Monthly Archives: May 2012

Dragon’s Dogma Review: East Meets West

Dragon’s Dogma is the latest game from Capcom that attempts to mix elements from both Western and Eastern RPGs to make a great game full of action and adventure. The question is, “does this combination work well or is the game an utter disaster?” After playing Dragon’s Dogma, I am happy to say that it is one of the best games I have played this year.

The story begins right after you have created your character. He (or she) is minding their own business when a dragon suddenly swoops down out of nowhere and starts attacking the hero’s hometown. After nearly knocking the hero out, the dragon tells him that he is the “chosen one” just before stealing his heart. Miraculously,  the hero does not die and discovers that he is the “Arisen”; a legendary hero destined to defeat the dragon. Our hero then sets out on a journey to slay the dragon, get his heart back, and save the world.

There are many vocations the player’s character may have in Dragon’s Dogma. They include mage,  fighter, or  rogue as well as a variety of other occupations. All vocations have a unique set of skills that make them play differently than the others. For example, fighters will get into the heat of battle while rangers will shoot arrows from afar. The game lets players change their hero’s vocation thus allowing them to play the game differently if they so desire.

One of the unique features of Dragon’s  Dogma is the pawn system. Pawns are followers who serve the hero and aid him on his journey to slay the dragon. They have vocations just like the hero and will utilize their skills according to the hero’s needs. Players get to create their very own pawn, who acts as the hero’s sidekick. The other pawns you hire are actually pawns that other players have created. You can rate pawns, leave comments, and send the person who created them a gift! Other players can do the same with your pawn, so can see how helpful your pawn is in other player’s games. While in other player’s games,  pawns can gain knowledge of enemies, quests, and locations. This makes them fight better, as well as give you helpful advice in the game. The pawn system offers a unique multiplayer experience that you do not see in most games today.

Combat is probably the best feature of Dragon’s Dogma. It features both high paced action and strategy. Whether you’re bashing enemies with a shield or igniting them with a fire spell, combat is satisfying regardless of your hero’s vocation. Pawns will fight enemies on their own, all though the player can order them to aid the hero or flee if the battle is too difficult. Boss battles are really fun as they are not only challenging but also require strategizing.  When facing a cyclops, for example, you’ll want to attack it’s eye so you can blind it. You can actually climb bosses and attack them in different areas too, which is pretty cool if you ask me. There’s nothing more satisfying than climbing up an ogre and stabbing him in the back.

The world of Dragon’s Dogma is pretty big and it takes a while to see what it has to offer. Woodlands, caves,  beaches are only some of the places for players to discover. It’s not as grand as Skyrim, but it is still pretty interesting. The world is also filled with items for players to collect; like harvesting plants from the ground or mining ore and other minerals. You can combine these items to create new ones or use them to enhance weapons and armor. Pawns can help the hero gather materials in the game, which can make things easier for you.

Dragon’s Dogma does well in the sound and graphics department. Graphically, the game is visually pleasant thanks to the beautiful environment and attractive game characters. Granted, some of the characters look ugly, but thankfully the rest look great. As for sound, Dragon’s Dogma shines in the music department. There are many tunes for different occasions, such as being in town or traveling on the road. The best has to be the combat music, however. When fighting a boss, the music is intense and epic, just as it should be! The voice acting in dragon’s dogma is pretty good. It’s not exactly academy award winning, but it definitely isn’t bad either. Trust me, you won’t be compelled to put your TV on mute.

I do have a couple of complaints about Dragon’s Dogma. For one, I do not like the fact that you only have one save file per Xbox profile. This limits you to only be able to create one character. Thankfully, you can unlock the ability to change your character’s and pawn’s looks whenever you want. You are even able to change their physical attributes such as sex and skin color. It still stinks that you can’t have more than one character for role playing purposes though. Another issue I have is the lack of multiplayer in the game. Sure, I can hire my friend’s pawn in the game, but I can’t actually “play with my friend.” It would have been nice to be able to team up with my friends and kick some butt.

Overall, Dragon’s Dogma is a great game that does a good job at mixing elements from both Western and Eastern RPGs to create an epic experience for players to enjoy. The game is quite long and you’ll spend hours playing thanks to post game content, the inclusion of new game plus, and downloadable content. If you are interested in Dragon’s Dogma, you can try out the demo or rent the game before you buy it. You may end up pleasently surprised just as I was.