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Dragon's Dogma - Playstation 3
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2012
I really wish I had preordered this game, but I did the next best thing - I bought it right after release heh. I was very skeptical, but after trying the demo on PS3 I thought it was worth picking it up and I don't regret it one bit. The epic battles just keep on coming. This game reminds me of Shadow of the Collosus mixed with Demon's Souls or Dark Souls with little bit of Skyrim on top. I have only played about 6 hours or so, but I am having a hard time putting it down. My wife kicks me off to play as she also loves it. The Pawn idea is awesome (a character that is always with you and you can kind of teach how to play with you most effectively, train skills for, etc.). Anyhow, this game is fun and challenging! I highly recommend it.

I just wanted to do a quick review to say how awesome this game is, as I had no intenions of buying it and I would be extremely bummed to have missed out on such a great game. If you like RPGs like the ones I mentioned above, pick this game up. You will not be sorry!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 24, 2012
This game did something that not many others have done: It kept me drawn in until the very end.

I will be concise, since so many others have written terrific reviews.

POSITIVES:
-A twist on genre. No ground-breaking, as it were, but the subtle differences...well, make all the difference
-The extended gameplay. The game continues to give, in terms of gameplay.
-Multiple classes you can play as. Slight combos of the traditional warrior/mage/ranger
-The pawn system. You can really customize your team of warriors, and they are actually useful in battle.
-Variability in combat. E.G. Mage combat is so different from warrior.

Negatives:
-In my honest opinion, the only thing that annoys me about this game is that at the end of the game, you really are required to use a lantern because of the darkened atmosphere.
-I would appreciate some more armor/goodies to find and use, but that is a trivial thing.

Some people aren't fans of the lack of a fast-travel system. I, at first, was annoyed. Then, I began getting into the game, and I realized that the required time spent walking place to place is part of the magnificence of the storyline-of the fun. You encounter monsters in their natural habitat. Sure, you will see the same group of bandits again and again, so what? Part of the fun is trying different ways to destroy them! Also, it extends the gameplay in a very pleasurable manner. I know for Skyrim I spent all my time fast-traveling, and thus didn't discover many of the game's little secrets. You WILL find things in DD.

Overall, this is a very engaging game, with a lot of fun quirks and a great combat system. My favorite part of the game is how it continues to give and give, even after you think the game is over.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2012
First off, I won't be comparing this game to all the other ones it has already been compared to in other reviews, namely Demon's Souls, Dark Souls, Shadow of the Colossus, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, or Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. I haven't played any of those games, so comparisons of any kind would be less than pointless. Instead, I will simply review this game by its own merits. As far as RPGs go, this game is quite good and has a deep upgrade system. The story is also pretty decent. With regards to the game's combat, Dragon's Dogma thankfully abandons turn-based combat and gives you full control of your character as you slay countless enemy monsters with some awesome sword fighting, magic casting, and archery moves that are comparable to what you would find in other purely hack and slash type of games. After a brief tutorial level that shows you the basics on how to control your character and work as a team with your AI companions to take down smaller and larger types of enemy monsters, the game gives you the chance to create your very own character down to the smallest detail: gender, skin color, hair color, eye color, mouth, eyebrows, ears, posture, musculature, voice, height, and weight are all customizable. Aside from making your character a medium or larger type of person, you can even make him/her a child or a midget. Once you've finished shaping your main character to your liking, you are treated to a cutscene showing your character walking through his/her seaside village with other villagers gathered around.

I was in awe as I saw the character I had worked so much on come to life in this scene and interact with the other villagers, largely because I based his design off a character I created in my mind years ago. Even when the titular Dragon, an immense creature, arrived and started attacking the village, my focus was still on my character and how he reacted to the Dragon's coming. After valiantly (yet futilely) taking up arms against the Dragon, my main character was swatted aside like a fly, then had his heart ripped out of his chest and swallowed by the Dragon. Yet, the main character lived on. Reborn as the Arisen, the main character must now embark on a quest to slay the Dragon, reclaim his heart, and save all of Gransys from the Dragon's wrath. From here you will be given a choice of three basic vocations (classes) for your Arisen: Fighter (uses swords and shields), Mage (uses staffs for casting magick), and Strider (uses twin daggers with shortbows and arrows). Backing up the Arisen are the Pawns, inter-dimensional and immortal beings who resemble humans, yet lack that "spark of life". They lack the will to make their own decisions or even experience emotions like love or hate. Their main function is to serve the Arisen, who is able to command the Pawns to a much greater extent than any other person. Soon enough, you will be able to create and design your very own Main Pawn and even choose his/her vocation to boot. Your Main Pawn will remain at your side through virtually your entire journey and level up with you as you complete quests and defeat enemies.

