Hey Destructoid community. What follows is a short email to a friend regarding Jim Sterling’s Dragon Age Origins review. After spending a good portion of the 9 o’clock hour at my job on this rebuttal, I felt like it was just good enough to post up on the community blog. The comments in parentheses are more of a commentary that has been added after the fact.
Having put a real decent amount of time into Dragon Age, I went back to re-read
Jim Sterling's review.
While I would say some of his complaints are valid enough, the long
short of it is that he played through the game on console, which seems
like a pretty rudimentary mistake. When he was given the option to
play a game that you know is an update of older PC RPGs, simply put,
he should just know better. Clearly this game was meant for mouse and
keyboard controls. To think otherwise would seemingly get old
incredibly fast, as the game challenges the player with some nice
chaotic micromanagement. Having just been given a party of four
characters, I suppose I have not encountered some of the hardships he
was complaining about. (Just to point out, he praises the first 15 hours of the game. A part that I am just now nearing the end of) However, finding things like possibly getting a
war-hound to take into battle with me, (Thanks for ruining that one, box art!) I find myself just so enthralled with the game. The good solidly outweighs the negative points that he mentioned. As far as RPGs on PC go, I would consider this game to be one of the best since the original Knights of the Old Republic. (I have not played the Witcher, yet…)
Yes the difficulty spikes here and there, but that is just a demand
for better tactical prowess. For instance, there was a part when I
was playing last where there was an ambush on my two characters by a
squad of 6-7 skeletons. They killed me a handful of times, before I
managed to best them through the use of cleverly placed spells.
Sterling viewed this as an unfair spike, but I really welcome a
challenge in an RPG. Having just played through FF7 again, there is little to no
challenge in that game until the very end when you are fighting the
optional gigantic bosses. The rest of the game is just a walk in the
park. (Prove me wrong, FF13! Yes, I realize that 12 had a more balanced amount of challenge) It is nice to be challenged to succeed from the very beginning of a game. This is largely the same appeal with Demon's Souls. (Which I own and is sitting on the shelf unplayed… Damn full time job!)
For now, Dragon Age is like candy. Its fantasy world is super
creative, it is uber violent (Good God, the blood!), and the production values I have
encountered are through the roof (We all float down here!!!). Additionally, my PC has no problems at all running the game.
In conclusion, it is not that I completely disagree with Jim's
critique. This is largely because the console versions would be a pain to
manage, and with no real surprise. In the end, he rated it a 7.5 and
recommended to the readers to buy the game (Good show Jim, good show). However I hope he recognizes the need to pick up a game on the console that allows
itself the most ease of use (Goes for all of yas!). Games like the RTS genre and this sort
of RPG will play better 100% of the time on a PC. Even a game making
powerhouse like Bioware can't change that broad opinion.
And there you have it. One gamer’s opinion now being thrown to the masses. What do you all think? Think I’m way off? All I know is that I’d rather debate video games than be at work right now? Who’s with me!!!