This could very well be the last time I write about Dragon Quest VII before finally getting to play it when it launches on Nintendo 3DS this Thursday. It’s been a long three and a half years pushing to get this game localized, so one last attempt to get gamers to check it out certainly won’t hurt.

Little known to most gamers, it was the Dragon Quest series that made catching monsters and training them a popular pastime in Japanese video games. While I’m sure there is a much larger franchise you can think of that made the activity a global sensation, Dragon Quest V was the first mega-blockbuster in Japan to really run wild with the idea.

Dragon Quest VII has its own spin on monster collecting, too. When we last covered the game, we wrote about The Haven, a land where gamers can invite reformed monsters to live and thrive in safety, acting as a kind of hub town for all activities. The Haven also grants access to the Monster Meadows, an area of the game where players can pacify monsters through battle.

Once enough monsters are caught, they will be able to search the globe for randomly generated dungeons loaded with treasures and secret bosses. These dungeons can be shared with friends through StreetPass, granting Dragon Quest VII an infinitely playable endgame similar to the one found in Dragon Quest IX.

Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past will be released for the Nintendo 3DS on Sept. 15, this Thursday.