Through this game's rather unique online component, you'll be able to hire the Pawns of other players (Arisens in alternate dimensions) by speaking to them as they wander the roads or by using Riftstones in specific locations that will take you to the Rift, an ethereal void from where the Pawns originate. You can hire up to two other Support Pawns at a time. Hiring Pawns who are at an equal or lower level than you is free, but you can also hire Pawns who are at much higher levels than you, although this will cost you much in Rift Points, which are rare in the game world. Your Main Pawn will be your main source of Rift Points, assuming he/she is hired by other players frequently enough. Even when your Main Pawn is hired by another player, he/she still remains by your side at all times. After the Arisen stays at an inn or rest area, he/she will be notified if their Main Pawn has returned from adventuring in another Arisen's world. When this happens, the Main Pawn will not level up, but he/she can normally return with knowledge on any quests they went on that their own Arisen has yet to undertake. They can even return with useful items that they've received on their journeys, such as healing items or tools. Even the Support Pawns that you hire can offer useful hints on quests if they've already completed them with their own Arisens, but since Support Pawns don't level up with you, you'll find yourself switching them out for stronger ones rather frequently as you increase in power.

I personally loved the flexibility and convenience of this Pawn System. Even though I had many different Support Pawns under my command, I still felt rather attached to most of them, and I would actually get upset if one of them was killed by an enemy. While Pawns are technically "immortal", they can be taken out of the battle by enemies. To be more precise, when a Pawn loses all their health, you have about a minute to revive them simply by running up to them and pressing a button, which will have them regain half their health. If you don't get to them in time, their bodies will disappear and they will return to the Rift. You can summon them again, if you wish, simply by going into the Rift through a Riftstone. If you lose your Main Pawn, he/she will automatically return to you once you activate a Riftstone. Pawns can prove to be quite helpful in a pinch and can do things like heal your injuries, revive you if an enemy puts you to sleep, or carry other downed Pawns to you during heated battles so you can revive them. Although, there have been times where Pawns simply won't do what you want them to, especially when it comes to attacking a particular weak point on an enemy. One other thing that I actually found to be a relief about this Pawn System was how players cannot steal items from other players' Pawns. You can unequip weapons and items from Support Pawns, but doing so only sends the unequipped items back to that player's item storage.

After a few hours of playtime, you'll eventually reach the city of Gran Soren, which will be your main base of operations. It has an inn where you can rest and advance the time of day, store items, change skills, and even change your characters' vocations. Six new vocations are available once you arrive at Gran Soren's inn. First are three advanced vocations: Warrior (uses large two-handed swords and hammers), Sorcerer (uses archistaffs for casting more powerful magick), and Ranger (uses twin daggers with stronger longbows and arrows). There are also three hybrid vocations: Mystic Knight (combines Fighter with Mage), Assassin (combines Fighter with Strider), and Magick Archer (combines Mage with Strider). These hybrid vocations are only available for the main character, the Arisen. Pawns are unable to use them, which is somewhat disappointing. However, due to the uniqueness of these hybrid vocations, the fact that they're only available for the Arisen makes sense, considering he/she is supposed to be this legendary warrior like no other. It requires a certain number of experience (discipline) points the first time you switch to a new vocation, but after that you can switch between purchased vocations as much as you want. Discipline points are also used to buy new moves and combos for your characters. It would have been nice to be able to switch abilities and vocations from the pause menu, but you can only do it at Gran Soren's inn. Knowledge Chairs are located within this inn, as well as other inns and rest stops, which allow you to speak to your Pawn and dictate how he/she is to operate in battle, whether it involves them attacking enemies more aggressively or backing up allies when they're overcome by enemies. You can even tell your Pawn how frequently or infrequently they should speak, although pretty much all Pawns will repeat the same dialogue over and over when you travel through familiar locations. I got used to this in time, but I can see other players getting very irritated with this. (I also noticed how Pawns' voices are sometimes completely different when inside the Rift compared to when they're outside of it. I just found that rather strange.)

