With franchises such as The Legend of Zelda and Metroid celebrating their 35th anniversary this year, it's easy to forget that Dragon Quest, one of the pioneers for the RPG genre, is also celebrating this milestone in 2021. To celebrate, Square Enix is hosting a live stream later this week where it is expected to reveal the newest entry in the series, Dragon Quest 12, along with some other surprises. Now it seems that series creator Yuji Horii is already teasing fans to expect Dragon Quest 12 news later this week.
Dragon Quest first released in Japan on May 27th, 1986 for the Famicom. The game was one of the very first examples of a console RPG, inspired by PC games of the time such as Wizardry and Ultima. The turn-based combat system went on to inspire the entire RPG genre, and the series has gone on to become a cultural phenomenal in Japan, inspiring multiple anime and film adaptations. The most recent entry is Dragon Quest 11: Echoes of an Elusive Age, which first released in Japan in 2017 and has seen numerous re-releases as recently as last December.
Last year, series creator Yuji Horii confirmed that the newest mainline Dragon Quest game is in development at Square Enix, and that there would be multiple announcements and reveals during the series' 35th anniversary year. Yesterday, Horii posted on Twitter that there would be many announcements during Thursday's live stream, including news on "that game." What Horii is likely referring to is the currently unannounced Dragon Quest 12.
As the series' creator and director of almost all mainline titles, Yuji Horii is known to be very hands-on with the development of mainline Dragon Quest games. The original releases of Dragon Quest 8 and Dragon Quest 11 infamously did not release with any voice acting because Horii was tweaking the game's scripts right up to their release. Yuji Horii is also known for writing the story for the beloved classic Super Nintendo RPG Chrono Trigger.
Dragon Quest 11 was the first mainline Dragon Quest entry to release on a console since the 2004 PlayStation 2 title Dragon Quest 8: Journey of the Cursed King, not counting the 2012 Nintendo Wii MMORPG Dragon Quest 10. Dragon Quest 12 is expected to follow suit, as 11 has been released on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. As the 35th anniversary live stream will air with an English language option, it is likely that Dragon Quest 12 may receive a simultaneous worldwide release, after Dragon Quest 11 took over a year to release in English.
Many consider the nineties to be the golden age of gaming. It's during this decade that some of the most iconic video game franchises were created; many of which could be found exclusively on the Super Nintendo. In particular, the system played host to a huge selection of excellent role-playing games. As time has passed and technology has improved, however, the genre has gone through some pretty drastic changes.
Random encounters, turn-based combat and 2D visuals are becoming increasingly difficult to find in modern role-playing games. Granted, this will no doubt suit some people, but there are plenty of others who may find themselves missing that classic RPG feel. Thankfully, there are still some viable options available for those people; especially if they happen to own a Switch.
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