DQ8 is gorgeous

I got my DQ8 demo disc in the mail today, and I gotta say that I’m impressed. The disc comes with two modes: story and battle. Story goes through one traditional DQ quest - information gathering, story advancement, some dungeon delving, a boss showdown, wrapping up the story arc, and getting a clue on where to go next. The battle mode lets you try out 4 of the characters at higher levels so you can see what abilities you have to look forward to. As far as I can tell, they give you access to all the abilities, as long as you take the time to level your characters enough. (No save function though. :P)

The game is cel-shaded, but it looks fantastic… not overly goofy, just that light touch of goofy that fits so well into a DQ game. Remember those people who complained about DW7’s graphics being so “crappy”? Well, those people can all shut the hell up. DQ8 is a different beast entirely. All the battle motions are wonderfully animated, and the slimes are more bouncy than ever. All the characters and enemies have awesome shadow effects, that actually look like real shadows and not just blobs. The whole game has this high-quality cartoon feel, which I think strikes a great balance between realism and stylized artwork.

The interface is very smooth, easy to figure out from the get-go. It features a nice look-around mode, so you can appreciate the level of detail that goes into the surroundings. As time passes (in real time), you can look up at the twilight sky and watch the stars start to appear. It’s pretty cool.

Instead of a world map, the entire world is one big area for you to run around, not unlike the 3D Zelda games. The overworld terrain is nice and varied too, so you’ll find yourself going up on a hill to scope out your surroundings, for example. Just another nice touch that adds to the adventuring experience. And instead of boring blockish mazes for dungeons, the dungeons really LOOK like dungeons. The cave I went into was a little sparse on details, what with its really long corridors, but at least it felt like a real cave.

It looks as though there’s no more class system. Now it’s all about weapon proficiencies. After a character gains a level, they get a certain number of points to allocate to various skill sets (bound to weapon types). Increase a set enough and you learn more abilities. Characters also have a built-in charge up ability, which I found to be useful enough to warrant making it its own menu item. Oh yes, and now when there is a group of enemies of a certain type, you FINALLY get to choose which of the enemies in that group to target. Wise move, S-E.

As if the eye candy’s not enough, the ear candy is pretty sweet too. The soundtrack is typical top-notch Dragon Quest, and there are even a few bits that are reminiscent of the original DQ. The voice acting, which they use a lot in the game, is superb, some of the best I’ve heard inside a game or outside. I especially love King Trode’s voice, which sounds exactly like his froggy character should. :stuck_out_tongue: Many of the characters have distinct accents, complete with appropriate slang, which goes to show how much effort went into the localization.

Speaking of localization, it seems that in spite of having a well-localized dialogue, most of the traditional items and names have been restored to their Japanese counterparts – or at least, that’s what I’m guessing they are. For instance, Babbles are Bubble Slimes, Wings of the Wyvern are Chimera Wings, and Firebal is now called Fizz. I’m not sure if I like the changes, since I feel that the Americanization of Dragon Quest early on was pretty intelligently done. (At least they did something more than just call the spells Fire1, Fire2, Fire3 :P) But I feel that the dialogue is the most important part of the translation, and that was given first-class treatment.

Check it out come November. You won’t regret it.

I know the spell names are all onamopeia(sp) but I’d be happy if there was a rename option for the old-style american bastardizations.

God I want this game :D~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Just for a plug: the guy in charge of localization is Richard Honeywood, the same one who did Chrono Cross, which probably explains the accents. :sunglasses: He also happens to be my contact at Square Enix, so praising his work inexplicably gives me a fuzzy feeling inside.

I SO can’t wait to get this game and lose several weeks playing it.

That sounds like a pretty cool demo. I wish I had gotten one now. :bowser:

I haven’t gotten my demo yet. :\ I’m sad inside. And thirsty - could you pass my Hatorade?

I didn’t get my demo or slime yet either. :frowning:

I have to agree the Demo is quite awesome. If anyone complains about the graphics then they need to be thrown off a cliff. :stuck_out_tongue: 984 the keychains are sent seperate from the demos, you should get your demo and then sometime later get your keychain. One of the things I like most about DQ8 is that there is people talking instead of just reading.

The menu system makes it feel less and less like a Dragon Quest game to me. As I mentioned in another thread, the menus kind of make it feel like Star Ocean.

Aside from that (and a seconding of Deadtear’s request to have an option to bring back the old-school American names of spells), I’m pretty happy with it. I’ll probably still import it, just to see the game with its original menus, though.

What are the menus like? I just got my Demo Disc this morning, but probly won’t play it til tonight or tommorow night.

I hate that I forgot to ask this earlier - how is the demo mailed? Is it USPS?
(I’m trying to place a window on my hope for delivery…)

I haven’t gotten my demo yet. :frowning:

I think it was shipped just regular mail at least it showed up in my mailbox and didn’t have anything on it to do with UPS. It took 17 days from the day I ordered to recieve mine in the mail.

“As if the eye candy’s not enough, the ear candy is pretty sweet too.”

There’s wax in honey comb

I’m still awaiting my demo disc as well.

I received my disc last night - I swear, I was more excited about playing it than I was about the trip to Disney World I’m taking tomorrow. :smiley:

I only had one teensy beef with it so far. When the voice acting is on, the way that an “S” sound sounds is kinda bad, really crackly like someone was too close to a microphone. I hope it was just my TV.