Gran Soren also has a weapons shop where you can buy, sell, and upgrade all kinds of weapons, armor, and accessories. Most of these have special attributes such as being imbued with elemental magick or having the ability to offer your characters protection from certain magick elements or debilitations. There's also a shop where you can buy and sell healing items and such. Aside from these shops, other weapons, armor, and healing items can be found while exploring the many wilds and dungeons of Gransys. With regards to exploration and traveling, Dragon's Dogma doesn't pull any punches when it comes to delivering a survival experience. All kinds of enemies such as goblins, wolves, harpies, bandits, undead, cyclopses, ogres, chimeras, griffins, golems, dragons, and more wander the countryside. Sticking to the roads will normally allow you to avoid most of the danger, but not always. Straying from the roads will almost certainly lead to an encounter with some kind of enemy. You really never know when you'll encounter a group of bandits or goblins, only to have the battle interrupted by a griffin swooping down from the sky or a chimera jumping out from behind a hill. When night falls, the danger is doubled. More monsters are out during the nighttime, but the darkness itself is also a danger. When it grows dark, it truly is DARK. Even with a lantern equipped, you'll only be able to see maybe ten feet around you; anything beyond that is basically pitch black, and you never know what could be lurking in the darkness just a few steps away from you. You get a real sense of urgency when you find yourself trying to get to a certain destination before it grows dark, especially if you're in an unfamiliar area where being in the dark can get you lost.

The many different enemies you encounter, especially the larger ones, can be quite deadly. Many of these larger creatures, such as the golems and cyclopses, require using more strategy than brute force to take them down, like climbing onto them and attacking their weak spots while your Pawns back you up. Like the game itself will tell you through its loading screen hints, there's no shame in retreating from an overwhelming enemy or group of enemies if you're not feeling up to fighting them. It's not about being a coward, it's about being a survivor. Thankfully, once you get used to it, the game's save feature can make it so you don't have to backtrack too much if you should happen to die. The game automatically saves pretty much anytime you enter or exit an area, but don't rely on this too much. Just be sure to manually save often, which you can do at anytime except during a battle. Aside from fighting monsters, the many quests and side quests in this game will have you doing things like escorting friendly targets to far away locations, gathering evidence for important trials, retrieving powerful artifacts, and hunting down specific enemies and monsters. As epic and adventurous as this game is, it's not without its faults. I've never been one to use fast travel in games, although a faster way to get between specific points in this game would have been nice. While you can use items called Ferrystones to instantly transport your party between specific locations, there aren't enough of these transport points to take advantage of, plus Ferrystones themselves are quite rare and expensive. Basically, it would have been preferable to have something like mounts or stagecoaches to use at certain moments that could take your party between villages and rest stops, or at least between Gran Soren and the Arisen's home village of Cassardis.

Graphical pop-in is also an issue here. I normally don't care about this in videogames, but with Dragon's Dogma it was quite noticeable. Many times I would be walking or running down roads or through towns, only to have NPCs and Pawns suddenly appear just five feet in front of me or even next to me. While the game's story is rather decent and actually gets very interesting as you approach the end, it is severely lacking in narrative. Since the Arisen is your classic silent protagonist and the Pawns are AI companions that are (initially) rather unimportant to the plot, most cutscenes in the game involve one or more of the NPCs doing all the talking while the Arisen and the Pawns stand there with surprised or angry expressions on their faces. Even the dialogue options you have with NPCs during gameplay are extremely limited and aren't nearly as deep compared to those in the few other RPGs I've played such as Fallout 3. The Arisen can basically only answer "yes" or "no" questions, while the NPCs will say a few sentences and nothing more.

