Friday, July 30, 2010

Game Announcements and Interesting Observations

Now anyone who watches our videos can infer at least one thing about the Cynic and I: we're big geeks/nerds/dorks/insert appropriate title here. As part of that, we're also big gamers. I won't get into a compare and such on our games of preference, as that's not what we're talking about here.

I play a lot of different games of different kinds. I really don't subscribe to one genre of game. Some of my favorites include Mortal Kombat, Diablo I/II, WoW, Portal, Legend of Zelda, and Dragon Age. There's more, obviously, but today I want to talk about Dragon Age.

Now I picked this game up on a whim, not knowing a damn thing about it. We'd gone to rent some games for New Years, for a fun relaxing evening. I had wanted to get Assassin's Creed 2 (which, to be honest, I still haven't played :P), but there weren't any copies left. Dragon Age caught my eye, and I figured "sure, why not?", swords, sorcery, and fighting evil? Sign me up!

And I was completely blown away. Now I won't say too much about the game itself here, but suffice to say, I found myself on the Dragon Age forums as a result. And I found, lo and behold, I stayed. So, I found out pretty fast when Dragon Age 2 was announced earlier this month. And I've come to notice a few things, which I am sure is present in every forum in a situation like this, but nevertheless, bears written observation of the behavior (or maybe it's the anthropologist in me talking).

First off, is the trolls. Now, trolling is nothing new to me, and shouldn't be to anyone who's been on the Internet for more than five minutes. There's something about a new game announcement that brings them out like vultures. A somewhat related group is what I like to call the "whiners" and the "doomsayers". Now, the First DA game got a lot of flak for its graphics, and so with the second installment, the dev team is looking to bring in a new style that is more up to date and is somewhat different from the first game. Cue the whiners. Cue the doomsayers. Every new development, every released piece of concept art, every new screenshot, every new detail, sends them into a frenzied declaration of the game's imminent "sucking" and promises of "I'm not going to buy this", etc., etc. This grows tiresome, even to a regular denizen of the Internet, or perhaps my patience for such things isn't what it was. That being said, I'm 45 pages deep in a thread about a new development (which is NOT A FUCKING RETCON, DAMMIT) for one of the races in the DA universe, of which you really only see one member of and doesn't completely change everything that has been established about them, which isn't much at this point. Given that DA is just establishing a lore, there isn't much of a problem. It's not like explaining the whole Eredar/Draenei thing, which was a more complicated maneuver than this.

Another feature is what I like to refer to as the "platform elitists". People whining about the fact that the game is being released for the Xbox 360 and the PS3, along with for the PC. Perhaps it's because I'm a multi-platform gamer that I can't understand the problem with the game being released for the consoles as well as the PC. I myself play DA on the 360, the so-called "worst" platform on which to play it, apparently. And you know what? I'm fine with that, even if I could play it on the PC and thus get mods and such (which I could if I wanted to, my PC would run it). I don't feel that the game is "dumbed down" or looses any of the RPG element for being on console, and I really don't see why it's such a big deal, but perhaps it's just cause I'm not a "PC-only" gamer and perhaps I don't understand what a "true/pure RPG" is. Y'know, when it comes down to it, I don't care how top-of-the-line your machine is, how games run so much better and look so much better on your PC than it does on my 360. You know why? Because I don't play games just to run them at optimum capacity just because I can. I play games for the story, for the fun, the action, for the characters. Dragon Age sucked me into an amazing world and story, with characters that felt like real people. I don't give a flying fuck about the graphics, or how it plays from platform to platform. Hell, I don't even care about beating it on the Nightmare difficulty, because it doesn't seem necessary. The game isn't about that for me.

So perhaps, dear readers, I just wanted to rant a little. Perhaps somewhere in that jumbled mess is a valid point. Dragon Age: Origins is a phenomenal game. The expansion, Awakening, is also a great play. In the end, isn't this what really matters? Yes, DA2 will look different from DA1, I won't argue that. But really, we know very little at this time. There hasn't even been a DA2 trailer yet (it comes out mid-August, the 17th, I think), everybody just needs to relax a little. There's no need for what I see on the forums, there really isn't. Some people just need to get their panties out of there arses and chill the fuck out. Seriously.

Anyways, I think I've ranted long enough for one evening. I am working on my debut video still. I ran into some snags with my original idea, it became too big for itself, so it has been simplified into something a little different, but hopefully entertaining nonetheless. So I will close this by saying thank you to the development team at Bioware for the wonderful story that is Dragon Age: Origins (and assorted DLC and xpac), and that I eagerly await the launch of DA2 next year, and whatever comes in between. And also to all the devs who are brave enough to venture onto the forums to explain, confuse, and amuse us. I love that you guys actually take the time to answer questions and such.

~the P.M.S

(ps. anyone interested, there are two DA books out so far, written by lead writer David Gaider: The Stolen Throne and The Calling. They are both excellent reads and I highly recommend them.)

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