Tag Archives: Dragon Age

Fan Or Not?

 

If there’s one concept that’s affected gaming more than any other, it would have to be fandom. Video games live and die by their fans, as do their publishers and developers. It’s why new IP are considered risky while resources are poured hand over fist into sequel after sequel. What is a fan though? Is enjoying a game enough to be considered its fan or is there something more to it? Continue reading Fan Or Not?

My top 5 BioWare Games

My top 5 BioWare Games.

 

If you know anything about me from my twitter page, you know I’m a BioWare fan.   For me this developer has produced some of the best RPGs. From the critically acclaimed Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 1 and 2 to the two huge franchises Mass Effect and Dragon Age. BioWare creates compelling games, displaying how progressive BioWare is. Featuring women and LGBT characters as priorities in many of their games. BioWare, listens to their fans and strives to create games based off of feedback from the fans. The reason I love their games is due to their progressive nature. They enable you to create a character you can identify with and tell your own story (so to speak), with choices in-game. These choices are what set the game up for several play through and has consequent in future content.

 

I will preface this by saying although I have gamed for a while, I took a sabbatical from gaming for two years or so while I was pregnant with my son and after he was born. If you are a parent you’ll understand the zombie I became and thus my reason for taking a break. During that time I didn’t even consider games a part of my life until my husband purchased a Xbox 360 and brought home Dragon Age: Origins.

 

  1. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

Taking place 4000 years before the events of the original Star Wars Trilogy, you are a small fish in a galactic sea of Jedi and Sith.   I think what I found the most fun in this game, was “changing the lore” of the Star Wars universe. We all know how things will turn out in the very distant future, but it was fun use of the moral system seeing how far you could get to the dark side or become one with the force. Although, this game is over 10 years old it still has remarkable replay value and a feel of nostalgia. Everything from the combat to the fetch quests was engaging enough to keep you wanting to play again and again. For now we’ll see if EA ever gives BioWare the green light for a KOTOR3 and if Microsoft makes the Xbox One backwards compatible with the original Xbox.  

 

 

Video from Youtube User: Machinima Trailer Vault

 

  1. Jade Empire

 

An action-adventure cleverly disguised as an RPG. I recently stumbled on this game from a mom gaming group. I believe the game released while I was in the middle of a break from gaming again (this time because work decided it and then WoW came along…). The best part of the game is for the time of its release it incorporated a dynamic combat system. Borrowing heavily from Kung-Fu movies, Jade Empire features combat style now common in RPGS. Again you make use of the choice and moral system BioWare loving features in their games. The game was a fresh take on the western RPG in an Asian inspired world; creating some of the most beautiful backgrounds and interesting way of interpreting the moral system. Nothing is grey in JE more strictly speaking you follow a path and basically stick to that path, although, neither side of the paths were truly good or evil.  The reasons this game doesn’t rank higher on my list are because of how short it is. It clocks in at about 20 hours if you do everything in the game. Also, in a world filled with lore and interesting places that should be visited, you never visit them, you only see four places including a trip to heaven. So, while it is a great game and a good way to spend a few hours I wish BioWare left us with more and made a sequel.

Video from Youtube User: GameBanshee

  1. Dragon Age: Inquisition –

 

The newest addition to the Dragon Age line up, a game many fans have waited on for years. I though it was never going to happen, until really recently. The game promised fans a more open world feeling game, without actually being open world.   A beautifully designed game with hours and hours of content, and recently they released the final DLC for the game. It finally wraps up a lot of questions that have been left to answer in past games. Featuring the biggest cast in a Dragon Age game, they answered fans wishes by allowing you to have an overpowered party of warriors, at the cost of course of getting rid of healing magic completely. With all the DLC released, recently as well as the choice and moral system, this game begs you to return for many play-throughs.

 

Video from Youtube User: Dragon Age

  1. Mass Effect 2 –

 

Although, I believe the franchise of Mass Effect is a great series, I think ME2 outshines the other games. It brings a better combat system, cleaner story telling and leaves the horrible clunky Mako where it belongs in the cargo bay. BioWare expanded on the Milky Way and gave players a chance to explore it. They expanded the cast by introducing new races and adding grit to the game with hardened personalities. These new characters bring in fantastic stories and new options for building loyalty. The game does not suffer from tons of fetch missions, but rather missions that actually tie into the story. The choice and moral system makes another return with a twist in this game. Overall, this game takes all the negatives from the first game and improves upon them. Showing yet again BioWare listens to their fans.

