Monday, May 23, 2011

The people who you think hate you don't even know you are there

It did not take much looking to find that I am far from alone in my criticisms of Dragon Age 2, though not everyone has the same complaints. I find most fault with the combat, being sloppy and not at all up to the quality of other semi-D&D based RPG's. Others have more issue with the story, or at least how little impact anything the player does has on the overarching narrative. My question is, how often can the player make significant changes to where the story is going? When you look at the big picture (when you get past how much a dick you are going to be and which party member you are going to bone) Bioware very rarely has given the player control over anything crucial to the story that they want to tell. My guess is they have much to high an opinion of their abilities to let some dumb ass user screw it up, and I agree with them. Imagine playing trough Baldurs Gate 2 and not ending up a demigod, or getting the end of the first Mass Effect and deciding not to fight the giant robot squid from out space. About the only important thing I can think of that they allow you to break is killing Shephard at the end of Mass Effect 2, and I have no idea how they are going to work this into the third game.

Still, I am in no place to call anyone to task for bitching about anything. Sometimes I complain about perfectly acceptable things because it is honestly fun to do so. What I never do is take things I don't like as a personal attack. Bad games aren't put out just to piss gamers off. No one in the upper offices is sitting there with a bullet point list of things that no one likes that are intensionally going into a game. Bad game happen for all sorts of reasons, but malice is not one of them (correction: Desert Bus, but that was never actually released). Being let down by Dragon Age 2 not giving the player a good reason to ever side with the templars is perfectly legitimate. Going full comic book guy and assuming it was done by hateful programmers and writers is not. Never attribute to malice what incompetence can more readily explain.

Speaking of incompetence, I played a fair amount of Mortal Kombat online on Friday night. Not only did I find some with *gasp* a reasonable connection, this same person also kicked by ass over and over with Jade and stayed to play against me for around fifteen matches. By the time we were done I had beaten him once. It too be that long to figure out that a lot of what he was hitting me with were overheads and all I had to do was block high. The game after I figure this out I destroyed him. Much to his credit, he adjusted, then went back to beating me with mix ups. It was the best series of matches I have had with the game, I just wish he didn't do a fatality after every win.

If you are going to gloat, do it quickly, don't rip off poor Kitana's head for the umpteenth time in a row.


  1. I found a post on Penny Arcade where you mention playing Xband back in the day. Were you on SNES or Sega? If you're on Facebook, check out our Xband Group. We have guys from there that are starting to game together on PS3

  2. SNES. Played a lot of Killer Instinct, and it was only slightly more laggy than MK is now.


    Not really.