Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 122 Ratings

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  • Summary: A mysterious island known as Bitterblack Isle appears off the coast of Gransys. Its depths have claimed the lives of many Arisen; their voices still haunt the labyrinth that lies deep beneath its surface--a labyrinth ripe with secrets waiting to be discovered. The time to take up arms has come once again. Delve into the isle's depths and uncover its dark secret. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. May 3, 2013
    Still, original owners clearly weren’t the primary target of Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen, hence it being released as a stand-alone title. The real target, for better or for worse, are brand new players who haven’t been introduced to Capcom’s newest fantasy property.
  2. Apr 25, 2013
    It will take a capable character about a dozen hours to make it to the bottom of this mega-dungeon, and once you do, the dungeon locks up its doors once more and fortifies its defenses with even more fearsome guardians to match your inflated level and newly-acquired loot.
  3. Apr 22, 2013
    If you’ve beaten the game and moved on, there’s enough new stuff to explore that it warrants another playthrough. And for those who are looking for a quirky RPG with epic moments (and pig-throwing hijinks), here it is in one neat bundle.
  4. Apr 22, 2013
    One of the best gdr of the last year became even better. New weapons, new enemies and more than 10 hours of pure fights await you on the Bitterblack Island.
  5. Apr 22, 2013
    Capcom adds new hours of interesting gameplay to one of their best new IPs of this generation.
  6. Jul 14, 2013
    Bitterblack Island is a truly solid challenge bringing fun and atmosphere that is, however, suffering from the game's monotonous setting, limited space manoeuvring, and the game's linearity. Still, if you've never played Dragon's Dogma, you'll get the original heavy title along with this expansion pack.
  7. Apr 23, 2013
    Poor balance and careless design limit its appeal to a tiny group of the most hardcore. The original Dragon's Dogma didn't completely succeed in its attempt to emulate Western, open-world RPGs. Dark Arisen makes a much greater mistake: It fails to recognize or capitalize on its own strengths.

See all 33 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 27
  2. Negative: 3 out of 27
  1. Jul 17, 2014
    I love this game. I've only played for a little over 10 hours but it's really awesome and already one of my favorite games. The world is huge and the combat is very fun, the armor design in this game is good and the boss fights feel epic. I highly recommend this game. Expand
  2. Apr 26, 2013
    Dark Arisen Ads more challange to the original game and polishes it. Still cant get over the fact that this game is so relatively unknown. The Game has Great Combat mechanics many great designer choices. One of the Best RPG's out there. Expand
  3. Apr 24, 2013
    If you have not chained your controller to your arms yet please do so before playing. A game deserves a 10 if it meets three of my categories.

    1. Does it keep you entertained? YES
    2. Are there moments to learn? YES
    3. Does the game have nostalgic qualities? YES

    Let me first start of by saying that I am level 75 and I am at NG++ (New Game Plus Plus) Average players may reach level 50 before completing the main story line. Skilled players will seem to be at this current time 150+ This likely able to be said since the original Dragons Dogma was released in 2012 giving players the opportunity to reach level 200 casually though you can reach that level in a month. However not the case for me since I like to spend my time exploring and figuring out what secrets I need to uncover. Sure enough there are so many that every new game I play I find something intriguing and have my "aha." moments.

    The addition of adding Black Bitter Isle will give you the creeps, just as night fall in the original dragon dogma did. I find myself sending out my pawns in first as some of the corridors are just plain eerie. The zombies when they talk will make your skin crawl especially when they rush towards you and you are screaming at your main character to hurry up and cast that spell before you become a snack.

    "Dark Arisen is not a DLC it is rather an overhaul of a game that rewards veteran players and tries to allure new gamers by adding several additions such as smoother options, Japanese VO and updated textures."

    NOTE* Xbox users you will see 2 discs and PS3 players one... The second disc is the texture back for Xbox players while the single disc for PS3 has it already implemented since bluray discs have a higher capacity than that of DVDs'.

    It is recommended for players to be level 60+ but I find myself using pawns that are level 30 that have the right inclinations and abyssinal gear. ( I enjoy using personalities or rather inclinations such as Scather/Mediator for my pawns as well.

    The game has some extremely beautiful lighting effects, some that may even rival Skyrim... Actually I feel the fighting system outshines Skyrim in all aspectsn as well... but enough of that back to the game. You are introduced to a small story line and you meet an npc character that takes you to the island.

    After her introduction you are off to explore the under ground labyrinth... I have yet to find new armor but, such is a game with randomization that once you do find a piece it is a great feeling.

