Zero Punctuation: Dragon Age: Origins

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That was the best review in a while, for me.
The "Peacekiller", "Shadowhumper" and the "Gerot-coal" (Or whatever he said) was absolutely hilarious.

DA:O is only a dark fantasy is a relative sense. Most fantasy stories are colorful places where the hero and his crew are seemingly immortal, or else only one dies in the most dramatic way possible.

Dragon Age is darker than that because many "good" characters die, the main character can die, blood shoots out everywhere when someone is so much as brushed with bare knuckles and icky things happen to dwarfs that go on wild adventures to find anvils. Yahtzee probably thinks that isn't what "dark" should mean, I for one believe it should be called a brutal fantasy.

[edit]
Dark for me would mean the whole thing had a bleak outlook, like the situation the world finds itself in is hopeless and only by immense sacrifice can the hero and his friends even buy people some time and hope.

That is dark, not "We are the only two people who can stop the bad guys from destroying this one region, I will also be constantly reminding you that only this nation is at stake and that the rest of the world could probably handle things if we fail."

I think wikipedia sums it quite correctly, especially the first sentence:

Dark fantasy is also used to refer to "grittier" fantasy, conducted in settings which represent the brutality of the medieval period of most fantasy, generally with a dash of supernatural horror such as in Charles R. Saunders' early Imaro trilogy which was heavily influenced by Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft.

Two other examples of fantasy mixed with horror are the Ravenloft series of novels and Neil Gaiman's Coraline.

Catkid906:
Okay... So I like get Dragon Age then, but I also like sex with Girls.
But which is better?

There's only one way to find out...

FIGHT!

And the winner is HERE

I'm a level 35 Shadowhumper.

But Gorok-Cov or whatever sounds like a fun class.

Well i can't imagine this post will be read but i believe Yahtzee escaped having to make a real review and say all the real bad things about the game as those things could be perceived as subjective and would easily be dismissed as "game designer wannabe ideas". There is a lot wrong with this game and even though he could have just said that while maintaining the whole "theres nothing original in Origins" argument, he didn't do it because of three things. One, fanboys everywhere would make a barbecue out of it, two he seems to have a lot of respect for bioware and three its not a bad game its just not the great game that it could have been.

also theres the fact that he didnt finish it.

I'd really like if Yahtzee did not back down from this challenge and tackle it head on a second time, im a games reviewer myself and i know how hard it would be to say bad things about a game that sells well, has people fawning over it and manages to do 90% of things right, but fails on the simple basics of narrative concept.

Yahtzee is the only reviewer i know who understands the murky depths of what makes a game great and is also the only one not afraid of sticking those things out.

I was expecting this review to go like with him saying that he liked the game and mentioning all the things the game did right, for about 2 mins, then going ahead and bashing each aspect of it that made its story unremarkably generic, probably with arguments full of references of other, better RPGs, including Baldurs gate II.

As it stands, it seems like Yahtzee didnt have the time to finish it and couldn't review it properly because of that. I hope a series of Extra punctuations come out of this, at least to outright say it if he felt the game was actually good, or was simply an addictive well made yet bland substance for RPG fans to spend their time injecting themselves with, including the actual reasons for saying that.

KKDragonLord:
fanboys everywhere would make a barbecue out of it

KKDragonLord:
...i know how hard it would be to say bad things about a game that sells well, has people fawning over it...

Yahtzee doesn't seem to have a problem with such things. See Smash Brothers review.

All the reviews kind of blend together. A game either sux hard balls, or is 10 years old.
Mayb his PC cant run it and he's just making it up from the cover

Really whether or not a game is great is subjective. I've seen people who didn't like baldur's gate.

Mr.Lucifer:
Really wheter or ont a game is great is subjective. I've seen people who didn't like baldur's gate.

I didnt say baldurs gate II is perfect, and even jesus wasn't liked by everyone, what i was saying is that baldur's gate II (not 1 and not the expansion either) was probably the best RPG bioware did (back when they were in black isle obviously, and this is a disputably irrelevant comment) because it got the basics of Narrative progression right. As references go, other games are supposed to be used as a means of comparison for grounding specific valid arguments and several other examples would be forthcoming as well. It is NOT for saying "This game is not as good as That game" as you seem to imply (and as i should expect most forum readers would to perceive it to be, i suppose).

I heard the storyline was pretty good.

I'm always gratified by Mr. Croshaw's reviews. With this one, I laughed until I was crying, and also learned that Dragon Age Origins is a very good game which I can, despite that fact, blissfully ignore and save my money since I've seen everything it has to offer in KOTOR and Peter Jackson movies. And really, why watch a review if you want anything but useful consumer advice and humor?

Scunthorpe is only down the road from me, and yes you do forget the cunt in there

Hilarious stuff, as alawys.

cball11:
I'm always gratified by Mr. Croshaw's reviews. With this one, I laughed until I was crying, and also learned that Dragon Age Origins is a very good game which I can, despite that fact, blissfully ignore and save my money since I've seen everything it has to offer in KOTOR and Peter Jackson movies. And really, why watch a review if you want anything but useful consumer advice and humor?

