Dragon’s Dogma

I finished Dragon’s Dogma yesterday. I’m unsure at this point whether I’ll go back and finish off the expansion, Dark Arisen. I’d largely enjoyed my time with the game, but the ending really wasn’t much fun at all.

I dislike cutscenes where my character literally stands, mouth agape, as villains monologue. I could accept a villain somehow briefly paralyzing my character, or something like that, as a plot device to allow time for plans to be explained, threats made, etc. I can’t accept when my character, who is (as I expected and later verified) quite capable of killing this villain in a matter of mere seconds, just stands there with his mouth open watching dumbstruck as the villain flees slowly/enacts a painstaking ritual/taunts me with minions that I can kill in literally one blow each. So naturally this happened, not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES in the half-hour or so of the game’s ending (which featured probably 10 minutes of gameplay and 20 minutes of cutscenes). Yay! And it was three different NPCs monologuing, too, which doesn’t make it any better.

The real disappointment is that Dragon’s Dogma could have been an A+ game. The art is fabulous; the world is interesting and very fun to explore; the character customization was quite well handled and allowed for a great deal of flexibility; the combat is fast paced and often quite intense; the music is sweeping and enjoyable; and the henchmen/pawns were fun to build up and hire. Sadly, the story was atrocious. I mean to say it was pathetically bad. Really awful.

Here’s the plot [SPOILERS AFTER THE JUMP]: Read more »

Two Massive PS3 RPGs: Kingdoms of Amalur and Ni No Kuni

I’ve been mucking about on my PS3 rather a lot of late. Today I’d like to write about two massive (50+ hour) RPGs I’ve been playing. The first is called Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, and is very much a traditional western single-player RPG. The second is called Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, and is an excellent example of a stereotypical JRPG. Both are well made and fun, though both also have some serious flaws. Read more »

GW2 vs TSW

Bronte asked his readers to compare GW2 and TSW. It’s something I’ve been pondering recently as well. Here’s a fairly detailed comparison: Read more »

Unplanned Fun in GW2

I find myself feeling a little like I have ADD when I play GW2. Which is to say, there are so many distractions, that often I decide to do something and get partway through before something else comes up. This is a good thing. Read more »

Area completion in MMOs

I’ve been spending some time recently playing GW2, and I think in some respects they’ve done a better job at solving the problem of area completion of any MMO yet. I don’t however think that the problem is fully solved; some issues remain. Read more »

GW2 First Impressions

A wild GW2 appears! It uses Dynamic Events. It’s super effective!

Which is to say, all right, I admit, I’m really impressed by the way GW2 has evolved public quests from WAR/Champions Online. I honestly think this is the next step in MMO PvE, although there are still some bugs to work out and some minor flaws and drawbacks. I didn’t beta test this game, and avoided most of the publicity beforehand, and disbelieved much of what I did read, so I think it’s meaningful that I’ve been so impressed with this mechanic.

I’m getting ahead of myself though. Let’s start from the top and talk about the basic feature set of GW2. Read more »

TSW – How to Build a Deck (for newbies)

I’ve read rather a lot of reviews of TSW, and many of them reveal that the authors fundamentally didn’t understand the ability system, or know how to build a deck. So without further ado, here are some thoughts on how I’ve done so. Read more »

The Secret World should be less of a secret

So there’s this MMO… you might have heard of it, and you might not have. It’s called The Secret World (TSW), and it launched just over a month ago.

I was aware of it for the past few years but never really got very excited or interested. The premise was interesting enough; it’s a conspiracy-horror game set in the modern world, with no classes and no levels. I’ve played Funcom games before and got into the closed beta some time back. Initially, I found it interesting but it didn’t really grab me. Then, something strange happened… the more I played, the more I fell in love with the game. As it turns out, TSW is a remarkable game, and actually does some new things – and does them well.

So what’s new and exciting in TSW? There are two novel approaches to quest types, a novel approach to questing overall, and a (largely) novel skill-based character building system that allows for surprising flexibility. Read more »

Neither long ago nor galactically distant

So, SWTOR, eh? That was really a good game, but never a great one. I stopped playing a couple of months ago and have been pondering what to say about it in post-mortem. Read more »

Nothing but blue Skyrim…

Skyrim was quite an experience. Well, “was” is perhaps not the right word in some senses, although I achieved closure for now. I played the PC version last week, and have some thoughts to share. Read more »

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