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Old 03-12-2011, 04:29 PM    (permalink
M.O.T.H.
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I've enjoyed the start of act II so far. Mostly because I'm finally interacting with my companions. But of course, I'm sure they'll go fairly silent again soon and I'll just be doing a bunch of side quests in the exact same areas again. This is what I hear at least. The game's pacing is just off.

I was so hung up on the gameplay changes...I never imagined that the game would be so weak in terms of story, pacing, NPC interaction, and environmental/quest variety. Bioware normally kills it in these areas. I dont know exactly what happened. A lot of fans seem to think it was rushed...I wouldnt necessarily disagree with that.

It's still pretty good...but it can be tedious and repetitive. And while some like this "story", I think it's pretty much void of one. This game just shows little glimmers of what could have been something great.
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Old 03-12-2011, 04:35 PM    (permalink
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My comparison:

Origins -> KotoR
DA2 -> KotoR 2

Same basic elements, tried to do some new things...but it just doesn't feel as polished as the first game. "Rushed" might actually be a good word to describe it.

And you're right in that the lack of locations hurts...Origins had multiple unique locations from the dank pits of Orzammar (I swear it feels like you spend half the game there chasing after Branka...) Then the forests killing werewolves, climbing a snowy mountain doing some dragon/prophetess hunting, then an epic war with darkspawn.....

This game makes me want to play Origins again actually, lol
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Old 03-12-2011, 04:56 PM    (permalink
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Ever since I created my character, I've been trying to figure out why he looks familiar...like a celebrity. Well it finally hit me who I think he looks like:



Only with green eyes and a little more stubble. Wasn't intentional...maybe it was my subconscious at work or something....
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Old 03-12-2011, 04:59 PM    (permalink
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I just went with the default head with the paint smeared across the face.
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Old 03-12-2011, 05:16 PM    (permalink
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My comparison:

Origins -> KotoR
DA2 -> KotoR 2

Same basic elements, tried to do some new things...but it just doesn't feel as polished as the first game. "Rushed" might actually be a good word to describe it.

And you're right in that the lack of locations hurts...Origins had multiple unique locations from the dank pits of Orzammar (I swear it feels like you spend half the game there chasing after Branka...) Then the forests killing werewolves, climbing a snowy mountain doing some dragon/prophetess hunting, then an epic war with darkspawn.....

This game makes me want to play Origins again actually, lol
Eh, I'd still take KOTOR over Origins. Mainly because I felt the story was much more interesting and less straight forward.

I loved Origins too, but there are quite a few areas that I hated doing in second/third run throughs of the game. Getting Andraste's ashes, some of the Deep Road area, and the Circle of Magi was pretty brutal. Still a superb game, but there were many annoying parts.
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Old 03-12-2011, 05:19 PM    (permalink
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I wasn't comparing them individually, but just that the sequel tried a few new things but underwhelmed and felt less polished compared to the first game. I feel that this is proving true in both cases now...
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Old 03-12-2011, 05:33 PM    (permalink
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I've beaten Origins many a time and yeah...the Circle of Magi always sucks.
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Old 03-12-2011, 06:37 PM    (permalink
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I wasn't comparing them individually, but just that the sequel tried a few new things but underwhelmed and felt less polished compared to the first game. I feel that this is proving true in both cases now...
Ah, my bad. In that case, I do agree. However, KOTOR 2 was done by Obsidian so I judge it differently in relation of DA:O vs DA2.
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Old 03-12-2011, 07:23 PM    (permalink
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DA 2 suffers from not having more dialog options with your companions. They needed to borrow from KOTOR and have more nonessential dialog as an option. I would love to hear some random pirate adventures from Isabela or something from Varric and the rest. Right now we just get one shot doses of info at predetermined points.

