Other Franchises That Could Use the Dragon Quest XI Treatment

Other Franchises That Could Use the Dragon Quest XI Treatment

Dragon Quest XI isn't the only series that would benefit from mashing together 2D and 3D worlds.

Dragon Quest XI's reveal kicked up a buzz in the gaming community for numerous reasons.

First, it's a multi-platform release on the Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 4, and maybe Nintendo's mysterious NX console. Multi-platform releases are a new idea for mainline Dragon Quest games, barring remakes.

Second, the handheld and console releases will look pretty different from each other. The latter will be a high-definition game powered by Unreal Engine 4, whereas the former will simultaneously display 3D and 2D versions of the quest with the aid of the 3DS's dual screens.

Square-Enix's "triplicate" experiment for Dragon Quest XI is definitely an attention grabber, and it's worth considering how some other franchises might benefit from the same style of development.


Every modern Pokémon game has to perform a very careful balancing act between introducing new ideas while preserving classic mechanics for tournament play as well as nostalgic purposes. It's hard to site both sides of the fandom, but that makes the series a prime candidate for a release done in the style of Dragon Quest XI.

Imagine being able to use the top screen of the Nintendo 3DS to navigate a fully 3D Pokémon world, while the bottom screen could echo the adventure in the classic top-down style the series is still well-known for. The bottom screen could even pour on the super-deformed style extra thick to remind old timers about the good times we spent with Pokémon Red and Blue.

This phantom Pokémon game would then receive a nice graphical boost with its console release. The requests for a console Pokémon title have been never-ending since the series' conception, and while Nintendo is not interested in taking the mainline franchise off its handhelds, maybe this manner of hybrid release would be a convincing compromise.

Final Fantasy Remakes

Final Fantasy remakes are a weird patchwork bunch. There have been 3D remakes of Final Fantasy III and IV, leaving fans of V and VI to weep uselessly for a similar makeover of their favorite adventures. Even Tetsuya Nomura, who's currently directing the much-publicized Final Fantasy VII remake, has noticed the lack of remake love for the latter two Super Famicom releases.

"Considering that we have remakes of Final Fantasy up to IV and then we have VII — I’ve been working with Mr. [Yoshinori] Kitase since Final Fantasy V, and we’ve noticed that V and VI are missing," he told VentureBeat in a June 2015 interview. "That bothers me. How come we skipped over those two?"

Indeed. This seems like a job for the Dragon Quest XI treatment. It'd be pretty straightforward: 3D graphics on the 3DS's top screen, 2D replication on the bottom screen. Console releases powered by Unreal Engine 4.

There we are. Easier than dispatching an Imp.

Mighty No. 9 / Mega Man

There's no reason Dragon Quest XI's retro / modern presentation can't be applied to a 2D action game. When Keiji Inafune unveiled Mighty No. 9, there was some disappointment over the fact it utilizes polygonal 3D character models instead of sprites.

Everyone could walk away happy if the game dedicated the top screen of the 3DS to Mighty No. 9's "regular" graphics while the bottom screen ran a sprite-based clone. Ideally, the screen positions could be switched out. Bonus points to Comcept if it minimized distraction by letting us switch off our less-preferred graphical style.

Inafune already seems to have his hands full with Mighty No. 9 as-is, so hey Capcom: Free advice over here! Hey!


Gaming's best known face-stuffer was born in the 2D realm, but he's no stranger to the third dimension either. A follow-up to the 1987 arcade game Pac-Mania wouldn't be a terrible idea. The isometric view of the main playing field could be replicated in a more traditional manner on the 3DS's bottom screen.

Pac-Man doesn't mind running around in 2D or 3D. As long as he has multicolored apparitions to chow down on, he's golden.

Sonic the Hedgehog

2011's Sonic Generations dabbled with plane-mixing by giving us 2D versions of 3D stages and vice-versa. Another game done in the same vein -- this time with the 2D and 3D versions of each stage playing side-by-side -- would be pretty cool. An Unreal Engine 4-powered console release would serve as a perfect topper to the whole experience.

Sonic the Hedgehog has been in a slump since the release of Sonic Generations, but he's not beyond redemption. A triple-graphic makeover may be the shot in the arm the azure rodent needs to run with vigor again.

Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve, About.com, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

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