Called out of retirement for one final mission

I never really expected to use my import New 3DS again. There just hasn’t been much released for 3DS in Japan during its lifetime that hasn’t also appeared in the U.S. — I mean, geez, we got Sayonara Umihara Kawase. That was practically unimaginable. The few games of interest that do show up over there exclusively tend to be pretty heavy on Japanese text, and I no longer have the free time (not to mention a compelling need) to fuss with them. I do miss my days of covering import games at 1UP, but the little niche I carved out for myself has grown a lot smaller over the past decade and change, and it’s been filled by people in a far better position to relay information about games in another language.

And yet, here we are. The import 3DS has been retrieved from storage, dusted off, and charged up in anticipation of one final mission.

Excellent, Isabelle. Age hasn’t slowed you down one bit.

In five weeks, Dragon Quest XI will be arriving on PlayStation 4 and 3DS. Will Dragon Quest XI be making its way to the U.S.? Yeah, probably. Eventually. But given that it took about four years for the Dragon Quest VII remake to make its way overseas, I’m not holding out for a timely conversion. The last import game I truly let myself fall for was Dragon Quest IX… and while I realize that this will be a very different game experience (more focused on the DQVI through DQVIII model of a set party of predefined characters rather than rolling generics for a more free-form adventure as in DQIX), I really miss the experience of playing a game in a language I only sort of understand and letting myself become lost in it.

I suppose I could have saved myself the trouble of dusting off the Japanese 3DS and picked up the PlayStation 4 version, which of course doesn’t suffer from the troubling region-lock of 3DS games. But, I don’t know… there’s something about the 3DS version that appeals to me. OK, I do know. I love that it’s going to be portable, and I love the fact that the bottom screen will mirror the 3D graphical action of the events on the top screen with 16-bit-style sprites. It’s a goofy and unnecessary addition, and I love it.

Also, the old-school look of DQXI for 3DS means I could absolutely justify writing a play diary for Retronauts, if I want to. It looks old, so it’s fair game. You can’t stop me, you’re not my mom*.

* Exception: My actual mother, who has been known to read this blog