Lately I’ve been playing a lot of Demon Soul’s and Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2. I was playing both games hard last year, so playing them again is like a blast from the past. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to play many games lately due to responsibilities, plus dnd taking any time that I DO have spare, so my little commitment to hard games has been waning lately. My skills in either games hasn’t diminished much at all thankfully, but I don’t have the sense of awareness I had when I was playing them last year and I had the hightened senses usually associated with these types of games. They are two different beasts though, NGS2 is more fast paced and heart pumping while Demon Souls is more strategic and foreboding.
In Ninja Gaiden 2 I’ve beaten the chapter where you can play as Ayane, and wow this chapter can be a bitch. I don’t know why, but gameplay wise for some reason the girls all feel slower than Ryu, which is weird since usually in videogames the females are fast but weak while the man is slower but stronger. It makes sense for Rachel and Momiji since they have a giant hammer and naginata, but Ayane is using two short swords! Why does she feel slower in movement?! Anyway, fighting against Obaba can be annoying since one little fuckup will lead to a loss of more than half your life. It doesn’t bother me so much since I’m used to that from Demon Souls, but still it’s annoying to watch when that lady is as big as a house, literally, and she can move faster than an eye can blink. I’m now up to the chapter where Elizabet is sacrificing something to Dagra Dai and it’s causing the stage to rain blood constantly. Its funny because I know what a ton of Slayer fans were doing when that shit happened. If this is the part of the game where I have to fight almost nothing but fiends, I’m going to get annoyed. The way fiends are in this game, they can kill you very fast and the only way to kill them with any sort of quickness is to try to disarm them and use an obliteration technique. If there’s any sort of problem with the game that I can find is the fact that the enemies use throws so heavily. While they did have throws in the first game, in the second one they made the AI use throws just about every encounter. More than anything there are a ton of enemies that pretty much just focus on being annoying. The enemies have a focus of working together sometimes. Smaller melee enemies will try to distract you with relentless attacks while in the background there will be archers, ninpo casters, or enemies who perform grabs pecking you off, which thus opens you to attacks from the melee enemies. Then sometimes when you think you’re done, there goes a disarmed opponent who performs a suicide. Lols.
I also came to find out by complete accident with my friend Joe that I can access the Master Ninja Missions in Mission mode without having beaten the game, and I tried doing one that he thinks is impossible: fight the four greater fiends all at the same time. That fight is funny because the way it is you die almost immediately. One combo from Volf literally took me from full life to death. The game drops you in practically right in the middle of all them with no way of knowing the first time you play. I have to look up some vids online and see if anyone has actually been able to finish that mission and how they did it. Typically if I’m stuck in one of these games that’s what I’ll do so I can pick up on some possible strategies. My second strategy is to go on gamefaqs, which I hate because its gamefaqs.
In Demon Souls Neo, who had already beaten the game, beat the stage 1-1 boss, the Phalanx, for me. He then also made a character on my ps3 as a Royal, to show me just how easy mode that class is. You can literally just lol throughout the entire level. I thus also made a character with that class so I can say that I beat the Phalanx myself. I died right after crossing the bridge with the dragon because I didn’t know that right after that corridor were two zombie knights, who then proceeded to rape my ass both ways. Sadness. I do like the Royal class though. It is easily one of the most broken I have seen in the game, since I always used the knight and thus never really got to use magic. While the game can still be tough as hell if you’re not careful, its a lot easier when you have some broken spell like Magic Missle to help you out (lol dnd humor).
