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GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 52: Dragon Age II and the State of Bioware

Tim Spaeth's picture

You read his review: Brad hates Dragon Age II. But what do the rest of us think? Plus, Brad responds directly to his harshest critics, we speculate on Bioware's future, and another gripping round of Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down. Featuring Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, Richard Naik, and Tim "Ewwwwwww" Spaeth.

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Category Tags
Platform(s): Xbox 360   PS3   PC  
Developer(s): BioWare  
Genre(s): Role-Playing  
Articles: Podcasts  

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note on Dragon Age: Origin's development time

Great podcast. You guys were wondering aloud at one point in the podcast how long DA:O's development time was. It was about five years.

- Chris

I also have to admit that

I also have to admit that I'm similar to Richard in that I will invest time in learning the lore of a game, or spend hours on Wikis to gain further knowledge. I certainly did it with Dragon Age: Origins, despite the reality that the game isn't exactly unique in its setting, but I did find it enjoyable and deep enough to want to absorb myself into it more.

Also, great to hear you're playing the fantastic Persona 3: FES Richard; an excellent game to be sure. You're lucky in that not only do you have 70+ hours of P3 to enjoy, but then can look forward to an equal -- or perhaps better -- amount of enjoyment for Persona 4.

The first gamescritic

The first gamescritic podcast I've listened to, and I thought it was excellent. Very enteraining. Can definitely see myself downloading them in the future to listen to on my iPod.

Particularly amused by Brad's hate mail attained from the Dragon Age 2 review. Come on, gamecritics.com. Brad has a wealth of haters directed to the site from the likes of metacritic. Make it a regular feature in your podcast show.

Spoilers?

how spoiler heavy is this episode?

I probably will play the game, at some point. And dont want to hear about Darth Vader being Lukes real father.

Im holding out hope there will be an over head camera mod, in the future (despite no mod tools for DA2).
So Im not playing the game, yet. I tried starting the game, but didnt like the "action game" feel.

FYI - about the HD tv

FYI - about the HD tv comments:

The US government didnt mandate anything about moving to HD TVs.

The mandatory switch was from "analog" to "digital" broadcasts.

If DA2 is unplayable on SD, that IS on bioware, not the US government. Most Television shows are still made with 4:3 in mind. I cant recall ever having seen a TV show or movie that cant be viewed in SD (unreadable text for example) that problem seems to be exclusive to video games.

In addition, Mass Effect 1 was specifically made with 2 camera views (16:9 and 4:3). So we know Bioware is aware of people with 4:3 sets (not to mention, some smaller HD sets are 4:3)

And finally, the 360 is not a "$400 luxury item" any more. I believe gamestop sells used units for $120. And during the holiday sales they were available for less then $100... new.

The idea that anyone that can afford a console, should also be able to afford to replace EVERY tv in their house with a massive HD set is unreasonable. I would be willing to wager, that MANY consoles are hooked up to secondary televisions (in the kids room, or in a dorm room, or in a furnished basement).

A good friend of mine from college, has his PS3 hooked up to a 12 year old 32" CRT. Another guy uses a tiny computer monitor. Playing games isnt the center piece of everyones lives. Many people DO have their consoles hooked up to an old TV. If Bioware is assuming that their games are only being played in Home Theater environments... they are mistaken.

I primarily use a 32" Toshiba HD set, and even with that, text is often too small for me to read (without being 3 feet away from the TV). HD only helps with clarity, it doesnt make 1/4" text readable from 8 feet away.

the "we made our game for HD

the "we made our game for HD tv sets" line is simply an excuse.

The fact of the matter is, console games cant be designed in exactly the same way a PC game are. Even at higher resolutions, console games need larger text and more easily readable interfaces. Sitting on a couch 10 feet away, is completely different from sitting at a computer desk 18 inches away.

I have not played DA2 on the Console, so I cant comment directly on that. But I will say this, most of the time developers say "we made our console game for HD tvs" it just sounds like an excuse to me, because they lazily ported a PC style interface over to a console game.

I guarantee you, if blizzard ported Diablo 3 to a console, it would be viewable on an SD set. Even if they did it in 2015.

HD luxury

Anonymous wrote:

the 360 is not a "$400 luxury item" any more.

The idea that anyone that can afford a console, should also be able to afford to replace EVERY tv in their house with a massive HD set is unreasonable.

You can get a full-hd monitor at about the same price as a Xbox.
The regular 4GB xbox slim price here is 199€. The LG E2340S-PN costs 129€. Even less.
So if you don't consider a Xbox luxury i'd say a cheap secondary monitor is neither.

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