Thursday, November 12, 2009


Bioware is one of the best game companies out there. They're known for their massive RPGs, with huge, deep stories. The writers and voice actors really are top notch. They implement deep conversation systems, give you the choice of being good or evil, male or female, and you're potentially able to fall in love with one of a few possible party members. And call me a faggot, but I think the romances are some of the coolest parts, because they're actually believable and rarely forced.

Knights of the Old Republic

Widely considered to be one of the best RPGs ever made, KOTOR is what introduced me to Bioware. They made a couple other great games previously (Baldur's Gate I & II), but this was the first time most people were exposed to them. Because it was Star Wars.

The game takes place a few thousand years before the movies. It's your typical Star Wars story: the universe is on the verge of annihilation, and you have to save it. The game takes you through the journey of a Jedi. You start as a lowly grunt in the Republic armada, but by the end, you're a Jedi Master. It actually goes a lot deeper into the Jedi/Sith philosophies than the movies ever did, which was awesome, because honestly, George Lucas seems like he doesn't even know half the shit that's in the Star Wars universe, while he just sits back and lets other media like books and video games make it up.

This here's the final death scene of the arch nemesis, Darth Malak. It's spoiler heavy, but if you haven't beaten the game by now, you probably just don't care. I literally got chills the first time I saw him give this death speech. With the Endor-esque space battle going on outside, it's just so epic.

Knights of the Old Republic II

This was the mediocre sequel that I won't get into since Bioware didn't make it. It's alright, but it can't really compare when its best moments were "OMG, reference to the first game!"

Jade Empire

Bioware decided to do something awesome, and instead of making a game about medieval European mythology like what you see in your typical RPG, they decided to make one focusing on medieval Chinese mythology. The drawback? It wasn't that big of a hit. But it's still a fantastic game, and almost on par with KOTOR. They decided to beef up the romance options in this one. If you choose to be a male, you get two chicks to choose from. If you're female, you get one guy. Oh, and you could also be gay. That's right. Jade Empire is groundbreaking for allowing you to have a male-male or female-female relationship. Oh, and those two chicks mentioned earlier? If you're indecisive, you could just have a threesome if you wanted to. Bioware really knows its base.


Mass Effect

Mass Effect is Bioware's magnum opus. No mere blog description could do it justice. It somehow managed to top KOTOR even without the Star Wars License. And while KOTOR was made for the original XBOX, Mass Effect was made for the 360. Bioware certainly did not let all that potential go to waste. The game is also notable for successfully implementing space zombies. And alien sex. It's basically a Captain Kirk simulator, except with the force, except it's not really called the force.

And the best part? It's only the first game of a preconceived trilogy. There are still going to be two more games. And get this - the sequels will be able to read the save files from the previous games, and you'll be able to use your old character. FOR THE WHOLE TRILOGY. And the second one actually isn't that far off, either. We're looking at January. The trailer still gives me chills:

Dragon Age: Origins

This was released a week ago, and holy god, is it ever amazing. I've only been able to play a little bit of it, and that small taste has implanted something evil inside of me. I just can't stop thinking about it. My good computer is in the shop at the moment, so it's not like I can go out and get it or anything. And I don't want it for 360 because they took out the overhead view, and while that may not be a big deal, I do however want to get into the difficult strategy portion eventually, which is more fun with the overhead view. And then there's mods, too.

This is the most utterly massive game Bioware has made to date. A full playthrough, sidequests and all, clocks in at around 80 hours. And they really just went balls-to-the-wall with the relationships, because you can pretty much sex it up with almost any member of your party (and there are a lot, so I hear). While you still have the power to make moral choices affecting the game's plot, Bioware went ahead and simply took out an official good/evil system, making the weight of each decision its own. I am personally thrilled about this, because in all their other games, you end up either being the Dalai Lama or the Anti-Christ by the end, which never suited me because I always enjoy treading in the gray area. This will give me the freedom to do just that.

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