I love role-playing games for the sheer length of gameplay you get from them, for the stories you create yourself around the stories provided by the game designers, for the feeling of accomplishment as you slowly grow your character from a nebbishy peasant who falls down when goats bleat to an armored juggernaut capable of slaying dragons with a swipe or two of a legendary sword made out of black onyx (but who is still probably secretly afraid of goats).

A dragon from Dragon's Dogma

Capcom’s soon-to-be-released Dragon’s Dogma looks like it’s going to find plenty of playtime on my console. The demo has just been released, and I encourage all gamers to download it and give it a try.

Download the demo for Dragon’s Dogma here.

Before we head into the realm, check out the Character Editor where you can choose gender, name, overall build, and voice for both your main character and your main “pawn,” or companion. Good stuff. Then check out the two (!) quests that are included in the demo.

Battles are intense in Dragon's Dogma

Just beginning the Prologue Quest shows you how much attention to detail Capcom has made with this game. From the way you are introduced to using your inventory (open it up and light that lantern), to battle to the mini-map, it all feels right. Experience points gained show on screen (something that drove me nuts about Skyrim) and while the battle can get a little chaotic, your companions are much more helpful (and smarter) than in most RPGs.

For fighting fans, this is far more than hack-n-slash. Oh sure, there’s the standard Light Attack and Heavy Attack but if you want to really wreak havoc, learn to use your Block (LB) skill. Then, use the bumpers with the A/B/X/Y buttons to try out special attacks, like the Blink Strike, Skyward Lash or Hindsight Slash. Pay attention to your health and those of your pawns. If a pawn reaches unconsciousness, go to them and press B to raise them back up. Likewise, if your health is draining, go near a mage (one is magically awarded to you during the quests) who will restore some of your health, or use the items in your inventory.

Scenery in Dragon's Dogma

Battles can be pretty intense with real tactics to consider so take your time, plan out your approach, and don’t be afraid to let your pawns do some of the heavy work.

If you like role-playing games, you owe it to yourself to check out Dragon’s Dogma and give it a try. The demo is available now from Xbox LIVE Marketplace, and the full game will be available in May, 2012.