Hello folks! I’m aware most gamers finished playing it ages ago, numerous times even yet wanted to review it. Wanted to review it now that I reached the “fake” ending and because it is surprisingly a very fun and highly addictive game.
(LInk – MySite) – Sneliska camping out at a bandit fort.
(All images taken from Dragnn’s Dogma photo option. Images are viewable; Righ-click and open in new window.)
As most are aware, Dragon’s Dogma is made by Capcom with it being their first single-player open-world RPG. This game is for both the PS3 and 360, with mine being for the PS3. You are given the role as the “Arisen”, someone who must choose their own path by getting your heart back from the red dragon named “Grigori”, or to just roam aimlessly across the land beating mini-bosses and the like.
Dragon’s Dogma is a game that wants you to do what YOU want to do, not what the developers want you to do. It won’t hold your hand, and it’ll keep punishing you if you cry out for it to hold your end through death and defeats. It wants to beat that new-gen spoiled habit out of gamers, forcing them to use their common sense instead of grenade spamming to defeat foes.
When you start the game off you have to figure which enemies are safe for you to fight and which are those to flee from. You plan how to defeat enemies, how to equip yourself for such foes, while trying your best to survive. Stuck? Hire pawns more familiar with the area to assist you when stuck. Still stuck? Try another quest or just farm till you’re ready.
– Related Sites of Interest:
– Dragon’s Dogma Official Site:
– Dragon’s Dogma Wikipedia:
As mentioned, I got Dragon’s Dogma on July 6th I couldn’t purchase the game locally for some strange reason. Wasn’t going to store-hop from one to the next either so I just bought it online and got it through UPS. That is how much I wanted to play this game, and I’m glad I did go out of my way to try and get this game. It rewards those that can actually take a beating at the beginning of the game with satisfaction, experiences, and rewards.
My female character is actually based on my blog mascot – A Winter-aligned fox spirit with white hair, minus the ears and tail. Started off as a Fighter to later go Strider and Assassin.
My Main pawn is based on “Shinki Fubuki” – Type Ninja using the Strider vocation to fit that theme. She is very reliable and quite helpful in both realms, with her using the Strider vocation nicely in a ninja way. As of this review she has been hired only three times
PSN: Eurosubstance – Character: SneLiska – Pawn: Fubuki – For those eager to assist me. Not expecting any help but leaving this here for those that may want to. I lied on Tumblr when I said my character’s name was Varkitsu, too many characters named that now.
Dragon’s Dogma has you killed only to be revived as the “Arisen”, as a reborn person cursed by the dragon. Your heart was stolen forcing you to go challenge Grigori, the red dragon that attacked your peaceful fishing villag, horribly disrupting the calmness in the village. Your new task is to now strengthen yourself in preparation of fighting the dragon to become free once more. You are given pawns to aid you in your highly dangerous quest for true freedom.
During your quest to become strong you meet new folks, find your purpose in the world, and to aid those in need before help yourself to your own freedom.
Even though the story isn’t really all that touched upon within the game it is there, just enough for you to enjoy bits and pieces of it. Some quests does give you cut-scenes while others don’t, and for those that do holds some importance to the story that is there. For those that don’t may simply be escort quests or simple gathering quests. The whole story keeps that “dark” vibe the game was trying for, making it even darker later on. There isn’t really any happy moments I can remember broke the tension of the dragon’s invasion.
Many people have found and voiced their opinions of the story being “absolute crap”. It is because the game seems to focus more on game-play and the punishment instead of a cinematic experience. I’ll agree that it isn’t the best and could use an actual Anime writer’s experience on story-telling. To add to this, your character doesn’t say anything. Your character would only express thoughts through emotions, and body language. The actual fun in the story appears right at the end, right before you begin a new game. You know the saying – “all the best stuff is at the end.”
The game is roughly 15 hours long in story when rushing, 30 or more hours when taking your sweet time savoring every little piece within the game.
(In short: You are the Arisen tasked with slaying a dragon with the story needing an actual experience story-teller from the Anime production sector.)
The music for Dragon’s Dogma is simply astonishing and demands your respect. It knows how to sound epic, how to get your adrenaline rushing, while keeping that ‘dark’ Dragon’s Dogma vibe to it all. It makes you feel like the Arisen while pumping you up for various kinds of battles. Most of the tracks I heard were tense, dark, and just moody with the dragon invasion tension.
