So somehow I ended up super into Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen

Honestly, I'm not sure what caused it to start. I had no interest in it during it's hype period for the initial release and was even less interested after Patrick's review. I saw Dark Arisen on the PSN store and I already had some cash on there, had heard the improvements were decent and I was kinda feeling like playing an RPG where I could build a character. I figured, "Why the hell not?" I could give it a shot. Boom. 70+ hours later I just started NG+ with my level 72 Assassin and man...I fucking love this game.

Sure, as far as world building and lore and story and the rest of that, this ain't no Elder Scrolls. That's fine. Would that stuff have improved the game? Probably, but it was more than enjoyable as is. Above all else the key to this game for me was one thing...combat. Oh man, scaling giant creatures and stabbing them repeatedly in the face was just so satisfying. I couldn't help but think of our late friend Ryan's description of another stabby game: "Uh, uh, uh, uh, uh." Of course this is just one of the many vocations, which all manage to feel so vastly different. I played as a Fighter for my first 10 levels switching to Assassin as soon as possible and the Double Jump and Dodge ability soon became a core part of how I played this game. Hitting NG+ and having to be a Fighter again really drove home how unique each class is and plays through the course of this game. What do you mean I cannot double jump to this cliff face?

That variety is precisely what makes it compelling to play through it again. Although I honestly can't see myself changing my Assassin to a Sorcerer or something, I would like to try out another class maybe using another profile. For one thing though, I do appreciate that enemies haven't scaled in NG+. I like that feeling of power that I've crafted over my time in Gransys. Sure it's rough going for the first 15 levels or so, but by the time you hit your mid 20s you feel a LOT more comfortable in the world. Maybe even enough to not be scared shitless if night falls and you're still outside. Now goblins are like bugs at my feet. Even mighty dragons that I gave a wide berth for fear of them even smelling me will now fall to my swiftly swinging blades in a matter of moments. I'm sure it may get boring after some time, but after the grind so far it's actually quite refreshing.

It's not all roses for sure, there are things that are clunky and annoying. So many people have gone over the problems this game has though, so I'll leave that alone. This is not a review after all. I just wanted to share my joy in a game that I fully expected I would never play or even like. I'm so glad I took a chance and gave it a shot.

30 Comments
30 Comments
Posted by ArbitraryWater

Dragon's Dogma is one of my favorite games of last year, and the minor tweaks that Dark Arisen add make it even better. Oh, it's flawed in some really obvious ways, but the combat is so good. It apparently sold quite well, so I'll be interested to see what kind of things end up in a sequel.

Posted by Slag

Dragon's Dogma is awesome, my GOTY 2012. The combat is so so good. I love it.

I hope other people were not lead astray by Patrick's review.

Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw

I just started it, and I like it almost in despite of itself. It's hard to look past the tiny ass fonts, but it's so goofy and likable that I've been charmed by it.

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Posted by Oldirtybearon

Dark Arisen loses points for dropping that amazing J-Rock track from the title menu. That shit is unforgivable.

(just in case it isn't obvious, I agree with the OP whole heartedly - DD is an amazing RPG)

Posted by Slag

Dark Arisen loses points for dropping that amazing J-Rock track from the title menu. That shit is unforgivable.

(just in case it isn't obvious, I agree with the OP whole heartedly - DD is an amazing RPG)

Damn straight I need my Fly into Free back

The Wind is pushing meeeeeeeeee

Edited by yevinorion

Another thing I didn't touch on...man was the ending absolutely batshit crazy! That's one thing Patrick was spot on with in the review. You get a pretty decent premise then the main story kinda fades for most of it, but man...that last 1/3 of the game is just insane.

Posted by Superfriend

It´s pretty awesome. Just bought it a couple of weeks ago on PS3. The only thing keeping me from finishing it is the godawful framerate that thing has 90% of the time.

I kinda also wish the world was a little bigger, since I loved exploring it. Yeah, awesome game and a really good candidate for a PC port if you ask me.

Posted by Morningstar

Played it, hated it. Didn't like the combat and the endless respawns. And I wanted to like it so much :/

Posted by NegativeCero

I'm there with you. I bought it last week and have been spending every bit of my free time playing it. It helps that I have friends play it, so I could cheat and take their high level pawns if I ever get stuck, but I don't want to ruin the difficulty.

