Dragon Age II: Legacy is a pleasant enough afternoon’s diversion. I’d certainly feel better about it if it were $5 instead of $10, but it was nice to spend some time with Hawke & The Gang for a bit.
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@Shingro But the thing abot the BioWare games – and really all WRPGs that I’ve played so far, is that they’ve made the storyline itself a part of the gameplay with the conversation systems and the choices you make. That has been my favorite part of every BioWare game I’ve played so far.
Even that could become a challenge too. The most difficult side quest for me in Mass Effect 2 was Samara’s loyalty quest where you have to set yourself up as bait for a rapist – investigating what kind of stuff the target likes and playing towards it. There are parts of ME2 that could border on Ace Attourney except you have full control over your character. Similarly, The Witcher 2 had a lot of choices that felt uncomfortable for me (whether or not they actually affected the storyline).
If someone made a game that was like Mass Effect or The Witcher 2, but all I did was explore, talk to people, and make storyline choices, I would play the shit out that game. Basically what I want is Heavy Rain written by BioWare.
@redswirl I actually wanted to bring a possibility related to that for the VN/Love podcast. Could it be that in a way, Dragon Age as a series and other games in general are sort of ‘evolving’ towards a VN. The majority of response I’ve heard about DA2 is that people really didn’t care about the combat, but instead, about the characters, development and storyline. I wouldn’t reload the game to get out of combat in an optimal situation, but I would and did reload combat to hear what Merrill said if it got cut off. Is the combat and mechanics in certain games becoming sort of vestigial, it’s designed not to be a serious impediment, but speed bump that absolutely everyone can get past with their only investment being time.
Now, don’t get me wrong, reality check says that it’s unlikely any companies are going to just scrap gameplay entirely tomorrow, but as gameplay becomes more and more of a formality, is it possible that some games will possess challenges so trivial that it might as well not be there at all? Flow comes to mind, as well as the increasing movie to gameplay ratio of SquareEnix titles.
What do people think? I’d also be interested in other evolutions that come to mind, for example, shooters sure are carrying a lot of RPG elements in them these days…
Dragon Age II is done. Surprisingly, the storyline compared to most RPGs is actually quite good (decent at worst) – right up until the very end.
I liked the fact that throughout nearly the entirety of the game there really was no central antagonist – simply different sides disagreeing with each other, but it’s like BioWare decided to create one (or two?) right at the end. Up until that point though, the story and characters were enough to keep me coming back to the game.
Nearly everything else though: tech, art, and gameplay, was pretty much a failure. The entire game could have been a visual novel running on the conversation system and probably would have been better.
I shall now start Deus Ex for the first time for my birthday. Protips? Mods?
@unmanneddrone Want to just go with the crazy 11-man bracket and have a placement round? I don’t think anyone REALLY cares if it’s perfect. I forgot FS has a scoring system, so say we separately play a 1v1 versus the A.I. on Dark Extermination (with a mirror setup?) and relay our scores, starting from a theoretical highest score down you’d get a bracket like this:
*(this isn’t the final setup, this is just in order of how I entered the names)
Another way to do it would just have everyone play one set with everyone else and crown the dude with the highest record. I like the bracket, there’s less games and it’s more fun to follow.
@redswirl Thanks for legitimizing my decision not to buy that game for a while.
Dragon Age 2 is alright for me, but I can definitely see why WRPG fans despise it, especially on PC.
Both the graphics and art design found a way to look more bland, actual tactics are a lot less important in combat, and there is relatively very little variety in the environments. That said, those are none of the things that made me enjoy playing Origins.
So far (I’m towards the beginning of Act 2) I’m actually interested enough in the characters and story alone to keep playing. I like that the entire point of the story so far is just the main character and his family trying to live his life. The only thing I really miss is the isometric camera angle.
The Witcher 2 still kicks this game’s ass all up the street though.
I’ve always been semi-interested in Jade Empire, thinking it nice to see fantasy fiction based on something OTHER than Europe. The thing is, whenever I think about that, I just end up wishing it were this:
If you haven’t seen it, yes it’s an anime, but it’s based on a series of Japaense fantasy novels, and every time I watch it I end up wishing more RPGs were like that. When you get down to the core elements it’s actually a lot like The Witcher 2 in terms of the story focus on political machinations and it’s attention to detail with the folklore, it just replaces the Eastern Europe influence with imperial China.
I’ve played maybe two hours of Dragon Age 2 so far and even though the graphics and art managed to bring “bland” to a new level, I can already tell that the story is going to focus more on political shit than saving the world from mystical shit. I like that.
Dragon Age 2, produces a mixed bag which has left me cold. Why? I have pondered this.
