The Xbox never did well in Japan, but not for lack of trying. When Microsoft released the Xbox 360, the company partnered with several Japanese studios, including the then-recently formed Mistwalker, to attract audiences. Unfortunately, these games didn’t help the console overseas, despite the fact that many of them were actually pretty good. If only you could say the same about some of their limited-edition consoles.
Mistwalker’s first game for Xbox was “Blue Dragon,” which was created by a pretty incredible team of developers. The creator of “Final Fantasy” and founder of Mistwalker, Hironobu Sakaguchi, conceptualized and wrote the game. In addition, Nobuo Uematsu, another “Final Fantasy” veteran, composed the music, while Akira Toriyama, who was well known for his work on the “Dragon Quest” series, handled the art for the game. The last time these creative giants collaborated, they developed the seminal SNES classic “Chrono Trigger,” so expectations were high. “Blue Dragon” was good, but Microsoft didn’t give the same level of love for its limited edition tie-in console.
The special limited “Blue Dragon” Xbox 360 set itself apart from the normal 360 with a faceplate depicting the game’s titular Blue Dragon, which can be seen on Consolevariations. Microsoft clearly hadn’t quite mastered the art of printing images onto Xbox shells just yet, and the faceplate was ugly even by mid-2000s standards. The Blue Dragon’s face was blown up to an excessive degree so it could take up the faceplate, leaving the result looking less like a professional mass-produced item and more like something an amateur console customizer created. The creature didn’t even look like Toriyama drew it, which is as damning a criticism as you can get.