Excerpt from feature story about series’ history reveals that Dragon Quest 11 will feature new mechanics, including the ability to mount and ride dragons

Fans who have been waiting for Dragon Quest 11: In Search of Departed Time to come out have had the veil lifted a little on the next installment of their beloved franchise. A short video has been put on YouTube concerning the development of the game, giving viewers a taste of how it will perform on the Nintendo 3DS as well as the PS4 and also showing off some gameplay features, including a blue, mountable dragon and a revamped battle system.

As reported by Polygon, the fragment accessible to a Western audience is part of a larger feature made by Japanese broadcaster NHK in honor of the 30-year anniversary of the Dragon Quest series. The full story shows the developers hard at work on Dragon Quest 11 and also includes a retrospective of the series from its early beginnings in the ’80s and will likely be a real treat to fans when it becomes accessible to the wider world, subtitled and all.

Though the program is sure to be an interesting watch, Western fans of Dragon Quest already have the most important news. Despite the series being more about fighting dragons than riding them, the developers seem to have taken a leaf out of Skyrim’s book and is allowing players to ride the scaly beasts. The Wii-only, and Japan-only, MMO Dragon Quest 10 allowed it as well to a limited extent, but the impression seems to be that it has been made a core mechanic for the latest episode.

Dragon Quest 11 has been the center of some speculation ever since the first cinematic gameplay video was released a week ago, featuring some new art as well as the news it would be released on the Nintendo Switch. The dragon riding seems to be a rather large part these changes, though the new battle system might also take some getting used to for fans. The biggest question for players on these shores, however, will be how long it will take for the game to be localized: Dragon Quest 9 was the last to have a Western version made of it back in 2009.

Hopefully Dragon Quest 11 will see a speedy U.S. release, until then fans will just have to make do with Dragon Quest Builders, a pretty fun Minecraft spinoff set in the same universe as the popular series. Though not the same experience as an actual Dragon Quest game, it serves a wonderful introduction to one of the greatest JRPGs ever.

Dragon Quest 11: In Search of Departed Time will be released in Japan sometime in 2017 on Nintendo 3DS, PS4 and Nintendo Switch.

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