Square-Enixs Dragon Quest VIII: An entertaining mobile game

Written by Priya Adivarekar | Mumbai | Updated: Jun 13 2014, 20:42pm hrs
GamingIn Square-Enix?s Dragon Quest VIII, a small group of heroes travel across the land on a quest to save the kingdom from the calamities coming its way.
Dragon Quest (released as Dragon Warrior on Nintendo in 1989) made people sit up and notice the game. Within a few days, it became extremely popular especially in Japan. After all the hype surrounding the franchise, Square-Enix finally announced the mobile version of this popular game, titled Dragon Quest VIII, and it was something that we couldnt wait to get our hands on. And surprisingly, it does create an impact. Dragon Quest VIII (mobile version) is, like most of you game lovers must have guessed, a basic role - playing game (RPG). The main quest of the game is in the form of a road trip.

Here, a small group of heroes travel across the land on a quest to save the kingdom from the calamities coming its way. In the course of the game, the player, as the nameless hero, will be up against Dhoulmagus. Along the way, the player will face a variety of encounters like fighting against enemies, exploring caves and dungeons, visiting towns and toughing it out with monsters. As and when the gamer levels up, they earn points that can be put into any of the five available categories. When a certain number of points are collected in each category, your character learns a new skill or ability.

Now that the makers have presented the game in a different avatar, there are quite a few changes that one can notice. You play the game in portrait view. The eight-directional thumbstick can be found at the bottom of the screen, adjacent to the action button. Most of the encounters can be conquered with the help of just a single touch, with the help of the Fight Wisely command. Another element that we really like is how the camera icon can be used to turn around the view back and forth. One of the newest elements added to the game is the interesting tension meter, which allows you to use a characters turn to charge up for a powerful attack. Talking about the technical aspects, one does miss the incredible voice acting and orchestrated music which is present in the PS version. On a positive note, the enemies and characters look great and the animation is pretty good. The game does not need any internet connection and since it is priced exorbitantly, there are no in app purchases either. The battles are well paced and offer a tough challenge. The brilliantly designed, sprawling world of the game provides a real sense of exploration.

The controls do take a little time in getting used to the whole drill, but after a short period, we didnt face any problem. Despite all the good things, the biggest issue with the game is its compatibility. There are major frame rate issues, because of which all those who own anything lower than an iPhone 4S or iPad third generation, cannot play this game. In fact, even the above mentioned gadget owners have seen the game crashing out. But all said and done, Dragon Quest VIII still makes for an entertaining mobile game. While the two versions (mobile and PS 2) are incomparable, PS 2 certainly has an edge as it caters more to the hardcore gaming enthusiasts. Newbies who havent heard of this franchise will certainly enjoy playing the game. But the steep price and hardware restrictions may affect the download rate of this game. For those who wont get affected by the above mentioned hurdles, try it and you wont be disappointed!