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Community Discussion: Blog by balth | My bi-monthly post: Dragon's Age: Origins the Anti-Jimpression ReviewDestructoid
My bi-monthly post: Dragon's Age: Origins the Anti-Jimpression Review - Destructoid




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About
Anything PS3, PS2, Old-school Mac (Dark Castle FTW).

My name is Mark, and I work in finance.

I am a nerdcore individual, and have done pretty much everything I've ever wanted to do in life. I've owned a comic shop, written for GamePro (one article w00t), traveled the world, played a couple CCGs professionally (and actually made money at it), owned 3 other businesses, romanced the most beautiful women and done it all with friends.

I have a blog over at http://www.gamersledge.com/wordpress where all the friends I pick up over the years like Katamari Damarcy hang out and we discuss nerdgasm things. Always looking for interesting people to join us.

There's a bit left on the old to-do list, but I'm pretty happy at my current job because I'm helping people.

I'd call myself a hardcore gamer; I started with el pong, although I was pretty young when it came out. From there I got a 'tennis' game (i don't think they actually had another name), my folks got me an Intellivision for Christmas and that was it; it was all over. I knew I could never get enough. (I get bonus points from all my friends because I still carry a He-Man intellivision keypad cover given to me by a great friend, in my wallet. The cover, not the friend.)

From there, my folks moved to the Ozarks, in the middle of BFE and Nowhere. I learned about the NES and eventually started stealing games from Wal Mart and Toys R Us, back before they had learned. Eventually I got caught stealing em at a video store, and I never did it again. But I bought a SNES from Wal-Mart my sophomore year in high school. Final Fantasy II made me an addict to RPGs. I returned my SNES to wal-mart in its original box and styrofoam my junior year of college. Because I had the receipt, original box and all styrofoam/equip, they gave me full price LOLz. I used that to buy a PSOne. It was that system that really drew me in and Final Fantasy VII and VIII and the original Persona destroyed any chance of me ever losing the RPG bug. I had a friend from Brazil while I was in college, and he was independently wealthy. Every week we would go and buy a SNES game or computer game and play it together and beat it. We were both great at fighters as well, so in my sophomore year I started doing the competitive circuit around KC, and always walked away with money. I've given up fighters mostly now; Tekken, VF, SC, SNK vs. Capcom2.. I play them for fun now; I don't have the time/energy to try to always win anymore... I won't forget the first time I walked into a Japanese arcade... I got 20-hit juggled with Cervantes. I cleaned up on SNK v. Capcom tho, and Virtua Fighter. I fared on tekken as I did on SC LOL.

Anyways, after college I started travelling for work, and was bringing in big bucks as I was gone all week/every week. I got a DC and every game/peripheral made for the system, in fours. I had a projector that I used for work, and when I was home 1-2 days a week, I'd throw parties like Mario Party as a drinking game, or Bushido Blade while drunk. It was great stuff. I picked up 5 ps2s on launch day, and let my friends buy them from me for cost. I got 2 ps3s on launch day, but 1 got cancelled, so the friend I had promised the other two let me get it. I was afraid I was going to be shot/mugged on the way out to the car with it. But it was awesome.

I am a Rhymes with Bony fanboi through and through, but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate Xbox or Nintendo.

I did a 50-episode podcast on videogame news/reviews at my website http://www.gamersledge.com/rssfeed.xml

I think it was hellafun and good, but scheduling conflicts with my partner and I led to its ultimate demise.

I produced that podcast, and was putting like 4-5 hours a day into it. It was too much with work; I'm beginning to think that a roundtable format with no sfx is a much better idea LOL.

Anyways, my gamertag on the PS3 is balth feel free to add me if you want to play some warhawk or super puzzle fighter hd turbo remix alpha hyper king kamehameha spirit bomb genshiryoku shin reppu shao koken II.

The only thing that really sucks about having moved back to the 'Zarks is that there are not really any educated nerdcore type people here. I have no friends my age here, so online gaming is pretty important to me.

RPGs; Persona 3, Every Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest VIII, Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, Elder Scrolls Oblivion, R:FOM, Warhawk, White Knight Story when it comes out.

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First of all, the goods:



The platform: PC.

