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.