Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King
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Critic Reviews 90% add missing review
GamerDad ( )
The graphics use an excellent cel-shaded style that really brings Akira Toriyama's art to life like never before. The world, villages and dungeons are rendered on a grand scale being the first game in this series that is truly 3D. The look is pleasing. It's easily the second best looking cel-shaded game I've seen next to Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.Dec 4th, 2005 · PlayStation 2 · read review
Le Geek (5 out of 5)
Even if you are lukewarm on the genre you should give it a try—it's straight forward enough and you just might love it. One of the finest games of this generation.Jul 2006 · PlayStation 2 · read review
UOL Jogos ( )
"Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King" coloca a série nos seus devidos eixos, depois de um episódio não muito bem recebido pela crítica. Tem sucesso em aliar as tradições com a tecnologia, e finalmente o game consegue fazer sua transição para o mundo 3D. Os pontos fortes continuam sendo as excelentes batalhas, além de um enredo, que, mesmo não sendo lá muito original, brilha nos pequenos detalhes. Enfim, mostra todo o charme de um RPG da velha guarda.Jan 2nd, 2006 · PlayStation 2 · read review
Dragon Quest ist ein rundum gelungenes Spiel, das den Spieler in der gesamten Spielzeit von ca. 80 Stunden vor den Screen fesselt, auch wenn die ersten 10 Stunden ein wenig Eingewöhnungszeit erfordern. Graphik, Sound, Gameplay, Balancing, Story, Humor und Vielfalt sorgen für uneingeschränkten Spielspaß. Hier zeigt sich, das besonders das Feintuning in der Gamebalance das A und O eines Rollenspiels ausmacht und so verweist das schon in die Jahre gekommene Dragon Quest die Wanne-Be Vorzeige RPGs der Next-Gen Konsolen ohne Probleme auf die hinteren Plätze. Wer das Spiel bis jetzt noch nicht in seiner Sammlung hat, sollte das schleunigst ändern! Ein absolutes Vorzeige-Japan-RPG!Feb 11th, 2008 · PlayStation 2 · read review
HonestGamers (Staff reviews only) (10 out of 10)
“This can’t be a Dragon Quest game,” I thought to myself, as I gazed at my television. I’d just started up Dragon Quest VIII and was in shock. The gorgeous cel-shaded graphics stood out in stark contrast to the blocky sprites I remembered from the NES Dragon Warriors I loved so much in my youth, as well as the two Super Famicom entries into the series. To merely call this game a “step up” visually from the Playstation’s Dragon Warrior VII would be a gross understatement. This game truly seemed to make its world feel vibrant and alive.Dec 17th, 2005 · PlayStation 2 · read review
GameSpy ( )
The fact that Dragon Quest is the most popular game franchise in Japan doesn't really matter, when it comes to the review. What matters is that North American gamers have finally been delivered one of the best games in the series on time, with care and respect, beginning a new chapter in its conquest of the U.S. Dragon Quest VIII also marks an evolutionary leap for a series notoriously resistant to change; and while many of the game's elements feel much as they did a decade ago, the alignment of many factors has resulted in an eminently enjoyable RPG that should appeal both to diehard fans of the genre and gamers looking for an enjoyable, lighthearted fantasy but who aren't obsessed with the esoteric stories and gameplay systems the genre so often employs.Nov 22nd, 2005 · PlayStation 2 · read review
Digital Entertainment News (den) (9.7 out of 10)
When Square merged with Enix, it was a big transition for both companies and for a long time it seemed like Enix was getting the raw end of the deal. After all, much-anticipated Enix titles like Star Ocean: Til the End of Time were endlessly delayed while Square-originated products that sucked … like Unlimited SaGa … kept getting pushed to the head of the release-list like the principle’s son in a lunch line. However, the title that seemed most-delayed, the newest Dragon Quest game (previously known as Dragon Warrior in the US, until this installment) has finally been released and while it’s not perfect, it definitely qualifies as the best thing SquareEnix has published since Final Fantasy X.Dec 7th, 2005 · PlayStation 2 · read review
Worth Playing (9.5 out of 10)
If you read WorthPlaying's review of Lunar: Dragon Song, you will recall that a major complaint leveled at the game was the fact that it did not have a plot, so much as a series of fetch quests masquerading as a plot. You could almost say the same about DQ8, but it says a lot that this game uses the exact same format in such a superior fashion.Nov 18th, 2006 · PlayStation 2 · read review
Game Chronicles (9.5 out of 10)
When it comes to console RPGs, there is no name in the business bigger than Dragon Quest. While Final Fantasy, Square Enix’s other flagship RPG series, has more brand recognition in the United States (old-school gamers may recognize the Dragon Quest series under its previous name, Dragon Warrior), and is certainly no slouch when it comes to sales figures in any country, Dragon Quest is a phenomenon in Japan in ways that Final Fantasy could only dream of becoming. Lore (or perhaps urban legend) has it that there is a law in Japan that games in the Dragon Quest series may only be released on Sundays, because truancy numbers rose sharply on the release dates of the first few games.Dec 11th, 2005 · PlayStation 2 · read review
Gamezine (19 out of 20)
Finalement, il est très difficile de faire des reproches à ce jeu. Pour moi, c’est le meilleur RPG de la PS2, voire du monde. Oui, même Star Ocean III ne tient pas la route. Je regrette juste que les décors, superbes, ne soient que très peu exploités, et le jeu manque parfois un peu de vie. Un des points faibles du titre est aussi l’absence de voix lors des passages importants. Pour les voix digitales, il faudra repasser (sa chemise). Malgré ces quelques défauts, j’ai passé de longues nuits sur ce jeu, et il n’y a que ma copine qui le regrette (qu’est-ce que je ne ferais pas pour vous ?). Après Onimusha 3 ou plus récemment Metal Gear Solid 3, je ne pensais pas qu’il était possible de faire un jeu aussi magnifique sur PS2, comme quoi il reste de l’espoir pour Resident Evil 4. Malgré quelques bémols, Dragon Quest VIII est donc de la pure bombe, comme disent les jeunes, et il vous fera pleurer des larmes de bonheur. Encore un chef-d’œuvre de plus de la part de Square Enix. Merci.Dec 12th, 2004 · PlayStation 2 · read review
1UP (9.5 out of 10)
We game writer types are supposed to finish everything we review, but when it comes to 50-hour RPGs, you could forgive us if it doesn't always happen. And in the case of a game where the final clock reads a hair under 90 hours, well, all bets are off. Here's the thing, though: the reason I know Dragon Quest VIII is 90 hours long is because that was my time when I finished it. It's that good.Nov 14th, 2005 · PlayStation 2 · read review
DreamStation.cc (9.5 out of 10)
Despite all the wait between games in the Dragon Quest series, it’s always worth it, and Dragon Quest VIII may just be the crowning achievement. This is quite possibly the pinnacle of role playing games, turn-based or otherwise. You should do whatever you have to do (within legal bounds of course) to get yourself a copy of Dragon Quest VIII because it really is that good and should not be passed up. A must have for any RPG fan.Jan 27th, 2006 · PlayStation 2 · read review
Game Critics (9.5 out of 10)
I’ve spent almost my entire life in Oregon, a state whose populace has a reputation for being both laid back and outdoorsy. While I’ve definitely mastered the laid back part, I never quite got a handle on the outdoors thing. I love the scenery around here, but I usually prefer not to be in it. Strange, then, that I feel totally comfortable spending countless hours wandering the simulated countryside in Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King, a lengthy old-school role-playing game (RPG) wrapped in modern visuals that manages to feel like more than the sum of its parts.Dec 13th, 2006 · PlayStation 2 · read review
VicioJuegos.com / uVeJuegos.com (95 out of 100)
