Dragon's Dogma was easily one of the most underrated RPGs of the Xbox 360 & PS3 generation of consoles. It was also the nearest thing that the home consoles got to a Monster Hunter game in the West, pioneering a lot of elements which would later cross into that series like the grappling of enemies and level designs which allow for that clamouring to take place.
Although the initial release had some flaws, like a thin story, strange travel system, and some strange animations, the first two issues were fixed with the release of Dark Arisen a year later. But, let's talk instead about its many positives.
Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen is a third-person action RPG which is based all around class-based combat. The various classes each have extensive skill trees which map extremely well to the controls, giving each archetype equal footing in the world of goblins and giant beasts. Better yet, if you are playing as a class and do feel that you have a weakness in range, area of attack or melee, then you can have party followers to cover your weak spots. Each player has a primary pawn, a character that they create and can redefine at will, they can then also have two more pawns with them which can be selected from a roster or borrowed from a friend. Each of these pawns learn how to fight enemies at their own pace, with the information and lay of the land shared when players reconnect with the pawn originator.
What this means is that you'll sometimes be in combat with a new foe and one of your followers will yell out tips on how to defeat them. Occasionally they'll comment on the paths you're taking, or the journey you're on.
The real killer appeal comes in the grappling and grabbing mechanics. Yourself and your pawns can grab smaller enemies, holding them in place or even lifting them and throwing them. I fondly remember coming across some small, skittering enemies and one by one throwing them from a clifftop rather than fighting them.
For larger enemies, which are like mid-bosses or boss fights in most games, you can climb up or over them. In the case of fighting a chimera this might let you hack at the specific part of it which you need to wound, in the case of a cyclops this means you can jab at its eye (assuming you don't have an archer handy to land the shot) or in the case of a griffin it means you can ride the beast as it lifts into the air, hacking at it until it tumbles to the ground.
It's a really exceptional action RPG, and it's about time that it made the journey to the Switch
Click here to visit Nintendo's store page for Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen.