Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King Review

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Originally launched in 2004 in Japan Dragon Quest VIII (DQ8) was created for the Sony Playstation 2. Offering over 3 Million copies alone, it was the very first DQ video game to receive a score of 39 out of 40 from Famitsu magazine.

This variation of DQ8 would go on to sell over 4 million copies worldwide with sales in the United States just under 450,000 copies, making the game somewhat of a success in the states. DQ8 was likewise released for the IOS and Android markets with updated controls and new touch screen controls. The 3DS version was released on August 27, 2015 in Japan and it is an updated construct on the IOS/Android release. This release sold over 580,000 copies in its first 4 days, huge fans in Japan for DQ video games. Each release has included something new so the 3DS version isn’t a straight port of its counterparts however more like the definitive variation. This is the complete version of DQ8 with brand-new story components, 2 more playable characters, say goodbye to random encounters given that all beasts show up, updated graphics and controls, and the list goes on. The only downside I thought was not the addition of Downloadable Content (DLC) that isn’t commonly offered to anyone who purchased the video game however we can review that and more changes for the 3DS version through the review.

 

Graphic 10/10: The PS2 version of DQ8 looks an excellent and the IOS/Android version appearance excellent too but I need to state the 3DS variation looks amazing. Compared to its PS2 release the graphics took a hit in detail but the processing power of the 2 systems is different. Square Enix (SE) squeezed a substantial video game in to this tiny cartridge and was still able to keep the graphics of the PS2 version and improve them. The amount of detail missing is minimum at best. You would need to be looking for specific things such as like a big bush in the PS2 version is now like a little shrub in the 3DS version. Once again though this is not a port of the PS2 version but an enhanced remake. Also there is no usage of the 3D selector switch in this video game. I thought that maybe my import 3DS XL was broken but no, there is not one part of this game that uses the 3D selector. Being that is a develop on the IOS/Android versions; making use of 3D selector may not have actually been an option or wasn’t required. Weird as the remake of DQ7 for the 3DS uses that selector switch, you can play that entire game in 3D. Regardless of that the improved graphics do not suffer and look terrific on the leading screen. The bottom screen is basically used simply for maps.

Dragon Quest VIII 3DS vs. PS2 comparison

Music 10/10: What can you say about the music of a primary series DQ video game? That’s its remarkable. The music is perfect. I was concerned on whether it would be clear or even loud pumping through the 3DS’s speakers but SE made sure DQ players might hear it clearly. The opening DQ theme sounds fantastic coming through the 3DS. It evens sounds as if it might have been entirely redone. I had to boot up the PS2 variation to compare the audio and listen to the IOS/Android version too. It’s clear the music is ported over from the IOS/Android version and brand-new tracks were added for the new reward dungeons and story components. The music will not dissatisfy fans of the DQ series and players will enjoy the upgraded music.

Sound Effects 10/10: Just like the music everything is clear. The whole video game isn’t voiced which I believe was one the brand-new additions to this version but the main story events and story elements are voiced. I was surprised with this part just because again that this shows that this isn’t just a port, SE made it much more than that. All the spells are heard plainly and there impacts are aesthetically remarkable. Also all the opponents release some sort of noise, from their initial animation to their death animations you can hear it.

Story 10/10: I have taken pleasure in every DQ story since the first one on the Famicom/NES. Yes I have actually played every video game in the primary series (JAP & United States) with the exception of the United States PS2 DQ8 and the Import online just DQX for Wii/WiiU/3DS but I do own them. You play a lead character that you name and that does not speak. The “Hero” was a guard at Trodian Castle. Along comes an evil jester named Dhoulmagus who takes a powerful scepter from the castle. He lets loose an evil curse on the castle that turns the king into a green beast and the princess into a horse. Everybody in the castle is impacted by the curse but the Hero isn’t really. The Hero then guides the king and the princess on a quest to discover Dhoulmagus so he can reverse menstruation. Along the way, the group satisfies Yangus the bandit, Jessica the sorceress and a knight named Angelo. In the 3DS variation Red, a female bandit and Morrie, the owner of the monster arena sign up with the celebration. They join rather later on in the game to be thought about helpful but they are effective on their max levels and Red is in fact required to beat an employer in the new bonus dungeon. As for Morrie, all the best on beating the Monster Arena S rank since that is the only way to obtain him to join (Spoiler). This is not the basic RPG story where you fight evil to save the world or a princess, you’re just battling to reverse a curse but while doing so you will eventually save the world. The story unfolds as you play; it is not just set out to the player. When the story in fact starts the castle occasions are unknowned to the player and Yangus is currently a part of the group. The story plays out in a non-linear sequence which is a little bit various from traditional RPG’s. All the brand-new included story components assist to expand back story for the characters and broaden upon other characters story lines.

