In From Pixels to Polygons, we examine classic game franchises that have survived the long transition from the 8- or 16-bit era to the current console generation. In this final installment, Andrew Passafiume and Jeff deSolla discuss the evolution of the RPG legend, Dragon Quest.

We’ve covered many iconic franchises in From Pixels to Polygons, but few share the same legacy as Dragon Quest. Originally introduced to the West as Dragon Warrior, the DQ series helped craft Japanese-style RPGs, becoming the poster child for the genre long before Final Fantasy took the spotlight. Its evolution over time is steady, but significant, as it consistently remains aligned with its roots while still providing small, meaningful steps towards the future.


I just finished the original Peter Pan novel, from 1911. It was based on the 1904 play and originally entitled Peter and Wendy. This is hardly the Peter Pan you know from Disney. The titular character is far cockier, bloodthirsty and psychotic than what you would expect from a “children’s book.” The safety of the Darling children isn’t his top priority; he’s obsessed with adventure, and brags about how fantastic he is throughout the story. READ MORE

Brjann SigurgeirssonWhat does an indie team do after its first big hit? We talked to Brjánn Sigurgeirsson, CEO of SteamWorld Dig developer Image & Form, about its new project: SteamWorld Heist, a turn-based strategy game set in the world of the breakout mining title. In the game, you’ll assemble a team of robots and take them into spaceship shootouts in a fight for resources and survival.

Snackbar Games: What is it like making a game after making a successful one?

Brjánn Sigurgeirsson: It’s hard. It’s not automatically easy. When we were done with the development of SteamWorld Dig, that was June, like exactly two years ago. It came out in August on the 3DS first. And we didn’t know. I mean, we’d been so engrossed in making the game, so we didn’t know if it was flawed, or decent, or good, or bad, or great? But we knew that we were very tired at that point. So it’s like “okay, everybody, let’s go for vacation,” so everyone went for vacation in July, and we’ll just pick it up in August and see what we do. So the first few days, we were talking about what kind of PR and marketing we were going to make for Dig. It’s coming out in seven days, and we didn’t have a plan for it. READ MORE

Are you ready to Smash? No, not that Smash. Graham and Jeremy face off in Japan-only SNES title Sanrio World Smash Ball, a competitive game reminiscent of Windjammers and Bang Bead featuring characters from the Hello Kitty universe. Who will triumph? Watch and find out!

New episodes of Gaijin Guide are posted every other Wednesday.

Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold

Like many genres steeped in nostalgia, there has been a first-person dungeon-crawler renaissance, specifically on handhelds. One of the key factors of this slow, undeniable resurgence of the genre is Atlus’ Etrian Odyssey series. Etrian Odyssey’s focus on providing a challenging and rewarding dungeon-crawling experience over an expansive narrative was admirable, but the potential for a story-focused adventure was there.

Two years after the release of the original Untold, Etrian Odyssey Untold 2 is here and takes the concept of a story-focused Etrian Odyssey title and expand on it. Unfortunately, like the original, it doesn’t quite hit the mark.