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Author Topic: KoTOR 2 : The Sith Lords Impressions  (Read 13062 times)
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Glycerine
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« on: December 07, 2004, 05:44:34 PM »

I'm going to break the unwritten rule and just jump right in on this one.  Played for about 6 hours last night, mild spoilers ahead so turn away if that kind of thing bothers you.  I'm very impressed so far.  First, my thoughts on gameplay:

You start out this time as a Jedi and can choose from one of the three classes from the last game, sans light saber of course.  Once you get farther into the game you can then choose one of six different prestige classes based on your alignment.  Character creation is pretty much unchanged from the last game, although there are a host of new feats and force powers to choose from.  The tutorial level is a bit of letdown compared to the first; thankfully you can skip through it.  (I forced myself to finish it just to see everything the game has to offer.)  The first part of the game on the mining station was intriguing.  Waking up with no recollection of who you are was done before in the last game, but this time the whole set up just seemed eerie.  Everyone on the mining colony is dead, there are signs of recent battles yet all is silent, suspenseful music playing in the background, and the recorded logs of the crew's final days.  All of these things seemed to come together to create a sense of urgency:  you really want to find out what happened and get off this rock as soon as possible.  As for the level design, maybe I'm playing a different game here, but I thought the first world was very well done.  It's not nearly as large as Tarsis, but passages and rooms don't feel "empty" like they did in the first game:  piles of rubble here and there, motionless mining droids collapsed from recent battles, unused computer terminals, empty lockers, corpses resting quietly wherever they fell.  It seems to me that lots of work was put into making the world feel more "realistic".

The combat system is pretty much the same as the last game, except of course a few new options.  You can now switch between two different weapon sets on the fly, as well as use items on different characters without having to switch to that NPC.  You can also assign different AI routines for each character from the quick-menu to dictate what they do in battle, very similar to the Infinity engine games.  (As far as I can tell, I haven't really done much with this yet...)

The dialog is very extensive and well written.  You can tell that one of the lead designers worked on Torment.  There are numerous options to pick from for each NPC you speak to for both light and dark characters.  Very early in the game you have an extensive conversation with one of the NPCs, which will let you dictate how the outcome of the first game was played out as well as details regarding Revan.  This has significant changes later on in the game, or so I've read.  Computer terminals seem to play a much bigger role, as there were many more things you could do with them this time around.  The game also makes more use of your attributes, as there were several options, which did checks against Intelligence, Wisdom, etc.  So far the plot seems good enough to keep you interested in what happens next.  The game does feel quite a bit "darker" than the first, which isn't a bad thing at all.

Now on to the technical side of things:

Overall the graphics and sound are pretty much unchanged.  I really didn't notice any more slowdown in this game than in the last.  The voice acting and music are still top-notch, although there were a few instances on the recorded logs when it did seem to cut out before it was supposed to.  I didn't have subtitles turned on, so I thought that it was supposed to be that way.  I played it pretty much non-stop for 6 hours straight and it didn't crash or freeze, so I'd say the game is pretty solid from that standpoint.

After six hours I would say KoTOR2 is easily as good as the first.  If you liked the first one, you'll feel the same way about Sith Lords.  I had to force myself to stop playing it last night, and that alone took almost an hour.

Glycerine
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Yossarian
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« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2004, 06:08:41 PM »

I can't wait to pick this one up today.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2004, 06:11:57 PM »

For consolidation I'll go ahead and post my impressions from yesterday's thread.  I  should say that the general tone came off more negative than I feel about the game:

Okay after a couple of hours:

Pretty mixed.

People complained about a slow opening to the original and its just as bad here. The tutorial section is worse than the first game- at least in KOTOR the tutorial took place on board a battle cruiser as it spiraled out of control in the middle of a space battle while you waged against Sith Troopers onboard. In KOTOR II you get the fun of controlling T3 as he repairs some damage onboard the Ebon Hawk from a battle that occured before the game even started. To be fair though there is some neat lighting and scenery during this section.

The first "world", a mining colony, is very, very mundane visually. The KOTOR engine may not be the most advanced in the world but I thought Bioware's world design put it to very good use in the first game. Hopefully things change on future worlds because this first area is very uninspired.

Gameplay, so far, is pretty much unchanged. From reviews and previews it sounds like the interactions with the party will really come to to the forefront but I haven't got to that stage yet.

