Zero Punctuation: Dragon Age II

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Thespian:
I prefer a story that's just about some Refugee guy who's life is fucked up and gets a few lucky breaks and then makes a name for himself. Why does it have to be more? Why must the fate of EVERYTHING EVER constantly rest on THE ONE LAST HOPE OF EVERYTHING EVER?

Isn't the lack of an over-arching story better suited to a sandbox-style game? If the narrative is disconnected, what reason does the game have for being linear?

I keep trying to play Dragon Age 2 and keep getting repelled. I haven't determined why.

I'm not a betrayed fan, but it's sad to see another genre homogenised for the masses. Sorry for thinking so. I'm probably too old...

Agree with the vid, though perhaps it's a bit safe ;)
I assume the site is so slow just now because the world is flooding to see Yahtzee's video..

Freud! Freud!! lol

Those are my major gripes with it as well.

I'm surprised Yahtzee didn't go over all the gay buzz the game has been getting and just had a gay romance himself. That actually clears up a lot about the man in the hat.

Personally I enjoyed the game, but the review had a point, constantly respawning bandits were frigging annoying after the first 10 hours. Besides, your a group of extremely heavily armed warriors, isn't there any random, UNARMED peasants to mug?

Ehh...

This one's not your best, seems like one of those videos you do just because the game is popular and people want to hear about it, weather or not you have much to say about it. You're more funny and insightful when you just indulge yourself.

Of course, I'm sure this is more entertaining if you agree with what's being said, so in that regard, I'm biased

My biggest regrett about DA2 is that I bought it for a SHITLOAD of money!

And halfway through the game I felt a sudden urge to play DA1... The real dragon age!

100% agree.

De Ronneman:
I've heard mixed things too, so a quick question:

Whose opinion is more on the money, camp "storyless loading-fest" or "epic introduction to something even greater than LotR"?

Somewhere in between. I'm playing it on PC, so I can't speak on the loading times (which have been great for me), but "storyless" is completely off base. The story drives every mission in the game, but you're basically playing through episodes of this guy's life, not a quest to kill a big, bad demon. It's really about seeing how companion stories play out and choosing how to shape your character within all the different events.

As a result, it loses some of the "epic" quality, but it's still a fun game and a welcome chance to experience more of the Dragon Age lore. The conflict between mages and the chantry is really at the forefront here.

ah yes the first thing i notice was how hot hawkes 40-50yo mum was too XD
All the "old" women have wrinkly faces with 20 yo bodies, its so confusing

i laughed quite a bit about the adventurers waiting about gobbing off eachother XD

Haha, you mimicked my thoughts exactly! I love these reviews. They literally make my week. We seem to agree on so much, lol.

I have to wonder if any of the " I like DA2s story cuz its personal, and doesn't involve saving the world!" people ever played Planescape Torment.

There was a game that told an epic story about one man's past, present and future all wrapped up in one of the greatest worlds ever seen in a CRPG. Compare the Nameless one's journey of self understanding to the hollow "I want monies!" motivations of Hawke's adventure and tell me which is more compelling. If you still think the answer is DA2, I am truly sorry for you, you don't have any concept of good narrative .

The *potential* in Dragon age 2's story is there. You can feel it, lurking somewhere underneath the layers of fetch quests, abrupt cut-scenes, disjointed time-jumps, and heavy handed stabs at tackling "controversial" subject matter. But the execution is way, way, *way* off. Given enough time and resources, perhaps Bioware could have pulled off a sprawling epic that told the journey of Hawke's life from the very beginning - Walking you through his life in Lothering, investing you in the characters and then ripping it all away with the darkspawn attack. But they didn't and I can only judge what I played : A tacky action RPG with some lite role playing and a forgettable story.

I hope we can all realize the arguments trying to justify the lack of a "hero's journey" are completely reactionary, however reasonable they may be. How many people praised this "feature" in other threads about the game? It's a butthurt fanboy response, I can't take it seriously.

Levethian:

Thespian:
I prefer a story that's just about some Refugee guy who's life is fucked up and gets a few lucky breaks and then makes a name for himself. Why does it have to be more? Why must the fate of EVERYTHING EVER constantly rest on THE ONE LAST HOPE OF EVERYTHING EVER?

Isn't the lack of an over-arching story better suited to a sandbox-style game? If the narrative is disconnected, what reason does the game have for being linear?

I keep trying to play Dragon Age 2 and keep getting repelled. I haven't determined why.

I'm not a betrayed fan, but it's sad to see another genre homogenised for the masses. Sorry for thinking so. I'm probably too old...

Agree with the vid, though perhaps it's a bit safe ;)
I assume the site is so slow just now because the world is flooding to see Yahtzee's video..

