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If you have yet to enjoy the fruits of what Level 5′s Dragon Quest series has to offer, now would be the time to do so. Nintendo have just announced that Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies will be released for Nintendo DS stateside on July 11th, and July 23th in Europe. Gamers rejoice! This one is going to be huge.

While the series has yet to make much of an impact outside of Japan, it seems that Nintendo are intent on making this game a blockbuster hit. Dragon Quest IX has already sold a record-breaking 4.26 million units in Japan alone, and was given the highest possible score by regional magazine Famitsu.

Interestingly enough, the series’ latest instalment is actually the official sequel to the critically acclaimed Dragon Quest VIII: The Journey of the Cursed King for the PS2 (a move that was frowned upon initially), taking place almost immediately after the events of its predecessor.

The game offers a wide variety of new features and customizable options galore, making it far more involving than previous outings. Not only are there over 1,000 pieces of clothing, weapons, and armor at your disposal, but there is also wireless four player co-op for your gaming pleasure.

Make sure you pencil this bad boy in your diary. It’s going to be a long summer.

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