Another game I’ve been playing is surprisingly Dragon Age Origins. After quite a while of Joe trying to convince me to play the fucking game I finally decided I would give the game a shot. I didn’t really want to play the game because quite frankly I’ve never really liked any of Biowares games. The only game they’ve made that I really liked they had made was Jade Empire. Its weird considering that I play DND and love the D20 system, and the majority of their games use the actual D20 system. Going by that logic, I should actually love their games, yet I don’t. Currently in Dragon Age, I am in the city of Orzimmar and am trying to get Belhren as King of the Dwarves. After hearing what were the rewards, I decided I want the mace Belhren gives you more than the staff the other king gives you. I already completed the mission to gain the help of both the Circle of Magi and the Templars, which I think is awesome. Thinking about it, I may go after Leliana for this playthrough. I’m the human noble woman warrior, and I was originally going for Morrigan as my love interest, until a few days ago when I found out that Morrigan doesn’t play for both teams. Leliana does though. So going by that logic I may pursue her. I’ve actually grown to think she’s rather cute anyway. Her origin story with her former lover Marjoline is also pretty interesting. I’ve also unlocked Morrigan’s backstory in which I have to kill her mother Flemmeth. That should be pretty interesting, since when I fight her she turns into a large dragon ala the witch from Sleeping Beauty. Plus I think I have to fight her alone. If that’s the case I may have to make my party Leliana, Alistair and Ohghren just for the sheer attack boost Ohgren and Alistair give you, with Leliana pelting Flemmeth with arrows from afar. That just might work, since I can’t use magic due to me killing that Circle witch and Morrigan can’t join you for that fight. I also actually killed that elf assassin that can join you as well; do you really think that I’m going to let someone who tried to kill me join my party? No, no, no, you die. You go to hell and you die. The circle witch I killed because I was planning on getting the templars on my side, which meant I had to kill the Circle Mages. Come to find at the end of the quest I’ve gained the support of both the Templars and the Mages! Awesome!
I also came to discover that there is a Dragon Age tabletop RPG. Got the books required for it and I really want to try this game. Judging by what I’ve read of the players handbook, it seems like the game plays like an easier version of DND, with a focus on cool and stylish combat, which should be interesting. The only thing I don’t really like about the world of Dragon Age is how it turns standard fantasy tropes on their heads. Here, the elves are an oppressed slave race, mages are relegated and feared for being popular hosts of demonic possession, the world is primarily mono-thestic for the human race and the majority of the world, and orcs and most monsters are all placed together in one species known as the DarkSpawn. Not to mention that the leader of the Darkspawn is a black dragon that was worshipped as a god. Honestly for a game called Dragon Age, there aren’t as many dragons as I expected. I think in the entire game you only encounter two full adult dragons: Flemmeth, the Archdemon, and one other I haven’t fought yet. Not to mention I believe all of them can be characterized as mere adult black dragons.
The tabletop RPG also is very simplistic. There are no real myrid amounts of skills like in DND 3.5, and the game only involves 3d6 as opposed to the huge amount of die that will come with a standard game of DND. I miss my d20’s lol. Still, Joe is interested in it, and Neo might be as well, so who knows; I might take this one seriously. The only thing I don’t like is that the class system is the same one used in the video game: there are only three classes (rouge, mage, and warrior) who each branch out into three other classes. As an example, rouges can become bards, assasins, or rangers while warriors can become templars, berserkers, or another class who’s name I forget. While you still get the benifets of the other classes, I still don’t feel right about how I have to be a rouge in order to be a bard. Somehow that doesn’t make sense to me. Maybe its just me though. I just hope the game is not too much like DND 4.0. I’m just so used to 3.5 that playing anything more simplistic is annoying. Plus I actually like to roleplay in my games, even in Dragon Age. Joe was asking why I never bother to raise my characters Cunning or Intelligence for my Warrior character. I told him because my character’s a bit of simpleton, like almost any character I roleplay. For example, my 4.0 character, Shandra, loves to drink and hates mages, “because they’re so damn complicated when all you have to do is swing a sword to kill anything”. She even has her own warcry: “Burn the Witch!”. Anyone who gets that reference gets 2 points. My 3.5 character, Lanrinil, isn’t as blantantly afraid of magic though. She’s actually a bit more quiet when it comes to work, though she does enjoy the company of good ale and a fine barwench. Once she’s had some liquor she changes a lot. I don’t know what kind of character I want to create for Dragon Age. I don’t think I want to be an Apostate, since they have so many restrictions placed on them storyline wise, and I don’t think I want to be a circle mage, since I hate the Circle. I definitely don’t want to be a dwarf. I don’t like the dwarves in Dragon Age. To me, they stray too far from the typical presentation of my most favorite fantasy race. To me, Dwarves must have a Scottish accent. Gimli in Lord of the Rings to me represented the best example of how dwarves should be. Also I find it funny how in Dragon Age there’s so many dwarven women, and how they, and even some of the men themselves, don’t have thick beards. It’s been well established in fantasy lore that all dwarves, even women, all have thick beards, the thicker the better, and that there are very few dwarven women, which explains why there race is dwindling. Another common fantasy trope is that the dwarven women are some of the best fighters in their race, which I’ve always found funny.