On a more positive note, this game does include certain moments where the Arisen has to make a choice that will have different outcomes on the story and even dictate what quests you will or will not be able to undertake. These decisions thankfully aren't the cut and dry, good or evil types seen in other games like the Infamous series, but instead are more nuanced and cover more of a gray area in terms of what is right or wrong. There's no karma meter in this game, although simply running around and massacring friendly NPCs can get you arrested and have those NPCs lose favor with you. This topic actually leads to what I consider to be the game's biggest flaw by far: its "affinity" system. Doing things like completing escort quests and giving gifts to certain NPCs raises their affinity for you, while jostling, harming, or killing them naturally lowers their affinity. I don't remember there being an in-game tutorial on affinities, and even the manual has only a very vague description of what affinity entails: basically it gives you the impression that heightened affinities will simply affect how NPCs react to your presence. That's it. The truth is that the affinity system is far deeper and more finicky than the game leads you to believe it is, so more specific guidelines on how it truly works or even some kind of "affinity meter" would have been preferable. Being anymore specific than this would be going into spoiler territory, so let me leave this one warning to those of you who have not yet played this game: BEWARE of which NPCs have a high affinity for your main character because it will affect the game's story somewhere down the line. In my case, the effect "affinity" had on my story was very...unexpected and unpleasant. You can find out more through the many online forums of Dragon's Dogma if you want, but be careful with spoilers. Despite this one big flaw and the other minor flaws, Dragon's Dogma is still a great game that should not be missed if you like fantasy-based adventure games. Plus, there are some extra quests and new enemies to face after the initial ending, so make sure to keep playing until you reach the second end credits if you don't want to miss out on anything, not to mention a very unique and powerful ending. If Capcom makes a sequel and ends up improving on only one thing from this game, it better be their "affinity" system, although a better narrative wouldn't hurt either. If done correctly, a sequel with these improvements would be perfect.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2012
Dragon's Dogma has the worst first hour of any RPG I've ever played. Things happen that aren't really explained. There's this wonderful set up to a dilemma but then there's no sense of urgency and it's all very clunky. You just sort of wander and meet a lot of people with no personality, pick up items that do nothing, and fight seagulls and wolves. Then you get to an encampment and you're put through tests that feel like they dropped out of the PS1 era. You choose a party of warriors from a weird disorienting nether space and then... things get really, REALLY good. You start exploring in earnest the world around you; finding caves, monsters, and most wonderfully closed doors locked from the otherside. Your party members start earning their keep by doing the herb farming for you, telling you when you've missed a spot, learning about monster patterns and bringing fresh intel to your team. You face ever more treacherous monsters and when you first see that a side quest has expired, you realize that you can't just say yes to every damn request. You have to really make an effort to help these people. The combat camera can be a real problem, especially at night or in tight quarters, and I wasn't always sure what strategy I was impressing upon my pawns (there's only three commands,) but what trumps all of that; combat is super fun. Learning new skills and hiring on new pawns brings a new thrill to every encounter, and customizing weapons and armors with all this weird loot you pick up is exciting. What the game sacrifices in main quest urgency, it makes up for in exploration, discovery and in side quests that require planning and strategy. If you get caught in a strange place when that sun sets, you're in trouble. There's plenty of things that need improvement in this game from the dated character designs and animation to the horrible voice acting but none of it stops it from being fun. climbing a hydra to lop off its head or a cyclops to poke its eye is completely satisfying the first and the fourth time you do it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2012
Dragon's Dogma is a game that will suck you in right from the very beginning. You are a small town fisherman who seemingly by chance becomes the focus of an enormous dragon who steals your heart and beckons you to come find him. So far so good. The game takes place in a world full of monsters who will provide you with some very fun and memorable fights.

