Saturday, December 27, 2014

Dragon Quest IOS Apps

There has been such a drought, when it comes to Dragon Quest, here in America. Dragon Quest X has all but been forgotten in regard to us, and multiple 3DS titles have come and gone, with little word as to wether US releases will ever happen. (Dragon Quest VII on 3DS being an exception. But the cost of translating that HUGE game makes me again doubt we'll see a release.)

So, checking up on the app store, imagine my surprise to suddenly find the reverse: a flood of Dragon Quest games! Dragon Quest 1, 2, 3, 4 -- and even DQ VIII!

These games have been clearly lovingly translated and recreated for easy use on the iphone or ipad. In the case of Dragon Quest 1 - 3, we're treated to wonderfully updated graphics, mechanics, and wonderful music.

Dragon Quest 1, being the first entry in the series, this title sells for only $3. The game is challenging, if you haven't played the game before -- but hints and clues are still there, just like in the NES Classic. The music is bombastic and operatic - and while there aren't as many tunes in this entry, it contains some of my favorite melodies.

Dragon Quest 2, ups the ante on everything DQ 1 offered -- giving you three characters to command, with an expansively larger world to explore. Menu design is top notch, and while I am only half way through the game, it stands as a remarkably fun experience. Also - the music is just stunning! (a lot more tunes are featured in this game)

Dragon Quest 3 -- This entry stands as many people's be-all, and end-all of what a Dragon Quest game can be. You are given command of four characters, built with your choice of comrades to accompany you. The game is larger than DQ2 - and much more challenging. Be prepared to look up hints online, as you get deeper into the game. Still -- a must-play experience!

Dragon Quest 4 - This entry in the series requires 6.0 operating system to work. Given that I have this entry on my Nintendo DS already, I haven't bought it yet for the iphone. Still - its an excellent entry in the franchise - following the tales of different characters. Excellent entry for new players, I think, as it gives you easy to grasp stories to follow before beginning the game with the lead hero.

Dragon Quest 8 - Originally brought over onto the PS2, this game is an utter gem in every regard. Its story is stunning, its gameplay is engrossing - and to my surprise - its all able to be squeezed onto either the iphone or ipad. BUT! This game has some requirements! It must have an operating system 6.0 or above. Its optimized for working on the iphone 5. They say flat out, in the description, that while it works on iphone 4s, and ipad 2s -- it can sometimes crash, or have other problems. Its urged you save your game often, and sometimes turn off and start the system in case of a freeze. (Its also urged you use the "Recent Tasks" menu, to close the game entirely; so it isn't running in the background.)

Now -- this all sounds bad, doesn't it? BUT - they had the game on sale for 12.99. (instead of $20). I knew my iphone 4 would never work with it -- it doesn't even have a 6.0 OS. I do, however, have an ipad 2 with 7 and up Operating System. So, I took a gamble. My first playthrough, while short, proved successful.

I also MUST mention something about the music and voice acting. The PS2 version had a score played by an orchestral philharmonic. We got that version of the music in the US. The Japanese, strangely, did not. This IOS version features the Japanese non-orchestral version. Also, voice acting is NOT included, like it was for the American version. (The Japanese never got voice acting either. We're essentially getting the Japanese version of the game). This, seriously, is a disappointment. The music is MUCH less impressive than it was on the PS2.

BUT -- don't let those negative comments detract you from one of the most wonderful gaming experiences EVER! If you have a system that can handle it, then by all means, buy it. The PS2 version is the preferred version - but, that isn't always an option for everyone (as we get farther away from PS2-playable systems).

Also - as a Christmas present for everyone -- Dragon Quest 2 and 8 are discounted until January 5th.. For a mere $3, you can download Dragon Quest 2. For 12.99, DQ8 is yours.

Beyond those deals - another thing struck me, especially in the listed description for these titles. There are NO hidden fees. Nothing is left out of the games, to make them more profitable. In a world where apps try so desperately to trick us into paying more, after the initial download -- these are games you can trust, to be getting the full experience.

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