Let me just explain how I’ve always viewed the races in fantasy:
A race of people living underground with the stone, dwarves are a warrior race at home with the battle axe and war hammer. They love to drink, fight, and fight some more. There mortal enemies are the orcs and Duergar. Dwarven women are very rare in their race, explaining their dwindling numbers. Dwarves believe that there ancestors are always watching over them, particularly those who become legends. Dwarves don’t get along with elves sometimes because they view them as haughty and stuck up. Dwarves are secretive and don’t tell people much about their personal histories. Dwarves are also some of the finest metal workers in the world, making amazing armor and weapons, sometimes made of the rarest mineral in the world, Mithryl.
Elves are a mystical race of people born with an innate sense of magic. There are immortal, light, almost airy, and are well suited to ranged combat, either with magic or a bow and arrow. They are well learned, scholarly and look at the bigger picture of things, however, they are also haughty, prideful, and absolutely furious in battle. They don’t get along with dwarves because they view them as barbaric and bloodthirsty, and not too fond of humans because they believe them to be a noble but flawed race with a longing sense of control. Elves are as secretive as Dwarves, preferring to live closer to nature by living in forests and generally don’t allow people of other races into their main homes, for fear of possible attack. Elves are also very strict on preserving their ancient lore, and feel that there knowledge and history must be preserved for all time.
Humans are a proud and noble race of people that are numerous. They have the unique talent of being suited for almost any task put forth to them, and are very quick learners. They prefer to be noble and civil in most situations. While they may not be the most suited for battle, they are the most resourceful and are skilled at thinking on their feet. Many times humans have won battles that others would have thought impossible. However, humans also happen to be the race that is most attracted to evil. While humans are capable of great heroic feats, they are also capable of unimaginable evil, with tyrants, criminals and monarchs easily capable of burning whole villages or committing mass genocide simply because they are angry or want vengeance. Humans are also extremely territorial, and their kings hardly think of anything beyond expanding their own kingdoms. Many humans live in oppression, and no other race thinks more of fighting against their own kind than humans.
Halflings or hobbits
A happy and jolly race of people who love nothing more than eating and partying. While in some stories they are a happy-go-lucky race of people, in others they are simply more of the race that tries to stay out of trouble. It’s rare for a halfling to want to, but they do like going out on adventure, and some actually do eventually go out and explore the world to make their fortunes.
Yeah, I guess you could say that my views are heavily based on Lord of the Rings, but I’ve always believed in high fantasy stories. My sense of fantasy also happens to be heavily influenced by the Forgotten Realms, which I already spoke about a while ago. Woah, I just went off on another complete tangent.
