Tag Archives: enix

FGC #473 Dragon Warrior 4

Here come some dragonsDragon Warrior 4 has always secretly been Dragon Quest 4: The Chapters of the Chosen. And how many chapters are there? Five? No, that’s not enough chosen. There are probably at least fifty here, right? Yes, let’s count down the top fifty “chosen” in Dragon Warrior 4.

A Definitive Ranking of the Top Five Fifty Dragon Warrior 4 Characters

#1 Alena

To be absolutely clear, we are only considering “real” DW4 for these rankings. This means that items, conversations, or super moves that appear in other games or versions of DW4/DQ4 do not count. And even with that caveat out of the way, Alena wins. She’s a princess. She successfully, wordlessly jump kicks her way out of her room. She endangers/saves her entire kingdom. She tolerates her own lame sidekicks on a daily basis. The only knock against her is that time she joined another, rival gang of adventurers, but that was only in pursuit of medicine for one of her own hangers-on, so that may be forgiven. And she does this all without so much as a spell list, so it’s clear why Alena is the absolute most chosen of the chosen.

#2 Taloon

And there’s really no way that second place can’t be Taloon. Taloon is so high on this list for the exact opposite reason as Princess #1: he’s a terrible JRPG protagonist. He might gain levels well, but, aside from his plentiful HP pool, he has practically nothing going for him. Forget magical armor boosting his stats, Taloon can barely handle an apron. But, while he might not be the most amazing protagonist, he is the most unexpected, as he starts out as little more than a graduated NPC. Taloon teaches the player of 1990 (or 1992) exactly how monotonous it would be to work in a weapon shop, and then goes on to educate us all on the perils of dungeon storming for your average JRPG resident. And he somehow succeeds! And commissions at least one (1) tunnel. Not bad, Taloon! Not bad at all.

#3 This Sentient Boulder

This boulder is capable of following Taloon and making 90° turns. These are pretty significant accomplishments for a mineral to achieve, and all while overcoming the obvious handicap of being an uneducated slab of rock. Literally no other character lower on this list accomplished such a magnificent feat.

#4 Neta (aka Tessie Taloon, Nina Taloon, Nene Taloon)

Taloon’s wife gets bonus points for being one of the few NPCs capable of changing her mind. She’s a dedicated wife, and, in this world of 8-bits, she would be forgiven for standing around and dispensing lunches from now until the end of time. But, when her hubby gets that adventuring itch, thus leaving the family cut off from its usual supply deliveries, she decides to take up the cause, and starts her own banking business. And, while it is unclear how this bank makes any significant money (do legendary swords naturally accrue interest? Do they… breed?) at least she’s doing something. I’m pretty sure most of the rest of the NPC army can barely get out of their chairs.

#5 Healie the Heal Slime

Okay, he might not be as accomplished as the boulder, but Healie still leads a pretty marvelous life across DW4. He starts as a humble, peculiarly friendly heal slime. He aids Ragnar on a quest to save some local village children, and is 100% successful in rescuing the kids. Healie then ventures forth with Ragnar, believing that committing good deeds will transform this monster into a human. And, years later when you encounter Healie again, he has become a human! And a bard, for some reason! So it all worked out! Good job, Healie! You successfully transitioned across species! Have fun wearing clothes!

We’ve got 45 more to goo… I mean go…

FGC #377 Dragon Warrior

Shiny!Dragon Warrior (sometimes Quest) is the game that is widely credited for launching the entire JRPG genre. As such, it must be considered one of the most influential titles in all of gaming, as, even today, there is still a new game every month that harkens back to the Dragon Warrior of old (even if said game stars rejected Sailor Moon characters in a magical high school, it still counts). Dragon Warrior is indisputably the beating heart of all JRPGs.

Which is kind of amazing when you consider how much Dragon Warrior sucks.

