Appstore gamers who love role-playing games are fortunate to have multiple Square Enix titles to choose from. From their iconic Final Fantasy series to gems like Adventures of Mana, the revered company is well represented on the Appstore.
And now, another incredible role-playing adventure from their catalogue has joined the party. DRAGON QUEST VIII brings more of everything you love about Square Enix games to the Appstore: Gorgeous visuals, memorable characters, refined role-playing concepts, and a sweeping story that will grab you and never let go.
The game was immensely popular when it was first released, going on to sell almost five million copies worldwide. When we first began to delve into the game’s world, we immediately knew we had a worthy contender for our Game of the Week honors. So read on to find out why DRAGON QUEST VIII is one journey worth taking.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Before purchasing and downloading DRAGON QUEST VIII, please make sure that your device is compatible and capable of running the game
A Tribe Called Quest
Let’s start with DRAGON QUEST VIII’s plot. We don’t want to spoil anything, but as you can expect, the game follows a band of heroes who come together to battle an evil that is threatening the land. Along the way, they’ll discover their inner strength, test their mettle against formidable foes, and ultimately save the day. If you’ve ever played a Japanese role-playing game, you’ll be on familiar ground here, as most of DRAGON QUEST VIII’s core concepts hew close to genre conventions. But additions like the Tension system that allows you to juice up your attacks and the interesting character designs help the game stand out from the pack.
You can thank the incredible collection of talent behind the game for that. The team as a whole is impressive, but three names are especially worth mentioning. DRAGON QUEST VIII was helmed by Yuji Horii, who created the series and whose portfolio of work also includes the iconic RPG, Chrono Trigger. Character designs were handled by Akira Toriyama who created a little thing called Dragon Ball, among many other insanely popular works. The music was composed by Koichi Sugiyama, whose incredible creations have served as the backdrop of previous DRAGON QUEST titles. The combined talent and team chemistry is clearly on display, resulting in a title that lives up to the high bar set for the genre.
One Hand On The Wheel
Porting an adventure as big as DRAGON QUEST VIII to mobile devices might seem difficult, but Square Enix has a lot of experience optimizing games for portable platforms. As a result, the Appstore version of this game shines on both phones and tablets. The game’s beautiful graphics are sharp, and the cel-shaded visuals pop off the screen. Playing on a tablet is optimal as you can take advantage of the extra real estate, but the game plays beautifully on phones.
The game’s control scheme is also intuitive and easy to grasp, which is an important consideration for mobile gamers who don’t have the benefit of controllers bristling with buttons. An on-screen directional pad handles movement while most commands are issued with a tap. You can also customize aspects of the controls to your liking, which is something we wish more mobile developers would offer.
YouTube video source: Black_jack1221
Tools of the Trade
As is the case with many RPGs, DRAGON QUEST VIII has a lot of diversions that will entice you to stray from the game’s core narrative. There’s a monster arena where you can enter the creatures you collect on your travels into battles. It’s a surprisingly deep mode that will eat up quite a bit of your time. The Appstore version also comes complete with The Casino where you can go and try your luck in three different games.
It’s these diversions that help offset some of the concerns over the premium price tag. Appstore gamers are used to paying almost nothing for the mobile games, especially if you get your games from Amazon Underground where every title is absolutely free, so ponying up almost twenty dollars may seem like a huge deal. However, the sheer amount of content combined with the beautiful visuals and refined touchscreen controls offers a mind boggling value. Many gamers who played DRAGON QUEST VIII when it was first released on the PlayStation 2 reported playtimes of over seventy hours on just the main quest alone!
YouTube video source: gocalibergaming
And that’s the most amazing fact about DRAGON QUEST VIII: it used to be a full fledged title that required a fairly powerful console to enjoy. Now, that same experience is available to you on your mobile device in all its glory. Whether you’re already familiar with the game or you’re trying it out for the first time, DRAGON QUEST VIII will take you on an unforgettable journey full of action and adventure.