Dragon Quest VIII: The Journey of the Cursed King
Well after one attempt
at writing this review and having my machine crash and losing it all,
here we go again. And itís just as well or you would be missing out on
one heck of a good game!
This is the eighth instalment of the popular series
that has OWNED Japan for so long it isnít funny. The formula hasnít
changed that much in this time but that is not the part of the game that
is what youíll react to first. OH MY GOD, the graphics on this game are
Using a cel shading technique, we have a game that
comes to living breathing in your face life. If players are not
impressed by this you need your head examined! Simply look at the
screenshots on this review and see if I am wrong.
The storyline revolves around a stolen sceptre, taken
by a wizard called Dhoulmagus, cursing the castle it was taken from and
turning the royalty into hideous creatures. As a guard from the palace,
you are the hero of the story and are on the hunt across the lands to
find Dhoulmagus and break the spell that holds the king and his castle
under itís thrall.
Now we know that graphics arenít the only thing that
make a good game great. This is an exploring adventure at itís heart,
plain and simple and the lighthearted approach to both the animation and
storyline put it above a lot of the doom and gloom titles that weíve had
to suffer through lately.
Being a role playing game, you can expect character
development to take place during the game along with the increase in
experience that you gain from having encounters with others. I havenít
played an RPG in a while and it was nice to have the random battle
develop on occasion as though the PS2 was my dungeon master and had just
thrown the dice for me.
The battles are well paced and measured to make sure
that you are more than aware of when you are having a boss battle.
Normal fights are enjoyable but over quickly, whereas there will be a
much higher level of challenge when it comes to fighting one of the big
boys. Tactics then will be more essential than ever, and working out
whatís best for you quickly is certainly a task but worth the effort to
make it through in one piece.
You battle your way through your turn based fights,
using might and magic to get the job done and the effects look great!
You can use the abilities of the characters in your party to administer
different attacks and although the amount of characters you can
manipulate is small, it really helps the flow of the game by not
getting bogged down by trying work a ton of playable characters at
Add to the games dynamics the ability of using
alchemy to create weapons and items with a system that novice gamers can
easily get into, but more experienced players will get a blast from the
massive amount of things that you can do when you get into it. It is the
sort of stuff that will keep you playing this game for almost forever.
This is a game that you will be in love with. Itís
got all the ingredients that anyone who likes gaming should be in love
with. Great story, beautiful graphics and a control system to die for,
mix that up and add to the ingredients a jam packed game full of extras
and you are set.
This title is fully worth the price of entry that
they are asking for and all the gang at impulsegamer highly recommend it
for fans of compelling RPGs, as this one truly sets the bar really high
and potentially wonít be topped on this system. Iíd love to be proved
wrong so weíll just see what happens.
In the meantime though, do yourself a favour and join
us in the Journey of the Cursed King!