I set out eager to explore the "huge open world" that the game touts, and enjoyed my first 25 hours immensely. After this however, combat and traveling became a bit tedious. It is indeed a vast open world, but there is not terribly much to do in that world other than fight enemies, who after level 40 or so stop posing any sort of challenge. I am used to open world games like Oblivion and Skyrim and can easily log 150+ hours without getting tired of exploring. As I was close to uncovering the entire map I realized how little there was to do in Dragon's Dogma--there are only two towns (one is the capital and for how large it is there are too few interesting people to talk to). Additionally there are very few places to visit on the map, compared to Skyrim where I still have not uncovered all that there is to see. I understand that these are two different games, and that Dragon's Dogma is not trying to be Skyrim, but for a game touted as a "huge open world" I believe my disappointment in the number of things to do in that world is justified. Because there are so few locations on the map you will find yourself running back and forth between the same places to complete missions. Once after having slain a griffon in a remote tower, I found that I almost immediately had to return to the same tower to fight another enemy. Really? There couldn't have been another tower in the game for this separate quest? I usually do not rant about games but the lack of things to do in the game almost makes Dragon's Dogma feel incomplete. I would have liked to see better side quests, something along the lines of the guild quests in Elder Scrolls.

Enough ranting because I would like to highlight things about the game that I did like...

The end of the game was phenomenal. Quite possibly the best end of an RPG since Final Fantasy X (and not too dissimilar). For me, the end of the game was the saving grace. All of the loose ends that seem to be hanging throughout the game are tied up well. Another thing I liked was the cast of characters. There is a colorful cast that helps drive the story and make cut scenes very entertaining. Finally, I really enjoyed the pawn system. This allows you to hire mercenaries to fight by your side, and the AI of these pawns is rather impressive. They provide you with tips on fighting certain enemies and can also guide you through unknown territory.

All in all I am happy with Dragon's Dogma, however I think that spending too much time exploring the map outside of the main quest-line is a waste. There is too little to see and not enough reward for doing so. I would consider purchasing DLC however I feel like there should have been more content included with the game itself and perhaps content was omitted for the sake of selling it as DLC.

Also by the end of the game you will find yourself saying "aught" and "naught" in everyday conversation, earning you strange looks from your friends.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 2012
OK first of all, I am sick of the complaints, "You only get to create one chracter at a time, and the graphics are a little rough." With all the fun I am having with this game, those are very minute things, like complaining that a hot girl has one short fingernail. I was able to create a character that looks so much like me, and my main pawn looks spot on with my wife. For those of you who loved the Hack and Slash games of Playstation 2, this is the gme for you. I have lived off Demon and Dark Souls for the pst two years, and I wanted a good ole fashion RPG like Baulder's gate series. Problem is that Playstation 3 hasn't really come out with one until this game. One of the really fun aspects of the game is that you can have 4 pawns to fight with you. They can be an archer, fighter or mage. Your main pawn levels up with you and can never leave your party. But when you go into towns, you can find pawns that have higher level then the other two you have, and you can switch them out. So while you and another pawn are fighting up close, one of the other two can be fireing away with arrows from the back, and a mage can be castng spells, and be healing the party with a spell during the fight. There is also the option of hitting R2 to climb up the bigger monsters and hack away at the head. Its also cool the way it turns from day to night, and it really looks real when it gets late in the day, and then sun starts to set, and then later the sun rises--it really has that early morning feel and look to it. During the night, the stars come out and so do the real monsters. Some people complain about the lack of story line. Does any RPG really have a story line? I mean Seriously. Isn't the story line really building your player up?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2012
Aside from the amazingly clever pawn system (what a great way to build a party!), the intriguing plot, the beautiful expansive world, and the engaging quests... I never believed I would compliment a game on it's combat system.

I've always been an RPG girl, but combat in those games has always felt like a necessary evil to push through to get to the next plot point. HOWEVER, this game is different. The cooperative attacks (eg tossing someone up in the air to land a blow on top of the creature) and the targeted attacks (eg hitting the ogre in the knees to topple it) make the combat more interactive, and less mindless. Even the mechanics of combat are more interesting than simply pressing X to strike. You can learn skills based on how you like to fight. Even within the same class, you have options on what style of combat you prefer. And you can change them out if you don't like it.

