Dragon Quest VIIIReviewed By: Aaron Ploof
VOLUNTEER GUEST REVIEWER
Dragon Quest VIII is the eighth game in the renowned Dragon Quest RPG series. While previous games in the series have been dubbed Dragon Warrior, because of copyright law problems, the proper name has finally been allowed to be used.
Dragon Quest VIII begins when an evil jester known as Dholmagus steals a cursed scepter from the castle of Trodain. After stealing the scepter, Dholmagus casts a spell over the kingdom, cursing all of its inhabitants and turning them into plants, as well as turning King Trode and Princess Medea into a toad like monster and a horse, respectively. Your character is the only person to have escaped from this curse. As a member of the royal guard it is your duty to track down the evil jester and lift the curse from Trodain castle. Along the way you will befriend an ex-thief, a high-class girl, and a templar.
Dragon Quest is much like any other RPG. The game play largely consists of wandering through dungeons, defeating bosses, and solving puzzles. You level your characters by fighting battles, buy equipment from shops, and learn new skills along the way. However, there are a few differences to this brand of RPG. First of all, the save system is a bit different. To save the game you must return to a church. Also, whenever you die, you are returned to a church and half of your money is taken away. Second of all, in battles a new ability is given to you, the chance to psyche up. By pysching up you are able to attack with greater force. These few new additions add an element of strategy to the game.
Like many RPGs there is some spiritual material involved within the game. The characters in the game all worship a certain Goddess, and you are required to enter her church to save your game. When you talk to the Priest, he gives you some choices: Divination, Confession, Purification, resurrection. These options all serve different gameplay purposes such as resurrecting your characters, healing them of status ailments, saving your game, or telling you how much more you points you need to reach the next level. Your characters can also cast magic in battles, such as healing and support spells. Also, near the end of the game your party meets a bird who is worshipped as a god. One other thing that may offend some people is that the main villain of the game has the ability to walk on water.
Sexuality is another thing that is present in the game, although it is not overly abundant. One your party members, Jessica, is especially well endowed and throughout the game you are give the option of clothing her in various revealing outfits. Also, the skills you gain for her are sexual in nature. She may learn to 'puff-puff' the monsters (basically squeezing her breasts) to paralyze them, or dance to cause them to be paralyzed in affection for her. You can also visit a shop where a girl will give you a 'puff- puff' (a puff puff is basically putting your head in between someone's breasts) but instead she uses two slime monsters. Note that this is purely optional. There are various other girls in the game who are dressed in revealing attire, but it is all done in cartoon nature, and it is really not that serious. Angelo, another one of your party members always has women on his mind, and is constantly flirting with female characters. Regardless of this, he is very noble. Some other offensive content may include gambling and drinking, and at the end of the game, his priorities are somewhat refocused.
There are some good Christian lessons to be learned from this game. One of your party members, Yangus, used to be a thief, but decided to give up his life of sin. And of course, your battle throughout the game is a battle against absolute evil.
Overall, Dragon Quest VIII is a great old-school RPG that will keep you entertained for hours at end(It took me about 115 hours to finish it), and should be suitable for ages ten and up. Highly recommended!Year of Release—2005
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Christian Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Films for Christ or the Christian Answers Network.