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Default Dragon Age 2 - What Went Wrong @ RPS

March 31st, 2011, 23:58
John Walker has written a lengthy piece titled Thoughts: What Went Wrong in Dragon Age II in lieu of a standard review. John goes to pains to point out DA2 isn't a bad game and some of the hysterical reactions are over the top - but nevertheless, he was disappointed with the game:
The trouble is, each time the game jumps forward three years, any sense of having connected to anything thatís going on is torn from you. Suddenly youíre not who you were before, with the seemingly interesting bits happening while we were off watching an animated cutscene. Oh, Iíve got my own place now? Iím rich now? Then how come I have the same amount of gold as before, the same equipment, and so on? Oh, Iím the Champion now? That little fight was enough? Really?
(The most hilariously daft aspect of these three year comas must be the man queuing up to see the Viscount, who moans every time you walk past him that heís been waiting all day. ďFor six years!Ē I would helpfully tell him as he repeated his only line deep into the game.)
And the city doesnít change in any interesting way. Sure, the Qunari (the oversees race who seem to be in town to cause some sort of trouble) eventually are gone, so that bitís closed off, or whatever. But the same people mill in the same places, the same merchants stand at the same stalls, the same buildings stand in the same places. Itís a conceit that the game seems entirely unwilling to deliver on in any imaginative way.
In other news, IGN has a very short bit with with DA2 developers selecting a couple of their favourite humorous dialogue quotes from the game.
More information.
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March 31st, 2011, 23:58
Good points. It feels like some real opportunities were missed with the time-jumps. I'm ok with being torn away from what I knew and thrown into something new, but I want more supporting evidence, so to speak. It required more suspension of disbelief and squinting my eyes to make it all look better than it really had to.
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April 1st, 2011, 01:00
A long time span is potentially a great way to show off actual consequences to your actions, the way it was used however was just so that they could recycle the locations.
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April 1st, 2011, 06:04
Pretty much the best summary on the internet with the Worthplaying review right behind it. Good points all around and well described.
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April 1st, 2011, 08:57
Not as articulately hard hitting as VD's review, but an honest exploration of the game's shortcomings nonetheless. Well worth the read. I haven't read any of the comments, but they appear to continue for a good deal of time down the page…

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April 1st, 2011, 13:26
Since were talking about dragonage 2 here is a link with a humorous review. Made me laugh all the way through it.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/vide…-Dragon-Age-II

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April 1st, 2011, 13:35
Save some virtual space and call your article: "What Went Right"
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April 1st, 2011, 13:55
Originally Posted by Pessimeister View Post
I haven't read any of the comments, but they appear to continue for a good deal of time down the pageÖ
Not the usual war this time but still the standard 50:50 / binary mixed bag. Loved story, hated story, loved combat, hated combat, loved companions, hated companions.

Funny thing is, it's probably not too relevant now - most people either got this in the first two weeks on their console, or are waiting for it to go GOTY at $19.99 including DLC.

And BioWare have already said that there will be no 180 degree design change in DA3 (Gamespot interview 25/3), so whining about waves, thin air spawns, anime art, zany emo teen plot etc is utterly futile.
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April 1st, 2011, 14:00
It pretty much sums up why I disliked DA2.
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April 1st, 2011, 14:26
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Since were talking about dragonage 2 here is a link with a humorous review. Made me laugh all the way through it.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/vide…-Dragon-Age-II
A little bit of meta-irony is that this is on the same site that gave the game the (only?) 100% review….
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April 1st, 2011, 15:06
Originally Posted by Gaxkang View Post
Funny thing is, it's probably not too relevant now - most people either got this in the first two weeks on their console, or are waiting for it to go GOTY at $19.99 including DLC.
Spot on. A practical example showing that voting with money does not work. Either these consumers have already paid and their money is already in Bioware's coffers or they will buy the game at a price reflecting more its gaming value but in one year or so. In both cases, their critics are irrelevant.

