After a few days of playing I have 18 hours in Dragon’s Dogma.  I’ve gone from being an ordinary Strider to Magic Archer.  This means I no longer use arrows, but rather have magic arrows shooting from my bow.  At first it just seems like a gimmick, but then new skills are unlocked that make it worthwhile.  Right now my favorite skill is being able to target multiple enemies at once, or use that same ability to target multiple parts of a large enemy and watch arrows rain down on them.  I believe I can also use a staff and have legitimate magic, but I have yet to try this.  My main pawn is now a Sorcerer, and is becoming a lot better at knowing when to help and when to attack.  I’m thinking I may eventually try to turn my main character into a Mystic Knight, which seems may be like a Magic Archer, just with swords and shields rather than daggers and bows (and staffs).

I continue to find myself in areas that are harder than I can handle.  This is nice but also a little annoying.  Currently, I think I’m in the midst of what may be a main story quest and can’t progress because the area I have to go to is above my level (I’m at level 28).  Sure, higher level pawns can be summoned, but if I’m stuck with nothing to do it is difficult to actually progress.  Still, this has given me the opportunity to do some exploring, and I like how coming upon large enemies results in a side mission to take them down, which then leads to some good XP boosting and sometimes I think it gives a money reward.

Traveling at night is very exhilarating, especially when going against the game’s tip to not travel through new areas at night.  It even makes commonly traveled areas feel new.  Though, I was traveling through a new area during the day, taking down some enemies, feeling pretty good, and out of nowhere a dragon swoops in, spots me, and burns me to crisp.  Needless to say, I don’t go there anymore, but one day will return (I’m thinking about when I’m at level 40).

Really, this is turning into one of the most fun games I’ve played this gen.  Sure, it has issues (I wish the pawn control/command options were more precise) but the map is so vast and surprisingly filled with stuff (but oddly not a lot of weapons and armor to loot) there is often a reason to come back.  I also like how weather such as wind makes it more difficult to walk into a strong gust or pushes you forward if it’s to your back.  Things like this show a different type of attention to detail than in games like Skyrim.  I like these small touches, they make it feel unique.  The Japanese flair also adds to this, as I’ve noted in my first impressions post.  I like all this, it’s different, and reminds me of why I like Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls so much, as none of these games feel like cheap clones of other games (even both Souls games have their own feel to them, and while I prefer Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls is growing on me and I appreciate it for it for being different).

So I still encourage people to play Dragon’s Dogma, because after the lackluster introduction sequence that overstays it welcome, the game opens up and does not disappoint.