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Review: Pawn Stars And Big Ugly Bosses – Dragon’s Dogma In A Nutshell


I read some good stuff about CapCom’s new game Dragon’s Dogma, and thought why not just e-mail the good fellows over at CapCom and ask them for a review copy? You’ll never get one if you never ask! Besides, this blog has grown immensely over the past few weeks follower and reputation wise and it isn’t the little kid on the block anymore (although it’s still miles away from the real bad boys). CapCom heard my prayer and whoopdiewhoop, a few days later a press copy of Dragon’s Dogma arrived at my place. My hands were all too eager to touch my first ever review copy so I grabbed it and started playing right away.

So Dragon’s Dogma is CapCom’s brand new game, and I’ve got to cheer at them for having the guts to come up with something new and creative in the already hugely competitive world of role-playing games and also for – excuse the premature conclusion – making it work. Because Dragon’s Dogma is one hell of a game!

We all know CapCom for being the Japanese mastermind behind Street Fighter, Resident Evil, Devil May Cry and many other great series. While Dragon’s Dogma is a venture into the unknown for CapCom there was a slight possibility of this turning into a Japanese RPG but that isn’t the case here. The game is perfectly enjoyable for Western players which proves that there are Japanese developers that can make good games for the Western market. When launching Dragon’s Dogma it’s right away clear that it concerns a CapCom game, hence the beautiful music.  Every time I launch DD and this comes up, grrrrrrreat!

But music is not the only thing in which DD excels, after the tutorial in which you get to kill a half lion half deer (?) creature using tactics (yes, tactics!) you’ll get to create your very own character and this too is done great. Your character will never entirely reflect yourself but it can come quite close to the real you. You can also edit your main pawn, pawns are summoned at “Riftstones” and they will always be at your side and help you throughout the game, it’s a quite interesting concept, really. They’re like party members in an MMORPG game, but these speak far more than your average MMO gamer and it seems they are so eager to defend you that they will almost continuously scream things to you about the environment. They make you feel less lonely though :)

They do have a use, if not too make them fight hordes of goblins in the night while you run off to the castle (cough, COUGH). I kind off stayed outside of the main city for too long together with my pawns while hunting bandits for some magical tome and just doing random shizzle out in the world when I noticed it was growing dark. While I did have a lantern with me and a bit of oil it was too dark to see the road so I went off in a straight line to the city. First my pawns warn me of a stench but alas I ignored them, and next thing I know big fat zombies are digging through the earth and attack me. God, I’ve never fought a more intense battle in a game, ever! I did kill them after a few tries (DD is harder than Skyrim, but easier than Dark Souls) and went off towards the city again but when I found the road again I noticed these tiny figures walking around with torches. Turned out they were goblins and while my pawns ran off to fight them I fled through them straight towards the lights of the city. I managed! But I had been chased by I don’t want to know how many goblins and worse.

So yup, I quite enjoyed the open world aspect of Dragon’s Dogma. There’s a ton of things to do and some side quests really offer a nice variation from the main story which is great and original too (I won’t spoil a thing!). There certainly isn’t a shortage of things to do in Dragon’s Dogma, whether it concerns killing huge bosses while utilising tactics, running on castle walls, driving people away or what else, DD’s got it!

And while there are some darker sides to DD they are pretty straightforward: the graphics aren’t that great and the pawns WILL break your ears, but if you’re in for a great and long RPG experience that can compete with Skyrim (yes, it can!) and requires some skill, Dragon’s Dogma is waiting for you! Nothing beats walking around a lively world filled with creatures, quests and the sound of great music.

 

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Dragon’s Dogma: Greatness From Small Beginnings!


So I received my Dragon’s Dogma press copy yesterday, thanks Capcom! I’ve already played this one for about one and a half hour and it’s a great game so far! I’m going to try to take my time to write a review so it will most likely be a while for the review to pop up here. Keep an eye out!

King Arthur 2: The Role-playing Wargame Review


I’ve played around with King Arthur 2: The Roleplaying Game for a while and I’m most happy to be able to present you my review of this medieval game published by Paradox Interactive and developed by NeoCoreGames.

King Arthur 2

King Arthur 2 is one of those games that has a light and a dark side on the internet. Positively, the game is a great mix of real time battles, an interesting storyline and beautiful graphics. Negatively, the real time fights themselfs have been very badly optimized, the controls are clumsy and the fights aren’t close to reality at all. This made me somewhat less tempted to try out the game but considering the storyline and the Rome Total War gameplay style I was tempted to test it anyway.

The Story

Once installed I put the graphics on medium to be able to fluidly do my playing and reviewing and started a new campaign. I was greeted by a very well narrated story that told the background story of what I was doing in the campaign. Apparently some Witch Queen decided to invade my country with her dragons and what else and she managed to deal the almighty Arthur a mortal wound. It is your job to assemble a great army and destroy the Witch Queen’s armies. It’s basically the old and well known “super evil villain, kill it!” concept but since that has always worked for other games why should King Arthur 2 be any different? The whole Arthur theme should be appealing enough.

Gameplay

So when I was done with the cutscenes it appeared some high born friend had been captured in his own castle by rebels and it was my, William Pendragon’s job to save the lord. The game’s events are happening as they are in Rome Total War, not in real time. You get a mission and you will have to move your army to the destination point to do something. This is something you’ll either love or hate, but the next part is sure to delight everyone! When I arrived at my destination I was presented with a very fun and well written story where I would make choices and the results of those choices are reflected in the story itself. For example, would you lead your army through dense woods or would you prefer to keep to the high road? I did not make the best choice I could have done, I ended up in the same prison as the great lord himself, but in the end I managed to escape and needed to fight a battle. So far King Arthur 2 seems to be an excellent game fit especially for gamers who love storytelling.

King Arthur 2

But I’m afraid it’s not all sunshine and rainbows with King Arthur 2: The Role-playing Wargame, as I entered this huge battlefield filled with soldiers my fears were realised and the complaints of the internet community were comfirmed. The controls are clumsy, check! Poorly optimized: it’s not great, but you should be able to live with that. An extreme lack of realism? Check. I led my cavalry into a charge against enemy archers but before my horses slammed them to the ground they almost halted completely and the archers were relatively safe. They should have been flung into the air! Buggy? My soldiers often wouldn’t listen or listened poorly and it would take some time before they would run away. I can say one positive thing about the battles: the animations and graphics are top notch if you can handle them, really! But that’s about it.

Final verdict: King Arthur 2: The Role-Playing Wargame has its pros and its cons, the narrative is great, the storyline is awesome and it graphics surpass the beauty of the latest Total War games. If you’re interested in buying this game for it’s huge battles however, don’t, (unless you’re an Arthur fanatic :), because while this is one of the bigger Paradox titles, this game stands less chance against the big series then this archer does against an horde of enemy knights:

Please note this review was based on the first official release build. Bugs might have been corrected in future patches but they refused to install.

King Arthur 2: The Role-playing wargame

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