If you've been dying to march Akira Toriyama-designed characters through fantasy landscapes and monster-infested dungeons, you'll be saddened to hear that Dragon Quest IX has yet to be announced for North American release. As if sensing your oddly specific yearning, D3Publisher has stepped in with a US debut for Blue Dragon: Awakened Shadow.
Dubbed Blue Dragon: Ikai no Kyojuu in Japan (and published by Namco Bandai, which owns the majority of D3Publisher), the second DS entry in the Mistwalker's role-playing franchise stars a new protagonist, with gender, facial features and clothing determined by your input. Awakened Shadow is set two years after the events of the Xbox 360 game and finds Shu and the gang returning to Blue Dragon's "contemporary" RPG gameplay. Expect to upgrade weaponry, tactically change shadows and skip every scene featuring Marumaro.
Blue Dragon: Awakened Shadow is scheduled for release in Spring 2010.