Video from Youtube User: Official EA UK

  1. Dragon Age: Origins –

 

I owe it to this game for bringing me out of my gaming sabbatical. Seeing how it is the first installment of the Dragon Age series, it does start out slow and builds up to an incredibly rich world with dark undertones. It takes the run of the mill fantasy story and throws a twist on it. Turning the elves into a sub race and not an untouchable race , giving each race a different accent to round out the game. The combat system is fun and engaging although at times, can be a little boring due to the auto attack feature. Dragon Age relies heavily on lore carefully penned by a “brother of the chantry”. Using the choice and moral system again players are encouraged to return back to the game again and again. With the addition of an expansion and the DLC Dragon Age: Origins story and origin stories are the top of my list simply for content alone. It has the richest story of any of the Dragon Age games and some of the toughest choices you’ll have to make.   The games features an amazing musically score that really opens up the world of Thedas drawing you in deeply to the story line.

 

Video from Youtube User: Dragon Age

If you’ve yet to play a BioWare game, you should give one of them a try, I think you will be in for a pleasant surprise. If you are already a fan of BioWare what is your top 5?

Dread and Gaming Emotions

Image by Flickr User brava_67
Image by Flickr User brava_67

Most games are experiences that are easy to jump into, they are easy to play and easy to enjoy. There is another other kind of game though. The sort that is most definitely fun, but demands consideration; taking it in as you go along. Fans of horror games, RPGs and perhaps even adventure games probably know the feeling. It’s an odd sense, one of feeling like you’re a part of everything that’s going on on the screen even though you’re really just an outside observer. You’re definitely not there, yet none of what’s transpiring onscreen could have happened without you.  Continue reading Dread and Gaming Emotions

What Next Gen Looks Like

Image captured by Hatm0nster

The “next-generation” of gaming has been here for about a year now, which I suppose makes it “current gen” now. Aside from a few games that have been set to run at 60fps, it really hasn’t felt the monumental arrival of the Next Generation of Gaming that we thought it was going to be has it? Then again, what exactly were we expecting the next generation of gaming to look like anyway?  It would have better graphics of course, and better frame rates but I always felt like there was going to be more to it…somehow. I wasn’t sure what exactly was going to make the next gen feel different, but with the release of Dragon Age: Inquisition I think I’m finally getting an idea.

Dragon Age: Inquisition has a tie-in site called DragonAgeKeep.com, which enables users to choose set up their own custom world state to bring into the game. It’s similar to the motion comic that accompanied the PS3 version of Mass Effect 3, which allowed players who didn’t have save data from the previous games to still make the important choices. What really makes the Dragon Age Keep a step beyond the likes of that motion comic is just how much it allows you do with the world states you save. Not only can you make decisions and port them to your game, but you make multiple states and save favorites, and even share them out among your friends. They’re features that save states have enabled on PCs (consoles if you have the right tools and knowhow) for several years now, but this is the first time we’re seeing this kind of functionality made officially part of a game. It’s not an incredibly dramatic feature but I’m thinking it’s a forerunner to the kinds of features we can expect to see from future games on Xbox One and PS4. I don’t know if this is available to the last generation versions also, but even if it is I’d still call it a next generation feature simply because we haven’t really seen its like before.

Better graphics and frame rates are nice, but now that I’ve seen it I realize that is this kind of expanded functionality that’s going to come to define this new generation of games more than will ever be able to.

What do you think sets this next generation apart from that which came before? Where should they go from here?

Relationships in Games: The Teammates

Image by Flickr user Ryan Somma
Image by Flickr user Ryan Somma

I recently picked up South Park: The Stick of Truth (SoT), and I’ve been having an absolute blast with it. It’s a fun, funny, and fantastic game complete with decent mechanics and enjoyable gameplay. SoT is a turn-based combat game, and it’s been awhile since I’ve played one of them. Thinking back…the last one had to be…gosh…Final Fantasy IV on the DS, maybe? What’s interesting about combat in SoT is that your party consists only of two people – you and another character. Going in I expected to start out small and grow my party into the standard three- to four-person crew. In SoT, while I’ve unlocked other members of my party, only one stays with you on screen and in battle. As they all have different abilities, you can switch team members at any given time, but more often than not, I’ve found myself a long-term companion in just one character. The sweet, and at times vicious Butters.

Continue reading Relationships in Games: The Teammates

Dawn of the 2nd Day: Saturday at PAX Prime

IMG_0054What a day, What. a. Day! Today I really got down to business and got some some info to share! For Starters, I had the opportunity to speak with Allen White, the Art Director for Smashmuck Champions! This is a game that’s more than just a new entry into the MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) genre, it’s an game determined to keep it fun! I’ll have my full talk with Allen for you all later this week but for now, here’s my initial impressions of the game.
Continue reading Dawn of the 2nd Day: Saturday at PAX Prime