Random Encounters

Dragon Age II

When playing video games, all manner of thoughts usually pop into my head. Some are far too graphic to share here and are off-topic besides, but I’ve decided to post my thoughts in a quick-thought format about a variety of topics. Sometimes things don’t warrant a full post by themselves, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still talk about them right?

1. Unskippable cut-scenes? Seriously? What is this, 1997? I’m looking at you Mortal Kombat. When playing the Story mode, the game saves right after a battle, so if you quit and come back, you start at the beginning of the last cut-scene you saw…and you can’t skip it. Not cool.

2. Dragon Age 2: Once you start playing…it honestly doesn’t feel that different from the first game and I mean that in a good way. The combat is now “action-based”, but if you play it a bit, it still feels pretty much the same. Sure, some things have been simplified, but I’m having a great time collecting and turning in quests. Though the Qunari suddenly having horns is weird…

3. What’s with the hate lately? EA is going all gangsta rap on Activision with comments about wanting Call of Duty to fail, forgetting about the human element and the jobs that would be lost if that were to come true. In a podcast, we spoke about this and TO BE FAIR…the industry is still young, but these are adults that are saying these things. Grow up.

4. Why all the pornographic emblems on Call of Duty: Black Ops? Do you really want to take the time to make a perfectly rendered image of a man’s finger going into a place no one needs to see, only to have some douch like me submit it as offensive? I know it’s an M-rated game, but kids do play it and a kid shooting someone in a game is vastly different from a kid seeing a bit of amateur gynecology.

5. Nick also mentioned this in a podcast, but if you are into PC gaming, now is a great time to boost your PC’s gaming capabilities. Starcraft 2, The Old Republic, Diablo III, The Witcher 2, Dota 2…there is a lot to like and even an avid and console-only player like myself is looking at my decrepit PC with a mixture of longing and disdain.


6. Is this the best Summer of Arcade ever? I don’t have the line-ups from other years handy, but I really feel like Bastion and the rest have made this year the best and most varied ever. I know we had Limbo and Braid in other years, but even with the problems of From Dust, I just think this year is top to bottom better. Nothing more to say than that really.

7. I am with Mitch on Free to Play games. I just have this mental block about them where I think they aren’t high quality or that they are going to nickel and dime me every 3 seconds and if I don’t pay them a lot of money I am going to miss out on everything worthwhile about the game. So…screw that.

8. I really have no idea what a casual gamer is. I know people who only play one game, but they play the living hell out of it, like Farmville or World of Warcraft. Or even Madden or Call of Duty. There are people who have put weeks into those games, far more than I put into any single game, but they aren’t interested in anything else. We as gamers tend to look down on them. I am as guilty of this as anyone else, but should we? Do film buffs care what the masses see at the theater? Actually, they do. Ok, nevermind. Video games have their snobs and low brow morons just like everyone else. Just play what you like and don’t fret so much.

And finally…GamerSushi Weekend AKA PAX South is this weekend. Nick, Mitch and Jeff are the funniest guys I know that I’ve never met and I finally get to change that sentence so it makes sense. Yay for us!

Written by

Age: 34 PSN ID: Starkiller81. I've played games since before I can remember, starting with my dad's Atari and I haven't stopped yet. Keep them coming and I will keep playing them.

8 thoughts on “Random Encounters”

  1. For topic 7, I to have my doubts that free to play games are worth my time. But, League Of Legends for PC is pretty good. Some of the people who made Dota created LOL, so there is a bit of a relation there. It’s free to play, and you can purchase champions & runes with money, or with experience points earned while playing the game. Of courses there are things where money is required… like different skins per champion, and any specialty item in the shop, but you could play the game without spending a dime. And like I said before, it’s pretty good, and very addictive. It dragged me away from playing Counter-Strike all the time…so, that’s how much I like it.
    Check it out: http://na.leagueoflegends.com/

  2. Anthony, we’ve probably logged hours of conversation time debating the concepts of “casual” and “hardcore” gamers. Not sure if that one’s ever going to be resolved.

    I mean, I would define myself as a casual gamer, but that doesn’t mean I spend my time playing Wii shovelware. But despite my self-proclaimed casual status, I logged well over 100 hours on Fallout 3 and nearly that many on Dragon Age. Does that make me a hardcore gamer by default?

    My head is hurting just considering the idea of thinking about this subject.

  3. 1) As long as its only the first time through, I have no problem with unskippable cutscenes. But you’re right, when you are forced to sit through it time after time because some boss gets a cheap shot on you thats not good design.

    2) Haven’t played either Dragon Age yet, please don’t hurt me.