Dragon Quest VIII / El periplo del rey maldito es una de las obras cumbre de los JRPG. Retiene la mayoría de los elementos clásicos que convirtieron la serie en la número uno del género en Japón, y las lleva a un mundo asombroso en el que con mucho gusto nos perdemos durante horas y horas. Es cierto que en algunos aspectos se echa en falta algo más de complejidad, especialmente en el desarrollo de personajes, pero desde luego sus virtudes superan con mucho a sus carencias. Vibrantes combates, carismáticos personajes, una historia amena, duración de vértigo, presentación visual sublime y una banda sonora magistral lo convierten en todo un referente. Es también verdad que Dragon Quest IX avanzó mucho en algunas cosas que se quedaron un poco a medias en este título, pero globalmente no pudo llegar del todo a lo que significa la gran experiencia de este octavo Dragon Quest, entre otras cosas por las distintas características que ofrecen las plataformas para las que fue diseñado cada uno.May 14th, 2011 · PlayStation 2 · read review
RPG Kingdom (19 out of 20)
Un jeu qu'il est même tellement vachement trop bien que je vais me retrouver dans l'obligation de vous ordonner de l'acheter. Quand on a une merveille comme ça à portée de main, on n'hésite même pas. Les RPG de cette stature sont extrêmement rares, et chaque amateur du genre digne de ce nom se doit de l'avoir fini. Et que la barrière du NTSC ne soit pas une (sale) excuse : Le jeu débarque chez nous au mois d'avril en version française. Que demander de plus ?Jan 23rd, 2006 · PlayStation 2 · read review
games xtreme (9.5 out of 10)
I have been playing this game for approximately 37 hours and I believe I am only about a third of the way through. So as far as value for money, with Dragon Quest VIII you certainly get every pennies worth. Each location is beautifully rendered and the twists in the plot keep you absorbed and wandering what will happen next. If all RPG games were like this I would certainly be a fanatic of the genre.Jul 7th, 2006 · PlayStation 2 · read review
Jeuxvideo.com (19 out of 20)
On peut remercier Level-5 pour avoir imaginé une telle merveille, Square Enix pour avoir confié ce huitième épisode d'une saga culte à Level-5, et Ubisoft pour avoir compris l'intérêt de sortir ce titre en Europe. Tout aussi grandiose que Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest mérite de connaître un réel succès sur notre territoire, et c'est à nous de lui rendre hommage pour fêter dignement l'arrivée d'une saga que l'on n'attendait plus.Apr 14th, 2006 · PlayStation 2 · read review
Deeko (9.5 out of 10)
When it's all said and done, Dragon Quest hits every check-mark on the list: it looks and sounds great, plays well, and tells a heart-warming and comical story that is never heavy-handed and is always enjoyable. Easily rising to the ranks of the best RPG on the system to date, I implore you to give this game a chance, even if you're a staunch anti-Dragon Quest person. For perhaps what may be the first time ever, an old-school revival has been done to perfection, which is thanks to Enix's devotion to their franchise; without question, they have finally succeeded in piercing the tough skin of North American gamers and presenting a pure J-RPG, done extraordinarily. If you consider yourself in any way an RPG fan, or even a casual player, go and get this game. You won't be disappointed.Nov 24th, 2005 · PlayStation 2 · read review
GamingExcellence (9.4 out of 10)
The first RPG I ever played was Enix’s Dragon Warrior on the Nintendo Entertainment System. The game came free with a year’s subscription to Nintendo Power magazine and while I didn’t know what to expect from it at the time, it is the game most responsible for changing my view on gaming. A while later, I bought Final Fantasy and from then on, I was an RPG addict. Since that time, over 15 years ago, I have played almost every RPG franchise under the sun and although my copy of Dragon Warrior (the Japanese title Dragon Quest couldn’t be used in North America due to copyright) hasn’t been played since the SNES came out, it still (and will always) hold a very fond place in my gamers heart.Jan 11th, 2006 · PlayStation 2 · read review
Deaf Gamers (9.4 out of 10)
As you probably all know this is the first title in the Dragon Quest series to arrive here in Europe. Given the quality of the game though, you have to wonder why it's taken the series so long to arrive here. Sure in many ways it's a very traditional console RPG and there's nothing revolutionary about the game but the story, the presentation and the general high production values, combined with tried and test game mechanics make for one of the best RPG's we've seen on any format. Most RPG fans here in Europe have probably had their eye on the release date of Final Fantasy XII but in all honesty it's going to have to be excellent, if it's to surpass what we have here in Dragon Quest: The Journey of the Cursed King. The game is quite simply a must for PlayStation 2 owning RPG enthusiasts.2006 · PlayStation 2 · read review
Futuregamez.net (93 out of 100)
Dragon Quest VIII is certainly one of the best RPG's on the PS2, and is a must have for anyone even remotely interested in RPG's and/or any form of entertaining game. Pure brilliance.May 27th, 2006 · PlayStation 2 · read review
RPGFan (93 out of 100)
There's a lot to love about Dragon Quest. It has a 30+ hour quest, excellent music, fun casino games, the ability to convince monsters to join your party, hidden items and even multiple endings. The fact that the battles aren't a pushover is also a big plus. Dragon Quest VIII may not revolutionize the console RPG genre, but it has done one thing that all the older RPGs have strived to be: it has become the greatest classic RPG experience of all time.Jan 25th, 2005 · PlayStation 2 · read review
Next Level Gaming (93 out of 100)
This is a classic game series, heck I remember spending hours upon hours playing Dragon Warrior (Dragon Warrior in US, Dragon Quest in Japan) on my NES. The series has grown up right along side of me, and now I get to look at Dragon Quest VIII. The first battle of the game was so nostalgic for me, as a group of slimes jumps out at me, heck it even says “A Slime Appears”. The turned based Role-Playing Game (RPG) style is still there. Soon after you are victories in your first battle you will come to realize that things are not quite right in this world though. There is a small green guy talking about nobility and a horse he calls his daughter, the princess (then he has his “daughter” pull him in a carriage, that’s just not right).Nov 20th, 2005 · PlayStation 2 · read review
MAN!AC (93 out of 100)
Geniale Geschmackssache: Japans bestes Rollenspiel ist leider nichts für "Dragon Ball"-Haser.May 2006 · PlayStation 2
GameZone (9.2 out of 10)
It is getting close to winter time and that is when I get the itch, and with good reason. Around this time of the year Square Enix releases an epic RPG for me to sink my teeth into. While I am sorely disappointed that this year the game is not Final Fantasy XII, I am pleased that I get to try a game series that is so popular in Japan, that it eclipses the popularity of the Final Fantasy series. The series I am referring is the Dragon Quest, and this year the game that is released is Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King. If you are a fan of RPG games then I suggest that you go pick up this game as soon as possible because it is a game that will not leave your PlayStation 2 until it is complete.Nov 14th, 2005 · PlayStation 2 · read review
Game Revolution (A-)
It's finally got the right name, too. The Dragon Warrior games for the NES were actually called Dragon Quest in their native Japan, and the series continued overseas with little heed to the States after the death of the old gray box. Apparently this has all been sorted out, and thankfully so, since the game really marks the pinnacle of classic RPG gaming.Nov 18th, 2005 · PlayStation 2 · read review
Dragon Quest VIII boasts great battles, excellent visual style, and a freshness the series has been longing for. There are just a couple hiccups in overall design of the story as the excitement just isn’t enough to motivate the gamer to progress through the entire story without a bit of frustration from tediousness. The game is long and takes quite a bit of effort to complete. While this is great news for the hardcore, the casual RPG fans might get sick before they leave the first continent. This is almost a tribute to the gamer because it will suck you into the gameplay and you will most likely be playing this game exclusively for a couple weeks. This is what I look for and love about RPG’s and that’s why this is my early pick for RPG of the year.Dec 8th, 2005 · PlayStation 2 · read review