Unless some nimrod has managed to stick these words in a book somewhere, you’re reading this post on my website. You will note that this is FGC #377. This means that, with the exception of a few “theme weeks” and medically mandated breaks every fifty articles or so, I have played three videogames every week for the last two-going-on-three years. And nearly 400 games! When I was a child, I could nary imagine that there were 100 videogames in the world, left alone that I would one day play four times that many for a silly website. At this point, I want to say that I have a fairly good grasp on what is good or bad. Even if I once only played AAA, best of the best titles once; now I can safely say that I’ve played Ice Climbers, and lived to tell the tale. After all that, I know what I enjoy, what is fun, and what is… Dragon Warrior.

The basic elements are here! Akira Toriyama, even at this earliest point in the franchise, is knocking it out of the park with monster designs that are adorable (slimes, drackys), menacing (skeletons, wizards), and occasionally somewhere in between (aw, look at the sleepy widdle golem). The world is large (for an NES game), and the plot may be simple, but it’s charming fantasy to a T. The dragon has kidnapped the princess (and stuck her with a lesser dragon), and also stolen the anti-monster bug zapper that keeps the world clean and enchanted. GO TO SLEEPThe Dragon Warrior must now quest to stop the Dragon Lord, and acquire the treasures of his exalted ancestor along the way to eventually ride the rainbow bridge and score 120 stars or something. It’s all there, it’s all exactly what Dragon Quest was made for, and, by all accounts, this should be a fun, if primitive, DQ experience.

But it’s just so, so awful to actually play.

First of all, retro aesthetic aside, there is no way that selecting STAIRS to ascend or descend steps was ever a good idea. Someone managed to program borders into every town to transition between the overworld and a castle, so why the hell is there a dedicated command for activating “go up stairs now”? Hell, you could theoretically justify the TAKE or SEARCH commands with the many tiles that hide buried treasure around the DW world, but stairs are never hidden. They’re stairs. Actually, there is exactly one time stairs are hidden, and you use the SEARCH command, not STAIRS to find ‘em. You had one job, STAIRS! And talking is equally a pain in the ass, because Loto forbid you open a treasure chest when you’re trying to talk to a townsperson that is never anywhere near a damn treasure chest. Just performing basic tasks in this game is a lesson in misery.

But it gets worse! So much worse!

This suuuuucksThe Dragon Warrior world is huge, filled with monsters of varying shapes and sizes, and at least one town that is a secret dungeon. There are optional dungeons, optional towns, and even an optional princess. There’s a lot to do in DW!… Unfortunately absolutely none of it will prepare you for the rest of Dragon Warrior. EXP and Gold values are absurdly skewed against the player’s favor. A lowly copper sword costs 180 GP, and a local slime drops… 2 GP. In only 90 battles, you’ll be ready to go! And you might be level 3 by then! And this is decidedly not the kind of game that is meant to be played with a “low level” hero (without some superhuman RNG manipulation, at least), as later monsters will absolutely obliterate your hero inside of three turns as poor Son of Erdrick whiffs over and over again with his puny punches. There is simply not enough to do in the DW world to justify the kind of gold and experience it takes to so much as make it off the main continent, and mindless grinding has never been an entertaining compromise.

So, after discovering that Dragon Warrior is not just “primitive fun” like Final Fantasy, but more “never been fun” like Wizards and Warriors, I was forced to ask the obvious question: why? Not “why does this game suck” (that is already obvious), but why did DW spawn the JRPG genre? Was it some kind of cultural misunderstanding? Was it the monster designs? Was it an unmistakable love of carrying princesses through swamps? No, I want to say the entire reason Dragon Warrior spawned decades worth of sequels, spin-offs, and that one surprisingly sticky controller is this…

Goals!

This is the first thing you see when entering the overworld. Not coincidentally, it is also the first thing you see every time you die, as you respawn back at Castle Useless. Every time you turn on the game, every time you must restart, every single time, you see this same image. You’re at the starting castle, there’s a starting town nearby, and, there, across the humblest of rivers (maybe a fjord), is your final destination, The Dragon Lord’s Castle. This means that, from the absolute moment you grab your controller, you are always reminded of what you are fighting for, what you’re fighting towards, and, even though a Wolf Lord just kicked your ass back to square one, you have a goal, and you must save this poor world of magic key-obsessed people from the sinister clutches of evil.

