Dragon Age

Dragon Age: Origins
Released in 2009 by Bioware, I haven’t had the chance to play this game, my HP Compact laptop was too lame to be able to support it. However, to play Dragon Age 2, I had try out DA: Origins first.
So, I chose a human mage, and found myself in Ferelden. And unwittingly caught up with some darkspawn. To save my own life, I had to become a Grey Warden. I suppose that was not the fun part, drinking darkspawn blood *shudders*
The goal is pretty straightforward- group all forces to defeat the darkspawn, kill the Archdemon and viola! we win~ Along the way I picked up Alistair, Leliana, Morrigan and a few more characters.

Depending on the decisions you made and the Friendship and Rivalry between you and your characters, some interesting development might happen. Don’t forget persuasion, and survival skills, even though they seem unimportant they actually make life a lot easier.

Beware though, some DLC made some locations cannot be accessed, it is a glitch, all I did was reinstall the DLC and it went fine.
And what you do in this game affects what happens in Dragon age 2, only a little.

Dragon Age 2
With DA2, the story begins with you, Hawke, running away from some darkspawns, and along the way you picked up 2 Templars, Aveline and Ser Wesley. By the way, the choice you get is mage, warrior or rouge and you would be human.
And with DA2, the graphics are definitely better and the game play is slightly different. Unfortunately I have to say I prefer the game play of Origins better.

Battling dragons has never been this hard, thank God for the Pause!
You have less choice in weapons and armors, they are mostly character specific and very annoying.
Friendship and Rivalry plays a prominent part in this game as well, if you want a good ending try to be friends with everyone.

Depending on your decisions in Origins, you might find some interesting side quests and characters that might appear. This made me want to go back to play Origins just to see what the differences are, but it’s too hard.

So I prefer Dragon Age: Origins to DA2, mainly because the gameplay is must simpler and the story is just easier to finish. Being a person with a minor obsessive issue, I simply had to finish all the side quests, like tick all the quests boxes before I move on, you can’t imagine how annoying it was to begin with.
The maps are nicer in DA2, having just to click on where you want to go, and the less ambush. But hell, just to get from Point A to Point B in the place takes too long!

What do I think about Dragon age?
It is my first decision making RPG that I played, mostly I prefer action RPG where the decisions I make rarely makes a difference. I find that I often wonder what would have happened if I decided A instead of B or C instead of D, but when I read the walk-through I realized that the difference wasn’t big, unless you count friendship and rivalry. So I just find it worth to play once, just to know the story and have a bit of fun.

Bastion

Bastion was released on 26 August 2011. Having a fan of RPG I had to try this game, simply because the world was created around you when you step on it, and continuously disappearing or reappearing as you walk pass.

The graphics were all right, but the narrative was fun. I haven’t had many games with funny narratives that relates to what you are doing. And of course the side quests are fun & frustrating- it’s easy to get third prize~ but first prize- a new skill, is so much harder to get. But trust me it is worth it.

And the music was great too, overall I love the fact that the story is unique but sensible. Having played Final Fantasy, I could safely say I understand Bastion’s storyline.

Did I mention the Narrator, Ruck? He has a sexy voice, and it is not boring like “He killed the Cerebus.” it was more like, “The Kid should watch where he was going,” or “The Kid just rages for a while.”

A narration that relates to your character’s action is rare indeed, I had fun trying to get Ruck to say something different. Basically, you would wake up as The Kid, and you would be given the Cael Hammer to bust your way through walls and monsters. Along the way they are more weapons to pick up, more of the story unfolds as you find yourself landing on The Bastion.

So your new task is to collect the Core, which revives the Monument, allowing you to build some buildings that would go into Arsenal, Distillery, Memorial, Lost and Found, The Shrine, The Forge.

Distillery- allows potions that increases stats or special effects such as Lifewards, increased health etc
Arsenal- place to stock up on health and black tonic and change of weapons
Memorial- Vigils that allows you to have extra spirit points ($) for upgrades and purchases.
Lost and Found- A shop of sorts
The Shrine- has Idols/ Gods that you would worship to increase the difficulty of the game by making the enemies harder to kill
The Forge- weapon upgrades

Along the way, you would meet 2 more characters (not including Ruck, the narrator) and here the story gets a little bit more interesting. Sad to say, the story does not just ends with collecting the Core.

If you find it too easy, there’s a way to make it harder: just build a Shrine and make an offering to an Idol, who would actually make your enemies harder to kill. It’s strange~ but it is so much more fun. You have to collect or buy the idols to worship, and sad to say my collection wasn’t complete.

Here is the list:
Hense (Goddess of Pain and Pleasure)
Acobi (Goddess of Oath and Abandon)
Lemaign (God of Hope and Despair)
Pyth (God of Commotion and Order)
Jevel (God of Health and Atrophy)
Yudrig (God of Impulse and Bravery)
Roathus (God of Thirst and Plenty)
Micia (Goddess of Loss and Longing)
Olak (God of Chance and Whim)
Garmuth (God of Purpose and Folly)

And to practice with your weapons, the Proving Grounds are a good place to get used to using the weapons well. If you succeed, special skills are usually the reward.

In the PC version, I had a go at both keyboard & mouse (have to, or else it’s shitty to aim) and the Xbox controller. I must say that the Xbox controller is much easier to play with after you are used to the buttons. Both are good ways to play I would say. For someone who doesn’t play a lot I really enjoyed this game, seeing that you can just quit after a quest and return to it later.

The storyline is fairy interesting and I quite like that it does not drag on. And I am playing it the second time, with hopes that I can get first prize in all of the Proving Grounds.

Here’s a review for Bastion on Good Game.

Vampires, Anyone?

Now everyone is familiar with Trueblood, Vampire Diaries and Twilight; but how about Anita Blake?
Laurell K Hamilton is the author of this gruesome yet sexy series of Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Novel.

Currently I am trying to finish Danse Macabre, since I am not reading this in sequence, some of the characters are lost to me. But the story is pretty straightforward, and a little exaggerated. So Anita Blake: Christian, Federal Marshall for Supernatural Beings, Human Servant to a Vampire and is trying to juggle everything at once.

It is amazing how Hamilton manage not to get her killed, only mauled, eaten in chunks, bled etc etc. It’s more like S&M than a typical vamp story. Trueblood series, or sookie Stackhouse series does not even come close.

Yes, both have vampires, weres and other supes; although Hamilton has more weird mythical creatures, and Harris has Fae and shape shifters. But both are good in their own way.
Too bad if you read Sookie Stackhouse out of sequence, you’d be lost.

Well, if you are reading Hamilton, you’d probably want to know that this book is quite interesting. It started off with Anita wondering if she is pregnant. Doesn’t that leave you wondering who’s the father? Jean- Claude’s party is just starting to get more interesting…

Danse Macabre (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Book 14)