Gamer.co.il (9.1 out of 10)
דרגון קווסט 8 הוא כמו גורי כלבים או תינוקות. הוא כל כך חמוד שפשוט לא ניתן לעמוד בפניו. רמת הקושי המאתגרת, הגראפיקה הצבעונית וההומוריסטית, הדיאלוגים המשעשעים ואי-הליניאריות מכניסים המון אופי וכיף. תוסיפו את הקווסטים האופציונאליים הרבים, מערכות האלכימיה ובניית חבורת מפלצות, לצד דיבוב מעולה ומשחקיות שניתן ללמוד בחמש דקות, ותקבלו כותר שירגיש בנוח בכל ספריית פלייסטיישן 2 באשר היא.May 28th, 2006 · PlayStation 2 · read review
Game Freaks 365 (9.1 out of 10)
Even given these flaws, Dragon Quest VIII is a solid game in every other way. It's unique from any RPG of its kind, and will constantly surprise you with something new each time you turn it on. It's a great way to start off the Dragon Quest series in the states, and makes me hope to see more Dragon Quest titles here in the future.2005 · PlayStation 2 · read review
Fragland.net (90.4 out of 100)
Dragon Quest is a top series in Japan, with so much success that there's an official banning to have a new game to be released during the week due to the fact that autorities are scared that too many people would stay away from work or school to get it! Over here, these RPG's aren't really known, but this 8th, Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King, for the first time in 3D, has undoubtedly changed that. Why? Read on.Sep 11th, 2006 · PlayStation 2 · read review
Games TM (9 out of 10)
The high difficulty might turn some players off. Die and you might need to sell your weapons and armour to revive dead party members. Keep your wits about you, though, and it gets easier to stay afloat. The game cannot, in fact, be lost at any rate (...). For the first time in the series'beleaguered overseas history, this game is going to hook westerners long enough to draw them past the insane difficulty and into one of the more rewarding, player-loving games of the last decade.Jan 27th, 2005 · PlayStation 2
GameSpot (9 out of 10)
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.Nov 14th, 2005 · PlayStation 2 · read review
IGN (9 out of 10)
In other words, Square Enix's latest commission is very, very good. Developed as the first "truly 3D" installment of the long-running Japanese series, Journey of the Cursed King is a nice leap forward compared to 2001's effort, Dragon Warrior VII. This jump isn't just resigned to the fact that the game has finally gotten its name in North America synched up with the Japanese version either (up until now, legal restrictions had kept the franchise from being ported over with its proper moniker), as there are major improvements in nearly every other aspect of the experience -- be it the art, the mechanics, and most else in-between.Nov 16th, 2005 · PlayStation 2 · read review
Pro-G (9 out of 10)
It's hard to believe that Dragon Quest, a game so huge in Japan that it's infamously illegal for one of them to be released on a school day to prevent mass skiving, is only now being released in the UK, almost twenty years after its NES debut. Nonetheless here it is, in a title that manages to be both a dinosaur of the RPG genre and also one of its paragons, coupling vintage role-playing gameplay with a gorgeous visual style and a wonderful English translation.May 16th, 2006 · PlayStation 2 · read review
Boomtown (9 out of 10)
Never put it past Level-5 to create a stunning RPG. The developer already proved itself more than capable with Dark Cloud and the criminally underrated Dark Chronicle, both on PS2. Now Level-5 is playing in Square Enix territory with one of its biggest franchises.Jun 20th, 2006 · PlayStation 2 · read review
Silicon-Fusion.com (9 out of 10)
There is nothing technically wrong with Dragon Quest: The Journey of the Cursed King. It is very solid in fact but the points on music, that the combat can get repetitive in order to make the level curve a few niggles over the way that this can be done, AI is at times good but once or twice overwhelming, giving you no chance to respond as the field boss pulls out the top draw attacks round after round showing that you need to be massively over levelled for that area to compete. Otherwise the difficulty progression is fine and balanced.Apr 28th, 2006 · PlayStation 2 · read review
Gaming Target (9 out of 10)
RPGs. You love 'em, right? You think you do, but you probably don't. Or maybe you do, I don't know. The point here is, there's someone else who adores them even more: the RPG freaks of Japan. It's one of Japan's greatest digital loves. As everyone should be aware by now, Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest are the two top RPG franchises in the world. Which one is better? Some will tell you it's Final Fantasy, but Japan's records will prove it's Dragon Quest (otherwise known as Dragon Warrior in America...until now). Three million people in Japan hastily snatched up their copies of Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King in the first week of release, at a record-breaking total of just three days. This marks Japan's fastest selling video game to date.Dec 2nd, 2005 · PlayStation 2 · read review
Gameplanet ( )
TO DATE, THE DRAGON Quest series has sold over 40 million copies worldwide, and has appeared on several platforms – including the relatively recent mobile phone market. In Japan, where success has been sweetest, the Dragon Quest titles have been immortalised through other media such as manga and animé, with music sales of the game soundtrack ranking right up there with other best-selling series Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts… but enough with the statistics. We want to know whether the latest title in the series is a worthwhile investment for Kiwi gamers.Jul 7th, 2006 · PlayStation 2 · read review
Cheat Code Central (4.5 out of 5)
Dragon 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!2005 · PlayStation 2 · read review
GamesAreFun.com (GAF) (9 out of 10)
It’s been a long time coming for this series to go 3D, and it’s been worth the wait. The developers should teach a class in the way to convert games to 3D and keep the feel of the 2D versions on the new consoles. Dragon Quest VIII is a spectacular addition to the series and should be tried by fans of both old and new. Those who hold the SNES era as the golden age of RPGs will certainly enjoy the game and its traditional elements. Those who prefer the new 3D RPGs will be pleased with the update to the graphics as well. Buy it, rent it, just play it.Apr 3rd, 2006 · PlayStation 2 · read review
Game Over Online (90 out of 100)
Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King harkens back to a time where one very small group of heroes joined together to overcome seemingly impossible odds against a dangerous threat to the land, and it does so extremely well. It also proves that sometimes simple is better that complicated character moves, secondary people you probably don't care about and massive cinematic sequences that make you a passive observer instead of an active participant. Instead, it proves that placing more attention into the gameplay and taking these few characters on a massive journey can still be appealing to both the hardcore RPG fan and the mainstream gamer, and could spark a flash of imports as players seek out older Dragon Quest titles to play.Dec 16th, 2005 · PlayStation 2 · read review
Retrogaming History (9 out of 10)
Dragon Quest VIII è l’esempio lampante di come le classiche meccaniche da J-Rpg, se opportunamente implementate e bilanciate, riescano ancora a divertire ed affascinare anche al giorno d’oggi. Trattasi in realtà di un terreno ricco di insidie, in cui persino mostri sacri del genere hanno finito col segnare più di un passo falso. Lode dunque ai Level5 per il coraggio e il talento ampiamente dimostrati con questo loro splendido lavoro.May 28th, 2008 · PlayStation 2 · read review
Jeuxvideo.fr (9 out of 10)
