Leliana Vess, Defier of Demons

Leliana Vess, Defier of Demons
Black Magic shall rule over all

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

  In Dragon Age Origins I’ve made it to the end of the game with no real way of beating it. While I defeated the first general who is helping the arch demon I have no way of defeating the second general in the alienage who uses Magic. Apparently I’m very underequipped to take him on, but once the ending battle starts you have pretty much no way of going back to buy items or level up. Apparently, I should be on my way to level 30 at this point and I’m only level 18. So I’m basically cluster-fucked >_>. Since I still have the ps3 version, I’ve decided to make a new character in that game, starting with the Dalish elf storyline. Let’s see if I can beat it with that one.
  I also started playing Dragon Age 2 along with one. Normally I won’t play a sequel without having played the first one, but the story in one has just about no bearing on the one in 2, and you can transfer over data even if it’s not completion data so I said why not. Dragon Age 2 is an interesting game from Origins, because you wouldn’t know the two games are even connected without actually playing. Unlike 1’s battle system, 2 is more of a action rpg. Instead of choosing to attack an enemy once and watching your character constantly attack like in most MMO’s, you make every single strike like in Gauntlet. While its jarring in just how much the battle system changed, this was done because the battle system in one was more suited to PC, the platform the game originally came out on, while this new battle system is more suited to the console crowd. That’s not the only things that’s changed in the sequel. Conversations are more like Mass Effect now, with a dialog window and a speaking protagonist, easily the best change. The art style is completely different, with more bright colors and elves and dwarves getting a makeover.
As opposed to playing another Grey Warden like with Origins and Awakening, you play as a character named Hawke, a Fereldan refugee who travels to Kirkwall in the Free Marches in order to escape the attack on Lothering from the Blight that happened in Origins. While you can’t choose your character’s origin story or race like you could in Origins or Awakening, you can still choose Hawke’s class and gender. The story is basically you shaping how you want Hawke to go from his or her journey from a poor mercenary to the eventual champion of Kirkwall. While some people didn’t like the idea of going from saving the world from a great evil to rising up in the world, my only real complaint is that you’ve gone to a rag-to-riches storyline. Another reason why you play as Hawke in this game is that Hawke eventually becomes, “the most important character in the world of Dragon Age”, according to the creators. SPOILER this is probably because Hawke accidentally incites a war between the Circle of Mages, the Chantry, and the Templars SPOILERS END. My guess is that Hawke’s role is going to be more expanded upon in the third game. For the third game, I personally would like to see you end up playing as The Hero of Fereldon (the Origins hero), the Warden Commander (the Awakenings hero) and Hawke all at once. I would also like to see everyone get a voice like Hawke did. I really envision the Hero of Fereldon as a selfless hero type, like Optimus Prime, and the Warden Commander as your average hero thrust into extraordinary circumstances. I personally think Hawke should be the snarky, quick-quipping hero. I played my Hawke as such, and to me she sounds way more natural that way, like that’s how they meant it to be. She gets along really well with Varric and Isabella because of it. It would certainly be a nice dynamic to see the three of them deal with the situation in there own way. In fact, all three could play apart in helping the main character out, if they decide to make a new one for 3, and each character can have the help of some of the party members of their games, depending on which characters lived or died. The Hero of Fereldon could have Alistair, Morrigan and Leliana. Hawke could have Varric, Aveline and Isabella, and the Warden Commander can have Ohgren, Anders and another party member (I haven’t really played Origins, so I don’t know the entire party). While I almost immediately didn’t like Dragon Age 2 because it was so different from the first game, I have to admit that the game has really grown on me in the time that I’ve given it. The characters are all as interesting and multi-faceted as you would expect from a Bioware RPG, and the battle system, while a lot less tactical and way more fast paced, is still fun, exhilarating, and does require strategy at some points. Both games have character I hate and love though. In Origins I loved Morrigan, Lelianna, King Cailin, and Ohgren, but I hated Alistair and Sten. In 2, I loved Isabella, Aveline, Bethany, Varric, and Meryll, but I hated Fenris and Alders. Like I’ve said before, the characters determine everything for me, which is probably why I think this anime is only ok as opposed to world changing like a lot of people make it out to be. A lot of magazine reviewers were actually thinking one might have been one of the greatest games of all time, but I thought it was just ok. Now where’s my Jade Empire 2, Bioware?
Sidenote: I am at the end of 2, and like 1, I still can’t beat the game, once again for the same reason: I’m fantasically underleveled. I should be level 30 but I’m only at level 16. Once again, cluster-fucked.
Speaking of Bioware, I’ve also been playing a lot of one of there other biggest RPG’s, Mass Effect. I bought Mass Effect 2 along time ago, and didn’t like it and just let the game sit and collect dust. Since I gave Dragon Age a chance, I decided maybe I should try this one again, and I also bought one, since the story connects way more than it does in Dragon Age. While I don’t think it’s as amazing as people make it out to be, I do think it’s a great shooter. Yes I said shooter. I don’t see in any way how there is an underlining battle system in the game that relies on die rolling, and it plays just like a shooter. Everything else but the battle system is RPG’ish though, especially in how dialogue and the story play out. Dialogue plays out very naturally in the game, from how everyone reacts to what you say to how Shepard reacts when they talk back to him. It really helps to add to the believability of the characters. Once I get past 1, and carry my data into 2, I’m going to try to get Tali as my girlfriend. Joe plays the game in front of me a lot, and seeing how she is in 1 and 2, I just find her so adorable, especially the accent. Unfortunately there’s next to no possible romance’s possible in 1. There’s only 3 possible choices, 2 being humans and I being with an alien race that always reproduces with other species. Not to mention that species has no real gender. A little too ambiguous for me. I am definetly not going for Ashley, though I believe I can’t even go for her since I’m playing a female Shepard. Actually, now that I think about it, can I go Talia when I’m a female Shepard? Oh god.
I’ve also been playing an old ass game that I’m sure I’m late about: the first Assasin’s Creed. I never really wanted to bother with the game mostly because its another one of those popular games that I am sure are not worth all the hype. I tried playing Joe’s copy of Assasin’s Creed: Brotherhood, and found out the main character of one’s real name: Altair ibn La-Ahad, or in Arabian, Flying One Son of No One. The name alone made me want to play as the character, so I bought one, and actually like Altair’s character more than Firenzo. Maybe it’s just because I prefer Middle-Eastern accents to Italian accents I don’t know. Wow that sounded racist 0_0. I didn’t mean it that way!! So I found and started playing the very first Assasins’s Creed, to find that I actually really really like the game. Its actually pretty fun figuring out how to go after targets by gathering information. The one thing that I immediately noticed about the game is the well-done pacing. I never really noticed the pacing in other games until I played this game, but this game has some of the best pacing in any videogame I’ve ever played, especially coming off of Brotherhood. As you get better at playing the game and as Altair gains more and more of his Assasin tools back, you’re enemies become stronger and stronger, with them going from easily losing you to chasing you all the way across the city. In Brotherhood you don’t see that gradual progression of your skills and the enemies; instead you and your enemies are all at max right form the beginning, and its just you versus them. I like seeing that gradual progression of your assassin skills rebuilding and you’re enemies getting used to your tactics and playing you accordingly. Eventually enemies just start to notice you out of nowhere and you have to run for god knows how long to get away. Maybe the white cloak has something to do with it?

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