Outta My Way, Stupid Pawn!Posted: February 1, 2013
I’ll admit, I haven’t done much writing the last few weeks. Oh, notes here and there for various projects, but no nose-to-the-grindstone work. I haven’t even been doing much voiceover, either. Sure, a few audition pieces, a few dry reads throughout the day just for practice, a bit of work on demo material.
No, instead, I’ve been firing up the video games every afternoon for an hour or so once I’ve gotten all the daily house chores done and am in that wait-to-get-the-kids stretch of the day.
And lately, I’ve been playing Dragon’s Dogma. Itching to play, really. I didn’t get much video game time in over the holidays, so I’m burning it out of my system now and having a good time doing so.*
Yes, Dogma has its problems, screen glitches, code glitches, the endless repetition of running back through areas you’ve already cleared only to have to do it all over again, and so on.** But I’m having fun with it.
I’d picked up the walk through for the game and while it has a decent overview of the game and the different quests and equipment available, it really doesn’t give any in-depth pointers on how to clear certain areas. To remedy this, I did some poking around in various forums and discovered how hateful the computer RPG*** community can be. The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim fanboys spam the Dragon’s Dogma message boards saying how bad DD is while the Dogmaniacs spew invectives against the Scrimmers.
As gamers, can’t we just get along and agree that not every game appeals to everyone? Without being spiteful about it? Is that so difficult?
I guess, for some, that’s an impossibility.
Dragon’s Dogma does have one of the better character design systems I’ve seen in a video game, allowing child-sized Halfling type builds up to towering, burly near-giant builds, and everything in between. Want a young character? Old character? Middle-aged? Tall, short, skinny, obese? The system allows it.
The game has you build not only your main character but also his (or her) main sidekick, or pawn, as they’re called in the game. You have the ability to enlist the aid of two more pawns as well to round out your adventuring party, and these secondary pawns can be retrieved from other players online, if you happen to have that capability (I don’t), or just pulled from in-game.
Pawns, though, cannot be given orders. Well, simple commands such as “Go!” “Help!” or “Come!” (the latter used to pull the pawns to your side) assigned to the directional buttons on the controller are available, but that’s it. Nothing more complex. And the silly secondary pawns tend to stumble around in front of the main character (me), or stop right in front of me and cast spells which block my line of sight, and—eh, you get the idea.**** Kind of remind me of certain children I know.
At least when those children stop in front of me in real life, I don’t trip over the edge of a thousand foot cliff.
*I’ve played perhaps half a dozen or so games over the past twenty years which have grabbed my attention to where I feel compelled to play them: DOOM, Rise of the Triads, Sid Meiers Pirates, Jade Empire, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II being the main titles that come to mind.
**Most of which seem to crop up with nearly every video game I’ve ever played anyway.
***Computer RPG, what a joke. A “role-playing” game on the computer? When you’re given maybe one or two alternatives because that’s how the code was written? That’s not role-playing. For real role-play, get a group of friends together, sit around a table, and create your own characters and their stories.
****The other day, my character was being chomped on by an ogre while the pawns poked around the tunnels of a mine complex picking up nuts, rocks, skulls, and so on. “Hey, what’s this?” “Oh, this looks useful.” “Hey, guys! My arm is in the ogre’s mouth! Do you think you could help me out here?”