When you start the game you’ll be greeted by either the Japanese or English version of the menu music depending on what game you bought. It will keep playing until you start or load up a new game, continuously feeling like a cinematic movie…if you managed to get reeled into to the game. If not then it would simply be gibberish music to you. Would be nice if it had an instrumental version though.
When you fight the little grunts you are greeted with some nice battle music for a nice low-grade challenge. Simple, motivating, and just gets you going. The mini-bosses are a step up on the motivational with the music playing louder and much more proudly for the Arisen to fight much more efficiently. It gets you into the right mood to fight the Griffen, Chimera, Golemn, and Skeleton Knight. Also, as to be expected, the main boss battle for Grigori just sounds outright cinematic epic. When you battle Grigori all horns are blaring making things all that more tense and epic as you try to aim for his weak spot. Everything is just tense, proud, yet dark enough to motivate you as the “chosen one” in the world giving you purpose to fight your foes all so proudly.
For those that travel at night may have noticed a light female voice singing faintly as they would venture around the world doing their errands. Myself and others have noted how beautiful and immersive that music piece sounded. During the night you’re worried about getting attacked by zombies, phantoms, and uninvited enemies only to be greeted by a peacefully soothing music track.
Takayoshi Makino and Rei Kondoh have my respect. Aubrey Ashburn is also one fantastic singer in this. Too many praises? Damn straight! They composed music that pumps you up for battle so obviously!
(In Short: Great music composition worthy of being shared with other people. Has my respect and enjoyed the atmosphere each track gave off. It is a must that it should find its way into video game music concerts somewhere in the world.)
– Combat & Battles:
The combat system in this game has been simplified, yet is complex enough to allow for complex battle tactics. Depending on what class you are you will be required to attack up front, stay in between the mobs and pawns, or far away as to not die. Constantly seek assistance from higher-level pawns who have knowledge of what you’re seeking while keeping you and your pawn’s equipment quality constantly in check
The game has you pick a class and then to tread lightly while using common sense in the world. You can’t simply just venture around fighting everything you see, that is moronic! You have to pace yourself accordingly by trying to figure out what grunt to fight, how to fight them, when to fight them, while learning to flee when you CAN NOT fight them. It won’t spoil you by giving you infinite healing items, nor will it fairly aid you in battle. It is all up to you and your pawns!
When you do find a suitable mob to attack you use the R1 – X – O – Triangle, and square to attack accordingly (on the PS3); unsure what the 360 buttons are. For the grunts you simply slay them while using appropriate tactics to get them under control. You can send pawns flying, or have pawns fling you into the air to attack air-born mobs. Either that, or your pawns may grab onto mobs for them or you to kill them for good.
For the mini-bosses (who aren’t so mini) and bosses you have to aim for their weak-spots – Heads, tails, arms, legs, heart, or anything of that sort. You’ll find yourself jumping up at Griffins using shield skills, climbing Cyclopses to poke out their eye and tusks, slaying Chimera’s three heads, or even paralyzing flying entities by burning their wings. Depending on how hurt they are they may even roll around in pain giving you a chance to either flee or to finish them off.
You will be spending the majority of your time battling foes using commands such as “Go!” for attack – “Help!” For assistance – “Come!” for regrouping or fleeing. Combat gets quite nasty quickly requiring you to adapt to battles on a dime, even controlling pest mobs when confronted by (mini-)bosses.
(In Short: Combat is fun and gets quite intense very quickly. Quite easy to grasp, requiring you to also adapt on the fly. Don’t underestimate normal mobs, use tactic! Battling bosses is quite fun, especially when targeting their weak-spots. Your character may die to simple mobs if careless or underestimated!)
Pawns are your recruit-able followers in the world of Dragon’s Dogma. They will assist you in whatever manner they’re able to and may be hired from the “rift”. The “rift” is located at every major outpost in the world in the form of a large glowing stone. You may hire up to three pawns – 1 being your main and 2 being other people’s pawns. Like children, they need your guidance and get quite talkative with people wishing there was an audio option to mute them. They shall learn from your every action adapting to them to fit the best role they possibly can.
