If you missed out on one of the PlayStation 2’s most quirky and charming JRPGs (that’s Japanese Role Playing Game, people) then you’re in luck: Dragon Quest VIII: The Journey of the Cursed King is coming to Nintendo 3DS and it finally has a release date!
The 3DS port came out in Japan in August 2015 and for a long time it looked like it wouldn’t be coming out in English (despite a vast majority of the translation work being done already) but Nintendo announced we’ll finally be getting it on January 20, 2017.
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The Big N also uploaded a trailer showing off some of the new additions to the game not found in the PS2 original or the smartphone ports:
The new features are: the ability to speed up battle animations, which will really reduce grinding and make gaming on-the-go more fun, and replacing random encounters (one of the biggest complaints of the original) with roaming monsters on the field and in dungeons.
Two characters from the original game – Monster Arena owner Morrie and femme fatale thief Red – are now playable characters, bringing the total up to six.
There’s also new story content, including more of a backstory for the Hero and an alternate ending. It seems the new scenes will be fully voiced, as fans have noticed Jessica’s voice has changed to her Dragon Quest Heroes actress Jaimi Barbakoff from The Bill‘s Emma Ferguson (who is married to Take That’s Mark Owen, no less).
Unfortunately the musical score seems to have reverted to the synthesised version of the Japanese PS2 original, rather than keeping the majestic orchestral recordings used in the English release.
Having said that, Dragon Quest VIII looks like it will keep our 3DS JRPG itch scratched if we burn ourselves out on Pokémon Sun & Moon.
But if you’re reading this, Square Enix, a full HD remaster on PS4 with the orchestral music and new 3DS features wouldn’t go amiss at all.