New screenshots for the upcoming Dragon Quest VIII from Enix have revealed some interesting details about
the new title. Released this week in most of the major Japanese gaming mags, the shots show that this newest Dragon
Quest seems to have made a number of strides towards matching pace with the rest of the industry. Most notably,
this installment will feature a jump to 3D combat encounters, which stands in stark contrast to the 2D cutout fights that have been
a staple of the series.
In addition to changes in the battle system, Dragon Quest VIII also seems to have made a number of advances
in its overworld and architectural 3D technology. Fans of the series may remember the ultra-low polygon villages and ruins of
Dragon Quest VII, which looked like a relic of first generation PlayStation technology, even though they were
part of one of its last released games. Gone are these artifacts, replaced instead by high-resolution models, such as
those found in the recent Dark Cloud 2. Water effects, a dynamically lighted skyscape, and an impressively lengthy
overworld field-of-view are all evident in the pictures.
Currently, Dragon Quest VIII has been tentatively planned for a Japanese release in 2004. No mention has been
made yet as to whether the game will be coming to North America or Europe.