The story works if you pretend to care for random losers that ask you to do stuff that they should be doing. Your son is missing? Get the **** off the couch and find him yourself!! Why wait for a champion to show up? Put up a flyer or something!
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Old 03-12-2011, 09:43 PM    (permalink
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Beat it. And I gotta admit, the ending got me a little pumped.



Even though this game was a letdown from Origins, in the overall story and character development, it wasn't terrible and it does make me excited for what they might bring out next...as long as they don't make it "Sidequests: The Game Part II" and give the main story some more substance.
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:16 PM    (permalink
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Yeah, I just finished it... The end does get you ******* pumped for more DA. The DLC and Expansion(s) should be fun.



DA2 really makes you want to play through DA:O again - and then back through DA2. DA2 might be a let down from Origins, but I think it was good for the series and the story.
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Old 03-14-2011, 12:10 AM    (permalink
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Quote:
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DA2 really makes you want to play through DA:O again - and then back through DA2. DA2 might be a let down from Origins, but I think it was good for the series and the story.
Haha, I just started doing that very thing tonight. I'm giving myself a little breather from 2 while I play Origins again, then I'll play 2 again.
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Old 03-14-2011, 09:32 PM    (permalink
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I don't think I want to finish Dragon Age 2. I'm right at the end, but I'm so sick of it. Haven't played it in several days. Recycled maps(there's like 10 total in the game.), no story, press A to win....meh.

I really hate to be the guy who complains about games and I usually always find something to enjoy about them, but I'm just not digging Dragon Age 2 at all. Scared shitless for Mass Effect 3 now.
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Old 03-14-2011, 09:35 PM    (permalink
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If it makes you feel any better, I feel like there has been a plan in place for the entire Mass Effect series from day 1. Kind of like it was meant to tell a whole story over 3 parts, rather than be 3 connected games with individual stories.

So I don't fear it will suffer from the same story flaws of DA: 2.

Plus EE, finish 2. The ending is actually pretty solid. Doesn't make up for the lack of the rest of the story, but it's my favorite part of what story there is. Just my $.02.
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Old 03-14-2011, 09:48 PM    (permalink
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I feel that way too, don't get me wrong. I'm a lot more optimistic about the future of Mass Effect than I am about the future of Dragon Age. I'll literally cry is Mass Effect 3 is like this though. Too near and dear to my heart to take something like this.

I will probably finish it...but it's really starting to hit me just how big a step back this game was. There's literally no exploration within the game. No sense of discovery. Everything is focused in one location and it's not even a particularly big place with a whole lot to do.

The combat is fun initially, but then you get into the lack of depth that it has. I feel like they should have either stuck with Origins' system or gone full blown into the action RPG concept and make it feel more involved instead of pressing A over and over again. As it stands, I just pop Cleave, wait for guys to come near me+Whirlwind and then use Power Attack and Scythe until I run out of stamina. Same fight over and over again. I can understand moving away from the stiffness of Origins, but you might as well make the same leap towards being a a full blown action game that Mass Effect 2 took towards being a shooter.
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Old 03-14-2011, 09:59 PM    (permalink
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I feel that way too, don't get me wrong. I'm a lot more optimistic about the future of Mass Effect than I am about the future of Dragon Age. I'll literally cry is Mass Effect 3 is like this though. Too near and dear to my heart to take something like this.

I will probably finish it...but it's really starting to hit me just how big a step back this game was. There's literally no exploration within the game. No sense of discovery. Everything is focused in one location and it's not even a particularly big place with a whole lot to do.

The combat is fun initially, but then you get into the lack of depth that it has. I feel like they should have either stuck with Origins' system or gone full blown into the action RPG concept and make it feel more involved instead of pressing A over and over again. As it stands, I just pop Cleave, wait for guys to come near me+Whirlwind and then use Power Attack and Scythe until I run out of stamina. Same fight over and over again. I can understand moving away from the stiffness of Origins, but you might as well make the same leap towards being a a full blown action game that Mass Effect 2 took towards being a shooter.
I don't know if I can take that twice in a lifetime...how you'd feel there is how I felt going from Morrowind to Oblivion.

