Two minutes into the game and I already feel like a special needs teacher on a school trip.
Good day to you I beseech you read my wondrous Dragon’s Dogma review.
Dragon’s Dogma is an action role-playing game developed and published by Capcom for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The game features an open world fantasy setting, in addition to hack and slash and survival horror elements, and was released in North America on May 22, 2012, May 25, 2012 in Europe, and May 24, 2012 in Japan.
The game isn’t too dissimilar from most RPG games, the plot is basically; there’s a bad dragon that needs killing, go get’em tiger! It plays a little like a mix of Demon’s Souls and Shadow of the Colossus, because it’s got that JRPG trying to be a western RPG feel which is refreshing but there are also giant monsters you can climb and stab in the bum which is awesome any day of the week. The only things that are a little different is the class system is a bit like Ragnarok Online where it’s more like a job that you take on and you choose a base job and then can sort of be promoted and the vocation level and your actual level are separate. So your level basically determines your stats and your vocation level decides your skills and weapons and armour you can use, this isn’t exactly new but I like it.
What sets this game apart from regular RPGs is slavery. Slavery apparently is back in fashion but it’s ok because they’re a subhuman slave race from an alternate dimension who lack free will and are very annoying called ‘Pawns’. Which you might think is just an elaborate and long winded way of getting out of putting any effort into NPC character development, but you’d be slightly wrong, because it’s all about pimping your pawns out to other players.
You make your own pawn in the exact same way you make your own character and they follow you around and you choose their class and their weapons and armour and you even choose their skills. You also get to hire two more support pawns but the catch is these pawns are other players pawns that they’ve created, but unlike your pawn they don’t level up with you which is annoying because you make this nice team and then you get to a point when your ten levels above them and they’re just useless to you, so when you give them back you send them off with a little present and a pat on the bum.
Here are a couple of ways you can tell this game is Japanese, you can dress your pawns in bikinis and g-strings, you’re encouraged to make your pawns look attractive so other players will ‘enlist’ them, there are horny monsters that get excited when they see women and harpies with big feathery boobs. I’m not complaining, it’s just weird.
Complaints start now
The most annoying thing for me in this game is the sprinting systemy thing. In most games when there’s a sprint function there’s a sometimes a meter of energy because not every game character is the six million dollar man, and sometimes they get a bit knackered. On the other hand in those games you can usually still move, you just stop sprinting and in RPGs like Oblivion you can increase your regular moving speed anyway or buy a horse but in dragon’s dogma you have to stare at your character agonizing as he works through his stitch. This has happened to me at least fifty times in major fights with monsters the size of Grecian debt, my character is sprinting to avoid barbed appendages and he suddenly just grabs his knees and starts huffing and puffing away like a chain smoker in a wind tunnel. It’s just not cool, can you imagine Solid Snake fighting a metal gear but first needs to catch his breath after conquering the stairs.
I don’t get why pawns have to be mindless hapless morons, why can’t they just be companions i.e. normal-ish people? You know people, with personalities and characters and all that, this just seems lazy. I love in Skyrim how you can just walk into an inn and meet someone interesting and have a conversation with them and have them join you on your quest, that’s cool because they’re your equals, they can even become a love interest and you can marry them. I think it cheapens the game really because instead of being followed by actual characters you care about and that can die, you’re just leading about a bunch of replaceable lemmings.
Still better than Resident Evil 5
That being said I still liked this game, I’d really lost faith in Capcom recently, game after game just seemed trashier than the last but I think RPGs actually suit their style, I mean yeah the story was nothing to shout about but that’s Capcom for you. They literally have a room full of monkeys banging on typewriters, every time you enter a room it seems like you just walked in midway between a conversation because you have no idea what they’re talking about.
I hate to compare it to Skyrim again but that is a game that is sure of its history, it’s establishes very well it’s back-story but this seems a little cobbled together at the last minute and open to interpretation, it just leaves too many holes, I completed it but I was left wanting, I feel like a missed a whole chunk of the game or something. That’s why I compared it to Demon’s Souls at first because the story seemed like peeling an onion; you just get a little further each time, but the story just wasn’t there. I heard a lot of people who talked about this game complain about how the main quest wasn’t obvious but I liked that, kept me guessing, I think I’m walking into a little fight for some gold and it turns out to be this huge part of the main quest, it makes all the quests seem important.
Overall I really liked this game because it filled me with a new found hope for Capcom. It didn’t have a quick travel system, yeah you could buy magical stones that warped you home but to get somewhere you had to hoof it. As a result you manage to piss off every bandit and giant monster just lazing about in the game. I like how fluid it is because you could be on the way to a quest and then you stumble on a chimera and you’re just like ‘screw the quest!’ and start trying to tear it’s head off and collect it’s magical gizzards, to sell or staple onto your weapons and armour. You don’t really need a quest, you can just sort of make your own, you see a Griffin and you go after it, the end.
One way it trumps RPGs like Skyrim is in every quest in Skyrim you know you’re going to talk to/stab some dude but in this you could be walking into a room with a hydra, it constantly keeps you guessing, there could be any mythical creature around the next corner and I love how it spans Greek mythology with it’s Hydras and Chimeras and Cyclops and western mythology with it’s dragon’s and giants and goblins.
The ending was a bit hit or miss really, because the end wasn’t really the end, so basically it disappointed me twice. I mean I like how this game didn’t do the Hollywood handholding with the storyline, it didn’t keep reminding you over and over of the plot but on the other hand it didn’t make a lot of sense either. I did like it, the action is great I loved the blend of hack and slash with RPG, it really worked, visually very impressive but that goes without saying these days, It just left me wanting a little more.
Pros; Lots of giant monsters and toys to play with bit of a refreshing take on a classic RPG style.
Cons; the pawns are incredibly irritating, it’s just being followed by an idiot that incessantly comments on everything he/she sees.
[xrr rating=6.5/10] 6.5/10
Article from Gamersyndrome.com