Dragon Quest has been a popular RPG title since its initial release in 1986, but none of its titles quite ever matched up to 8 and never will. Between a monster arena where you can collect and fight your monsters to an amazingly detailed storyline and full-voiced cut-scenes, it was a true masterpiece for the series. Released in 2004 as a PS2 title, it seemed lost to the sands of time. So you can imagine how thrilled I was to see it had been adapted to the mobile version (available for $19.99 in the Google Playstore). I immediately purchased it, hoping for the best but expecting the worst.
I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED!
Not only has the game been remastered, with brighter color and better resolution, but the game had been left identical to its original. The voice acting has been replaced with subtitles, a small and inconsequential loss, but the game is overall astoundingly well adapted. I felt such joy to run through the kingdom with Yangus, Jessica, and Angelo once again, riding my saber-tooth tiger and achieving all manner of quests and tasks. The cut scenes are just as funny as they were the first time, and it was a fantastic walk down memory lane almost 20 years later. The game has been available for quite some time but seemed slow to latch on compared to the original. I highly recommend gamers take the time to visit this gem.
As a young soldier of the Trodain Kingdom, you travel the world seeking Dhoulmagus, the evil mage. He has turned your king and leader into a small troll-like creature that rides with you, often spouting sharp, acidic wit or occasionally grains of valuable information to assist you in the direction you should next travel. The mage also turned the entire Trodain kingdom into a land of thorns and people frozen in time, seemingly having become some form of the plant themselves. Throughout your travels, you will meet a variety of companions and foes, all to a delightfully upbeat background score, amazing and odd wildlife, and wonderfully done scenery and scripting.
If playing on anything larger than a smartphone screen, one minor flaw is the control system. With the control being a large circle in the corner of the screen (able to be adjusted for right or left-handed players), it can occasionally become a challenge to keep the character moving or maintaining direction. However, this is a minor nuisance in the face of such greatness, especially if you, like me, are old enough to remember full 2D action games, lol. A true test of patience, skill, and sometimes controller construction strength when it proved too tricky, becoming a projectile of immature rage. I have not been so enthralled with such simplicity in a long time. It was a wonderful escape from demanding timelines, huge maps with so many choices, and overall just too much reality for R&R. Now, don’t misunderstand. It offers the player many decisions and challenges, with each subsequent area the player travels providing higher-level opponents, as well as a whole new variety for those who choose who need to level up to continue.
A fantastic walk through the early 2000s without any outstanding cost, I wish anyone looking to take a break from the world of MMO or RPG that require hours of effort to achieve any one goal strongly consider adding it to your collection and giving it a try. Easy enough for my ten-year-old to comprehend without much explaining, but still as much fun as it ever was, a sure win for parents of young gamers who want a less violent experience!
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