Cela semblait impensable il y encore quelques mois, mais il est là et bien là. Dragon Quest VIII a changé de nom et a amélioré un peu sa parure. Il n'en garde pas moins la même essence qui fait la renommée de la série. Abouti aussi bien en terme de graphisme, d'esthétisme au sens le plus large, de musique, de gameplay (bien que plus tout jeune) et de durée de vie, Dragon Quest : L'Odyssée Du Roi Maudit est le RPG à posséder en 2006. Level-5, Square Enix et Ubisoft nous ont préparé le meilleur moyen de faire connaissance avec la série. Il ne reste plus qu'à attendre les prochains volets de la saga et voir ce que la « concurrence » d'autres titres, comme Rogue Galaxy et Final Fantasy XII, pourra apporter. En tout cas, les fans ne pourront être que ravis de cette nouvelle vague de RPG sur PS2, qui démarre sous les meilleurs auspices.Apr 21st, 2006 · PlayStation 2 · read review
Legendra ( )
Dragon Quest VIII fait indéniablement parti des meilleures RPGs de la PS2. Il ravira sans aucun doute les fans de la première heure comme les nouveaux venus. Pour sa durée de vie, son univers merveilleux et son animation sans faille on lui pardonnera le peu de défauts qu'il a. Pour ceux qui ne le savent pas, les Dragon Quest forment des trilogies et je regrette l'absence de liens précis avec DraQue VII : mis à part la ville Pickham qui ressemble comme deux gouttes d'eau à celle du VII, je n'ai pas vu grand chose. Espérons que le neuvième épisode mettra moins de temps à venir que celui-ci et nous permettra de faire le lien entre ces trois opus.Jan 21st, 2006 · PlayStation 2 · read review
Eurogamer.net (UK) (9 out of 10)
The most beautiful game in the world? Well now, that’s a bold question. True beauty is more than skin deep and so to answer that question requires a whole different set of eyes to perceive and critique. Dragon Quest VIII is full of contradictions and you, eye of the beholder, could see either depending on the way its light catches in your mind: it’s elegant but simple, tired but fresh, grinding but impelling, derivative but engrossing, silly but serious, gentle but bitchy, easy going but tough-as-nails.Dec 22nd, 2005 · PlayStation 2 · read review
Joypad (9 out of 10)
Le scénario et le système de combat classiques ne sont pas de véritables défauts car s'ils ne subliment pas le jeu, ils ne nuisent pas non plus à sa grandeur. Rarement un titre pourra se vanter d'être aussi abouti, de voir si bien l'aventure sur le long terme et l'on comprend mieux pourquoi la série à supplanté Final Fantasy dans son pays d'origine. En un seul volet, Dragon Quest s'impose en référence chez nous.Apr 2006 · PlayStation 2 · read review
GameCell UK (9 out of 10)
Injecting a bit of life into the RPG genre will be vital over the next 18 months as next-gen consoles make their presence felt, but for the time being games of this quality will do a fine job of tiding us over. The look, feel, and overall sense of humour of Dragon Quest: Journey of the Cursed King is a breath of fresh air in a genre so clearly dominated by one series, and I’d like to think that it’ll trigger a little more originality in future sequels, spin-offs and challengers to Square-Enix’s throne.2006 · PlayStation 2 · read review
Play.tm (89 out of 100)
Disregarding its unoriginality, Dragon Quest is one of the most charming games you are ever likely to play. Unlike so many releases with an annoying glitch here and a graphical mess-up there, Dragon Quest feels complete - you'd expect it to after seven tries, but that doesn't matter now, does it? With over fifty hours of gameplay and side questing on top, an engrossing leveling up system including the creation of new items by experimenting in an alchemy pot, and a delightful storyline, Dragon Quest offers too much to be ignored - even if RPGs have never been your bag.May 26th, 2006 · PlayStation 2 · read review
Game Informer Magazine (8.75 out of 10)
With lines of people snaking from the locked doors of a small Tokyo software retailer into the city’s neon-lit streets, the arrival of a new chapter in Enix’s Dragon Quest series commands a level of fanfare comparable in America only to the release of a new Star Wars film. As powerful of a game as Dragon Quest has become over the years in its native country, this series has not found a way to apply a stranglehold on the American market. It has, in fact, bombed miserably while its closest competitor, Square Soft’s Final Fantasy, which has always trailed in a distant second in Japan, has grown into a worldwide phenomenon. Just when it appeared that Final Fantasy would rule the west and Dragon Quest would control the east, Square Soft merged with Enix in 2003, putting an end to the decade-long rivalry.Dec 2005 · PlayStation 2 · read review
JustPressPlay (8.7 out of 10)
All in all, this is a great RPG that doesn’t take too many stridesso that it can remain true to a genre. Some may complain about this,but it has been too long since a standard story has been used in an RPGrather than one that will make our ears bleed from us thinking too muchsince the game only hints at things. With great graphics, good voices, a hint of comedy, and the classicRPG feel with just a hint of new, this is a game that may very well winthe “best RPG of the year” award. And really, it should. Purely a funRPG, I can’t say it enough.Dec 22nd, 2005 · PlayStation 2 · read review
PSX Extreme (8.7 out of 10)
Overall, though, the few drawbacks in Dragon Quest VIII aren't nearly glaring enough to pass up recommending the game. While not terribly original in terms of storytelling, Dragon Quest VIII offers enough variety in presentation and gameplay to make it worth playing, especially if you're fanatic about your Japanese RPGs. So long as players don't go into the game expecting another Final Fantasy, it's hard to imagine being disappointed in what is one of the better RPGs to hit the PlayStation 2 in recent memory.Apr 20th, 2006 · PlayStation 2 · read review
4Players.de (86 out of 100)
Dragon Quest wirkt wie eine alte Dame, der man über die Straße helfen will, bevor sie von ihren rastlosen Zeitgenossen überfahren wird. Das Cel-Shading-Antlitz der Lady wirkt zwar geradezu jugendlich, aber die Gameplay-Knochen haben ihre besten Tage schon lange hinter sich. Von einem Zufallskampf zum nächsten zu stolpern, Runde für Runde immer gleiche Anweisungen an immer gleiche Recken zu erteilen und dabei einer Handlung zu folgen, die so linear ist wie eine Zugfahrt ohne umsteigen, lockt heutzutage eigentlich nur noch hoffnungslose Nostalgiker hinter dem Ofen hervor. Trotzdem hat mich die Reise des verwunschen Königs in vielerlei Hinsicht begeistert. Sie sprudelt nämlich nur so vor Charme, Witz und liebevoller Details.Apr 15th, 2006 · PlayStation 2 · read review
VicioJuegos.com / uVeJuegos.com (85 out of 100)
Ahora bien, si tenemos que contestar a la pregunta de la cabecera... pues la verdad es que la respuesta sería un "no". Pero que nadie se lleve al engaño. "Dragon Quest: El Periplo del Rey Maldito" sigue siendo un RPG de buena factura, con un apartado técnico espectacular y capaz de ofrecer de diversión, durante horas, horas y más horas. Y eso es lo que cuenta al fin y al cabo.Jun 21st, 2006 · PlayStation 2 · read review
Game Informer Magazine (8.5 out of 10)
Dragon Quest VIII is a solidly built game, but its visual style and sense of humor are what truly distinguish it.Dec 2005 · PlayStation 2
GameLemon (8 out of 10)
Sure, there aren't any moments where you feel awed by what you're participating in (except when you equip Jessica with the Magic Bikini. That bikini sure is magic... ON MY PANTS!!! ...sorry!), but you won't likely ever feel bored either. Every RPG fan should at least give this one a look. If it turns out to be up your alley, then you're in for a long, satisfying adventure.May 17th, 2006 · PlayStation 2 · read review
GamePro (US) (4 out of 5)
We pick up the story with our protagonist, last defender of the kingdom of Trodia cursed by foul magics that have twisted its inhabitants (including the king and princess) and covered the castle with thorny vines. Clues abound as the story unfolds in the traditional RPG manner: talking to everyone in town until the location of the next dungeon/cave/temple/castle emerges. This, of course, is followed by a great deal of jogging and fighting random encounters against incredibly bizzarre monsters, all lovingly rendered in vivid 3D. Granted, there's not much that's new in terms of plot or even game mechanics, but that doesn't mean that Dragon Quest VIII is completely devoid of suprises.Nov 17th, 2005 · PlayStation 2 · read review
