Published on June 3rd, 2014 | by JC Richardson3
Dragon Quest VIII Review
Back in 2004, Dragon Quest VIII caused an honest-to-God crime wave in Japan with kids being robbed of their copies outside game stores. Here in 2014 you can download it from the Play store, and thus avoid the embarrassment of being mugged by a teenager.
Yes, £13/£20 is a high price to pay for a ten year old game, but DQ8 is without a doubt one of the best RPG experiences you can have on your tablet. The transition across platforms has been surprisingly smooth, and the finished result is even more beautiful and intricate. The Ghibli-esque cel-shaded graphics look great, even with the forced portrait perspective, and although some reviews have commented on poor frame rate and insensitive controls, I can honestly say this runs perfectly on my 2014 Nexus 7. To be picky, I would agree that the camera controls could do with a tweak, as they’re a little slow to react on touch.
All the features that made DQ8 so popular are here, including the (literally) tension-building combat system, which allows players to skip a turn in favour of a tougher blow in the next round. I remember being underwhelmed by the combat ‘back in the day’, but everything seems a little more slick in this version, and combat flows smoothly with great animations.
DQ8 has, as far as I have found so far, all the rich plot and masses of quests from the original game, but this isn’t necessarily to everyone’s taste. The questing features a lot of the runaround that modern developers are happy to skip over – ‘go there and find this, or I won’t give you that’ – but there’s so much to discover along the way that everything is worth doing on at least some level.
Your adventure is soundtracked beautifully with an orchestral score that ebbs and flows from moody atmospheres to rousing battle marches. It really is superb, and testament to the sheer amount of talent and craftsmanship that has gone into DQ8, both ten years ago and today.
Summary: Dragon Quest 8 will bring waves of nostalgia to many, but new gamers should be excited about this too. This is a massive, beautifully polished game with no IAP's, just a surprisingly high price tag.