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Dragon's Dogma Dark Arrisen (PS4)

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Open world RPG. I had originally overlooked this one because it's a Japanese game, which in terms of RPGs, is usually disappointing for me (JRPGs have good stories, but I rarely enjoy the game mechanics). This one, however, is great. 

As for a description of the way it plays, it's skyrim in terms of exploration and NPC interaction (wide exploration, very few dialogue options), but more like Dragonage in terms of game controls (not a shooter, 3rd person party based combat where you control only one character). Game is very simple, having a very limited selection of weapons and class options. Character creation is human only, but you can dramatically alter their size, and they have a pointy ear head option, so any of the traditional fantasy races can be made, even if they don't really count as such in-game. It is important to note that appearance of your character, specifially height and weight, does affect game mechanics. Game features an in-game class change option in one of the main cities, so characters built can do any classes. Additionally, as the story progresses, you will generate a second party member that just follows and helps, which you do get full character customization options on. 

Level cap is very high on this one, with achievements for getting to 200 being part of the PS4 achievements. I'm not sure there is a level cap. 

Game is very simple, but the scale is impressive and, because this is a "ported" older game to the PS4, it runs really smoothly, with very few loading screens. 

$30 in the PS4 store, not on sale. No DLC options because they are all already included in this price.

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Correction, if you play one of the classes with Bows, this is a shooter. 

So I beat the game once. Completed it at about level 50. Shorter than I thought it would be, but then I was surprised to learn that starting the game and continuing a new game from your previous level is actually worked into the plot of the game. You can even change your appearance when you start over, but the level progress continues. So my short & fat character from last playthrough is now a tall skinny character with the same equipment, level, and class progression. 

At the start of the game, there is no fast travel. In the game, you have these items that you plant on the ground which become fast travel points. They do require an additional item to use (called a ferrystone). Unlike most games, you can place them just about anywhere, which is really handy, and you can move them once placed. NPCs also don't steal them (which I was worried about).

There's also this Island, called Bitterback, which is more like an epic level dungeoncrawl. It's much better, in my opinion, than the base game, but it has less plot. Just dungeoncrawling. I need to level more, to get through there. 

Anyway, I like this game. 

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