Zero Punctuation: Dragon's Dogma

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PureIrony:
I'm surprised he didn't complain about the lack of fast travel. From what I've heard, this game is a pain in the ass to play sans-combat.

And, given that he didn't exactly endorse the combat, I see little reason to pick this up.

The lack of fast travel is a design choice. Traveling at night tends to be more dangerous, difficult and a different vibe. If you could fast travel you'd always just skip that and escort quests, which are actually kind of fun, would be pointless.

Plus everyone neglects to mention that a couple hours in to the game you get 'ferrystones' which allow you to teleport from anywhere back to the main city. A bit longer in to the game you get ferry crystals which you can place on the ground and teleport to with a ferrystone. The crystal is reusable you just pick it up off the ground and put it back in your inventory.

Also the 'ogre' is the enemy he mentioned. The point of the ogre is it's one of the big enemies that it's a BAD IDEA to climb around on. They're essentially giant gorillas on speed. The pawns learn the best ways to dispatch an enemy by your trial and error or the trial and error that someone else who used them does. They shout things like 'It will target women' 'keep your distance with your attacks!' 'it's resists much magick!' (about a million fucking times) to help you know that ogres are exceptionally tough, will always run at female party members (and go berserk earlier if it has a hold of one) and that debilitating effects pretty much don't work.

Hang on, didn't he just write an Extra Punctuation about games allowing you to fuck up, and how that was a good, organic thing? Seems like Dragon's Dogma is just doing that in an RPG setting: You can go anywhere and challenge anything, but you might get your ass handed to you if you're not careful.

The review was really funny, just thought I'd mention that.

I have to admit I didn't see a lot of that coming. Good show Yahtzee! Let nobody say you have lost your game.

Also, I kind of like the pawn mechanic. I just wish there was more to like about them then them being a good bottom bitch. As they say.

Holy shit, a Neopets reference? I was all over that shit when I was young.

Mozza444:

Jonci:
If it helps, do remember that if a Pawn gets really annoying, you can pick them up and toss them off a cliff.

Also, did anyone else noticed how often female Pawns would be near naked near the release of the game? I swear perfectly good Pawns would come back without clothing and suddenly higher appearance ratings. Sluttiness is all well and good for a Pimp, but I need my pawns to have armor.

I used to have a huge bulky skin-head guy as a pawn who could carry lots of shit and act as a good tank. He was rented 3 times in a week, with 3,000 rift crystals as the maximum.

I changed my pawn to a near-nude woman and got around two rentals every time i played and racked up a shit load of rift crystals. It bugged me though so i now have her in heavy armour and she doesn't get half as many rentals.

Too many god-damn children too. I want a team of 4 men that look perfectly able to fuck cyclopes and dragons up. Not two naked chics and a little boy.

Really? My pawn is a gigantic bulky black man warrior armed to the teeth He gets rented about once a day and I've accumulated upwards of 50,000 rift crystals from time to time (it's usually about 4,000) The crystals are based on how much XP the pawn earned while in the other person's employ.
Although I recently had him visit to the barber now he has bright blue skin and glowing purple eyes.

I will never hire a pawn that looks like a stripper or a small child. There's enough of them out there that I can get sensible ones. Plus two of my best friends have the game and are staying roughly my level so I use their pawns since I don't have to spend crystals to hire people's pawns on my friends' list.

Thunderous Cacophony:
Hang on, didn't he just write an Extra Punctuation about games allowing you to fuck up, and how that was a good, organic thing? Seems like Dragon's Dogma is just doing that in an RPG setting: You can go anywhere and challenge anything, but you might get your ass handed to you if you're not careful.

The review was really funny, just thought I'd mention that.

About mucking things up, I would attribute it too his rather frequent hypocritical humour.
Also, don't forget his amusement in the last lines about respecting a game that lets you take the reins, even if the first thing you do is drive it over a cliff.

I never made the connection between PIMPING and PAWNS before this review...

"Swords are pointy"

...thanks, pawn

This was a HILARIOUS review.

First, you have demon's souls attempting to fall onto your head like the evil prepare-to-die creature it is, and then...

"WAIT A MINUTE! AM I PIMPING?!". I almost fell off my chair laughing.

Well done, man. XD

Sperium 3000:
I'm surprised. I thought Yahtzee would rip this one a new one for not being pitch perfect, but he was surprisingly nice to it, all things considered.

Especially considering how similar it is to Monster Hunter a game he absolutely loathed.

It's particularly funny when you fight a golem and one of its weak points is right on his ass.