Don't let the focus of this review fool you. This game is not combat focused by any means. There are the fair share of dungeon crawls, but the world is so much bigger and more lively than that. Exploring the landscape (during the day when it's safe!) is really enjoyable and meeting interesting characters throughout the world is just as much a focus as the fighting.

Definitely an under-hyped game. If you like RPGs, and even if you don't normally enjoy combat, this game is a must have.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2013
A little hard at first, being as how i was around level 70 when i started playing, but twas well worth the effort. I'm doubly sure.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on May 23, 2012
Intro:

This is one of those few games you need to play and don't let the average C score fool you as this game stands toe to toe with many games and only in reality fails mostly on story as I've been told. Capcom has taken a risk with a new IP and people should pay notice as this is one of the best RPG's to come out since the Witcher 2 and no I'm not kidding.

Visuals:

The graphics in this game are gorgeous. your character and others around him look great! The game is also 40 kilometers in all directions so ITS HUGE! Lots to explore and go anywhere you want right off the bat. There are issues though with the lip-syncing of characters and I assume this is due to not having acting talent available as that is usually expensive. There is a huge attention to detail such as when you wade through the water you can see your character get wet and and the most wet parts dry last. The PS3 holds up very well and the frame rate is good with no hiccups even when running through the open glades in search of monsters.

Customization is incredible and easy to make a cool looking hero. You can even make an elf type hero if you so wish (select the ears), and you can scale everything about your character from muscle/limb size and weight to your bust size for girls. These effects to your character also translate into the game. The heavier and stronger your character the harder it is to climb but also the easier to knock down enemies. You can also have effeminate standing, masculine standing, menacing, or even hunching heroes. The choice is yours.

Sound:

From the time the game loads you feel you're in a magical place,and some may feel its a bit too nostalgic but that all changes when the tempo quickly goes into a rock and roll funk that beautifully marries the old and new together. Sound effects are great, crisp and clean. Everything sounds as it should with feet on the sand, grit, or dirt it all sounds great.

Your pawns do talk in the game often, but its not at all redundant. Pawns will repeat themselves after a while however, but they will always try to offer something new to say to cut the monotony of their speech. Other pawns you hire will have knowledge of secrets that their master found in their game and will add to your pawns knowledge such as, "in Gran Soren some places can only be reached by rooftop." The hired pawns will even give tactical knowledge to your pawn about enemies, quests, and the like.

Also you can talk to ANYONE yes ANYONE in the game and they all have mostly unique voice talent. Really rare to find that in any game even Mass Effect.

Story:

I haven't played too much as its just been several hours ~4 but as far as other reviews go the story as I have heard is the weakest component. However so far it seems intriguing and story is only one part of an RPG.

Gameplay:

Holy gameplay Batman. This game has incredibly meaty gameplay and is rigged with all kinds of controls switches and attacks that would make Dark Souls and Demon's souls look like point and click games. From the offset of the game you can customize your character choose a class mage, fighter, or strider and from those choose to learn new skills and assign them at inns (places to rest) by using up your skill points in your skill list. You do the same for you pawn. The system is complex but for RPG veterans it will be a synch or for those that are used to this system. You can later combine classes to create/discover new jobs, classes, and techniques. The list is endless.

Boss fights are not only scripted but changeable. Its hard to describe but for instance when you fight the Hydra it literally destroys the whole encampment slithering over everything and at anytime using R2 depending on how heavy your character is you can LATCH onto the beast and SCALE it ala shadow of the colossus using you joystick to climb as he violently tries to throw you around and slice at weak points on the beast. THAT'S JUST INCREDIBLE! I've never played a game with scripted moments melded into real time controllable sequences so seamlessly. Attacks are fully immersive and really make the game feel much more tactical instead of hitting one button. you will be switching up your game OFTEN to SURVIVE. AI of bosses are truly cunning. The hydra for instance cut off the path to my pawn and knocked them out. At first I was frustrated cause I thought I was really going to lose them as you need to revive them quickly but then I realized I could climb over the beast to reach them. As you can imagine battle gets quite frantic.

There is night and day but unlike in games like Skyrim they actually have severe changes. Big nasty monsters will come out at night to try and make a snack out of you while in the day if you stick to the road you should feel more safe. Other things change too like quests people coming out and more. I could say what else comes out....but that would be spoiling it, *smiles*.

