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Console Games Featured PC Games

Dragon Age III: Inquisition Is Announced

Bioware announced the title for the upcoming Dragon Age game, and it’s Dragon Age III: Inquisition.  Further press releases and statements place the game as a late 2013 release, which seems like a long time when they’ve already been working on the game for two years…but we remember the things we didn’t like about Dragon Age II, yes?  So I’d rather they take their time and have a beautiful game with a deep story.

As to what the game will be about, nothing was stated but as Mark Darrah himself mentioned, a lot can be implied from the title.  DA3 will presumably deal with the aftermath of what Anders did and the end of DA2 (Number 4 on my list of potential plots) but as with the previous games, there will be a lot more than just that.  I can’t imagine we’ve seen the last of Flemeth, and the whole Morrigan thing is just too interesting to ignore for very long.

This is a game I’ll be keeping a close eye on, and I think I will kill some time by playing through the DA series beginning to end…

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Featured Review

Continuing Game Review: Dragon Age 2

Note:  Continuing means I will revisit this as I get farther in.

Of course I couldn’t avoid Dragon Age 2 for very long, considering how much I loved Dragon Age: Originsand all the related DLC/expansion content.  So here I am, almost through with Kirkwall (pre-Deep Roads expedition), and enjoying it quite a bit.  I’ll put the rest after the jump as there may be SPOILERS.

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Console Games Featured PC Games

Dragon Age 3 Speculation, Part 1

So Dragon Age 3 is happening, while future content for DA2 is shelved.  Bioware is looking for feedback on the future of the Dragon Age franchise, and the first thing I thought of is, where can the story go?  There are a ton of plot hooks out there, and any number of them could make up a worthy Dragon Age game.  Here are the ones I can think of:

  • The Warden and Morrigan – Morrigan leaves with the child that may or may not have the soul of one of the Tevinter’s old Gods.
  • Corypheus – Speaking of, it’s strongly hinted that he has possessed the body of whichever Warden party was still alive after Legacy.
  • Qunari – Especially this, in light of their importance in Act 2 of DA2 and Mark of the Assassin.  They have spies everywhere, and nobody really KNOWS what they want.
  • Mages VS Templar smackdown – I like this one, as it can involve folks like Wynne again, perhaps as leader of an ‘anti-resistance’ of mages that just want to get things back the way they were, and don’t want to resort to blood magic.
  • Flemeth – Still around and causing trouble, implied to be even more powerful than we’ve seen.  How do you kill something that seems to just pop right back up again?
  • Dalish Elves – A wild card in all this.  Could try to establish yet another homeland, though this might not be ‘epic’ enough to drive forward a whole game.  Maybe DLC or expansion material.
  • Tevinter Madness – We’ve so far only seen bits of these crazy mages so far, with Fenris and such.  Lots of evil possibilities here.
  • Something Else – Thedas is massive, and the little corner we’ve seen only scratches the surface.  Many all-new adventures could happen, and might make sense since there is unconfirmed (to me at least) talk that our save games won’t be imported into the next game.

I’m sure I’m missing an obvious future plot hook, so if you know one, comment it up.  I’ll add it to the post.  What would you like to see, plot-wise?  I’ll look at game mechanics in a later post.

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Gadgets Media Sci/Tech

Friday Finds – Buffalo Cash Mob

First, the week in posts:

And the links I found:

A VERY stupid man was caught trying to create a nuclear reactor at home.  This genius caused a ‘small meltdown’ on his stove, and sent a letter to Sweden’s ‘Radiation Authority’, who tipped off the cops.  You thought a meth lab made a bad neighbor.

There is a rat (an ENORMOUS rat) in Africa that chews on a poisonous tree, and then puts the poison on a strip of hair.  Predators that bit them foam at the mouth and die.  These must be the rats that kill you when you are just starting out in an MMO game.

ArsTechnica (via FCC data) has a chart that shows how the major high-speed internet providers stack up as far as providing the bandwidth they claim you should get.  Here in Buffalo we do OK (Time Warner) is right there at 90+% with very little drop at peak times, and Verizon FiOS actually gives you a bit more than advertised.  I feel really bad for Cablevision customers, though.

To end things, a couple of things that might appeal to Buffalonians.  First is a story of how Cleveland is leveraging empty lots as gardens, and just how far it could take a city.  Second is the Buffalo Cash Mob, an idea for a flashmob that has a good purpose – to patronize a locally owned business.  This afternoon/evening, it’s City Wine Merchant.  It’s a great choice, which you can read about at this link.  If you can check ’em out tonight, tell ’em the #BuffCashMob sent you.

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Console Games PC Games

On Sequels

Reading some of the reviews and discussions out there on Dragon Age 2 got me to thinking – Did Bioware do a disservice to themselves by declaring this game a sequel?  They call it a sequel on the game’s official site, and they put a ‘2’ after it, but it may have damaged the perception of the game a bit to do so.  Even the CNN review says it “isn’t exactly a sequel” and I agree with them.  A sequel, to use the wiki definition as an example, is:

a narrative, documental, or other work of literature, film, theatre, or music that continues the story of or expands upon issues presented in some previous work. In the common context of a narrative work of fiction, a sequel portrays events set in the same fictional universe as a previous work, usually chronologically following the events of that work.

Let’s examine DA2 in this context.  It *is* in the same fictional universe, though DA2 starts during DA:O, not after.  You’ve got a bit of character overlap but not much, but the most important character from Origins is not directly present, the Warden.  The new game is set in the same world, but all new locations.  The DA2 story has some elements you came up against in the first game, which I won’t spoil, but still, to me, doesn’t seem like all this adds up to clearcut sequel status.  It became clearest to me when someone mentioned Baldur’s Gate:  Dark Alliance, a game my wife and I very much enjoyed, but played quite a bit different from other BG games.  DA2 doesn’t stray THAT far away, but it did move.

That isn’t a bad thing, though.  The problem is not with the game, but how it was sold to the consumer.  When I hear ‘sequel’, I’m thinking of games like Diablo 2, Warcraft 2 and the like.  Games that are bigger/better/MORE of what came before.  Yes, there are new features, graphical upgrades, but you see the progression.  You don’t see that so much with DA2.  There’s enough things that are different (some would say downgraded) and enough gameplay has changed that it really feels more like a spinoff than a true sequel.  Instead of slapping a ‘2’ after the name and calling it a day, Bioware should’ve titled it something like “Dragon Age:  The Champion of Kirkwall” while simultaneously announcing development of a true sequel 2-3 years down the road, closer to the Elder Scrolls dev cycle.  Those playing the Kirkwall game wouldn’t necessarily be expecting ‘more of the same’ as DA:O, and a real high fantasy epic world-spanning adventure ‘true sequel’ would still be very welcome.  Everyone is happy, and we can be done with the whiners complaining about not having all the origin stories in the game NOT named Origins.

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Console Games PC Games Review

Dragon Age 2 Demo Impressions

I played through one full run of the DA2 Demo (male rogue), and to be honest, it’s got me a little worried.  The visuals are definitely different, probably better, but with the way combat jumps around so much it feels more like an older MMO.  The powers recharge quickly, the action more frenetic (yes, I know you can still pause it), and I never got the sense of what was happening to my characters at a glance.  Maybe the interface is TOO sparse, the details too hidden for my tastes.  The conversation wheel is fine, probably a change for the good, as it allows the hero to talk and emote.  I didn’t like Hawke’s family that much,

I definitely want to give the full game a try, as the story could save it easily, and I may just need time to adjust to the new style of play.  Still, I am tempering my expectations just a bit.