DA2 touches on the usual Bioware conventions of a characters journey and development, though it has decided to frame the entire story as a conquest of a single city. Everything is centred around Kirkwall, and your journey is one forged by relationships. So in that sense it is an interesting, bold idea. Progression not through the distance on a map, but through the hearts of peoples. What I see has happened as a result however is the story becomes a crutch, an ambitious crutch, for the game itself which essentially runs in circles. You have to really be sold on the concept of Kirkwall, because there is little else. It frustrated the hell out of me, because I love being a virtual tourist and visiting varied exotic locales. Eventually the drab repetitiveness of everything caused me to admit I wasn’t having fun anymore, and I will likely not bother to spend any more time on the game.
So I have been playing Jade Empire, my shame game dejour. I had always thought of it as the outsider of the Bioware RPG lineup. I have heard people talk about it with the same mixed feelings I hear for DA2 . For me however, something has worked for me here. It has a great sense of folklore and magic, combined with some Kung Fu culture. Not a terribly deep RPG (stats wise), per se, but the acquisition of different martial arts styles as a means of special abilities and magic really make this into an interesting action/rpg experience unlike what I have played before.
I definitely have enjoyed the varied locales and some of the zany characters. Its also quite a beautiful game. A lot of colour, and impressive lighting for its time. Of course one of my favourite bits of any Bioware game is the attention to culture and folklore. There is a nice mish mash of influences in Jade Empire which really make the game stand out. Having a good time with it.
In another note … Steam Sale has ensured I wont be bored for some time.
Just dashing in before dashing out, but I think what happened to Dragon Age 2 was that when it came out, it was basically the top of the heap when it comes to western fantasy RPGs, despite it’s flaws. Then Witcher 2 came out and sorta stole all it’s story and presentation thunder, without the thunder, the flaws show all the harder.
Maybe! Might just be the normal polish sloughing off
@feenwager Okay. Just wanted to check. I know I’m usually overcautious and shit, but I just wanted to understand the absolutely venomous reaction I got from GAF. I know it’s GAF, but I’ve never seen them react so utterly negatively towards any one game. This is probably the cheapest the game will be all year anyway, and it’s prime material for summer pile of shame.
I should reiterate that the one thing I mainly care a bout in regards to BioWare games at this point is the characters. That’s the main reason I even finished DAO and both Mass Effect games. They had other elements that were fine, but I was just getting through them to get to more character interactions.
So, if the main story and gameplay are dumbed down, I honestly don’t care that much.
@redswirl My perception is that on release people enjoyed it despite its major flaws, which has since slowly eroded until now where it only gets brought up in a negative sense. It could just be the people I hang out with / podcasts I listen to, though.
@bowlisimo What has eroded? The hate or hype?
So Dragon Age II is $23 today, and most people are telling me it’s not even worth that much. I didn’t think opinion would be THAT negative. So, I’m going to ask somewhere other than GAF which seems to think it’s the worst RPG of the year by a mile.
Finished Dragon Age 2 last night. Would love to swap “spoiler filled” notes with others who have, also. Let me know if you’re down and I’ll start an email chain.
@angryjedi Not really. He sounds plastic mostly. There are some moments (like when he’s exploring the estate and commenting on what he finds) when he sounds human but they’re too infrequent. Oddly, he reminds me a lot of John during those times.
@RocGaude I shall attempt to say this in a spoiler-free manner, but the following exchange:
OTHER PERSON: “Take justice into your own hands and the Magistrate will have your head.”
LADYHAWKE: “Other men have tried. And failed. Horribly.”
…was delivered in such a deliciously fruity, posh, sultry manner that she cemented a place in my heart. <3 to LadyHawke. Is ManHawke as well-spoken?
@angryjedi My second play through will be with the female Hawke. They made her just my type, too.
So Dragon Age II. Pretty good. Also I am in love with LadyHawke. Bizarrely, her super-poshness and sarcastic quips are rapidly making her one of my favourite BioWare characters. Wouldn’t have expected that from a protagonist character.
@beige Yeah. Yakuza 4 (and Radiant Historia) now, Crysis 2 and possible Dragon Age later… if I don’t get caught up with The Witcher.
The thing is though, amidst all the DA II buzz, I’m just not seeing the thing that pulled me in to the first game, and I was even cautious enough to wait for a Steam sale on that one.
@Bowley sort of like Alistair, but much more holier than thou and pedantic. He’s a chantry dude.
@rocgaude you’re missing Sebastian, who turns out to be sort of a whiny baby.
Well, again, no real slight against DA2, I don’t have the experience as of yet to back it up however I can at least say “I understand trepidation.”
