Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker Reviewed!

This past weekend I immersed myself in Sakura-Con and all the anime I could handle in one weekend. A particular highlight was Friday’s premier of Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker co-produced by FUNimation and T.O. Entertainment (their are also working on Mass Effect: Paragon Lost). While I am naturally a little skeptical about a beloved (given the hours of time invested playing the games and reading the books) knowing an equally beloved studio was handling the production helped ease many worries.

The story is set after the fall of Kirkwall and before Varrick gets interrogated concerning Hawk. Said interrogator, Cassandra Pentaghast, gets her back story fleshed out in DA:DotS and we get additional insight into the Chantry. I’ll avoid more info due to the risk of spoilers.

FUNimation’s panel prior to the movie’s premier discussed the team’s trip to Bioware’s Canadian offices.DA:DotS. The tone of the movie certainly keeps with previous games and books. Particularly the clothing and color palates used. If you wondered what world you were stepping into one look at even a peasant would let you know.

My only complaint comes from the animation itself. The character’s faces sometimes had the overly smooth CGI appearance. The overly smooth faces sometimes pricked my brain into noticing them instead of what was going on in the movie. A minor complaint and one not everyone had, so your mileage may vary.

The fight scenes are kinetic, sweeping and visceral. This is Dragon Age after all and what is DA without a little blood and fighting. The audience gave a worried gasp when our heroine took a particularly nasty hit. The ending fight deftly balanced epic and engaging.

 My biggest problem with the anime? It left me wanting more! The movie does a lovely job tying up the story arc and leaving questions about the world satisfyingly unanswered. No glaring plot holes, just enticing hits of more simmering under the surface unseen.

Perhaps the best endorsement for the movie came from the  lovely lady(L.L.) I met at the convention who hadn’t yet played the games. (We sat in line for another event together discussing the movie) L.L. found the movie’s story easy to follow without prior world knowledge. Ultimately, DA: DotS inspired her to pick the games up and give them a chance. What better endorsement can there be?

Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker is out May 29th 2012 and you can get it here

Published in: on April 9, 2012 at 9:25 am  Leave a Comment  
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Kudos to David Gaider, Bioware, and the Gamer Community

*dusts this off* Hi again. *looks around* soo dusty around here isn’t it? I should pop in here more instead of immediately going home to load my games <.< Yes. But look I got motivated to post something!

As you may be aware Dragon Age 2 released on Tuesday March 8th. If you have pondered what has Lenelie been doing; there is your answer. Dragon Age. I’m on play through 3.5 Don’t ask I got bored with the warrior I started and  wanted to make thinges go boom again (<3 mages). I have an extremely long review in  the process and you can expect it sometime next week. (I’ll be spending my weekend trying to get the transmission in my car fixed…wish me luck it doesn’t need replaced)

So, what the hell is this about given my title? Right, so as the game obsessed fan that I am. ( I admit this freely.) I tend to keep up on the forums for my prefered games daily. Right now since I am hot and heavy on Dragon Age 2, thats means a daily bout of forum readings on the social bioware site. There is some I agree with (I’m a Fenris fangirl…) and some I don’t (no I don’t thinks this is the worst game ever and believe it spells the end of all we love and hold dear). However, there are some things which I disagree with on such a level I tend to avoid them all together. Inevitably as the glutton for punishment that I am, I read the post anyways and scroll through the subsequeent replies and scratch my head pondering where I fit into a world holding these same people. (Don’t ask me why game forums make me ponder my place in the universe, its just better we accept it).  This thread was one of those posts done so you can see Mr. Gaider’s reponses.

I read the Original Poster’s complaint and thought…REALY!!!! *coughs* The world is coming to an end, the sky is falling, and the heathens have taken over. As we may be aware I’m a female gamer (no I do not speak for all female gamers) and married (no I do not speak for all married female gamers either or married parental femal gamers…etc). The poster goes on to support that 80% of all gamers are hertosexual males and thus all games should be tailored to make them happy. Hi…you wonder why popular culture thinks gamers are basement dwelling anti-social cretins? Yeah you just put the gamers go mainstream movement back a decade or two.

But I want to instead give kudos to Gaider for his well done response. It was far more civil than I would’ve been able to write. Secondly, I believe the community of gamers on the DA2 social site need some kudos to. I read through the comments. I read well reasoned break downs and rebuttals of the OP’s (original poster) complaint. There were plenty of flames but it was excellent to see the quality of response concerning the logic involved. While I am giving kudos, Bioware you need them for making the dialog system fool proof. You can’t flirt and not know you are flirting.

Published in: on March 25, 2011 at 5:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Neverwinter Nights Resurrected?

*looks around and taps on the screen* I’m glad you are sitting down. We need to talk about the new Neverwinter Nights announcement. Talk a walk over to this article on PC World. Yes, you read that correctly! Cryptic is redoing Neverwinter as an MMO.

