togechu64's Dragon Quest VIII: Sora to Umi to Daichi to Norowareshi Himegimi (Ultimate Hits) (PlayStation 2) review

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Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King

Dragon Quest VIII, much in line with the Dragon Quest games of Japanese fame, is a very traditional RPG. It is turn based, with a set 4 person party, consisting of the hero, the heavy damage/weapons man, the mage, and a character that can be customized as a healer/mage/fighter or any combination of all 3. There is the traditional gaining of EXP, and leveling up, and for every time you level up, you are given a certain number of skill points you can assign to 5 different categories. Visually, the game is very exciting and looks fantastic, with a highly stylized/anime look. The game is incredibly long, and you will definitely get your moneys worth if you're looking for a good timeless RPG. Now, what can also be looked at as either a strength or its weakness, is its extremely steep difficulty curve. From the beginning, and I mean as SOON as you start the game, the game becomes very difficult. Each random ecounter can become a life threatening fight for survival, which continues to the very end of the game and beyond. Fortunately, the game is very forgiving about death, and will start you back at the local church with only the consequence of losing half your coins. There is a slight issue of framerate when there are too many enemies on the screen, the game slows down a tiny bit, but that is easily forgiven when compared to the rest of the package. The Audio is fantastic, with full orchestral pieces that are very fitting to the overall game. If you're looking for a great traditional RPG system that is simple and easy to pick up and learn, this is a great game, even in this generation, because there simply is no better substitute.

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