I want to preface this by saying I love Jim Sterling. But in this one particular instance, when he reviewed DA:O, he complained about things that were actual SETTINGS (in case and point, just to name one, he could never find quest waypoints. There's an app for that. I mean, setting.)

I bought this for PC because I wanted the isometric view, and did not want the toned-down difficulty. Plus I wanted to be able to access the mod community.



Ok, so I'm officially 62 hours in. If I had to guess, I'd say I'm 80% through the main quest. I'm running out of places to go besides Denerim, but without spoilers, I will say that the Ogrimmar (dwarven city) portion is quite extensive. Also, I found a bug. There is a apparently a memory leak in the program, so if you run it for a very long time, the load times begin to approach 4 minutes. The solution? Save your game, exit out of the program and relaunch. Pretty simple.

I am still enthralled with the story, which is pretty amazing because it IS pretty standard tolkien-esque fare. I think my only real complaint is that I have my core party down (I use Allistaire, Morrigan, myself and another mage.) and with that said... I don't like it when I need to change! I have close to...8 party members and I only use 3 of them nonstop. But I also think that could be a personal thing.

The combat system is flexible enough to allow you to play how you like. Me? I'm a micromanaging bitch. You! Go there and stay the FUCK there! You! move over here and cast cone of cold. You! Sneak around behind those bitches and backstab them until their backs look like an old Tom and Jerry Cartoon, and that darkspawn just drank a pail of water. Only blood.

Blood spatter is... well, it's unintentionally funny; especially when you're trying to have a conversation with a noble and someone's spleen is stuck in your hair.





They keep finding the right mix of tactical combat vs. story for me; it doesn't hurt that there are over a million lines of text to read; and trust me when I say I have read every single codex entry that I have found. Plus it doesn't hurt that you get xp for finding them; but the reading is completely optional. I wouldn't trade it for anything; I really think I have a pretty good feel for 'the world' as it is, because of it.

Re: The DLC:.



Stone Prisoner: It took me an hour-ish to get through, it was an amusing little side-quest. As for the character you receive, he's middle of the road ok to good at best. Once you've played through the fade sequence (in the main game), you'll get all the things you liked about it in an NPC, but toned down. They also have an amusing story about his size, so that's kind of funny. The voice-over work is again, really good, and not at all what I was expecting. (A pissy golem, who wouldathunk it?)



Blood Dragon Armor - I'm level 15 with most of my characters; and I think my tank (Allistaire) has been using this for maybe... 7 levels now? Delicious. It also doesn't hurt that if you has the gold, you can buy multiple copies of it. Also, it will apparently transfer over to Mass Effect 2. Interesting. Plus, it doesn't hurt that it LOOKS BADASS.



Warden's Keep - buy this, and do it immediately. It'll take you probably a good couple of hours if you're dedicating time to it, but the reward is a never-ending chest that you can store infinite things in. Should it have been in the normal game? Meh. It is what it is. And it's crunchy and delicious; really well done. It also has non-spoilery a couple things you can't get anywhere else in the game. Just be sure to be thorough, however, because once you've completed the quest, you cannot return to the inside of the area. Also, when you get to 'the choice' in this (again, non-spoilery), I'd actually tell you to take the righteous choice. I took the mercy choice, and I have nothing to show for it. It would seem better to travel the road I did not (I'm a softy!.. except when it comes to demons. Then I lie to their face, and then kill them. I'm a double-dealing-dousche-to-demons.


Is this Duncan in a rare bit of downtime, or Yoj1mb0 sprinting to buy another fighting game?

Return to Ostragar - This one comes out at the end of the month of December; and I have to truly wonder how many people will really be done with the game by then (besides me). But at $5 and you get to fight in that massive battle... it's an interesting spin on DLC; as usually DLC takes you places *outside* the preexisting game, and here you get to revisit a key moment.



Final Verdict: Don't listen to Jim (this once). If you are a fan of RPGs, even if you're a diehard JRPG fan, this WACWGTFOOCWAASDRPG* will knock your socks off. Well worth the money spent.

I give it five out of five creepy King3bvo heads.







*(Western Action Combat We're Getting The Fuck Out of Control With Acronyms and Specialization Designation Role Playing Game)

that is all.



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