Dragon's Dogma Review

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Dragon's Dogma Review

After the dragon attacks, tedium sets in.

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I really like this game.

Reminds me of Dark Souls and Monster Hunter.

Light on story, but great on combat mechanics, character customisation and atmosphere.

Looks cool may get it later.

Not getting it. Capcom can go fuck off for all I care.

So...Skyrim crossed with Monster Hunter?

That's kind of the feel I'm getting from the review. Maybe a touch of Dark Souls, with the size of boss enemies and the supposed difficulty?

And I like the idea of there being areas that are beyond you, since it seems like it would be more accurate. Even Fallout had places where you could stumble into creatures that would turn you to ribbons if you weren't prepared (and sometimes even if you were), while maintaining a fairly loose narrative structure. I'll be picking this up soon, in that case.

Typo Alert:

Greg Tito:
But even after you figure out a strategy to defeat them, it just takes far too long to whittle down their huge XP bar

Should probably be "huge HP bar"

Anyway, I'm quite enjoying the game so far. It's still a rarity to get solid enjoyable combat in a large scale RPG and, as I'm playing a melee character, I haven't really noticed the aiming difficulties described in the review.

I definitely feel this is one of those games that is a pretty ibvious buy or not buy. There's not much hidden here. If you want an open world action RPG with Capcom's consistently strong combat system allowing you fight recognizable mythological beasts, this ones for you. If that doesn't excite you then there's nothing here to change your mind.

BehattedWanderer:
So...Skyrim crossed with Monster Hunter?

That's kind of the feel I'm getting from the review. Maybe a touch of Dark Souls, with the size of boss enemies and the supposed difficulty?

And I like the idea of there being areas that are beyond you, since it seems like it would be more accurate. Even Fallout had places where you could stumble into creatures that would turn you to ribbons if you weren't prepared (and sometimes even if you were), while maintaining a fairly loose narrative structure. I'll be picking this up soon, in that case.

As someone who own the game I can confirm that the Dark Soul comparison is valid, the game has very little hand holding, with limited usefulness of magic healing, the one save file (and yes that includes the auto saves) as well as many enemies who will rip ya if you dont fight smart.

I don't know how the pawn system will work in the long-term scenario, but I'm really starting to get annoyed with companies adding online multiplayer components to their single player games. Multiplayer modes are all well and good, but things like this and White Knight Chronicles' online group quests seem to forget that eventually people stop playing these games, leaving people who arrive to the party a little late high and dry.

If the game keeps a constant database of these pawns, then I don't really have a complaint here, it's just a trend I've noticed a lot of RPG's (Western-themed J-RPG's for the most part, oddly enough) doing.

Nice innovation but I wish it more of it's own personality. It's the same problem Kingdoms of Alamur had.

Would also have been nice to have some decent character creation instead of a bunch of presets.

It sounds like this is a great game, but it going to suffer from being severely underated because from looks alone,it looks like a third person skyrim knock-off, and the market is becoming oversaturated with old world fantasy rpgs

Looks alright, still peeved Capcom won't fucking localize Ace Attorney Investigations 2!

DVS BSTrD:
Would also have been nice to have some decent character creation instead of a bunch of presets.

Just curious but what exactly do you mean by that statement? Do you mean the customization of the main character and pawn? I thought that the customization was pretty detailed in that respect. o-o

twaddle:
It sounds like this is a great game, but it going to suffer from being severely underated because from looks alone,it looks like a third person skyrim knock-off, and the market is becoming oversaturated with old world fantasy rpgs

Okay, I know I shouldn't be asking you specifically about this, but seriously what about this game makes anyone think of Skyrim? I have never before been so at a loss about a comparison between two games.

AwkwardTurtle:

DVS BSTrD:
Would also have been nice to have some decent character creation instead of a bunch of presets.

Just curious but what exactly do you mean by that statement? Do you mean the customization of the main character and pawn? I thought that the customization was pretty detailed in that respect. o-o

Every played Smackdown vs RAW 2007 or Saints Row 2? THOSE have real character creation. Slider bars pown presets anytime. Detail doesn't matter as much if you don't allow for variety.

Daystar Clarion:
I really like this game.

Reminds me of Dark Souls and Monster Hunter.

Light on story, but great on combat mechanics, character customisation and atmosphere.

you are right the story is lacking, but the game makes up for that with everything else.
magical archers FTW!

I'm kinda surprised you didn't mention the very limited fast travel system. from other reviews I've read that's usually the main complaint is the tedium it creates of retracing your steps through the same sets of re-spawning encounters.