Edge (8 out of 10)
Those who truly fall in love, who recognise what is under the surface for what it really is, will keep turning the wheels, rolling the dice, drinking the charm, faithfully weaving their adventuring life tapestry together until the very end.Dec 22nd, 2005 · PlayStation 2 · read review
Retroage (7.7 out of 10)
Podsumowując Dragon Quest: The Journey of the Cursed King to piękna gra z niezłym soundtrackiem i staroszkolnym gameplayem, przeciętną fabułą, nadrabiająca jej braki wyśmienitymi dialogami. Moim zdaniem, jeśli lubicie albo chociaż trawicie jRPG, warto się nią zainteresować, choćby ze względu na śmiesznie niską cenę.Mar 26th, 2012 · PlayStation 2 · read review
Diehard GameFan (7.5 out of 10)
This is, without a doubt in my mind, the best in the Dragon Quest series. It is the total package in RPGs, as far as I’m concerned. The only problem is that it may be more for old-school fans, and the more mainstream crowd may not like the fact that you have to do quite a bit of extraneous levelling to succeed. But that aside, this is a must have game for any real RPG fan. And please, if you’re buying it just for the demo, DON’T. The demo is crap. The game is incredible though.Dec 8th, 2005 · PlayStation 2 · read review
Netjak (7 out of 10)
Of course, I'm more concerned about what should have been added. Don't get me wrong, Dragon Quest VIII is certainly a competent job. The entire visual team put in a yeoman's job, and the sound crew managed the best they could. However, it really is all draped around a very old story and a very old battle mechanic. They're both serviceable, but both companies that merged to form Square-Enix as well as countless other developers (including Capcom, Nippon Ichi, Nintendo, and Namco) have managed to do much more with the genre than this game even tries to accomplish. Both in terms of plot and in terms of battle engine, this could have been easily done in the 8-bit days. While certainly a workman's RPG, it's one best suited for those who want something like they were fifteen years ago. It might be the prettiest role-playing game you've seen, but that's not enough to lift it beyond the pack.Nov 15th, 2005 · PlayStation 2 · read review
Thunderbolt Games (6 out of 10)
In summary, the game starts well, but gets repetitive fast and the story is too slight to keep interest going for the 50+ hours you’ll be playing it. Less would have definitely been more, about a third of the dungeon crawl sections could have been chopped out and the running about in the towns and cities significantly reduced and it would have improved the game no end. Or, more playable characters should have been added and more significant plotting placed around the characters to make the story sections feel more exciting and relevant. It has to be said this hasn’t made me interested in tracking down any of the prior games in the series on import, but while I did get some enjoyment from playing it, especially the first 20 hours or so, I’m left craving something more substantial, probably something that invloves the words "Fantasy" and "Final"...Dec 28th, 2006 · PlayStation 2 · read review
GameCola.net (5 out of 10)
Dragon Quest VIII: The Journey of the Cursed King isn't quite a Game of the Year candidate, and it doesn't bring much new to the table; but fans of the genre (and the DQ series especially) are gonna love it regardless. Pick it up if you're one of those people and just happen to have 70 hours to kill; otherwise, just wait for Final Fantasy XVII: The Legend of the Goddamn Fruity Freaking Hair, or whatever's coming out this year.May 1st, 2006 · PlayStation 2 · read review
De gigantesques vallées, une liberté inédite et rare à signaler, une difficulté bien dosée... Le niveau est poussé très haut avec cette légende du RPG. Les quelques problème d'adaptation seront vite digérés une fois dans le jeu. Le bonheur est donc désormais à 60 euros !May 2006 · PlayStation 2 · read review
A perfect continuation of the classic Dragon Quest series
by Bregalad (967)
Dragon Quest is a classic RPG series that started long ago on the NES, even before the first Final Fantasy. Talking about it, I want to be precise that even if this game has been released by Square-Enix, this game has absolutely nothing to do with the Final Fantasy series, and wasn't developed by the same people either, the only common point is that they are both Japanese RPGs. So let's NOT compare Dragon Quest with Final Fantasy, because that's just comparing Super Mario Bros. to Mega Man under the pretext they're both platformers, because this just makes no sense.
Now let's begin the actual talk about Dragon Quest, precisely about Dragon Quest VIII, which is the first Dragon Quest released for quite a long while. When I heard the game was released in Japan and saw screenshots around the internet, I was amazed. When I saw the game was planned to be released in America and PAL territories as well, I was just jumping for joy. Why so? Because I just loved the older Dragon Quest games I just tried playing under (S)NES emulation, and I was very excited about getting a modern installment of the same series on a modern console. I bought the game the day it was released in PAL territories, that happened to be my birthday. Not only I did not regret it, but also the game was very long (about 110 hours of gameplay in a single playthrough) and I had an awesome gaming experience overall. This is the second game I make more than 100 hours on a playthrough, the first one being Final Fantasy VII.
The thing I love the most in this title is that it's simple, pure and just classic. It doesn't try to impress with hi-tech innovation or anything, it just is aesthetic and entertains. I'm not willing to start a war "modern hi-tech games" vs "oldschool games" or anything, because it sadly looks this game is just one of the elements that seems to be separating the gaming world in two sections, which I am myself against, because as a gamer I like to be entertained, no matter how. Anyway, Dragon Quest VIII doesn't fail at all at being entertaining.
Now onto the details. Dragon Quest VIII just seems, to the bone, to be the very ultimate Dragon Quest world Yuji Horii and Akira Toriyama had in their dream since the beginning, but just couldn't do it exactly as it because of technical limitations. More precisely, each single piece of the world of Dragon Quest is very "Toriyama-esque" in it's own way, especially the characters which are all (including protagonists, townspeople, animals, monsters and villains) wonderfully rendered on the screen and respectable in their own way. The world map is absolutely gorgeous and just looks real but still fantastic to every single corner of it. This game is the first I personally played that has a true world map, where each tree is separated from others, and it really adds some feel to the game. People used to games such as World of Warcraft may be less surprised by Dragon Quest VIII's world map, but I found it personally amazing. Also, this was the first game where I could just stay above a cliff over the sea watching far mountains and see "WHOA this landscape is AMAZING !!". Every screenshot of the game could look like of a hand-made painting made by Akira Toriyama himself especially for you. Which, in my own eyes, beats "film looking games", because this "anime looking game" just is a lot more artistic. Now again, I don't want to be starting a video game intellectual war, but this is just my way to say the graphics of Dragon Quest VIII are absolutely gorgeous in their own way. I have two complaints about the graphics, though. The first is that the angle of camera is typically a bit too small, letting you see not enough stuff at once on the screen. This was especially annoying when exploring new places. The second is that even the graphics themselves are incredibly gorgeous, they are not very varied, and many places looks like just the same as other places. That's nothing major, and can easily be forgiven when you see the fantasy coming out of those unique graphics themselves. Also note that this is the first Dragon Quest where you actually SEE your party in battle, which is a very good thing, because seeing only the monsters like in the older installments tends to be somewhat boring.