The plot structure would make a good story for a sandbox game, but it doesn't really hurt the game or story overall. Yhatzee said it himself, the reason people keep playing games is just to see more of them, and the game never bored me.

It's also worth pointing out that the problem isn't BEING linear, it's FEELING linear. Technically speaking, the story is actually less linear then, say, GTA IV, but GTA IV has a lot more shit to do whenever you get burned out on the main story. It makes more sense when the game jumps from one event to another so quickly, because you actually see all the stuff you were doing in while the story was time skipping, thus the game's narrative feels less disjointed

Yeah the setting didn't bother me that much. I thought it was kind of interesting to have a plot that was more character based then event driven. The game was defineately rushed in certain areas of design, but I think that how you determine the setting depends upon the amount of enjoyment you can get from seeing an envirnement your chracter lives in change as years go by and conflicts arise.

rsvp42:

Somewhere in between. I'm playing it on PC, so I can't speak on the loading times (which have been great for me), but "storyless" is completely off base. The story drives every mission in the game, but you're basically playing through episodes of this guy's life.

I would like to know which game you played, because the plot is nearly nonexistent. Half of the time you will find yourself wandering around, doing quests for no reason other than they are the closest thing to you. It really plays out like a MMO in this way, where the story is an after thought to the grinding out quests.

******Now, for SPOILERS!!!!*****

The entire first Act of the game you are doing completely unrelated errands and busy work so you can get some gold to go on an expedition for some reason. After that, you get to Act 2 and it picks up with the Qunari sieging Kirkwall and this is the only actually interesting and coherent part of the story. Cue Act 3 and you are the champion, I guess, and also the Viscount? Cool, even though that literally has no effect on anything and means nothing in the context of the game world. Act 3 basically just features everyone going batshit insane and killing each other and I guess you are supposed to pick a side but it doesn't really matter because the same thing happens every. single. time.

So, to recap, the one interesting party in the game (Qunari) you cannot ally with and the two you can results in the same thing because yay story homogenization! Also, Hawke runs off never to be seen again. Very original by BioWare.

***** SPOILERS ******

You know, he never says it has to be about saving the world, he wonders where the actual plot is. That is, it just seemed to be a series of events that didn't really have any tension or conflict. Sure, you can have a game about that, but it feels pretty hollow. If you're reading a story about someone going to save a princess, and all he does is kill monsters and rescue the princess in a straightforward, linear process, you might wonder why you even bothered. He seemed to feel that there just wasn't much at stake until the very ending, that it was pedestrian and simplistic.

I was turned off to this game when I couldn't play the character I played in the first one, then again when I found out how they were changing the interface and the gameplay. The more I learned, the less I liked about it, and so I'm glad to hear that waiting until this ends up 75% off on Steam is a good call.

Cat of Doom:

B Goy:
I'm guessing I'm the only one who got the Daily Mail reference?

Please explain,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eBT6OSr1TI

Doyle84:

hurricanejbb:
If your last name is Hawke, you must choose the first name of "Hudson".

Nah... Stringfellow Hawke is where it's at.

No. Mike Hawke is the best name.

Silk_Sk:
Anyone else hearing this weird woodpeckerish sound in the background?

Btw "Mike Hawke." Say it out loud in the library.

Yeah I was Mike Hawke too :P

Either you played a different game than I did, or you were really cynical with this one.

I never quite got why everyone wants RPG's to be nothing more than generic go save the world games.

Oh, you completely lied about the camera, you have complete control over it, and the can't use tactics bits. Shameful.

Worgen:
personally I kind of liked how you didnt have some huge world ending plot and it was more about your life.... altho they certainly could have done a better job at that and the endless baddies did get old, I mean you would think at least the dogs would have some self preservation instinct

This. I haven't played the game and have tried to see very little about it, but upon hearing the plot wouldn't be the typical End of the World bullshit I was very happy.

I prefer it when the plot is more self-involved and revolves around a character instead of an event. Explains why my two favourite RPG stories are Planescape: Torment and Mask of the Betrayer. If only more games did this instead of always opting for an apocalypse.

Fuck subtitles.

If all sequels went that route you can bet you'd see a bunch of games coming out in a year with the subtitle "Revelation" or "Resurrection" or "Requiem." Pretty much whatever Bible word that starts with an R that the developers thought sounded cool and epic.

Then there's also some subtitles that are just made up on the spot. Once again some idiot developer thinking it's cool to combine words like "Pandora Tomorrow" or "Daikatana" even though they made absolutely no sense.