And that is singularly brilliant.

Very shinyThis is how you get people hooked. This is how you create a genre. The designers of Dragon Warrior enjoy gambling? Yeah, these are the kind of people who know how to keep their audience salivating for that next jackpot. Your winnings are just over that river. You might get a few bad rolls between here and there, but you’re getting better. You’re getting better, and you’re going to get there. You’re so close! And you will be so close for the next few hours!

Dragon Warrior objectively sucks. I will stand by that statement. However, it is also a brilliant game, and an unmistakable classic. It might not be enjoyable for anyone that has experienced modern conveniences like “fast forward” or “a game being actually fun”, but there’s always that drive to save the world, and that counts for a lot. Dragon Warrior might be terrible at conveying your goals on a quest-by-quest basis, but you always know your ultimate objective, and that can carry you through 10,000 slime encounters.

You will make it across that river. You will slay the Dragon Lord. Why? Because thou must.

FGC #377 Dragon Warrior

  • System: Every.
  • Number of players: The Erdrick bloodline has withered down to one dude in a silly hat.
  • What’s in a name: I’m sticking to Dragon Warrior, because it says it right there on the cart. Dragon Quests are for later generations.
  • UghLand of the Rising Fun: Hey, guess what, the game is even worse for the original Japanese release! It has more primitive graphics, so the characters always face stock straight toward the player. That isn’t so bad, but since your character doesn’t turn, you have to manually select which direction you’d like to face every time you want to use a command like TALK. So, basically, it takes an already annoying system, and makes it more annoying. Hooray for localization improvements!
  • Favorite Monster: Forgive me if I’ve confused this dork for one of its cousins, but the Starwyvern looks like a pink duck-snake-eagle that is constantly taunting the player. And it knows midheal, so the odds of ever killing it are super low for anyone not swinging around the Erdrick Sword. It effectively is Dragon Warrior in one wiggly tube of hate.
  • Speaking of Erdrick: Hey, dude, where’s your shield? You had to have one of those, right?
  • Did you know? The Dragon Quest title screen contains a little silhouette of the Dragon Lord, and a sword for the letter T in Quest. The Dragon Warrior title screen retains the dragon shadow, but drops the sword from the (absent) T. Guess which flourish would go on to become a standard part of the logo for future titles.
  • Would I play again: Absolutely not under any circumstances. I don’t care if you take away my gamer card, you can’t make me trudge through those dragon swamps ever again. Erdrick can keep his damn token.

What’s next? Random ROB has chosen… MorphX for the Xbox 360! … Wait, what game? Isn’t that just a graphics card? Or something? Anyway, please look forward to it, I guess.

YAY

FGC #249 Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen

This review is ogreOgre Battle aka Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen is a TRPG from way back in the early nineties. I never played the title on its original SNES cartridge, but I did quickly pick up the Playstation edition (ironically due to extensive Nintendo Power coverage). According to this memory card I have here, I apparently beat the game. That… kind of makes sense? This would have still been the “early Playstation” era, the tail end of my “childhood” years when I didn’t have enough (or, really, any) disposable income to buy new games. If I’m being honest, nowadays I would never have completed this TRPG, as, come on, TRPGs are boring. But back in ’97 or so, yeah, I’d be all over finding every secret and recruiting every available character.

Except… I kinda forgot how I did that. I know I beat this game. I know I played it for hours… but I don’t really remember that much of it. I know my heroine used her ice blast so much, Disney based a musical on her, and I know vampires are rad, but that’s about it. I think there may have been a demon in there somewhere? I think?

So, in the interest of this not happening again, I’ve referenced a few wiki pages, replayed some of the game, and slapped together a brief synopsis of the plot of Ogre Battle. This is for the benefit of future generations (or just my failing memory).

