March 7 - March 11

There is absolutely no reason to be surprised that Dragon Age II is the Game of the Week. The opening salvo in what will probably be a monumental year for BioWare, countless developers and publishers would kill to have one franchise with the weight and authority of Dragon Age. BioWare have three currently active major franchises with Neverwinter Nights, Baldur's Gate and Jade Empire languishing on the shelves waiting for the next round of love.

Mass Effect 2 has slowly crept up my chart of favorite games, but Dragon Age has not aged in the same way for me. I bear the game no ill will, but the ponderously difficult and epic RPG concept has never sat particularly well with me in the first place, and somewhere around hour 20 or so my eyes glaze over fully and I long for the easy familiarity of something less taxing. I have relatively little doubt that Dragon Age 2 will be a repeat performance, but right now I admit that I'm looking forward to the 20 hours to come.

I may try my hand at the console version of the game this time around. I certainly enjoyed the demo on the consoles, and felt that it offered more immediacy and sense of being in the moment than my previous DA experience. Either way, I like that the choice between console and PC is a meaningful one. Some companies just get it. BioWare is counted among them.

For those of you who like your RPGs of a lighter fare, take note that Torchlight hits XBLA this week and under no conditions should be missed particularly if you have not yet enjoyed the PC version. Also, some baseball games.

PC

- Dragon Age II
- Major League Baseball 2K11
- Forsaken World

Xbox 360

- Dragon Age II
- Major League Baseball 2K11
- Yoostar 2: In the Movies
- Warriors: Legends of Troy

PlayStation 3

- Dragon Age II
- MLB 11: The Show
- Major League Baseball 2K11
- Warriors: Legends of Troy
- Yoostar 2: In the Movies

Nintendo DS

- Major League Baseball 2K11
- Pet Bunnyz Bunch
- Atari's Greatest Hits Vol. 2

Wii

- Major League Baseball 2K11
- The $1,000,000 Pyramid

PSP

- Major League Baseball 2K11
- MLB 11: The Show
- Phantom Brave: Heroes of the Hermuda Triangle

Comments

It's baseball time!

I can't believe you picked Dragon Age 2 over Yoostar 2... Get your sh*t together, Mr. Sands.

Baseball! Yay!

I played the demo for The Show and it seemed exactly the same as last year and not exactly deserving of a purchase, but then the new analog pitching mechanic started sinking its hooks into me, and what the hell, I'll be picking it up on the way home tonight. Just have to not kid myself about completing full seasons... mini-seasons and playoff scenarios, that's all I can handle.

Oh yeah, Dragon Age 2. If they've really Mass Effect-ed it up, I'm going to love it.

Atari's Greatest Hits Vol. 2[/url]]Product Features
Massively multiplayer - Internet connection required
Epic 5,000 solar system persistent single universe
Dynamic player controlled economy
Exclusive offline skill advancement
Unmatched versatility in game play

Torchlight was awesome on PC, and will be just as awesome on XBLA. However, if they'd added co-op, it would have been stratospherically awesome; as is, I doubt I'll re-buy it on the console, just because it wouldn't be that radically different of a game.

Aaaaah, Pokemon Black / White falls through the cracks with a weekend release.

My kids are so excited.

Aaaaah, Pokemon Black / White falls through the cracks with a weekend release.

Had that one on last week's TWA.

DA2 just makes me miss 1998 week.

I love how the Dragon Age 2 box pic isn't the PC version - it gets the 360 one

I guess Mr. Sands has already decided which version he will be supporting with his goodjeristic currency!

I'm intrigued by Dragon Age, but I'm not a traditional RPG kind of player. I enjoyed the fact that I could crank down the difficulty in Mass Effect and focus on the story, instead of worrying about minute details in my squad setup and issuing commands in the middle of a fight. I'd probably play Dragon Age, but it seems like the game is way too difficult for somebody who doesn't do tactical RPG combat like myself. Maybe DA2 remedies this a bit. Anyone have comments along this line?

...with Neverwinter Nights, Baldur's Gate and Jade Empire languishing on the shelves waiting for the next round of love.

I think I just got a little teary-eyed.

DorkmasterFlek wrote:

I'm intrigued by Dragon Age, but I'm not a traditional RPG kind of player. I enjoyed the fact that I could crank down the difficulty in Mass Effect and focus on the story, instead of worrying about minute details in my squad setup and issuing commands in the middle of a fight. I'd probably play Dragon Age, but it seems like the game is way too difficult for somebody who doesn't do tactical RPG combat like myself. Maybe DA2 remedies this a bit. Anyone have comments along this line?

From what I could tell from the demo, the game is no longer a tactical RPG. It's an action-RPG now. Think Diablo with multiple characters and the ability to tweak the AI scripting.

DorkmasterFlek wrote:

I'm intrigued by Dragon Age, but I'm not a traditional RPG kind of player. I enjoyed the fact that I could crank down the difficulty in Mass Effect and focus on the story, instead of worrying about minute details in my squad setup and issuing commands in the middle of a fight. I'd probably play Dragon Age, but it seems like the game is way too difficult for somebody who doesn't do tactical RPG combat like myself. Maybe DA2 remedies this a bit. Anyone have comments along this line?

The DA2 difficulties are set out to assume certain levels of control over the party, so you don't have to do it all if you don't want to. Hang on and I'll see if I can dig them up.

edit:

Casual - Able to be beaten playing a single character sub-optimally, with the rest of the party using default AI tactics.