The story is simple, you have to chase Douhlmagus, an evil mage jester, who gained infinite evil power after stealing trodain's evil scepter. There will be many turns along the gameplay though, which beats the very simple and linear story of NES Dragon Quests, without completely reforming the series either. You can get 2 endings : After completing the game normally, there is a secret bonus dungeon (which is quite harder than other dungeons, but nothing impossible) and then you can beat the game again for an alternate ending. Hardcore gamers can go even further in the sidequest, and go beat some very strong dragons or something like that (don't ask me I have not done this), but this isn't necessary to have the good ending. Overall, the game is quite long and sometimes even tedious, and you'll be rewarded for this by great story scenes, which won't leave you without thinking. Don't expect to see CGI cutscenes each 15 minutes, because there is none : the graphics are good enough to serve the story very well.
A good thing just as the "Dragon Warrior" title is gone, censorship is gone too : No longer you'll have to hear "Thou hast done well, thou art a great warrior", and instead the game has been translated fairly from it's Japanese Dragon Quest counterpart "Hey, guv, well done, now let's relax drink beer all the night". If you're afraid by references to alcohol and sex, just don't play Dragon Quest, because it has not been censored this time. However, such references really add a totally new dimension of realism and credibility in the Dragon Quest world as compared to ours, and I think it's meaningful to the game.
You're basically a cool hero, that always wears a yellow raincoat (even if the weather is always good in the game) and that always have a cute mouse in his pocket (which is very cool, and speaking of it, there is 2 times in the game where you take control of the mouse to solve puzzles, and you can also fed him with cheese in battle to have him cast various spells). You're traveling the world with a caravan and a horse (which is actually the princess transformed), your king transformed in a small troll (which is a very fun character), Yangus, an fat old bandit which joined you after you saved his life. During the game, you finally join up with Jessica, which is the typical strong-willed rebel teenage girl, and Angelo, which is the easy-going fool of your party. This is just the best party one could get to go on a long journey : Your 3 playable companions are all 3 very fun and all 3 intelligent in their own way, and in every situation one of them could have caused trouble in your party, another member of your party will always be here to solve things peacefully. Additionally, you have the king Trode turned in a monster which also take place in the scenario here and there, even if he's not playable. Overall, all 4 of your friends (not counting the horse nor the mouse) are very good hearted companions and are very comic in any situation, you'll learn to love all 4 of them very quickly.
The hero learn basic magic (both offensive and defensive), and is very strong physically. Angelo learns mainly healing magic, but also has a few offensive spells, and is averagely strong physically (he's the most well-balanced character in your party). Jessica is weak physically (she has terrible defense and HP), but she have a load of very strong offensive magic. Yangus has almost no magic, and is decently strong physically. He has very high HP and learns awesome "weapon-specific" attacks on the other hand. Oh, I haven't talked about that yet : For each weapon a character is able to use, you can manually attribute points to the weapon (regardless of how much you used each weapon) at each level-up, and then learn weapon-specific abilities (which sometimes uses MP too) which are typically stronger than normal attacks, and have side effects (such as put a enemy asleep, poison it, attack 2 times, have higher chances to trigger a critical hit, etc...). Each character could also have their own specific skills, but most of them weren't useful at all. The exception is Jessica that can learn to be sexy enough to make monsters randomly pass a turn to admire her (as if they were having a chance, hehe), or Yangus being able to sacrifice his almost useless MP to give them to another character in your party.
The gameplay is overall very solid, a basic and efficient. Don't get me wrong, this game is not like the original on the NES where you have to pass through the menu to talk to everyone and to take stairs, but it's battle system is extensively simple. On the field you can walk and run using the analog joystick which is nice, the 'X' button is for OK and the triangle button is for cancel. L1 and R1 rotates the camera, while R2 pass in 1st perspective view, where you see exactly what the hero sees (you cannot move in this position), and since the angle of the camera is so small anyway you won't be using this too often.
You basically learn spells with levels, and learn "special weapon-exclusive" attacks with points you attribute yourself at each level up. Then there is the psych-up system : By raising the tension of a character on a round, you can trigger a stronger attack next round, and you could cumulate tension for several round, in order to release disastrous attacks. This isn't terribly useful for physical attacks, because just attack every round deals more damage (except for a few monsters which were particularly weak against charged attack), but this is very useful for magic, because you waste the same amount of MP to cast charged up spells, which can be very effective. The strategy was then to attack (and heal) with the guys to weaken the monsters while having Jessica psych-up several rounds, and then having her unslacking her terribly efficient charged up magic to finish off the enemies. This strategy is the quickest was to beat random encounters, so I started using it over and over. The only downside is that many bosses have the "wave of ice" ability, which allow them to instantly cancel all your psych-ups and stats boosts, so you'll have to find other strategies. This is a bit stupid, because this makes stats boosting spells pretty much useless, because they're not worth calling in random encounters, and the bosses can often cancel them. One thing I loved was the featured bestiary, with ironical description of all foes you beat, which was fun to look at.
Finally, the difficulty is well balanced, nor you need to spend hours doing plain levelling up. I did not find Dragon Quest VIII is a hard game at all, I didn't lost many times actually. One time at the very beginning of the game, one times against a boss, and two times against another boss. When you loose, you don't get game over, but just continues in the nearest church you visited, with all EXP intact and half of the gold you had (unless you placed it in a bank). On the other hand, even if the game is not terribly hard, you can never feel completely safe in the middle on a dungeon or on a world map section far of any civilization either. Monsters are actually quite strong overall, and you'll need healing a lot even during any random encounter. It's not rare to see any random monster doing ~1/5 of your maximum HP of damage for a regular physical attack, and it's no rare to met with ~5 monster at the same time either. Fortunately, your character have very high MP, allowing for a lot of healing without running out of MP. The game needs little strategy, and no real skills other than patience and sense of observation are needed to complete the game.
Also you'll never wander around not knowing what to do, because the game plot is simple enough and linear, without being TOO linear either. In theory, you can press start anytime to have your party give you advice of what to do. In practice, I found myself always press the start button to hear stupid jokes from Yangus and from Angelo. Jessica was the only one to say something intelligent, but then she said something too intelligent, that won't help you to advance your quest. There is always a new place in the very large world map you haven't explored to seek, so you're never being bored either, you can pass a long time to go from one place to another without getting bored a single second (at least not outside battle), and this is a very good thing. In addition, there were an item called the alchemy pot that allowed you to mix 2 or 3 items to make one better item after a while if the combination worked, and it was exciting to put items and wait what kind of new items you will be getting, making a good reason to go around and fight some monsters to kill time.
Also, I didn't mention the music. The original Dragon Quest VIII in Japan has synthesized music of questionable quality (I have the CD of it), and Square Enix decided the western audience would not find it decent, and because only classic instruments are used at all in the soundtrack, they paid a real orchestra to play the soundtrack of Dragon Quest VIII and now we get actual steamed music in the whole game. This is very nice, because this really adds a lot of feeling to the game to have actual music in it, but you won't go without noting that it's always the same instruments playing the same baroque music again and again. This is typical Koichi Sugiyama music, which can be good or bad. It's just the same Dragon Quest music style we have been hearing for years and this style is completely unchanged, regardless if you liked it or not. The town music are calm and great, while the world map music and battle music really got on my nerves. This baroque style, indistinguishable from Bach or Handel is not always very well fitted for a video game, not even Dragon Quest, and tends to be annoying at times, especially considering there aren't many different tracks. However, the great majority of the soundtrack contains great songs regardless of any other elements (you'll notice I don't even know myself if I like this music or not which is confusing to explain). You still get different songs for day and night, which is good, and gets drums here and here along with classical orchestra instruments.
