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 Dragon Age 2

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Nakia the Rogue
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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Sat May 14, 2011 11:30 pm

Kana, haven't heard from you recently. How did Dragon Age 2 go? We could use an update on what you think of this game.

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Sun May 15, 2011 12:49 am

Hi, Nakia.

I completed it and actually played through it a second time. I feel I got my money's worth. I would probably rate it about a 6 or 7 out of 10. I didn't really care for the more action-oriented combat system (although I know some see it as an improvement), but I liked the somewhat less grandiose storyline. I actually find the story of DAII much more interesting than the the first game, which was basically a retread of the story of dozens of other games.

I was happy to see Bioware attempting to create a game which defied the formula they have been relying on for so many years. I think it failed primarily because it was rushed, and they made a few design decisions that wouldn't really appeal to hardcore RPG fans.

The most glaring problems with it are the constant re-use of locations, and very annoying continuous enemy pop-in in most fights. You have to play through the same areas in each chapter, often having to visit them several times in a single chapter. All the back alleys and caves and warehouses look exactly the same. After every fight, you grit your teeth because you know that any second, another wave of enemies will propel down off the rooftops, pop up out of the ground, or in some cases, just appear in thin air from nothing. This makes the combat, which I already found lacking, quite tedious.

Both of these problems ultimately amount to obvious attempts by Bioware to pad the game out. Enemy pop-in means longer fights, which means longer game time. Reused areas means more throw-away quests, which means more game time. I honestly think the game would have been better if they had just scrapped a majority of the sidequests and focused completely on the story. It would have been a shorter game, but it would not have lost anything of significance.

I think it is worth playing if you don't expect an experience like DA:O. If you can get it on sale sometime, I'd say get it. I probably wouldn't recommend getting it full price, though.

In short, it had a lot of potential, but the execution was flawed and seriously rushed.
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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Sun May 15, 2011 1:27 am

Thank you for the review. It is too bad they didn't take more time with the game and rather than making it a longer game make it a more replayable game. I enjoyed Da:Orgins even though it was rather linear. So, the story is good but the execution of the game is flawed.

What game are you playing now? Your reviews and comments are excellent so if you have found another game I would love to hear about it.

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Sun May 15, 2011 7:00 am

Thank you, Nakia.

The only game I'm playing at the moment is Rift, which is my first MMORPG. I've made a few comments about it in the Rift thread here. I haven't played it in a couple weeks, though. I am enjoying it a lot, and I think I'm going to have trouble really getting in to single player games in the future. I may write about that more at some point in the Rift thread.

I also played Portal 2, which was very short, but utterly perfect and consistently hilarious.
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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Sun May 15, 2011 8:04 am

I don't play mmorpg. Smile I have heard of Rift but no little about it. Is it also a mmorpg? Please start a thread if there isn't any and tell me about. I enjoy your comments even if I don't or can't play the game.

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:48 pm

Is anyone playing this game? Just wondering how people like it and if the cost has come down.

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:52 pm

I'm not playing it currently, though I may go back to it again when all the DLC are out. I believe the price has come down to $20.
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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:11 pm

Thanks, Kana, that is good to hear. Right now I am playing Oblivion using some mods a friend made and I have Skyrim ordered but I like having a variety of games to play. $20 US is a good price. Are they still charging exorbitant prices for the DLCs?

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:28 pm

They're not cheap. $10.00 each for Legacy and Mark of the Assassin. However, I've heard people claim that the DLC were really good and make up for some of the shortcomings in the base game (don't know how true that is).
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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:47 pm

I think I'm going to give it a whirl when all the DLCs are released and a package will be available for a bargain price (it's not unikely that this will happen).

It's not that I'm cheap, it's just that I spent a lot on DAO and frankly I'm not too keen on the way the DA2 looks but if it is cheap enough I may be tempted.

Besides after watching Dragon Age Redemption I think I may enjoy all the extra info on Thedas (and especially the Qun which is way more interesting than all the Grey Warden stuff IMO).

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Wed Nov 02, 2011 11:32 pm

I am inclined to agree with Carabas. DAO was way too expensive and I hate dealing with Electronic Arts. Their games will need to be cheeap in order for me to consider buying them.