Edited by Tidel

I liked-to-loved a lot about it, but I fell off playing. I keep meaning to go back. I had trouble with the excessive menu bloat, horrendous quest long and convoluted inventory and crafting systems.

I loved the combat, classes and the sense of exploration, dug the story such that it was, and I think the Pawn system is genius, but I found I spent too much time in menus and not enough doing the fun stuff that the game excels at. Maybe that was just me, and I didn't have to? I don't know. I also never got any useable loot outside buying it, which bugs me.

But being drawn into a fight with an Ogre as darkness fell, and then having to survive the night far from the castle... one of my favourite gaming experiences of the generation.

Now I want to play again. Definitely strikes me as the perfect summer game.

Edited by yevinorion

@tidel: Oh man, that sounds like many an encounter I've had. That's what the game excels at. As for equipment and loot, I really didn't find much worth using either outside of vendors until the post game and what I got from defeating the dragon. I did get an awesome pair of electric daggers by the fort where the lady thieves are that lasted me up until almsot the end of the game though. I was very, very fortunate that some kind soul decided to hire my little pawn and gift me a pair of Heaven's Keys which are like a god-send against almost everything post game since they are Holy affinity.

@negativecero: Yeah I had only one person on my list who had also played it and had a lvl 127 Mage pawn. At first I thought this must be a bug since I had seen other high level pawns be super expensive, not knowing at the time that friend list pawns are free. Still, I never used her and I think it worked out for the better as far as leveling. I swapped out my support pawns frequently though, always trying to keep them close to my level. Mostly I ran with my main as a Sorcerer, and support as Mage and Fighter/Warrior with myself being an Assassin.

Posted by Slag

Another thing I didn't touch on...man was the ending absolutely batshit crazy! That's one thing Patrick was spot on with in the review. You get a pretty decent premise then the main story kinda fades for most of it, but man...that last 1/3 of the game is just insane.

best ending in a video game ever.

Posted by Clonedzero

@slag said:

@yevinorion said:

Another thing I didn't touch on...man was the ending absolutely batshit crazy! That's one thing Patrick was spot on with in the review. You get a pretty decent premise then the main story kinda fades for most of it, but man...that last 1/3 of the game is just insane.

best ending in a video game ever.

Tedious grinding, unexplained nonsense, then a 10 minute exposition dump and a super lame "boss fight" is the best ending ever? .....uh....Ok....

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Edited by WarlordPayne

The quest system is pretty bad and the whole romance thing they set up is the most laughably horrible implementation I've ever seen, but other than that I loved it.

I sunk so much time into that game, and I don't even know where most of it went because the game isn't that big. The combat is fantastic, the classes are all interesting and different, and the pawn system is brilliant. I just wish it had multiple save slots since New Game+ doesn't increase the difficulty.

Posted by EarthBowl

Its exciting to see so much love for Dragons Dogma since launch and Capcom's commitment to making it one of their key franchises going forward. I just hope they don't do anything to sour this momentum towards the fanbase in the long run.

Posted by Demoskinos

Ive got most likely near 400 hours wrapped up in Dragons Dogma between the PS3 and 360 versions. Its one of my favorite RPG's of the generation easily.

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Posted by Humanity

@yevinorion: I wrote an extensive blog urging people to play it and it is also probably my favorite RPG of the year. I won't lambast over how people compare it to Skyrim etc and simply say I'm right there with you man, I put the disk in and I don't know how many hours later finally pulled myself away from it. The game is awesome, the combat is above and beyond anything I've seen in a while - I can't wait for Dragons Dogma 2 and sincerely hope they're making it.

Posted by MonkeyKing1969

Yes, indeed the game is just a nice romp that is good in some many ways that matter. COuld it be better? Hell yah, but only because it sparks with possibilities.

Posted by Slag

@slag said:

@yevinorion said:

Another thing I didn't touch on...man was the ending absolutely batshit crazy! That's one thing Patrick was spot on with in the review. You get a pretty decent premise then the main story kinda fades for most of it, but man...that last 1/3 of the game is just insane.

best ending in a video game ever.

Tedious grinding, unexplained nonsense, then a 10 minute exposition dump and a super lame "boss fight" is the best ending ever? .....uh....Ok....