Normal - Able to be beaten playing a single character optimally, with the rest of the party using default AI tactics.

Hard - Able to be beaten playing the entire party sub-optimally, either controlling directly or using custom AI tactics.

Nightmare - Able to be beaten playing the entire party optimally, either controlling directly or using custom AI tactics. Friendly fire active.

For all Disgaea/Nippon Ichi enthusiasts: do not overlook Phantom Brave for the PSP (if you have the Sony machine, that is). In many aspects it's even crazier than Disgaea.

I thought DA on the 360 was great, and I plan to play DA2 first on that platform as well. Having it on a home theater setup makes it really cinematic and immersive. I did play DA on the PC as well, and I liked the more tactical overhead perspective, which reminded me of Baldur's Gate. So I'll probably also end up buying this one for both platforms, too.

DorkmasterFlek wrote:

I'm intrigued by Dragon Age, but I'm not a traditional RPG kind of player. I enjoyed the fact that I could crank down the difficulty in Mass Effect and focus on the story, instead of worrying about minute details in my squad setup and issuing commands in the middle of a fight.

GOOD NEWS! Strategy and tactics no longer a required for DA2 combat. You just press a button, and the awesome takes care of itself!

LarryC wrote:

From what I could tell from the demo, the game is no longer a tactical RPG. It's an action-RPG now. Think Diablo with multiple characters and the ability to tweak the AI scripting.

Diablo had better environments

But seriously - I'd recommend people try the demo before taking the plunge on DA2, ESPECIALLY if you liked the first game. It's a shocking departure.

Personally I thought the combat was ok (it's the over-abundance of brown, repetitive environments and shorter length that give me more cause for concern) but if you were a fan of the PC combat in DA1 you really need to try the PC demo first.

Still didn't stop me pre-purchasing and downloading it of course - it can't possibly be worse than Gothic 4, so that's a plus.

Sorry, it's all about baseball this week.

Dragon what? Never heard of it. Though something tells me I may wait until there's an Ultimate edition. But since I know nothing about this game I'm not sure what that would mean.

It's some game about the dangers to buses and cars.

I think I might know someone who would be into that.

MrDeVil909 wrote:

It's some game about the dangers to buses and cars.

Oh, right -- that game Fox was decrying for its sexual content.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:

Torchlight was awesome on PC, and will be just as awesome on XBLA. However, if they'd added co-op, it would have been stratospherically awesome; as is, I doubt I'll re-buy it on the console, just because it wouldn't be that radically different of a game.

Torchlight 2 is supposed to drop on PC later this year, though, so that co-op loveliness is a-comin'.

I'll probably double-dip on the first Torchlight anyway because A.) I'm a whore and B.) cheevos.

Well GS is opened till past midnight tonight for DA 2, I'll slip in for 2 baseball games

Neverwinter Nights, Baldur's Gate and Jade Empire languishing on the shelves waiting for the next round of love.

It's highly unlikely that we'll ever see another Neverwinter Nights or Baldur's Gate game, as those were based on licenses that have been pulled. Still, one can hope...

Timespike wrote:
Neverwinter Nights, Baldur's Gate and Jade Empire languishing on the shelves waiting for the next round of love.

It's highly unlikely that we'll ever see another Neverwinter Nights or Baldur's Gate game, as those were based on licenses that have been pulled. Still, one can hope...

We'll see them just like we're seeing a new Deus Ex, a new Xcom, and a new Thief. The question is whether or not we'll see them in the hands of Bioware and if they'll be anything like their predecessors.

Timespike wrote:
Neverwinter Nights, Baldur's Gate and Jade Empire languishing on the shelves waiting for the next round of love.

It's highly unlikely that we'll ever see another Neverwinter Nights or Baldur's Gate game, as those were based on licenses that have been pulled. Still, one can hope...

I enjoyed Jade Empire and would like to see BioWare revisit that someday, however unlikely that would be.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
Timespike wrote:
Neverwinter Nights, Baldur's Gate and Jade Empire languishing on the shelves waiting for the next round of love.

It's highly unlikely that we'll ever see another Neverwinter Nights or Baldur's Gate game, as those were based on licenses that have been pulled. Still, one can hope...

We'll see them just like we're seeing a new Deus Ex, a new Xcom, and a new Thief. The question is whether or not we'll see them in the hands of Bioware and if they'll be anything like their predecessors.

Well the D&D licence is with Atari so Bioware aren't likely going to get a stab at it for a while (Atari already has someone working on a - probably terrible - Forgotten Realms co-op action RPG at the moment). Best bet would be Obsidian, but they have their hands full with Dungeon Siege 3, The rumoured Wheel of Time Game and about a bazillion other things.

A new Jade Empire game would be right up their proverbial alley though I think, given their new "hit a button to do something awesome" approach to RPGs.

The Show definitely does commercials well. Still need to try the demo.

Donan wrote:

Well GS is opened till past midnight tonight for DA 2, I'll slip in for 2 baseball games

If you're going for the million dollars for 2k, you damn well better pick it up at midnight and get started.

Sony wanted to combat all of the Brian Wilson love on 2K11 by showing off revealing that they have his signature move, too.

But it also shows that Giants fans are really out of shape, needing to sit between each and every pitch. That, or they are really high and it is the world's slowest wave.