Following the trend of Hadrian's weekly NDS and Wii releases I'm going to try to put out a weekly Hands-on a game. So here's the first installment, enjoy. Some of you might not be aware that Dragon Quest IV was being remade for the Nintendo DS, but it just hit shelves in Japan and I was fortunate enough to test it out. This is not the first time Dragon Quest IV has been remade, it had a PS1 remake also, and this game shares many similarities with the PS1 makeover of the original NES game. For those of you unfamiliar with the Dragon Quest franchise it is a Japanese RPG that started out on the NES and was dubbed "Dragon Warrior" here in America. This franchise made RPGs a popular genre and the series holds many spin offs such as its Monsters series for the Gameboy and the upcoming Swords series for the Wii. The character designs and concepts are penned by the infamous manga artist, Akira Toriyama, who created the Dragon Ball series. Dragon Quest paved the way for today's RPGs and redefined the genre. "The NES version of Dragon Quest IV" The game starts you out as the protagonist of the story who has no name, or is simply called hero. The game introduces you to his companions through the first four chapters of the game, each serving as a back-story for each character. The character's stories eventually integrate and the full party of warriors develops. These back-stories also give you information on the antagonist of the game, Necrosaro. The gameplay is much like the traditional RPG, you set out on an adventure, kill monsters, and gain levels. This game will have very familiar elements if you are used to traditional JRPGs. Dragon Quest IV uses an AI system that allows you to provide strategies for your party members while still controlling your main character. You can switch between party members using a wagon, which was also used in V and VI. Dragon Quest IV's graphics consist of two-dimensional characters on three-dimensional backgrounds. In battle there are 2D monsters in front of what looks like a 3D background but is actually 2D. The movements for the monsters are very fluent and look absolutely beautiful on the dual screened system. When you are not battling monsters the game looks amazing and is ground breaking for the DS. Screen shots can't show you how good this game looks in motion. "Inside of a town in Dragon Quest IV for the Nintendo DS" There is no announcement for this game in the U.S. but many remain hopeful. While a few people were editing the ROM for this game they found a near complete translation to English hidden inside the Japanese game. This game was wildly popular in Japan and hopefully it will receive the same amount of success in North America. I will have a review for this game once it comes out in the United States.