Just RPG - Reviews, PC and PS2 Walkthroughs, Previews, and RPG News!





HOME

Reviews
Previews
Walkthroughs
Strategy Guides
Articles
Interviews
Editorials
Links
About Us
Past Issues

June 14, 2011
March 22, 2011
Feb. 28, 2011
Dec. 14, 2010
Nov. 23, 2010
Nov. 9, 2010
Oct. 26, 2010
Oct. 6, 2010
Sept. 21, 2010
Sept. 14, 2010
Sept. 7, 2010
Aug. 31, 2010
Aug. 24, 2010
Aug. 17, 2010
Aug. 8, 2010
June 15, 2010
January, 2010
Dec. 21, 2009
Past Issues

Age of Conan: Unchained
Dark Souls
Dreamlords: Resurrection
Final Fantasy IV In-Pack Items
Mount and Blade: With Fire and Sword
League of Legends: Co-op V.S. AI
Final Fantasy IV
Duke Nukem Forever
Divine Souls Open Beta
inSANE
Mass Effect 3 Unveiled
League of Legends: Cassiopeia
League of Legends: Trundle
King Arthur: The Druids
Majesty 2: Monster Kingdom
RIFT Closed Beta
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Magicka
Pandora Saga
DC Universe Online Screenshots
Fallout: New Vegas Add-On Content
League of Legends: Lux
Bloodline Champions: The Nomad
Majesty 2: Battles of Ardania
League of Legends: Battle Training
League of Legends: LeBlanc
Iron Cross
Prinny 2
Crusade Kings 2
Lionehart Kings' Crusade
Borderlands Game of the Year Edition
Castlevania Harmony of Despair DLC
Ys: The Oath in Felghana
Spiderweb Software's Birthday
League of Legends: Swain
Gormiti: Lords of Nature!
Disgaea 4
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
League of Legends: Magma Chamber
League of Legends: Sona
War of Angels
King of Kings 3: Mage
Legend of Edda
Lionheart:Kings' Crusade
Cladun
Dreamlords
TERA
League of Legends
Silkroad Online Battle Arena
Grand Chase Thunder Hammer
Aika Global
The Shadow Sun
Saw ll: Flesh and Blood
TERA
Neverwinter
League of Legends
Castlevania Harmony of Despair
Smash Your Food
I SPY Spooky Mansion
Hexyz Force
World of Tanks
League of Legends
Mass Effect 2
DOFUS 2.0
DOFUS Screens
FFXIII Box
Puzzle Chron.
Gyromancer
Warhammer OL
Star Trek OL
Lost Saga Scr
Marvel DLC
League Legends
Poxnora
Demon's Souls
League Legends
League Beta
Fort Zombie
Arc Rise Fantasia
Arc Rise Screens
Mimana Iyar
League Screens
Marvel DLC
Free Realms
Adventures To Go
Fusion PR Group
Demon's Souls
AdventureQuest
Witch's Tale
League Legends
Half-Minute Scr
Half-Minute
Freaky Scr.
Valhalla
Dragon Quest
Vandal Hearts
Mytheon
Risen
Gemini Lost
Freaky
Gyromancer
FF Crystal
Dragon Quest
Star Trek OL
Fort Zombie
Disgaea 2
FF Crystal
Champions OL
Wizard of Oz
Star Ocean
League Legends
Valhalla Scr.
Dragon Age
Marvel Ultimate
Risen Website
League Legends
Adventurequest
Final Fantasy
Agarest War
Agarest War Scr.
Demon's Souls
SMT: Persona
Pangya
Dragon Age
Warhammer
Mana Khemia 2
Runes of Magic
Cursed Mtn.
Cursed Mtn. Scr.
Freaky Creature
Phantom Brave
Runes of Magic
Aion Goes Gold
Free Realms
Wizards Exec
Freaky Creature
Arma II
Champions
Aion CG Movie
Marvel Ultimate
FFIV Dev Diary
Steambot Chron.
League Legends
Phantom Brave
Runes of Magic
Champions
Champions Vid.
League Legends
League Trailer
Risen Screens
Freaky Creature
Star Treak DAC
Phantom Brave
Demon's Souls
Geneforge
The Witcher
Free Realms
Runes of Magic
Demon's Souls
Aion Screens
Fallout 3 DLC
Marvel Ultimate
PuchiPuchi Virus
League Legends
Fallout 3 DLC
Mytheon
Wizard of Oz
Oz Screens
Marvel Ultimate
La Tale
Asda Story
Avernum 6
Battle Fantasia
League Legends
Adventurequest
Warpforce
New Nintendo
Aion
FF Crystal Chron.
Mind Twist
Little King's
Stan Lee, Marvel
Elf Island
Ether Saga
Wizard101
Demon's Souls
League Legends
FFXI Trailer
Champions Online
Free Realms
Aion Preorder
BioShock/Elder
Silkroad Online
Warpforce
Warpforce Scr.
Runes Screens
Runes of Magic
League Legends
Marvel Ultimate
FF XIV
Knights
Asda Story
Champions
League Legends
Runes of Magic
FF XIV Online
Time of Shadows
Kingdom Hearts
FF IV
Demon's Souls
Lunar
League Release
League Trailer
Cross Edge
Runes of Magic
Phantom Brave
Crimson Gem
DC Universe
Freaky
SMT Devil
Steal Princess
Steal Screens
Wizard101
SMT Devil
Runes of Magic
Warrior Epic
Fallout 3 DLC
League Legends
League Screens
Bounty Bay
Bounty Bay Scr.
Ragnarok Scr.
Ragnarok Online
Runes of Magic
Time of Shadows
Time Scr.
Steambot Chron.
Adventures
Adventures Scr.
Warrior Epic
Sacred 2 Ships
Disgaea 2
Last Rebellion
Mana Khemia 2
Sakura Wars
Witch's Tale
Runes of Magic
Runes Screens
Class of Heroes
Sacred Trailer
Valhalla Knights
Wizard101 Gift
Freaky Creatures
Playboy Manager
Blizzcon 2009
Champions
Little King
League Legends
Wizard101
Wizard101 Scr.
Neverwinter
Warrior Epic Beta
Elder Scrolls
Warrio Epic Beta
Sacred 2
Utopia Kingdoms
Wizard101
Tweet in Games
Star Trek D-A-C
Champions
Champions Vid.
DragonSky Scr.
DragonSky
Free Realms
Free Realms Scr.
FFXI Vana'diel
DC Universe
Warrior Epic Scr.

