Posted on Wednesday, October 24th, 2012 at 10:04 AM by Kimo Kuppe
When Shadow of the Colossus came out it opened games up to a realistic fight system that has been lacking, I speak of course about, being able to climb and crawl up giant enemies. For too long were we forced to hack away at the ankles of behemoths, somehow able to fell them without much of a resistance. We just accepted that David smote Goliath before, but no more! Now these giants felt truly imposing and your disadvantage felt real.
SoTC was so widely praised of course it was only a matter of time before it was ripped off. The first most notable instance of that was the polarizing Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. While I’ll save discussing that game for another week suffice to say that it tried to mimic SoTC’s colossus combat but to a worse degree, too many quick-time events and a touchy, unforgiving hold system. Now a few years later we have the ever-baffling Capcom attempting the same thing but on a different scale. Dragon’s Dogma doesn’t just borrow from SoTC though, it also is heavily influenced by Capcoms most popular franchise in Japan: Monster Hunter. And really, combining Monster Hunter with Shadow of the Colossus is a brilliant idea that I am completely on board for. Or at least I was until I remembered one very important thing about Monster Hunter which is I totally suck at it.
Monster Hunter is a franchise that I so desperately want to like but can’t because of impatience and suckage with the controls. I love everything else about the game though, the massive bestiary of cool looking dragons/dinosaurs/monsters, the silly impractical fanservice-y armor, and its unrealistic approach to hunting and nature. I just can’t get over the slightly looser than Resident Evil controls. I probably just need to play it more and get used to it but time is a bit hard to find lately! I love the idea of having to eat and survive to be honest, after all I loved Harvest Moon, and I love being able to make armor out of the monsters you kill that looks so gaudy and ostentatious that it defies logical combat attire and realistically would probably get you killed by any monster more nimble than a Rhinoceros.
Dragon’s Dogma improves on the controls and combat aspect of the game but at the expense of being significantly blander looking. Ditching the vibrant and goofy world of Monster Hunter, Dogma opts to have a more Western fantasy look with grey castles and realistic-ish looking monsters. Cockatrices look like big turkey/cassowary’s and hydras like real world snakes. It’s not a BAD look but other than the monsters the world is a bit drab. I love the over world and everything being one giant map instead of segments. For one reason or another I’m not all that wild about dungeons and caves since they all seem to look the same. But the most important thing holding me back in Dragon’s Dogma isn’t the fault of Capcom (even though they left in the ridiculous J-pop rock song on the starting menu), or maybe it partially is.
This game is HARD. Not quite Dark Souls hard but still hard. Low level bandits are overwhelming my stupid ass and dropping me like a hot rock, which is odd considering I have little to no problem fighting 12 foot tall iguana people. I’d assume those guys would be harder much in the same way it’s harder to fight a gorilla than it is a person of equal size. Granted a gorilla can’t use a bow and arrow but I think their physical ability and ferocity make up for that. The game starts you off with a couple of quests against crippled monsters that you’ll fight later to pique your interest but after that the game kind of leaves you on your own. The difficulty spike is steep and it expects you to level on your own for a while so be prepared to fight a couple thousand wolves, goblins and small bands of bandits, not big bands of them because they will totally kill you. There’s a job posting board in town but for me all the quests were way out of my league and led me into dangerous territory and a very irate dragon. Perhaps I’ve grown too used to early game hand holding that I forgot the magic of exploring and adventure. Or perhaps I’m foolishly annoyed that slashing a guy 30 times in the neck with steak knives only took away 1/4th of his health bar.
The game is fun though and the ability to climb on pretty much anything including pigs and cattle leads to some pretty amusing moments. The companion system is a bit disappointing though, this game was MADE to be multiplayer, not babysitting 3 brain-dead robots. And don’t expect too much variety in companions from the player base, 2/3rds of them are super short skinny girls with big tits. Our chance to show the world our creativity just gets a bunch of creepy anime dorks creating their waifus. Really though why wasn’t this game on PC? Squad based action rpg is exactly what the PC needs and wants and this games got it. The games doing well and has gotten good praise enough for Capcom to claim they will develop the franchise which is good, but not because I think Capcom will do some good with it but because maybe someone will steal the idea and make it better, and on PC.
All in all I do recommend the game for those who love both action brawler games and RPGs like Skyrim. I know referencing Skyrim these days is overused but at least it’s pretty similar in this case. Successful franchises breed imitators. This sort of game needs as many imitators as possible to really refine the genre into something great. So grab a copy and start throwing pigs at your problems.
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