Your main pawn shall follow you where-ever you go and will behave however you want him or her too. You may freely customize your pawn as you did with your own character, even going to a salon in Gran Soran to fix up small details. Your main pawn will be very loyal and as good as you make it out to be. Just like yourself, you must give them a vocation, skill them up accordingly, and even tell them what they should and should not do in combat. Your main pawn will behave with what it learned, using such behavior in other people’s worlds. If your pawn was lucky enough to venture to another player’s realm they may bring back more knowledge of both quest and mob information. They will even assist you accordingly if you’re struggling.
When in trouble you may require assistance from more pawns, thus hiring more from other Arisen’s from the Rift Stone. Here, you will filter out pawns by gender, vocations, skills, levels, Rift Crystal points, and even friend list. Whoever you may need shall assist you, even if it may take hours to find the right pawns.
Because Pawns aren’t human they need the Arisen’s guidance and permission to attack. They need someone to learn from, to act, and to behave more human-like. You shall often see them being attacked yet resort to a pacifist behavior, thus needing your assistance. Guess they are like combat maids or butlers if you want to look at it from that perspective. Your pawns will behave in the way you taught them while other people’s pawns will behave in the way their master raised them.
When given enough time and space they will behave on their own. They may even behave more player-like than the player at times, often times attacking or looting before the player does. They will do things which you wouldn’t normally expect of them – attacking and slaying mobs before you do; picking up explosive barrels at random to either waste or to use against a mobs (hired pawns on a GoreChimera for me); mining away at ores; fetching their own oil/water/spring water supplies; bringing down flying foes; and even grabbing items which you haven’t seen. When allowed, they will surprise the hell out of you.
I absolutely love this feature of training pawns to behave more human-like. They do things I want them to and they learn how to attack mobs the way I want them to. Capcom needs to keep this to both expand and improve on this. They knew what they were doing here.
(In Short: Pawns as hire-able and adaptive companions is a nice feature that needs to be expanded into other games. I love how they assist you, pick up your loot, and act as another player. They don’t stand there waiting for you to puppet them. They are more life-like than the other companions and followers in other games.)
– Character Creation:
This game allows you to create an Arisen and your main pawn however you want them to appear. You are given more than enough options to customize your appearance to fit every detail possible for such a game like this.
– Height & Size: You can change the high from a kid to a very muscular person. The size of your character has both positive and negative effects in the game so choose wisely! Being tiny, you will be able to travel through many secretive areas, yet being tall you may only travel through normal areas. When you’re small you won’t be able to carry as much while being all buff and “fat” will slow you down greatly yet give you enough strength to tackle any foe.
– Appearance – Things like hair, faces, eye color and etc are all presets. You can still change the presets all so slightly for further detail and uniqueness, yet it doesn’t give you as much as you need to be fully unique.
– Voices – You can give your character a specific voice pitch. Sadly your character doesn’t speak, only when attacking or moving.
– Names – You will have to name yourself and your pawn twice for a custom name and a censored kid-friendly name – I.e Thusmason – Thomason.
– Bonus: Things like tattoo’s, skin color, and scars may be added if so desired. DLC items may later be added through this screen at a salon or starting a new game (Haven’t tried, using people’s words.)
– Vocation: You and your pawn need to fight so choose the appropriate vocation for yourselves. Make sure your vocations compliment one another, or fit your desired character style.
Yes, I am that picky! I’ve been spoiled by Phantasy Star Online 2 & Guild Wars, yet glad this feature beats Skyrim’s character creation options. I want more options in a game like this because the presets I went through just didn’t compliment my character all that much. Both Dragon’s Dogma both lack, yet DD somehow manages to go a step further…just not far enough. Needs more hair-types, color options, and just more….presets for cosmetic things.
– Other – Brief Mention:
Something I couldn’t really expand on but wanted to mention anyways.
- – Mobs Placement: The way the game was advertised made me think mobs were randomly spawning, which they aren’t. Some may be but they are very very rare, or quest based. Mobs are preplaced and may be easily avoided if skilled enough. Needs to be more dynamic and more randomized to be true to advertising!
- Multiplayer: Only via pawn hiring! Only multiplayer you get is hiring other people’s pawns.