 





Developer:
Level5
Publisher: Square Enix
Platform: PlayStation 2
Release Date: November 15, 2005

by Tony Ames




Conspicuously absent since 2001, the first RPG series from Japan, Dragon Quest (long called Dragon Warrior on this side of the Pacific), has returned at last. Bigger, bolder, gleaming with all the polish a PlayStation 2 game can muster, Square Enixís other flagship series has set out to reinvent and re-establish itself in the States. Dragon Quest VIII does it all, treading that close line between being stubbornly old-fashioned in its series tradition and being just plain pretty enough to draw in a crowd.


The visual prowess of DQVIII doesnít lie in its over-the-top cinemas, though; it doesnít use those. It does, however, have absolutely massive locales, sweeping vistas that capture the sheer size of your quest in a way no RPG in a long, long time has managed. Beyond that? Well, the art of Akira Toriyama has long been a series selling point, and with the help of cel-shading, DQVIII really drives home his unique style. Sure, the faces are a touch stiff, but on the whole the game does a fair job of avoiding the sort of straight face shots that would make this minor issue stand out.


The sound is like a face shot in a totally different sense, one that says, "this is too good, someone give me a slap to make sure Iím not dreaming!" Yes, itís just that damned good. As though inspired by the sweeping vistas of their world, the songs of DQVIII are high symphonic fare, almost certainly straight from Dragon Quest VIII Symphonic Suit, or the arranged soundtrack. The adapted music excellently captures the awe and wonder of so much in the game, and while they donít necessarily stand out on their own, the effect in context is amazing.


For all that, though, what really stands out is the voices. To borrow a quote, they're practically perfect in every way. While the British voices are fantastic all around, the real show-stealer is Yangus. This rambling, slightly incoherent cockney thief represents probably the best voice work to be heard in gaming, and after a while you start to look forward to playing more just in the hopes of hearing a little more from him.


Which isn't to say the game isn't likable enough without him. In short, Dragon Quest VIII follows the journey of Trode, King of Trodain, and more specifically one of his retainers (that'd be our hero, the 'guv' as Yangus would say) as they try to track down a treacherous magician who cursed Trodain and everyone in it, excepting you of course. Things snowball from there, ultimately leading to much world traveling, demon-king slaying, and land saving. While DQVIII, as you might guess, is a bit light on plot, and what is there is rather firmly on the clichť side, it still manages to be entertaining enough--the clearly defined cast and a great willingness to be either silly or serious as the situation needed helping immensely. Coupled with the positively oozing polish, it's really more effective than it has a right to be. For example, when your journey brings you full circle to the castle of Trodain again, and you see for the first time the full force of the curse on it, it's very powerful, and moments like these are really what define the game.


Although, really, like the games of yore that Dragon Quest VIII most resembles beneath its modern surface, it depends foremost on battles and exploration to complete the game. That said, battles are actually incredibly basic; an old-fashioned turn-based affair with none of the complicated turn meters or action elements or what have you. While you have a fair degree of control over the make-up of your four characters, and innumerable ways to increase your strength via sidequesting, forging new items in your Alchemy Pot, exploring the vast world around you, battle itself remains the same throughout. While the handful or so of bosses provide tense, lengthy battles, and even common enemies can prove lethal given half a chance, combat in DQVIII is, well, fundamentally boring.


Of course, all those exploration and sidequesting aspects really take up far more time in general, and for anyone that's started to think they just aren't getting their money's worth out of RPGs lately (I know I have), Dragon Quest VIII does not disappoint. Sinking 50 hours into this beast is deceptively easy, and that's before beating the game and getting a chance at earning the game's second ending, with more than its share of fierce new beasts. Never mind the more normal sidequests, which are pretty vast in themselves.


In all, Dragon Quest VIII is a fun, charming game whose biggest problem is probably what makes it stand out in the first place; it's a huge, old-fashioned monster of a game, which both makes the game work and provides a fair bit of frustration. However, none of that can really deny how much fun the game can be when it's really on top of things. Not the best choice for a casual player, but definitely recommended for a serious RPG fan.


Final Grade: 85%




All materials © 2000-2010 Just RPG
RPG Network: Free MMORPG | RPG Music