Video Game Review: Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King – A Return To Greatness – Geek Node

Video Game Review: Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King – A Return To Greatness

Written by
  • Level 5
  • Square Enix
  • Nintendo Distributor South Africa
  • Nintendo Distributor South Africa
  • RPG
  • Single Player
  • Nintendo 3DS

So we’re a little bit into the new year and while there is indeed a lot for us to look forward to, it’s always worthwhile taking a look back. In gaming we usually get to do this with our backlogs but sometimes we get to revisit some classics with re-releases and remasters. For the 3DS we get to return to the PS2 classic, Dragon Quest VIII, and while JRPGs don’t always get the pleasure of standing the test of time, this release will pleasantly surprise both new and returning players.

Let’s be real for a second, while we may love some older games sometimes they just don’t stand the test of time gameplay wise. Stories and art, those can be timeless but sometimes gameplay conventions just don’t stand the test of the time. Classic JRPGs often fall victim to this but we often find a way to nostalgia-goggle our way out of this. Once these games come to different platforms however things get a little tricky but fortunately Dragon Quest VIII on the 3DS has a way of overcoming this. Even if the core game is still very much the same, the move to 3DS has mode a few quality of life adjustments that make the return to the classic Dragon Quest a more than pleasant affair.

It might not seem like much but being able to speed up battles can make a world of difference. Suddenly time-consuming, dragged out animations go by in a blink of an eye, leaving the player spend more time issuing commands than watching battles. This change is a welcome addition to the already solid gameplay of Dragon Quest VIII and helps the aged title keep up with more modern games. Those of you who have experience with the Dragon Quest series will know what to expect from VIII and those who do not should be prepared to experience some dated RPG systems that, while complex at first, become quite straightforward as the player progresses through the title. It’s all still the same gameplay one has come to expect from the series, with a couple of niceties to make the journey a little more enjoyable to experience.

Dragon Quest VIII is once again a more traditional JRP story but, unlike VII before it, does a far better job of getting the player involved in the story. From the get-go, the player is introduced to a host of interesting and entertaining characters that provide some intense moments as well as a little humour when needed. The story of Dragon Quest VIII definitely delivers an enjoyable journey filled with more than a couple of memorable moments.

Something that bothered me about Dragon Quest VII was how slow the game was to start, with nothing of interest really happening for quite a few hours when you start the game. Fortunately Dragon Quest VIII starts off quite strong and while there may be calmer segments to the game, they are still at least quite memorable and don’t feel like they drag out the game. Dragon Quest VIII is quite a lengthy game but since its story is well written and executed in doesn’t feel like it overstays its welcome.

On top of being an interesting and enjoyable game to play, Dragon Quest VIII is also relatively pretty to look at. The art style of the Dragon Quest series is timeless and iconic, being able to stand the test of time and still remain a pleasure to witness. The Journey of the Cursed King is not presented in the way one would expect it to be. While most JRPGs have dark and gloomy visuals, Dragon Quest VIII’s world is filled with bright colours that give the game a very welcoming theme, even if it is still able to be serious when it needs to be.

Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King is the return of a classic and beloved game that can easily find itself in any 3DS owner’s library. This game will provide players with hours upon hours of entertainment that deserve to be appreciated. Returning fans and new players alike will enjoy Dragon Quest VIII on the 3DS and everything the classic title has to offer.

So we're a little bit into the new year and while there is indeed a lot for us to look forward to, it's always worthwhile taking a look back. In gaming we usually get to do this with our backlogs but sometimes we get to revisit some classics with re-releases and remasters. For the 3DS we get to return to the PS2 classic, Dragon Quest VIII, and while JRPGs don't always get the pleasure of standing the test of time, this release will pleasantly surprise both new and returning players. Let's be real for a second, while we may love some older games sometimes they just don't stand the test of time gameplay wise. Stories and art, those can be timeless but sometimes gameplay conventions just don't stand the test of the time. Classic JRPGs often fall victim to this but we often find a way to nostalgia-goggle our way out of this. Once these games come to different platforms however things get a little tricky but fortunately Dragon Quest VIII on the 3DS has a way of overcoming this. Even if the core game is still very much the same, the move to 3DS has mode a few quality of life adjustments that make the return to the classic Dragon Quest a more than pleasant affair. It might not seem like much but being able to speed up battles can make a world of difference. Suddenly time-consuming, dragged out animations go by in a blink of an eye, leaving the player spend more time issuing commands than watching battles. This change is a welcome addition to the already solid gameplay of Dragon Quest VIII and helps the aged title keep up with more modern games. Those of you who have experience with the Dragon Quest series will know what to expect from VIII and those who do not should be prepared to experience some dated RPG systems that, while complex at first, become quite straightforward as the player progresses through the title. It's all still the same gameplay one has come to expect from the series, with a couple of niceties to make the journey a little more enjoyable to experience. Dragon Quest VIII is once again a more traditional JRP story but, unlike VII before it, does a far better job of getting the player involved in the story. From the get-go, the player is introduced to a host of interesting and entertaining characters that provide some intense moments as well as a little humour when needed. The story of Dragon Quest VIII definitely delivers an enjoyable journey filled with more than a couple of memorable moments. Something that bothered me about Dragon Quest VII was how slow the game was to start, with nothing of interest really happening for quite a few hours when you start the game. Fortunately Dragon Quest VIII starts off quite strong and while there may be calmer segments to the game, they are still at least quite memorable and don't feel like…

A Timeless Journey

Successful Journeys - 9.1

9.1

Total

Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King on the 3DS is the glorious return of a beloved adventure on Nintendo's handheld. Fans of the title will be pleased to know that they'll be able to return to the game they know and love with a couple of adjustments and additions that keep the game fresh. While the game is quite lengthy, the journey is definitely an enjoyable one that'll keep fans new and old entertained for hours on end.

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BiPolarBear

Gaming Author at Geek Node
The best person to offer the worst opinion. Paul's interests include adding 100 hour JRPGs to his backlog and dark walks through dungeons. You'll probably find him rambling on about old man Nintendo or that crazy newfangled eSports thingy.
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