I didn't have to grind the game was not difficult, most of the story and lore was heavily hinted at if you were paying attention through NPC interactions. If you prefer the Lore explicitly stated to you then I can understand why you think it's unexplained nonsense. I thought the ending worked as well as it did because it was not so overexplained and heavily foreshadowed like game endings typically are these days.

I was overleveled for the boss fight so I will admit that wasn't very challenging.

Anyway it's my opinion, you don't certainly have to agree with it. FWiW off the top of my head I think Red Dead Redemption, the original Metroid, Walking Dead (Tell Tales), Drakengard are among the better ones out there.

Posted by Slag

@slag said:

@yevinorion said:

Another thing I didn't touch on...man was the ending absolutely batshit crazy! That's one thing Patrick was spot on with in the review. You get a pretty decent premise then the main story kinda fades for most of it, but man...that last 1/3 of the game is just insane.

best ending in a video game ever.

Tedious grinding, unexplained nonsense, then a 10 minute exposition dump and a super lame "boss fight" is the best ending ever? .....uh....Ok....

I didn't have to grind the game was not difficult, most of the story and lore was heavily hinted at if you were paying attention through NPC interactions. If you prefer the Lore explicitly stated to you then I can understand why you think it's unexplained nonsense. I thought the ending worked as well as it did because it was not so overexplained and heavily foreshadowed like game endings typically are these days.

Anyway it's my opinion, you don't certainly have to agree with it. FWiW off the top of my head I think Red Dead Redemption, the original Metroid, Walking Dead (Tell Tales), Drakengard's various ones are among the better ones out there.

Posted by me3639

The game is good but far from being considered or mentioned with top tier rpgs. However there is such a good foundation they should easily be able to make a proper sequel that will makes us forget all the problems with the first game.

Posted by yevinorion

I'm wondering if my current level (72) is high enough to go to BBI. I haven't done any BBI stuff at all as I skipped it in my first playthrough. Equipment-wise I'm rocking DF Twilight Armor with DF Heaven's Keys and DF Dragon's Rancor. Anyone know if that is that good enough to get started in BBI?

Edited by Barrock

So I have it... is this a decent podcast game? Sound low, just playing and listening to people talk?

Posted by yevinorion

@barrock: Sure, why not. You have to pay attention to incoming attacks and such, especially in the early game, but not a lot of it is on sound tells, more so animation. You should pay attention to main story quests and cutscenes, but if you wanted to have a podcast session you could just wander around doing notice board quests (read: side tasks like "kill 20 bandits" or "kill 2 ogres" etc) for money/exp without worrying about missing any major exposition.

Just fair warning though...sometimes you'll get attacked out of the blue by some creature waaay more powerful than you. You can usually get away pretty easily if you don't die, but if your sound is down you may miss the big roar or whatever that signals them coming. Just save often. :-)

Posted by tread311

I really wish this had come to PC. I game on a projector and at 120" this game really looks terrible. I guess it's a superficial complaint but between that and the aspect ratio I didn't find myself all that drawn into the game.

Posted by Krullban

Should I get Dark Arisen? I bought the original release but only played it for like 3 hours. I liked it, just I had other things to do. Then Dark Arisen came out and I lost all drive to play it.

Edited by yevinorion

@krullban said:

Should I get Dark Arisen? I bought the original release but only played it for like 3 hours. I liked it, just I had other things to do. Then Dark Arisen came out and I lost all drive to play it.

From what I understand there are some benefits to having an original DD save when you play Dark Arisen, not the least of which is a ferrystone (used for fast travel) that has infinite uses. So much so that people were recommending renting the original just to get save data to import. I think DD:DA is only like $40 right now so if you never played through the first one and you're still interested and want to play it then it may be worth investing in. I'm sure others here may have more input than myself as I never had the original.

Posted by phampire

It's weird how it can be so endearing despite having such obvious faults. I liked the epic sense of adventure it gave off. That ending is also a nice touch. Definitely worth a decent try.

Posted by Bigguy7343

@yevinorion: Someone please help me!!! I'm playing the game and I'm stuck. I'm doing the worm hunt missions and I've completed them but when I went to talk to see Maximilian I accidentally hit him and I went to prison and when I got out he was gone and now i don't know how to get him back to complete the missions!!!! Someone please help!!!!

Posted by yevinorion

@bigguy7343: wow...that sounds like a bummer. Never had that happen before so I'm not sure how to fix it. Did you have a save or checkpoint save you could roll back to?