An Impromptu Witcher Lets Play - now with the Witcher 2!

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Because it seems to be amusing, I'm doing a sort of impromptu Let's Play as I play through the game. This is in addition to the discussion topics above - and in fact continues to address certain points like my changing view of Geralt (Low Fantasy Mr. Bean that he is).

Skip to:
Chapter 1: And Abigale is dead again.
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Chapter 2: My Kingdom for a Fast Travel System!
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Chapter 3: What the hell, Witcher writers?! Or: Won't anyone buy these Salamander badges?
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Chapter 4: Let's talk about MURDER!!!!!
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Chapter 5: Fire. Water. Burn. Or, What do you mean I can't access my storage?!
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Epilogue: Winter is Coming
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Extra Adventure Packs:

Damn those Swamps (aka Blight of the Bogs)
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The Price of Neutrality
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Side Effects
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The Witcher 2:

Prologue: Oh, look, a dra - HOLY SHIT I'M ON FIRE!
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Chapter 1: Release the Kraken!
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Chapter 2: WTF?! Again, Witcher Writers?! Or: Say it with me now: "Lesbomancy"
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Chapter 3 and Epilogue: Hello again Dragon. I'm now immune to Fire. BRING IT!
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Chapter 3 End and Epilogue version 2:
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Rose Reviews: The Last Wish
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Rose Reviews: The Blood of Elves
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Rose Reviews: Times of Contempt
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Rose Reviews: Baptism of Fire
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Rose Reviews: The Tower of the Swallow
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Rose Reviews: The Lady of the Lake
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The original OP, for Archival purposes:
Damn you Good Old Games! You went and did it. You tempted me and I made the purchase, but I resisted your lure for months until... today.
When I installed the Witcher.
I wasn't going to play that game. I had reasons. And then you sold it to me for a dollar a few months ago and I couldn't say no to a 1 dollar game.
And now, as I looked through my GOG account for something new to play, there it was... sitting there, tempting me.
So, fellow Escapists... it is official. I am playing the Witcher.

Discussion Value: A two-fer!
1) Any advice for a first time Witcher player? Things to do? Avoid? Funny stories about your first time?
2) Discussion (or stories) about times when Good Old Games or Steam has had a sale and you bought a game you didn't want to play just because it was cheap (and then ended up playing it).

Bara_no_Hime:
Damn you Good Old Games! You went and did it. You tempted me and I made the purchase, but I resisted your lure for months until... today.

When I installed the Witcher.

I wasn't going to play that game. I had reasons. And then you sold it to me for a dollar a few months ago and I couldn't say no to a 1 dollar game.

And now, as I looked through my GOG account for something new to play, there it was... sitting there, tempting me.

So, fellow Escapists... it is official. I am playing the Witcher.

Discussion Value: A two-fer!

1) Any advice for a first time Witcher player? Things to do? Avoid? Funny stories about your first time?

2) Discussion (or stories) about times when Good Old Games or Steam has had a sale and you bought a game you didn't want to play just because it was cheap (and then ended up playing it).

Also, if there's interest, I will post updates about my playthrough of the Witcher.

Curious to know what you make of the entirely appalling collectible cards the first time you encounter them.

I enjoyed elements of The Witcher, and saw what they were going for, but I found the bad voice acting, writing and mechanics kept pulling me out of the experience. This is one of those series where the sequel improved on the original in almost every conceivable way.

What a coincidence, I recently continued my Witcher game from where I was stuck. What were your reasons for not playing it?

1) Can't really say, but groups of enemies can get overwhelming quickly. Just a few can be handled with strong or fast style, but any more than that and you'll need to switch to group style, or at worst, run away.

Potion-making can seem daunting at times but it is useful.

2) I won't buy a game I definitely don't want to play even if it's 75% off. But if I'm on the fence, sure, I will give into the temptation. Case in point, Civ V + Gods and Kings. And I was pleasantly surprised.

Back to The Witcher, it has a beautifully crafted atmosphere, but it is shoddily made. I'm playing it for the story and adventure, not the mediocre NPCs and repetitive combat.

BloatedGuppy:
Curious to know what you make of the entirely appalling collectible cards the first time you encounter them.

