Reviews by harpiegirl

95

A Well-Deserved GOTY

harpiegirl | Dec. 9, 2014 | Review of Dragon Age ™: Inquisition (NA)

A foreword; I love BioWare games, however, that doesn't blind me to flaws in their games. Just like any other company, regardless of how much you may love their games, that doesn't make them perfect. With that being said, this game is truly a masterpiece.

Dragon Age: Inquisition is the third installment in the Dragon Age series. Since completing the game, I've tried to go back to Dragon Age: Origins and I just can't get into it anymore - and that's saying something, as Origins was my favorite game when I first played it, until now.

The graphics are beautiful. They're by far the best I've seen shipped in a PC game and I've encountered no graphical errors in my two playthroughs. I play on ultra settings and the characters and environments are all gorgeous; I've no complaints whatsoever.

Character creation. You can create extremely diverse looking faces, far more-so then past Dragon Age games. However, there are things left to be desired. There aren't enough hairstyles but as that is a personal preference and there are some like-able styles, I do not find that this point should affect the score. The lighting can get a little goofy and you won't be able to tell how good your character will really look outside of the creator if you use make up. My suggestions (which as always worked for me) is to only set the transparency to a level where you can just barely see that there is make up. I find that it comes out very nice in-game.

The combat is like a cross between the tactical DAO and the action-y DA2. The combat moves as fast as you want it to, essentially. I personally played it without pausing most of the time, only to place AOEs and other such spells as well as telling a party member to use a potion or such before a large enemy attack. As far as tactics and behaviors go, for the most part that has been stripped down to some basic options in the character menus. I've heard many complaints of this yet I believe those who say that aren't considering why that may have been. DAI has many new aspects to the comment - mostly coming from the environment. For instance, you could place a wall of ice to block enemies behind. If you think about it, you really couldn't properly program or set tactics to take into consideration wall placements or on what level of terrain they should be standing on (this can play a huge factor in combat on higher difficulties). Essentially, I believe what BioWare had intended was for the PLAYERS to define the strategies of their characters themselves - and there is evidence in this when you consider that there two types of orders you can give your party members now - one for movement and one for a skill. Tactics menu aside, I have never had any issues with my party members. They have always been as useful as I wanted, if not more than I expected.

TLDR; party member AI is most definitely competent. Game was clearly designed for the player to manually control party members for tactics, not to have them designated via menu as it would be too complex on both ends to properly account for all new (environmental) variables.

The story is everything I had hoped for and more. It surprised me, it made me sad, happy and excited. There were many things I didn't see coming regardless of accidentally reading spoilers ahead of time. There are some very important and difficult choices for the player to make that will make you stop and consider them first. There are very few perfect choices - each will have its flaws and perks. The romances are far better than past games - well written. surprising, sweet and best of all; they tie into the story extremely well. You'll see that your romance progresses and grows along with the story, sometimes scoring you new cut scenes.

Side quests are bountiful, to say the least. There were so many and I was so excited to see the end of the story that I went and finished the game before doing even half of them. I ended up clocking in about 70 hours for my first playthrough, less than half the side quests finished. I still haven't finished them all in my latest playthrough but it's looking like it will take at least 100 hours, most likely more.

With all things considered, there are some glitches here and there within the game. BioWare is releasing a patch for some of them today (09/12/2014) and more in a later, third patch. They have also announced that they will be introducing some new content to the game with coming updates. In short, while there's already so much good stuff to have now, there's more to come. This is a fantastic game - if you love RPGs, this one is the king of 2014.

80

A Great Strategy Game

harpiegirl | Dec. 9, 2014 | Review of Valkyria Chronicles

Valkyria Chronicles will definitely feed your appetite for strategy RPGs.

This game takes strategy to a whole new level. It's an interesting and innovative take on turn-based and RTS - at the same time. Each character moves one at a time, however, the battle will still flow at the same time. For instance, if you approach an enemy and they can see you, they'll begin shooting at you even though it's your turn. Due to this, you need to take a real strategy into consideration - for instance, you may want to sprint behind cover and duck if you see enemies nearby.