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:09 pm

I just started playing DA 2. I have read all of this thread, and Kana brings a lot of good points. I might repeat most of them, but here is my take (warning : some points are big, others are nitpicking) :

- The good :
+ I like the story so far. It's less epic and more intimate a story. There isn't much of a 'main plot' so far, but from reviews and the intro, I gather where the story is going to take us.
+ I like the characters. They have individual motivations that are interesting. They also have different personalities and have interesting dialogues between them.
+ The fact you could import your DAO game. I felt that DA 2 fitted in the universe I "created" with my choices in DAO.

- The in-between :
+ In DAO, you role play. You create who your character is and ultimately what personality he has. In DA 2, it's much closer (exactly like) Mass Effect. You choose the appearance, but everything else is already done for you. You basically have three ''personalities'' proposed via the dialogue choices : The good character, the mean character and the witty-joker-never-serious character. I think that really limits the role-play aspect, but at the same time, since your character has actual voice-acting and expressions, I feel my character is more engaged in the story and the interactions with the NPCs. This, to me, is not a good thing or a bad thing. It depends on personal preference. Same with races. While I absolutely agree they destroyed the true RPG aspect, you know in advance it will be a story of a human character. So here, it's a matter of personal preference.
+ I don't know about the spells either. They completely revised the spell system from DAO. Now, it's more a web per ''spell school" rather than a line (like in DAO where you have, for example, Winter's Grasp, Frost Weapons, Cone of Cold and Blizzard). It's not a bad thing, but what I don't understand is all the 'spell enhancements' that costs the same as a new spell (Winter's grasp costs as much as the enhancement to Winter's grasp). C'mon, either it's a new spell or it's not... And the spells don't exactly do the same things as DAO. I was used to Winter's Grasp doing damage and Cone of Cold freezing enemies. Now, it's the opposite (and Cone of Cold's range is about two feet, which is ridiculous).

- The bad :
+ the action... ugh... It seems I'm playing Zelda or something. Seeing a fighter leap across a hall (literately) and swing a two handed sword five times in two seconds makes me gag a little bit. And what's with the dancing? I'm a mage. In DAO, the mages just throws energy bolts with a staff. In DA 2, they makes a dancing move sequence while firing his bolts (and the final move in the sequence is slamming the staff on the ground and doing damage at the enemy at the other end of the room. I guess the energy travelled through the ground. But wouldn't that be... I dunno... A SPELL, and not a ranged attack?). And don't get me started on the 7 foot staff, for my 6 foot character, complete with metal blades on them (yes, apparently a mage is a staff wielding warrior when approached in melee).
+ The relationship with the companions. As a story-driven player, I can tolerate the combat system. But the story, dialogue and NPCs is important to me. Hence, why I think the relationship with the companions is messy. You can never speak with them, unless a specific quest wills it. I find it stupid I can't sit down with my companion and get to know them a bit. Of course, it's normal they won't want to speak of private things before reaching a specific relation rating, like DAO, but you at least get to talk to them a bit. Even worse, if you do a quest after which the companion will have something to talk about, you can't simply turn around and speak if he/she is in the party. That would have been too convenient. You have to throw them out of the party and visit their hangout place (like how it was in BG II with the Copper Coronet) so they'll 'be at ease'. Also, since you barely speak with them, the relationship rating is a b*tch to me. Along with the few talks, you only get to have ''friendship or rivalty'' points in specific dialogue choices throughout the quests. If you haven't recruited your companion yet and they would have gained relationship points in a quest dialogue, it's lost. Don't get me wrong, I like the fact they react towards the choices you make. But since there are no gifts like DAO to compensate, as a player, I'm afraid to "run out of time" to get a high relationship rating with the companion that mesh well with my character. I might reload from very early in the game so I won't miss any relationship point occasion with a character I plan on romancing (that I had recruited later). (all this is one of the negative points of Awakening, but since it was an expansion, I didn't think much of it. I didn't know it was an enduring philosophy). I think it was have been much better if they would have sticked with the companion system of DAO and the Mass Effect series.
+ Appearance : The graphics aren't bad per se, but I don't like the character bodies. Everybody looks anorexic in this game. I have a female warrior in my party, and *in armour* looks about 105 pounds. Wtf? And as a personal opinion : And I think some characters have a bit of a Japanese manga-Final-Fantasy-emo look. I don't like manga art... At all... And the character Fenris, for example, looks like an anorexic emo manga character. But if you like manga, I guess it's good.