Oh, I'm already familiar with those. After watching Yahtzee's original review of the Witcher, I googled them.

That was actually one reason I didn't want to play the Witcher. Hence my "damn you!" to GoG for selling it to me for a dollar.

BloatedGuppy:
I enjoyed elements of The Witcher, and saw what they were going for, but I found the bad voice acting, writing and mechanics kept pulling me out of the experience. This is one of those series where the sequel improved on the original in almost every conceivable way.

Hm. Well, the Witcher 2 wasn't a dollar, so I guess I won't get to check that out until... it also costs a dollar.

**dramatic look at Good Old Games**

Oh, phew. It's still 20 bucks. I'm safe.

... for now.

MammothBlade:
**snip**

But it was 90% off!

Thief Collection. Only 6 dollars for three games. People tell my they're classics....Oh but I'm not really interested...Uuuuurgh but Yahtzee says they're good. No, no I don't want it....YES I DO! Picked it up and I'm actually really enjoying them! Anyways I haven't played Witcher 1 so I don't know how it compares to Witcher 2, but if they're equal in quality you'll get a great story and some decent, but frustrating combat. Have fun :P

Bara_no_Hime:
Hm. Well, the Witcher 2 wasn't a dollar, so I guess I won't get to check that out until... it also costs a dollar.

**dramatic look at Good Old Games**

Oh, phew. It's still 20 bucks. I'm safe.

... for now.

Even if you find the original not to your tastes, don't pass up an opportunity to try the sequel. It has its share of detractors (Zhukov, I am looking in your direction) but it really was one of the best RPGs of recent years. CDProjekt seem poised to pick up where Bioware left off in terms of focused, story-driven RPGs.

BloatedGuppy:

Bara_no_Hime:
Hm. Well, the Witcher 2 wasn't a dollar, so I guess I won't get to check that out until... it also costs a dollar.

**dramatic look at Good Old Games**

Oh, phew. It's still 20 bucks. I'm safe.

... for now.

Even if you find the original not to your tastes, don't pass up an opportunity to try the sequel. It has its share of detractors (Zhukov, I am looking in your direction) but it really was one of the best RPGs of recent years. CDProjekt seem poised to pick up where Bioware left off in terms of focused, story-driven RPGs.

Exactly. I intend on playing The Witcher 2 after I finish the first, though for those who aren't so tolerant of such flaws, it's best to skip to the sequel anyway.

If you like The Witcher 1... The Witcher 2 is 4 times as good. Still the gameplay in both games is kinda sucky and unbalanced. But not so much it's game breaking.

BloatedGuppy:
Even if you find the original not to your tastes, don't pass up an opportunity to try the sequel. It has its share of detractors (Zhukov, I am looking in your direction) but it really was one of the best RPGs of recent years. CDProjekt seem poised to pick up where Bioware left off in terms of focused, story-driven RPGs.

Joking aside, it really will depend on the price point. I bought the Witcher fully expecting to not like it (but, for a dollar, it's hardly a risk).

However, I am keeping one thing in mind. When Yahtzee says an RPG is "dull" - about 50% of the time, I love it. I figured, for a 50% chance at actually liking it, this was a pretty good chance to take. Even if my distaste over other issues reduces the chance to something more like 20%.

If the game surprises me, I might increase my price point for the Witcher 2. If not - I'm not actually sure my computer could handle the Wither 2's specs. It actually makes the most sense to wait for either a massive sale like before or until I get a new computer in a year or two.

The Witcher 1 is awful. Genuinely one of the worst games I've ever played.
Second one is better though. Combat is nice but gets really imbalanced towards the player's advantage at the end. Story's fairly interesting, characters are decent but animate with the Bioware Glare.

As for the questions... well, I wasn't planning on getting Bioshock Infinite at launch, but then GmG did 23 for it and 3 extra games. Now how could I say no?
Good thing too, it's pretty excellent.

The Witcher is probably my favourite game. I found no problems with the voice acting or writing that other people seem to be critical about. The game makes you think long and hard about some of the choices since they're not black and white and there's no bullshit morality system.

