Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Dragon Quest : Journey of the Cursed King

Dragon Quest : Journey of the Cursed King is the eighth installment of the popular Dragon Quest series of role playing games from Square Enix. It was developed by Level-5, who also worked on the Dark Cloud series for the Sony PlayStation 2. Its full Japanese title is Dragon Quest VIII: Sora to Umi to Daichi to Norowareshi Himegimi (Japanese: 空と海と大地と呪われし姫君 - meaning 'Sky, Ocean, Earth and a Cursed Princess'). Yuji Horii oversaw the project, while Akira Toriyama (of the Dragonball fame) designed the monsters and characters, and Koichi Sugiyama resumed his role as composer.

Dragon Quest VIII sports graphics similar to those of Dark Cloud 2 (Dark Chronicle in Europe) in that it has cel-shaded textures for the characters and scenery. Dragon Quest VIII's battles are not limited to a first person perspective like its predecessors. Instead, it contains some third person views as in the recent 3D Final Fantasy games but retains several key parts of the other Dragon Quest games. The first person views for attack planning, the classic attack and magic sounds, and the victory riff are all brought back from previous games.

Released for the PlayStation 2 on November 27, 2004 in Japan, Dragon Quest VIII went on to sell over three million copies within its first week, making it the fastest selling Japanese PlayStation 2 title ever. (source: wikipedia)

The North America release came out after a whole year of redesigning the battle system's interface, as well as some other tweaks, since the production team thought Americans would find the game's interface too Japanese. The good thing for them was a really top-notch voice acting (though some times it sounds like they're dragging their lines) and of course, the extra DVD with the Final Fantasy XII demo. Don't get your hopes up... no such luck for us. But we still get to have the game!

Here I am, a European, having waited nearly 3 years for this game, after I read a preview in a Japanese magazine I had bought from London, crossing fingers that such a gorgeous looking game would find its way to our shores. Being a fan of the Dragonball series made my craving for the game even greater. Imagine my joy when I got my wish fulfilled. I bought the game as soon as I caught a glimpse of it in the shop (2 days before its official release date of April 13th!). Thus, I'm broke, but I have a lot to keep myself occupied and no need to leave the house. I've got to get back to the game since it's that good!

Visit the official european site HERE! Find out more about this great game!

A sceptre spoken of in lore...
And sealed away since days of yore,
Unleashes its forbidden power...
And heralds Trodain's darkest hour.

Brave Hero! Take up your sword!

Your quest has begun!

P.S. I'd recommend to anyone who likes RPGs to try Dark Cloud 2 as well.

Pics taken from Gamespot and CVG

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