I dunno though, are these false? Is it still tactical pause-y combat? The world feels large enough? Is the lack of an obvious end goal not true, or simply not applicable? If they’re wrong let me know, I’m not out for a crusade, I want to know if it’s the old Bioware I know and love.
I get the sense that I’m asking if a girl has a good personality and people keep telling me “Man she’s so beautiful” which is great, and definitely a favorable mark and I’m not saying I’m canceling the date, but not exactly what I asked. If you order spaghetti and Bioware brings you a taco, saying “shut up, it’s a great taco” I think it’s reasonable to pop question marks out of your head. I just want to know what I’m getting into.
@shingro we’re talking about two different things here.
One is the practice on the Internet of stating others’ opinions or third hand information as fact. Happens all the time. Not just here, and not just about games. Bugs me.
The other is about Dragon Age 2. If someone wants to play a game with a maniacal bad person that announces at the beginning their intentions to rule the world, and then you spend twenty hours trying to prevent that, God bless. You have literally thousands of options out there.
If you’d like a different experience, with more ambiguity and a focus on character, play DA2.
Slagging DA2 for not doing the former is like getting upset with spaghetti for not being more like a taco.
Hmmm, I dunno, I kinda get a similar ominous feeling from what I hear of Dragon Age 2, while I agree that most people seem to be enjoying it but in a different way, a large majority of the reccomendations I get are heavily modified right off
“How’s Dragon Age 2?” “Well, it’s much less hard/likebaulder’sgate2/complete feeling/epic … but fun… I’d say give it a try.”
Comparatively I remember the same people saying about Dragon Age 1 “MY GOD IT’S FULL OF STARS, THEY SHOULD HAVE SENT A POET O_O” or people talking in reverent tones of how amazing the writing was or how fully realized the characters are. People still do watercooler talk about what their origin was and how fascinating it was to hear the story from a different perspective and what changed in and around their playthrough from that.
On the other hand I can’t seem to find anyone that can tell me exactly what carries over from a save file or whether it matters, many can’t actually say what the game is about 12-15 hours in, one guy in my A++ cert class said “Yeah they don’t really tell you what’s happening until the very very very end” in reference to who exactly he was fighting. More and more bits of the game seem to be held hostage in other places, facebook and preorder codes and whatnot, makes me wonder what sort of “witch hunt” dlc is already planned or possibly completed and waiting for an ebb in sales to make an appearance.
I’m not willing to throw DA2 under a bus for these things, hell I liked Bioshock 2 well enough and that got more derision from the onlines… I just figure @redswirl might be fairly sensable in his caution especially when working on a limited budget in a time where tons of great stuff has been released year round.
@bowlisimo It’s a swell romp. I have to set my microwave timer when I play it to keep my play time at a healthy level. If a game makes me do that, it’s a hit.
By the way, I (as a male Hawke) inadvertently “hit on” Anders during my first interaction with him. From that point on, it felt like the game decided I was playing Hawke as a homosexual man because I didn’t get a romantic dialog option for a woman team member until I hit on Isabella, who is arguably the game’s most…uh…let’s just say she “experiences the world through her body”. Has anyone else run into that?
@redswir1 I think what @feenwager is implying is that you’re overthinkin’ it, man. The game’s fun. I’m at about 12 hours in and I’m not getting a Twilight vibe. However, there are a lot more opportunities for you to get your romance on then in any other game that I can think of. If that bothers you, pass on it.
@feenwager I’m only saying that what I have heard about Dragon Age II has me worried about plunking my hard-earned-cash on the game.
I’m going to repeat my earlier question regarding Dragon Age II:
“I never really cared about the overarching story or even the world in Origins. I only spent 60 hours on the game because I found almost all of the party members to be very likable and wanted to see each one of them through their personal stories. Does Dragon Age II have the same appeal?”
The reason is because the more I hear about this game, the more I hear comparisons to Twilight and today’s “new-age” fantasy. The new writer in charge of Anders and some of the DLC giving off the initial impression of your common fanfic writer doesn’t help out either. Neither does BioWare saying they want to make DA closer to Rowling than “a bunch of old white men”.
My current status for DAII is “wait for $20 holiday Steam sale”.
Dragon Age 2: I win.
@rocgaude I didn’t love Fenris at first, but he has a pretty interesting quest-line eventually. Aveline is a stick in the mud, but strangely has a pretty funny personal quest.
The story gets more and more personal as you go, which I’m really appreciating.
I’d give Hawke about 50-50 on the funny/groaner scale. The best line in the game goes to Isabela, though. No spoilers here. You’ll have to see for yourself.