Framerate alone may be reason to wait for the PC version. In general its fine but there have already been a few areas where it drops into the single digits during non-combat scenes!

Music is very nice- Jeremy Soule returns and his score gives a nice sense of ominous mystery.

Writing and voice acting are well done so far though.

There has been a few glitches in the audio- it has cut out too early a few times which can be a pain if you don't have subtitles enabled.

Hopefully it picks up. I wouldn't say its worse than the original but I think I was willing to give the first game more of a pass at the beginning because it seemed so unique. Gamespot pretty much nailed it when they say the year and a half since KOTOR's release has not been kind to the technical aspects of the game.
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maggie-chow
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« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2004, 06:32:38 PM »

I played it about 4 hours last night.

Lots of new feats ... there is a feat which will allow you to use your Dexterity instead of Strength for bonus damage in melee.  

Also, skills cost more depending upon class, but there are feats which will eliminate that class penalty for a skill, if you desire.

I thought you could skip the tutorial ... right?
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2004, 06:35:36 PM »

Quote from: "maggie-chow"


I thought you could skip the tutorial ... right?


Yup- you can just go back to the cockpit on the Hawk to skip it.  I didn't want to, though, because as Glycerine mentioned I wanted the complete experience and I felt like I might need a refresher.
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vagabond
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« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2004, 07:09:11 PM »

About ten hours in, the game is almost exactly like the first in pure gameplay. But that is not a bad thing. I like the characters and the story so far. There has been a lot of graphics reused from the first, I guess to save time and effort on remaking them.  The ship you get on has the same layout as the one in the Tutorial, and the Ebon Hawk is re-used. I got lagged out once when a battle took place my main character continued down the hallway for awhile. Not really much to say other than if you liked the first one you most surely will like this one. I am having a blast so far.


GOOD GAME HINT MILD SPOILER

When you get to the docking bay where the Ebon Hawk is and get onboard you will get attacked by a wave of sith troops and will have the opportunity to shoot them with the ships laser cannon.  Withhold your deathwishes and don't fire the gun at all. 25 sith will then be on the ship at 175 experience each and some credits and stuff. Firing the gun I still had 7 get onboard.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2004, 07:27:53 PM »

I am a little concerned about the reported lengthy time until you get your lightsaber.  Since you start the game as a Jedi I had assumed it wouldn't take as long to get your saber as in the first game but it sounds like thats not the case.
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« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2004, 08:03:16 PM »

Quote from: "vagabond"
About ten hours in, the game is almost exactly like the first in pure gameplay.
Ugh.

I won't be buying this, then.  Ever.
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farley2k
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« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2004, 08:19:59 PM »

I however will be buying it ASAP.

When I love the gameplay I love hearing that the game is more of the same!
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« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2004, 08:47:55 PM »

Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"
Quote from: "vagabond"
About ten hours in, the game is almost exactly like the first in pure gameplay.
Ugh.

I won't be buying this, then.  Ever.


Yes, we know.

OTOH, I'll be picking it up today on the way home from work.
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whiteboyskim
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« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2004, 08:52:06 PM »

Are the Skills as useless as they were in the first one?
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« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2004, 09:25:59 PM »

Quote from: "whiteboyskim"
Are the Skills as useless as they were in the first one?
Silence, heathen!  KOTOR was perfect!  Go sit in your corner!

 :wink: to whiteboy

 :roll: to KOTOR, KOTOR fanbois, and KOTOR2 not improving the god-awful combat system!
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Glycerine
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« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2004, 09:28:15 PM »

Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"
Ugh. I won't be buying this, then.  Ever.


If you didn't like the first game, why are you looking in the impressions thread for the second?  If you hated the first KoTOR, what could possible make you even remotely interested in the sequel?  Any amount of intelligence could deduce that since the game is called "Knights of the Old Republic 2" it will probably be at least similar in nature to the first game.

Perhaps in the future you might try and think before you post.  I also don't think anyone in this thread really cares whether you like it or not.  Those that didn't like KoTOR were probably smart enough to not look in this thread to begin with.

Thanks.

Glycerine
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« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2004, 09:36:17 PM »

Speaking as someone who *really* enjoyed the first KOTOR, I'd be very interested to hear what people have to say about the bugs in this new game.  GameSpot mentioned some occasional bugs in the conversation trees that would result in circular conversations, but I'm more concerned about broken quests, corrupted save files, broken stat advancement, etc.