ChillyOgre Battle starts with an unnamed hero… but it’s our duty to name him… so let’s call him Mike. Mike is just chilling in Zeltenia, minding his own business, not doing a damn thing, when he is accosted by some of the Black Queen’s soldiers. This seriously harshes Mike’s buzz, and he’s a cranky sort, so he decides to put together a little rebellion and toss the Black Queen out on her duff. However, he’s up against an entire army, and you can only repel huge masses of people alone in JRPGs, not TRPGs. So Mike begins to amass an army, and immediately picks up a goofy sidekick, Warren. Warren is a fast –talking wizard that “can see the future”, but, in reality, he’s pretty much just a judgmental ass. First thing this guy does is claim he knows Mike better than anybody because of some stupid tarot card reading. Shut-up, Warren, nobody is buying that Princess Cleo crap.

So the obvious answer to the problem here is to march right up to Queen Endora’s castle and demand that these damn soldiers stop mucking all over the place, but she’s still got a bigger army than everybody and the throne. So what’s Mike going to do? He decides it’s best to fight through a few stupid fetch quests. So he picks up… let’s see here… The Star of Heroes, the Key of Destiny, and, oh yeah, Tristan, the adorable scamp that is the real heir to the throne. That’s handy to have!

SPELLS!  FUTURE!  WIZARD STUFFMike also met Norn along the way. Norn had previously lived the sheltered life of a priestess, and she was forever cursed to be separated from those she cared about. Initially, she is irritable towards Mike, but she eventually softens and seems to develop a sense of comradery with the rebel leader. Also, despite being “just a priestess”, she kind of kicks ass, so that’s a plus.

But not everything is friendship and magic! Queen Endora had the short and short-tempered Sage Rashidi on the payroll, and he wanted to own the whole of the land just as badly as the next guy. And it turns out he got his chance when Mike wiped the floor with Endora and her generals, and Rashidi was free to summon an unspeakable, ancient evil. You know, as you do. So the Black Queen was a feint all along, and Rashidi was the real enemy. And he’s got a dragon! Three of ‘em! Okay, technically he just controls the guys that control the dragons, but still, that’s basically like having your own dragon(s).

So, once again, Mike fetch quests all over the place, and I think Warren fell in love with one of the dragons somewhere along the way. Mike never played Saga Frontier, so he didn’t know you’re not supposed to mix tarot and rune magic, so he gathered up the twelve zodiac stones to banish Rashidi once and for all. And… then he did. OuchWhat, did you think this game would have an unhappy ending? Well, okay, it often does have a calamitous ending, because it is next to impossible to understand exactly how the whole alignment/fame system works, but let’s just claim that defeating Rashidi was all Mike ever had to do.

Rashidi is devoured by a dragon, Mike gets the girl (let’s say… Norn) and everybody dances around like an idiot to a Smash Mouth cover. There. Ogre battle is ogre.

FGC #249 Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen: Love is Ogre Edition

  • System: Super Nintendo initially, but only in extremely limited quantities. Playstation (1) saw a rerelease, and it was named the “limited edition” despite being more bountiful than the SNES version. And there was a Japanese Saturn version, too. Incidentally, if you want the SNES version, just check the Virtual Console.
  • Number of players: I want to claim that there should be a market for multi-player TRPGs, as, ya know, chess has been a thing for eons. And I’m going to keep saying this until it changes!
  • Feelies: For whatever reason, the Playstation “limited edition” came with memory card stickers. So, for the rest of time, I have a green memory card with an Ogre Battle sticker as its label. Oddly, my actual Ogre Battle game save is on a different memory card…
  • Boo-urnsHow does this game work? I have no earthly idea. I’ve read the FAQs. I’ve poured over Nintendo Power’s tips straight from the pros. I even checked the wiki once or twice. I’m pretty sure I know how to play this game while maintaining good, friendly stats… but it never works out. And I can’t even recruit the bad guys for some quixotic reason! I wanted a demon on my team, dammit!
  • Favorite Character: Deneb is the Pumpkin Queen!
  • Favorite Unit: And, similarly, I gravitate toward the bad boys with all werewolf/vampire teams. I like day/night cycles in games typically, but I like them even more when my soldiers transform into wolf monsters and tow around coffins.
  • Did you know? On Queen’s second album, the indolently named Queen II, the sixth track is titled “Ogre Battle”, and the ninth, “The March of the Black Queen”. I’m going to assume “The Fairy Feller’s Master Stroke” had an impact on the proceedings as well.
  • Would I play again: I barely remember playing it in the first place… but I don’t think I’ll play it again. This is almost a wholly unique game in my collection, but it’s also kind of a drag. I respect Ogre Battle, and that’s why I’m not going to play it again.