For those of you that care about these things: I’m at exactly 30 hours and I have a huge buttload of quests still. It feels like I’m about 75% through the game. My impending return to work will undoubtedly stall my progress, however.
@impynickers Not only that, but they give you 3 solid, mage party members that are mostly worth their salt. Surprisingly, it’s the warrior class that seems to be lacking in this one. So far, I’m not moved by Fenris and Aveline seems a bit too stoic for my taste.
I’m not liking (male) Hawke very much. His attempts at being the funny guy completely fall flat and, let’s face it, he’s the horniest BioWare protagonist yet. It seems like every team member that you’re not related to are fair game in the sack race.
Maybe I should have tried the Rogue. I decided to go with the mage, because that was probably the best class in the last game IMO. The mage seems a little less interesting this time around for some reason.
@feenwager You really don’t need to play the demo. It’s the first 10 minutes of the game plus a couple of fights from the Isabella intro. You do get an exclusive 2-handed sword for finishing it that looks like something from Final Fantasy X, though. Whether or not that’s a good thing depends on your sense of humor.
Never finished Jade Empire (only BioWare game I didn’t finish). Not really sure why. I don’t think that I could go back to it now, though. I’m pretty sure the years haven’t been kind.
Well, that part is all sorts of gone.
Gotta say, I don’t really miss it. I thought I remembered liking it, but in retrospect it was just a lot of pointless fog-of-war clearing.
There’s a little bit of area to explore from time to time, but it’s mostly click and zip.
@Bowley I mean in tone, mostly. It’s much less grandiose than BG2 or DA:O. Actually reminds me a bit of the original BG, come to think of it.
With better pathfinding.
Quick thoughts on Dragon Age 2:
- Playing as the rogue, as @feenwager has said in the past, is the right way to play. Slicin’ dudes was never this fun in DA:O.
- I don’t have the desire to explore like I did during the last outing. The world seems too streamlined and empty, much like…
- While I appreciate the simpler menu system, it’s about as sterile and lifeless as a cubicle farm.
- They fixed Bethany’s dim-witted voice from the demo. Thank you, BioWare…I really didn’t want to hate my family.
- The intra-party banter is just as great as DA:O’s.
- I would totally shut down every pub in Ferelden with Varric.
- A bartender mentioned a pigeon mass-murderer on the loose. Do NOT tease me like that, assholes.
@feenwager @impynickers I never really cared about the overarching story or even the world in Origins. I only spent 60 hours on the game because I found almost all of the party members to be very likable and wanted to see each one of them through their personal stories. Does Dragon Age II have the same appeal?
Also, looking back, I’m gonna go ahead and say that the primary reason I keep my Wii around aside from the occasional exclusive is Virtual Console. I don’t emulate, so it’s been nice to see a very iTunes response to emulation. There are many VC games I own and intend to play through and some more that I still intend to buy. I didn’t play Super Metroid until I bought it on VC. Being just a click away from Super Mario RPG every time I access the Wii menu is pretty cool.
@impynickers DA2 is a game about the journey, much more so than the destination. Especially in the first segment. All I can say is drain that sucker as dry as you can before tackling any of the main quests. Things do start to ratchet up a bit, but it’s really a character piece in many ways.
I have only played the demo for the original crysis. This was back before I upgraded my video card, and I was surprised that it could actually run perfectly fine on low settings. Occasionally I would dial up the settings to see a pretty slide show, and watch what was then one of the first games I played to feature destructible environments. I should probably go back and try that game now that my videocard is 20 times better.
Started Dragon Age II. Most of the changes don’t bother me, I like a ton of them.
However… I find myself less engaged in the story for some reason. There are some really excellent characters … I just am not feeling my primary conflict. What am I doing? Why am I doing that?
I couldn’t tell you.
@feenwager While the first bullet point of your “things I like about Dragon Age 2″ list was also available in DA:O, the other two damn near justify a flight to Edmonton so that I can hug the folks responsible.
Can ANYONE tell me if this can be done cross-platforms as was originally announced?:
Things I like about DA2:
You can turn off the silly blood all over the place during conversations.
You can turn off helmets without affecting armor.
Dog is available, but doesn’t have to take up a spot in your party.
@feenwager Good. Playing it PS3?
Reports on Dragon Age 2: The First Hour.
I’m not seeing any of the tonal issues that the demo may have suggested. It feels like Dragon Age…2.
Also, I dig the combat so far. Finally, backstab is useful!
@RedSwirl Ditto, still have DAO to finish and my backlog at the moment is reaching critical mass.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved the demo and want to play the game but I have too much on my plate right now to justify it.
Yeah uh… I’m passing up Dragon Age II for Yakuza 4. Sorry. Steam sale maybe.