Your characters can die in combat however you can recruit new ones when you're not doing a mission. Those characters include some nice cameos from Skies of Arcadia, for those who have played it. Characters each have different stats to take into consideration for more tactical consideration.

The art style is slightly awkward and I'm personally not a huge fan but I don't find that it takes much away from a game as nice as this. Good voice acting, story and environments really prevent it from bothering you too much.

Overall, the game is great. If you're a fan of strategy games, at $19.99 you can't go wrong for the amount and quality of content get. This version also includes the paid DLC from the ps3 version which is a great bonus.

95

Just Bejeweled

harpiegirl | July 1, 2014 | Review of Bejeweled 3 (NA)

Yup, this is definitely Bejeweled.

This game has quite a few new features over the old versions. However, I find that the badges don't really add any of the motivation that achievements usually add. That aside, the graphics are super crisp, I run the game at 1360 x 768 resolution (although a larger version, my monitor is quite large and likes to be weird with the resolution) which can sometimes (okay, often) mess with games, just fine without any weird stretching issues.

If you have a weird monitor like me and like bejeweled, this is definitely worth a purchase, however I can't say it's worth the full $20 seeing as you can play a similar version online for free in the meantime and well, it's just Bejeweled; wait for a sale.You definitely get what you expected out of the purchase though, which is a lot better than most can say about a game.

90

A Fresh Journey in the Mass Effect Universe

harpiegirl | June 26, 2014 | Review of Mass Effect 2 (NA)

If you were a fan of the story and characters in Mass Effect, you'll love Mass Effect 2. If you found the combat in Mass Effect clunky and slow, you'll probably appreciate the new and improved combat of the sequel.

The writing in general (in my opinion, of course) is greatly improved in ME2. There is much more dialogue, the main story missions are much more relevant and important and best of all - there are more of them. The improvement of the quality is quite frankly ridiculous if you're playing them one after the other straight away. There is so much more story to Mass Effect 2, like, relevant missions and dialogue and the universe feels significantly more complete than ME initially left us.

Combat is way faster and more fun. Less of the tedious and more of the "ha, bring on the enemies and bosses!". There's really not much else to say about it, it is just an improved and faster version of the combat of ME. It does, however, deal differently with equipment. I have to say though, the last battle itself, wasn't fun at all; just boring and tedious. The final battle of ME was more enjoyable to me.

The new characters and expanded upon old characters are great. New characters have a lot to say even if you can't romance them. Old characters are still relevant and will remain relevant to the story. Unfortunately I cannot comment on romances; if you romanced someone in ME and cheat on them with someone else in ME2 they will comment on it eventually (possibly only in ME3) and I personally did not want that to happen.

The graphics are improved. Not by too much but it is there and my character "translated" well into ME2. Unfortunately if you try to customize your appearance in ME2 with an imported character, it sets you at the default face instead of the imported one so it's extremely difficult to correct tiny things without remaking the face entirely.

I highly recommend this game if you've played Mass Effect. It is a worthy sequel with lots of things to keep you entertained and there are a couple ways to end the game that give it definite replayability if you'll be importing to Mass Effect 3.

85

Fantastic, Even if you're not a Big Sci-Fi Fan

harpiegirl | June 26, 2014 | Review of Mass Effect (NA)

First of all, I'm really not big on sci-fi and space-themed media. I prefer classical fantasy type things. However, this is one fantastic game. I spent 70 hours on my first run just exploring the world and trying to do all the side missions and just being a paragon.

The story is fantastic - when I first played the game, I quit for two weeks in the middle of the first mission because I wasn't too interested and the combat was difficult to adjust to. However, I went back, finished the mission and then became enchanted by the following story. Obviously, if you're a fan of sci-fi and space then you'll love this - but even if you're not, like me, there's a decent chance you'll love it as well if you're a fan of drawn out story lines with tons of details and best of all, the ability to impact how the story goes however you wish.

The characters are good. Your squad mates aren't always the most interesting people and don't always have something to say, but when you get to the meat of it they are interesting and clearly their own individuals. On another note, their story lines and back stories are greatly expanded upon in Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3, where the quality and quantity of their writing also increases.

You can romance two characters per gender, men have two female choices and women have one male and one female choice. The romances aren't as drawn out or nearly as important in Mass Effect as they are in later games and the Dragon Age series, but seeing how they develop in 2 and 3 makes it worthwhile to try one out.

