games that have been popular in North America and expect the same success in Eastern markets