So, Charlie Sheen, myself, Flo from the Progressive Commercials (she’s so hot) and Bob Saget are all sitting in my kids-toy-filled basement playing Dragon Age II on an Xbox 360 projected on one of the walls. We’re all laughing our asses off, drinking Charlie’s famous “Tiger Juice” (which tastes surprisingly like Boone’s Farm and V8) and smoking peach-flavored Marlboro Reds. In case you didn’t know, Bob is ten-times funnier than Charlie Sheen when he’s drunk. He can perform “The Aristocrats” for HOURS.
Despite my merry band of misfits (Winona Ryder never showed and everyone else turned off their cell phones to keep Kid Rock from showing up, since he’ll scream “Party!” and then it’s all hookers and booze and… well, I already had Charlie over – I didn’t want to wake the kids,) we enjoyed Dragon Age II much more than Dragon Age: Origins. I don’t like to give spoilers, but Dumbledore does indeed die in a great amount of pain that was mitigated by the questionable Severus Snape. The bastard Bob Saget laughed, when I finally woke up on my downstairs couch and realized that I’d spent way too much time on Codeine, Jack Daniels and Dragon Age II and my lap was numb thanks to a snoring cat
Apparently, I had fallen asleep while questing in Dragon Age II. A fuzzy lap-warmer purred gently as I looked up at my wall to a dimmed display of the DA2 map of Kirkwall. My new black wireless Microsoft 360 controller darkened after the timeout period proved to me that there was no “quick play” in Dragon Age 2. I looked up at the basement window as the sun started to rise to a myriad of purple and blue hues shining through broken glass-block and reminding me that I should probably fix that one of these days and creating a stained-glass effect across the scattered toys laying among the basement floor. My lap-warmer looked up at me and gave me a quick “mew” and started purring in an attempt to lull me back to sleep, however my lower torso was numb from the ass-bone down and I desperately needed to purge the Charlie Sheen dream from my head and drain whatever Tiger Juice was left in my bladder. Even in dreamland that man is still an odd fellow that will one day be a governor of a state only he knows about.
On to my review of Dragon Age II: Great game.
See? That was easy. Here’s the problem: too many reviewers are comparing DA2 to Dragon Age Origins, which is only fair since X-Men Origins: Wolverine was just as good as the first X-Men movie, right? And that right there is my main problem. The storyline may start literally on the road that Origins leaves these adventurers, but it’s a different game, folks. I’m seeing too many people (specifically these hardcore game reviewers) call the game weak and lifeless due to the vast comparisons with the original. Of course there will be similarities, if there wasn’t many they would have named it something more like “This-isn’t-Dragon-Age,” or “the Game Formerly Known As Duke Nukem Forever.” Dragon Age II is every part of the story of Dragon Age as was Origins, was will be with the Legends game and with however many they choose to pump out of the developers in that sweat box they call BioWare. (P.S. BioWare, I love you, please send more snacks.)
The game starts off with a story just like the first one. After that, it’s all bets are off. The game-play is still the same “Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-book” style of storytelling, which I thoroughly enjoy playing even now. By the way, the sarcasm option for responses: Brilliant. If you can’t tell, I’m using some of the new ones I’ve learned. Like I needed new sarcasm lines.
As you start DA2, you’re shown a story-a story about a rugged dwarf who is being questioned (by a very smoking-hot woman that Charlie starting hitting on) about “The Champion.” Cut-scene cuts into another cut-scene where you first learn your basic attack and movement roles. It doesn’t take long to realize that the camera is going to annoy you no matter where you put it and go to business beating the heads in of these undead bastards that for some reason keep attacking you and your friend. Cut back to the dwarf telling more of the story and the game begins to make more sense and your journey goes from there.
It took me a while to completely follow what was happening within the game, however you quickly understand that Dragon Age II simply isn’t a game you play and participate in to finish. . . Dragon Age II is a movie within a book that you choose how and when each chapter changes before the next chapter is written. All the dialog leads to different action sequences or different storyline and plot changes. The brilliance with the design of the game itself is what makes DA2 something that other adventure-style games such as Mass Effect 2 have taken into consideration: leave the action and story up to the player. It is mind boggling at how simple the idea is, but how amazingly detailed and deep DA2 can get at times.
During the one quest where you have to find the father’s will (I’m not spoiling anything, it’s not that far into the game) I wanted to bash the brother in the face for being a prick, but instead I realized that I was actually playing a game. . .then felt sorry for him. I also wanted to call my own brother and apologize. If any game can bring out that many emotions while simply turning in a quest, it’s one to keep around.
And will someone please tell Bree Olsen to get out of my fridge. I swear, for someone who “doesn’t eat much” she doesn’t leave much for the rest of us. I just saw her finish off a brick of cheese… I’m not even going to finish that joke.
|Graphics:||I played this on a 360 projected onto a wall. There were occasional glitches, but nothing that was so distracting that it made the story any less awesome.||9|
|Storyline:||One of the best I’ve seen next to Mass Effect 2, and hopefully building on the franchise since the ending hints at others.||10|
|Controls:||The camera is annoying at first, but the ability to map your special attacks to a controller is a nice touch and very dual-handy (you see what I did there?):)||9|
|Replayability:||How many times can you read Lord of the Rings? or watch Battlestar Galactica? There’s something to be said about a solid story.||10|
|Value:||This will be something more personal than what I can suggest, but Charlie Sheen gives it “Winning.” I think he’s a crack-head, but I agree and give it 10.||10|
|Total:||48 out of 50