    3) Are you sure we aren’t the same person Anthony?

    4) Never got into the CoD multiplayer, but there used to be quite a few sprays like that in TF2. What’s the point? I honestly don’t get it.

    5) I’m glad I got a new laptop at the start of this year. I needed it for university anyway but its been holding up really well on the gaming side of things too. When the old one stopped working it really was well timed.

    6) Its also good that most of these games are getting ported across to the PC, for those of us without Xboxs

    7) I’ve never had an issue with Free to Play games. If they have micro-transactions, you’re never forced to use them, and the developers have to make money somehow. I put quite a lot of hours into Runescape when I was younger, the vast majority of that in the F2P version. I enjoyed it so much that I became a member for a few months, and certainly got my money’s worth. I think where most F2P games fall down is that try too hard to only cater to the people that pay, while those that just enjoy the free side of the game get left in the cold.

    8) Casual… Hardcore… We are all just gamers, and thats where the discussion should stop.

    When I saw the title of this article I thought that it was going to be about actual random encounter vs visible enemies. Defying expectations, nice job Anthony. Have a good weekend guys, take pictures 🙂

  4. Mostly what I’ve been thinking lately is…

    1) Holy shit, The Witcher 2 might be the best game I’ve ever played. I mean, sure, there’s flaws, but no game (one that I’ve played, anyway) has ever come close to reaching this degree of character building and morality. Makes Mass Effect look like child’s play by comparison. And yes, I am one of those people who just upgraded my (fairly new) PC’s graphic card and CPU. Mostly to play the Witcher 2.

    2) Why the hell can these people pull off these seemingly impossible moves on me in SSFIV:AE? I mean, come on!! They were on the ground! I can’t be /that/ bad.

    3) Did Anthony just put Farmville players and WoW players into the same category? Yes, I believe he did.

    Hope you guys still like each other after this weekend!

  5. I’m definitely feeling the PC upgrade agony – building systems for work that would definitely rock some Witcher 2, while limping along with my home rig that gets brought to its knees by Starcraft 2. It’s maddening.

    As for the Summer of Arcade – if From Dust had turned in a better showing, I’d fully agree. As it is, I’d say that this year’s crop pulled even with 2010, but didn’t quite surpass it.

    Hope you enjoy your visit to the sprawling inferno we call home. Try not to melt.

  6. 1. I don’t really have a problem with unskippable cutscenes, but there was once where there was a nearly impossible boss fight that killed me over and over, and I had to watch the cutscene every time, I got very annoyed, to say the least.

    2. Never played either Dragon Age. But when ME2 was dumbed down, I was a little disappointed and I missed the menus, but I got over it and still had a blast.

    3. That’s the way of competition in this industry, even though it is really friggin’ juvenile.

    4. If players are given the freedom to customize something to almost any end, there will be an unending number of inappropriate images, but this is an issue with immaturity, and it won’t change. I think it’s an excellent idea to submit it as offensive, I’m going to start doing that.

    5. Yea… I need a new PC…

    6. I didn’t buy any of the games, but I played all of their demos, and they are really fun. It probably is the best one yet, I can’t know for sure. I love LIMBO, and Braid.

    7. I’ve simply never been able to really get into free to play games, except for TF2 but I did pay for that game so…

    8. What a casual gamer is for sure is kind of blurry, it depends on people’s opinions, I don’t define people as casual or not, I don’t even like using the word “gamer” but there isn’t really a fitting substitute.

    That was an interesting read, I think this should be a recurring column 🙂

  7. #3. Thats super unprofessional.

    #4. Im not surprised, and neither should you be. Remember when it first came out? Everyones first instinct was to go make the blue rabbit straddling the pink rabbit. Or make the monkey have a pickle in his nethers shooting white paint. Its a game populated mostly by adolescence, those with the minds of adolescence and just plain ignorant people. Just because it is an M rated game doesnt mean everyone who plays it is going to be over 18. That article that was posted here a while back shows adults will knowingly buy little poopsie zombie slut death gore match 2 because he wanted it, despite him being 12.

    #5. Its a good time not because of release schedules, but because parts are due out that are going to drop other parts prices, RAM is the cheapest its been, and with tech like SSDs and bad ass graphics out on the market, you can make some seriously amazing machines.

    #8. I agree, the line is really blurred. Its kind of like some weird 4 corner plot or something, where you fall into different terms. Who cares though, does it really matter?

    Ill be joining you at PAX South this weekend! Well at least friday night. Im sure you guys have something super special planned for the rest of the weekend. It will be great to finally meet you guys and have the Sushi crew together.

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