    There is only one problem I have with this game and it still plagues this one, the ability to find a snugg corner away from bosses while you safely pew pew them away as you pawns do the rest for you. However there are those occasional bosses that it is impossible to do so. This is rather more easily accomplished by range players than melee.

    The Boss AI are there to literally kill you, range characters that can not find a place to hide away to cast spells will literally be obliterated. The AI knows when you are about to cast a spell so be forewarned... The same can not be said for the pawn AI, since you have to really pay attention to what they are doing.

    "Trying to give the retreat comman is useless if your pawns are in the middle of casting a spell."

    Does this mean the Pawn AI is useless... no. In fact the Pawn AI will make you giggle, frustrate you and eventually want to make you grab them and throw them off a high cliff (which you can do) out of pure anger. The Pawn AI is smart, they know when to cast but it is your job to make sure you are distracting the boss and have a bit of faith in them as it took me a while to understand this. I wanted the easy way to win and depend on my pawns but in a sense lost what make dragon dogmas so great the ability to be able to grab on a monster for dear life and bash them away 300 feet in the air.

    The game is not with out it flaws but what game does not? The addition to this game was well worth the wait. Death stalks you, your pawns have calmed down their chit chat but still annoying sometimes...

    The game is addictive there is not way around it, and now that there are more armors to choose from you just want to get the best gear for you pawn.

    "A well geared and good looking pawn has a better chance of being hired by other players so you can get those delicious rift crystals."

    This game is a huge bargain for new players and somewhat of a mediocre addition to veterans but still keeps you coming for more. I still have to yet to achieve that golden idol and have yet to convince Madelene to open her shop to purchase the armor that I need.

    The game has unlimited replay value meaning when you beat the game REMEMBER to choose load game as you can go to New Game and start from the begining with all the gear you acqured from the previous play through.

