My Twitter based review continues. Note that this just just an experiment. I’m not planning on reviewing ALL games this way. In the meantime, it’s kind of a nice change of pace for me.
Again, stuff in bold are the comments I made while playing. The rest is elaborations on that.
I KNEW at the opening of the game I’d get stuck in the Fade sooner or later. And that I would be sick of it long before I got out.#DragonAge
The Fade is a dream world. If you’re a mage, the tutorial section involves entering the Fade as part of a test. It was pretty obvious that all these dreamworld models, scenery, and special effects weren’t just for a short one-shot deal for one of the six origin stories.
Sure enough, there is an extended section of the game where you get pulled into the fade and have to fight your way back out.
There’s no looting or shops (since it’s all a dreamworld) and you do it without your teammates. So there’s no dialog, no companion banter, and little story progression. So, you don’t want this part of the game to go on too long.
Looking back, I’m not sure that it was really “too long”. When I wrote the comment above, I’d been at it for a long time and I thought I was only at the halfway point. I was actually very nearly done, but since I couldn’t see the finish line I was getting restless.
Again, this is something that would never get mentioned in a full review, because it seemed annoying at the time but didn’t really hurt the overall experience in the long run.
Ah, out of the Fade. Again. Good-bye screen-buffer blur effects. Again. #DragonAge
Oh yeah. I was pretty tired of how everything looked blurry.
…although I’d be very, very surprised if I didn’t end up in that madhouse again before the credits roll. #DragonAge
I stand by this prediction. I’ll bet I have at least one more trip to the Fade in store for me.
But no spoilers, please.
If you do a spoiler in the comments, just block it off with punctuation or something. Like this:
Voldermort is Luke’s sled!
Badahn (DragonAge) is clearly the same voice actor as O’aka XXIII (FFX). Who gets typecast as a merchant extra? #DragonAge
He plays much the same character here: The down-on-his-luck merchant who you help at the start and who then clings to you for the rest of the game. He’s got a positive attitude and is always cheering you on.
Zevran wants to sell me some fine Corinthian leather. #DragonAge
I can’t help but think of Ricardo Montalban. I don’t even know if the accents are even related, but they both tickle my ear.
My crew: Leliana (Rogue) Wynne, (Heals) and Alistair (meat shield). I’m a mage. (Elemental damage.) #DragonAge
I abandoned that game and started over, and I’m still using this team. You need Wynne for heals. Since I’m also a mage, that means we have two very squishy casters. So I need two meat shields, one of which needs to be a rogue for the purposes of opening chests. Dual-wielding Leliana seems a better rogue than bow-using Zevran, since I need someone who will stand in front. If I was a fighter, I’d probably swap Leliana for Zevran.
The position of “main tank” rotates every once in a while, for the sake of variety. Every once in a while I take Sten or the Shale instead of Alistair.
But Alistair is my favorite, and the one who makes the fewest protests with my moral choices.
Oh, hullo plot thread which will take me back into the fade. Sigh. #DragonAge
This trip was to save the life of one specific character. This trip was also short.
I still maintain that a major trip to the Fade will be part of the endgame.
Wow. I’ve been playing for a long time. How far along… ONLY FIFTEEN PERCENT COMPLETE?!? Wow this game is big.#DragonAge
AND YET YOU STARTED OVER ANYWAY.
The usefulness of a magical item is directly proportional to how ridiculous it looks when worn. #DragonAge
This goes double for mages. If you were to offer one of these mage hats to a clown he’d refuse, “No way, man! I’d look goofy!”
This game should let you toggle the visibility of headwear. Everyone looks so much better without it.
Actually I’d love for games to completely divorce appearance from performance, as with the superhero games. Being dressed like mismatched savaging idiots isn’t really a central theme in fantasy stories. People usually have themed costumes.
Oh hello Steven Blum… VOICING A DWARF?! #DragonAge #castingfail
I like Steven Blum. I really do. But his natural speaking voice does not sound right coming out of a Dwarf.
Actually, there’s obviously no hard rule that Dwarves have to all talk like Scotsmen. I know I’m just dragging my high-fantasy preconceived notions with me, but I can’t help it. These guys are short, broad, and burly. They shouldn’t sound like gameshow hosts.
I think someone should make Dwarves that all have German accents.
Wynne needs to stop complaining about how incredibly old she is when she’s built and dressed like a 16 year old. #DragonAge
Full credit to BioWare: The AI companions in #DragonAge are not idiots and can be trusted to do something sensible most of the time.
Actually, I’ve heard this isn’t true for the offensive magic users, but for melee fighters and the healer, they can almost run themselves using the default tactics. (Of course, you’ll do a lot better if you take care of them.) Since I’m a mage, I don’t have to worry about the other characters very much except during boss fights.
On my next play through the game (assuming) I’ll probably go for a Warrior but directly control the mage. (Which I guess would be Morrigan.)
This whole “activation” for part of the game you own is hopelessly cumbersome, confusing,buggy,and asinine. #DragonAge #sucks
I won’t weary you with the tale. I got the game via Steam, because of a steep discount and in spite of my better judgment.
Why do so many humans have gruff voices and Dwarves sound like gameshow hosts? #DragonAge
Again, I suppose I’m just mired in the Old Ways, but I just can’t get used to this.
Sigh. A female Dwarf with a California accent. #DragonAge
She was actually a cute character. A Dwarf who wanted to study with the mages. I enjoyed her story, even if her SoCal accent was… difficult to accept.
I am a mage, a hero, and an adventurer. And I am dressed like a complete idiot. #DragonAge
Fear my orange Dunce Cap of Awesome Magics!
TWO NPC thief buddies, and neither one ever has enough skill to open the chests we find? Like this, they’re just lousy tanks. #DragonAge
At this point I had both rogues with me, which is a stupid idea. It was also pointless, since neither of them could ever open any chests we found. It should be noted that my character was already doing the raw damage. I just needed someone to stand in front of me and keep the bad guys off while I work my deadly mojo. So the only reason to ever bring a rogue instead of a warrior would be to open the (sigh) invincible wooden chests we’re always finding.
WHAT ARE YOU IDIOTS GOOD FOR?
After re-starting the game, I’ve made sure Leliana is focused entirely on Opening Stuff. I’ve made sure she gets each new lockpick ability as soon as it becomes available. And she’s still stumped by about 1 in 2 chests.
What the hey? How does this work? Do the chests auto-level? Am I supposed to come back later? What?
At one point there was a chest I NEEDED to open for a quest. She couldn’t do it. I left and leveled in another part of the world. I dragged her back, stood her in front of the chest, and did her level-up right there. She opened the chest. Whew.
The very next chest was once again beyond her skill.
Trusting the System
How do you know the rules of the game are what the game claims? More importantly, how do the DEVELOPERS know?
The true story of three strange days in 1989, when the last months of my adolescence ran out and the first few sparks of adulthood appeared.
Starcraft: Bot Fight
Let's do some scripting to make the Starcraft AI fight itself, and see how smart it is. Or isn't.
The story of me. If you're looking for a picture of what it was like growing up in the seventies, then this is for you.
The Opportunity Crunch
No, brutal, soul-sucking, marriage-destroying crunch mode in game development isn't a privilege or an opportunity. It's idiocy.