I know it's not talking in deals (sorry fellow CAGers), but did anyone ever play Dragon's Dogma on another console? I need something to play - preferably on Switch with an abundance of travel coming up - and this looks pretty good. Lots of comments on videos or reviews I've watched/read use some "best RPG ever", "best game ever" type of hyperbole about it (or not). For $30 it seems like a decent deal, even for something so old as it is new to me.
Long story short - any thoughts on Dragon's Dogma?
I'm the guy who owns four copies of DDDA, so I may not be the most neutral party on the subject, but overall I'd say it's well worth that price. The story, at least on the surface, is fairly light and not especially original, though you can dig a lot deeper than the surface level based on bits and pieces you find out throughout the course of the game—more like a Dark Souls than a Skyrim, in that regard. What's really special about DD, though, is the combat. Even seven years after its release, it's easily some of the best combat in any RPG ever, even rivaling the likes of the Soulsborne games, though very different in execution. It was designed in part by Itsuno, the man behind DMC, and it shows; not only are boss monsters epic, even encounters with smaller enemies can be challenging and exciting. It's also a great game for emergent stories—while its open world is relatively small compared to some games with that feature, it's extremely dense and well-crafted, NPC/enemy AI routines can be surprisingly detailed even outside of combat; the developers gave a lot of attention to the little things (even things like character height and weight have minor affects on non-combat gameplay, for example), and it shows.
All that said, there are some significant caveats. The biggest one is the scale—it was originally planned as a much larger project (which is itself crazy to think about), but Capcom choked down pretty hard on that, and the budget restrictions show in some repeated environmental elements, a mediocre endgame dungeon (though thankfully a better one was released in the Dark Arisen expansion which is included in all versions other than the original 360/PS3 releases), the sadly truncated story, and various other minor elements. It's unfortunately easy to outlevel everything in the main campaign—ironically, even more so in hard mode, which awards you for the challenge with extra gold and exp—so for your first playthrough, it may be best to avoid completing every side quest that comes your way. They included a relationship system, but it's extremely rudimentary and difficult to control. The pawn system is a bit of a love it, leave it, or hate it affair—pawns are NPC allies that players design alongside their characters, and you teach your pawn skills, behaviors, and classes as you level up, which almost gives a sort of light raising sim feeling to the game, made more interesting by the fact that other players can borrow your pawn (as you can borrow theirs); however, pawn dialogue tends to be repetitive, and pawns tend to act incredibly socially inept, and can be particularly stupid in combat if you teach them the wrong inclinations for their class/skill loadout. Personally, I love the pawns—they're like autistic battle children—but I understand why some people aren't as hot on them.
All in all, Dragon's Dogma is one of the better new IPs to come out last generation. If you're looking for a really moving, deep, comprehensive story... DD may not be the right game. It's got some really intriguing elements if you dig into it, but it's not heavily narrative focused, and the narrative isn't really groundbreaking. If you're looking for an excellent action game, or an interesting fantasy world to explore, though, DD really shines; it has its problems, of course, but the good far outweighs the bad, in my opinion.