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Topic: What PS3 game(s) are you currently playing?

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Gremio108

@RogerRoger I'm enjoying reading your thoughts on Dragon Age, it's really taking me back. I loved all three of those games (which is weird because you don't meet many people who don't hate at least one of the entries in the series), and I don't play a lot of fantasy stuff either.

Are you planning on playing Awakening, the DLC for the first game? That's equally good.

Good job, Parappa. You can go on to the next stage now.

PSN: Hallodandy

RogerRoger

@Strathnaver1 The banter is what's pulling me through. Some sequences, like the Deep Roads and the Magi Tower, would've been mind-numbingly dull without the periodic interactions with my squad (and I like that I can stop and talk to them anytime, about anything, to break up some of the more drawn-out combat sequences). It did remind me of Andromeda, in a good way, although I can see what people mean about quality versus quantity. The exchanges in Origins aren't nearly as frequent, but they're much more memorable and meaningful.

It also meant that being trapped alone in the Fade was a definite low-point for me thusfar. I usually hate dream sequences in games anyway, and the whole "wander around in silence, hacking up waves of enemies in fuzzy brown environments" would've ended things in an instant, were it not for my desire to escape and see what happened to everybody afterwards.

@Gremio108 Glad you're enjoying my ramblings, thanks. At this stage, I'm not sure if I'm gonna chuck in any of the DLC. Whilst I'm still with Origins, I'm swinging wildly between "wow, really wanna see what happens next" and "yeah, I think this'll do for now" and if that dichotomy of opinion persists through to the end credits, I might just stick to the core games, and space them out throughout the year. Whilst I appreciate that there may be more story and lore to be filled in, I'm following things in broad strokes. When I think of some of the DLC from the Mass Effect games, I realise that I could happily do without half of it.

That said, I also realise that I could never play ME3 without the Citadel DLC, so I'll definitely keep your recommendation for the specific Awakening DLC in mind.

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

Gremio108

@RogerRoger Yeah, I mention Awakening because one of the characters in it is a major player in Dragon Age II. And also because Nathaniel is one of my favourite characters.

I kind of started out with the 'broad strokes approach too. But I got sucked in as I went on. I'm looking forward to your further impressions!

Good job, Parappa. You can go on to the next stage now.

PSN: Hallodandy

RogerRoger

@Gremio108 Ah, okay, duly noted!

I played almost two hours earlier and barely made a dent in the current quest I'm on. It's the Deep Roads and every twisty, maze-like environment filled with Darkspawn just gave way to another, and another, to the point where I was laughing about how endless it felt. I'm gonna go back on this evening and (hopefully) finish the quest, then maybe try some of the shorter character missions, to restore balance in favour of narrative over gameplay.

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

RogerRoger

So, with a little over 38 hours on the clock, I saw the credits of Dragon Age: Origins.

Put simply, I was impressed. I didn't think I would be, and I'm happy to be proven wrong by a wonky-yet-charming, deep and complex tale packed with well-written and brilliantly-voiced characters. I've put the two sequels higher up on my "must play" list now, and I can't wait to see what happens next. One day, once I've seen the trilogy through and broken it in my special ways (more on that in a second), I'll play again for different outcomes, different relationships and different quests. I did the same with Mass Effect; first time, playing as a generic Shepard and making it up as I went, and then coming back a year later with a customised, more personal character who knew what to do and, perhaps more importantly, what not to do. With choice-based games, I tend to break them apart at first, then put them back together to make the overall picture I'm happy with.

I'm really looking forward to doing that with Dragon Age: Origins. It's the kinda game that stayed with me for a couple hours afterwards, stayed in my thoughts and had me wanting to go back and restart immediately. Sure, thanks to the older-style gameplay, there were stretches of it which were kinda boring (although I'll take boring over "insanely challenging and frustrating to the point of rage" and am so relieved that I lowered the difficulty to Casual; even so, the final boss fight was tough stuff) but each time I came close to thinking "I knew it, fantasy was a mistake, I should give up" the quest would end, there'd be an excellent narrative twist or choice, and then suddenly I was back at camp, talking to these amazing characters about all sorts, eager to help them or accept their help in my own storyline. People like Morrigan, Alistair, Leliana, Wynne, Shale and Zevran will stay with me forever, names that now rank alongside Kaiden, Garrus, Tali, Samara, Liara and Vega (sure, there were a couple duds, like Oghren, but that's to be expected when you expand your cast of characters so broadly). I even had a dog! Such a good dog, too; he gave D-Dog a run for his money.