If you like Knights of the old republic, then there's no reason not to buy the improved "Lotr" version of it. If you do not plan on buying any RPGs that follow the same line as Kotor, then you're robbing yourself of many wonderous experiences and good times. By that logic, one could have stopped at Baldur's Gate or Planescape: Torment. Incredible games and they all practically set the bar so very high, above Kotor. This is a game you'll enjoy, if that's not worth your money, then nothing is.

So yahtzee likes DA:O. But offcourse he will never admit that openly without nitpicking at details first.

Well, to say something about the "dark" in this fantasy game... I don' t know about you, but venturing deep into the Deep Roads and finding the disturbing stuff in there, I can honestly say that this game has earned the dark fantasy title. Sure, you might have seen many demonic fiends in your days, but not always you are given the insight of HOW they were made.

DA:O is a good fantasy game. It doesn't give big huge innovations, it just gives a new spin on some old cliches, while also offering quests with often (and sometimes quite complicated) moral decisions. At this point of time, there is little that hasn't been done before. If you think there is, go to Tvtropes and prove yourself wrong. Is that a bad thing? Good heavens no. If given a choice, I rather take something that has changed only slightly, but is still recognizable and familiar, rather than something, which requires LSD to figure out. I don't want this "innvation" that everyone and their mother tries to achieve these days. I just want good, solid games. And Dragon Age, of course, with it's flaws, is just that - a good, solid game. Great characters, good dialogue, solid squad based gameplay. In short, a Bioware game.

If you don't wonder if this game is worth your money, ask yourself - when was the last time you had 60 hours of the first playthrough for $50? I can't remember. Yes, my first playthrough took 60 hours. That's one character, one origin, and mostly the plot with few sidequests. This game is worth playing, and it is great to see Yahtzee, someone who isn't that extremely into RPGs to get sucked in while playing.

dazdex:

Thraxio:
sCUNThorpe, eh? I must remember that the next time we play them.

Third place in the contest sounds awesome, apart from the weapon imbalances.

That joke doesn't work on us mate. :) Does make it a bastard when putting in your home town when trying to register for something though.

Anyway hurray he mentioned my little town I feel so special.

Scunthorpe's not that small is it? Looked about the same size as Lincoln last time I went there.

I used to use 'Scumthorpe', but it got rejected by one of my mates who supports them. :'(

johnman:
Scunthorpe is only down the road from me, and yes you do forget the cunt in there

Same... less than an hour.

One thing I am surprised that wasn't mentioned was DA:O's lack of a karma meter. Considering how much he despises the standard "Mother Theresa vs Baby Eating" alignment systems, I would have thought DA:O would have been somewhat refreshing.

Thraxio:

dazdex:

Thraxio:
sCUNThorpe, eh? I must remember that the next time we play them.

Third place in the contest sounds awesome, apart from the weapon imbalances.

That joke doesn't work on us mate. :) Does make it a bastard when putting in your home town when trying to register for something though.

Anyway hurray he mentioned my little town I feel so special.

Scunthorpe's not that small is it? Looked about the same size as Lincoln last time I went there.

I used to use 'Scumthorpe', but it got rejected by one of my mates who supports them. :'(

It is around the same size as Lincoln but doesnt seem to have much in it, but since I live in Lincoln I'm probly just bias.

llagrok:
Hilarious stuff, as alawys.

cball11:
I'm always gratified by Mr. Croshaw's reviews. With this one, I laughed until I was crying, and also learned that Dragon Age Origins is a very good game which I can, despite that fact, blissfully ignore and save my money since I've seen everything it has to offer in KOTOR and Peter Jackson movies. And really, why watch a review if you want anything but useful consumer advice and humor?

If you like Knights of the old republic, then there's no reason not to buy the improved "Lotr" version of it. If you do not plan on buying any RPGs that follow the same line as Kotor, then you're robbing yourself of many wonderous experiences and good times. By that logic, one could have stopped at Baldur's Gate or Planescape: Torment. Incredible games and they all practically set the bar so very high, above Kotor. This is a game you'll enjoy, if that's not worth your money, then nothing is.

Yeah, but is it worth my time? I have a job, a tight class schedule, and, to be frank, a dick that likes spending time with women. KOTOR was the first modern RPG I played, and I'm invested in that story. That's the only reason I picked up The Sith Lords, and the only reason I'll be playing The Old Republic. Dragon Age may have an excellent story. Maybe Mass Effect does too. But I know enough about them to conclude that the experience is pretty much KOTOR without the star wars lore. I play games when they're a combination of good, interesting, unique, don't overstay their welcome, and reward me for my cognitive investment. And, I must say, due to my ever present knowledge that I do not have a lot of time to spend on video games at all, I have exceptionally high standards across all fields. The games I play must be as high as possible in as many of those fields as possible. I don't believe Dragon Age Origins is unique, will have an appropriate length, or reward me for my mental investment, no matter how interesting and well executed it may very well be. So, I'm going to ignore it, at least until I have loads of free time and the price tag comes down. I thank Yahtzee for giving me the information I needed.