I have a question: Does downloading other players' pawns on the Xbox 360 require Gold Membership? I have access to Xbox Live but, knowing the kinds of games I play, I've never found it worth buying a subscription.

I have a heap of games to get through first, but this is definitely on my to-buy list. At the very least my partner will probably make me snatch it up soon.

Wether you like the game or not it did do one thing worthy of praise. It pretty much rendered quick time events obsolete. Also I'm surprised you didn't mention how at night the game literally turns into a survival horror.

Danzavare:
I have a question: Does downloading other players' pawns on the Xbox 360 require Gold Membership? I have access to Xbox Live but, knowing the kinds of games I play, I've never found it worth buying a subscription.

I have a heap of games to get through first, but this is definitely on my to-buy list. At the very least my partner will probably make me snatch it up soon.

It's a multiplayer aspect so I'd imagine you would. But the game comes with a set of pre-made pawns so you don't have to be connected online. It's just more fun

CD-R:
Wether you like the game or not it did do one thing worthy of praise. It pretty much rendered quick time events obsolete. Also I'm surprised you didn't mention how at night the game literally turns into a survival horror.

Danzavare:
I have a question: Does downloading other players' pawns on the Xbox 360 require Gold Membership? I have access to Xbox Live but, knowing the kinds of games I play, I've never found it worth buying a subscription.

I have a heap of games to get through first, but this is definitely on my to-buy list. At the very least my partner will probably make me snatch it up soon.

It's a multiplayer aspect so I'd imagine you would. But the game comes with a set of pre-made pawns so you don't have to be connected online. It's just more fun

I just thought of it as downloading player-made DLC but I suppose Microsoft would probably disagree with me.

That's a relief, kind of, I imagine they won't be as interesting as the player-made characters.

Catpcha: snare drum

Lvl 64 Klutz:
I don't know how the pawn system will work in the long-term scenario, but I'm really starting to get annoyed with companies adding online multiplayer components to their single player games. Multiplayer modes are all well and good, but things like this and White Knight Chronicles' online group quests seem to forget that eventually people stop playing these games, leaving people who arrive to the party a little late high and dry.

If the game keeps a constant database of these pawns, then I don't really have a complaint here, it's just a trend I've noticed a lot of RPG's (Western-themed J-RPG's for the most part, oddly enough) doing.

If you play it offline the game randomly generates pawns for you to hire.

If playing online, whenever you rest at an inn your main pawn is updated on the games' servers. So if I stopped playing the game tomorrow and never touched it again, someone in 2 years time would still be able to hire my pawn as it was the last time it was updated on the servers.

I actually had the same worry as you in regards to Demon's Souls and that's kind of come true now. Demon's Souls just isn't as much fun without the online mechanics.

Catchpa: morning person

This is one of those games where the gaming public is highly at odds with the reviewing press. In the reviews, every compliment seems to be backhanded, and the reviewer seems to only grudgingly rate the game above a "meh." On the other hand, read some message boards, and you'll hear a lot of claims of this being their Game of the Year. I'm not certain I'm quite there yet, but it is the best new IP I've played in a while, and I would rate above Mass Effect 3 even if that one didn't have a shit ending.

My favorite 2 features of the game:

1) The "pawn" system has the best AI companions I've ever seen in a game. Your main pawn can be trained and learns combat tactics from observing your behavior as well as that of the monsters you fight. They will surprise you, and not in that "he's stuck on the chest high wall again" way. And that behavior carries over when you hire someone else's pawn.

2) Unlike most streamlined Action RPGs, the game is unpredictable, and that unpredictability actually breathes life into the game. Relatively early in the game, I was escorting a merchant to a military encampment, when we were set upon by skeleton mages and warriors. It was a tough fight, and just when I thought I was going to get the upper hand, a flight of nearby harpies joined the fight. Now I'm fighting spellcasters, greatsword wielding skeletons and monsters that will sing you to sleep and then swoop down and grab you, carrying you up into the sky. And just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, a chimera jumped in ans started tearing everyone up. It was a tough fight, but I managed to survive it, though the merchant wasn't so fortunate. It was the most fun I've ever had failing a quest.

Gryphons will swoop down and tear you apart, or they might just grab a cow and fly away, ignoring you altogther. Pawns will sacrifice themselves, riding an ogre down the side of a cliff so that you can survive. It helps that the combat is genuinely fun in a way that makes me laugh at all the GoW clones that couldn't hold my attention. This is a great game as long as you don't mind that it deals more in emergent storytelling than in cutscenes and scripted events.

