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Dragon's Dogma


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#1
alterheld

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Dragon's Dogma is an Action/RPG set in the fantasy country of Gransys, and while there is a linear storyline, the game focuses on an open-world concept. The game starts you off with a dragon flying from the sky into your village, reigning havoc and terror. After the issue is resolved, it is discovered that your character is a special type of human known as an "Arisen". Completing a few quests in the main plot brings you to the capital city; Gran Soren, where you will base the rest of the game's adventures from.

 Everyone loves a good fight!
"You want me to climb up and hit him where?"

Almost every system in Dragon's Dogma is based off of combat, making that the focus of the game. At a passing glance, Capcom does a wonderful job with it - fighting monsters is definitely enjoyable. Once you play a few fights through, killing enemies of all shapes and sizes, you'll find that the bigger they are; the less aggravating they are. The game lacks any type of targeting system within the battle structure - so if the monster is big and slow, you'll have an easier time actually hitting it. Wolves are the fastest creatures I've come across; and although they have a much smaller health pool then larger beasts, a pack of them can take just as long to kill as a cyclops because of how quick and randomly they run. It is easy enough to get away from these small-beast encounters since, once you get far enough away from them, they'll run back to where they came from.
The big beasts is where the most fun is had - stumbling across a cyclops or chimera will require you to stop and think about what to do. After a while, of course, you'll get into a rhythm and automatically climb up the cyclops and try to poke at its eye or climb on the back of the chimera and kill the snake-tail that's spitting poison at you. Dragon's Dogma adds something that is not often found in action/role-playing games: hit boxes. If you hit an enemy: any enemy in the head, it will do more damage then if you hit them in the arm. If you strike at a cyclops' eye, it will do almost 10 times more then normal damage. If you climb on the back of an ogre, the beast will try to fling you off while motioning to grab you off. Not only do these hit boxes offer damage multipliers, they also influence what the enemy does in combat. Let's say you come across a cyclops with steel armor equipped wielding a club in his right hand. All you have to do to make him less of a challenge is break the bindings holding the armor on and do enough damage to the arm to make him drop the club. Same thing with the chimera: do enough damage to the goat-second-head or snake-tail and each will die and not cause you anymore trouble while you fight the rest of the beast.

 Multiplayer without being Multiplayer
"we're not playing chess - that's a different type of pawn"

While not actually being an online rpg, Dragon's Dogma does have a feature that makes it interactive between players all around the world. The Pawn system is how players recruit members to their adventuring team. Pawns are humanoid creatures, that look and act just like a human - the difference being that they do not age nor truly die; they also lack any sort of real emotion and willpower. As an Arisen, the main character has the loyalty of any pawns, without question, on whatever quest the Arisen takes part in.
Near the beginning of the game, the player makes a main pawn - this is a permanent character in their party, one of three pawns accompanying the player. The other two are pawns that may be hired by visiting rift stones that are scattered across the game. These hired pawns are actually other players' main pawns. While they are hired by a player, that player isn't able to customize that pawn's class or skills - so they must choose a pawn to hire keeping that in mind. However, that isn't all any specific pawn can bring to the player's experience. Each pawn learns, from fighting and partaking in quests, and shares knowledge learned freely to whoever hires them. If you're stuck on a certain quest, for example, you could look at a list of pawns and hire the one that has the most experience in doing that particular quest. As each player's pawn travels with others, they bring back the knowledge and also freely shares it with the player.
When recruiting, you are able to hire any level pawn you want but if you wish to hire a higher level you will have to pay a fee in Rift Crystals. RCs, as they're abbreviated, is a currency built for the pawn system specifically, and, in my opinion, was added to the game last minute. There isn't much use for the currency, if you hire a pawn 10 levels higher then you're main character it'll cost about 10,000 RC but that isn't a high number. You earn RCs from when your main pawn is hired by other players and, on average, they will earn 10,000 to 20,000 RC each day, whether you're playing the game or not. So unless you switch your secondary pawns every day too, the RC will stockpile fast. There is an in-game shop that uses this currency but it sells almost-useless items to alter your main-pawn and character in different ways.

 Just buy it from the black market
"um, why is your male character wearing a dress?"

For some reason Capcom had to include an achievement to have a male character in your party wear an article of female clothing. That dress, along with a lot of useful items can be bought from one of several shops located in Gran Soren using gold coins. Gold is acquired mainly from completing quests but can also be found randomly off of bandits and in chests. Some role-playing games use the main currency of the game scarcely and focuses more on finding equipment in dungeons and from quests. Dragon's Dogma, however, is not one of these games. Gold is abundant, in-fact, another achievement is to collect 10,000,000 gold throughout your travels - this will take time, but comes eventually.
Weapons and armor can be found from quests or in chests, but you'll often find yourself checking the shop for better items. If you do have the best item for the job, you'll be at the shop upgrading that item using resources gathered throughout the game and a hefty payment of gold. Between that, staying at inns for 1000g a night, and buying rare items that you'll see more often than rare items should apear in stores - you'll still only spend your money half as fast as you'll make it.

 Learning skills are all part of the experience
"apparently every innkeeper knows more, about every class, then I do."

Learning skills is as easy as finding an inn or camp to rest at. Each attendant of these places can teach you any skill from any class that your character and pawn are using. Changing classes, called vocations in Dragon's Dogma, can be done at the major inns in the larger settlements. This game's class system mixes classic fantasy-based roles with the idea to be able to cross-class different abilities.


 
THIS IS NOT FINISHED; but because I keep getting distracted - it might never get there. If anyone wants to finish for me, just reply here with it. I obviously was working on the skill/class system, after which I was going to talk about the story and history of the game's world. I may finish it eventually when I finally get around to beating the game, but for now it's on hold.

Otherwise, let me know what you think of what I've done so far or any other opinions on the game.

-alter
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#2
LicensedFool

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The Dragon's Dogma review really does exist!

...but come on, let us know how you really feel about the game.

#3
DynamiteTiger

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Pretty good so far.