Welcome to a new feature i shall be running on the Hub that puts the spotlight on you, the gamer. Each edition will feature an interview with a person or person(s) who have i feel deserve to have a spotlight on them for doing something awesome and or fun in gaming that you don't normally see floating around because it's not a craptacular Call Of Duty no scope craptage bla bla.
So, for the feature's virgin appearance i have chosen a game that is close to my heart, and that of many others. Dragon's Dogma, the open world, monster slaying RPG from the fine folks at Capcom. Now this game deserves a good looking for three key reasons;
1. It's very good and reaks of potential going forward
2. It recently had two new modes added to it free of charge, hard mode and speed run mode
3. It has an expansion coming out April 26th....and i'm throthing at the gamer gash for it and i feel you all should be to!
Dark Arisen?! Time to get your groove on! WOOOOOO
Now, i could of quite happily spoke about a specific part of the game myself, but, the Hub is all about the xbox community and that's you guys n gals! So, whilst browsing twitter i stumbled accross an old poster from the OXF forums who was telling some interesting tales about his experiance's on the new additions, hard mode and speed run, to Dragon's Dogma. The passion in his tweets caught my eye....then, it struck me, a holy light beamed down from the sky and our first gamer was chosen. So.....
Q. Allow me to introduce you to our first guest on the feature, passionate gamer and Dragon's Dogma veteran 'redpixelstory'
A. Hello. I'm 'redpixelstory'; specifically stylised in that manner and not because I lost my caps lock key. I've been around the Xbox domain for well over half a decade now, but not always by this name. My favourite 360 games always seem to turn out being medieval fantasy, which is what originally drew me to Dragon's Dogma. My Arisen currently goes by the very original name of Red, although this could change easily. And he travels with the timid main pawn known as Montserrat (although I always refer to her as Montse, or Monmon). I like messing around with the character creator and experimenting, so it's possible these could have changed by the time this is published.
Q. So i've picked you to feature you as i've been rather entranced by your exploits on a new game plus mode on Dragon's Dogma, the aptly named Speed Run mode. But, to those of us not in the know what exactly is speed run and how does it differ to the main game?
A. It is identical to the main game in every way aside from a few key elements. The save system is disabled, for one. The clock stops whilst menus are open, traversing the rift, and during dialogue and cutscenes. So you can still take breaks and just hope there isn't a power cut.
Secondly, speed run mode has to be played offline. You can only hire pre-made pawns. Lastly, all items you acquire or use during speed run mode are neither gained, nor lost in your main Dragon's Dogma save.
Q. How have you found the speed run mode? Enjoyable, frustrating, challenging....?
A. Those three words sum it up rather well actually. It's enjoyable to challenge yourself to see how fast you can complete sections of the game. Whilst a low end time is what you aim for, I find it far more enjoyable to beat sections without being slowed down at all. But that is where the frustration can come into play. Sometimes you can get caught on walls, mistime a jump, or generally just be hindered by bad pawn AI. Since pawns act based on their inclinations it's vital to pick the right style to accompany you.
The challenge only really comes from getting the big enemies out of the way. Sometimes those chimeras just refuse to die. It can be a real challenge if you're so far ahead of your pawns that you end up soloing monsters. Seeing that speed run is locked at normal mode, though, I can't complain too much.
Q. Right then, let's put the chips on the table, what's your best time?
A. Right now it's 36 minutes and 34 seconds. I have no doubt that some people have topped that, but that's what adds the challenge to speed run mode.
(To put that into perspective it can take at least 7 hours to do the main game without even touching half of the side quests - Jonno)
Q. Nicely done! So as a speed run veteran what are your tips and tricks for those budding speed runners amongst us who want to challenge the leaderboard??
A. Travel light. Seriously, running at your absolute fastest cuts minutes off your time. It's good to have a pawn that can carry everything you need, like Large Mushrooms and Liquid Vim. It's good to have items prepared, too. You carry everything over from your main save file so keeping things like Maker's Finger and twenty Wakestones can bypass long sections of the game. I would also recommend doing a proper New Game Plus beforehand. You can place Portcrystals where you need to be, cutting down travel time over Gransys.
There are some more good tips on the Dragon's Dogma wiki if you want to give speed run mode a try. However, I found that improvisation worked well for me. Knowing where to jump or roll can cut a good chunk off your final time.
Q. As a big Dragon's Dogma fan you must be looking forward to the expansion, Dark Arisen, that's coming this April. What are your thoughts based on what we do know and what would you like to see that hasn't been announced??
A. I'm very interested to see what will happen with the story. The initial trailer referenced the original ending, indicating that the Dark Arisen dungeons may be post-ending Arisen. If you've seen what happens in the true ending then it will be very interesting to see where that leads. I'm also looking forward to seeing the improved menu system which will also carry over to the original game. And of course the hundreds of new pieces of equipment interest me greatly. Character customisation is a big part of what makes Dragon's Dogma such a beautiful game.
There we have it! Thank you very much to redpixelstory for his time.
I'm hoping his tales of speed run adventure and tips have got you Dogma players pumped up and tempted to see what the game has to offer with it's fresh additions.
Do you think you can beat his impressive time of 36 mins and 34 seconds? Even for the non-Dogma players out there, this game has something for everyone, the hardcore rpg players, the player who likes a challenge and even the perfectionist, who wants to better every perfromance - ala speed run. Can you beat him?? There's Only one way to find out!
You to can find redpixelstory on twitter, just stick an @ in front of his name.
Flaming Griffon transport - unconventional yet highly effective!
I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!
If you'd like to feature on the next edition of Gamer Spotlight from me a tweet @Paragon53 as to what game and why you'd like a spotlight. Don't be shy, I look forward to hearing from you!