Console games aren’t really “my thing.” There have been few that I’ve liked in about as long as I can remember, and I just feel as if they’re not marketed or designed for people who like the kinds of games that I like. Even the same genres of games—like first-person shooters and role-playing games—are wildly different in concept and play style on a console. I’m more than willing to spend far more money on computer hardware for what is, in my opinion, a far superior gaming experience. I want to play games in high resolution with a keyboard at a desk. And, you know, savegames whenever I want them.
That said, the much-hyped Dragon Quest VIII (PlayStation 2 only) did catch my attention. It did have many elements that reminded me of past games that I’ve loved. I think it most reminded me of the early Might and Magic games, but with some changes, of course. I can’t really put my finger on it. The wandering out in the wilderness fighting waves of monsters you can’t see until it’s too late is totally Might and Magic II, and the turn-based combat shows some similarities. Might and Magic I-V are pretty much the prototype of classic computer RPG combat, and Dragon Quest VIII is pretty much the prototype of console RPGs. The most outstanding difference being, of course, that Dragon Quest VIII is beautiful, and those Might and Magic games were… well, beautiful for their time.
The Might and Magic series and this Dragon Quest VIII both have this bizarrely endearing cuteness and silliness to them, without seeming too childish. I find it very difficult to play kid-themed games—I never liked them when I was young, and I certainly don’t like them now. But, this game didn’t bother me. I think I’d probably buy it if I had a PlayStation 2 for some crazy reason. But, I don’t, and I certainly don’t want to spend $175 or something to have to play it on my TV. So, I’ll instead just wait for Oblivion, and perhaps finally get around to playing the Neverwinter Nights expansions in the meantime.