This review is from: Dragon's Dogma (PS3) (Video Game)
I've no need to post a review detaling the game design or dynamics as many other reviewers have already, very competently, done this.
Instead I will give my overall impression and one unique experience.
Dragon's Dogma is based in a high fantasy RPG world, the pawn system for one being very unique and entertaining. Production values are high, customisation of your character and your own pawn very detailed. Music is excellent, combat fast and satisfying. The story fun and intelligible.
MY own experience, which will live on in my memory for a long, long time is as follows...
I'd been given a quest to initally open up and old mining tunnel, to allow faster travel times between the capital city and a heavily forrested area on the other side of a mountain range. Having achieved this, I found myself with a quest to travel through the now cleared mines and help bolster the defences at a beleagured fortress. I did this wonderfully fun quest, cheerfully hacking up Goblins on the way.
After the event, feeling quite assured in my skill at the game, and now being level 31, I decided to take a bit of a sight seeing trip...it was a bright , sunny morning, I had ample healing herbs and all team members were at full health....so I went for a stroll, south of the now rescued fortress, passed a lake, with a few minor skirmishes with large lizard creatures and back into a forested section, this time with lots of large rock out croppings, which, to be fair, did block your view distance at ground level. I carried on regardless.
I walked between two large , high rock outcroppings, into a densely populated Goblin area. No problem I thought and ran in swords swinging, rounded another large rock outcrop, and found myself toe to toe with a massive and very angry fire breathing Drake.
Combat ensued immediately, with him breathing a vast plume of fire at my team and myself, instantly knocking us all to the floor and robbing us of around a third of our health.
Once recovered, healing was dished out and the battle commenced.
What followed was a very lengthy fight between the Drake, my team and the Goblins who just kept harassing my party as we tried to survive. The Drake had a glowing area on his chest, which appeared to be something of a weak spot. I use this term loosely. He had a full health bar, and 8 dots above the health bar clearly indicating I had to whittle down nine full health bars before he would fall.
He did not damage easily. If you got too close he would swipe at you with his massive claws or pick you up and throw you 30 feet across the landscape. If you stood behind him , his huge tail would swing and knock you down.
I found a fantastic strategy appeared to be to snipe at him from a distance as your team kept his attention, except, if you hurt him too much, he stopped what he was doing, looked at you, then charged at you full on, head butting you into the nearest tree or large rock.
He would regularly spout huge plumes of flame that you just had to avoid, and to cap it all, he would also regularly leap into the air and fly above the tree canopy, then suddenly dive and let you have it with a strafing run of flame.
He would also regulalrly curse you meaning your magic attacks stopped working, or he would possess a team mate and they would attack you on his behalf.
His hitpoints must have numbered in the 1000's as every hit him I made barely moved his life bar.
The fight started on a sunny morning, as I mentioned. The game world moved into night, then day, then night, then day, another night and finally in the dim grey dawn of a fourth day, where, having used every healing item available, and with my team members having been ressurected multiple times, he grabbed and started the mind control spell of one of my team mates...again...I took aim, directly in front of him at a range of around 30 feet, and fired volley upon volley into his chest as he cursed and mind controlled his latest captive, he dropped her to the floor, her mind now bent to doing as he willed and I fired a last desperate shot...it struck home, the Drake screamed in rage...and fell to the floor...finally defeated. My two team mates took care of the cursed team mate still charging at me and the fight was suddenly over.
24,000 Experience points were rewarded, and the forest fell silent .
That was just one epic boss fight in Dragon's Dogma. Go play it.
A cross between the openeness of the Elder Scrolls series, and the gritty darkness and difficulty of the Demon/Dark souls games.
( not quite as tough as them but still tough ).
A rewarding game, and more importantly, an engrossing one.
Please note there is a special edition coming out of April 26th 2013 that has the new mission pack and the original game all on one disc, for both Xbox and PS3. This game is NOT available on PC, but would look great if it was !