Tag Archives: roleplaying game

The Neo Conundrum and the Cost of a Perfect Ending

Reposted from PopMatters Moving Pixels.

Books and movies are not usually about how well you read or watch them. But many games change dramatically depending on how well you play them.

I take back what I said last week about Fable III. It is indeed entirely possible to achieve the best ending with no sacrifice to one’s morals, but it came at the expense of something even more valuable: my belief in the system.

Unless you’re a computer programmer, the logarithms of modern video games are infinitely more complex than most players can understand under short exposure. For that reason, mastering a game is only one part being trained by the system; the other part is the search for the programming’s underlying logic. In fact, in a lot of cases, to remain immersed and fooled by the game’s hidden mechanics the player has to willfully ignore the same tools needed to become fully proficient with it.

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Take Your Damn Rivalry Points Like a Man: The Non-Dialectic of Dragon Age II

Reposted from PopMatters Moving Pixels.

So, in case you haven’t heard, they’re all bisexual.

You may also have heard that the romantic subplots of Dragon Age II are somehow dominating the discourse surrounding the game, presumably directly after whether it’s any good or not. (To which the answer is no, and yes. See my review for more.) This, too, might have been predicted considering the extent to which BioWare RPGs often get discussed with respect to their romances, but in this particular debate we find a curious intersection between issues of systems and mechanics and issues of writing. To whit, is Dragon Age II “punishing” the player for rebuffing a romance he doesn’t want, and do we as players need to get over our search for happy, equitable solutions?

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