29 May 2011


Sob... It was just a one day short of its three-year birthday which also means the warranty is long gone... I'm glad you carried me through DA2 before the end, you old war horse... sob. Beautiful! Thanks to my brother for immortalizing our Xbox's death mask... Waaa-aaaaah! Time to get ME2 for PS3 perhaps, while scraping together enough dosh to buy a new Xbox.

26 May 2011

Dragon Age II. A True Champion.

A champion has risen! Defeated an officer gone mad and plethora of other fiends along the way. And fled Kirkwall with her lover. That is to say, I finished Dragon Age II! What a ride! What an emotional ride! I think I shed a couple of tears when confronting my companions before the end. Especially with my character's love, who I forgave for his... erm, admittedly enormous crime. The last game moving me into tears was ICO, mind you. And that, getting you all emotional, is a high complinent for a video game. Bioware, please, if you are ever to do Dragon Age III, don't change anything from this one. Don't listen to any false critic the game has gotten! People who has spat that shit don't know... well, a shit! I just love DA2. It's a beautiful, beautiful, engrossing, intense game, and just goes on to show there are still games that matter. Really does matter. Games that aren't of mindless violence, easy entertainment or any other superficial and shallow values. So, really, Dragon Age II IS The Game of The Year. Period. (Mass Effect 3 was pushed to the next year ;)

Anders, we melee get blood all over our faces and you... you have blue crackles?
TaoTao Hawke is caring and tactful, but unforgiven when called for.
The armour changes all the time. Here, in this shot, just a regular wear, in the end, mostly epic (in WoW terms)
Oh sweet, sweet Merrill, don't dabble with blood magic. Oh, you already have?
My Champion. My beautiful and determined champion.

21 May 2011

Deeper in DAII

In Act 2 in Dragon Age II at the moment. I can't but wonder all the bad rep the game has gotten. So far it feels like Bioware's third best title after masterful Mass Effect 2 and stellar Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, just poking Jade Empire to the fourth place.

For starters, rogue class is actually fun to play now; effective, intense and deadly. And what's more important, NPC AI is significantly improved over Dragon Age. No need to patronize them any more so you can concentrate on the essentials, that is, in my case, being an effective, intense and deadly rogue.

Each and everyone of Hawke's companions is an interesting and intriguing person, no one is a kind you'd rather kick out than choose to your party. You actually feel bad to leave some good guys and gals out when you venture forth with what is in your books "an optimal party". And juggling between friendships and rivalries is engrossing this time around.

And Hawke talks! Yes, that makes more dynamic cut scenes and narration, and gives so much more emotion to the choices you are to make along the way. And Hawke's voice actress isn't that bad as I initially thought based on the demo. That's because demo-Hawke didn't have the face I would have liked! So in a bizarre way the face I made and the voice create my very own and only Hawke kind of feel. Sort of, yes?

If something completely disastrous doesn't happen towards the later parts, I think the Game of the Year is already here. I think I said something similar about ME2 over a year ago...

Ser Isaac's armor and an old friend. Or is it foe...?
 I like what I made out of my Hawke. Both out and inside.
You know, Merrill is like Winona Ryder of the Dalish <3
 Feelings in the play...
...and further so.

11 May 2011

Da-da-dam Dragon Age II

Finally got Dragon Age II! It hit a sale in one on-line store and after two agonizing weeks of waiting for it to arrive at my doorstep, I got my chance to make my very own Champion. As always in CRPGs, I picked up a rogue (even in Mass Effect 2 I chose an infiltrator as it's closest to a rogue the game allows) and after one hour of tinkering her looks, I was ready to go!

I have read stories how Hawke's siblings' appearances change based on a face you create, and how you have to re-create your character several times just because Bethany or Carver look too horrible to look at. Again I tried to create an Asian face for my character and apparently I was lucky as both Bethany and Carver (and the mother) look Asian too. Bethany even came up sooo cute! Hawke doesn't look exactly what I tried to create but she turned out nice enough to carry on with her.

Bioware states they borrowed the ideas both for the game and the appearance of it from numerous sources to make it easy to familiarize with. I'm only in the beginning of the game, just after completing Bethany's "Birthrights" quest, but so far, everything in its wretchedness reminds me of some of the best Roy Thomas/John Buscema's Savage Sword of Conan comic books. If that's what Bioware was after, then I raise my proverbial hat off to them, making it the best Conan game without Conan in it and with me playing a female character! Kirkwall is just so something Conan and his random companions could end up in on their adventures!

The tone of the game is very different from the first game. For starters, everything's streamlined, from action to interface and from inventory to quests, much like how ME2 was streamlined from ME1. And then the appearance. I almost can imagine how late John Buscema would have drawn the scenes and the characters. Oh, the bliss...

Of course, Dragon Age II is not up to ME2 standards but nevertheless, I'm loving it so far! Let's see how it fares further still... I'll keep you posted!

Great drama from the beginning.