In Japan, one name stands above all others in the minds of RPG fans and traditionalists - Hironobu Sakaguchi. His name can rightly be uttered in the same sentence as Shigeru Miyamoto and Will Wright. He is credited as the father of the console RPG, having birthed the company-saving Final Fantasy series, and steered the Square family through 20 years of successes and outstanding, trend-setting, genre defining gaming moments. In 2005, Sakaguchi dropped a bombshell that his splinter company, Mistwalker (founded in 2001) would be developing a new RPG exclusively for the very-Western and very locally unpopular Xbox 360.
You could almost hear jaws connecting with pavement and the sound of heartbeats beating dangerously rapidly in the chests of Sony execs.
This water tester, this breakthrough East-meets-West adventure, this saving throw was called Blue Dragon. Its importance is undeniable, and Sakaguchi's cooperation with Microsoft, a company struggling to understand and succeed in the Japanese market, is a curious tale. Let's take a stroll.