Like...Morrowind is my favorite game ever. It fits the way I like to play so well......completely open. You are free to do whatever you damn well please in the game. Go anywhere anytime you want as long as whatever is there doesn't kill you. The main quest feels distant at the start...some fetch quests....and then builds into you killing gods. And finishing each one of the guilds feels like a full on quest line in it's own right. And the world...so alien and strange....I'm tearing up thinking about it....so good....so near and dear....played through it so many times...

And then when I heard about Oblivion....I was basically picturing Morrowind with better graphics and fighting....and that is what I was led to believe before it came out, I was so pumped.

And then it was basically "Morrowind for Dummies" in a generic fantasy location....with better graphics and fighting.

It hurts so much. A wound that just won't heal.

They can't do that to Mass Effect. They just can't.....
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:06 PM    (permalink
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I agree completely about Morrowind/Oblivion. Oblivion wasn't such a huge disappointment for me, but it was the inferior game out of the two by far. Morrowind was just so much more of an inspired title design wise. Oblivion looks pretty generic by comparison.

But yeah, I still feel pretty good about Mass Effect 3, although I hope it misses that Holiday 2011 target so they can put as much time as they need into it.
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:33 PM    (permalink
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I loved ME 2 greatly my first type playing that game since KOTR on xbox.When is the third one expect to come out?
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:47 PM    (permalink
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I really enjoyed DA2. Maybe it's just different for me because I play it on PC. There were a lot of holes in the story where they just assumed you'd fill in the blanks, and that kind of got out of hand and ruined some of the immersion.

They really should have taken more time to flesh out the characters - it's not like there's that many of them... The ending was pretty ******* awesome and shows what the game could have been...but it was still a really good RPG that I plan on playing through a few more times. I'm looking forward to the expansion and dlc - the ending left me looking forward to more Hawke.

Some of the characters really came together in Act III (a little late...) I stopped hating the Ginger, Merrill's story gets told
, and that...that ************! (if you finished you know)

Whether they did a good enough job with character development and purpose, I look at whether it made sense for each companion to be following Hawke.

*Varric always made sense. He recognized Hawke as someone who could help him in the Deep Roads and became business partners and BFFs with the eventual Champion of Kirkwall.
*Aveline always made sense. She and Hawke fought through the Blight to get to Kirkwall together. Aveline kept tabs on Hawke and they helped each other out throughout the game.
*As a mage Hawke, Anders always made sense as someone who connected with a fellow mage who was free of the Circle. I'm not sure what the dynamic is as a different class. But you need Anders for his Deep Roads maps and the rest is spoilers.
*<sibling> always made sense. Obviousness is obvious.
*Merrill makes sense once you find out what she's doing.
*Isabela makes sense once you find out what she's doing.
*Fenris never makes sense - especially since he hates everyone in the party. But he is pretty bad ass once he stops trying to be *** with my Hawke.
*Sebastian probably makes sense if you use him.

So...in the end, almost all of the companions had good reason to follow Hawke and their stories developed. I guess the main complaint is that we don't learn much about any of them until later in the game (when all of the little bits and pieces come together). I think the problem was that most of the companion character development came from Gift Giving Encounters and Companion Quests. There are no GGE's in Act I and the Companion Quests don't make sense early in the game because you don't know anything about these people.

I geeked out pretty bad whenever there was a DAO cameo.
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Old 03-15-2011, 12:13 AM    (permalink
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I'm debating getting Homefront or Bulletstorm. I was going to pick up Bulletstorm for the Gears of War 3 beta but I found out you can get access by pre-ordering GOW 3 at Gamestop. You do get access a week early if you buy Bulletstorm though. I'm leaning towards getting Homefront because the premise sounds pretty interesting.
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Old 03-15-2011, 12:21 AM    (permalink
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I played as a rogue and feel like I understood Anders' plight because you have a sister and father that are mages. So you can feel for them that way too...