By the way, since we're on the topic of pimping, anyone(with the PS3 version) who wants to can send me a friend request so they can use my pawn for free. His name is Taslar and he's around level 50 at the moment. I've got him leveling his warrior vocation right now. My PS3 ID is Scars_Unseen.

An absolutely hilarious video~! Easily one of my favourite Zero Punctuation videos~!

After this review I'm even more tempted to buy the pimping simulator Dragon's Dogma. I plan to play a mage if I do so hopefully there will be less grabbing and being suplexed for me.

Given that Dragon's Dogma is my current addiction, it's hard not to fanboy(v. : to be a bitchy fanboy) all at Yahtzee here for not singing praises and thoroughly fellating the game, but I'll restrain myself. All-in-all, this is practically a glowing recommendation of the game, given that Yahtzee's reviews are generally tactical missiles designed to reduce games to smoldering hate-ash.

Do wish he'd talked about the combat a little more, since that's pretty much the glowing, awesome part of the game, but I have to admit that most of his criticisms are pretty accurate. Pawns talk too much, and when climbing it's sometimes hard to tell where to go. I didn't really have his problem with figuring out where the main quest is. The sidequests are generally just the notice board stuff, and the occasional quest from random passer-bys, but the game practically throws the main plot at you.

It's true that it is kind of hard to judge which areas can and can't kill you if you're just randomly exploring, but I'd argue that that's not really a bad thing. I found a lot of the most entertaining moments of the game to be when I was very distinctly NOT in a safe zone. Getting lost in a super dangerous area while night falls while trying to escort a non-combatant is a hell of an adventure.

I...hadn't really connected pawns to pimping. I guess because my pawn was a big, brawny pack mule. Then again, some people are into that sort of thing.

Uh.

OH GOD. I need brain bleach. Excuse me.

Thunderous Cacophony:
Hang on, didn't he just write an Extra Punctuation about games allowing you to fuck up, and how that was a good, organic thing? Seems like Dragon's Dogma is just doing that in an RPG setting: You can go anywhere and challenge anything, but you might get your ass handed to you if you're not careful.

The review was really funny, just thought I'd mention that.

That's certainly a good thing, and apparently even earned some rare praise.

Having a good thing, however, does not automatically turn an entire game awesome.

Great review. He forgot to mention the weird romance mechanics in the game, where in giving too many gifts to pretty much any NPC secures their undying love.

I didn't realise this until completing the game when my character decided to have sex with some random Fisherman that I once gave some food to. And now he's living in my house! It made zero sense, but oh my did it make me laugh.

For all its flaws, there's a bizarre charm to this game.

ace_of_something:

Mozza444:

*Snip

Really? My pawn is a gigantic bulky black man warrior armed to the teeth He gets rented about once a day and I've accumulated upwards of 50,000 rift crystals from time to time (it's usually about 4,000) The crystals are based on how much XP the pawn earned while in the other person's employ.

What system are you on? I'm on PS3 so maybe the Asian gamer has a little more influence on whats popular.
I was wondering how the rift crystals were determined too so cheers. The day after i started pimping the horrible little slut i had created i got a rental of 23,000 crystals.

Although I recently had him visit to the barber now he has bright blue skin and glowing purple eyes.
I will never hire a pawn that looks like a stripper or a small child. There's enough of them out there that I can get sensible ones. Plus two of my best friends have the game and are staying roughly my level so I use their pawns since I don't have to spend crystals to hire people's pawns on my friends' list.

If i pass a pawn that looks like that i go out of my way to throw them off any sort of height.. it doesn't even kill them bud that blood stain shows that it at least hurt. That is why it annoyed me to stoop so low and make myself a prostitute, out of 40 hours gameplay and 2 weeks with the male pawn i had 3 or 4 rentals.
I'm just waiting to get a few more and hopefully i can change them back.

"Wait a minute! Am I pimping?" is probably the most memorable ZP quote in months.

Varil:
I...hadn't really connected pawns to pimping. I guess because my pawn was a big, brawny pack mule. Then again, some people are into that sort of thing.

Uh.

OH GOD. I need brain bleach. Excuse me.

Well, he's not really wrong. Comparing it to pimping is the joke form of what the pawn system is: a master/slave relationship a la G.W.F. Hegel with a good dose of Friedrich Nietzsche's take on morality and will.

Dragon's Dogma is a very smart smart game. It's fun to play and has excellent combat, creature animations, and AI pathing. It also draws its fantasy narrative not from Tolkien, but from French symbolism and German philosophy. It's anything but generic, though it's flexible enough to allow its players to be as generic as they like. You don't have to know or care about its source material to have a great time with it, but it's got a lot of layers if you want to start peeling.

