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Manchild who gets mad at games for babies.
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Played 500+ games

GOTY '23

Participated in the 2023 Game of the Year Event

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Journaled 5+ games in a single day

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Being part of the Backloggd community for 2 years

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Participated in the 2022 Game of the Year Event

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Played 250+ games

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Favorite Games

Paper Mario
Paper Mario
Half-Life 2
Half-Life 2
Fallout: New Vegas
Fallout: New Vegas
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door

516

Total Games Played

027

Played in 2024

067

Games Backloggd


Recently Played See More

Pokémon Crystal Version
Pokémon Crystal Version

Apr 21

Fallout 3
Fallout 3

Apr 17

Dragon's Dogma II
Dragon's Dogma II

Apr 15

Princess Peach: Showtime!
Princess Peach: Showtime!

Apr 01

Wario Land 4
Wario Land 4

Mar 25

Recently Reviewed See More

Man, remember when Pokémon actually tried? These games used to feel like an actual adventure with dungeon-esque sections and optional content that was cool to discover.

Game Freak will never top the moment in the gen 2 games where you surf to the right of New Bark Town and are told you stepped into Kanto. Then you realize you have 8 more badges to collect. You get to go through Kanto and see what has changed over the years. You also have stuff like the roaming legendary beasts, fighting Red, introduction of Pokémon breeding and shiny collecting, etc. It's kind of crazy how much new stuff this gen had.

Gen 2 was almost too ambitious because it just made gen 3 look lame in comparison. The taking out of features was almost an omen of things to come.

The original Dragon’s Dogma is such an endearing yet strange and kind of clumsy open world game. The story is a bit messy, rushed, and has clearly cut content with somewhat unresolved storylines. Balance is out of whack with vocations. The whole romance system is incredibly silly and comes off as shoehorned in. The start of the game until you get to Gran Soren can be a massive filter, especially that ox cart escort mission. The world is small compared to a lot of other open world games, and yet traveling can be a bit of a slog sometimes.

Despite all that, despite all these glaring flaws, it’s still an incredibly fun and awesome game. Its combat may be the best and most satisfying in any open world game. There’s nothing more exhilarating than climbing up a cyclops and downing it by slashing at its eye. There’s nothing more cool than summoning a tornado and wreaking havoc on a group of bandits. It really is excellent, and you can tell Capcom worked hard on making combat rewarding.

There’s a bunch of other little things too that make it unique. How many games have incorporated the concept of a New Game Plus into their actual story? How many games have a fast travel system where you can physically pick up the actual fast travel points and move them to pretty much wherever you want them to be? How many games are brave enough to have important NPCs that can actually permanently die, or quests that fail if you’ve progressed the story too far before completing them? Sure, you can always beat them in NG+, but still, it’s an RPG with genuine consequences for your actions. Dragon’s Dogma, even ignoring the Dark Arisen stuff, is a one-of-a-kind game that truly feels special, warts and all.

Naturally, I was pretty excited for Dragon’s Dogma 2. Itsuno announced it with passionate glee, seeming to imply that this was going to be the game he really wanted to make. Surely, he won’t disappoint. I mean, DMC5 was a massive comeback after the DmC fiasco. Dude is on the top of his game! What could go wrong?

Well, apparently everything.

Dragon’s Dogma 2 doesn’t feel like a sequel to Dragon’s Dogma. It doesn’t seem to improve on anything. Sure it looks prettier, and I guess the character creator is great, but everything else is either on par or worse than the original.

The combat is no longer snappy and satisfying like the first game. Slicing through an enemy with a sword no longer feels like you’re cutting through flesh and bone. It feels much more weightless with much less feedback. Enemies almost never seem to react to most of your attacks, however even the lowliest goblin can stunlock you for days. You really need to rely on your pawns to an annoying degree when there’s big groups of enemies because of how easily they can wombo combo you. Why is it that I can solo a cyclops or an ogre no problem, but a group of saurians with good timing can take turns slapping me around, getting me stuck in endless stun animations I can’t cancel out of?

I’m not a fan of the changes to movement. This is probably due to the switch to RE Engine, but everything you do feels more sluggish and floaty. I can’t say I’m a particularly big fan of the auto-climbing stuff too, because it often led to my character doing things on their own I didn’t intend to do. I’d rather have 100% complete control over my character than have the “convenience” of the character doing unintended actions for me. Other than the Mage/Sorcerer hover ability, there are no new movement abilities either. In fact, they took out a movement ability by getting rid of the double jump. The overall feel I get is that they went for a more realistic focus for movement, which is pretty lame.

For an open world game, Dragon’s Dogma 2 feels strangely constricted. There’s barely anywhere to truly explore other than caves, which aren’t worth the effort of going through due to the lack of any interesting loot. Very rarely did I ever find anything of note. Even if I did find a decent weapon or armor, it got outclassed by something I could just buy off a merchant soon after.

You can’t really go off the beaten path either because so much of the game has either massive cliffs or large bodies of water preventing you from going anywhere else. A lot of the game feels like going down glorified hallways. It didn’t take long for me to realize how little of the world was actually explorable. With that being said, I guess this was a blessing in disguise because of how much of a chore exploration turned out to be. Until you’re able to access more portcrystals and ferrystones, you’re going to be going down the same paths over and over again with no shortcuts, fighting the same enemies over and over again. It gets immensely tedious and boring pretty quickly. DD1 could sometimes feel like this too, but the much smaller world along with your much faster movement and less frequent enemy encounters made it less of a hassle.