I don't get the hubbub about the sex cards. Other games you blow guys heads off or other wanton cruelty, and even get achievements for it, but they get a sex card and it's appalling.

hazabaza1:
As for the questions... well, I wasn't planning on getting Bioshock Infinite at launch, but then GmG did 23 for it and 3 extra games. Now how could I say no?
Good thing too, it's pretty excellent.

Ah! That's awesome. And I'm glad to hear you're enjoying Bioshock Infinite. I think it will be on my summer games list.

As to the Witcher, so far I'm not very far in yet. I just got the "make a potions for Triss" quest which is my very first quest after resting for the very first time.

Thoughts so far: I don't like the Fast, Strong, and Group style thing. Not that there are styles, or the level up options for them - the having to manually switch between them. So far the enemies who need the different styles all look very similar, so it's hard to tell which to use until I'm already into the battle. Do I keep missing? Probably time to try a different style.

Also, Triss has very strange ideas about clothing. Which brings me to...

porous_shield:
I don't get the hubbub about the sex cards. Other games you blow guys heads off or other wanton cruelty, and even get achievements for it, but they get a sex card and it's appalling.

Probably because it reduces women to objects to be collected. This isn't just figurative objectification - you actually get objects (cards) to collect.

I've got nothing against sex in games - I think more games should includes sex (and if they did, maybe people would get better at writing sex scenes in games). It's the card collection that makes is very icky.

Actually, I was thinking (what with all the talk of female protagonists) that I'd love to see the people who made the Witcher make a game with a female protagonist (the Witch, perhaps?). They could go ahead and make her bi so she could have sex with both male and female characters. That way the uncomfortable male players could stick with lesbian sex if they chose, and other players could choose whomever they wanted to get frisky with.

Update: Well, I saved Triss. And, as a reward, I got a sex scene. Apparently she and Geralt were a couple (or something) before his amnesia.

Also, got my first dirty playing card. The sex scene was very weird. It was like something out of Mass Effect 2 or 3 - PG13, mostly implied, and then BAM playing card for no reason.

Was this just so they could get some boobs in the game? I thought the Witcher had a reputation for having fully graphic sex scenes in it?

Anywho, apparently the sex was epic enough to level Geralt up. And then I was off to my first questing area where I fought some green dogs to save... a woman... except she wasn't around after the battle, so I have no idea if I actually saved her or not. Two guards died because the dogs couldn't decide if they wanted to gang up on me or attack other random people (making it weirdly difficult to get combos). Oh, and yes, I was using the axe I found while getting Triss's potion.

So woman I may or may not have saved aside, I met another woman who I'm guessing I'll soon have a playing card of. She kind of reminded me of Leilana (visually anyway) from Dragon Age, but with a less silly accent. And in this game, that's saying something.

And then I picked up a bunch of 'collect skulls' quests and got yelled at by an inn keeper. Also, I can't quite figure out where the rest of the town is. I guess maybe that will be easier to figure out come the morning?

The in-game morning, I mean.

Anyway, stopped to get some food and get ready for work. I'll pick this up later tonight, perhaps.

Again - any advice before I go wandering about this town? I'll check this thread before I continue playing, so if you've got some tips (or things not to be missed that I should go do) let me know.

Bara_no_Hime:
Was this just so they could get some boobs in the game? I thought the Witcher had a reputation for having fully graphic sex scenes in it?

That's The Witcher 2. Pretty much all the sex scenes in the first game are like that.

ScrabbitRabbit:
That's The Witcher 2. Pretty much all the sex scenes in the first game are like that.

Well balls. That's disappointing. So not only is the card thing sexist, it's also incredibly lame.

....

What are the system requirements for the Witcher 2 again? (just kidding... although I am honestly curious about those system reqs)

Bara_no_Hime:

Well balls. That's disappointing. So not only is the card thing sexist, it's also incredibly lame.

....

What are the system requirements for the Witcher 2 again? (just kidding... although I am honestly curious about those system reqs)

Pretty much! It's a very uncomfortable feature.

