Thanks to the Nintendo of America PR team and the awesome team at Treehouse, RPGamer was able to get a video walkthrough of the new additions to the 3DS version of Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King, which will be out in the first month of 2017. Those who have played the original should know that there are some useful features added to the 3DS release. One major change is that, like in the 3DS version of Dragon Quest VII, there are no longer random encounters and all enemies are viewable on screen. Enemy spawns are not exactly the same as in DQVII, as when players rotate the camera from left to right some of these foes will despawn. It also makes it easier to find metal slimes later in the game. Monsters are actually to scale in this version, so if you encounter a large foe it will be huge on the screen. The user interface is back to the traditional style, so fans of the Americanized PS2 version will be missing out.
In combat, there is now a fast mode available, which speeds up combat animations. Players can also swap party members around during battle, though only in areas where the wagon is accessible. This is important because there are now two new party members: Morrie and Red. Morrie is the leader of the monster arena and is an optional party member. He uses claws for combat and has useful skills that can boost tension for characters as well as a fun ability that summons monsters to combat. Red is a new addition to the party and is integrated into the story. She uses fans, has a skill to revive characters, throws gold to deal damage, and has other passive skills to gain more gold.
Lots of balance improvements have been made to speed things up, such as HP and MP being restored upon leveling up. Also, the alchemy pot no longer requires waiting for items to be created, as they are instantly made and can be crafted in bulk from the start. The quick touch menu is another handy addition, as it gives a quick way to zoom or summon your fast travel animals. The game also features new dungeons, an extra ending, and new costumes for every character in this version.
The photo mode looks like an addictive new feature where players can not only take, edit, and share pictures of their characters, but also can access the new photo challenges via Cameron's Codex in Port Prospect. These 100+ challenges involve finding enemies performing certain tasks or finding specific areas throughout the world. The monster arena has also been updated and creatures that are recruitable can be detected via a symbol above their head.
Those who are familiar with the original version will have enough new features to make this version feel fresh. The game might lack the orchestral soundtrack and Americanized user interface, but there is still voice acting throughout and all the other great aspects of the game are still in place. Considering how long Dragon Quest VIII was initially, the improvements that speed things up should help make this a more reasonable quest. Either way, this great shall be in players hands before too long.