Dragon Quest VIII Journey of the Cursed King is a remake of the classic PS2 game released in 2005. Brought to the 3DS with better graphics this game is sure to be a hit with fans of the story. Never playing a Dragon Quest game before I was eager to see what all the hype was about. It did not disappoint. Like most other RPG games, you get to name your character to your own choosing giving you a better connection to the story. The story kept me entertained with different plot twists and surprises along the way. At first you venture alongside Yangus as your right-hand man, but throughout the course of the story you add more members to your team such as Jessica and Angelo. The ultimate goal is to find Dhoulmagus the antagonist of the game and defeat him. The game has a great story and will keep you intrigued if RPG’s are your type of game.
Each character having their own special abilities, attacks, weapons etc. makes the way you play the game completely different from anyone else’s experience. Each character has their own weapon to choose from about 4-5 different weapons. Based on the weapon you choose; your skill points you get for leveling up can make those weapons better. Things such as adding +10 attack to your sword or giving said sword a new type of attack. It also gives you something to work towards instead of hopelessly mashing A through the fights and hoping to win.
One of the elements of the game that didn’t necessarily make or break the game for me, but was a wonderful added feature, was the ability to change the camera angle to your choosing. By just hitting the left or right bumpers the camera would spin 360 degrees to your choosing letting you take in the environment around you. So many 3DS games have set camera angles making it hard to feel fully in control of what you’re doing. Dragon Quest lets you have that control and it is such a great feeling. As simple as it is, it’s a nice touch to the game.
With the moving camera feature comes something I found to be pointless throughout the game — picture taking. A lot of games nowadays no matter the platform have been trying to implement picture taking into the game and selling it as this cool feature that you should use. Dragon Quest does the same thing. An in-game character will come up to you and tell you all about picture taking and offering some small reward in return for doing so. I found this feature of the game to not be annoying but just simply pointless. It isn’t pushed on you more than once and it isn’t a forced feature, but it is entirely not needed on my opinion. Unless the feature is needed by the game I will not understand why game developers continue adding it in.
As mentioned before this was my first time playing a Dragon Quest game so going in I was not sure what to expect. When starting the game, there is not much hand holding. In fact, there is very little. You are not told where to go. You are not told how your skill points work or leveling up or battling the monsters for that matter. I know people complain about all that tutorial stuff in games but sometimes it is needed. I found myself hours into the game discovering new and simple things about the game I didn’t know because they were never pointed out to me at any time. The things I figured out actually helped to defeat some of the difficult bosses throughout the game.
My favorite thing about this game was the voice acting and dialogue between characters. Whether it was witty banter back and forth or meeting a new character I loved the voice acting. Not very often (at least in my experience) do you see voice acting in a 3DS game. It was something that honestly caught me by surprise and I found myself not skipping the text as I normally do in RPG games. Listening to the characters and what seemed to be British accents was an enjoyable part of the game. The script for the game coincides with the voice acting very nicely. There was definitely more dialogue but with voice acting there needs to be or else the game would be boring. Each character has their own personality and it truly shines through with the voice acting. This hopefully paves the way for 3DS games in the future to follow this trend.