What’s next? It’s number 250! And for our big round number du jour, Random ROB has chosen… Kid Icarus for the NES! Oh, that’s a good one! We come in threes here on the FGC, so let’s make a week of it. Get ready for more Kid Icarus than you can handle! Please look forward to it!

Make it explicit

FGC #020 Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King

The usual suspectsSo here’s why Dragon Quest sucks.

There’s two kinds of games in this world: games that rely on skill, and games that rely on luck. Games that rely on skill are the likes of chess, checkers, or pretty much any game where the random element has been eliminated. Games that rely on luck are where God does play dice games: everything from Candy Land to poker to anything involving the Pop-O-Matic bubble relies on an element of chance for the player to succeed. You might be the greatest Monopoly player in the world, but you’re still doomed if you somehow land on an opponent’s Atlantic Avenue every damn time.

With that little definition out of the way, it becomes clear that the majority of video games fall into the “skill” category. Super Mario Bros, Mega Man, and even modern games like… what do the kids play today… Batman: Everybody Dies are all based almost exclusively on the abilities of the player, and not at all on random coincidence. In fact, as has been proven by people more skilled than I, one could literally memorize Super Mario Bros. and play the entirety of the game blindfolded. There are variables in these games, but the variables are insignificant compared to the skills of the player.

And God help you when you try to add random elements to skill based games. Want to have a fun evening? Show up at a Super Smash Bros Melee tournament and ask why there aren’t any items in play and they’re only ever using the same level over and over again. The game where the flying fox man fights the eskimos is a serious game for a serious Earth, so we will have none of this silly luck hampering our play experience.

And to take it even a step further: luck is the enemy of nerd culture in general. Let’s debate who would win in a fight: Batman or Superman. We should spend all day carefully cataloguing all their appearances across nearly a century of media, all their skills, all their powers, all their gadgets. Or, we could present a scenario where Superman v Batman begins, Batman notices a woman that looks surprisingly like Martha Wayne in the crowd, is distracted for just a second, fumbles over his own cape, trips into an open manhole, and cracks his skull before Superman even makes a move. Or Superman loses the bout because his super hearing allowed him to overhear a random passerby chatting about Game of Thrones, and spoilers, now Superman is depressed because he was going to watch that episode with Lois tonight, and now he’s going to have to spend the rest of the day acting like he’s still excited, and that’s just such a super hassle, and Batman just whams him with a chunk of kryptonite while he’s there hovering like a doof.

BeautifulRandom is the enemy of every gamer. It negates skill and facts and the cold rationality that keeps gaming going.

Except, you know, gamers didn’t invent gaming.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking the only real “video games” out there are the AAA blockbusters or, for the retro coverage, any game that received a Nintendo Power strategy guide. Super Mario Bros 3? Mortal Kombat X? Halo? These are game’s games, big crazy blockbusters that rely on skill and finesse and you could teach a full semester course on Samus Aran’s beam variations alone.

