When thinking about completing Dragon’s Dogma, one song comes to mind – “The Bomb” by Pigeon John. If you kept up with E3, or if you’ve been on our Facebook of late, you might have heard the song in the recent Dead Island II cinematic trailer. If you haven’t, give it a YouTube. It’s a brilliant song, but it also completely encapsulates this article and my feelings towards completing Dragon’s Dogma. When I first bought the game on its release, I gave up rather sharpish. I wasn’t in the mood for a challenge and I was a tad naïve about how difficult the game actually was. After a year or so of waiting, I finally decided to re-purchase the game and give it the old college try. This time round, I wasn’t going to be defeated.
I’ve spent much of the past month and a half playing Dragon’s Dogma. I quickly realised that, after being eaten by a snake, burnt alive by a dragon and mauled to death by a pack of wolves, the key to success in the game was experience. On my first play-through I was far too egotistical to complete the side-quests. I instead attempted to tackle the main story without grinding any levels. Of course, this was a massive mistake. It’s safe to say that I wasn’t up to the challenge and, after being repeatedly destroyed by even the most simple of enemies, I gave up. This time, however, I was hell-bent on success. I completed as many of the side-quests as possible, some of which weren’t the most enthralling (slaying 50 rabbits comes to mind, the bastards are notoriously difficult to catch). I also made sure to kill anything and everything that I came across. It’s not because I’m a violent man. It’s because I knew that, eventually, I’d have to fight these enemies or monsters in unfavourable circumstances and knowing their weaknesses would give me a tactical advantage. I came to realise that the game’s all about forward planning and considering the best approach to the challenge. Grinding out levels might not be the most glamorous of tasks, but it really paid dividends further on in the game.
After a while I came to quite enjoy grinding out the levels. I loved searching the map for hidden gems and treasures. I enjoyed fighting the different enemies and tackling the big boss monsters. There is no greater feeling on this green Earth than defeating a dragon that had bested you a year before. The battle took me almost an hour, and at times it was pretty touch and go, but I eventually bested my foe. That was the pinnacle of my Dragon’s Dogma experience, when I finally defeated the beast that put me off of playing the game in the first place.
Once I’d beaten the dragon, there was no turning back. I was absolutely absorbed in the game, with hours of gameplay flying by as if only moments had passed. I moved from strength to strength as I battled Hydra monsters with relative ease, and defeated Chimeras in a matter of minutes – I was, in all sense of the word, the bomb. Even defeating the main dragon boss, before end game, was relatively simple. I mean, it took me a while, but it wasn’t too much of a challenge. I wasn’t grounded again until attempting the Ur-Dragon. He’s one tough son of a bitch. Suffice to say, he tore me a new one. I think the Ur-Dragon is a challenge for another day.
I’ve written quite a few articles about my escapades of fail. I wrote of my mishaps on Super Time Force, spoke of how badly I sucked at Dark Souls II and, of course, how rubbish I was at Dragon’s Dogma. I’m sure that I’ll be writing a few more ‘Failings of a Gamer’ in my time but, for now, I felt like celebrating my success. I’m super proud of myself for completing Dragon’s Dogma. I know it’s not ‘CV worthy’, but it’s still quite an achievement, for me at least. I really recommend giving Dragon’s Dogma a go, it might be a bit of a challenge, but it’s one worth attempting. The pleasure gained from success greatly outweighs the pains of failure and I’d definitely say that it was worth it in the end. Now all that’s left is to beat that pesky Ur-Dragon.