Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King, known in Japan as and in PAL region as Dragon Quest: The Journey of the Cursed King, is a role-playing video game developed by Level-5 and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 2 home video game console. It was first released in Japan, and was later released in North America and PAL region, making it the first main series installment released in the PAL region. It is the eighth installment of the popular Dragon Quest series and it is the first English version of a Dragon Quest game to drop the Dragon Warrior title.
Dragon Quest VIII uses cel-shading textures for the characters and scenery and is the first game in the series to have fully three dimensional environments. This game retains most of the series' role-playing game elements, such as turn-based combat and the experience level system. Dragon Quest VIII follows the silent Hero, the main character, and his party of allies as they journey towards their goal of defeating the wicked Dhoulmagus. The kingdom of Trodain has been cursed by Dhoulmagus and the King, Trode, and his daughter, Medea, have both been transformed and it is up to the Hero to return them to their original form and save the kingdom.
Dragon Quest VIII has enjoyed much success since its release, both in Japan and in the US. It is a Square Enix Ultimate Hits and a Sony Greatest Hits title. A survey conducted in 2006 by the magazine Famitsu earned the game the #4 spot as the best video game of all time after Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy VII and Dragon Quest III.
In Dragon Quest VIII, the player controls the Hero in a fully three-dimensional environment, utilizing the left analog stick or D-pad on the PlayStation controller to move him. Using the right analog stick, players can pan the camera a full 360 degrees around the character or in a first-person perspective. The visual controls allow players to examine people and objects more closely than the top-down perspective of the game's predecessors. With a new fully-integrated world, towns and dungeons are no longer identified by two-dimensional icons found on the world maps. Players can guide the Hero across vast landscapes to reach full-size towns and buildings.
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