So far, I am actually having fun with Dragon Age. I don’t know why, as I have never liked any other game this company has made, and this one is pretty much no different. Maybe I just like this game and that’s it? Who knows. I’ve had my character become a Templar as well. I like the ability to just shut down magic like that; it helps in certain situations. I’ve decided to roleplay as a noble woman who prefers to fight and slay creatures than have someone else do it for them. My character doesn’t care how she does it, but she is determined to gather an army strong enough to fight off the oncoming blight, even if her actions are not considered right or just. She is not a beacon of light and hope for the world; she is a Grey Warden doing everything she can to make sure her army is strong enough to save Fereldan. My character is straight forward and true, and focuses only on the Blight, and doesn’t let anything distract her (which explains why I’m not doing any of the side-quests). She is rather simple sometimes, and her personal crusade against the Blight has sometimes led those around her to forget that she is a woman; every now and then though, she will do something to remind them, such as gossiping over shoes with her girlfriend Leliana, or play fetch with her pet dog Cujo. She gets along well enough with Alistair, though she does tease him quite a bit, and tends to think of him as a younger brother, even though he is older than her and her senior in the Wardens. She gets along well enough with Morrigan because they agree on a number of points, including the Circle, the Templars, The Chantry, and how fun teasing Alistair is. She tends to not get along with Sten due to his rough and surly demeanor; she is very friendly to all people and doesn’t think it is right she is not treated the same. She has just recently met Ohgren, and hasn’t gotten a good idea of his character yet, but can see he is a strong warrior who’s heart aches for his wife. She finds it sad to think that his only comfort is at the bottom of a bottle. Leliana is a girl that she has slowly fallen in love with; she had some reservations about her due to her belief in the Chantry, but she has fallen in love with her honesty, compassion, strength of her belief and the little shows of silliness that pop out from time to time. Finding out that Leliana felt the same way was just the icing on the cake. My character decided to originally side with the Templars because she knew how great a threat the abominations were, and knew they needed to be contained while it was only in the tower. She also thought the Templars abilities to cancel magic would be useful against the Blight. She then eventually decided to also side with the Mages because she knew magic would be a determining factor in the war, and because she had found out the cause of all the madness was due to the machinations of a single Blood Mage. She has now decided that the King Beleren of the Dwarves should be the rightful king of Orzimmar because, being nobility, she recognizes he possesses the ruthlessness and take-hold attitude that is required of a king, and knows King Harrowmont would be not be a great ruler. While he may not be the popular candidate, she knows Harrowmont won’t do much to change the dwarves current situation. While her duties as a Warden come first and foremost, she tries her best to help people in certain situations and not leave too much of a bad impression of the Wardens. Her and Alistair are the last in Fereldon after all, and they must build the Wardens back up themselves, so she must make sure the people don’t come to think of their order as monsters or meddlers. Giving the dwarves a good king is the first step to improving relations with all the creatures of Fereldon. She especially wants to try to help the Elves. She feels they are too great an empire to be subjugated and disrespected as they are in the current Fereldon, and as such she wishes to leave them in a situation in which they’re lives can be improved. She wants to be a great leader in the vein of her dearly departed father.
Ever since I started playing DND I roleplay like this in RPG’s. Especially one’s in which the player is supposed to be the main character. I don’t really like playing as men in my games, but next playthrough I may play as a man so I can go for Morrigan. In that one I may play a mage. Want to see how that class is.
I’ve also been looking into World of Warcraft. Not playing, just looking into the story. Neo is a big WOW fan, and from time to time he shows me some of the trailers for the game because he likes my reaction to each one of them. I find each trailer awesomely epic. I like watching really well made trailers because to me they’re amazing. From the action to the music to the cinematography, everything is usually top-notch, especially with the WOW ones. A sign of a really good trailer is that it will make you want to play the game so badly after you watch it, and that’s how I feel when I watch the WOW trailers. Each one usually tells at least some part of the overall story for WOW, particularly relating to whatever expansion the trailer is for. I think out of all them my favorite race would probably be blood elves, for obvious reasons (blood elf chick is hawt! Lol) and I don’t have a favorite class yet. Neo says that I would probably become a warrior, since in role-playing I tend to take a fight first ask questions later approach to things, especially when my character is drunk. In fact, similar to my actual persona, when my role-played characters get drunk they get downright comical. Lanrinil will start hitting on just about every woman in her immediate vicinity, and Shandra starts stumbling around yelling “burn the witch” at anyone she thinks may be a magic caster. It’s a little something I do just to break the mood and for a couple of laughs, and it usually works.If I had the internet in my home I probably would start playing WOW right away too. My main problem with internet is that I want something besides Verizon, Time Warner, and Optimum, because I’ve had bad experiences with all three companies. All three of them have shitty customer service and provide shitty internet. Maybe once the U.S. starts catching up with the rest of the world in terms of internet, I’ll finally decide to make the jump, but right now I see no internet that I would likely get here in the states. That’s pretty much the only thing keeping me from playing WOW. The 15/month doesn’t even bother me, that’s very reasonable. The other thing keeping me from playing WOW is the simple fact that I think the game would probably own my life if I were to allow it to. I’m pretty simple like that where I would let my life get taken over by a videogame, especially one with as much content as WOW. I’d probably even be one of those people that roleplay in it lol.