Oxcarts are an option to quickly get places too, but they’re limited to only a few locations and can get destroyed by enemy ambushes, leaving you stranded to walk the rest of the way. You already have to pay to use the oxcarts, so why they needed to have some weird risk attached to it is beyond me. There’s a point where immersion goes too far, and you really need to just allow for there to be some convenience for the player so that the experience isn’t completely miserable.

Vocations are a mixed bag, but ultimately are significantly less interesting than they were in the original. All of them are limited to one weapon. Primary and secondary weapons are no longer a thing, and experimenting with different builds with classes like the Assassin are gone. I’m assuming this was one way to counter balancing issues, yet the balance might be worse than the first game. Thief destroys everything with its Skull Splitter move, which might be the highest damaging attack in the game. As a Thief, you can also steal extremely useful items like wakestone shards and ferrystones from enemies. It’s also the only vocation in the game with an actual dodge move.

The other two classes that seem insanely powerful compared to the rest are Mystic Spearhand and Magic Archer. The former has a skill that straight up makes you temporarily invincible, has a fast cast rate, and costs barely any stamina to use. Magic Archer generally has pretty damn good DPS, but on top of that has a skill that can kill the final boss in one hit. Meanwhile, the normal Archer has to rely on consumables for damage even slightly comparable. Warrior is somewhat of an improvement over the first game due to having 4 instead of 3 active skills and being borderline impossible to knock down, but you’re so damn slow that it doesn’t really matter. Fighter is okay I guess, even if you no longer have 3 skills on both your sword and shield. Mage and Sorcerer feel like they got nerfed to oblivion. Mage was never necessarily great in the first game, but it still felt more powerful than it does here. Cast times for both classes feel insanely long for the relatively pitiful damage they often produce. Not to mention the fact that having only 4 skills instead of 6 really limits their potential.

Then there's Wayfarer and Trickster which don’t feel worth playing at all. Wayfarer only has 3 skills to choose from, since you’re always going to want to have Rearmament selected. The only real benefit you get with Wayfarer is that you can use any armor you want. I have no idea what the fuck you’re supposed to do with Trickster. Apparently, you can do some silly and fun stuff with it, but ultimately why bother with a class that can’t directly damage enemies when you could just go Thief and kill everything in seconds?

The game's story is strange. The first Dragon's Dogma isn't exactly a narrative masterpiece or anything, but it at least put enough effort into its cinematics and presentation to keep you invested. There are memorable moments like the opening where your fishing village gets attacked by the dragon, fending off the hydra at the encampment, first meeting the Dragonforged, sneaking into the castle and seeing the king go schizo and trying to kill the princess, and more. NPCs were a lot more memorable and unique, and despite not always being super fleshed out I still cared about what happened to them to a certain extent.

2 on the other hand is a whole lot of nothing. It starts off okay, but there’s a notable lack of presentation or even comprehensible plot throughout. Important details like the fact that you’re the true heir to the throne are just nonchalantly told to you in the generic NPC conversation. You’d think they’d try to make something like that a bit more of a big deal by dedicating a cutscene to it. I don’t even remember what really happens in the story. It feels like you sneak into the castle a few times for some reason, go to desert land for some reason, rebuild the Godsbane for some reason, fight a giant rock golem thing that you apparently don’t even need to fight because the NPCs kill it for you, then suddenly it’s time for the final boss. It’s like stuff is happening around you, but the game never really bothers to elaborate on what’s going on or why you should care. It’s just things happening.

Characters are basically nonexistent, lacking any and all personality. There were several characters in DD1 with their own quest lines that at least tried to develop them a little bit. I can’t recall a single notable thing about the DD2 characters, other than the fact that once I maxed out their affinity they kept asking me to escort them 2000 miles away to Bumfuck, New Mexico on foot.

Then there’s the post-game, where you’re timed and are supposed to evacuate a bunch of towns. Problem is that I couldn’t give a fuck. The NPCs themselves didn’t seem to care either because all of their dialog was no different than usual, other than the handful of quest giving NPCs. Oh yeah, the game just ends with an interactive cutscene as well. Sure I supposed the real final boss is the Dragon in the normal ending, but it’s pretty lame compared to the much more bombastic and cinematic finale of DD1.

The funny thing is, as negative as I sound, much of my disappointment comes less from me thinking the game is bad, and simply thinking it’s less good. There’s genuinely a lot of potential in this. You have the foundation for really interesting storylines and quests with there being prejudice about different races now that we have elves, dwarves, and the weird cat people that still have human ears for some reason. Yet they did nothing with it. Combat does have some interesting changes and could have been better if they didn’t change the feel of it. Could have helped having better enemy variety as well. Exploration could have been made better if the world design was more interesting and you had more maneuverability, but it just became more tedious. Ultimately, the game feels like a half-assed clone of the original that misunderstands what worked and what didn’t.

People were joking about Dragon’s Dogma 2 just being Dragon’s Dogma 1.5, but really it feels even less than that to me. I tried to enjoy it, I really did, but it left me feeling hollow. This was allegedly Itsuno’s vision, what Dragon’s Dogma was supposed to be. I come away from it feeling lied to, swindled even, especially considering the $70 price tag. What’s more frustrating is that I keep seeing people talk about, “oh don’t worry, Capcom will release a Dark Arisen-esque expansion that’ll really give us what we want!” Sorry, but I’m not shelling out another $20-$40 on an expansion to a $70 game for the unfounded belief that they’ll actually finish the game this time.

One of the weirdest games Nintendo has developed, and by far the best Wario Land game. Great controls, fantastic level design all around, fun secrets, and multiple difficulties with some pretty insane time limits for replayability. Not to mention the incredibly weird and unique OST that no other game has replicated.

Still praying that Wario frees himself from Wario Ware hell and gets an actual new platformer game. If we can get a TTYD remake, anything is possible in my book.