Dragon Age: Inquisition on PS3

It’s kinda pointless writing a blog about Dragon Age: Inquisition because Kotaku has provided several stellar reviews of the game, which makes it unnecessary to read any others. That being said, it’s hard to find good information about a new blockbuster game on a last generation console….hence why I am writing about Dragon Age: Inquisition for the Playstation 3. I won’t go too in depth regarding the plot and storyline because well, read Kotaku’s blog if you want to get the full review. All else aside… this post will be helpful for people who still rock the PS3 that are on the fence about buying this game. And so we begin…

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First off, YES THE GAME IS WORTH THE MONEY!! If you’re a fan of the franchise already, a fan of the fantasy genre or just a fan of RPG games…buy this immediately. I’m about 35 hours into my first play through, I’m extremely engaged and there’s no end in sight. It’s rumored that this game can take almost 250 hours to complete if you do all the side quests along with the main storyline and that’s a pretty awesome deal for $50-$60 bucks. Of course, the graphics don’t look as good as the PS4 but they’re still good. There’s no drop off from Dragon Age: Origins (the original game in the series) and the scope of the game is huge. So what?….it’s not gonna look as pretty on the PS3 but it’s still going to be a lot of fun.

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Secondly, the writing is spectacular. Friggin’ Phenomenal. The writing and dialogue in the previous 2 games was great but this one just blows them out of the water. Nice job Bioware. In DA:I the gameplay is great, the storyline is fantastic and the plot twists will make hollywood screenwriters jealous. Seriously….this game is like playing an epic movie. It’s amazing. I actually got misty eyed at one point (during a plot twist that I did not see coming AT ALL)….I felt like I was sitting back watching a great film. Technically you don’t notice any sound issues or drop-offs on the PS3, some cut scenes (which I gather look awesome on PS4) can look kind of crappy on PS3….but there’ve only been a few that I’ve noticed. Bugs? Yeah….there are bugs. I don’t know if this is exclusive to the last generation consoles or the whole game in general….but you will need to save often and keep different save files open. Occasionally there will be some severe gameplay glitches but nothing that removes you completely from the story or action. Your screen will freeze and the system will shut down occasionally….which REALLY SUCKS! But I think that’s due to the huge amount of memory running on the old console. It’s nowhere near the amount of bugs in Fallout: New Vegas. It can be annoying, but not detrimental to the flow or your focus in the game….most of the time. Just save every 15-30 minutes and you’ll be fine.

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Dragon Age: Inquisition has made some improvements in terms of mixing an action rpg game with a bit of strategy simulation (creating your castle and making improvements to it etc. etc) but I think there’s still more to be desired out of it. Not a bad thing at all. I wrote about the Dragon Age: Origins-Awakening expansion, which I really liked, and Bioware incorporated some of that detail into Inquisition and I think it goes over well. But…there’s always going to be room for improvement, which I’ve noticed briefly and read about extensively in reviews on the game. I’m not sure if some features in this part of the game are exclusive to PS4 though….either way, it’s still fun.

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M.A.V.B.L.O.G. SCORE- 9.5 out of 10.

To keep it short….Is Dragon Age: Inquisition worth a purchase on a PS3? Absolutely. I think the game plays well on the last generation consoles….and if you don’t have the money right away to buy a PS4, definitely don’t wait on it. Have fun and play Dragon Age on PS3. You can always replay it a few years down the line once you’ve picked up a PS4. I mean, Bioware will probably have worked out all the bugs by then and probably added some more cool DLC’s. So, if you’ve got time to dick around playing video games….pick this one. It certainly is not a waste of time.

As always. Be good. Be great. Be better! And follow The Golden Rule. Have a great day! …..oh yeah, and don’t forget to exercise once and a while….video games can turn you into a zombie. Right?

The Mass Effect Trilogy

Old news….I know. But there are probably some folks out there that are into video games who haven’t played the Mass Effect series. There are tons of blogs out there about these games which you can see here, here, here, here and here…so I’ll just outline some cool things about the game, give a general overview and explain why I think it’s worth a purchase and play through. After all….it’s only $39.99 now for all three games in the Mass Effect Trilogy. Pretty amazing deal.

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First off, if you don’t like science fiction….don’t play Mass Effect. But if you do like science fiction…..GET IT NOW!! As a gamer, I know very well that a really good video game release is similar to a really good movie release…..few and far between. Each Mass Effect game has its uniqueness to it, which is great. I think they perfected the mechanics in the 3rd game as it had a little bit of both of the good qualities from the first two games. No gamer will ever be entirely pleased unless they themself design their own perfect video game…but these were really, really, really solid. Overall though, it’s an exceptional RPG action game with fantastic artwork, very few glitches and bugs, great writing, an immense amount of options, amazing voice actors and it’s extremely entertaining and immersive. There are so many combinations and variables in this game that you could probably play it 50 times without having the exact same outcomes. It’s fun and well worth the money. Plain and simple.

