Dragon Age: Inquisition [Review]

SPOILER FREE REVIEW

Dragon-Age-Inquisition (2)I have recently fallen in love with the Bioware games; however, since winter of last year, I have been playing their Dragon Age series. Although I haven’t finished a play through of the first game and I recently purchase the second game, but the third game – oh my goodness, when I say I am obsessed with this game, that’s putting it lightly. Like with most things, there truly aren’t words to describe how much love I have for this game. For a long time, this game was the only thing I could think about and the only thing I wanted to do daily, which is dangerous for a college student!

Game Summary (Taken from Dragonage.com):

A cataclysmic event plunges the land of Thedas into turmoil. Dragons darken the sky, casting a shadow over lands on the brink of chaos. Mages break into all-out war against the oppressive templars. Nations rise against one another. It falls to you and your allies to restore order as you lead the Inquisition and hunt down the agents of chaos.

Explore, lead, and battle: Tough choices define your experience, and even one decision can change the course of what’s to come.

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

My Opinion

As I stated in my introduction, there are no words to describe my love for this game. The graphics are flawlessly beautiful, the story line was written by true fantasy masters, and it has just the right amount of difficulty to keep you invested in the game. There are a variety of enemies to take down, plenty of areas to explore, and more.

Although I had never played the first two Dragon Age games, this one drew me in. I was also fortunate enough to get the game of the year edition, which included all of the DLCs and extra armor and other goodies. When I first started playing this game, I wasn’t sure what to expect. My roommate had played through Dragon Age: Origins and loved every moment of the game, so I thought I would give the third one a try.

And I’m so glad that I did.

Dragon-Age-Inquisition-All-Characters-HD-WallpaperHonestly, there is not one part of this game that I don’t enjoy. But if I had to pick one aspect of the game that I love more than the other, it’s definitely the story line. Its not too long, its not too short, and it can venture of into different directions that add more dimensionality to what you’re doing. Of course, you can’t forget about Bioware’s signature move either: romancing other characters in the game.

In addition, they added a neat feature: the war table. From there, you can see a map of the world (Which is big! We get to explore two different countries in this game: Thedas and Orlais), set your council on operations, and more. But be warned: the operations are in live time, so they can take anywhere from five minutes to twenty four hours to complete.

Along with this, I highly recommend doing every quest that comes your way. Every decision and major or minor quest you are assigned adds story, decisions, and a more thorough game play experience! I blew through the first game play I made, which led me to missing a lot of crucial things (more areas in maps, important loot, etc.), so I have started a second play through of the game! I am finding more quests to complete, more enemies to slay, and even better loot than I found the first time.

Final Recommendation

If you are looking for a kickass, perfectly paced, (almost) chose your adventure fantasy game, I highly recommend this game! I mean, I put 100 hours on it in a week in a half (During finals of my fall semester – oops), so it’s really easy to fall into the story and want to stay there.

But, if you aren’t completely sold on the game, feel free to heck out Jesse Cox play the game over on YouTube! I have enjoyed his play through so far, and hope he updates it soon!

Here are Some Images from the Game!

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The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim [Review]

SPOILER FREE REVIEW

The_Elder_Scrolls_V_Skyrim_coverNow, many of you might have heard about Skyrim. It’s one of the most popular fantasy games out on the market, in my opinion. Or, you might have heard of the company, Bethesda, who creates The Elder Scrolls, and popular first person shooter series, Fallout.

Many of my friends were raving about this game, and I started playing it in summer of 2015. It took me about 24 hours of game play – across a five month span – to finish the main story line, but I have yet to return to finish any or all of the side quests and DLCs. But, I will return to it eventually! I’m just too busy with my school work and other activities to continue play at the moment.

Although another game has stolen my favoritism (yes, I’m looking at you Dragon Age: Inquisition), this game will always have a special place in my heart, considering it was the game that morphed me into a gamer.

Game Summary (Taken from The Elder Scrolls Official Site)

The Elder Scrolls told of their return.

The Empire of Tamriel is on the edge. The High King of Skyrim has been murdered.

Alliances form as claims to the throne are made. In the midst of this conflict, a far more dangerous, ancient evil is awakened.

Dragons, long lost to the passages of the Elder Scrolls, have returned to Tamriel.

The future of Skyrim, even the Empire itself, hangs in the balance as they wait for the prophesized Dragonborn to come; a hero born with the power of The Voice, and the only one who can stand amongst the dragons.

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

My Opinion

This game had me hooked from the get go. What’s better than getting to personalize a character (from a handful of dynamic and detailed species), and slay at being an archer, swordsman, and mage? On top of that, you’re Dragonborn – a rare category of people that can speak the language of the dragons, slay them, and absorb their souls in order to grow stronger yourself. Wicked, right?

Map_of_skyrimNot only that, but the game is huge. You can spend hours exploring the world, fighting wild animals, and defeating dungeons (which there are many of). The stronger you get, the easier it is to defeat dragons – which pop up out of nowhere constantly. At first, I was terrified to fight those royal creatures, but after defeating the main quest line, you get a feel for how easy it truly is.
One of the neat aspects of the game is getting to know the towns and the people within them. You can help the Jarl’s, the leaders of each town, on the quests that they have for you. If you gain enough influence within a town, you can even buy a home, get married, and adopt orphan children that are scattered across the game. In addition, you can buy horses and have followers (you’re allowed one, unless you mod your game).

For a fantasy lover, this was definitely the game for me. You get to take part in world politics, shape your hero or heroine into any way that you want, and just have fun. Now, I haven’t played the previous games within this series (but I do own them), but I really enjoyed the story line and the adventure! I can’t wait to go back into the game and play it again, or finally finish more of it.

