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Dragon Age and some thoughts

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  1. I've read really great things about Dragon Age: Origins. And despite originally saying I won't get it, it looks like I most likely will when the price drops or I see it on sale. Why did I not want to get it to start with? Because it looked like another Tolkein High Fantasy clone game which is just about the most boring fantasy setting I can think of right now. It turns out that this early assessment isn't completely false, since most of the reviewers seem to be mention this negative aspect of the game.

    Which brings me to my next few thoughts. I was talking to one of my friends today. We are both big fans of Steampunk (and other genres where archaic technology is allowed to run wild with over-the-top inefficiencies) and we started to wonder, why has no Western developer jumped at the chance to make an RPG in the vein of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Knights of the Old Republic, Fallout 3, etc. based on a H.G. Welles or Jules Verne styled universe? Even a game like Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura updated for the new generation of consoles would really stand out in the sea of Tolkein and Mad Maxx clones if done properly. What do you all think of this?

    Edit: I bungled the original posting of this trying to tag games not in our database, so I had to edit to finish.

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  2. I think that would be awesome, but if you look at for instance games inspired by the HP Lovecraft universe, which is pretty similar to HG Wells and Jules Verne in terms of being an actual author with an interesting body of work, then something like Hellgate: London was a spectacular flop and not particularly inspiring to other developers looking to tread the same waters.

    I would absolutely love a War of the Worlds style RPG set in 19th century Britain and based on the art direction and conceptualisation of Jeff Wayne's interpretation. Too bad I probably won't get it - especially not now that that version of the story, the original, has been superceded by the terrible Tom Cruise/Steven Spielberg crapfest.

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  3. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen could have made an excellent video game transition before the (ick) film. I must admit, though, I am kind of a sucker for the Mad Max clones...I reaaaally want to get Borderlands.

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  4. I agree, I haven't quite tired of Mad Max clones myself either, but I'd love to see stuff mixed up. I think Bioshock is a decent game (still trying to find it in the bargain bin when I'm in stores), but what I really liked about it is how different stylistically its world is from pretty much every other game in a similar vein right now.

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  5. I agree about Dragon Age. When I watched the review on Gametrailers I just got the sense that it was not the game for me. I can't really describe it in any other way than to say it looked extremely "nerdy". The glowing swords, tacked on no nudity-sex, elfs and dwarfs, and the blood that seems to be constantly splatter on your party just looks dumb. I'm surprised there isn't some twenty-sided die attack system to greater ease the transition for recovering D&D players.

    The graphics and stages looked painfully generic. But I haven't seen BioWare do anything that didn't look like they went straight to the game design playbook and opened it to a random page.

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  6. I felt the same way about The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion before I played it. Sooooooooo generic. The only thing I enjoyed about it was the assassin's guild. My friend's girlfriend accidentally erased my game (he was my roommate and it was his 360) shortly after I completed the entire line of quests. You would think I'd be angry, but there was basically nothing left in the game that struck me as interesting and I had grown no attachment to my character or any of the world's populace. So it was easy to let go and move on (I think I started replaying Final Fantasy Tactics).

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  7. I think Dragon Age: Origins looks really good from a game design stand point but like Nels, I'm absolutely sick of the Tolkein High Fantasy route. Part of my reason for wanting to like End of Eternity was the subject matter and the lore it presented, even though it turned out to be quite foul for my tastes. Steampunk, Cyberpunk, Western, Modernity (preferably 18-19th century based) themes and worlds would kick my ass right now, ANYTHING other than slaying dragons, elves, goblins, wolfs etc etc would do A LOT to get me interested in rpgs again. I do appreciate BioWare's efforts for having dynamic subset narratives and Obsidian Entertainment's Alpha Protocol for doing something entirely different. Mad props to both, but there's a lot missing this generation for rpgs:

    1. Suikoden VI. If Konami had some balls, they would get Yoshitaka Murayama back on board and give him a ridiculous budget. It needs to be done.

    2. Akifumi Kaneko's next project.

    3. Where the FUCK is Matsuno? It's old, it's tiring but I keep saying it.

    All of this is ironically aimed at Jrpgs, maybe because they're going down the shitter faster than diarrhea and these key people are no where to be found; it really is quite putrid.

    I'd say from a narrative/theme/lore stand point, wrpgs are WAAAAY ahead of jrpgs in that regard. I'm looking forward to Protocol for attempting something vastly different and hopefully it will be a trend to break the mold. One thing I would like to mention as well, is something Demon's Souls has tapped into (either intentionally or unintentionally) and that's adding a certain disturbing atmosphere to rpgs. I think there is a lot of potential there, and something that could give rpgs a little more tension in the progression of the story at hand, time will tell I guess.

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  8. Haven't had a chance to play Demon's Souls yet, but am very much looking forward to Protocol.

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  9. Pugz said:
    Where the FUCK is Matsuno? It's old, it's tiring but I keep saying it.

    He showed up recently to write the story for Madworld, though there doesn't seem to be any word on anything else. Hitoshi Sakimoto said two years ago in a 1up interview that they were working on a project together but i don't think it's ever been announced.

    So I'll have to reiterate your statement: Where the fuck is Yasumi Matsuno?

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