This leads me to the next point : The voice acting. There also were no voice acting in the Japanese version, but they decided to add it in the western version. Jessica has an horrible voice, but the other acting were very good (sounding very cartoonish, which suits the game well), so I think it's great overall. The sound effects were just as excepted, some mimic the NES which is fun, some don't and both sound exciting. Note that I've heard Square Enix removed some of the NES sound effects when porting the game from japan to western countries during battles, fearing people would find it would sound stupid, which is a fun fact. I almost miss the sound effect of casting magic from the NES Dragon Quests, but the new animation for magic, which consist of two circles of mysterious transparent symbols surrounding the caster, looks very great.
I didn't mention that, both in the world map and in a village, you hear a lot of animals : You have bird tweet on day and crickets on night, and this is really pleasant to listen to. It's relaxing and everything. This also made some contrast as you just get plain silent in dungeons, making you a bit anxious. This is a very nice touch on the game.
Unfortunately, Dragon Quest VIII does not come without it's set of flaws. I'd like to note the fact that there are very few different spells and techniques are at your disposal during the whole game. The problem is that with so few techniques at your disposal for a so long game, there is no miracle, fighting will get boring here and there after a while. Actually the battle are quite slow paced and this can get very annoying at times. You're often doing the same attack pattern again and again, and then spend 5 minutes on an annoying battle you already know you're gonna to win, but you still cannot pass it faster. This is for when you are in a place filled with strong enemies. When you're in a place filled with weak enemies, it happened to me to almost fall asleep with the finger pressing the 'X' button because you didn't always need much strategy to beat random encounters.
This flaw is compensated by the fact that there are many weapons around, and that you'll always want to try them out on various monsters (many of them have various special effects), and by the fact that you can use your "alchemy pot" to get new items by combining old ones, if you succeeded combining two (or three) valid items, you'll have to wait for a while before they're ready, and the game becomes more exciting when you're waiting your brand new weapon of piece of armor to be ready. My main beef with the alchemy pot is that you can find "clues" to make items in books or by talking to people, which is great, but most were way too vague to have you actually found what items to put in the pot. The clues that were exact involved rare items that you wouldn't know where to get, and when you eventually get them, you get an outdated old weapon (or piece of armor) which is weaker than the last one you bought/found.
Randomness plays a too big role in the combat system, I think I also lost one time when an enemy cast an instant death spell and it just worked 4 consecutive times, destroying my party. There were also a spell that could resurrect an ally, but with 50% of success. This is annoying to use in battle, as it can just resurrect your ally, or just made you pass 4 turns before it actually resurrect your ally, just based on luck. The fact that some of the stronger monsters, and some bosses too, can just trigger a "desperate attack" which systematically scores a critical hit and cannot be avoided, is very frustrating. You also had some skills which have great chances of getting a critical hit, but they had even greater chance to miss, unlike those terrible "desperate attacks".
Another big annoyance is that, in the whole Dragon Quest VIII game, everything is WAY TOO EXPENSIVE ! (or monsters don't leave enough gold). At the end of the game, the latest weapons were worth $10.000 when a random battle leave you around $100. This effectively makes around ONE HUNDRED random encounters to get the money worth ONE new weapon or ONE new piece of armor. An alternative to this is to use the alchemy pot, but I already explained the problem above. Collect mini-medals that are placed in chests and pots around the world will allow you to get rewarded with good weapons or piece of armors each so many medals, but if you missed too much medals, you'll get "late" and lose synchronization with the game, then get obsolete pieces of equipment as rewards. At the end of the game, there is hardly any alternative other than selling old pieces of equipment (fortunately some of them are worth a lot of cash) to be able to purchase new ones, and I really hate selling old equipment. You could also sell medals gotten from special monsters around the world map which can be sold back for a lot of money, but you don't get more than one medal per monster you find.
Another alternative is to play Casino in which you can gain trophies, but I lost interest very quickly into this, because it's random and totally uninteresting.
The Bottom Line
Dragon Quest VIII is definitely a very classic game. By classic, I mean it just flows the definition of classic, that is a work of art that is tasty and aesthetic, and that teaches something while being entertaining, and that without attempting to be very original or anything (but don't worry, many monster designs are STILL original). Dragon Quest VIII is just what it is, and even if it doesn't shine in all technical categories a game can be classified to (I think its battle system is average at best), the game in itself is just so solid and just continues the Dragon Quest series with so much elegance and care to it that it deserves to be called a masterpiece. Even trough it looks different at first, it's by starting a new game of DQ8 that one will eventually figure out that it plays exactly the same as the previous Dragon Quest games, only larger with some innovations and slight changes in the battle system, that's all. Unfortunately, the Dragon Quest 1 syndrome of pathetic low EXP and Gold at the end of each battle isn't completely gone, but there is so other good things in the game that a decent gamer can definitely get pass this.
My conclusion is that while the fusion of Squaresoft and Enix, now known as Square-Enix, has not had very great results for the Final Fantasy franchise, it's the exact opposite for the Dragon Quest series so far (that is, had very great results).
I think you can learn something by playing this great classic game, and I recommend to anyone who really likes RPGs. I don't recommend Dragon Quest VIII for people who either have trouble with Dragon Quest at all (because it's just the same as its predecessor) or people that just pretend to like RPGs for their CGI cutscenes or something similar, because you won't be watching an anime, you'll be really role playing in this game. Anyway, as I think I already mentioned, each instant in the game is so intensely beautiful that it compensate the lack of cutscenes.
Jun 15th, 2007 · PlayStation 2
A perfect flawed experience, not unlike eating the best shit sandwich you’ll ever have
by lasttoblame (420)
The definition of an RPG has varied a lot over the years from number-crunching (like AD and D type “Balder’s Gate”) to mouse-clicking (a la “Diablo”) to introspective self-moralizing (as in the light or dark “Knights of the Old Republic” or the fashion-victim shades of gray “The Witcher”). For me originally playing an RPG was the concept that within a game you would adopt a role and as such do things in the game your character would do but you wouldn’t in reality (like not run away from evil monsters wishing you harm or illicit sex from prostitutes… well, so far…). Yup, I’m talking about the real meaning of the acronym RPG that does not have to do with rocket propelled grenades.
However, today’s RPG can be better described as such: it’s a virtual representation of yourself you nurture with your time. No, not skill or reflexes or intelligence, but time. RPG’s don’t measure how far you are into the story, but how advanced you have progressed with your characters. A video game RPG make you care for it because of the characters you have made strong with time. Games have many conceits to them, and the biggest traditional video game RPG conceit is that if you do anything enough times you will succeed, just the opposite of real life. Therefore, ten thousand random battle victories=success against the final boss, whereas nothing you can do or plan will trick your sexy co-worker into sleeping with you (except the tried and true method of being married and becoming her boss—so I guess it’s a boss battle where to win you must become one!)
Dragon Quest VIII takes everything and does it perfectly. This game knows how to milk all your time from you that would be better served curing cancer or hanging out meditating with the Dalai Lama. In a perfect show of game balance, Dragon Quest VIII frustrates you at just the perfect amount, enough to keep you going, a definition you can apply to old-skool gaming in general. The game itself and its game play isn’t really at all complicated, what frustrates you is the illusion that it is beatable and as such convinces you to keep pouring time into it. It’s that carnie laughing as you try to win that stuffed animal for your pouting girlfriend and keep throwing down money.