The recommended requirements for TW2 are:

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 1 GB or ATi Radeon HD 4850 1 GB

Intel or AMD quad-core

3 GB RAM (4 GB for Vista and 7)

Since listed requirements can be quite unhelpful sometimes, here's how it runs for me:

I have a Core i5 2500k and a GTX 550Ti (which is about as powerful as a 260 but with DX11 functionality) and the game runs at good framerates on decent settings. I can max out the textures and have sun shafts at 1080p and run the game at a 60FPS, though some of the more demanding scenes cause drops. The depth of field and bloom options can hurt my framerate quite badly if I turn them up high, but I don't think they add all that much to the game's visuals. If I have them set to low, I'm usually fine. On the high preset I get sub-30 framerates in some sections, but I normally only need to turn down the aforementioned DOF settings to get good framerates.

I reckon you could get away with using a weaker card than mine as long as you're willing to turn some settings down. On low settings, it's not particularly demanding, the game scales quite well.

One irritating thing about the game, though, is that you have the quit in order to change your settings. Or you did when I played it, at least.

ScrabbitRabbit:
The recommended requirements for TW2 are:
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 1 GB or ATi Radeon HD 4850 1 GB

Intel or AMD quad-core

3 GB RAM (4 GB for Vista and 7)

Well, I have exactly 4 GB and Win 7, and an Core i3 quad core, so those are both fine.

As for graphics card... I can't remember. ^^;; I went to the device list, but I couldn't find the graphics card. I know there's one in here somewhere. I have an HD capable computer... so... probably something equivalent? Perhaps I should note - it's a laptop. I have a USB fan for playing games because my heat sink sucks. And I usually go to medium-to-low graphics settings because A) I don't care and B) less heat.

ScrabbitRabbit:
I reckon you could get away with using a weaker card than mine as long as you're willing to turn some settings down. On low settings, it's not particularly demanding, the game scales quite well.
One irritating thing about the game, though, is that you have the quit in order to change your settings. Or you did when I played it, at least.

All the way out, or to the main menu?

It's a moot point until it goes on sale, but it's nice to know that I might be able to play it on my current system.

Bara_no_Hime:
So woman I may or may not have saved aside, I met another woman who I'm guessing I'll soon have a playing card of. She kind of reminded me of Leilana (visually anyway) from Dragon Age, but with a less silly accent. And in this game, that's saying something.

The voice acting in the first Witcher game is woeful, and Geralt himself is one of the worst offenders. The dubious translation quality doesn't help either. It's not the worst voice acted game in recent memory (that honor would probably go to the original Guild Wars) but it's pretty goddam bad. The second game cleans it up significantly. Geralt still has the same droning, cheesy "noir" delivery but it's improved enough that it's almost charmingly stupid, instead of distractingly stupid.

Protip: If you aren't fighting a boss, or a strong enemy, just keep doing the spin attack. Just over and over and over.

Also I ended up really liking the game in spite of it's rather stupid everything. More than the sum of it's parts they say. Some of the later monsters actually creeped me out a lot and I had some trouble figuring out where I was supposed to go at points, but overall, it was a pretty good game in terms of setting, character (dandelion is the best), originality, etc. Just not really good gameplay. Or fancy shiny graphics and sounds.

oh the Witcher. I've so many thoughts on that game. For a buck? Totally worth it.
The playing cards are just a little creepy, maybe moreso because they were merely censored for the U.S release. Imagine. We're fine treating relationships as disposable pleasure (Geralt seems to with most), but the first sight of bare bosoms throws the censors into a tizzy. Still, if you can look past that there's a lot in the game.

My advice would be mostly to ignore the Witchery side quests. The story's actually quite compelling, and a lot of the mini arcs have their own pile of twists and turns. Not everything you're told should be taken at face value. Which makes the odd character animations and Geralt's bored voice actor stand out more than they should. Really think before you pick a side though. There are some fun consequences for it.

As to funny moments? I bought the game before they updated the voice acting and tweaked the translation, which left me with this gem.

Zoltan: "Geralt? How have you been? Haven't seen you in ages".

Geralt: "I've lost my memory"

Zoltan: "Let's have a beer and talk like we used to!"

