Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King Review
Dragon Quest VIII is a charming classic-style RPG that doesn't stint on difficulty, graphical beauty, or fun.
- Simple but engaging story
- Variety of charming and amusing people and creatures to meet
- Gorgeous world and visuals
- Wonderful music and great voice work really bring everything together.
- Tough random battles may try your patience
- Not as much story structure as other modern role-playing games.
The beloved Dragon Quest role-playing game series (previously known as Dragon Warrior in the States) has traditionally had a somewhat quiet reception outside of Japan, where, conversely, each release is consumed with fanatic devotion. Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed Kings marks a number of firsts for the series: It is the first fully 3D installment, the first fresh series entry on the PlayStation 2, and the first time a Dragon Quest game has retained its proper nomenclature for domestic release. There are plenty of good reasons for RPG fans to pay attention, too, because Dragon Quest VIII is a beautiful, lighthearted adventure that pairs satisfying, classic-style gameplay with a whole lot of charm.
You'll begin with a simple setup: An evil wizard named Dhoulmagus has seized a legendary scepter, cursing the castle from which it was taken and turning the king into a toadlike creature and the princess into a horse. You (a palace guard and hero of this tale) were the only other inhabitant of the castle to survive the tragic events, and you set off with King Trode, the equine Medea, and a portly companion named Yangus to track down the foul magician. That's all the preamble you need to start off on your adventure, and soon you're out meeting the locals and following clues to trace Dhoulmagus' sinister trail.
In addition to the stalwart, powerful Yangus, you'll eventually meet up with Jessica, a self-confident young woman with a fondness for magic and skimpy clothing, and Angelo, a holy Templar knight who's more occupied with drinking, gambling, and the indolent pleasures of life rather than with the noble precepts of his Order. It's this group of four characters that sets out to face the world and its many monsters. Unlike some other role-playing games, Dragon Quest doesn't have dozens of characters of all types to recruit to your cause. But that sort of focus serves the game's simple, straightforward style of storytelling, familiarizing you with your friends as you're introduced to a host of other personable characters on your way to bring Dhoulmagus to justice. In battle, too, each character has a clearly defined set of strengths that you'll learn to bring to bear against your challenging opponents.
Battles are turn-based and randomly occur as you explore the wilderness, though the spacing between encounters feels pretty generous and isn't invasively jarring to your progress. You'll select moves for each member of your team and then turn them loose against monsters as a group. In addition to basic melee, your party will learn a number of spells, from offensive magic that can be used on single enemies or groups, to spells that boost party defense and attack, to healing magic. These spells are largely learned automatically, with enough overlap that you aren't ever forced to rely on just one character for, say, healing. A command called psyche-up lets you boost a character's "tension," which increases your amount of stored attack power until you unleash it all in a single, focused attack for major damage, which is quite handy against tough bosses.
Abilities also come into play, which are learned through spending skill points gained with each level. Each character has four weapon-based skills to spend points on (axes, swords, spears, and so forth), as well as a fifth category that varies from character to character. Boosting the weapon categories lets you do extra damage with that type of weapon, and you can use special attacks that are only available with a certain level of skill. The final category is unique to each person. For example, Jessica's special ability tree is "sex appeal." Putting points into this trait not only teaches her new magic spells, but also generates passive powers, like being able to randomly charm enemies simply by appearing in battle in front of them. There's nothing quite like facing a daunting group of foes, only to have two of them completely forget to attack for a turn because they're too busy admiring Jessica's…attributes.
This is probably in my top 5 games of the last 10 years. If you haven't played it do yourself a favor, also even though it's PS2 the graphics hold up extremely well due to the 'living cartoon' vibe. If you're killing time waiting for Ni No Kuni, try this instead, even if you have to emulate it.
After 7 Fking year 7 YEARS i finally Got An Original NEW COPY of these badass game YEAHHHHHHHH when SE actually still did good games....not like now ><
- Player Reviews: 815
- Game Universe:
- Dragon Warrior III (GBC),
- Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors (WII),
- Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King (PS2),
- Dragon Quest IV (PS),
- Dragon Warrior VII (PS),
- Dragon Warrior I & II (GBC),
- Dragon Quest III (SNES),
- Dragon Quest VI (SNES),
- Dragon Quest I & II (SNES),
- Dragon Warrior IV (NES)
- Number of Players: