Dragon Quest VIII — First Impressions
November 28, 2005

1. Whoa!!!! It's a sweet combo of amazing new-age visuals/whatnot along with old-school gameplay. This might not be for everyone, but I love the old-timey turn-based, random battles. Especially since I had just finished Dragon Warrior 4 for the 3rd or 4th time.....I was worried they'd change the battle system, but other than fancier graphics, it all feels comfortable.

2. The upgraded menu system is really cool, as are the monster menus and the one that gives game stats.

3. From the very brief look at the overworld I've gotten, it looks to be really big and immersive. Something tells me I'll be happy to obtain the world map, as (in my opinion) the overworld here looks more vast than in the similarly-styled Star Ocean:TtEnT maps.

4. The voice acting is great. Really adds a lot to the talking scenes. Even though, I was pleased with how quick things got moving. I played about 50 minutes and did a wee bit of overworld fighting. Would have been more, but I did the ol' look for hidden in-town treasures thing, which delayed me.

On the flip side, the load times annoy me a bit. Especially since, as a beginning adventurer, I'll likely be forced to go in and out of towns to frequently rest at the inn.....meaning I have to watch the "open town gates" scene (a few seconds) and the "open inn door" scene. None of these things actually take a long time, but do make me remember the NES/SNES games and how everything happened instantly without the game needed to load in your new surroundings.

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