As is somewhat apparent, I've been spending some time (a lot of time, actually) with BioWare's Dragon Age: Origins. Although it's got a few issues, it's a great Adventure-RPG if you like the style as much as I do, and it's had no trouble keeping my interest. However, there has been something that's been bothering me about it—the character Shale.
For those that don't know, Shale is an extra character that can be recruited into the player's party. A powerful wrecking-ball of a golem with a witty personality, he's a very attractive prospect. The issue? He's only available via DLC.
So, now that it's here I've been able to log some hours with it and at this point all I'll say is that despite some of the big talk BioWare was putting out, Dragon Age = KOTOR/Jade Empire/Mass Effect in a Medieval-ish/Lord of the Rings skin. Frankly, it's the same game they've put out a couple times now, so everyone's mileage may vary. In my case, this is one of my favorite game types and BioWare does them best, so I'm digging it. However, I'm under no illusions that the game pushes any boundaries or explores new territory. This is firmly-established boilerplate.
Playing Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 with the wife right now, doing co-op throughout the entire campaign. I didn't expect much more than a complete rehash of the first game, but I have to admit I'm a little surprised at how lackluster it feels. It's basically there, but needs more polish to really make it pop. We've stumbled across more than a handful of bugs and glitches which always detracts from the experience, and parts of the game just don't feel very well-thought-out. The boss fight with Yellowjacket was a complete mess, and it really drives me up the wall the way the game is so capricious with the team you’ve selected.
So the word is basically out, and the level that has been causing all the commotion has been revealed to be used as a scene-setting device—basically establishing some context for the player's actions in the rest of the game. That was pretty much what I expected, but… it was also relayed that wherever this scene appears in the final retail version, it will be preceded by a warning about "graphic content" and the option to simply skip it and jump right into the part where the player goes back to being a "good guy".
Spoiler Alert for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 fans!!
This morning on Twitter, I saw a link come in mentioning Modern Warfare 2. I don't really give a rip about it and I've been skipping over most of the masturbatory OMG-look-at-this-new-feature news on it, but this particular tweet was from one of my recent follows who I perceive as being a pretty sharp dude, and his basic reaction to this piece of news was essentially "holy s**t." That in itself isn't usually enough to get me to click a link, but like I said, this guy has had some interesting things to say, so I checked it out.
Borderlands is the game everyone's talking about at the moment, although I have to admit that I'm a little bit (well, okay, a lot) puzzled at all of the positive buzz is getting. It's currently rocking an 84 at MetaCritic and no one has a bad word to say about it on Twitter. However, my experience was basically the opposite… it started poorly and failed to come together for me, leaving me bored and disaffected.
One last note: I'm almost done with my start-over-from-scratch replay of Demon's Souls, and after taking a very close look at the Tendency system, I'm basically convinced that it's pretty much the only false step that From made.
The first time I played the game, I went through it without consulting any FAQs and just immersed myself in the overall experience. It was extremely rewarding and I'm glad I did it that way, but I was a little put off after credits rolled to find that I had missed several things because my gameplay style kept me "in the middle".
I finally got around to downloading my first title direct-to-PSP. Considering how smoothly it went, I'd have to say that Sony was completely smoking drugs when they decided to come up with the Go. Although I performed the process on one of the original UMD-compatible models, if it's even remotely analogous, then their new download-only handheld is sunk before it's even started.
I finally got my hands on Scribblenauts and I have to say, I'm quite divided on it.
On the one hand, it's an absolutely fantastic idea. Write any word and the game will produce that object to be placed at the player's discretion anywhere in the level. I mean, how brilliant is that? Need a flyswatter? Write FLYSWATTER and you've got one. Want to summon the dread god Cthulhu? You can do that too, and he actually shows up. Major brownie points there. The downside to the game is that I think the developers kind of bit off more than they can chew, especially in regard to the level of production that's possible on the DS.
For people who haven't played it yet or might not really care: It's a fantastic, superbly-designed game that has officially knocked my socks off. One of the best PS3 titles available, and at this point, my Game of the Year.
For those who have played it or who do care: My character was a level 80 Temple Knight focusing on Attack and Defense for melee combat. My endgame weapons were a +7 Halberd, a +4 Dragon Sword, and a Lava Bow. All told, it took me about 35 hours, give or take. Too bad there wasn't a death counter, I would've been curious to see how many times I was revived.
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