Back in 2012, Capcom unleashed upon the world an epic game called Dragon’s Dogma. This action/adventure RPG allowed players to take control of the Arisen a warrior with no heart that must defeat a giant dragon to regain his/her beating organ as well as save the lands from demise. A year later, Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen released adding new DLC and updated visuals, controls and various other gameplay tweaks that made the already great experience even better. For those who never got to enjoy Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen when it originally released—in either form—hope comes finally in 2019 for those who own a Nintendo Switch. This port might be the same title, but with some updated elements, it could be the port we’ve been waiting for. Is Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen a must buy for your handheld/console hybrid? Read below to find out as we review Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen for the Nintendo Switch.
What to Expect
In case you missed out on the original Dragon’s Dogma or Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen, let’s bring you up to speed. Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen is a medieval/fantasy themed adventure RPG where you must defeat various beasts and save the lands all while saving yourself. You’ll need to arm yourself with swords, staves and bows to defeat the mighty beasts in front of you. You aren’t alone in this quest though and can summon warriors known as Pawns to aid you. You’ll need to hack and slash, climb might beasts and survive titans to eventually face your ultimate destiny!
When a dragon comes down and attacks your quiet little water village, the town fears the end is all too near. You take your sword and rush the dragon hoping to stop its onslaught, but your feeble attacks do nothing and you’re left facing your own death by the claws of the beast. Death approaches you believe but to your surprise the dragon takes your heart and makes a proclamation. You are now an Arisen, a warrior bound to the dragon and must defeat the beast to regain your humanity. Take up your weapons and summon the might of the pawns to conquer the beast all while saving the world. Welcome Arisen, your quest begins here.
Assuming you’re new to Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen, we’re going to go beat by beat in what you’re looking at if you enter this fantasy RPG. Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen has players assuming the role of the Arisen a heartless man/woman—because you can choose the gender and look of the Arisen—who must defeat a large dragon to save the world and get your heart back. To accomplish this task, you need to kill various baddies using swords, magic and grab beasts both your size and larger. In comparison, think of Shadow of the Colossus meets Legend of Zelda and add Skyrim for good measure. You’ll level up, gain new equipment and gather a party of lifeless beings—Pawns—to eventually become the hero you were destined to become. Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen sounds amazing, but is this Nintendo Switch version worth picking up? Find out as we dig deeper in our review of Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen!
Gameplay wise, Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen plays just as well as previous versions. You’ll attack using various weapons as well as gain new skills as you become stronger. Initially, you’ll choose between three classes, but as you progress, you can advance those classes several times till you become an extremely OP being. Just like most RPG adventures, you’ll take on quests that range from hunting specific beasts like Gryphons and Harpies and you will explore a landscape straight out of most fantasy stories. Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen is very simple its design but it works even now because that simplicity is done quite well. Exploring the beautiful lands allows you to learn more about the world and its inner threats as well as find new armaments that makes your Arisen just that more deadly. This Nintendo Switch port takes everything from the finalized version and enhances it slightly to allow for a portable experience.
In terms of content, Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen has all the bells and whistles of the previous versions. You can still experience the end game Dark Arisen content and will enjoy the updated visuals/combat interface like earlier builds. You’re going to get a lot of content and while you might assume the price tag to be $59.99 or $40, but you’ll be amazed to hear Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen only costs $29.99! Yes, this is a port of a game heavily ported but here’s the deal folks. Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen is a lot of content in one package which makes the price of entry quite worth it.
If we had any complaints about Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen, it would be the graphics. Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen looks good, but equally, it shows its age in comparison to modern day RPGs. In portable mode, Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen looks fine and actually could pass as only a slightly old game. In console mode though, Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen looks its age with character models having a bit of dullness to them and various landscapes being slightly weak. Does that mean Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen looks terrible? No, but don’t expect Skyrim levels of graphics.
Our other complaint is this is a port of a game that’s been out for almost a decade. This means if you’ve played ANY version of Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen, you’ve played the Nintendo Switch version. Many of us here at Honey’s Anime have played Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen numerous times before and we can feel it as we played through this Nintendo Switch version. It didn’t hamper our experience of this amazing title but equally you get the feeling of Déjà vu as you re-enter locations you’ve been through numerous times before and meet characters you’ve talked to a dozen times before. The PS4 version released back in 2017 so that feeling was only heightened for us. Go into Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen only if you haven’t played it in a while or not at all.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
While Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen for the Nintendo Switch might only be a port at the end of the day, it’s still a well-done port. Either docked or on the go, Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen looks pretty solid and plays just as well as the original version back in 2013. Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen does show its age with some weaker visuals but the RPG elements and action gameplay still hold strong even now. Even if you beat it once before—or several times before— Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen is still a lot of fun and now that’s portable the experience can be enjoyed anywhere you go. We think Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen is an amazing title and you’ll be missing out if you don’t pick this up when it releases!
Excellent action RPG elements that make combat fun and exploring a truly fantastical experience
Wonderful soundtrack that immerses you in this strange fantasy landscape
With all DLC included and updated interfaces, Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen plays even better than in the past
Being able to play Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen on the go is a plus in our books
Great price tag for the content you’re receiving
Visually shows its age slightly in setting and character/enemy models
Being a port means it’s not much different for those who have played through the game hundreds of times before.
Honey's Final Verdict:
Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen is still a great game with tons of content for literally dozens of hours of enjoyment. Jumping onto large flying beasts or quick moving Chimera still today feels exuberant and immerses you in this world as the Arisen. The major flaw of Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen being on the Nintendo Switch in 2019 ends up being the fact that Capcom has ported this title so many times before that you’ve probably played at least one version of this RPG. Will that make it a hard sell? Yes and no. Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen is a game we recommend highly to those who haven’t played it or just want an easily accessible version, but for those who played either the PC or PS4 version, you won’t need to replay Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen anytime soon. Though we do wonder, who of you are excited to play Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen? Comment down below to let us know if you’ll be picking up Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen soon or if you’re passing on it for another game. For more game reviews, anime related articles and various articles in general, keep stuck to our hive here at Honey’s Anime!
Hey everyone I’m Aaron Curbelo or Blade as I’m called by my YouTube Subscribers. I’ve been an anime/manga fan since I was a young kid. In terms of anime I have watched nearly a thousand shows and have read hundreds of manga series. I love writing and honestly was so happy to join Honey’s Anime to get a shot to write articles for such a wonderful site. I’m a firm believer in respect in the anime community being the most important embodiment we should all have. We all love anime and we have varying opinions of series but we should respect one another for those differences! Life is too precious to spend it making needless arguments in a community that should be the shining example of loving an amazing medium. I hope as a writer for Honey’s Anime I can bring you folks some amazing articles to read and enjoy!