By Sparky Clarkson on December 6, 2009 - 6:25am.
Playing Dragon Age gave me a relatively frequent sense of déjà vu. Although the game portrays a number of different nations and societies, there are recurrent features that speak to underlying ideas about the psychology of its inhabitants. One such motif is the tendency for its denizens to solve their problems through segregation. At several levels, the people of the continent of Thedas like to resolve issues by pushing problematic groups into isolated areas and pretending, as much as possible, that they no longer exist.
By Brad Gallaway on November 20, 2009 - 9:31am.
Frodo, Meet Commander Shepard
HIGH Superb characterizations, story, and role-playing.
LOW The combat system is a mess.
WTF Screwing up a quest by missing one line of dialogue 20 hours beforehand.
By Brad Gallaway on November 11, 2009 - 6:50am.
As is somewhat apparent, I've been spending some time (a lot of time, actually) with BioWare's Dragon Age: Origins. Although it's got a few issues, it's a great Adventure-RPG if you like the style as much as I do, and it's had no trouble keeping my interest. However, there has been something that's been bothering me about it—the character Shale.
For those that don't know, Shale is an extra character that can be recruited into the player's party. A powerful wrecking-ball of a golem with a witty personality, he's a very attractive prospect. The issue? He's only available via DLC.
By Brad Gallaway on November 9, 2009 - 12:28am.
So, now that it's here I've been able to log some hours with it and at this point all I'll say is that despite some of the big talk BioWare was putting out, Dragon Age = KOTOR/Jade Empire/Mass Effect in a Medieval-ish/Lord of the Rings skin. Frankly, it's the same game they've put out a couple times now, so everyone's mileage may vary. In my case, this is one of my favorite game types and BioWare does them best, so I'm digging it. However, I'm under no illusions that the game pushes any boundaries or explores new territory. This is firmly-established boilerplate.
By Brad Gallaway on November 3, 2009 - 11:37pm.
Playing Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 with the wife right now, doing co-op throughout the entire campaign. I didn't expect much more than a complete rehash of the first game, but I have to admit I'm a little surprised at how lackluster it feels. It's basically there, but needs more polish to really make it pop. We've stumbled across more than a handful of bugs and glitches which always detracts from the experience, and parts of the game just don't feel very well-thought-out. The boss fight with Yellowjacket was a complete mess, and it really drives me up the wall the way the game is so capricious with the team you’ve selected.
By Richard Naik on September 16, 2009 - 8:30am.
Disclosure: This post has nothing to do with gender, sexism, or the like.
Playing inFamous made me think of other games that I've played where I have the ability to make choices that effect the story or other parts of the game—to be "good" or "evil" so to speak. And after some thought on the subject, I discovered I was hungry and made a sandwich. After that, games such as Knights of the Old Republic, Mass Effect, BioShock, Morrowind/Oblivion, and Fallout 3 came to mind. The question that I pose is this—what makes a good way to allow the player to "choose" their path while not pandering to ideological extremes and still providing an engrossing experience? Ideally I would be able to chose virtually any action I wanted, and have the game respond accordingly regardless of what I chose. Is this even possible? Or has it been done already?
By Alex Raymond on September 10, 2009 - 4:16pm.
Overall, Mass Effect took huge steps forward for inclusiveness in games. Its racial diversity is unlike any I have seen in a game: nearly all of the major and minor human NPCs are people of color, and none of them are stereotypes. In another impressive step, not only is there an important character—the Normandy's pilot, Joker—who happens to be disabled, but a conversation with him reveals the many different layers of ableism he has experienced throughout his life. Unfortunately, the game stumbles when it comes to gender inclusiveness.
By Brad Gallaway on August 28, 2009 - 9:06am.
WTF Why in the world was this even released?
By Brad Gallaway on August 25, 2009 - 8:30pm.
So, out of my ten-year career reviewing games professionally, I've only awarded two perfect "10" scores. I'm no math whiz, but if you average that out, I'm pretty sure that's one for every five years. My gist? I don't hand them out lightly.
One of the games to which I gave top marks was BioWare's Mass Effect. Encapsulating basically everything I love about videogames, action, and sci-fi all in one complete package, I blew through the game and devoured every last tasty morsel. Couldn't get enough. Although it's true all good things come to an end, thanks to the implementation of DLC, good things can keep going for a little longer. More Mass Effect? Yes, please.
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