Yesterday I told you that Dragon Age II didn’t have a soul, and that was why I thought it would always be in the shadow of its predecessor, Origins. I’m not entirely sure how far I want to take this analogy, but even if Dragon Age II has no soul, it has plenty of heart.
After the jump, I let go and learn to love again Continue reading →
Try as I might, I can’t make myself love Dragon Age II the way I loved Dragon Age: Origins. Dragon Age II does almost everything right, hits almost all of its marketing bullet points, but never grabs you and refuses to let you go. Origins was buggy, sprawling, clunky; an old school paean to the glory days of Bioware and Black Isle and Infinity Engine RPGs. It suffered from the tired, played out Bioware formula of prologue, four quest hubs, and finale, yet never seemed boring or repetitive. For those of us who played the early days of computer RPGs, it was a promise to keep that style alive. Then Dragon Age II changed the formula, and as a result lost its chance to eclipse its predecessor long before it hit the market.
After the jump: Do games have a soul? Continue reading →
(This post contains minor spoilers. You have been warned.)
I have a feeling that there are two reasons Dragon Age II slows down for some people early in Act 2. The first is that the game for the most part takes place in the only slightly changing city of Kirkwall, broken up by cookie-cutter dungeons and occasional interludes outside the city walls. The second is that by the middle of the game, you realize that Dragon Age II has abandoned almost every pretense of dressing up fetch quests.
After the jump, is this really what a hero does? Continue reading →
When you get past the discussion of graphics and texture size, when you get over lamenting the inevitable plot holes, when you’re done praising or damning the dialog and structure, and when you’ve had your fill of grousing about the UI, one thing makes or breaks whether you play an RPG: the combat.
After the jump, I’m talking about every game that isn’t called Planescape: Torment Continue reading →
Let’s face it: an unavoidable fact of life when you play RPGs is that you are going to be spending an inordinate amount of time in dungeons. They may not all be dark, dank, moss covered caves or yawning caverns. They take the form of the interior of castles, the basement of suspicious taverns, or a cursed church. Regardless of how they are skinned, they are all dungeons: corridors separated by doors and puzzles, with enemies around every corner and usually a boss at the end of the road. Dungeons can be the best part of an RPG or a nagging problem in an otherwise good game. Despite the traumatically awful experience of the Fade, Dragon Age: Origins featured varied, interesting dungeon design, enough to keep me coming back through an expansion and seven downloadable adventures. Surely Dragon Age II wouldn’t disappoint.
After the jump: No honey, I didn’t make a wrong turn. Continue reading →
I have another confession: I’m a goodie two shoes when I play RPG’s. The first time I run through an RPG, I feel compelled to be the world’s biggest ass-kisser, suck up, do gooder, and holier-than-thou moralist. I don’t know where the habit started. Possibly as far back as the original Baldur’s Gate, though I don’t recall a morality system beyond influencing your party members. But it has stuck with me. It has so permeated my playing style that even when I try to play RPGs a second time as an evil take-no-prisoners jerk, I usually end up choosing at least a few good options to ease my conscious. This would likely make for the world’s most boring game diary though, so I decided that I was going to pick every bit of dialogue based on how I thought it fit with the game world. No reloading, no second thoughts. The first thing that came to my head was the right choice.
After the jump, that’s not what I meant to say Continue reading →
My rogue is literally dripping blood, covered from head to toe in viscera and spatter from the horde of Darkspawn that have fallen to my intrepid group of heroes. My party is ragged, tired, bloodied, and low on health potions. The first wave fell easily, wheat before the scythes of my twin blades. The second wave slowed us, but we held strong. There were more though…always more.
After the jump, will our heroes survive the onslaught? Continue reading →
Let’s talk about breasts, boobs, and women in video games for a brief moment, shall we? The old gaming message board memes about big breasts and anatomically incorrect armor have been playing out for years. Many people have treated the subject with far more wit and perversity than I am able to in a few paragraphs. My focus is narrow though — the lovely lasses of Dragon Age 2 — and this game is a godsend for you digital boob-watchers out there.
After the jump, she’s not really my sister. So it’s ok to look. Continue reading →
My name is Adam and I have a confession. I’m addicted to using two weapons in RPGs. I will always take the dual wield option. It doesn’t matter what type of game I’m playing, how bad the build is, or how much more I could min/max my way through with something else. I am going to use two weapons, usually swords, and hack and slash things into virtual oblivion. I have done it throughout my gaming life, and my neurosis runs so deep that after taking one dual wield character to level 85 in World of Warcraft, I started another dual wielder of a different class and am leveling him up. Why? Because he dual wields bigger weapons. Yes, that actually happened.
After the jump, Dragon Age 2 satisfies our hero’s bloodlust Continue reading →