The best purchase I’ve made this year

I’ve bought quite a few things this year, from the mundane like clothes and shoes, to new games like Super Time Force. But nothing has been as epic as my re-purchase of Dragon’s Dogma. Super Time Force was brilliant and I look awfully snazzy in my new clothes and shoes, but none of it has me as captivated as Dragon’s Dogma. The game has me completely absorbed, it’s all I seem to want to play at the moment.

I guess I should give you a little background. This isn’t the first time that I’ve played Dragon’s Dogma. Back in 2013 I gave it its first go and I initially fell in love with the game. It had everything that I wanted in an RPG, character creation (as well as the ability to create and customise your helper), a deep and detailed story, decent voice acting, brilliant graphics and an expansive game world. But this relationship quickly turned sour. It slowly became love hate, then descended into hate hate. It was just so damned hard that I had to give up, despite how much I wanted to play on.

Dragons-Dogma (2)

But now, in the wonderful year that is 2014, I’m a little older and a tiny bit wiser. The main reason for me picking Dragon’s Dogma back up again was Dark Souls II. At the time of playing Dragon’s Dogma, it was the toughest game that I’d every played (or at least played in a while), that was until tackling Dark Souls II, of course. Dark Souls II creates that weird combination of hair pulling frustration coupled with a completely unwarranted sense of achievement and grandeur. It’s a disconcerting feeling, to say the least. Still I did enjoy my experience, even if I did find it incredibly challenging. Eventually, I had no choice but to give up. I was finding myself going around in circles, fighting the same enemies and dying in the same places – good enough to challenge the middling foes but nowhere near strong enough to take on the big boys. After giving up I thought to myself, “if I can get this far in Dark Souls II, why can’t I do it on Dragon’s Dogma?”. So I jumped onto the internet and sprawled around for the best deal. I found it on Amazon for just £10, an epic deal if ever there was one. And, the second that the game was slipped into my post-box … does that sound dirty? … I was sucked straight back into the world of Dragon’s Dogma.

This time round I’m doing it properly. My main problem in my first play through was that I was too weak to face the enemies. They kept handing my arse to me, and I just got sick and tired of dying. Now, however, I’m completing as many side-missions on my travels as possible. Collecting skulls, searching caves and forests, exploring the maps and defeating the beasts that roam in the darkness (and in the daylight), all of it is giving me valuable XP. I’m much further now than I got in my first play through, but I’m also a much higher level as well. I can defeat most enemies with ease, though I do face the odd challenge here and there. It’s just starting to get a little hard again, so I’m going to make a start on a few more side-quests.

Dragon's_Dogma_-_Drake

Still, difficulty level aside, I’m absolutely absorbed in this game. I’m loving the story so far and the sense of achievement you get from defeating some of the tougher monsters is immeasurable. Dragon’s Dogma is possibly the best RPG I’ve ever played. Just better than Skyrim (and that’s really saying something), but not quite as good as Oblivion (it’s going to take a lot to knock Oblivion off of its perch … I’m looking at you Dragon Age: Inquisition!). The graphics are incredible on the 360, so much so that I sometimes don’t even notice the transition from Xbox 360 to Xbox One.

So, for me at least, the re-purchase of Dragon’s Dogma was an incredibly smart move, and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone out there looking for a great RPG to play. The moral of this article is, don’t give up on a good game just because it’s hard. Give it a fair go and, if you still can’t do it, try something else, possibly much harder, and then come back to it with spirit anew!