In a bit of totally out-of-left-field news, the PS2 classic Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King has been released for iOS and Android to commemorate the game's tenth anniversary in Japan. (An HD remake would've been a bit more appropriate, but whatever.)

One of the last great PS2 RPGs alongside Final Fantasy XII (a demo disc of which was packaged with DQ VIII for the original console release), DQ VIII was the first time the developers really took advantage of the current hardware to make a fully-fledged 3D Dragon Quest (VII's isometric approach was quaint by comparison), with cel-shaded character models, a full day/night cycle, an orchestral soundtrack, the works. And it was a damn good one, to boot.

The obvious differences and concessions here (a simplified control scheme, no voice acting) mean that mobile players won't really get to experience the game as it was meant to, but it's nice, one supposes, to have the option to put it on your smartphone if you meant to. That said, as someone that spent 85 hours beating it back in the day – the platform is, again, not entirely ideal.

Still, if more people get to experience this old school classic through a mobile port, that's not terrible, even if the fact that it continues Square's rather insidious trend of charging outrageous prices for what basically amounts to nostalgia is.

If you're so inclined you can pick up Dragon Quest VIII for your device of choice for a steep $20, which is a little less than getting it in its original console release. Who knows? Maybe Square will at least deign a PSN release in the future. It would really be quite a blow if you played it without the game's wonderful and eccentric Euro-flavored voice acting. 

[Via ThatGameBlog]