Wednesday, April 4, 2012

KoA Babbling

I have spent more or less all the free time that I have (aka the time I am not sleeping, doing origami, or making jewelry...or ok, wasting hours on Subeta) playing Kingdoms of Amalur.

First off, lets discuss why I wanted to play it at all. Until my friend Dusty started playing it and I had not heard of it...or I did and just assumed it was another MMORPG and just ignored it. After hearing my mother (who is an avid video game voyeur...seriously if you want an opinion of how something looks in a game but not how to play it, ask her) saying it was awesome I decided to give it a watch at their house. I admit, it looked awesome and pretty fun! I thought I would get it to hold me over to Mass Effect 3 was released but I could not afford dropping another $60 on a game after my preorder...so I waiting. I figured I would get it used after the price dropped and maybe Ben would split the price with me (fat chance) and then ME3 came out. I was there at the midnight release and of course finished the game in a few days...the world wondered where I went...and the ending made me kinda hate fiction for a while. I needed something to bring me back, something that would reawaken my love for story and video games...something that I don't invest years, lots of money, and emotion into...

So I bought KoA off ebay for $38 and decided to immerse myself in good old schlock fantasy! I cannot think of a game (that isn't a MMORPG) that is more schlocky, sure there is Dragon Age but to me they seem more 'good' fantasy (I am thinking as a book comparison...it is like Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn VS Dragonlance...both are good in their way, but I read Dragonlance for the Fantasy and not the characters, story and such like I do the other book series) plus their combat system annoys me, and Fable which for some inexplicable reason I just don't care about at all. Let us break it down into groups, to make my rambling easier.

Story and Characters
I am I think 60 hours into the game...no where near finished with the main plot, finished one faction quest, and have of course done a bajillion side quests, so I am not a perfect opinion. I think what I have uncovered of the main plot so far is solid...not a work of genius but also not bad (also the main villain, Gadflow is evil Winnie the Pooh....WIN!). The faction quest are exciting as hell, I actually got really into the House of Ballads quest and felt a sense of accomplishment. Most of the side quests are so typical...go gather herbs, go kill monsters, go do my laundry because I am too lazy...but eh, fantasy games love their fetch quests.

The voice acting is bloody hilarious! There are a few really good voice actors in the game...but most of them sound like they are extras from Ren Faire that needed money between seasons. It is so campy and BAD that it goes from being annoying to outright hilarious. I imagine my character (a Dokalfar Mage kinda Rogue girly) to have a really thick Cockney accent and it brings me great pleasure. I kinda wish I would have named her Eliza!

And speaking of Dokalfar...why do I feel like RA Salvatore only agreed to work on this project if he could include his beloved Dark Elves. I mean is there a work he has done or been involved in that do not have the Dark Elves in them? I don't think it is bad, it is just his calling card!

Combat
Oooh the combat, so much fun! Being a Mage and all means I get to use chackrams and big sticks (true I can use other weapons, but I don't really want to) and have some awesome combos. The real beauty of the combat system, other than my love for things that are not turn based, is you can make it as combo and tactics heavy as you want...or when you just feel like killing and not concentrating, pushing the attack buttons wildly! I love the spells, usually in fantasy games I do not play the Mage, I go for the sword-swinging bad ass, but the spells in this game are not only pretty to look at they are really easy to implement into melee attacks. Plus you can summon your own Skeletor, and you cannot go wrong there.

Scenery 
Ok, this might be the real reason I play KoA. I am very much so a visuals whore and this game pays up. The scenery is beautiful and the detail is astounding! Walking through the various forests you find mushrooms tucked away in corners and moss growing on stones. The way they have the lighting makes it seem like late summer mixed with that strange fuzzy glow you get when dreaming (at least I do) where the details are crisp but still seem so surreal. My only complaint is that the floor plan of a lot of the buildings are almost identical...that is it, my only complaint about the visuals.

Well all this babbling makes me want to go play it some more...

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