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01-16-2017

Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King

Sometimes, you get things right on the first try. 

That's the philosophy which has guided the Dragon Quest series for thirty years, and it's hard to argue. The franchise has consistently been a top seller in Japan, and Dragon Quest games are known for their length and quality. They're also known to be quite traditional, and combat is still handled from a turn-based, first-person perspective, just as it was on the NES. Despite all its success in its home country, the series has never made the transition to mass popularity in the West, though not for lack of trying. 

Dragon Quest games tend to come late in a system's life, and publisher Square Enix has always waited to see what the dominant console will be before committing the resources to put out a Dragon Quest title for that system. Dragon Quest VIII first came out at the tail end of the PlayStation 2's life cycle, and it was a brilliant send-off, a lush, vibrant game with well-written characters and a story that has touches of genuine pathos. It's a huge, meaty role-playing game, and just completing the main quest is said to take somewhere around 80 hours. There were several changes made in the transition to the 3DS, though, so how does DQVIII hold up on the newer hardware?

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