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January 22nd, 2014, 20:24
I found Dragon's Dogma Dark Arisen (it's not technically an expansion it is more of a 'director's cut' of sorts - sort of like Divinity 2 vs. Divinity 2: Dragon Knight Saga). You don't add the Dark Arisen content to the original game - it is a re-mastered game entirely with new balancing, items, monsters, & geography. I picked it up because it was only $19 and I had been enjoying the base game enough to pick it up.

Sidebar: Devs/Pubs need to do a better job of avoiding brand confusion - they do it all the time now with reckless abandon - marketing 101 stuff… anyhow…

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
It's not bad, but I think it's a bit too messy and "strange" for my tastes. Not focused enough and kinda bland in terms of setting. Can't quite put my finger on it, but it's not that great in my opinion.
I do agree with you that the game is 'messy' though not sure if you and I are thinking the same things. I think the pawns are nice - basically pawns are just added characters to your party that you have some control over but they are mostly driven by AI. The lore concepts and reasoning for the pawns though is a bit silly.

While being a fairly open-world RPG (go where you want when you want as long as you can survive), you have to struggle through a lengthy introduction-to-the-game process. The first time with my fighter, this was easily 2 hours. There are all sorts of tire-screeching gameplay stopping and pausing events that accumulate in machine-gun rapid succession, from the time the game starts until about after the events unfold at the nearby Encampment, that gets real irritating. Once you get through that though, the game relaxes and really opens up nicely. If they make a DD2, I'd suggest making the game get more quickly to the point where the player controls things much sooner and stops being interrupted all the time.

Since I bought the Dark Arisen version, I effectively had to start all over again. This time instead of making a fighter I chose a mage hoping that I would be able to cope with combat better. With the fighter, there is no lock-on and I spent most of my time in fights running to mobs only to have a caster in my party shoot fireball at them and launch them in some other direction - rinse and repeat - it wasn't fun.

So I'm trying a mage and having much better luck. With a mage I've found that you do get a lock-on of sorts. When you cast a spell, the computer will circle the nearest mob on-screen for you so you know which mob your spell is going to hit. You can change targets by swinging your camera to a different perspective and if a different mob is close enough, the reticle will target that mob. It's a bit clumsy (preferring Dark Souls lock-on much more) but I'm having far more success damaging mobs. With my fighter I was easily spending 80% of the fights running all over the place trying to just get close enough to hit mobs (along with the slooooowwwwww turning of the camera to see in the direction you want to see in). Now I spend 80% of fights hitting mobs while my AI fighter pawn gets in there with the melee.

Side Note: I'm curious if the vanilla version of the game includes targeting reticules for mages or if they added that in the Dark Arisen version. I don't know since I did not try playing a mage in the vanilla version of the game.

As for the setting, it is a fairly standard fantasy setting. But I really like standard fantasy settings and will likely go to my grave never getting sick of it so that doesn't really bother me.

For a console game, this RPG does quite a lot. Though far from perfect, I think this particular game is the first console-only RPG I've played in the last 33 years where I think that aside from using a controller, it feels and plays similar to PC RPGs that I like playing the most (Ultima, Gothic, TES, Divinity).

It's also the first RPG in a very long time where you can jump and climb up onto things. The only thing missing from an exploratory standpoint is the ability to swim in water - oh how I miss thee oh swimming and diving in water.

If I'm right but there is no wife around to acknowledge it, am I still right?
Last edited by TheMadGamer; January 22nd, 2014 at 20:38.
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