Gameplay/Control 8/10: I took 2 points away in this classification because of the camera and the (Spoiler) flying bird Retis. The analog nub on the 3DS is utilized to manage your present character on screen and the video camera will move with the character. Often this can be excellent, other time it can obstruct your view particularly when you out in the field. You are continuously Dragon 8 gameplaychanging the cam angle with the left and ideal triggers or utilizing the directional pad to bring the video camera down or up. In the start of the game this is irritating but later on it becomes force of habit and aids with flow of the video game. I think it would resemble utilizing the ideal analog stick on a PS2 controller.

Now for using the flying bird it took a while to get utilize to turning and going up and down with the analog nub. After 50 hours of gameplay I was still having difficulty flying that bird, eventually I just warped everywhere if I didn’t need to fly. Aside from that the video game controls smoothly and the touch screen reacted without any issues. All the action occurs on the leading screen with the touch screen acting more as map screen for towns, fields, and dungeons. Some locations do not have a map though and it will say that “No Map”. It is also utilized for faster ways such as Warp, calling the 2 modes of transportation, the Alchemy Pot, and asking the celebration members for recommendations. These shortcuts are very handy especially the Alchemy Pot, which mixing now is immediate no more waiting. Something brand-new that was contributed to the fights now is that the Hero can be placed on Auto and there is a “Hyper” mode that accelerates the fights. Essentially if everybody is on vehicle you can set this “Hyper” mode and the battles will go two times as quick. I would only recommend this on fights you are for sure you will win or like in the early stages of the Monster Arena.

Replay/Challenge 8/10: First of all it’s a DQ game so the replay is high up until you beat that last bonus offer dungeon and 2 the difficulty is up there. I remember the Japanese PS2 version being tough but this one is difficult. Difficult to the point where it is aggravating in some cases. I eliminated the two points for that frustration. You are going to have to construct levels and utilize the Tension alternative in charge battles. The AI for the enemies has been bumped up and you can get slaughtered in some fights, particularly manager fights. If you know ways to set the methods for your characters and count on the vehicle command you can be ok for the start of the video game but later you truly need to stabilize out your assaulters and healers. Also using the alchemy pot to make the very best weapons and armors possible is a huge plus. The addition of the brand-new characters helps as well because if the 4 active characters die in fight the staying two come in to continue and this can turn the fight around. I didn’t use Red and Morrie a lot however when set them to car they can be found in reanimated any dead characters and after that concentrated on healing or assaulting. I won a great deal of fights that method particularly in the bonus offer dungeons. The Monster Arena is challenging and out of balance so good luck with that. Search out all the strongest monsters possible to win in the later ranks and just hope for the very best. Even with the greatest beasts it was more luck than anything else. Took me over 10 times just to beat the S rank and that was luck. The added reward Dungeons are exceptionally difficult and you will need the strongest everything and max levels to beat those bosses. Simply to retouch on replay real fast, there are 4 different ending with numerous variations. The variations rely on whether or not you triumph with Red or Morrie in the active celebration or if they are simply in the wagon. There are included still images and scenes in the ending if you have these two. Also there is an image taking side quest which gives you some rare products for finishing it, there are 143 pictures to take of various things such as locations, non-playable characters, and enemies. My SD card was filled after a 100 images though. Another side quest where you need to find a DQ9 character in different places, all the best with that one. There is a lot to do post video game but the most significant are two brand-new bonus dungeons.

Overall/Personal 9/10: I am a huge DQ fan and I enjoyed this improved remake. The saddest part is putting it away back on my rack beside the other DQ games for the 3DS. The addition of the two characters was a welcome addition, like I stated before they come along a little late in the game however some of the post-game content was a lot easier with them. I didn’t talk about the costumes that were contributed to the video game however each of the characters does have at least 3 to 4 new costumes to use. I believed I was playing a Tales of game for a little bit but all the costumes so far are obtainable in game. Finally there is some DLC for the video game in the form of weapons, armors, and items. Relying on where you bought the video game from in Japan different outlets provided various products and a few of the DLC was available through the strategy guides that are provided for the video game. That makes some of the DLC not available to everyone especially those who cannot register the game because DLC was offered that way too. It is unfortunate such a fantastic game will be stuck in Japan. Do I see a United States release? No, not a big sufficient market here to create the kind of numbers SE would require to break even for localizing this game unless they kept the Japanese audio and just translated it. Ideally DQ9 gets an enhanced remake for the 3DS, it needs one. Thanks for reading my review of DQ8 for the 3DS.

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