Rawrb gets down and nerdy with Dragon Quest VIII. Does it contain the same, addictive, grinding fun of the previous games or is it yet another stupid leap into 3d? He'll BLAZEMOST his way out of a wet paper Wyvern in this review! HAR HAR HAR
So let it be known - I'm a huge dork. Nerd if you will. Take video games for example - at the tender age of... something like 4, I don't recall; I was going crazy on the Atari 2600. My face was ebraced by pixelated joy that was Venture, Pac-man, Space Invaders, and so forth.
Something like 23 years later, my unhealthy passion for gaming has brough me to this, this... band. Wait, bad example. Hmm... alright I got nothing.
The original Dragon Quest/Warrior came out in '85 or so in Japan. Then it hit our shores in uh, 86? Maybe 87? Oh yes, the very first DQ was something of a bore, but still somewhat fun, especially for the mid 80s. I mean, what else did we have to do? Go outside? Learn how to fix a car? Psshaw, absolutely not. We had Nintendo, and that's all that mattered.
Every sequel thereafter was an absolute joy to play. Unfortunately for us stupid Americans, Enix decided to stop bringing the Dragon Quest games to the 'states after Dragon Quest IV. I shall spare you the rant I've already been on before, and let loose with what we did get... many, many years later.
Dragon Quest VIII starts out with you on the road with your buddy Yangus, your cursed King, his cursed daugher, and a rat-hamster-thing as your pet. The Questing that is transpiring, or rather, the goal of your questation is to get your king and princess un-cursificated. The theory of becoming de-cursified is to slay the fuck out of Dhoulmagus, which is a stereotypical villian-jester-type.
Hi, I'm a villian. Watch me look and act villian-ish!
Yep, that's right. So you keep on truckin' along, eventually having a couple more party members join up with you, which is very common amongst the Dragon Quest games. The only difference this time around is that they're all in glorious cell-shaded 3D, especially your female protragonist.
They sure paid attention to the detail of the... foliage!
Since we're talking about uh, visuals, I won't beat around the bush. The engine behind the game sure is a BOOBS of a good time, let alone the BOUNCY attention to detail in every... ass-pect of your 3DDD environment. Heh. Sometimes it's necessary to cram horrible innuendos into a review. Cram. Into. Okay, I'm done.
Some joking aside, the game looks amazing. I've always loved the concept of cell-shading, and other than Zelda: The Wind Waker, this is probably the best I've seen from that generation of games. I'd go as far as saying, "They should do some prequel remakes using this engine" but that would result in Square-Enix NOT releasing those very remakes here in the 'states, so I hope they don't listen to my request.
No, I'm not bitter.
Graphics, check. The Story? Well, up until a certain point in the game, it's pretty predictable. After you actually finish the game, a bonus dungeon is unlocked that reveals a ton of awesome info on your main character. Yeah, then you can get a different, BETTER ending beyond that. Very cool and stuff.
The music has a very "Dragon Questy" feel to it, with a special little twist: the music was recorded by an actual orchestra! That's right, it's not some crappy MIDI setup, it's the real deal and it makes a huge difference. I've had several of the songs stuck in my head while trying to play shows, which is why I sound so awesome live. Keep that in mind. The only bad thing is that it can get a bit repetitive.
On top of being awesome musically, all of the main plot moments, or more commonly known as cutscenes, contain voice acting. After Final Fantasy X, I was very worried about... voices and... horrible, horrible... everything. But surprisingly enough the performances are more than adequate - downright moving at times. Very well done voice-director-guys!
PS2 owners that happen to like RPGs - pick this game up if you haven't yet, and let it make sweet, sweet love to your eyes, ears, and possibly sex organs depending on how twisted you are. Dragon Quest IX is coming out for DS, probably not to the USA, since Dragon Quest IV DS hasn't been announced yet. Hurray for that.
|Gameplay||Fun as hell if you like turn based RPG battawrls!||4.5|
|Music/Sound||Amazing. Gets a little repetitious, but that's the ONLY flawr.||4.5|
|Replay Value||Once you get everything and see the multiple endings, there's not much else to do.||3.5|
|Originality||It's Dragon Quest, it's not THAT original.||3.5|
|Cleavage||The Japanese know their boobays.||4.5|
|Final Verdict: 4.25|