Monday, April 03, 2006

Hard Quest?

Well, I'd better finish Silent Hill 4 this weekend because next week Dragon Quest VIII is released in Australia (we get everything late here - it came out in North America last November). I pre-ordered this game about three months ago. It's a big deal, this game. Why is it a big deal? Well, it's the first Dragon Quest game to be released in the West. In Japan it's a National Treasure and whenever a new Dragon Quest game comes out, there are lines of people going around the block three or four times, queueing up to get a copy. Every new DQ sells around 250 million copies [may be a slight exaggeration].
But let me tell you something. I am now apprehensive about this game! Apprehensive, I say!
OK, allow me to set the scene... I recently saw the first episode of the Hare + Guu anime and the first scene was very funny. There was a kid playing a video game, sweating like crazy. The game was an RPG and his team were getting totally hammered by a big green dragon Boss. His three team members ran up to the dragon and tap-tap-tapped it with their little swords, causing 5 Hit Points damage, then the dragon unleashed a napalm-like blast of screen-filling fire at them, causing 500 Hit Points damage to the entire party, killing one of them. The surviving two of the party ran up to the dragon and tap-tap-tapped it once more, inflicting a (not) awesome 3 Hit Points damage, then ran back again only to feel the mighty force of the dragon's wrath, a bone-rattling swipe of its mighty tail, and 500 Hit Points, thus eliminating another member of the brave party. The camera switches to the kid playing, now sweating more than ever.
Well, when I saw this I thought it was very funny. Anybody who has played an RPG would find it funny. But what I didn't know, but later learned, was that this scene was based on a real game - Dragon Quest VIII. Apparently, the game is HARD, man. The game has been called a "traditional style RPG", and I'm not exactly sure what that means, since I don't think I've ever played a "traditional style RPG", but maybe that simply means that it is HARD AS HELL. What does that mean? Maybe that means that you can't spend an extra hour or two running around fighting random battles to level-up enough to beat the Boss easily. Maybe that means there is NO WAY to beat the Bosses easily. Indeed, it could mean that the game is so damned HARD that a non-HARDcore player like myself may end up smashing the controller into millions of tiny pieces long before he gets the chance to see the rest of this *totally awesome* game.
But, I really hope not.
Oh well. I'll find out next week, and make a report SUBSEQUENTLY.

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