Got a hankering for a good old fashioned JRPG to take with you on the go? Go buy a Nintendo 3DS or a PS Vita, plain and simple. If you are however not on the market for either of those devices but you happen to have an iPad, then here is the next best option. Somebody flipped the switch on Square Enix’s classic Dragon Quest VIII because it is now available on iOS.
This mobile version of Dragon Quest VIII will cost you $19.99 to download and play, and unless you own a PlayStation 2 or PlayStation 3, I’m going to give you the go ahead to try it. Sadly, the game does not run nearly as smoothly or a beautifully as it does on the PlayStation 2 thanks to the poor utilization of the otherwise great Unity Engine. If you have no other options, I suppose this would be the best way to go about playing it.
Dragon Quest VIII is a wonderful game full of charming faces and heart swelling happiness. The story, mechanics, and characters are all treasures from a bygone age of JRPGs all decked up to look like a modern hit; well, modern by 2004 standards at least.
If you have access to a PlayStation 2 or a backwards compatible PlayStation 3, then by all means, play that one instead. Track down a physical copy since it shouldn’t be too expensive by this point.
As for a PSN release, Square Enix doesn’t really dig the whole PSOne Classics or PlayStation 2 Classics line-up on PSN anymore. It’s been quite some time since a game that falls under its banner has been made available. Recently, though, Atlus is proving that there are still plenty of great PS2 games worth revisiting thanks to its emphasis on re-releasing the Shin Megami Tensei titles. Maybe Square Enix will give in and throw Dragon Quest VIII and the remainder of its classics up there as well.
Don’t hold your breath.
I hope it comes around, because I don’t want this gimped mobile version of Dragon Quest VIII to go down in history as the one remembered by every generation of gamers from here on out.