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Dragon Age

Dragon Age: Origins — Awakening Review

We Barely Knew Ye

Dragon  Age: Origins — Awakening Screenshot

HIGH: Oghren's joining ceremony.

LOW: The fact that it was all over at 16 hours.

WTF: Nobody seems to recognize me as an elf now. Even other elves.

Dragon Age: Origins — Return to Ostagar Review

Technically, a Return. Effectively, More like a Quick Pit Stop

Dragon Age: Origins — Return to Ostagar Screenshot

HIGH The new armor and weaponry is pretty good stuff.

LOW It's about an hour long, total.

WTF Where are all the dialogue options?

Trials HD and Dragon Age get DLC, and more Final Fantasy XII

Final Fantasy XII Screenshot

The other day, I joked with a friend that I was doing a "60-hour speed run" of Final Fantasy XII by following the story and ignoring all of the side quests. I'm not a fan of grinding at all, and RPGs which keep themselves playable when the person doing the playing is simply following the critical path are my favorite sorts. In total, I haven't done more than an hour or so of "grinding" enemies (and that done from my own free will) and I'm having no issues so far, so I'm kind of wondering where the complaints are coming from. Maybe it becomes more of an issue further into the game, but at the point I'm at, it just hasn't been a concern.

Dragon Age: Origins Second Opinion

Enchantment?

Dragon Age: Origins Screenshot

HIGH This is a very serious breach of protocol, but I have two: 1) Watching my companions change from fantasy archetypes into actual characters. 2) Glyph of Repulsion + Inferno + a doorway = awesome.

LOW The sheer amount of useless crap that I'm presented with while looting. (NOTE: This has been relieved somewhat by a recent update.)

WTF Enchantment!

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 27: What Compels You to Play?

What compels us to spend 25, 40, 50, even 70+ hours on a single game? We think we've figured it out. Join us for conversation about Dragon Age, Assassin's Creed 2, Way of the Samurai 3, Torchlight and Borderlands DLC. With Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, and Tim "Yes, I Like Borderlands Now" Spaeth.

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Please send feedback and mailbag questions to podcast (at) gamecritics (dot) com.

Chosen at birth

Dragon Age: Origins Screenshot

Last post, I mentioned that the tendency to choose segregation as a means to solve problems was a feature of many societies in the world of Dragon Age. Another, related motif appearing in many Thedan societies is the existence of a rigidly-defined social order in which a person's status and even his occupation are set at the moment of birth. To varying degrees this kind of social rigidity appears in almost every social group in the game (except the elves). Through its dialogue and plot, Dragon Age: Origins repudiates these systems, but in its mechanics it supports them.

Out of sight, out of mind

Dragon Age: Origins Screenshot

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.

Bits of news

Dragon Age Return to Ostagar

In DLC news, extra content has been announced for both Dragon Age: Origins and Assassin’s Creed II. In the case of Dragon Age, the new mission is titled Return to Ostagar. Those already familiar with the game will certainly remember that Ostagar is the location of the intense Lord of the Rings-style battle that basically kicks off the adventure proper.

Dragon Age: Origins Review

Frodo, Meet Commander Shepard

Dragon Age: Origins Screenshot

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.

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