Item collecting is very predominant in this game. Search crates, logs, dead monster carcasses, SEARCH EVERYWHERE! From fishing to mining you can find things and craft them together to make more powerful weapons, armors, potions, etc. Your Pawn will also pick stuff up that you may miss yourself. Plenty of space to find things too as the game is 40 kilometers!!! The landscape is also varied and beautiful. From flowing vistas plateauing over beaches leading to dense jungles with camps near them you will be at awe with the variation. However if you don't want to constantly move by foot there is fast travel akin to Elder Scrolls allowing you to move quickly from point A to point B when point B has already been discovered using consumable stones known as ferrycrystals and portcrystals.

Pawns will help you out by lifting you into the air to jump on a Griffin (if you choose) hold an enemy down so you can stab it for massive damage, set up healing spells, and more. They are not idle and they are not stupid either. You can also customize the AI of your Pawn so that he/she will do more things you expect like heal you, go out and attack like a frenzied lunatic, set up defense, the list goes on for ever.

healing is also done an interesting way. You can't completely heal your characters with magic as you can in other games. Only minor wounds can be healed. Major wounds, which increase the more you fight must be healed at inns or with healing consumables.

As far as classes go I've played a few and I'll give a rundown. The fighter type has all kinds of standard melee techniques but also has the ability to lure enemies towards them with shield bashes, calls, heavy savage blows, can soak up damage and more. The strider class attacks from afar with arrows, artillery like attacks, and quick savage strikes. The mage can float for small distances to get to far off places (certain spell), create incredible spells, and can add elemental spells to your weapons and party.

In essence combat is so good and engrossing. No other game is like this. None at all and in terms of gameplay Dragon's Dogma has them all beat here.

Replay value:

The game is very long. Quests are everywhere, from notice boards to the main quest you will never have a drought. you can even set up adventure yourself if brave enough and venture into the woods at night to find a monster that will give a special item from its carcass to smith into a weapon. I thought it was crazy but I'm beginning to believe the developers that this game is over 300 hours if you do everything. Not too mention but when you start the game I was surprised as I read an update notice saying they will be changing/updating quests every week. Incredible. Of course those are DLC's. Once done if you manage to keep up with the weekly quests you can always try again with another character class and merge it with existing job classes to create new classes if you want. I'm obviously not there yet.

Online:

There is no online. At least not in the traditional sense. You can only exchange pawns with other people for in game cash and that's it.

Difficulty:

I almost died several times in this game even at the beginning. Its hard, especially if you don't strategize and if you're light enough be sure to scale your enemies like in Shadow of the Colossus! Weaknesses are not shown as big glowing hints like in Dead Space or others of that nature. You gotta think strategically like in the chimera battle right in the beginning where cutting off the snake tail stops the monster from casting debilitating effects. Also don't go out at night. you will get in so much trouble lol. As well, healing plays a large role in difficulty. As I described above you can't simply fully heal your characters with magic. The more damage your hero takes the less he has the ability to fully heal him/herself especially when hit with critical attacks and your max life begins to cap lower and lower the more you fight. This results in a kind of fatigue effect. Anyways you must sleep to fully regain your health and bring the cap back to max. This is another reason you shouldn't travel around without proper supplies.

Conclusion:

This game is not to be missed. I have no idea what many reviewers were thinking when they rated this game as it holds its ground easily against some of today biggest franchises. I have played games and especially RPG's for as long as I can remember and this is definitely a classic. This mind you is a gameplay oriented game mostly and gears you to self exploration and to have fun questing. It is more akin to older games where less emphasis was placed on story and you had to put the story together more for yourself. It is a difficult game but rewarding and immensely fun.

There is even going to be crossovers in this game where weapons from the new Berserk movie (the manga/animation with Guts) will be in this game. I'm sure they'll add in other cool things from street fighter eventually as well too.

