The Square Enix producer for Dragon Quest XI S has said that he “never wants to” change 3D mode into 16-bit gameplay ever again.

Dragon Quest XI S finally launches on Nintendo Switch tomorrow and fans should be excited to step back into the greatest JRPG of the decade (we love you as well, Persona 5). There’s a lot of differences including unique character chapters that’ll allow you to momentarily escape the Luminary’s skin to fill the shoes of the other party members, but arguably the biggest and best addition from a glancing point-of-view is the 16-bit gameplay. And this was apparently a major headache to achieve.

It’s a real shame Square Enix don’t have any plans to bring Dragon Quest XI S to the PS4 as the base experience is one of the best games on the system. All the characters are memorable and likeable, the gameplay is an unapologetic love letter to the Japanese genre, and its story is a never-ending epic that goes all over the place from depressing mermaids to deadly art.

The eleventh instalment has made the Dragon Quest series relevant again in the west, and we can’t wait to see what Square Enix will achieve with the in-development Dragon Quest 12.

Dragon Quest XI S: 16-bit gameplay was “hard work”

With the release date for Dragon Quest XI S right around the corner, its producer Hokuto Okamoto has recently spoken to the RPG Site about its differences and the amount of work it took.

2D mode is one of the most charming differences in the game because of its captivating appeal most modern games lack, but Okamoto described it as a very difficult challenge and ordeal.

“Oh, it was hard,” said Okamoto when asked about the challenges for rebuilding Dragon Quest XI in 2D mode. “The design of these areas is quite different and the size of the maps is very different between 2D and 3D.”

“We still wanted players to recognize that the cities are the same even if they’re really quite different. We had to choose what to leave in and what to leave out in terms of the geography of things, which landmarks to keep in the 2D version and so on… that was difficult, to determine what we’d leave in and what we’d take out.”

“Another thing is that the text is different in 3D and 2D – so we have to manage all that at the same time. If we change one, it doesn’t mean that the other changes automatically… so we had to change everything one-by-one. That was hard work. I never want to do that again! [laughs]”

While it was probably a headache inducing task that had the Square Enix employees pulling their hair out every day, the inclusion of 2D mode is very special and worthwhile.

Yes, the 3D visuals are stunning and immaculate, but the 16-bit gameplay will be an enjoyable trip down memory lane for older fans and gamers. It’ll also be a unique and special alternative for the youth who have grown up with mostly stellar visuals that include every detail from individual hairs to blackheads.

Dragon Quest XI S launches for Nintendo Switch on September 27th.

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