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Carabas
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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:27 pm

Quote :
In DAO, you role play. You create who your character is and ultimately what personality he has. In DA 2, it's much closer (exactly like) Mass Effect. You choose the appearance, but everything else is already done for you. You basically have three ''personalities'' proposed via the dialogue choices : The good character, the mean character and the witty-joker-never-serious character. I think that really limits the role-play aspect, but at the same time, since your character has actual voice-acting and expressions, I feel my character is more engaged in the story and the interactions with the NPCs. This, to me, is not a good thing or a bad thing. It depends on personal preference. Same with races. While I absolutely agree they destroyed the true RPG aspect, you know in advance it will be a story of a human character. So here, it's a matter of personal preference.

Interesting points. I'm not too keen on the idea of a voiced protagonist with so few possible choices. To be frank it's not that we had many different choices in DAO but what you're describing seems more limited.

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:03 pm

Yeah, I think so. And they make it veeeery easy to spot by employing "icon" that capture the essence of the dialogue choice (a joker response is a theatre mask, a mean answer is a red judge hammer, when you will pay for something is a few coins falling, ect.)

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Tue Mar 20, 2012 7:03 pm

Very, very, very true. I didn't like Dragon Age II. With Dragon Age: Origins, we had a bit of old-school roleplaying to counteract the modern Mass Effect. Thus, we were effectively getting the best of both world from Bioware. But it seems they wish to be taking Dragon Age a different route. Their choice, of course, but I'll not be playing the series outside of Origins as long as it's like that.
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Carabas
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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Tue Mar 20, 2012 7:15 pm

That's what we call dumbing down. The idea of using icons is not bad but limiting choices to three options is probably not such an improvement.

That's a big problem for CRPGs because you always have to choose between a few options when what you want your character to say may be something else entirely. But I guess we can't blame DA2 for that.

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:18 pm

I can blame Bioware for dumbing DA2 down, though. And I will.
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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:08 pm

My opinion regarding Bioware and DA2 can't be voiced without breaking many forum rules. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:10 pm

I don't really mind having a voiced protagonist, as such. And even with fully voiced protagonists, Bioware still offers more dialogue options that many modern RPG developers (such as Bethesda).

The biggest problem I have with Bioware's voiced dialogue is that they don't tell you what your character is actually going to say, and they frequently (too frequently) say something quite different from what you are expecting.

This problem has become particularly annoying with The Old Republic, where you will be playing with other people. I have a Jedi Shadow who I'm trying to play as pretty goody-goody, but will occasionally blurt out something really dark and bloodthirsty because the dialogue prompts mislead me. On more than a few occasions, I've seen someone in party chat say, "That's not what I wanted to say!"

This really hurts role playing. In RP, my character is supposed to be... well, MY character. MY character should never surprise me or do something contrary to my wishes. It defeats the whole purpose of RP.

Although I've only played about an hour of Deus Ex: Human Revolutions, they seem to have handled the voiced protagonist pretty well there. You are actually allowed to preview what the character will say. I don't see why Bioware can't do it that way.
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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:25 pm

Especially since that was the way it worked in the Leliana's Song DLC. We could choose the text which was read by Corinne Kempa.

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:34 pm

I forgot about that. In fact, I think I didn't even notice it, which just goes to show that having the character repeat a line the player has just read is completely unobtrusive.

That's what is so frustrating about Bioware. It's not that they have bad ideas, but that they stubbornly refuse to give up on their bad ideas, even after they've been repeatedly shown to be bad.
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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:15 am

I think you've hit the nail on the head Kana.

What baffles me is that they had a perfect recipe for a sequel with DAO and then they decided to throw it all away and release a medieval ME instead.

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:24 am

*sigh* All so true.

But, hey, you never know. Dragon Age 3 could be a return to form. They could even base the name around it. Think about it: "Dragon Age 3: The Apology".
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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:01 am

Lol. In any case I think I'm too old to fall for that sort of bull anymore. In fact the more hype a game gets the less interested I am which is probably why I'm enjoying Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning so much. Totally unexpected and entirely enjoyable (of course there are some exceptions, namely Diablo 3).

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age 2   Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:33 am

I thought Diablo 1 was okay (although the end boss was so easy it was ridiculous. I was walking around killing the million enemies around when the end movie started. "Ah well, I guess I just killed the boss..."). And my foray into Diablo 2 ended when I died in a cave in the desert stage. I said "screw that, I'm not going back there again just to pick up my equipment" and I never played again...

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