If you're like me and you wanted Dragon's Dogma, but you could never find it in stores, then this is a godsend. It's the vanilla game, all the DLC, and more content, unless I've heard wrong. Anywho, it has the vanilla game, and since it's being released as a standalone, I've made sure to preorder the game this time around.
You get bonuses for having an original Dragon's Dogma save file, but nothing that's really going to make or break your gaming experience. Tell you what, download the demo off of Xbox Live, and if you like it like I did, then you should buy it.
If you don't want the DLC and the new goodies all that much, then you could try to find a used copy of Dragon's Dogma. Maybe you'll be more successful than I was, because I can't find a copy, used or otherwise, anywhere.
There are a few owners of the original game who are rightfully angry with crapcom for not allowing a DLC option to give default owners of the game just the new stuff in Dark Arisen, but if you're not one of those people, like me, then this is like a Dragon's Dogma GOTY edition.
See also, Batman: Arkham Asylum/City GOTY, TES IV GOTY, Borderlands GOTY... You know, other games released with all the available DLC at that point. Only it's not a GOTY and it costs $40. To me, that seems like a better price than most games I buy, which usually cost around $60, which I also think is pretty cool.
In the end, it's up to you. Sorry I took so long to say that. --- My presence alone ends threads, and my posts kill entire topics with a single line. They call me Vondlgrimst, Scourge of the Boards! Fear my irrelevance!!!