Finally, you have the generic Pulp titles that likes to play mad libs with words, the so and so called Rise of [blank], Fall of [blank], Attack of the [blank], Revenge of the [blank], [blank] of the [blank].

To hell with all of them I say. I'm with The Angry Video Game Nerd on this one. All people want to know is what came first, middle, and last. Numbers are perfect for this, and if you want them to look fancy use Roman numerals.

So its the matrix reloaded of the series then?

Celtic_Kerr:

Kheapathic:
I was honestly expecting a bigger rant on the dungeon recycling.

I didn't. Yahtzee tries to mention things that other people don't. Critical Miss and everyone else is ranting about the recycling to the point where I'm almost ready to rip my ears off and tell people to get some originality in their life.

Ironic, considering how unoriginal the dungeons were...

On topic, excellent review. Pretty much what my thoughts on it were, although I am also surprised that he didn't mention the recycling areas more... That's honestly what pushed the game over in to 'unplayable' for me.

Edit: I'm also surprised he didn't mention how shallow all the characters felt... But, that might just be my opinion. I haven't fully decided on that one yet, although I can definitely back up my claim. *shrug*

I went with "Sparrow" (yay rubbish humour).

I did annoy me despite the many flaws Dragon Age 2 had, I did actually enjoy it and felt fully submerged.
Shame I can't bring myself to play it a second time. I got as far as landing in Kirkwall and felt "cba".

On the plus side, the city was pwretty and the music was great. The writing was awsome. Just everything was a bit meh.

I did like the story. But perhaps it didn't fit in an RPG setting. It was too political and too much auto-biographic.

I too also boned the gay mage.

An explanation for the out of place odd narrative; is Dragon Age 2 establishing a story for the other main character in the third where the Champion of Kirkwall and the Grey Warden Commander hold hands as they hop and skip through the flower meadows of corpses because Thedas has gone to shit?

I gotta disagree with Yahtzee here, but I've done that before, so no biggie. While undeniably a second game (with another to follow) I thought that Dragon Age 2's approach (a rags to riches story) was an interesting place to take the genre.

Not a very funny review, either. Other than his first Mass Effect review, I often get the impression that Yahtzee doesn't know what to do with Bioware games, They just don't inspire him to his best stuff, whether he likes or dislikes the game.

i thought this was funny but i still like DA 2

I agree with you, Yahtzee.
I mean, I haven't played the game, but I'll take your word for it, so maybe that will piss off some fans.

I was gay with Anders too!

I HAVE SOMETHING IN COMMON WITH YAHTZEE! WOOOOOOO!!!

There a hum in the background that turns on and off...fix that shit! :)

nichiyobi:
i thought this was funny but i still like DA 2

Me too. Yahtzee hates on games I love all the time, but his criticisms still make me laugh. Especially the part about Leandra's tits. They look like a play-boy bunny's.

Glad I didn't buy the game. They'll need to do a lot better to make me buy the series again.

TotalHobNob:
I went with "Mike Hawke" for my characters name. That never got old for me. I did it with rouge chick.

Hahaha, not bad.

I actually find it funny that some people really take Yathzee's reviews so seriously that they would decide what games to buy on his opinions. They have sometimes some comedic value, but that's it.

Oh.. and I remember how Yatzhee complained on DAO about having cliched fantasy story and setting. Now he complains that DA2 doesn't have cliched fantasy story and setting. I personally enjoyed the story because it was different and even felt unique for the genre.

Myf:
My biggest regrett about DA2 is that I bought it for a SHITLOAD of money!

And halfway through the game I felt a sudden urge to play DA1... The real dragon age!

rsvp42:

De Ronneman:
I've heard mixed things too, so a quick question:

Whose opinion is more on the money, camp "storyless loading-fest" or "epic introduction to something even greater than LotR"?

Somewhere in between. I'm playing it on PC, so I can't speak on the loading times (which have been great for me), but "storyless" is completely off base. The story drives every mission in the game, but you're basically playing through episodes of this guy's life, not a quest to kill a big, bad demon. It's really about seeing how companion stories play out and choosing how to shape your character within all the different events.

As a result, it loses some of the "epic" quality, but it's still a fun game and a welcome chance to experience more of the Dragon Age lore. The conflict between mages and the chantry is really at the forefront here.

What lore? DA2 has you in Kirkwall the entire freaking game. Exploration and DA2 in the same sentence is an oxymoron.

I've been replaying my mage and the second playthrough i've noticed just how very lazy the dev team was with lore and the world.

Darkspawn emissaries have the same model as arcane horrors, all the darkspawn are hurlocks and they all look like the same power rangers villian.
Like seriously they couldn't even add in some genlocks or shriekers?.

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