Good review. I'm glad to see he liked it enough to want to keep going with it. I think the strongest point of BioWare games is the story, and this has been one of the most compelling stories I've seen in the medium. I say this, of course, as an obsessive Baldur's Gate fan, with which this game shares many, many elements.

I will say, I disagree with his opinion on the cut-scenes. I thought the BioWare animators did a much better job at avoiding the uncanny valley than, say, Oblivion where everyone stood stock-still and just stared at you. Conversations were dynamic, people moved about. Sure, you still get some of that stiffness from the modeling, but I just don't think the tech is there to do much better yet. Certainly the conversations were more engaging and immersive than many other titles.

stevec666:

FIRST :)

User was suspended for this post. (7 days)

ziggybogidou:

damn you,sir.

User was put on probation for this post.(3 days)

RyoScar:

Very funny review

User was put on probation for this post.(7 days)

JakeX:

SECOND AND AWESOME

User was put on probation for this post.(7 days)

*sigh* I knew this was going to happen. But I'm still mad about it anyway.

Please stop trying to get first post, people, your only reward will be a suspension or probation.

Anyway, it's good to see Yahtzee reviewing this blockbuster of a game. I like RPGs and I like Bioware, so from what Yahtzee's said, I'm guessing Dragon Age: Origins might be a good game for me.

"And if you don't like Fantasy RPGs then I guess you can just go off have sex with people instead."

Okay then I will.

Fuck, I knew I was wasting my time having sex with all those girls...

I think the game's strongest point is its dialogue and characters, which is ESSENTIAL for a good RPG game. There have been MANY moments I have LOLed at, and like in a good movie, I've come to hope for the best for the characters because I actually like them. It's refreshing, in a way, and I think it ends up making a decent (if somewhat cliche-y fantasy) storyline into something that honestly drags you in. I have pretty much played this thing every spare moment I've had since I got it. It's been a long time since I was drawn to an RPG like that.

A very good review, the best one in a while in my opinion.

awesome and funny episode

Question: Does anyone know what Yahtzee is talking about in that section with "this should be scrolling in front of Conan the Barbarian" part? It's the long text passage.

Also: Yahtzee likes Avenged Sevenfold, didn't see that coming.

Very amusing, though I was surprised that you didn't offer any praise for BioWare finally managing to ween itself from the Force mechanic; sure the formula of BioWare games varies so little from KOTOR to DA:O that each iteration is largely the same game with shinier graphics and a different story, but one major step away from the foundation should be applauded, even if it's just one hand that's doing the clapping. I'm still partially dreading getting past the "Mass Effect" part of Mass Effect II, oy.

You know for some reason I kept thinkin that this game was goin to be like Golden Axe? I dont know why, my brain just kept tellin me this fact even while I was watchin the review I was still like 'So its like Golden Axe then?'

Also, congrats on the winners of them contest

-M

It's a great game, very average review... didn't even mention Morrigan. You should have played it on PC.

I really want this game. I plan to buy it based off friends, and now Yahtzee. Good review, not as funny as the originals, but still made me chortle.

Shadowkire:
DA:O is only a dark fantasy is a relative sense. Most fantasy stories are colorful places where the hero and his crew are seemingly immortal, or else only one dies in the most dramatic way possible.

Dragon Age is darker than that because many "good" characters die, the main character can die, blood shoots out everywhere when someone is so much as brushed with bare knuckles and icky things happen to dwarfs that go on wild adventures to find anvils. Yahtzee probably thinks that isn't what "dark" should mean, I for one believe it should be called a brutal fantasy.

[edit]
Dark for me would mean the whole thing had a bleak outlook, like the situation the world finds itself in is hopeless and only by immense sacrifice can the hero and his friends even buy people some time and hope.

That is dark, not "We are the only two people who can stop the bad guys from destroying this one region, I will also be constantly reminding you that only this nation is at stake and that the rest of the world could probably handle things if we fail."

That's exactly what I felt about DA:O though: the blight was already upon Ferelden: losing Ostagar and Lothering, the preying on the weak fleeing for their lives, the tragedy of the Dalish elves and their leader, his vengeance that has gone unfulfilled for eons, the dwarves scheming, and caste that seemingly punished a pregnant young dwarven woman abandonned by her father for loving a casteless dwarven man. All those tragedies ... that's dark fantasy. The spiteful Chantry and their fanaticism that lead to the downfall of the elves, and control of mages. It's a fucked up world, that's dark fantasy.

Almost as bleak and chaotic as "Berserk" world, and the heroes did have to go through a lot to get to the final battle. Morrigan and Leliana are both tragic characters in their own way, so is Alistair, and Shen.

Can't wait to get more of DA:O.

Funniest review i've seen in a while, defiantly makes up for the D.C. one

Also are we ever going to have a ZP without someone posting "FIRST!"?

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