Combat is interesting. I came in expecting FPS-style combat, While similar, that's not what you get. You do shoot guns and throw bombs but the combat is actually very tactical and will require you to pause the game (via a game mechanic, of course) and consistently use abilities and skills to take down enemies.

Of course, you can also explore space. That means traveling to various planets in different star clusters, scanning them and even sometimes landing on them, in order to collect resources and other important relics in order to finish quests and gain money and experience. Traveling on planets, most of the time you'll end up on your vehicle, the Mako. At first the controls are somewhat difficult but it does get easier over time. Combat in the Mako is convenient and easy but only after you figure out which tactics are best against which enemies. Fighting enemies such as Thresher Maws can be quite difficult if it's your very first fight in the Mako.

Overall, a fantastic game. I would recommend this to someone who loves RPGs, strategy games or even someone who likes romance simulations (it's fascinating to see relationships evolve over the three games).

95

More than Worth the Money!

harpiegirl | April 30, 2014 | Review of Dragon Age: Origins - Ultimate Edition (NA)

I spent awhile with the game sitting in my library before I decided to pick it up and finally try it. And it's amazing.

It took me 40+ hours to finish the main campaign my first time. I'm now on my second playthrough, clocking in at 70+ hours and I've only finished one of the DLC campaigns on the side. Your choices in the game really do affect the game, which makes them meaningful. For instance, you might make a decision one party member highly doesn't agree with and they'll try to kill you. You can also romance a couple different of your party members, three available for a female character(two male, one female) and two options for a male character(two female). Who you choose to romance may also have an impact on the game.

Combat is pretty great if you're okay with point-and-click type combat. You can pause the game at any point with space bar so you have infinite time to make decisions in battle - which I love. You upgrade three different aspects of your character - your stats, utility skills and combat skills. Utility skills are unique and quite nice. Some characters have their own character-specific skills which is interesting. Finally, you can unlock more sets of skills at level 7 and 14, and you unlock the different types by making various decisions throughout the game such as getting closer to your party members and asking if they'd teach you.

My only complaint is that while there are many decisions in the game you can make, some of the more obvious ones you'd like to make aren't always there,for example at the end of the game where you may want to kill a certain character but cannot, or compromise on certain situations.

85

Fantastic Game for Anyone

harpiegirl | Dec. 5, 2013 | Review of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Nexway

Skyrim is the type of game anyone could play, and there would still be something there for you. You can quest, craft, talk, explore and anything in between.

The game itself is great and takes a handful of hours to fully complete. Once you're done with that, there's still so much to do! Skyrim has one of the largest game modding communities, as well as has some of the best game mods. There are several fantastic mods that add at least 10-20 hours worth of gameplay, as well as more diversity, customization and even change the graphics and visuals.

Overall great game, the PC version is by far the best version(it also comes with an HD skins pack) overall.

95

Everything an RPG Should be

harpiegirl | Dec. 5, 2013 | Review of FINAL FANTASY VII

As a kid, I played FFVII with my mother on the Playstation. It was a great experience and it stuck with me. Since then I have played the PSX version myself.

Now, I picked up this game for PC and it is even better. The game is visually much more clear, there is no lag, it retains the W-item(duping) glitch for those interested yet also removes other minor bugs. The addition of achievements is very fun and some are very challenging. The game also now features cloud saving(you can also save locally) and a game booster which gives you in-game items and materia.

Technicalities aside, the game itself is wonderful. It has a fantastic story that will keep you interested, and only gets better. There are many sidequests to entertain yourself with, super bosses and there are also different outcomes to certain scenes. Overall, to see every outcome for the influenceable scenes, you'd need about 3 playthroughs. The character customization is great, and something I really like. There are endless possibilities to each character's skills, or if you really wanted, you could make them all similar. The game usually takes 35+ hours to finish without stopping to grind.

I recommend doing a first playthrough with one as character doing melee, a mage and a healer and just enjoying the game once. Afterwards, go through another playthrough and get all the achievements and secrets.