By the way, You have a friend's list, and you don't have to pay to hire your friends' pawns. If someone wants a boost getting started, my PS3 ID is Scars_Unseen and I've currently got a level 26 fighter that can help out. His name is Taslar. Here's a current screenshot of him(he's the one on the left):

Scars Unseen:

1) The "pawn" system has the best AI companions I've ever seen in a game. Your main pawn can be trained and learns combat tactics from observing your behavior as well as that of the monsters you fight. They will surprise you, and not in that "he's stuck on the chest high wall again" way. And that behavior carries over when you hire someone else's pawn.

the only flaw I found with that is in my case my main pawn is a mage and Iīm a fighter (and soon warrior) and my pawn is getting to thick in the fight, would have enjoyed a more detailed command system, being able to specific tell her to stay at the edge of a fight, or say tell my strider pawn to shoot the sea bird Iīm looking at, so she can help me with that quest X)

This is me wanting this..
YYYYAAAAAAAYYYY

Picked this up a few days ago. Awesome game. My only real complaints are the lack of multiplayer and the lack of multiple saves. You only really *need* one, but I'd still like the option to start new characters to experiment with different class progressions.

Admittedly I might have been a little harsh on the game when I wasn't that far in (although it does start off slow, leaving you with no idea wtf you're doing.) It still comes across as the bastard child of Skyrim and Dark Souls, but the mix may be a little bit better than I originally anticipated. After I unlocked a few decent skills and messed around with the pawn system a little more, it started to grow on me. I do find myself enjoying it, and will most likely do so until the Dark Souls DLC comes out.

I'd recommend it.

Danzavare:
I have a question: Does downloading other players' pawns on the Xbox 360 require Gold Membership? I have access to Xbox Live but, knowing the kinds of games I play, I've never found it worth buying a subscription.

I have a heap of games to get through first, but this is definitely on my to-buy list. At the very least my partner will probably make me snatch it up soon.

Nope, you can still download pawns without Gold. Pretty neat, I think.

Lvl 64 Klutz:
I don't know how the pawn system will work in the long-term scenario, but I'm really starting to get annoyed with companies adding online multiplayer components to their single player games. Multiplayer modes are all well and good, but things like this and White Knight Chronicles' online group quests seem to forget that eventually people stop playing these games, leaving people who arrive to the party a little late high and dry.

If the game keeps a constant database of these pawns, then I don't really have a complaint here, it's just a trend I've noticed a lot of RPG's (Western-themed J-RPG's for the most part, oddly enough) doing.

The game has a bunch of preset pawns that update with your level, meaning that if you're offline you're not going to miss any of the fun. Plus, the online component doesn't require a Gold membership, so you're good in that respect.

Eh, I think the game is a lot better than this review gives credit. There are problems, but they're issues I was able to overlook fairly easily.

The graphics aren't horrible. The textures are pretty bland, but the world looks good. The dungeons all look unique and cool. And the lighting, and how you actually need a light source is neat. The spells and animations all look great. The fighting is fun and engaging, though it opens up more when you unlock things later on, so the first bits are kinda simplistic with just heavy and light attacks. Fighting big ass monsters and roaming around the country side solving quests (some lame, some cool) or wandering around and having some griffon or whatever smash down outta nowhere are what shines in this game.

The story is alright I guess. The beginning wasn't that great. It was kinda over the top and weird, but whatever. I actually wasn't too into the game until I got further in and was allowed to explore and beat on giant monsters.

My biggest issue with the game (aside from the fact that when you open up the world map huge portions, though drawn, seem to be inaccessible) are the damn pawns. They're annoying. They have no personality (the game even explains this in some attempt to justify it) and they're not that interesting. I would have liked it a lot more if it was just you, like Skyrim, and you could have people tag along every once in a while for a quest or whatever.

Still, great game.

One of the really cool things about the pawn system is the way they can learn from other players. If you are on a quest, and one of your pawns already did it with another player they will give you tips based on what they know. Pawns will also give info on fighting monsters that they learned while being used by another player. Things the pawns say can get annoyingly repetitive at times, but you learn to ignore the chatter.
The lack of a fast travel system was annoying at first and added to the challenge (if you did not prepare well enough for your trip you might not make it all the way back alive.) As I got further along I discovered there are rest camps scattered around the map, and also magic item ( while expensive to keep buying ) that will teleport you back to the main city. So the travelling gets easier as you go along,
As for the story, it needs to be discovered, just like the world. It is refreshing to play a game that does not grab you by the nose and say "now you have to go over here because the story says so"

I actually liked that the combat against isnt just "wave sword till he dies" The monsters are big and you're small, it's quite fun to finally finish of a giant enemy after some tough combat. I would hate it if they included fast travel, just add horses or something instead.