Fenris never does really make sense though. Badass character if you max out his two-handed and lyrium ghost trees. Ultimate offense warrior at that point. But like you said, he hates everyone and everything you do...gets annoying.

Ginger ***** also grew on me a bit at the end of the game...it helped that
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Old 03-15-2011, 12:21 AM    (permalink
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Also Bulletstorm only has like a 5.5hour long campaign and no competitive multi. I'd definitely side with Homefront between the two.
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Old 03-15-2011, 12:27 AM    (permalink
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Finished that last hour I've been putting off for a few days and my opinion is unchanged. The ending was actually fairly anti-climatic. I was expecting some sort of MASSIVE twist that lead into Dragon Age III and it ended up just being what you expect.

So yeah, with that said, here are my major problems with the game.

-Uninspired visual design(not graphics). Origins set a benchmark for dark fantasy games. Perfectly balanced traditional fantasy aspects and turned things with a gritty, violent edge. Dragon Age II retains some of that, but the entire thing just runs into itself. I supposedly spent seven years in Kirkwall and it's just as uninteresting as the first time I set foot in the Gallows. For a place that's described as vibrant as bustling, it certainly looks sandy and dead.

-Reused maps. Pure, pure laziness. There's a total of like fifteen locations throughout the game that they just reused over and over again. I probably wouldn't have paid full price for this game had I known they were going to do this. It's that much of a deal breaker to me I really don't know how they got away with putting the game out with this little actual content. The first Mass Effect drew a lot of criticism for

-I don't care about any of the characters. Not Some of them had some good ideas...but the execution of them was just horrible. Varric was a very cool guy to have around and never really left my side...but blah. In Origins we had GIANT personalities, in the first fifteen minutes even, like the xenophobic, multifaceted Loghain and the idealistic Calain. These were real feeling people dealing with giant situations that drew you in. In Dragon Age II, we have slutty pirate boobs/ass girl, two different flavors of emo elves, ect. None of them have any real motivation that relates to the plot(when there is one) either. Most of them, with the exceptions of maybe Anders and Merrill, really don't even seem to want any part of it and just sort of have their own stuff going on.

-Pacing issues. The first act doesn't mean a damn thing after the exposition. The start of the second act doesn't mean anything even. You go on this massive adventure to the Deep Roads(Which doesn't even feel like a big deal) and then it's just directionless. We finally meet the real important about five hours before the game ends and then they just sort of try to squeeze it in.

-Locations. There's like...three places in the entire game. I'm not sure anyone can swing that as a good thing. Kirkwall is one of three major cities in what I expect out of the AAA RPG of 2011. That's with a lot of other various places sprinkled in too. More pure, unadulterated laziness. Particularly offensive when you combine the aforementioned poor visual design.

I could go on and on really. This really, really left a bad taste in my mouth. It was obviously rushed, but the real kick in the teeth is that it felt cheap. The graphics improved, but the production values as a whole were really, really bad. Very average game that wouldn't even be getting the level of praise it's gotten if not for Bioware's excellent track record.

Also; Keep staying classy Bioware.

Won't be supporting this game through DLC purchases.
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:59 AM    (permalink
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New Batman AC game play trailer up. OMGGGGGGG
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Old 03-15-2011, 12:29 PM    (permalink
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Eh...We all know that every publisher/developer does that. That guy just got caught. I'm hoping the DLC/Expansion will address some of the storytelling issues the main game w/Exiled Prince had. The gameplay was fun enough for me and I haven't had much problem looking past some of the flaws, so I'll be indulging in the extra content.

Non-DA stuff... I found College Hoops 2k8 for $5 and found updated rosters for 10/11. Ultimate score... There's a bit of a learning curve to the game, though. Even after being a veteran of NBA 2k.
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