But if you ask my mother about gaming? My grandfather? Something like 95% of office workers? Tetris, Solitaire, Candy Crush: all games that, yes, involve skill, but are primarily based on luck and randomness. As has been mathematically proven, you could be the best Tetris player in the world, but eventually you’re going to be tossed too many square blocks to survive. And solitaire? You’re not always going to win due to the occasional (frequent) bad shuffle. The very idea of a game that can be lost and “pointless” from the first moment makes my skill crawl (screw you, Sierra On-Line), yet this is exactly the case in the number one played video game in the universe (citation needed). Psychological studies prove this to be true: without even being conscious of it, the majority of people prefer luck based games. And don’t even get me started on slot machines…

Dragon Quest is not a “casual” franchise in the same field as solitaire; it is a series of games in the JRPG genre. JRPGs are, by and large, more prone to luck than most video games, as the majority include concepts like critical hits and random encounters (literally, random) that mean those six steps between you and the dungeon exit could lead to a battle with a roaming pack of bubonic rats. Or one of these jerks…

Gaze upon terror

That’s a cyclops. They appear in DQ 2, DQ 8, and DQ 9. Why do I remember that? Because they kill me every damn time. And, yes, they’re strong, but they’re not that strong. That problem? They are critical hit monsters, and my poor DQ parties are just never all that lucky. And that’s the problem here: in something as simple and numerous as a random battle, you need to know why you failed. Were you underleveled? Were you wearing the wrong equipment? Did you use an inappropriate spell? When the answer is “well, that guy just got lucky” you learn nothing, save that your failure wasn’t even your fault.

And it’s not just the random encounters, luck is a crazy significant factor in every facet of Dragon Quest. As if the frequent appearances of casinos and slot machines weren’t a dead giveaway, nearly every noteworthy action in DQ relies on chance, from criticals that will make or break a party, to a casting of “zing” that should revive a party member failing over and over again, or even the terrible incidents when you’ve spent three rounds pumping up your party only to see a boss distortion wave it all away. You’re going to remember every single time your luck failed you, and if you’re anything like me, you’re going to hold it against the franchise and its designers.

But luck goes both ways, so why don’t I acknowledge all the times I hit the jackpot? Well, duh, because fortune doesn’t work like that, despite the fact that the only reason I’m writing this post and you’re reading it is completely random chance. Come to think of it, here’s the reason you’re reading this post…

  • Sometime around the late 90’s, a friend of mine linked me to, I believe… memory is hazy here… I want to say Adventurers, but it may have been RPG World, or even possibly Penny Arcade. One of those webcomics from the old, old days of the web.
  • At one point, the author of whichever site I’m thinking of linked to Toastyfrog’s review of Mega Man X6. Not because they wanted to call attention to the review itself, but simply because the review itself made mention of the Magic 8-Squall, and the author was paying the frog credit.
  • I enjoyed the Toastyfrog review, and checked the site frequently for years. Given the X6 review was posted in 2001, we are talking about ages here.
  • The good ol' daysNote that Toastyfrog aka Jeremy Parish continued the site and writing about video games for years. I still want to say that the initial link came from Adventurers, which is a webcomic that ended nearly a decade ago now. RPG World? I think the author is writing about rock women now or something.
  • Sometime around 2009 (so eight years later?) a Let’s Play was started by Brickroad and McDohl (clearly their real names) featuring a solo Final Fantasy run of White Mage vs. Black Mage. If that sentence didn’t make any sense, just insert “a fun thing happened”. This Let’s Play was taking place on the Revenge of Talking Time forums, which Parish started years prior, and, in this case, decided to link to from the main page. Thus, for the first time, I encountered TT, and would continue to lurk around the forums for years.
  • Because this kind of thing is logged, I officially signed up for the forums on March 9th, 2010. I believe I promised someone cookies to gain entry; cookies that were never delivered. Amusingly and ominously, one of my first posts was bemoaning Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance.
  • As mentioned in the KH FAQ, after generally just bumping around on the forums for a few years, BEAT, a friendly skeleman, asked of the recently started Kingdom Hearts thread “Please tell me who Anslem is.” I answered to the tune of 1,500 or so words with a detailed rundown that can be found elsewhere here on the site. This was 11/17/14. I’m still not certain exactly what possessed me to type that out, and, while I was rather proud of the post, I didn’t give it too much thought. It was just something I did on a Monday night for lack of anything better to do.
  • About two months later, on a Saturday night that I had blocked out to organize my library (uh, actual books, not video games) (I am an exciting guy), another question was posed regarding what, exactly, is Kingdom Hearts. I distinctly remember writing this post, as I was so damn sick of alphabetizing that I leapt at the chance to do something else.
  • JigglypuffFrom that point on, writing ridiculous posts about Kingdom Hearts kind of became my thing, because a bunch of strangers I had never met seemed to enjoy and encourage it.
  • Fastforward to July of that year, and I created the website Gogglebob.com (though I had owned the registration for years, because of course I did). The initial plan in my mind was simply to have a place to stick all the lengthy Kingdom Hearts and other posts I had made on Talking Time. However, because I’m just the type to need something more to do, after some deliberation, I decided to create the Fustian Gaming Challenge as a reason for the site to update and not just be a repository for stuff I’d already written.
  • Nineteen FGC posts later, Random ROB, who may or may not be powered by random.org, chose Dragon Quest 8. Let’s be generous and say this line of thought would have occurred to me no matter what DQ game was chosen, and state that there was 00.49% chance of a DQ game being chosen at all. Less than half a percent.
  • While playing Dragon Quest 8 and writing this article, I considered the very concept of luck and all the weird coincidences that led to this article being written at all.
  • And we won’t even consider the impact of my income, vocation, mobility, education, friends, or even the simple matter of a life spent avoiding catastrophic accidents. All of these items contribute to the fact that I can spend a leisurely Tuesday evening writing about a decade old JRPG.

