well produced as Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the
Cursed King is, it's still your run-of-the-mill RPG
when you check under the hood. It will definitely
appease some RPG fans but the predictable storyline,
endless random battles and the annoyance of continually
getting lost in the huge world will not appeal to
the casual RPG player.
Quest is a long-running Japanese series and this eighth
installment is not afraid to exploit its heritage.
This may be good news to loyal fans that want more
of the same but it's not really going to do much for
those that are looking for new and unique challenges.
I admit this is probably the most refined version,
it's been tweaked exclusively for the North American
market with simplified menus and great English voiceovers.
This simplified, old-school, format may illicit interest
among some newbies, so that's not such a bad thing.
dark jester has disturbed the mysteriously powerful
scepter that lay hidden inside Trodain castle. With
its powers he suspends all life in the kingdom and
turns the king and queen into monstrous beasts. Only
one person, a young guardsman, is unaffected by the
spell. His quest is to save the kingdom that he's
sworn to protect. The adventure takes him through
an amazingly huge world that's full of enemies - and
very easy to get lost in.
though the maps are huge they are full of interesting
features. There are mini-games, puzzles, tons of items
to collect and very well developed characters to interact
with. There is plenty of depth to all of the characters.
It's not just cliché good and evil with the
occasional comic relief thrown in. They all have personalities
with corresponding graphics that make them memorable.
are straightforward and rely on a series of stats
presented on the interface. It does tend to get boring
after a while but I have to admit that I can't wait
to get back into a fight when my character has leveled-up
or acquired some new magic powers. You can make more
powerful moves if you skip a turn. This can be used
to your advantage when you have sufficient armor and
can withstand a few hits in exchange for focusing
on a specific target that you might be able to take
down with one powerful hit. Another stat system keeps
track of all your previous activities such as the
number of enemies defeated, the number of fights avoided,
the distances you've covered and the items collected.
3D graphics are excellent. The backgrounds are lavishly
rendered and there are very few repeated textures
which is impressive considering how huge the maps
are. The graphics do an excellent job of immersing
us into this fantasy world. Characters are charming,
funny, evil and mysterious. There are a few plot twists
here that there but for the most part you can see
things coming a mile away.
Quest VIII may not be for everyone but I think the
developers really tried to make it accessible too
all players which might result in the hardest of the
hardcore shunning this 8th entry of the their beloved
series. Most of us will love it unconditionally because
its so easy to...well, love, darn it!