- Brine: The only water mob that forfeits your pawns instantly. It’ll simply revive you nearest to the water yet kills your pawns as quickly as possible. This game enjoys sending you into Brine-infested waters.
- Crafting&Combination: Crafting only happens when enhancing weapons while combination is putting two items together to form a new one.
- Looting Chests and respawns: Chests and mobs respawn after 1-7 days giving you more mobs to fight.
- Arrested: Being a prick or being improper infront of royalty gets you jailed. You need to pay 5,000 gold to free yourself, or use a skeleton key to do so for free. Got myself jailed twice by accident by stabbing people due to old habits.
- Random Quests: You can get random or renewable quests by fighting mini-bosses for extra gold and experience. You may also get them from cages found across the map for freeing people from Goblins or bandits.
- Traveling: All by foot! Travel everywhere by foot until you can afford Ferrystones and port-crystals. This is actually welcomed by me because I love the scenery that much.
- NPC Interaction: Some NPC’s will try and act as if they are living by painting up the wall, fixing the wall, skim past the market, fish, and run. Capcom also tried giving the Jester a comical life by getting freighted by prisoners in cells. Even have people tending to the royal gardens.
– Suggestions to Capcom:
Even though I know this won’t be read I shall suggest what needs improvement. This game is obviously rough around the edges needing more attention to it.
- Arisen’s Home: Simply unused and you sleep at Inns for whatever stupid reason. I can’t remember being kicked out, just sent on a quest. Post-game you use your spawn back at your home! Need to be able to customize it in various ways, including displaying stuff.Â Have storage, sleep in your bed, and just…make use of it.
- Co-op: Everybody has been asking for this with me believing this game would fit for such a thing. Doesn’t have to be special, just enough for Arisen’s to help one another. I don’t want to play as my pawn, yet the character I played at yet doing simplistic co-op stuff.
- Black-Market:People are trading items by sending pawns with items so having a place to buy and sell goods across realms makes sense. Whatever you don’t need others may have.
- Larger world: The map is large, just not large enough for the explorers in the gaming world. Myself and others wanted to travel the vast world within DD with loads of dungeons and etc. Capcom could cheat with a randomly generated foreign lands people could possibly venture to, and possibly save.
- Dynamic and Randomized mobs: Just as it was advertised the world needs randomized mobs, or more dynamic. Mobs needs to push at both the players and attack amongst themselves, naturally with quests spawning to control mob population.
- More weapons, cosmetic options, and Armor: Need more! Capcom could do what Konami did with Busou Shinki Battle Masters & Battle Masters Mk.IIby pricing every single weapon and equipment in DLC form. Though, I’d prefer weapon sets over individual DLCs.
- More weather and Seasons: Loved the little bit of weather it had, but it needs more. It needs rain, thunder, snow, snowstorms, and etc. It needs seasons to control such a weather as well. It is there, just needs expanding.
– Bonus Images:
As per usual – the last set of images before I give off my final opinion on the game. Feel free to look at the images or to skim past to the end.
– Final Thoughts:
Dragon’s Dogma is very great game, if rough around the edges. It will reward those that give it a chance, while punish those that get lazy, show old habit, or are simple minded (simpletons). It punished me a few times because I got careless, picked a fight when I shouldn’t have, and get taunted by being pushed into Brine-infested waters. It is a very hard game when you take it too lightly, gradually getting easier as you get better at it. Everything has been nicely done – from the combat, pawn companions, questing, the music, and the dark tension. I would of loved it if the Arisen actually spoke.
This game obviously isn’t without faults, especially considering that it IS Capcom’s first western-style RPG. The menu, the story, harvesting, preplaced mobs, and the pawns bickering too much are few such flaws. The game apparently doesn’t scale when you start a new game. It also has that moody retro feel of Morrowind mixed with Minecraft’s nightly elements which I came to enjoy. However, the mobs aren’t random during the night making it as easy as day time. The pawns are a great addition because they assist you out in place of guides and wiki’s at times. They act on their own, constantly wanting to assist you whenever they can.