-Autistic Angel
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« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2004, 09:36:48 PM »

I'm shocked to see LE take shots at an X-Box exclusive!!  :shock:

It's so out of character for him.  :roll:

 :wink:
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« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2004, 09:38:11 PM »

Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"
Quote from: "vagabond"
About ten hours in, the game is almost exactly like the first in pure gameplay.
Ugh.

I won't be buying this, then.  Ever.

You know.  Console Gold feels more and more like Gone Gold everyday. smile

Picked it up over lunch.  If anything can pull me away from WoW it might be this.

s
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« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2004, 09:38:30 PM »

While I don't agree with Lord Ebonstone, he didn't attack anyone personally he just stated his opinion which we all can do.  Lets not start personal attacks, etc.  

Thanks
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AJ McClain
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« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2004, 09:39:25 PM »

Thanks for the impressions Glycerine and Kevin Grey.

KoTOR II is on my list of games-to-get, a list that seems to just keep growing and growing. Hopefully I'll be able to pick it up soon. Otherwise I might wait for the PC version.
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« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2004, 09:40:22 PM »

And in defense of LE (yep, crazy, eh?) I believe he said in an earlier thread when he found out Obsidian was working on it that he had higher hopes for it.  I don't think he knew it was using the same engine nor that it was most likely going to be more of the same.
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« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2004, 09:48:20 PM »

Definitely on my must have list, going to *TRY* to wait for the PC version this time. I failed miserably when it came to waiting for the first one, but the load times stopped me about half way throguh my "evil" play-through.
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Autistic Angel
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« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2004, 10:01:04 PM »

Out of curiosity, what was it exactly that -Lord Ebonstone- disliked so much about the combat in the first KOTOR?  It struck me as a rather elegant adaptation of the d20 role-playing ruleset to a Star Wars setting, but I can see how someone expecting a more hands-on Jedi Knight-type experience would be disappointed.

-Autistic Angel
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« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2004, 10:35:17 PM »

Quote from: "Devil"
I'm shocked to see LE take shots at an X-Box exclusive!!  :shock:

It's so out of character for him.  :roll:

 :wink:


Yes, we wouldn't want any "counter-culture backlash" now, would we?  confused
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« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2004, 10:49:24 PM »

Quote from: "Autistic Angel"
Out of curiosity, what was it exactly that -Lord Ebonstone- disliked so much about the combat in the first KOTOR?  It struck me as a rather elegant adaptation of the d20 role-playing ruleset to a Star Wars setting, but I can see how someone expecting a more hands-on Jedi Knight-type experience would be disappointed.

-Autistic Angel


He liked the idea at least, from what I gather, but thought the execution of everything fell short. Of course, I'm not trying to put words in his mouth, just going on the foggy haze of memory. smile

I too thought the combat was lame, and is especially moreso when going through again. When you just want to get somewhere but have to go through a bunch of turn-based combat nonsense it's annoying. I also didn't like the Skill system which I thought was useless, hence my question on whether that's improved.
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« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2004, 10:56:05 PM »

Quote
Yes, we wouldn't want any "counter-culture backlash" now, would we?


Bwahh!!   :lol:

I guess 'Counter-Culture Backlash' is a PS2 exclusive.  biggrin
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« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2004, 11:11:56 PM »

Grrr...I haven't had a chance to stop and pick this up yet, but as of today I'm on vacation and I'll get it tonight.

I didn't mind the gameplay in the first one, so hearing that not much has changed with the second doesn't bother me.  I would have liked to see some other mini-games.   Pazaak and swoop racing are good and all, but having the same games in the sequel is a bit uninspired.
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« Reply #25 on: December 07, 2004, 11:14:50 PM »

Quote from: "Glycerine"
Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"
Ugh. I won't be buying this, then.  Ever.


If you didn't like the first game, why are you looking in the impressions thread for the second?  If you hated the first KoTOR, what could possible make you even remotely interested in the sequel?  Any amount of intelligence could deduce that since the game is called "Knights of the Old Republic 2" it will probably be at least similar in nature to the first game.


Two words:  different developer.

I don't have anything against the Star Wars setting.

