Dragon Quest VIII is a fantasy RPG originally released for the PS2 and has since been ported to mobile and 3DS platforms during the decade following its original 2005 release. The game is the eighth major installment in Square Enix's celebrated JRPG series and was the first to be realized with 3D models and environments as opposed to 2D sprites.
Players follow the journey of the silent protagonist and his caravan of eccentric characters as they seek to undo a terrible curse laid upon the kingdom of Trodain by the evil mage Dhoulmagus. Like previous Dragon Quest titles, DQVIII features an open world to explore and while the main storyline necessitates a particular path through the world map, players have the opportunity to discover a variety of destinations off the proverbial beaten path.
Enemy encounters are no longer random, as hostile parties are visible on the world and dungeon maps. These unfold as traditional turn-based battles complete with menu selection. New to DQVIII is the option for party members to forgo taking any action in a turn in exchange for making their attacks more powerful during the next; players can improve the effect by skipping more turns, introducing a new element of risk-taking during battles. Most actions in battle are brought to life with 3D character and monster models. Players can attempt to defeat and capture certain enemies found throughout the world map, recruiting them as combatants for DQVIII's Monster Arena.
Party members gain experience through winning battles, and players have the opportunity to customize and upgrade stats and abilities using skill points that are rewarded with character levels. DQVIII also features item and gear crafting through the Alchemy Pot, allowing players to combine various items together to create new ones.
Square Enix introduced many enhancements to the Japanese game for the localized North American and European release including: an updated user interface, soundtrack arrangement performed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, new character animations, and even voice acting.
The original North American retail release in 2005 included a demo for Final Fantasy XII for PS2. DQVIII would later be ported to iOS and Android mobile platforms, supporting touchscreen controls. Nearly a decade after the PS2 release, Square Enix announced a 3DS version of DQVIII featuring new story elements, party members, and additional enhancements previously implemented in the North American and European localizations.
- Go anywhere in a large seamless and colorful world
- Day-night cycle that affects in-game world and NPCs enhances immersion
- Battle against a wide variety of monsters using an updated menu interface
- Watch party members deploy attacks and spells from a third-person perspective
- Control party members manually, or customize their AI for optimal battle performance
This game is also known as Dragon Quest VIII: Sora to Umi to Daichi to Norowareshi Himegimi in Japan.