What’s in a Game: Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords

knights of the old republic 2 the sith lordsOne of the greatest games of all time (or at least the past couple of generations) was Knights of the Old Republic, BioWare’s fantastic Star Wars RPG/love letter to the franchise. They carefully crafted an interpretation of the Star Wars universe but set the clock back about 3,500 years, long before Anakin Skywalker was immaculately conceived by the midi-chlorians.

Set after the terrible Mandalorian War and right in the middle of the Jedi Civil War (it’s Star Wars for a reason, folks), the game followed an amnesiac Republic solider as he fought against the Sith and discovered his dark heritage. The game’s twist ending knocked everyone’s sock’s off, including mine, but the sequel, Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords, drew me in way more than the first game.

Starting with the coldest of opens, Knights 2 dropped you on an asteroid mining station where you plot your escape with the help of Kreia and Atton Rand, the former of which helps you reestablish your connection to the Force, having lost it during the Mandalorian War. This is a similar sort of opening to Knights of the Old Republic, but the game went a different direction from there. While not a bad game by any means, KotOR 2 wasn’t exactly lauded by critics and tarnished the first game’s sterling reputation, if you’re prone to hyperbole. Why do I love it so much, though?

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What’s In a Game: The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask

majora's maskI’ve made no secret about my mad love for the Nintendo 64’s Majora’s Mask; I might even go as far to say that it is my favorite Zelda title. Why am I so infatuated with the game, though? The general consensus was that this Ocarina follow-up was OK, but it lacked the magic, the charm and the feel. I couldn’t disagree more, because Majora’s Mask was the darkest, most thematic and most engaging Zelda ever made.

Let’s start with the beginning of the game, where a child Link is riding Epona through a forest, searching for a lost friend. Right away the game established the creepy tone, with a small boy, albeit well equipped for a fight, riding through a dark misty forest. The fact that you play as young Link is meant to make you feel powerless in some respects, particularly more so as you progress through the opening chapters. Adult Link is a favorite of gamers, so right away Nintendo might have alienated some Ocarina of Time fans.
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