I very much dislike the Aurora combat engine and Bioware writing, however.

And before you said "it was Aurora anyway newb you should have known," yes, I did know.  Black Isle (now kinda Obsidian) had re-vamped engines before into more enjoyable versions (see: IWD2).  Thus I was excited that combat might be, ya know, fun in this iteration.

Quote from: "Glycerine"

Perhaps in the future you might try and think before you post.


I'm rubber, you're glue.  Which is to say, I suggest the same of you.

Quote from: "Glycerine"

I also don't think anyone in this thread really cares whether you like it or not.  Those that didn't like KoTOR were probably smart enough to not look in this thread to begin with.

Thanks.

Glycerine


Shrug.  C'est le internet.  I wanted to bitch about how the combat hadn't changed and how that was a dealbreaker for me.

And I find it ironic you'd say no one cares about whether I like it or not when you spend an entire post flaming me.  Yikes.  Hypocrisy stings.

kthxbye

-Lord Ebonstone-  

(HINT:  Your name is displayed to the left of your posts so you don't need to put it at the end of everything.)
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« Reply #26 on: December 07, 2004, 11:18:12 PM »

Quote from: "Devil"
I'm shocked to see LE take shots at an X-Box exclusive!!  :shock:

It's so out of character for him.  :roll:

 :wink:
It's already been announced that it's coming to the PC, and I do most of my gaming on the PC, so it actually was something I was interested in, thanks.  

In fact, I thought it was coming to the PC at the same time as the XBox up until about a week ago.  Then I heard it was February.

EDIT:  me typ gud
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« Reply #27 on: December 07, 2004, 11:19:49 PM »

Quote from: "whiteboyskim"
Are the Skills as useless as they were in the first one?


Skills seem to come into play more often, and influence many more rolls.  Creating items, for example, requires checks on particular skills, depending upon the item you are creating.  

In dialogue or in comm interfaces, I've had skill and Intelligence dialogue options.  My Intelligence is 14, at one point the dialogue tree gave me the answer to a numeric puzzle, because of that.   Not that I needed it.

There was one point where I was looking around, trying to open an airlock door, and didn't get much help from dialogue.  But it didn't take long to figure it out.

I think it's safe to say it's an appropriate (and great) sequel to KOTOR, so far.
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« Reply #28 on: December 07, 2004, 11:21:47 PM »

Oh yeah, and there are neat Feats like "Stealth Run" added.
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« Reply #29 on: December 07, 2004, 11:22:34 PM »

Quote from: "AgtFox"
I don't think he knew it was using the same engine nor that it was most likely going to be more of the same.


Honestly I hadn't been following the previews for the game (I don't follow many previews any more at all).  I was pretty sure the same engine would be used, which was kind of a moot point considering I would get it on the PC and thus avoid low framerates, blurry graphics, and intolerable load times, but I wasn't sure if combat was going to be revamped.  Like I said, Black Isle, which kind of melted into what's now Obsidian, had revamped combat before and had done a pretty decent job at it.  You can do quite a bit without uprooting the engine.

Quote from: "AgtFox"
(yep, crazy, eh?)


Very.  You're a brave man.
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« Reply #30 on: December 07, 2004, 11:26:04 PM »

i don't even like star wars, and i really liked the first one.

kotor 2 really should be considered kotor 1.5

that said, if you liked the first one, you'll like this one.  If you didn't, you won't.  quite simple
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« Reply #31 on: December 07, 2004, 11:28:51 PM »

Quote from: "Laner"
Yes, we wouldn't want any "counter-culture backlash" now, would we?  confused
Uh, how is this a backlash?  I haven't actually bought the game or played it.

Want to see some counter-culture backlash?  Go track down the people panning Half-Life 2 in the PC GOTY thread.  These are folks claiming they've played the game to completion and would rate it a 3/10.  

That's backlash.  This, my disappointment that combat wasn't polished up/changed, is just that--disappointment.
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« Reply #32 on: December 08, 2004, 12:30:58 AM »

Do the new feats go a ways toward varyin up the combat a lil though?  Thats what I was hopin for (though at heart I find the combat pretty enjoyable even though I've been doin it since BG... which means BG I + II, IWD I + II, expansions, KOTOR... etc)... so hopefully a "few new moves" will breathe air into what we've been doin for how many years now? smile  Do they feel "gimicky" or are they really genuine new ways to approach things?
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« Reply #33 on: December 08, 2004, 12:35:50 AM »

LE - I think the 'counter-culture backlash' remark was in reference to you hanging that tag on me when I said I wasn't all that impressed with GTS:SA. If I remember correctly, you hadn't played GTA at that point either.

