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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Episode 16 or Why Dragon Age 2 Is Better Than Whatever You Are Playing!

I think I need to change my pants...

Wow, it's been awhile!  Sorry for the delay folks.  Some serious gaming has gone down since last I posted!  Finally finished a single playthrough of FALLOUT: NEW VEGAS.  I also discovered just how awesome Anarchy Mode in Bulletstorm is(P.S. It's Awesome!!).  Thanks to Xbox Live's House Party, I now have a game to scratch that Diablo itch!  It's called Torchlight, and more will be said about this gem in our Review section!  I also tamed the city of Kirkwall in Dragon Age 2.  This game will also be reviewed this episode.  Oh, and I bet you noticed that pic up top.  That's NOT an ad for MASS EFFECT 3.  It's for the new ME2 dlc: The Arrival!  Not much is known at this point other than it's the last dlc for ME2 and will bridge the Game of the Year and ME3.  Let's get to some news, shall we?

  That right there should make you squee with joy!  Gearbox software, the company who bought the rights to the-now-defunct 3D Realms franchise, and creators of the amazing BORDERLANDS game has announced the release date of the return of everybody's favorite macho man: Duke Nukem!(Sorry Randy Savage.  Have a slim jim.)  The date that Hell freezes over: May 3rd!  Not too much longer.  Of course those who purchased new copies of the Borderlands Game of the Year Edition, and/or pre-ordered DNF, get early access to the demo!  Plus, there is THIS:
I will be giving you my hands-on preview once the early demo drops!  Movin' on!


BioWare has done it again!!  Seriously, is there no end to this company's awesomeness?  I thought not!  I absolutely loved DA:O.  Easily in my top 10 games of all time!  But then DA2 rolls in like it owns the place and starts to awesome!  From the stylized loading screen and epic soundtrack from Inon Zur, to the beautiful new graphics and new combat system.  I played through the campaign as a mage.  Those who don't know me, I hate mage classes!  HATE THEM!  I hate being outside the fight.  I always gravitate to the warrior or dual-wield rogue.  Why the change of heart?  I saw the power the mage class held in the demo.  We're talking throwing the powers of the Maker Himself at darkspawn!  Plus, I wanted to do that epic-bloodmage-hells-arms-rips-Arishok-in-half spell as featured in the trailer.  Alas, that power is nowhere to be found(at least by me).  But I still enjoyed the class and would recommend everyone try it!  In fact, there is not much about this game I didn't like!  The story was fantastic, as was the idea of a framed narrative.  The last game I played that spanned 10 years was Fable 2.  Going from refugee to the Champion of Kirkwall was a fun storyline that took me about 40-45 hours to play through.  I missed a lot of quests, loot and achievements!  I've already started on a second playthrough as a warrior to get a different ending.  I also used a different import to change the game up a bit! There is another awesome point for this game!  You can import your DA:O save or choose from one of three pre-loaded arcs!  Unlike Mass Effect 2(for 360), if you don't want to import, you actually get a choice!!  I assume this will also go into ME3.

DA2 is loaded with humor and pop culture references!  Name me another game that references Sir Mix-A-Lot, South Park and Joss Whedon!  Oh yes!  Plus there is all of the innuendos dropped by the pirate queen Isabella.  In fact, the cast of the game is like people you knew in high school!  There's the troubled loner(Anders), the jock(Aveline), the mousy girl(Merril), the slutty girl(Isabella), the emo(Fenris), the pious(Sebastian), and then there is Varric the Storyteller.  This dwarf is the source of the whole experience!  The tale he weaves will also inevitably play into DA3, which in my opinion will bring back The Warden.  Of course, BioWare does have a habit of sending it's hero's away and never bringing them back(Darth Revan from Knights of the Old Republic).

PROS: The new combat system is a joy to use, and the improved graphics are easy on the eyes, as is Isabella!  Now that Hawke has a voice, the immersion is much greater.  Great story and characters!

CONS: A bit slow starting, but picks up towards the end of Act 1.  No Giant-Arms-Rips-Guy-In-Half spell. That's false advertising...unless I just haven't found it...in that case SOMEBODY TELL ME WHERE IT IS!!

GRADE: 9.5

DA2 Gets the Admiral Ackbar Award!


It's no secret that Diablo is one of my all time fave PC games.  Hell, I loved it on the original Playstation!  The ultimate dungeon crawler will always have a special place in my heart.  That's why Torchlight is so awesome!  It IS Diablo!  Everything you loved about the original game are there...EVERYTHING!!  From the scrolls of identify to socketed armor to randomly generated levels!  Torchlight was developed for Xbox Live Arcade by the makers of Diablo(duh) and Fate.  Is it any wonder this game rocks?  It even has the same basic classes as Diablo!  But Torchlight gives us a bit more that the original PC game.  The first and most noticable is the addition of a pet!  As a fan of the Fable and Dragon Age games, I love having my faithful dog by my side!  The addition of a pet(and the ability to send it to town to sell your stuff while you keep exploring) is epic!

PROS: It's freakin' Diablo in a new skin!

CONS: No co-op!  Feels like a missed opportunity.

GRADE: 9.0

NEXT TIME: The Relevant Wife Takes Over!

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