BloatedGuppy:
The voice acting in the first Witcher game is woeful, and Geralt himself is one of the worst offenders. The dubious translation quality doesn't help either. It's not the worst voice acted game in recent memory (that honor would probably go to the original Guild Wars) but it's pretty goddam bad. The second game cleans it up significantly. Geralt still has the same droning, cheesy "noir" delivery but it's improved enough that it's almost charmingly stupid, instead of distractingly stupid.

Actually, I was thinking about this on my drive to work (I'm at work now).

Geralt reminds me of Mr. Bean.

A low fantasy sword-mage Mr. Bean, but yeah. One thing I did like was that Triss clearly seduced HIM. I got the impression that Geralt was supposed to be this "lady killer" seducer, but instead he seems kinda dopy.

Geralt: "Um, I'm glad you're okay Triss. You seem nice."
Triss: "Geralt... fuck me. Now."
Geralt: "Um... okay."

It didn't really hit me until the conversation with the Inn Keeper. He says "we don't serve your type" and Geralt just stands there looking dopy and like he might have forgotten why he was there. The inn keeper is inexplicably intimidated by Geralt's dopy Mr. Bean stare, and suddenly relents. At the time it felt off, but in retrospect it's actually pretty hilarious.

I kind of like the idea that Geralt is brain-damaged and that everyone just remembers the super-bad-ass he used to be and automatically assumes he's still that person, when instead he just goes around doing whatever anyone tells him to.

Maybe Geralt will change later in the game and reclaim himself, but for now, in my eyes, he is Mr. Bean. And I'm strangely okay with that.

norashepard:
Protip: If you aren't fighting a boss, or a strong enemy, just keep doing the spin attack. Just over and over and over.

... spin attack?

You may need to explain how I do that. As I said, I only just reached the first town before I had to save and call it quits until later.

MammothBlade:
Civ V + Gods and Kings.

9 hours in one sitting i played that for the other night :( i uninstalled it never to be installed again :(

The fire sign is considered a game breaker, you don't need to get better swords, the courier quest to someone in Vizima can be lost forever, etc.

Virgilthepagan:
oh the Witcher. I've so many thoughts on that game. For a buck? Totally worth it.
The playing cards are just a little creepy, maybe moreso because they were merely censored for the U.S release. Imagine. We're fine treating relationships as disposable pleasure (Geralt seems to with most), but the first sight of bare bosoms throws the censors into a tizzy. Still, if you can look past that there's a lot in the game.

I'm playing the "Enhanced Edition Director's Cut" from Good Old Games. On the card, Triss had a blanked over her breasts, and a black cat sitting in front of... well, I should think that was obvious. Does that mean I have the censored version?

Also, since you bring it up, does that mean that the Witcher 2 is also censored in the USA?

Virgilthepagan:
My advice would be mostly to ignore the Witchery side quests. The story's actually quite compelling, and a lot of the mini arcs have their own pile of twists and turns. Not everything you're told should be taken at face value. Which makes the odd character animations and Geralt's bored voice actor stand out more than they should. Really think before you pick a side though. There are some fun consequences for it.

Which side quests are the Witchery side quests?

Bara_no_Hime:
Geralt reminds me of Mr. Bean.

Poor Geralt.

Bara_no_Hime:
A low fantasy sword-mage Mr. Bean, but yeah. One thing I did like was that Triss clearly seduced HIM.

Although Witcher got a lot of (deserved) flak for those reprehensible trading cards, it's not really a particularly "sexist" game. The primary female characters tend to positively ooze agency and competence. There are some lamentable damsel in distress moments in the second game, but at no point are the characters ever presented as feeble or incapable, just unlucky.

The sexuality/objectification stuff appears to stem from Eastern Europe's more relaxed attitude towards sex. They continue to feel the furor over it is a result of North American puritanism as opposed to any actual flaw with the games themselves.

BloatedGuppy:

Curious to know what you make of the entirely appalling collectible cards the first time you encounter them.

Perhaps he will understand that what you are referring to isn't a collectible card minigame?

Bara_no_Hime:

norashepard:
Protip: If you aren't fighting a boss, or a strong enemy, just keep doing the spin attack. Just over and over and over.

... spin attack?

You may need to explain how I do that. As I said, I only just reached the first town before I had to save and call it quits until later.

