Reviews by StormGryffen
Worthy enough.StormGryffen | Jan. 7, 2014 | Review of Dragon Age Origins Awakening NA Origin - PC
Dragon Age: Origins Awakening is an expansion that adds a lot of content by way of a completely new campaign to continue your original Gray Warden’s adventures. In this DLC, you get to manage the campaign as a Warden Commander – and, like the first time around, your decisions heavily impact the story and ending. If there’s anything negative to be said about Dragon Age: Origins Awakening is that the expansion seems just a bit too short. The story does a decent job of continuing the story, but you don’t have many quests and objectives beyond the very missions that you end up recruiting your new Gray Wardens on, so it felt to me as if the last few people you recruit don’t always get a lot of face time, even if recruitment order is essentially up to you as a player. The story serves as a vehicle for both this expansion pack’s continued adventures and to set up some aspects of the sequels, but all-in-all I wouldn’t rate the story to be as good as the original game’s, despite the fun of being in charge of the new Gray Wardens and getting to recruit new and interesting Wardens. All-in-all though, I’d rate the story as pretty passable, with some pretty unique challenges added gameplay-wise because of the situations the Warden Commander is forced to confront this time around.
An instant classic.StormGryffen | Jan. 7, 2014 | Review of Dragon Age Origins Ultimate Edition NA Origin - PC
Dragon Age Origins is a great game with a great story and a decent RPG combat system. This is an RPG done correctly, with just enough choice and consequences to leave you feeling like the character you create has a unique tale. The characters are interesting and the relationship system in the game is engaging and fun, if a little simplistic and flawed (you can just bribe everyone with gifts to make them love you). Some of the choices you make in this game have consequences in Dragon Age 2 if you load your character file into that game. Although Dragon Age 2 is a completely separate experience and is a pretty bad game, I have hopes that my Dragon Age Origins adventures will have an impact on the third upcoming game in the series.
Take it or Leave it DLCStormGryffen | Jan. 7, 2014 | Review of XCOM Enemy Unknown Slingshot DLC - PC
Slingshot is one of those “take it or leave it” DLC’s that doesn’t add a lot of content but enhances the game a little. You get a new heavy soldier who has a unique health bonus and if he survives the final mission of the game you get an achievement. You get a little variety thrown in by way of some new missions that are each a one-time deal, and you get some UFO parts earlier than you would if you didn’t have the expansion. In my opinion, the expansion is worth five US dollars or so and adds just enough to be new and interesting but it isn’t a must-have. Like all expansion content mission sets that have been released for the X-com reboot thus far, you can disable the new missions on subsequent play-throughs via the advanced options menu.
If you own the base game, buy this expansion.StormGryffen | Jan. 7, 2014 | Review of XCOM Enemy Within NA - PC
Enemy Within gets rid of the few small faults I perceived to be within the base X-Com: Enemy Unknown game and enhances an already very solid gaming experience. The base game, as my review for that game opines, lacks map variation and the feeling of having enough research and equipment options for your troops to make them feel very specialized or varying. Though the base game contained many specialty paths for your troops, it felt to me like the training options and equipment research variation in the base game was just satisfactory enough to provide a few options. This expansion “fixes” and improves the main game in every way – Gone is the tedium of seeing the same few maps too often, and gone is the feeling of having somewhat limited troop options. The expansion adds two new paths for your troops that require an investment of a new resource along with some cash and time investment. MEC research allows you to turn some of your troops into cyborgs – and genetic enhancement research allows you to splice some human weaknesses out of your troops and add some alien advantages. Though a trooper can’t be both a MEC AND a genetically engineered trooper, these systems add a lot of variety to the game. The game also adds some new equipment and research options, and a lot of new maps that make the game feel far more varied and option-packed. Additionally, X-Com: Enemy Within adds a new faction to battle in the early to middle game. EXALT is a faction that will constantly raise panic across the world until you’re able to infiltrate enough of their group with operatives to find their weak spots and put them down. EXALT provide and additional challenge, and adds a new kind of mission to the game, where you need to infiltrate them with operatives and then extract those operatives in a certain manner to retrieve necessary data on the organization. During extractions, your infiltrating operative can hack enemy communications using satellite towers, thus disrupting them, but the operative is only able to use a pistol for the extraction mission and often starts separated from the extraction team you’ve sent. In my opinion, this expansion addresses the few weaknesses in X-Com Enemy Unknown and gets rid of them while providing fun and engaging new options and challenges. It takes the base game from a rating I’d say was around 80 and brings it to 95.
Replay Value!StormGryffen | Jan. 6, 2014 | Review of The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim Nexway (1) - PC
I remember showing this game to an acquaintance who had not taken a look at PC gaming in a number of years. Her first comments were “Wow, I didn’t realize computer graphics had advanced so far” and, after a while, “So this is pretty much the best game ever made, then?” My response was “Yes.” Not only is the base game engaging, not only is all the DLC incredibly good, but the fun factor and replay value of this game are absolutely through the roof. The engaging storyline and combat system are top of the industry and despite pretty much every play through the game leads to owning a very powerful character, decisions you make along the way coupled with the sheer quantity of things to do in this game make every run through the game feel exciting and worthwhile. If you somehow get bored with the base game and all of its deep and engaging expansions, the mod community for this game is the most active that I have ever seen. You can mod in new adventures, gear, systems, items, whatever you want. Some of the mods out there are arguably as large and engaging as the professional DLC expansions are. I have every achievement in this game with all DLC’s installed. According to my Steam account, I have played this game for 578 hours at the time of this writing. If you’re looking for gameplay value in a fantasy game that, in my opinion, has no competition in the gaming industry - this is it.