Blue Dragon the next Yu-Gi-Oh?

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It’s great to see an original IP doing well, especially when it challenges the norm. Blue Dragon may not have been the most original RPG ever, but with a stellar team behind it — Akira Toriyama, the famed creator of Dragon Ball Z and character designer for such games as Dragon Quest and Chrono Trigger (oh yeah!), Nobuo Uematsu, the composer for Final Fantasy, and Hironobu Sakaguchi, the original developer of Final Fantasy — this one managed to boost sales of the Xbox 360 in its often indifferent Japanese market.

Blue Dragon‘s success/popularity has already spawned a cartoon series, which aired on Cartoon Network, and a strategy RPG for the Nintendo DS in Blue Dragon Plus (due out September). Now, Konami is pushing the franchise forward in a new direction with the upcoming release of the Blue Dragon Role Playing Card Game, their first-ever role playing card game. Talk about cross-platform marketing. If the sales keep coming we’ll likely be seeing Blue Dragon in multiple forms for years to come.

Our hands on time with the card game shows that even hardcore videogamers can learn to appreciate new gaming experiences. The Blue Dragon RPCG was surprisingly easy to learn with enough strategy to look forward to in longer matches. What makes Blue Dragon different from Yu-Gi-Oh is the “role playing,” where during a match each player is trying to gain experience points to level up their shadow card to gain more powerful stats and moves. Even weaker cards can be used to boost exp, so no card is truly worthless (not even Poo Snake).

Gamers can check out Blue Dragon RPCG this November with both Light Shadow and Dark Shadow Wielder Decks as well as the first of many booster packs to come, Heroes Arise. Also, all of the cards were designed by Akira Toriyama, so fans of his work will have an additional reason to collect.

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