Were you to catch me on a day I wasn’t thinking about luck? I’d tell you that this article and everything related to it is my sole brainchild and accomplishment. But when I’m considering chance, my mind boggles that we live in a world where Yuji Horii and Akira Toriyama even exist, left alone ever became accomplished enough to produce a game as fun and, let’s face it, realistic as Dragon Quest.

Dragon Quest is far too based on luck, and that sucks. When the dice just don’t roll in your favor, it always sucks. But sometimes? Sometimes
everything rolls right, and you never know what kind of wonders they’ll bring.

FGC #20 Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King

  • System: Playstation 2, and 3DS sometime soon in some kind of wondrous fantasy world.
  • Number of Players: One, with a pet rat.
  • Ouch!How about you try to actually talk about the game instead of the franchise: Fine! DQ8 is probably as good as a DQ game can get without the “real” job system ala DQ3 or DQ9. The overworld map is a thing of beauty that I’d like to see every JRPG for the rest of time emulate. Riding a sabrecat around the planet never gets old. As always, the franchise is brimming with characters that overflowing with personality and dammit I’m talking about DQ as a whole again.
  • Goggle Bob Historical Fact: I explored the majority of this game’s dungeons while rewatching a marathon of Star Trek Voyager episodes. Miraculously, this did not diminish my opinion of the game, though, for some reason, just booting up the game makes me think of Robert Picardo.
    Favorite Character: Everyone but Angelo. Angelo, please go sit with Ringabel in the corner. You know what you did.
  • Did you know? Back in the ancient past when this game was released, Square Enix actually had a major marketing push for the game. Hard to believe but true! Among items that were available stateside was a PS2 Controller that looked like a DQ slime. I happily purchased this controller, and still have it in a place of pride above my 16-bit collection. The ironic thing? Over the years, the plastic has become… slimy.
  • Would I play again? Only if it were portable and maybe offered two additional playable characters. Costumes would also be nice.

What’s next? Random ROB has chosen… Galactic Pinball. For the Virtual Boy. There was a 00.27% chance of a Virtual Boy game ever being chosen, yet, here we are. Way to be article relevant, ROB. Well, we’ll see how this goes… Please look forward to it!