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Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King (PlayStation 2)

90
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.9
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Indra is here (19677)
Written on  :  Mar 06, 2006
Platform  :  PlayStation 2
Rating  :  3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars

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Summary

If only they made the turn-based combat better...

The Good

This is my first experience with Dragon Quest...and if a game managed to reach its 8th series, it's probably good. Usually anyways.

Well, the first thing I noticed about the game was its graphics. A rather odd blend I say, 3D anime graphics but still in cartoon version. I thought it quite odd, but I received it quite well actually. It's nice to see something new once in a while and this kind of new was very nice indeed.

The only other thing worth noting in this game is probably the story and the dialogs. Though our hero doesn't say much, the other characters do. Most of the dialogs were written very well and usually funny as hell. The story was quite entertaining, could of been better but still way better than other standard RPGs I've played.

The Final Fantasy RPG series usually has tougher issues and a more serious approach in its story (yes, we're talking about world politics...doh), while Dragon Quest VIII takes a lighter and comedy style approach. I must admit, there isn't much comedy in RPGs I've noticed, I hope there will be more laughter in RPGs in the future. (I miss Wakka from FF X)

The Bad

I still can't seem to shrug off this image that this game seems to be a "mediocre" version of Final Fantasy in the perspective of gameplay.

In fact, you'll notice a lot of similarities with this game and Final Fantasy. More noticeable are the various little mini-quests and mini-games while adventuring.

Unfortunately, this game has something in common with Final Fantasy: terrible turned based combat. I must admit, both this game and Final Fantasy has failed miserably when it comes to coming up with an entertaining type of turned based combat. Console RPG turned-based combat has never intrigued me very much, since it usually takes too long and most of the strategy only consists of pressing X (attack).

Unfortunately for this game, Final Fantasy made some arrangements so that the turn-based combat is a little more interesting or at least, forces you to fight for a reason (upgrading skills, obtaining objects from monsters, etc. The "reason" to fight is almost eliminated in this game. Again, another RPG where you don't have a reason to fight monsters.

Combat is the "soul" of an RPG while character development is the "spirit" of an RPG (or is it the other way around?). The game did a little well in the character development but failed totally in the combat department.

What's more irritating is (again) like Final Fantasy, monsters keep attacking you every 2-3 seconds when you travel. I don't know what idiot developer keeps coming up with these stupid programming ideas, but it really get irritating when you just want to change your direction, you get attacked by monsters. Really, is it that necessary to have monsters attack you every single second?

The Bottom Line

Not bad, but it wasn't good enough to make me want to finish it though. Unfortunately. I did have some good times with this here game though.