For those of you that may not be familiar with the awesomeness that is Neverwinter Nights 1 and it’s expansions (all other games should be forgotten, this is not just my inner Bioware fangirl talking) This is a game based on Dungeons and Dragons 3rd edition rules with the expansions bringing it more in line with 3.5 ed. At the time, it was awesome! Honestly the expansions are more awesome and Bioware knocked it out of the park with Hordes of the Underdark.

The world is set in the new 4th ed DnD version of Forgotten Realms. 4th ed seriously has a myriad of classes (in the basic Player Handbook alone there are 8 classes). So it boggles my mind that they have announced you will only be allowed to play one of five. I understand the idea that you then have an easier time of coding and planing for the class combination. However, you don’t capitalize on one of the best things about the newest edition customization through the plethora of choices! You have the opportunity to get the character that fits your play style best accordingly.

I don’t play the Cryptic games and I won’t comment on their ability to successfully launch this MMO. Cryptic is behind Champions and Star Trek Online, having seen both at Pax ’09 they were very pretty. They aren’t my genre of games *shrugs*. If you are familiar with their products, let me know how you find their game play.

I’ll be honest as much as I love NWN, this iteration of the game doesn’t rank on my to watch list. I understand Bioware is busy with Star Wars: Old Republic MMO (which IS on my watch list). I know I have a Bioware bias, I’m honest about it. In that sense of honesty, I’d rather have seen another Neverwinter single player/moddable game ala the first by Bioware. Even if it wasn’t going to be done by Bioware, so long as it was done better than Neverwinter Nights 2 and all the evil that game entailed.

What made NWN great and kept that game alive and beloved in the hearts of fans was the modding. Atari at least seems to have taken notice to this by announcing players will be able to create quests and content. It is interesting idea and I will look forward to seeing how that actually gets implemented. User generated content really is a great marketing strategy so long as they make it user friendly. This is something that players of FPS games are used to having with player made mods and maps. Remember Team Fortress and Counter Strike all started out as community mods for Half Life waaay back in the day. (Did I just date myself?) These mods were so successful with the community that Valve pulled these modders on staff.

Obviously, I thump the products I love (Bioware, Steam, DnD, and Wow).  Not to say I’m not open to a new studio taking over and doing something new and different, just give me choices and options when you do. The precursor to this MMO gave me great character customization (for the time) from both the class and skill choices to how my character looked. It also created a wonderful and thriving community which exists today. The real challenge is can Cryptic capitalize on this?

Published in: on August 25, 2010 at 11:48 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Dragon Age: Origins

I will do my best not to give you too many spoilers. But this is fair warning that I’m prolly going to say something you don’t want to know if you want to experience the game pure.

First, let me thank Bioware for the love a care they obviously put into this game. I remember seeing the Dragon Age title on their forthcoming titles for years now and wondered what was up with it. The wait was well worth it for the  game Bioware produced. In fact, it was almost enough to make me think EA may not destroy my favorite game company. (I’m holding judgment on that for the time being. Yes I’m a hater)

Graphics: Well overall this are very beautiful. There are some areas that appear less developed than others. But overall the game looks great. Mind you I’m playing wide screen HD so your mileage may vary. The character models are a HUGE improvement since NWN and you can really see the progression on customibility even from Mass Effects. (which I just picked up on Steam. *taps her rpg gaming vein*) So Kudos to them on the graphics. I really felt like I was immersed in the game from the get go. Getting to have such large control on how my character looked was a big draw for me. If you haven’t picked up the game yet swish over and download the character generator. It’s free and you get to play with the models!

Story: I won’t go into too much detail about the story but…As the name implies there is an Origin story. Which I thought was damn skippy. I’ve only played through 2 so far, Mage and human noble but what I’ve seen has impressed me. Normally you start off in an rpg game already experienced, this time  you get a better feel about where you are from. No personality traits are forced on you, but you definitely understand where your character is coming from and why he/she is so drive. Overall the dialog for the game is seriously improved over past rpgs. You can definitely tell Bioware listened to their community and gave us a rich world, with a rich history, a compelling story, and dialog that didn’t seem like a prepubescent boy wrote it. This isn’t some wish fulfillment story about power. It is far more gritty and mired in reality. The struggles of both the characters and the world at large seem believable and thus engaging. Your companions along the way are actual people with thoughts, feelings, and agendas of their own.  Unlike previous games, pissing them off will make them leave, another nice element as you work on the main story. There are TONS of side quests to keep you occupied as well.

Combat: Bless them for keeping the pause combat in the game. It allows for greater control of the battlefield and the abilities of your party members. Enemies like to kill you…a lot. So playing smart in any combat is a big plus and aided by the pause. The group AI is customizable with combat tactics and behaviors. Another plus for them since I like to send my range guys ahead to kill off opossing range guys and leave my melee sitting infront of me to absorb their melee. Default will send your party after your target. The tweaking is minor and I go back and forth depending on the fight.

Published in: on November 9, 2009 at 12:52 pm  Comments (2)  
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