I will talk about the DLC on the disc. Okay yes its there. yes its annoying. Does it detract from the game? No and I'm not basing my review off of that nor should anyone else. That's a policy that should be taken up with Capcom and should be handled with them not on a review of the game. The same goes for Diablo III's online DRM, and any other game people are having policy issues with.

I will agree for the most part with Gametrailers review of the game where they gave it an 8.7/10. however I'm going to bump it to a solid 9/10. This game has a lot going for it and Capcom has done an amazing job here that should not go unnoticed.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2013
Dragon's Dogma, like Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, which released around the same time, is an epic, Western-style role playing game that has a strong focus on real time action combat. In fact, it wouldn't be a stretch to call both of these titles action games with RPG elements. But while the two titles look quite similar on paper, they couldn't be more different. Dragon's Dogma is developed by Capcom, a Japanese studio, and the game still has deep roots in Japanese gaming despite being a Western RPG through and through.

One thing that has to be mentioned right away is that Dragon's Dogma has its share of issues. It's an incredibly ambitious game whose ambitions were far greater than the hardware it was made for. Technical issues such as texture pop-in and chugging frame rates are common. Character facial animations, particularly during scenes of dialogue, are quite lifeless. The menu system can be quite unwieldy and non-intuitive. Even after 50 hours into the game, I was still finding myself fumbling around the menus at times. The game's fast travel system, despite being improved for this Dark Arisen edition, is still one of the most poorly executed in any game of this type that I've ever played. Dragon's Dogma is a game that reached for the stars, and despite being a valiant attempt, especially for Capcom's first foray into this type of game, is still quite rough around the edges.

Despite this, Dragon's Dogma is a game that I would wholeheartedly recommend to fans of action games and WRPGs. I loved the game.

Dragon's Dogma has a sense of adventure about it that no other Western RPG I've played this generation has (and I've played nearly all of them). The world of Gransys is huge and ripe for exploration, yet this never comes without significant risk. Like the classic Japanese RPG's of the 90's, setting off on foot someplace that you aren't adequately prepared and leveled up for will result in your swift death. The day/night cycle of Gransys also plays a huge part of the experience, as the nighttime becomes extremely dangerous. Gransys is a fantastic game world, filled with epic vistas, diverse landscapes, and secrets everywhere.

I would have to say that the one area where Dragon's Dogma trumps all of its competition is in combat. And this isn't referring just to the combat controls (which are fantastic), but to the way combat scenarios unfold in the field. Imagine the free-form dance that is The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim's combat, combined with the tightly-tuned yet flexible controls of something like the old Devil May Cry titles, and that is what you have here. Dragon's Dogma provided me with some of the most thrilling battle sequences I've ever experienced in a video game, period.

Battles have this sense of "anything goes" and can often become chaotic quite quickly if you aren't prepared. Thankfully, you will always have the aid of your Pawns, your AI controlled partners-for-hire who I found to have some of the best AI I've ever come across in a party-based RPG. Thanks to the diverse skill sets of my Pawns, I was always being healed when I needed to be, my weapons were always buffed appropriately, and the appropriate tactics were always applied to emerge victorious. The Pawns in Dragon's Dogma are a fantastic innovation in partner AI. The Pawn system especially comes to life with its multiplayer functionality, allowing you to loan your pawn to people on your friends list, and also allowing you to borrow theirs for no cost.

Rounding out the game's high points are an excellent class system that eventually lets you form custom classes to suit your liking, a story that starts out somewhat bland yet becomes extremely intriguing after a wild turn of events in the last quarter of the game, excellent voice acting, and TONS of stuff to do. I spent about 50 hours with the main campaign, and that was skipping lots of side quests and not even touching the Dark Arisen expansion content. The creature design is something that is worth a mention as well, as it is stellar. Many of your non-human enemies have a stop-motion look to them that seems more realistic than other RPG's I've played, and the ability to attack them in a variety of ways, including lunging at and climbing up their bodies to hack at weak points, adds to the scope and epic feel of the battles described earlier.

Dragon's Dogma is a great game despite its rough spots. It's an ambitious, unique RPG that is not only extremely thrilling and fun to play, but has a grand sense of adventure that really sets it apart. A no-brainer for fans of this genre.
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