A momentary diversion on the road to the grave

Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen

By S.A. Renegade on June 25, 2013 in Reviews

Final verdict: B
Final playtime: 195 hours

Yeah. It’s this game again. Dark Arisen is not actually a new game, it’s the same game

of last year except with a new area and a new hard mode. So I guess you’d call it an

expansion pack. Or an updated rerelease. Either way, since I liked Dragon’s Dogma I was

cool with buying and playing this game again. Oh, what’s that you’re saying? Since I

already reviewed the game last year I don’t need to review it again? Well too fucking bad

’cause I’m reviewing it again anyway. You can’t stop me. But seriously, playing a

game twice does a lot to improve your judgement of it, you pick up on more stuff and your

opinions have a lot more time to mature. Not that anything here is opinion. This is all

hard objective truth bitches. I give it to you straight. Raw. No condom.

But since I did already review this game, instead of going over what I already talked

about last time, I’ll be expanding on and talking about new things. So you can treat this

review and the previous one combined as a more thorough Dragon’s Dogma mega review or some

shit, I don’t care.

Before I get into the game proper though, let me just say that, yes, Capcom is selling

the same game twice (for those willing to buy it), and no, this is NOT a bad thing. In

fact, we need more of this. Yeah, I said it. We need more companies updating their games

and releasing them a second time. Not just because it allows them to earn more money if

the game they’re rereleasing was really good, but because it potentially allows a good

game to become great, and a great game to become amazing. It’s no secret that the best

games come from improving on an already established base rather than some totally new

lightning in a bottle idea. And what could be more established than an already completed

game? Of course, not all games deserve a rerelease. Some games just plain suck shit and

should be scrapped. But just to give an example, the recent Metal Gear Rising is a game

that is SO CLOSE to being amazing. An updated rerelease would be perfect for it, and it

kills me inside to know it will never get one. So stop bitching about companies double

dipping. You assholes are the reason we never got Trauma Center: Under the Knife 2 on

Wii.

Of course, the problem with Dark Arisen is that Capcom forgot to, y’know, ACTUALLY

FUCKING IMPROVE ON IT. In fact, let’s start with a clear downgrade that becomes apparent

right from the very beginning. They removed Into Free, the opening theme they used for the

original Dragon’s Dogma. MOTHERFUCKERS. That song was godlike! Instead they replaced it

with some boring bullshit. Oh sure, some people complained that the song didn’t fit

with the game, but those people are bitches.

Anyway, moving on. Since I played Dragon’s Dogma the first time around with a male

character, I decided to play as a female this time. I had always been curious of how

certain scenes in the game would play out differently if you were female, especially

because there’s a female-only quest (although you can still do it as male by cross

dressing) and ogres are more aggressive to women than men. So I was looking forward to

these new scenes but guess fucking what. THEY DON’T EXIST. Every single fucking scene

plays out exactly the same regardless of your sex, even when it’s completely absurd for it

to be that way.

Take the quest where that fucking slut duchess tells you to sneak into her bedchamber

at night and the duke finds you. Now, if you’re a man obviously this is gonna seem very

bad. She starts screaming and accuses you of sneaking in to rape her and tells the duke to

throw you in the dungeon so she gets off the hook. This is a total bitch move, but at

least it makes sense. The problem is that she does the EXACT SAME THING if you’re female.

What the fuck? Excuse me, I’m going to rape you? WITH WHAT? I don’t have a penis to rape

you with and I don’t have a strap-on either, search me. But no, seriously, finding the

duchess in her room at night talking with a man is not the same situation as finding her

talking with another woman. And don’t try to bring any stupid gender equality shit into this

like “Ooh you’re so bigoted that you think a woman can’t rape and that she can’t be

cheating on her husband with another woman”. Firstly shut the fuck up, this is a medieval

setting, a medieval society would not react in the same way to both of these scenarios.

Secondly yeah I am bigoted, what you gonna do about it bitch? Yeah get outta here.

Marriage is supposed to be between a man and a woman as god intended! It’s Adam and Eve

not Adam and Steve! But seriously, couldn’t she have just said I was over for a cup of tea

or some girl talk or something? Christ.

And then when I’m getting whipped in the dungeon the retard guard is like “Oh, wanted

to have a turn in the sheets with His Grace’s own wife?” Fuck you. You expect me to

believe this is all some progressive gender equality play by Capcom? Fucking PATHETIC is

what it is. Lazy and cheap. Don’t even get me started on how later on when you save the

slut duchess she and your character kiss and make out and probably have a quick fuck on

the bed offscreen even though I was never asked whether my character was gay, let alone

whether I agreed to have an affair with this bitch. Shit pisses me off. Even I could do a

better job than this and I’m like the laziest fucker alive. You wanna see how to

masterfully handle the differences between a male and female protagonist, check Persona 3

Portable.

Next, you may remember that I mentioned this game having a new hard mode. I’m always a

fan of hard modes and one of Dragon’s Dogma’s flaws was that it was too easy, so this

sounded like a great addition. Of course, as usual Cheapcom can’t do anything right. The

truth is that hard mode doesn’t add much to the game. It doubles or triples the damage

dealt to you, and doubles the stamina your skills consume. However, for some

incomprehensible reason hard mode also makes it so that you earn FAR more gold and exp so

you end up overleveling even quicker. Who the hell comes up with this shit? I guess it

makes it so that you get one-shotted a lot early on. Also makes it so that early on melee

jobs are hardly worth it because one stray hit is a game over, and as I said in my

previous review, it’s not like the combat in this game is up to the advertised standard.