It was a fun video, but Yahtzee short-changed how the romantic interest works: I didn't get the willowy blond girl (well, I did briefly, but then she went off somewhere else). Instead, I got two brunettes who both decided to live in my character's house and didn't seem to mind each other. One guy on the GiantBomb forums was hitting on two female NPCs but didn't work the affinity system right and accidentally ended up with the city blacksmith (decidedly male, rather hairy, neither blond nor willowy).

And now I have a better idea of what Neopets actually is. Sort of. I guess. Maybe. I mean, all I really knew about it before now was that it's a thing that teenage girls draw fanart of on deviantART.

Yahtzee made his character a chubby black girl and his sidekick a thin petite long haired white boy with rosy cheeks...we need to talk man.

For a while I was convinced the Escapist is making all of Yahtzee's choices for games these days. Then a he blew out of that streak and now it feels like it's happening again. Why doesn't he get games the rest of us are actually playing? Ghost Recon, Rayman Origins, Gravity Rush, Day Z even. *Nobody's* been talking about, or was excited about Dragon's Dogma. If anything, Yahtzeen probably made the game more noticeable by reviewing it, almost like the Escapist was given a copy for him by Cap-ARGHABBLESAGGLESHAWAMS

[Ack, doublepost]

oldmeme:
For a while I was convinced the Escapist is making all of Yahtzee's choices for games these days. Then a he blew out of that streak and now it feels like it's happening again. Why doesn't he get games the rest of us are actually playing? Ghost Recon, Rayman Origins, Gravity Rush, Day Z even. *Nobody's* been talking about, or was excited about Dragon's Dogma. If anything, Yahtzeen probably made the game more noticeable by reviewing it, almost like the Escapist was given a copy for him by Cap-ARGHABBLESAGGLESHAWAMS

There's been various threads about DD before and after release, he's done Rayman Origins, Ghost Recon pretty much just got released, Gravity Rush seems really obscure from what I can tell and I've never seen him review a mod before.

This is the first video to make me laugh in a while. BTW Yahtzee, would you be able to post a picture of your character?

oldmeme:
For a while I was convinced the Escapist is making all of Yahtzee's choices for games these days. Then a he blew out of that streak and now it feels like it's happening again. Why doesn't he get games the rest of us are actually playing? Ghost Recon, Rayman Origins, Gravity Rush, Day Z even. *Nobody's* been talking about, or was excited about Dragon's Dogma. If anything, Yahtzeen probably made the game more noticeable by reviewing it, almost like the Escapist was given a copy for him by Cap-ARGHABBLESAGGLESHAWAMS

He did review Rayman origins. And how many people did play that? Not many, looking at the sales figures.

Gravity Rush hasn't been released yet.

Ghost Recon is pretty much the kind of game he usually does review.

How long does long division has to be before it is called long?

I have trouble with two digits in the divisor...

oldmeme:
For a while I was convinced the Escapist is making all of Yahtzee's choices for games these days. Then a he blew out of that streak and now it feels like it's happening again. Why doesn't he get games the rest of us are actually playing? Ghost Recon, Rayman Origins, Gravity Rush, Day Z even. *Nobody's* been talking about, or was excited about Dragon's Dogma. If anything, Yahtzeen probably made the game more noticeable by reviewing it, almost like the Escapist was given a copy for him by Cap-ARGHABBLESAGGLESHAWAMS

Does Yahtzee even have a Vita? He's barely touched his 3DS. Ghost Recon released at the same time as DD, and he's always a few weeks behind; I would guess it's in the queue.

"Nobody" is a fairly strong claim. Capcom's a big company, DD is a major release, and there has been at least moderate interest on this forum. And yeah...he already did Rayman Origins together with Super Mario 3D.

The bit about pimping had me nearly crying with laughter. I opened my eyes again just in time to see the box with the rubber gloves coming out. "Well fuck" thought I as I burst into spasms of laughter. I then had to rewind the video to catch what I'd missed. Only to be then caught out again by the tower bit. In short, I'm saying: Well done.

A pretty funny review, although I think Ben pretty much missed the point of the game. He spent a good deal of his review talking about the terrible story, which is evidently not what the game is presenting as its strong suit. To be fair, the dialogue is decently written and (barely) competently voiced, but the main pull of a game like Dragon's Dogma as opposed to its competitors (at this point, that's Skyrim, Kingdoms of Amalur, Dark Souls, and possibly the Witcher 2) is its gameplay.

Skyrim's combat is frankly boring, although it looks visceral at first and the game's great graphics are an asset. Its levelling system too, although better than Oblivion's broken system, is still so-so and fairly boring.