remmus:

Scars Unseen:

1) The "pawn" system has the best AI companions I've ever seen in a game. Your main pawn can be trained and learns combat tactics from observing your behavior as well as that of the monsters you fight. They will surprise you, and not in that "he's stuck on the chest high wall again" way. And that behavior carries over when you hire someone else's pawn.

the only flaw I found with that is in my case my main pawn is a mage and Iīm a fighter (and soon warrior) and my pawn is getting to thick in the fight, would have enjoyed a more detailed command system, being able to specific tell her to stay at the edge of a fight, or say tell my strider pawn to shoot the sea bird Iīm looking at, so she can help me with that quest X)

Well the thing about the pawn system is that you are training behavior rather than simply tactics. There are more competing personality aspects in the pawn system than in The Sims. Training your pawn is done through a combination of them watching you, you coaching them in the Chair of Knowledge, and - if you prefer more immediate results - buying behavior affecting potions with Rift Crystals.

Dresos:
I actually liked that the combat against isnt just "wave sword till he dies" The monsters are big and you're small, it's quite fun to finally finish of a giant enemy after some tough combat. I would hate it if they included fast travel, just add horses or something instead.

I would hate even that. Just like mounts and Fast Travel made Oblivion and Skyrim feel small, so it would be for Dragon's Dogma if such were included. In this game, the journey is the point, and where all of the game's magic occurs. Skipping out on that would be like putting fast travel into The Oregon Trail. There just wouldn't be a point. And there actually is in game teleportation, it's just that it uses up a rare and expensive consumable item, so it isn't something to be done lightly.

DVS BSTrD:
Nice innovation but I wish it more of it's own personality. It's the same problem Kingdoms of Alamur had.

Would also have been nice to have some decent character creation instead of a bunch of presets.

There is an in depth character creation, its almost too detailed. Did you not find it?
I guess the menu for it is a little strange.

Anyways I think this review was a little overly critical of things that are fairly intentional. Large health bars are a product of its tactical boss combat. And if you found one thing boring it would be wise to wander off into the wilderness to hunt some massive game for fun and profit. Its a game that doesn't lend itself to reviewing I guess because it is best to let you lose yourself in the crazy adventures you get into. The initial difficulty and sudden introduction of new enemies makes for hilarious unpredictable fun.

Anyway I sympathies that the game is little bewildering at times and he had limited time in which to review it but I feel the review might have skimmed over some good parts of the game such as (moral?) choices, day night cycle and inventive combat moves that set it apart from most RPG's.

ruthaford_jive:

My biggest issue with the game (aside from the fact that when you open up the world map huge portions, though drawn, seem to be inaccessible) are the damn pawns. They're annoying. They have no personality (the game even explains this in some attempt to justify it) and they're not that interesting. I would have liked it a lot more if it was just you, like Skyrim, and you could have people tag along every once in a while for a quest or whatever.

Still, great game.

I actually liked that part, think about it, how many rpg in gaming history havenīt had you pick up followers you only met a minute ago and yet they fight and die for you no questions? With the Pawns they at least give a lore wise reason why there so blindly loyal minutes into meeting you.

As for personality, well if you havenīt seen any you didnīt care to see it to begin with. As I constantly refreshed my team of pawns I seen everything from self confident braggers to caution promoters who talks of getting nightmares from fighting monsters.

Scars Unseen:

Well the thing about the pawn system is that you are training behavior rather than simply tactics. There are more competing personality aspects in the pawn system than in The Sims. Training your pawn is done through a combination of them watching you, you coaching them in the Chair of Knowledge, and - if you prefer more immediate results - buying behavior affecting potions with Rift Crystals.

True, that helps, but I still think if a rl commander can both use a soldier autonomy and give him/her direct orders, why canīt this game keep itīs current self thinking pawns AND let me give direct orders what to do and not do?

Hmm, this game from what I've seen looks very interesting, may have to dust off the PS3 and get to it as soon as I can.

I would get it if I wasn't still bitter over Monster Hunter not coming, also fuck Capcom in general.

I played as a mage for some time (now I'm a magick archer way awesome) I am really confused by you saying there is no targeting system. You charge the spell move the ridicule over what you want to die, it locks into place in case it moves around and release spell. The arcane arrows I have HOME in on targets. I barely have to aim. My dagger abilities are as simple as, face the target you want and attack. I disagree with you on a lot of points here.

I do agree that most of the game's visuals being 90% is forest/valley/cave does get a little blah. That and the story is a barely there until you get a good ways in.

edit: One more point the word 'aught' makes me want to hurt someone.

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