Nintendo Wii

Dragon Quest VIII Journey of the Cursed King – Wii

What sets this adventure apart from the majority of its peers, including those that have come since its initial PlayStation 2 debut, is the skill with which everything is produced and sewn together. Not a single element feels out of place, and not a feature is wasted in the quest to deliver a game that demonstrates just how gratifying the traditional structure of a JRPG can be. Everything from the visuals to the writing, the battles to the world map layout has been produced and delivered with a flair and skill that can come only from its designers understanding precisely the framework within which they’re working.

Take the character design, for instance, which is nothing short of incredible and surely represents some of famed designer Akira Toriyama’s best work. This is the man responsible for drawing characters in everything from Dragon Ball Z to Chrono Trigger, with the Dragon Quest VIII cast adhering to the same exacting standards of quality.

Much of the reason why this game manages to continue to feel so enticing and ageless comes down to that character design, the cel-shaded art style, and the bold, almost rainbow-like color palette proving themselves immune to the dulling effects of time.This quality of design helps to embed each character with a unique persona before they’ve even opened their mouths. Yangus is stumpy and round, conveying his rough, inelegant personality while the sometimes pompous, arrogant Angelo has a trendy, elaborate fashion sense to match.

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