Story Time

the-elder-scrolls-v-skyrim-horseNow, unintentional jump scares are very much a thing in Skyrim. You’re constantly traveling through dungeons, being attacked by the undead (one of the biggest sources of scares for me), and, of course fighting off giant spiders that love falling from the ceiling. Just so you know, arachnophobia? It’s real for me. One of the few things that I am actually afraid of is spiders. Anyways, I digress.

One of the best jump scares and saddest moments of my game involved myself, a horse, and a saber tooth tiger. My horse (affectionately named Horse because I had no other ideas otherwise) and I were out in one of the multiple mountain regions, on the hunt for dwarven ruins, when suddenly the fight soundtrack began to play in the background. I didn’t think much of it, since no red dots were appearing on my radar. Surely, nothing was around to attack me. So I continued on my merry way, the music continued to grow louder and didn’t disappear, and I finally thought to turn around and see what was going on.

Low and behold, there was a saber tooth tiger that was pouncing on me. Now game character me jumped off her horse and I began attacking. Real me screamed like a little baby and jumped so high in her chair that she almost fell out of it (My roommate was very concerned at this point, and after defeating the animal, I explained what had happened). After that saber tooth tiger finally died, I surveyed the scene and noticed that not one, but two animals had died during the battle.

That’s right. My noble steed, Horse, had died in my attack.

I’m still recovering from that loss.

Final Recommendation

If you are looking for a fun game to play, or want to take that first step into the gaming world, I highly recommend this game. The game play is smooth and the commands are easy to follow – whether on PC, or on XBox, or other consoles. Most importantly, I found it to ease me into gaming and help me fall in love with this hobby.

However, those with arachnophobia be warned – those jerks are everywhere in this game!

Here are Some Images from the Game!

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*****

“I got to thinking, maybe I’m the Dragonborn and just don’t know it yet.”

The Guards, The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim

My Gaming History and Recommendations

Very recently (as in, this past summer), I have taken my status as nerd to a whole new level. Now, I don’t find the term nerd to be insulting (it’s more of a term of endearment), so exploring more aspects of that term was definitely one of my goals outside of high school. What better way to explore being a nerd, than through the use of video games?

One of my good friends – and current college roommate – got me absolutely hooked on gaming over the past summer. Previously, I hadn’t been all that interested in heavier gaming. Sure, I’d play the occasional Wii game with my family, and I owned The Sims 3 (and every expansion pack that you could possibly buy), but I had never been interested in games outside of virtual reality simulations.That quickly changed when I was introduced to two very important products: Steam and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

These to programs revolutionized the way I was gaming. I began to expand my gaming through Steam and Origin, and truly discovered a passion for it. Although I mainly stay within the fantasy RPG genre, I do sometimes travel into the MMO genre. My favorite games to play are: Skyrim, Dragon Age, The Sims, and League of Legends. I’m also a PC gamer, which comes with its own pros and cons (I hate using PC controls, so I ended up buying a knock off xbox controller – works like a charm). I know that means that I’m not a true PC gamer, but for me, all that matters.

However, gaming can also be an expensive endeavor, and I definitely don’t go around throwing my money at brand new video games. It’s a patience game, and usually the longer you wait after a release, the better a deal you can get. Saving money is also a reason why I use Steam and Origin as platforms to purchase games.

Gaming Platforms

Logo Steam

Steam is an online video game store, much like Origin, but not limited to its content. What I love about this platform is that is serves so many purposes. Through your account, it will track achievements for every game you have, and share them with your friends. It also holds onto all your games in its own library – so instead of having all those annoying icons on your desktop, you can just go through Steam and it’ll open the game for you! And it’s unlimited downloads, so if you get a new computer, no worries there. But my favorite aspect to Steam is the deals that you can get. They have flash deals, seasonal deals, Black Friday deals – and the amount off ranges from 20-90% off games. Those deals aren’t limited to just the games either, the DLCs also get in on that action as well.

origin-logo.png

Origin is the other platform that I use to purchase games, though I don’t use it as often as I use Steam. This is EA’s store and way of creating a library of their games that you own. You can find anything and everything that EA and Bioware has created through this service, but it is much harder to find deals. They will have sales around the major shopping seasons (Christmas, Valentine’s Day, etc.), but usually they aren’t as good as deals you may be able to find elsewhere. But it is still a nice platform to have!

Another place to find game is on Amazon.com. That website is my crack, and I usually purchase disk versions of PC games from there, simply because disks are usually cheaper than direct downloads. But always make sure to check everywhere before purchasing a game. You never know where a deal may be found!

Gaming Consoles

Being a PC gamer, I am more biased towards using a computer for gaming. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t use other consoles! I do use the Wii to play some of my favorite games and series, such as Mario Kart and Just Dance. I also have a Game Cube, but that’s stored away since the games work on the Wii just as well. I also have a DSi, but that device is in a genre of its own. I do hope to expand this library of consoles in the future!

So… What Comes Next?

Now that you all kind of know where I stand on gaming, I hope to expand from here! I do plan on writing some reviews for the games that I have played to share with you all. In addition, maybe I’ll be finding some new games to play and recommend! I don’t know. But what I do know is that I hope to grow as a gamer and a writer through this section on my website.

Thanks for taking the time to read my musings, and I’ll see you next time!

*****

“A game is an opportunity to focus our energy, with relentless optimism, at something we’re good at (or getting better at) and enjoy. In other words, gameplay is the direct emotional opposite of depression.”
― Jane McGonigal, Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World