Even with its flaws this game does things that Skyrim hasn’t, or even considered not doing. My favorite part of the came is the combat system and the pawn systems with pawns breathing their own life when taught how to. They will fight as efficiently as you, if not more all depending on how you raised them and will do surprising things to shock you mid-combat or during your travels.
With or without the Capcom bias this game truly needs people’s respect. it needs to be played, especially with the Dark Arisen expansion pack coming out. I’m glad I have this gem of a game within my collection! I’m recommending this game to everybody who reads this article because Capcom did many things right, despite it being flawed in various areas. Nice attempt!
– Nice detailed customization option, gets quite detailed for both you and your pawn.
– Combat system is simple enough to use yet complex enough for both casuals and hardcore players to grasp. No more stat tree stressing for me!
– I love how this game challenges you by making you use common sense and tactics. It does get easy at points but it still knows when to challenge you.
– Music is a thing of beauty. It knows how to pump you up, set the mood, and just sounds highly epic.
– Pawns learning and adapting to your behavior is something I want to see in every single game with AI. I love coming across the unexpected with my pawns and how they interact with the world in the way I do. Ironically enough pawns are more life-like than any other companion or follower in any other game I played. They do things on their own when allowed.
– Mini-bosses and bosses are fun and challenging to fight, requiring various tactics to beat. Each has a unique way of defeating.
– Respawnable quests such as mini-bosses and rescue quests giving you bonus EXP and gold. Need more of this, but at random!
– Night time is no longer a safe time to travel because of zombies, phantoms, and hellish creatures roaming around. You can only see so far at night.
– An attempt at weather by adding over-cast, static thunderstorm, and dragon-created clouds.
– Nice attempt at making night-time dangerous, you have zombie, phantoms, and hellish creatures to tend to at night.
– Even though the story sucked it had its moments. The cinematics were nicely made.
– Glad this game has a image-taking feature. Arisens get to take images!
– DLC’s giving you more quests and armor, even if it was rated as “crappy” by players. It’s something.Â Dark Arisen coming out as a free expansion with Hard-mode.
– I love it how both you and your pawns can dodge attacks as well asÂ perryÂ them. You have to think and have the right amount of healing items as to not die in the world. Be patient and attack when there is an opening, or make one if you’re crafty enough. Â
– Arisen’s Home isn’t his or her home. Just a touristic-esque building when beginning and re-beginning. Needs customization options and more uses!
– Character customization is limited in some areas with presets being dull in certain spots.
– The menu is clunky and tedious to navigate, especially when going through items and equipment…..
– Pawns chatter too much saying the most obvious things at times. Needs a script to notify itself if it already mentioned the very obvious while keeping battle hints on the constant reminder.
– Storyline is quick and dull, though it does have its moments. Explains why people beat the game so quickly when they got it. It was meant to be beaten quickly.
– Night time isn’t as dangerous as it was made out to be. Sure, its a bit tedious but nothing more. Mobs are pre-placed giving up any illusions of night-time being dangerous. No randomness and no actual fear.
– Even though you had the option for your Arisen to speak he or she didn’t.
– I’m picky and want more armor choices. Need more flashy wears and DLCs for such to uniquely customize my character. Festive-wear?
– Lacking player trading having people trade using pawns and friend-list. Needs a Blackmarket or an auction house.
– Players seeking a challenge in a New Game+ will be disappointed nothing scales. Going to assume its for DLC’s and Expansions, or to have fun. Hard-mode may or may not assist in 2013.
– Gran Soren is a bit life-less in a gritty way. Needs just a bit more citizens walking around, more trading, or wandering NPCs. Maybe even have numerous pawns just wander around or even thieves attempting to pick-pocket every now and again.
Such a fun game! For those that either said “pass” or “DD is boring” have lost my respect. If I see such on my @ Twitter I’m outright ignoring you. You shouldn’t be playing games nor should you guys decide what or what not goes into a game. Little harsh but Capcom did many things right which should be supported, unless you want to support garbage instead being other nameless games I won’t mention. Now then, I need to beat the game for real now now by beating the true end and starting over, grabbing the DLC’s and then waiting for Dark Arisen.
There are DLC’s as well with Dark Arisen Expack (Free) coming out. If you think I said inaccurate things or forgot stuff then let me now and I shall edit them in. See you guys again when I play, or play in Dark Arisen!