Monday, February 20, 2006

There Went 100 Hours of My Life . . .

From time to time, I enjoy playing a good role playing game.  Although I'm not an RPG junkie, like some of my friends, I've played my share.  But, I am very discerning when it comes to RPGs.  For me to devote dozens of hours to a video game, it has to be really freakin' good.  I've been known to get fifteen or so hours into a game and then just quit playing because I'm not really having a lot of fun.  This most recently happened to me with Star Ocean: Till the End of Time.  That game had a fun battle system, but it couldn't overcome the bad voice acting, boring story, and ridiculous amount of time between save points.

On the other end of the spectrum, however, is the game that I just finished: Dragon Quest VIII.  It took almost a hundred hours, but last night I finally finished off Rapthorne, the Lord of Darkness and saved the world.  (Of course, I still need to beat the Monster Arena.  And complete the Path of the Dragovinians.  And find all of Princess Minnie's medals.  And fill out King Trode's battle record. And . . . )

While it does take a serious commitment, I'd have to say that DQ8 is worth it.  It's a prime example of the value of making sure a game is completely polished versus breaking new ground.  DQ8 really doesn't have anything you haven't seen before (assuming you play RPGs).  The storyline is very traditional.  The battle system is quite simple.  But the voice acting is very good.  And while it certainly doesn't tax my PlayStation 2 in terms of graphics, it does look very slick and stylish.  But, most importantly, it is just a lot of fun.  The characters are balanced but unique.  You never have to do any serious level grinding just to be able to attempt the next dungeon.  The world is incredibly expansive and you can divert from the main story to do side quests pretty much whenever you want.  It's just really well done.

So, I officially add Dragon Quest VIII to my shelf of RPGs worth the hours that it takes to beat them.  It joins Might and Magic 3, Final Fantasy III (VI), Chrono Trigger, Baldur's Gate, Planescape:Torment, Final Fantasy VII, Skies of Arcadia, and Kingdom Hearts.  If you like RPGs at all, set aside a few weeks of time, pick it up, and enjoy.

7 Comments:

Blogger Griff said...

might and magic 3...jesus christ

2/20/2006 08:57:00 PM  
Blogger wiley said...

A controversial choice, to be sure. Especially considering that I say it is worth the time to beat, yet I never actually did beat it.

I suppose I really included it because it was the first real RPG that I ever played, and I did devote a significant amout of time to it. Although I don't remember specifically, I do know that I spent several hours a day for a whole summer on it. I've read online that to beat it completely would take around 300 hours (Seriously . . .The game came on two CDs back when you could still get most computer games on floppy disk).

As to why I didn't finish it? Well, the game kind of had a glitch. Or, not so much a glitch, as something that wasn't thought out fully. To unlock the door to fight the final boss, you had to collect several keys scattered about the various dungeons. But, if your inventory was full, anything that you picked up would be automatically discarded. And I failed to pick up a key because of that. So I couldn't open the door. Suck.

After that, I just couldn't bring myself to replay the whole game just to beat the final boss. It didn't really have that much of a story, so I guess I didn't miss anything, but it still eats at me every now and then.

2/20/2006 11:00:00 PM  
Anonymous nathan said...

I guess my version of MM3 would be Final Fantasy I. I just bought it for the gameboy and have been replaying it. I never beat the end boss when I played it before for a very similar reason as yours. There is a point when you go back in time and you only get to keep what you have. And I didn't know that until after I saved it.

2/21/2006 10:58:00 PM  
Anonymous julie t. said...

I haven't finished DQ8 yet :(
You should try out Atelier Iris: The Eternal Mana, if you can find it. Its great.

3/05/2006 10:57:00 PM  
Blogger wiley said...

A lot of people have been suggesting RPGs to me, but unfortunately I don't have a lot of free time. Maybe this summer I'll try to tear into a whole bunch.

Also, Kingom Hearts 2 comes out soon . . . .

3/06/2006 09:42:00 AM  
Blogger BigX said...

I hear ya man. I'm 50 hours in right now, and that game has become my 'unwind' time at the end of the day. There are so many inovative features...my only regret is that I'm trying to play it at the same time as Resident Evil 4 and RPG Maker 3. Not to mention I've gotten back in to RPG Maker 2 debugging the game I made years ago (along with adding a lot of dialouge...oh and balancing EVERYTHING). For the information of those in the know, my current position in the game: just got the magic bikini on Jess...as SOON as POSSIBLE I might add YOW ZAA!! Yeah...this game rules all. My favourite features so far are the 'start' button, and what you get to do with the mystical spring. HAHA I be cryptic for those who haven't played.

3/18/2006 08:39:00 PM  
Blogger wiley said...

Just wait till you find the Dangerous Bustier. . .

3/19/2006 09:13:00 PM  

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