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Without giving away too much to the newbies to this series, the first game plays more like an RPG with action elements in it. The second game plays a lot like an action game with RPG elements. And the third game….well I felt it combined both pretty well. If you can handle the slight gameplay changes….and you enjoy both the action genre and the RPG genre…you will be satisfied. Also the celebrity cast of voice actors includes people such as Martin Sheen, Carrie-Ann Moss, Lance Henriksen, Keith David, Seth Green, Adam Baldwin and Freddie Prinze Jr.. That just adds to the overall quality and makes you feel like you’re playing a movie….but it’s YOUR MOVIE.

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Now, there were some serious issues and outcry from fans (myself included) over the blatantly flat ending of Mass Effect 3. Wisely though, the game creators took note and updated an extended cut version (which is good) and is available to download into your console for free. It goes without saying that when you invest 120 hours of gameplay into something….you want the outcome to be believable. The original ending was ATROCIOUS….but since recently playing it again…..I noticed that the developers fixed the problem and the ending (whichever you choose based upon the decisions you make throughout the trilogy) is satisfying. (See below for my spoiler/opinion on the ending).

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Are there lots of great games out there? Sure. Are the new console games going to blow away the old PS3 & XBOX games? Probably. But I think you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t play one of the highest budgeted and lauded games of recent years. The Mass Effect Trilogy is a lot of fun. You can play as a woman or a man. You can play as a bad-ass or a boy scout. You can have relationships with the other characters as a friend or lover. You can escape into an expansive world, which you actually have a hand in creating, and come away feeling like you’ve accomplished something on your terms. Have you ACTUALLY accomplished anything other than wasting your time playing a video game? Maybe…..The writing in these games is so good and the characters are so different that you encounter racism, xenophobia, sexism and a multitude of moral decisions that need to be made. You might actually learn some things and encounter social situations you may never see in your day to day life. You may even improve upon your own personality. People frequently complain that games only promote violence, but one of the overall themes of this game is tolerance and cooperation. It’s just a video game… but Mass Effect is also an exercise in morality. It’s escapist entertainment at its finest which is like crack for video game junkies. But it’s also a very intelligent game with a lot of heart.

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M.A.V.B.L.O.G. SCORE- 10 out of 10. It’s fun. It’s fun. It’s fun. And it leaves you wanting more. Regardless of the minor flaws…..this game is awesome. You create your character from top to bottom and you have some freedom in how you design and play your very own Commander Shepard throughout the series. I highly recommend investing the 100-120 hours it takes to complete the trilogy.

Thanks for reading. As always. Be good to yourself. Be good to those you encounter. Even animals.

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My Spoiler Alert: DON’T READ IF YOU HAVEN’T PLAYED PLEASE!!! GO PLAY THE GAME!

If you’ve played all the games you’ll know what I’m talking about. So for those of you on the fence in choosing an ending…..here ya go. In the first game your mission is to defeat the bad guys (Saren & The Reapers) of which, Saren gets indoctrinated by The Reapers so he is essentially working for them. You win. In the second game your mission is to defeat The Collectors who are working for The Reapers. You win. In the third game the villain, The Illusive Man, becomes indoctrinated by The Reapers and after his death you are given three choices: CONTROL (of which The Illusive Man tried but couldn’t succeed…and btw you die) SYNTHESIS (of which The Catalyst TELLS YOU that it never worked sucessfully in the past……and btw you die) DESTROY (where you’re guaranteed to defeat your enemy The Reapers……and maybe you’ll die) or REJECT (where you reject the options The Catalyst presents….. and btw EVERYONE DIES…..and then someday in the distant future people figure out how to defeat The Reapers). It’s pretty clear cut to me that destroy is the only true option. The Catalyst is an ancient Artificial Intelligence or VI that controls The Reapers and IS THE BAD GUY (because it controls The Reapers who have terrorized the galaxy for millions of years). It is giving you these choices because NO ONE has ever made it that far, which is probably a manual system reset that the AI cannot choose. Also, if you have a high enough score and you choose the Destroy ending….Shepard lives. It’s the ONLY outcome where Shepard lives. So yes….Destroy is the ONLY option because it goes along with your character and the entire storyline of the series. Find bad guy. Defeat bad guy. Save galaxy.