I have no idea how to do it (I played the game literally five years ago), but I seem to remember it's the third attack style? Group style I believe it was called. You might also have to go find a sword used with that style too before you can use it. BUT it is very helpful against practically every group of enemies. Sorry I can't be of more help.

Captcha: Yes, ma'am.
At ease, Captcha.

DarklordKyo:
The fire sign is considered a game breaker, you don't need to get better swords, the courier quest to someone in Vizima can be lost forever, etc.

Agni is the fire sign, correct? I tried to level it up, but apparently I have to find it first. Any suggestion as to where that would be? It looked like a pretty cool spell (it lets you throw your sword, right?).

Well GreenManGaming basically slammed my head into the table until I pre-ordered BioShock Infinite by giving me THREE other games for free and a 30% discount.

So yeah, that happened, and BioShock Infinite kicks ass even though I wanted nothing to do with it!

Bara_no_Hime:
2) Discussion (or stories) about times when Good Old Games or Steam has had a sale and you bought a game you didn't want to play just because it was cheap (and then ended up playing it).

I don't get why this is a thing. Now, a good sale can certainly tip me to buying something I'm on the fence on. Steam's sales get me to gamble on a game I might not buy at full price, but the thing is I've already got some interest and the intent to try it.

I don't get the "it's only a dollar" mentality. Well, if it's a dollar I wouldn't pay, why should I pay it? If it's a dollar on something I want, and it normally cost more, great/ If it's a dollar for something that I might enjoy, also great. But a dollar for something I have no interest in or plans to use?

This makes no sense to me.

I had no real interest in the Tropico series, I just wasn't into the whole run a banana republic thing (that and I'm not fond of that type of game). However, Steam had a sale on the series where it was like five dollars for Tropico 4, so I decided to give it a go. It's actually quite fun.

BloatedGuppy:
Although Witcher got a lot of (deserved) flak for those reprehensible trading cards, it's not really a particularly "sexist" game. The primary female characters tend to positively ooze agency and competence.
The sexuality/objectification stuff appears to stem from Eastern Europe's more relaxed attitude towards sex. They continue to feel the furor over it is a result of North American puritanism as opposed to any actual flaw with the games themselves.

Well, I'm VERY anti-prude, as you well know. I still find the card collecting distasteful. I'd much rather have a full on Rated NC-17 level sex scene. That is honestly less prudish - nudey cards are part of that whole "hiding sex" thing that was popular in the 50s.

RT:
Perhaps he will understand that what you are referring to isn't a collectible card minigame?

She (I'm a woman) is aware. As noted in a post near the top, the card collecting is one reason I've resisted playing this game for so long.

norashepard:
I have no idea how to do it (I played the game literally five years ago), but I seem to remember it's the third attack style? Group style I believe it was called. You might also have to go find a sword used with that style too before you can use it. BUT it is very helpful against practically every group of enemies. Sorry I can't be of more help.

Oh! Group style! Huh... I wonder if that would have helped vs those wolf monsters.

So you're saying I should spam group style when at all possible. Okay, so noted.

Yea, there is a bit of reason to the madness when you understand the way the books were when looking at the strangly in-your-face sex stuff in the game. There was an arguement about it like a month ago, it's kinda just the way the world is in the witcher. Some parts kinda get repetitive in the game coz the art was a little bland, nothing was really eye-popping. Don't let that stuff deter you. The story was really cool and a bit different than other games of the genre and wasn't afraid to touch on some very real issues and is definately worth a playthrough. Tips? Don't forget sword/combat style combonations and what theyre for when fighting stuff and what mutagens are best used in those situations, and also not every fight is to the death, back out and regroup if you have to. Enjoy!

Bara_no_Hime:
Actually, I was thinking (what with all the talk of female protagonists) that I'd love to see the people who made the Witcher make a game with a female protagonist (the Witch, perhaps?). They could go ahead and make her bi so she could have sex with both male and female characters. That way the uncomfortable male players could stick with lesbian sex if they chose, and other players could choose whomever they wanted to get frisky with.

I don't see why they couldn't.
4 or 5 of the books is about a female witcher/enchantress Geralt is raising, so they could probably make a few games about her :p

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