Mega games get mega reviews in a megaly disordered fashion.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Dragon's Dogma: Skyrim but...challenging

Capcom can boast a wide variety of games for all consoles since their founding almost 20 years ago and in that time have created some of the more enduring multi platform franchises that are around today. From Street Fighter to Resident Evil and Devil May Cry, they have shown that they know what they're doing when it comes to sequels. It's interesting to note that one of their most marketed games of this year is actually not part of any of these franchises and is instead a game all on it's own: Dragon's Dogma, an in depth, challenging and yet simple RPG.

You can even clamber on cows. Hell yeah.

The crux of this game's story is that your heart has been eaten by a recently revived/summoned Dragon, branding you as an "Arisen" and causing most of the area to deem you as a super dragon hunter (even though you are a fisherman). You proceed to work your way up the monster food chain with your trusty sidekick until you are powerful enough to go and kill the aforementioned dragon. At which point shit gets fucking weird, and you end up becoming some sort of god after half of the city is destroyed. I'm not really sure what happened at the end to be honest, I was tired and it made little sense and after killing a giant dragon I just didn't really care. Kind of like the post game stuff for the recent Pokemon games.

It's this big....and yet there's post game stuff? Spoilers: The post game boss is one guy. One guy.

Now, most of the missions in the game are just "Kill X amount of Y monsters" and don't have any effect on the main storyline other than giving you the experience needed to level up. This is kind of frustrating, because if you play games like me and try to 100% them, then it requires you to constantly run backwards and forwards between towns to check noticeboards for decidedly pointless quests. That you still try and fucking do anyway. The highlight being "kill 40 rabbits". >:( 40 fucking rabbits. Tiny little balls of fur. Why could they possibly need killing, and why don't they just buy some fucking ferrets. The main story quests are actually quite exciting in contrast, having you fight a griffin and then hunt it down to it's nest or butcher your way through a wraith filled swamp. The only problem lies in the fact that there's barely any quick travel, and the only quick travel gems you have only spawn in one place, making it unfeasible. This requires you to spend most of the game running from ONE FUCKING END OF THE MAP TO THE OTHER. You do get to experience a brilliantly varied landscape and fight interesting battle against goblins, chimeras, saurians and dragons, but it's so fucking long! 

Beautiful as fuck, but now you need to run to the centre of town. And this is short, in comparison to the rest.

Repetition is the key in this game, with your sidekicks learning how to fight monsters by finding and killing them. This comes in very handy towards the end of the game where when you come across a troll, you can stand back and watch your allies take him down, whereas before they would flail around like idiots. It makes it feel much more like a multiplayer game even though it's just you playing, by having your team-mates shout out advice they have learnt through playing in other peoples games. That's right: your sidekick can be hired by another player to fill his group of four and then learn from the battles that he fights there, making him even more useful in your game, and vice versa. Soon you'll also learn the best way for you to take down monsters and will be scaling them to get to their weak points like a mini Shadow Of The Colossus. And it feels good. Very good.

Standard enemy. Climb snake and kill, climb goat and kill, batter legs, then smack lion's face in. Easier with 4 of you.

The level up system is decent, with you not only gaining level ups, but also proficiency levels in roles. The higher the proficiency level, the higher ranked moves you can learn which may be key for taking down later bosses. If you then want to swap to a different profession then there are some transferable skills to aid you, instead of you starting as a n00b all over again. Likewise, your sidekick also levels up this way, letting you pick and choose what sort of team you want and allowing you to swap roles accordingly. 

The magic archer fires multiple homing arrows. TOTALLY BADASS.

It's not all good news, though. NPCs sometimes don't spawn causing you real trouble in completing quests, and monsters wander, making you have to run everywhere to find them. Quest explanations cause difficulty as well by being cryptic and frustrating. You do get to explore, but I swear there's an area that I've never been to, even though I tried to do all the quests. In the end, you have to do the old RPG thing of running everywhere, talking to everyone and killing everything. And believe me, there is a lot of running. Fucking loads. And your team-mates shout things out that are really fucking pointless. After the 25th time running through the same canyon, I don't want my team-mates shouting "GOBLINS! GOBLINS! WATCH OUT!". By that point you've killed dragons and griffins. Goblins barely survive you breathing on them.

This guy isn't great, but it sums up how much running is done...Just watch the first few minutes.


Cliff Notes: Simple battle system that still provides excitement by giving increasingly fun monsters to fight. Even more fun when you become a L337 monster hunter and can take down Chimeras in less than a minute using your learned tactics. Just wish there wasn't so much FUCKING RUNNING.
Rating: 7/10. Because of the running.
Friend Recommend: Yeah, if you like RPGs then this is a good playthrough, and interesting. Definitely buy if you are a runner.

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