Compared to melee the ranged jobs are just so much safer and better. I fought my first few

ogres at a very low level as a Fighter and they killed me probably like 20 times because

getting one-shotted by anything makes Fighter so underpowered when you could just troll with

Strider. Of course, since enemies shit gold and exp in hard mode, these ogres and other

one-shotting enemies very quickly turn into weakass pussies. Let alone if you’re

using a cheap class like ranger.

This brings me to my next point, which is that this game is still way too easy and the

reasons for this are several, but mostly boil down to the game giving you too easy access

to too much cheap, broken shit:

1) As I said above, increasing gold and exp on hard mode is pretty batshit.

2) Some classes are way too cheap and overpowered. Namely, Ranger and Mystic Knight. I

mean holy shit, Ranger can do such absurd amounts of DPS and from so far away that you’re

practically never in harm’s way. How can those poor helpless enemies compete?

3) Curatives are too plentiful and too easy to use. Now, I’m not arguing to take them

out completely, this is an RPG after all, but the way it is right now, you have

practically a limitless supply and you can use them at literally any time including the

middle of a fight, including in the middle of being grabbed by an enemy or any

other moment. They also go into effect instantly and the game is paused while you’re doing

this. Shit needs toning down. Some sort of limiter like not letting you use items in the

middle of the fight would go a long way.

4) You think curatives are bad? Bitch you ain’t seen shit. Aside from that you have

wakestones, items that instantly revive you upon death like a bottled fairy in Zelda. This

sort of item shouldn’t exist at ALL, but to make matters worse the game shits them out to

the point where late in the game I had hundreds of the fuckers. Not even Satan himself

would have enough patience to kill a bitch a hundred times, what chance do these monsters

have? By the way, Satan, you still owe me you son of a bitch.

5) The forger is too broken. You know how online games turn into pure chaos when

somebody finds a way to dupe items because it’s such a broken ability to have? Welp,

Dragon’s Dogma has that ability built right into the game. By paying the forger a fee you

can dupe almost any item in the game. Need more of that rare item that heals you

completely? Well how about you make infinity of them! And since enemies shit gold in hard

mode, the fee means nothing to you!

But that’s enough listing, Cheapcom should be able to figure all this shit out on their

own. Just kidding, anybody retarded enough to outsource DMC to Ninja Theory instead of

Platinum Games obviously wouldn’t even be able to figure out how to get their heads out of

their asses.

Aaanyway. Dark Arisen actually improves upon Dragon’s Dogma in one small way: They give

you a lot more port crystals than before, allowing you to teleport to different places of

the world instantly instead of having to run most of the time. This is convenient and

appreciated.

But let’s get to the actual Dark Arisen content. How is it? Well, it’s… a bit more

content. That’s pretty much it. Dark Arisen doesn’t improve Dragon’s Dogma, it just gives

you a little more. The new area is a dungeon that’s way bigger than any in the game, but

still isn’t terribly big, so I wouldn’t recommend playing only for this new content. It

has a much more dungeon crawly feel than the main game, which is fine by me because I like

dungeons more than the wilderness. Aesthetically it’s a lot darker too, with a lot of

blood, darkness, corpses, torture chambers, etc. The bad news is that Capcom are a buncha

lazy FUCKS and reuse a lot of the same rooms just with different treasures and enemies and

maybe slight variations here and there. The new area is made for people who are already

near endgame so the new monsters are waaaay stronger than anything in the main game. Note

that I said stronger and not harder, because as I said above, it’s pretty much impossible

for this game to be hard without some fundamental changes. But yeah, mostly these new

enemies just have SO GOD DAMN MUCH HP that you have to be pretty high level to damage them

at any decent clip. By far the biggest offender is one of the new bosses, Death, who took

me like an entire hour to kill (and he gives so much exp that you end up leveling 5 times

in a row). You thought you were doing shitloads of damage in the original game? These Dark

Arisen monsters don’t give two SHITS about your damage.

There seems to be a bigger emphasis on hunting monsters for materials to upgrade your

gear. Dark Arisen adds two new tiers of upgrades for every piece of equipment (as well as

adding a lot of totally new equipment) and the power difference between tiers is

significant, so getting your shit upgraded is very important to make these new monsters

more manageable, maybe even moreso than just leveling up. It’s nice to see the enemies

that used to take so long to kill take less and less time as you progress and get

stronger. There’s also new quests, some of which make you return to old areas, and

something I thought was pretty cool was that gold is useless in the new area, instead you

use rift crystals. This was a doubly good decision, first because you get WAY too much

gold throughout the game and secondly because rift crystals were utterly useless in the

original game, so it’s nice to see them finally getting some use.

Overall though Dark Arisen doesn’t offer any of the improvements that Dragon’s Dogma

needed, and the new content doesn’t really make the game any better. It’s still a good

game in general, so I enjoyed playing it a second time, but don’t get this expecting the

new stuff to be worth it by itself.

Final Verdict: B

Final Playtime: 195 hours

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