If you pour in enough time you will “beat” the game, but there’s a lot to do in the first place. They range from climbing various skill trees, the usual collecting-mania, and a new kind of inventory that is not focused on currency but instead on gathering recipes and experimenting with an alchemy pot. Another cool addition to the traditional RPG is the Monster Arena where you can organize monsters that were once your enemies to fight for you against other monster teams or against other enemies. A lot of new additions, but nothing too complicated that would sway a casual gamer to not play.
You know, it’s not for the story that you would play this game. In fact, I would argue you never play any game for its story, you play it for the way it tells the story. (I’m looking at you, Unicorn B. Jazzin’) For example, Half-Life: a generic story that can be summed up in a haiku concocted by sixth graders on a rainy day when murder ball is out of the question, but a innovative use of FPS and triggered story events to “perform” a story on a video game platform that inspires a boner every time. In this case, Dragon Quest VIII: a generic story of good versus evil （blah blah） that has been done for the eighth time on this franchise and countless times elsewhere, but an terribly effective time-sink that compels you onward to tell you the same story yet again but in an engaging manner.
It doesn’t make any sense, even for a video game. Why do you stand around waiting for someone to hit you before you can hit them back in a battle? Even though it’s a wide open world, why is it the path you take always has progressively tougher monsters and more expensive items? Why is it you have eyes in your head but still can’t see an oncoming random battle before it happens? Why don’t NPC’s mind when you walk into their homes and pillage their personal belongings (like that Sword of Vorpal +10 they have in their dresser) and then ask them for advice? And from the ‘corn, why is it the final boss just waits for you to come to him when you are leveled up instead of coming to find and kill you earlier on when you are substantially weaker?
Dragon Quest VIII isn’t self-aware and going to declare war on humanity like Skynet from the Terminator movies (because that would be a GREAT game), but it over comes its shortcomings by smartly incorporating them as part of the whole game experience. Those frustrating random battles you will come to accept as part of leveling up. You need to talk to every NPC and smash every barrel to complete the collection-ism and find all the alchemy pot recipes. The game is balanced perfectly to the gamer’s progress so as to not be too hard or too easy (even with over-leveling). This game is completely traditional in the best sense of the word, and I don’t mean one father, one mother, and moral values from 50 years ago.
Dragon Quest VIII is humorous; “The funny” can be witnessed everywhere from monster designs (think baby Nazis) to monster names (for example, a wolf monster with the moniker “Jackal Ripper”) to regular dialogue (I need to know how to say “Cor Blimey!” in Japanese because I need a pick-up line for my next journey over). This “give me the funny!” is equally matched by its “cute” presentation of cel shaded graphics done in manga form.
That said, I don’t think it’s a funny game. Dragon Quest VIII tackles real-world issues (eg. that’s non-game related) so earnestly that it contradicts its easy-going presentation. True, there’s no reason why a cartoon character with eyes past her forehead can’t tell a serious story, but a game that straddles the fence this way ends up being neither. Why should I take the story seriously when I’ve been battling cute baby imps, and by that I mean ones that look like cute babies (I think this game has the record for most drooling tongues)?
This game is more suitable for telling kids what life is going to be like rather than telling adults a compelling tale that they can identify with. All the adult themes are introduced subtly but not thoroughly explored; not a criticism, really, especially for light-hearted fare like this, I suppose it’s rather mature to think highly of your target audience.
However, when I say “think highly”, I also mean cram in as many sexual innuendoes as you can. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing for me, but that can be a bad thing for those burgeoning young minds. Playing games is a guilty pleasure in itself, but if I can play a game where the female hero gets knocked off her feet in battle and gives me an ample viewing of her personality up her skirt without me craning my neck, THAT’S a guilty pleasure. Dragon Quest VIII has the most subtle boob physics you’ll see on cel-shaded graphics to ensure you’ll put the Irish redhead at the front of your party and have her turn around, and around, and around. (no jumping, this isn’t a platformer) And if that wasn’t enough (and where do you draw the line when it comes to sex in Japan?), you can dress up the red-haired Jessica in a variety of costumes, such as a bunny outfit or the overly-protective Magic Bikini.
So sexist: Put this on. Go fight that monster. Then make me a sandwich, bitch.
If I had to name one thing, I think the worst thing about Dragon Quest VIII is the fact that it’s an outdoor running simulator. You’ll get tired watching this one guy running around a park in Canada that is just about as clean as one too. When you finally retire and move to Canada (national health care, hello) you’ll be disappointed at all the dog doo anywhere there’s grass. Nature is so perfect when rendered electronically that no one will ever go outside again.
Also, I don’t understand why people need a good game to be long. Therefore, folks, just do what I do: fall asleep with the game on and you soon will have 100+ hours logged in on your memory card. The words “world map music” has significant meaning to me now, through the power of my subconscious…
The Bottom Line
This is old school gaming at its finest, a generation later when the kids don’t get you and don’t even know who Han Solo is; don’t you know how fast he did the Kessel run? (sorry Drunken Irishman, no more pop culture references)
Another cryptic way to put it is everything wrong is right again.
Mar 25th, 2008 · PlayStation 2
Dragon Quest Finally returns to NA!
by Rich Hollands (6)
Stunning visuals. Great replay ability.
Music at times does not seem to fit right.
The Bottom Line
Well first let me say, "Wow!". This game this is shaping up to be one of the most thrilling games I have played in a while. Where does one begin when reviewing a game of this magnitude? Let's start of with the controls! Also let me warn you that I am in no way a pro with writing reviews and I am just a hardcore RPG player and want to share my thoughts on the game with everyone! Having played DW games since the NES days I had a fair idea as to how the controls would handle. Being the game is the first fully 3-D game and with the addition of the Cel-shading I was wondering how this game would handle. The character movement is sharp and the response time for the commands is just right. I found that the controls have a fluid feel and the menu and such is well laid out. The Menu has been redefined and it takes some getting used to but after a half hour it was like second nature to me.Controls Rating = B+
Next up Visuals. The game looks beautiful. This is some of the best cel-shading I have ever seen in a game. The look and feel of the world is breathtaking. One of the neat features is the ability to go into first person viewing and take a look at your surroundings. I highly recommend running around the lush environment and taking peeks at all there is to see. Visual Rating = A+
Voice Acting. Superb from what I have seen so far. This is also the First Dragon Quest game to have voice acting and it is spot on. Pleasant voices seem to capture the emotion of the characters speaking. Voice Acting = A
Interest value. This game has set the stage for a mystery or two. The opening intro leaves a lot of question to be answered and during the first mission to the waterfall cavern still much is left out in the open. After a couple hours the game still has not really explained the relationship to the other members in your party. I believe these relationships will be slowly introduced as time goes on though. Interest Value = B-
Overall rating. So far this game is an exceptional addition to the Dragon Quest series. With the beautiful visuals, brilliant voice acting, and the growing interest value I think we have a game for the ages here. I am willing to bet this will be trumpeted as one of the best games in the series. Square-Enix has put together a exceptional game and it should attract fans young and old. I highly recommend picking this game up! Bravo Square-Enix! Overall Rating for Dragon Quest 8 = A-
Apr 9th, 2006 · PlayStation 2
If only they made the turn-based combat better...
by Indra was here (20774)
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)
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.
Mar 6th, 2006 · PlayStation 2
Contributors to this Entry
Critic reviews added by nyccrg, Alaka, chirinea, SGruber, Wizo, Jeanne, Alsy, Cavalary, Mobygamesisreanimated, Solid Flamingo, Sciere, Tim Janssen, Emiliano Valori, CalaisianMindthief, Vovo 30, Cantillon, Jacob Gens, DreinIX, Patrick Bregger, Big John WV, yenruoj_tsegnol_eht (!!ihsoy).