Kingdom's of Amalur had massively boring combat from a gameplay perspective, although it felt and looked great (again, at first. It does wear thin.)

Dark Souls has fantastic combat but it can be inaccessibly tough, and the levelling system, although satisfying, is very particular in how it rewards the player.

The Witcher 2 isn't open world in the same way as the above games, but it's almost there, and its combat system is great, although the emphasis is more on preparation and a few key maneuvers rather than tactical decision-making in combat.

Dragon's Dogma, on the other hand, has a fantastic levelling system, one of the best I've ever seen. You start with your basic 3 streams (Strider (rogue), Fighter, and Mage), and each of these has an upgrade, a sort of prestige class. Then you also have hybridisations of each class with another class; an Assassin is a fighter/strider, for example. Each of these classes can be levelled up to give you access to skills specific to that class. The kicker is that you can pick and choose from a variety of classes and build skill loadout that is massively customised and truly unique.

Dragon's Dogma also has some fighting game DNA in it, eschewing the number fixation of many RPGs. Instead it prefers to reward you with new combat moves on levelling up, which don't necessarily deal more damage, but might instead have a great tactical application. For example, the fighter gains access to a broad spinning sweep that he can perform even while being hit, or the mage gets a new spell that can create an ice platform to reach new places. This makes both levelling and combat far more interesting than simply choosing which numbers get slightly bigger every hour or so of play.

The party-based tactical combat is almost on a par with games like Dragon Age, which is a great achievement considering those games are some of the best in the genre. It even surpasses Dragon Age in its clever sub-boss battles which require you to use specific tactics to defeat larger enemies (like Chimerae, Cyclopes and Griffins). This can involve climbing on them to hit weak spots or using specific elements, but it can also involve luring them over cliffs or simply weighing them down by getting everyone in your party to climb on them. This will actually tip some boss enemies over, making them vulnerable.

Your pawns, although they're repetitive and say things out of context, actually handle the complicated combat system really well, considering how poorly Skyrim's companions fared with that game's simplistic fighting.

The loot system is simply the best in any recent RPG. There's a near-perfect mix of common, uncommon and rare items, and you're almost always looking forward to a great new purchase, many of which look fantastic. The crafting system is present and functional, but not particularly inspiring.

Really, the only things to fault about this game are the story and the graphics (which are mediocre, and given the obvious comparisons with Skyrim and Amalur, it's unlikely to stand up well. NB though, that the art design is very accomplished.) The gameplay is some of the best I've seen in a long time.

Give it a chance, and it will suck you in. Of course, if you start the game as an obese middle aged six foot black woman, then that's not really giving the game much of a chance to begin with. :P

PureIrony:
I'm surprised he didn't complain about the lack of fast travel. From what I've heard, this game is a pain in the ass to play sans-combat.

And, given that he didn't exactly endorse the combat, I see little reason to pick this up.

That's because he doesn't like fast travel, as they degrade the feel of how large the world is.

I believe he said "If I can instantly teleport from the city to the farthest mountain and back easily, why not just have the entire game take place in one field?"

"Wait a minute, am I pimping?!"

Made me bust out laughing. I was thinking it was like pimping until you've confirmed my thoughts and now Dragon Dogma is basically a pimping game, and the pawns even give you nice items after they're done with their 'services'. Lol... wow that is wrong XD way to make game mechanics into something else!

I dunno, this video didn't exactly wow me, except for the "pimping" comments. Maybe because what Yahtzee had to work with?

God this was good! I think this one video changed the entire premise of the game. GG Capcom.

Yesterday's generic FPS with zombies is now today's generic medieval fantasy with dragons.

When I think about medieval mythology, dragons are not my first thought nor does it get my fuel pumping for the art of swinging a sword or firing a bow 'n' arrow.

Maybe Capcom was trying to make their own Demon's Souls/Dark Souls game. Really sounds like it with letting the player go anywhere and you praying to god it's the right way. Everything about the Soul games would give you major hints that maybe you picked the wrong path. Come across a bunch of giants sleeping in the grass and you have to sneak by them. Have to say that this game seems like it doesn't warn you until the very end of the area your in. Okay I have beat all the enemies in this area and I can't wait to fight the boss, holy shit it killed me in one hit with a fireball.

Great video this week, possibly one of my new favourites.

I got to play the game at a friend's house and my first action upon entering the game and getting sidekicks was to throw the frail looking old lady mage the game saw fit to give me out of a window.

I then customized my character to look like (s)he'd just come back from a crazy night of cross-dressing in Brighton and her (his) sidekick was what I imagine a very old he-man would look like.

Oh yeah, and her name was Harold with the Moniker 'Fanny'.

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