9.5

Tough going

This review is based on my first reactions of the game and basically to get some things off my chest about it.

First of all this game is actually quite difficult and I was surprised to see bosses hitting me for half of my health right from the very start of the game. This is certainly not Final Fantasy and is really aimed at far more hardcore RPG gamers, which is a credit to it in my opinion.

The graphics in DQ8 are top notch. The cel shading effect works really well and characters just feel so much more alive than in more conventional graphics. It also makes the gameworld a lot more immersive and gives a nice story book adventure feel to the game.

Story wise the game is pretty ordinary JRPG save the world from an evil bad guy but having said this it has alot more character than other games of a similar mould with a variety of interesting and genuinely amusing characters to meet.

Gameplay is tradional random turned based encounters. These are easy to understand and get into but certainly requires skill and tactical awareness in order to progress past tougher enemies as some opponents in the game are uncompromisingly difficult to defeat. One problem I do have with the combat system is the fact that you command all of your parties actions simultaneously and then, if there are multiple enemies, your opponents do the same. This means like unlike with the ATB system used in games like FFVII there is much less margin for error and often means you have to be a lot more cautious in your approach to some encounters.

The main gripe I have about the game though is the sound. Music wise the sound is pretty good and in that sense I would have given it at least an 8/10 HOWEVER some of the voice acting in this game seriously annoys the hell out of me and sometimes even makes me mute my TV so I don't have to hear it.

Overall, DQ8 is an excellent game. Not everyone will like it and for sure it can get annoying in places but despite this Square Enix have created a game that hardcore RPG fans will cherrish for it's stunning storybook visuals that most certainly do not compromise what is a truly tough Old School adventure.

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