And it will be repeated for DA 3 as players wanted DA 2 to be good when they bought it. DA 3 might be very good game, no matter how poor DA 2 was. The idea of punishing Bioware for DA 2 by not buying DA 3 is unpractical.

Once again, it shows that money model of supporting a company with the money can not work. Once a product is sold, money is pocketed and opinions of players on the game they bought is irrelevant.
Players withstanding their money for the next product might punish themselves as the next game might be good.
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April 1st, 2011, 15:47
Originally Posted by Gaxkang View Post
Funny thing is, it's probably not too relevant now - most people either got this in the first two weeks on their console, or are waiting for it to go GOTY at $19.99 including DLC.
Well in my case while I enjoyed DA:O, I was apprehensive about the change in direction for DA2, so didn't pre-order. Then I tried the demo and that convinced me I wouldn't buy straight away. Then I read the reviews and that convinced me I wouldn't buy unless the price was very significantly cut.

So they've lost my gaming dollar. If other people are likewise not playing the game due to its failings then the revenue will be down, and they'll know to improve. Alternatively I'm in the minority, and I'll have to compensate with my purchasing power - if you make a game that I like I'll have to spend more on it to equal the spending power of more people who like games I don't like. Hence why I'll spend more on CE's of games I want to see more of, or even buy multiple copies (usually for other people who I think should try the game, but not always, as for The Witcher).
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April 1st, 2011, 16:13
I never stopped caring about either Hawke or my companions the way the author describes, but other than that I mostly agree.

The biggest issue is not being able to affect any major events.
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April 1st, 2011, 17:08
Originally Posted by kalniel View Post

If other people are likewise not playing the game due to its failings then the revenue will be down, and they'll know to improve. .
Not buying. Playing it is irrelevant to Bioware revenues.

What might be influenced: quality of the soon to come DLCs. If Bioware follow the path of ME with Arrival and all, that will be another cause for withstanding until the special edition version of the game.

I never stopped caring about either Hawke or my companions the way the author describes, but other than that I mostly agree.
From what I understood, the author did not care about knowing what happened to the companions after the end of the story.
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April 1st, 2011, 18:19
That's one of the best reasoned autopsies of DA2 that I've read, and manages to explain what I've struggled to put into words, as to why I feel so disconnected from the game and the characters within.
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April 1st, 2011, 19:18
One could argue that the non-changing of the city is actually prt of Varric's story … (aka "framed narrative", THE buzzword of Dragon Age 2 ! - next to the infamous "awesome button").

ď Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius Ė and a lot of courage Ė to move in the opposite direction.ď (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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April 1st, 2011, 20:20
I found it weird that after listing so many bad points in DA 2 and possibly having more to say, the guy still opened his article with stating he thinks DA 2 is still a good game. As if it was required to avoid being flamed… I am curious of reading an article of his on a bad game.
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April 1st, 2011, 20:49
I think this article speaks to the state of the genre. After listing flaw after flaw its still considered a good game. This genre is in trouble, mainly party based rpg's.
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April 1st, 2011, 21:00
Have you read this review about Arcania http://www.rpgwatch.com/show/article…5&ref=0&id=280 Chien? I would suggest that something similar can be said about DA2. On it's own it's not a bad game for a casual player but, compared to DA:O, it's a step backwards. Just my opinion of course.
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April 1st, 2011, 22:34
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
Spot on. A practical example showing that voting with money does not work. Either these consumers have already paid and their money is already in Bioware's coffers or they will buy the game at a price reflecting more its gaming value but in one year or so. In both cases, their critics are irrelevant…
I don't think it's right, it's not one review that make the hit but a sum, plus a sum of very negative reactions from players.

In my country the hit on DA2 sales has been totally huge but don't forget my country rate the review about 30% lower, ie the average of reviews are around 14/15 which is very low.

Yes I don't know the numbers but in some of the hugest shop company of the country the game is severely on sale, and there's still ton of box signature edition still on shelves and at a price like the standard price for the digital version. That's a big hint, almost proof that DA2 sells had been awful in my country.
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