I am very excited because I confronted the 'uber dragon' in Dragons Dogma last night. I had been playing on and off for what seems like months, but I finally had to push through to teh end because I liked the game so much that I needed to see how it would end. Although I'm probably not at the end since teh game did not end. So now, I am in the after event of Dragons Dogma where all the enemies are uber ranked as well. I am not sure how long the 'after event' part of the game lasts, maybe I just have to reach the capital city...maybe more.
I also lucked out and had my ending with the person I wanted - Selena the woods-witch. I guess some people played the game very weirdly without interacting with people except the merchants so they had weird love interests at the end. I wanted Selena because she seemed the most likable. She was never mean or duplicitous like many fo teh other characters, perhaps she was less real as well
...that a discussion for another time.
I think the early criticism that the story falls apart in the middle are correct. But I rather view it as they fail to keep popping in story elements when you in the mid-quest because the mid-quest form some could last a twenty hours or for people like me about sixty hours. The beginning and ending fit very well, the middle game I think does not stress the philosophic discussion or concepts of the start and finish so it appears weak.
At the end of the game, I think they could make three major improvements and three minor tweaks. The game could be tweaked and improved in hundreds of way, but I see three bigger game mechanism and some smaller ones that would make the world more "living" and "real".
- Make the story more clear throughout. If that means more cut scenes okay, if the means more dialogue options that is fine too. I think the developers should take a long look at Dragon Age and Mass Effect. Some choices to make and some forks in the stories with characters would be fun. There need to be story elemenst through that bring player back into teh main story or at least show what is happening or progessing while you off on side quests or main quests.
- The map could be 20% bigger, but much of that should be the addition of three other small villages of people. I like the accuracy of scale for the villages, city, dungeons, and other structures. Therefore, keep the scale, but allow more buildings to be entered and have some major and minor characters in them. Bigger map with more characters, and more dialogue for them, all of that is a major undertaking, but I think needed.
- Provide a sense of progression in the world. The first time you walk down a road it might be in poor repair and have monsters close to its edges. By removing the monsters a road crew appear that making the road appear smoother (texture switch). This should happen with roads, homes, villages, etc. The VISUAL IMPACT you have on the world should be evident.
- Cycle enemies in and out of locations. You should not find the same monsters at the same spot on the path all the time. Sometimes monsters, sometimes a farmer who needs help, sometimes nothing, and sometimes a ceremonial procession or a travelling peddler in the spot.
- More clothing! At the start of the game, you should have dozens of outfits to purchase. I should not have to spend 90% of the game trying to find yellow socks or a blue hat. Make a system where the player can buy dyes to re-color standard items.
- More detail on character models so the look better up close. More detail on clothing and armor so they too look better up close. Provide more instances where I can see my character looking nice or cool with in engine cut scenes.