    The year was well worth the wait...
  4. Jul 17, 2013
    To Clarify: I speak as a player who got Dragon’s Dogma Dark Arisen and had not played the original
    The Review: Excellent, this is one of the
    better RPGs on the Xbox and was pardon my French, a damn good time. It’s a very interesting mix of Eastern and Western RPGs mechanics and concepts with the main big innovation being the pawn system. If you end up disliking this system, then you might as well give up. The demo is a clear example of what the game is and what the pawns are if you want to try that. The negatives? The chattering, I end up tuning out 99% of it except for a couple unintentionally funny lines, this can lead to annoyance, you have been warned. The AI, it’s not the worst ever, but it’s not great and needs improvement. There are plenty of times were the AI was not helpful at all but for the majority of the time they were passable (better than Skyrim’s companion system I will tell you that.) The positives? For one you have a traditional four member party system but, only have to micromanage two members: You and your main pawn, that’s definitely a time saver in the long run. The party system allows for very flexible party system. At set locations, players can recruit thousands of player customized pawns to add to their party and it works really well. Going up against a griffon? Better find a healing mage and an archer? Going into catacombs? Better make sure to hire a mage with holy magic. It’s a brilliant system to deal with problems that plagues other games such as Final Fantasy when you’re 20 hours in and come into a brick wall of difficulty when your party lacks proper ice weapons/magic.
    Speaking of difficulty, this is definitely the Eastern RPG version of “hard.” In western terms, they don’t tell you Yup, it’s one of those games where you have pause the game to check the wiki. The game is around 40-60 hours with main quest and most of the sidequests. The beginning is tough fighting against bandits and bosses can prove a stumbling block at the beginning but then it evens out but the sidequests. There are a lot of you,” quest failed and you can’t ever do again this play through, annoying. There is one quest in particular where you escort a little girl and this is “technically” the easiest way to get a very rare item BUT, you would never know this unless you read about it and there is only one very specific way to get the item again but it costs a lot of money and if you don’t read up on how to get the item the second time, you are boned. In fact a lot of the clunkiness in the game comes from common Eastern RPG tropes. The frustration doesn’t stop in its Eastern roots through. When I say it has both roots in Western and Eastern RPGs, from the West they took combat, customization and “open world.” I put open world in quotations because the world is kinda small and pales in comparison to other more refined open worlds in the West. The developers in Capcom admit that the “Open World” is a bit of a foreign concept to them during development and it shows. The Open World also makes the lack of enemy variety more acute. There are goblins, then there are hobgoblins. There are harpies, then there are snow harpies, etc. It’s not bad…well, it could be much worse, it definitely needs improvement in the sequel.
    Still there is some nice looking scenery and the world has a few interesting locations. The fact that the hometown doesn’t get atomized is a nice touch too. What’s annoying about this is fast travel is nonexistent at the beginning and you have to trudge back and forth between the same areas in the early game with most quests concentrated in one area and the lack of “ferrystones” and “portcrystals.” Ferrystones are a one use item to fast travel and portcrytals are portable fast travel markers. [Pro Tip: Put a Portcrystal by the spring, not only it has a decent location but also you can bottle spring water to heal you and your party] This is both annoying and unintuitive in comparison to games like the Elder Scroll series and other WRPGs where the player opens up a map, picks a location and teleports there. Yes, that’s more gamey then having an inworld reason to be able to teleport but I think more players will complain about this then in Skyrim, just saying. What makes this more acute is the cycle of night and day has a lot more meaning then one you can see perfectly fine and the other you can’t see (but this does happen) at night, enemies change and on a whole a lot meaner and if you aren’t familiar with the area you might get ambushed by a boss enemy this can be a panic driven “run away!!” with curses being made or a super tense battle which makes you feel like a badass if you win. Oh, right bosses. Definitely, a plus here. Each boss is massive in scale and has interesting strategies and weak points to exploit. It has a very monster hunter vibe of hunting down much bigger enemies for loot, exp, and quests. The combat here a lot of fun, the class system gives out a lot of cool abilities to break up the usual mash X (and never Y because strong attacks are and equipment to use. (Sadly, when leveling up, stat boosts are applied automatically based on the class) The “vocations” are broken down to three archtypes (a la Dragon’s Age) mage, fighter and strider (rouge) and an advance version of the archtypes and then hybrids which are a mix of archtypes. A big shout out goes to the hybrid classes which I’m tempted to say is the proper way to play or at least the most flexible.
    Note: Hybrids are only available in Dark Arisen, which makes Dark Arisen worth it on that merit alone.
    Finally, to note is the customization which is really good and allows for players to create some awesome and unique looks definitely on par with most other RPGs on the market in this. Plus you get to customize your main pawn to your liking too.
    The story? Ha! This is definitely not a tightly focused character development on the lines of JRPGs (probably for the better given the state JRPGs are right now) Basically, after a prologue/tutorial: Game start. Boom! Dragon. Dragon eats your heart. Oh, no! But, you live! Now go get it back! Basically, the story past the fluff, common in WRPGs, is just that: kill the dragon and get your heart back. Not a spellbounding emotional journey but it works. Till the end game which has a nice twist and the “post game” which I won’t spoil it, it’s definitely interesting. [The game rises back up to hard again towards the end and post-game so be prepared and wary. [Double innuendo intentional]] Again, the game is around 40-60-ish hours depending on how much you do and your pace.
    The main gimmick of the DLC, Dark Arisen is an end-game content dungeon where the player takes on bosses and get handled yous” like it was the game’s day job. And “meh.” It adds content, it really didn’t excite me really. Other than the new items and “HD graphics” pack, I point above to hybrid vocation as the main reason to get the rerelease version.
    There are minor things: characters take longer than the world to load so they pop in a lot, food rots. I mean really? Seriously? That’s just annoying. Holding a bumper to use a bow instead of just clicking it once to switch between, the music is forgettable and the voice acting is silted. But overall I can almost wholeheartedly recommend Dragon’s Dogma to the right mindset. With an interesting pawn system, excellent combat and boss battles, great amount of content, and a new experience. Yeah, this games gets my approval. There are a lot of things that needs to be done with the planned sequel but if they fix a lot of the problems I listed above then they have a real masterpiece possible.
  5. Apr 25, 2013
    This game is great, only held back by little problems and bugs, but trust me the combat in this game is amazing and much improved on the already marvelous system from the first! Totally not worth a zero. Expand
  6. Jun 19, 2013
    I prefer the original one over this one,i'm tired of having to restart all overt again it was a good game but should have been completely new not same based... Expand
  7. Apr 27, 2013
    Well first of I really like skyrim and dark souls played those games combined like +300 hours, and then came dragons dogma dark FAIL I mean this game just blows, Like what year is it 2006 combat sucks and the game looks like all the detail was flushed down the toilet. And the character leveling system is way 2 confusing. I would not even recommend this game even if it was the last rpg on planet earth like worst rpg ever and someway remind me of the lord of the ring coop that came to xbox but even that was better Capcom next time I even consider buying anything again from you guys I always remember this epic fail. Expand

See all 27 User Reviews