CCB is a double edged sword!  :wink:
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« Reply #34 on: December 08, 2004, 12:44:20 AM »

Oh, and a couple more... how linear is the game? (I know its prob pretty early for most... and do try to be spoiler free smile

Is there a lot of variety - the same kinda "planet hoppin" from the first?  Are there many worlds to visit, many side quests?  (I'm hopin more for the BG II style, do this quest get a fortress kinda thing - NOT well you can drop off that piece of junk you found to NPC X and get some exp).  Thanks!
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« Reply #35 on: December 08, 2004, 12:47:20 AM »

Quote from: "Devil"
LE - I think the 'counter-culture backlash' remark was in reference to you hanging that tag on me when I said I wasn't all that impressed with GTS:SA. If I remember correctly, you hadn't played GTA at that point either.

CCB is a double edged sword!  :wink:
Perhaps that was unfair.  I apologize for that.

Please don't make an acronym out of counter-culture backlash, though.  It makes me feel that much more nerdy.   :wink:
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« Reply #36 on: December 08, 2004, 12:57:03 AM »

Quote
Perhaps that was unfair. I apologize for that.


No need to apologize - Just want to keep you honest!!  biggrin

Sorry about CCB too. It got too long to type.


The irony of this is that I didn't like the first KOTOR either, yet I'm in here soaking up as much info as I can get to see if one of our fellow CGers can pull me back in.

I see KOTOR (and other big franchises that I don't like) as a case of it being MY problem, not the game. KOTOR was universally loved by most gamers and critics. Is everyone else wrong? I think it's me, but I have no problem with that.

I usually won't step in and trash a game I haven't played though.
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« Reply #37 on: December 08, 2004, 01:10:47 AM »

Quote from: "Doopri1"


Is there a lot of variety - the same kinda "planet hoppin" from the first?  Are there many worlds to visit, many side quests?  (I'm hopin more for the BG II style, do this quest get a fortress kinda thing - NOT well you can drop off that piece of junk you found to NPC X and get some exp).  Thanks!


Although I'm still early (still on the first "planet") everything I've read indicates it has almost exactly the same number of worlds and sidequests and is just as long (if not longer) than the first game so if KOTOR suited you, there shouldn't be any problems here.
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maggie-chow
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« Reply #38 on: December 08, 2004, 01:28:38 AM »

Quote from: "Doopri1"
Do the new feats go a ways toward varyin up the combat a lil though?  Thats what I was hopin for (though at heart I find the combat pretty enjoyable even though I've been doin it since BG... which means BG I + II, IWD I + II, expansions, KOTOR... etc)... so hopefully a "few new moves" will breathe air into what we've been doin for how many years now? smile  Do they feel "gimicky" or are they really genuine new ways to approach things?


The new feats do make it possible for a Jedi to also used ranged weapons.  You can fight unarmed, and I've found one item that helps unarmed skill.   The combat feels basically the same to me, but then, I'm playing the same type of Jedi as I did in the first game.

There are special character-specific combat advantages in this game.  One character cannot be incapacitated (if anyone else is conscious).  Another character shares a force bond with you, so you share the benefits of any force powers cast in combat.
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"I spill my drink!"    [Currently playing: Civ IV (PC), Romance of the Three Kingdoms X (PS2)]
vagabond
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« Reply #39 on: December 08, 2004, 01:28:59 AM »

Quote from: "Kevin Grey"
I am a little concerned about the reported lengthy time until you get your lightsaber.  Since you start the game as a Jedi I had assumed it wouldn't take as long to get your saber as in the first game but it sounds like thats not the case.


Up to level 9 and still haven't seen hide or hair of a lightsaber. I understand they do this for game balance but it is absurd. If there were literally thousands of Jedi at one time and now there are none, there would be lightsabers laying around all over the place.  For example in any reasonably sized city in the world you could go and get a Samurai sword from a few centuries back if you looked a bit and had the money. Still having fun with the game though.
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