85

Always Liked the Cartoony Side of the Sims? Here you go.

harpiegirl | Aug. 20, 2013 | Review of The Sims 3: Supernatural (NA)

If you're one of those people who has always appreciated the cartoony side of the Sims, this is the expansion for you.

You'll spend hours upon hours cursing sims you hate and having little fairy babies float around your house. This expansion adds entire races other than sims, adding an entirely new dimension to the game.

The expansion adds an astonishing amount of content, arguably the most overall of all Sims 3 expansions. Even if you don't want to create Sims of other species, it still adds a fair amount of other content types that any Simmer could enjoy.

Like it for the creatures? Get Dragon Valley too for a bigger experience.

75

Like to Party?

harpiegirl | Aug. 20, 2013 | Review of The Sims 3: Late Night (NA)

If you like to get your sims to party, this is an essential. Or if you don't like sending your sim to work and would rather make their career yourself, get this.

On it's own, this expansion adds a lot of content, depth and some fantastic venues. Match this with the Showtime expansion and your party experience will be amazing, boundless and endless.

Some other suggestions to improve the Late Night experience: Date Night DLC, 70s, 80s and 90s Stuff, Diesel Stuff & Town Life Stuff.

65

This + Late Night = Endless Fun

harpiegirl | Aug. 20, 2013 | Review of The Sims 3: Showtime (NA)

If you were a fan of the party expansions for the Sims 1 and 2, this matched with Late Night will being you endless fun.

You can stay out all night and have even more options as to how to have fun and party. Except, you can be the life of the party for a change.

Alone, it is a good expansion that adds a fair amount of content but it's by far the best added onto Late Night.

85

A Medieval Treat

harpiegirl | Aug. 13, 2013 | Review of The Sims 3 Dragon Valley (NA)

If you like Medieval, Mythological or Dragon themes, you'll love this.

Dragon Valley is a great, if not the best stuff pack/add-on for the Sims 3 if you love dragons. It includes 82 lots, a handful of families including a couple that has time traveled from the Sims 2, new items, clothes, and most importantly, DRAGONS! Interactive little dragons.

The world itself is beautiful and vibrant, and has some wonderful scenery. My only qualm is that the houses aren't all stone and if you were like me and expected castles and stone houses, you'll be a little disappointed. However, the pack is quite reminiscent of the Sims Medieval so if you liked that, you'll love this.Once again; if you like dragons, you'll love this. Also has some great additions for the elf lover!

68

TD + FPS = Sanctum

harpiegirl | Aug. 13, 2013 | Review of Sanctum

Sanctum is an interesting mash between tower defense and first person shooter, combined with a sci-fi environment. The game also seems slightly reminiscent of Portal in terms of design.

Sanctum takes TD to a whole new level of complexity, making sure you pay attention to what's happening. In order to survive, you'll need to manually attack enemies yourself as well and constantly place new traps. You may also play the levels with a friend through co-op.

70

Like Zombie Shooters? Here's your Game

harpiegirl | Aug. 13, 2013 | Review of Killing Floor

Killing Floor is a unique(as far as it goes with zombie shooters) zombie fps.

The controls are a little different from your regular FPS, first of all. It may take a couple rounds to get used to it. Second of all, the game play is quite different itself. For example, everyone's weapons are reset at the beginning of ever game. From then on, you make money for that game and use it to progressively buy new weapons, armor and ammo until the end of that respective game.

The amount of diversity in terms of game types, weapons, outfits and zombies overall makes it a great game, especially if you want to try out zombie shooters for the first time.

75

Makes a Great Addition to your Collection

harpiegirl | Aug. 13, 2013 | Review of The Sims 3: Pets (NA)

If you're looking to add a significant amount of game play to your Sims 3 collection, this is definitely one of the more obvious choices.

Along with Supernatural, Pets adds a significantly new level of play to the Sims 3. You can make dogs, cats and horses. You can adopt stray animals, including horses and unicorns. It also adds many new interactions(some between humans), objects and venues. If you're someone who loves animals - get this.

However, if you played the Sims Pets or Sims 2 Pets, while this is an improvement over that version you may be disappointed that this was not included in the base game after 2 games already having done it. At $19.99 it is definitely of value.You will get much bang for your buck in comparison to other expansions.