My favourite parts were the opening, the Shale DLC, the Dalish Elf storyline (and not just because Tim Russ was in it) and the prison break sequence towards the end, although the whole end was strong, annoying boss fight notwithstanding. The music was also a highlight, right up until they played that awful rock song over the credits... ick, no. What a terrible choice for someone to make, just as they were about to stick the landing and get a perfect ten for the music and overall sound design.

Beyond the free Shale update, I won't be adding in or playing any of the DLC until I return for my second playthrough, simply because (and please, don't click the rest of the paragraph if you've never played the game before; these spoiler tags exist for a reason, folks!) my Warden didn't survive the final confrontation with the Archdemon; I chose to sacrifice myself to stop the Blight and save Ferelden. I prevented Alistair from taking the throne, because he really didn't want to, and chose to let everybody live so that I could (hopefully) encounter them again in the sequels. I also didn't take Morrigan up on her, er... "offer" prior to the battle, a painful yet necessary dismissal for me personally, so my Warden's tale has a nice, complete feel to it. From what I understand after speaking with the friend who got me the game, the Awakening DLC requires your Warden to have survived, as does Witch Hunt (which also requires me to have accepted Morrigan's offer). When I play again, I'll make other arrangements to ensure that I survive without having to go straight, and so I'll see the DLCs then, when I'm more familiar and properly hooked on the franchise.

For the core game by itself, then, and only after a first pass, I'd give it a solid seven in today's money but, a decade ago at launch, that would've probably been an eight. Maybe even a nine.

Very good stuff indeed.

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

Gremio108

@RogerRoger I forgot about Shale. Such a good character, and quite a sad backstory too. That game was chock-full of superb characters. Reading your thoughts makes me want to play it again, if they were to release a remastered collection at this point I'd probably bite.

The second one is an interesting beast, I'll be looking forward to your thoughts on that one.

Good job, Parappa. You can go on to the next stage now.

PSN: Hallodandy

RogerRoger

@Gremio108 I was glad to have discovered Shale before I travelled to Orzammar, because her integration with the main quest there was seamless and gave it far more weight than it would've had otherwise. BioWare are usually pretty good at making the DLC characters fit in, as far as I've seen, but this was a really excellent example. I can't imagine playing the game without her.

I'd be all over a remastered collection as well, but I think Mass Effect is more likely first. Glad you've enjoyed reading my ramble! Apologies in advance for the 200+ hours you'll lose if any of this does end up convincing you to replay the trilogy.

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

Gremio108

@RogerRoger That was something I noticed about the game too. I got Shale early on, out of curiosity (and,if I'm honest, in the hope that having a golem in my party would allow me to cruise through most of the battles) and I kept finding that she had interesting things to say about even relatively early-game stuff.

I've been meaning to re-buy Inquisition ever since I got my PS4. It's going for about 2p now as well. Of course, a Mass Effect collection would have my immediate attention, as you know. One day!

Good job, Parappa. You can go on to the next stage now.

PSN: Hallodandy

RogerRoger

@Gremio108 I did a little spoiler-free reading about Shale. Apparently, she was meant to be included in the game at launch, but she'd constantly get stuck in doorways (because all golems were originally the same size as the giant one from the end of that storyline). They had to ship without her and worked extra time on fixing the problem, essentially reducing the size of her and all enemy golems; it's why her DLC is free.

The reason my friend jumped on getting me Origins now is because it was £3.99 or something over the Christmas period; it's now back to £15.99 and so, alas, is Inquisition. I kept seeing it in sales for years, but always ignored it before. My luck means it'll never be included in a sale again!

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

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