The Road To Mel is Paved with Games

So it's not quite Friday, but I expect I'll be kinda busy tomorrow.  So here's this week rundown on the games. 
   

Dragon Age:  Awakening, Witch Hunt, and console vs. PC

  
So I finished Awakening last weekend.  Overall, I was pretty satisfied with the expansion.  I had enough party members, that I had to pick and choose who came with.  I put a fair amount of hours into the thing, and still missed a couple side quests.  And of course, there's the whole my-world-will-get-imported-into-DA2.  Which made the decision to kill The Father a bitch of a decision.  I was truly torn on what to do, since it could have far-reaching repercussions on my next game.  But in the end, I killed him because (a) there are going to be darkspawn to kill either way, and (b) I wanted his loot.  Although it occurred to me later that all this awesome loot that I have, and all the money that I've acquired, I can't do anything with.  I wish I could at least import my character back into a new playthrough of Origins. 
 
Witch Hunt... I was disappoint.  What a bunch of crap.  I think it took me about two hours, and that was my usual take-my-time style of playing.  The ending didn't answer any questions, except to tell us that Flemeth isn't really dead.  But I want to know what happened to Alistair's kid.  And what Morrigan plans to do with said kid.  I wanted answers, damnit!   
 
So since I had been playing DA:A a bunch recently, my daughter decided she wanted to start up a Dragon Age game too.  I relegated her to the console version.  And a few times she has needed my help on particular quests or with certain fights.  It's really only served to strengthen my opinion that the PC version is far superior, especially for any sort of tactics.
 

Monster Rancher DS 

 
 Monster Rancher DS - Draw your monster in

 Monster Rancher DS - Speak your monster in
I got this for my husband this last week, but of course I get to hear lots about it.  If anyone was a fan of the first couple/few Monster Rancher games, they would enjoy this one.  It goes back to a lot of the original concepts of the series.  Of course, there's still the whole thing with getting, raising, and breeding monsters.  Instead of getting monsters from CDs, you either draw a picture onto their "magic field" or speak a word, and voila!  A monster is created.  Many of our favorite old monsters are back, like the suezo, monolith, and gali.  As before, you train your monster, take them to battles, or take them out exploring.  And now you can even battle with other people from around the world over wifi! 
 
I realize that the Monster Rancher series is, in general, very much like Pokemon (though it's older than Pokemon damnit!) but they are totally not the same.  My understanding is that Pokemon is very much a monster collecting game, while Monster Rancher is a breeding/raising game.  I dunno, personally I've never touched Pokemon and have no inclination to do so.  But overall, if someone is into those types of games, Monster Rancher DS is probably worth a shot. 
  
And that's it for this week really.  No idea yet what I'll be playing next week, though I expect the DA2 demo will be in there.  Also, probably the Rift open beta.
15 Comments
16 Comments
Posted by melcene

So it's not quite Friday, but I expect I'll be kinda busy tomorrow.  So here's this week rundown on the games. 
   

Dragon Age:  Awakening, Witch Hunt, and console vs. PC

  
So I finished Awakening last weekend.  Overall, I was pretty satisfied with the expansion.  I had enough party members, that I had to pick and choose who came with.  I put a fair amount of hours into the thing, and still missed a couple side quests.  And of course, there's the whole my-world-will-get-imported-into-DA2.  Which made the decision to kill The Father a bitch of a decision.  I was truly torn on what to do, since it could have far-reaching repercussions on my next game.  But in the end, I killed him because (a) there are going to be darkspawn to kill either way, and (b) I wanted his loot.  Although it occurred to me later that all this awesome loot that I have, and all the money that I've acquired, I can't do anything with.  I wish I could at least import my character back into a new playthrough of Origins. 
 
Witch Hunt... I was disappoint.  What a bunch of crap.  I think it took me about two hours, and that was my usual take-my-time style of playing.  The ending didn't answer any questions, except to tell us that Flemeth isn't really dead.  But I want to know what happened to Alistair's kid.  And what Morrigan plans to do with said kid.  I wanted answers, damnit!   
 
So since I had been playing DA:A a bunch recently, my daughter decided she wanted to start up a Dragon Age game too.  I relegated her to the console version.  And a few times she has needed my help on particular quests or with certain fights.  It's really only served to strengthen my opinion that the PC version is far superior, especially for any sort of tactics.
 

Monster Rancher DS 

 
 Monster Rancher DS - Draw your monster in

 Monster Rancher DS - Speak your monster in
I got this for my husband this last week, but of course I get to hear lots about it.  If anyone was a fan of the first couple/few Monster Rancher games, they would enjoy this one.  It goes back to a lot of the original concepts of the series.  Of course, there's still the whole thing with getting, raising, and breeding monsters.  Instead of getting monsters from CDs, you either draw a picture onto their "magic field" or speak a word, and voila!  A monster is created.  Many of our favorite old monsters are back, like the suezo, monolith, and gali.  As before, you train your monster, take them to battles, or take them out exploring.  And now you can even battle with other people from around the world over wifi! 
 
I realize that the Monster Rancher series is, in general, very much like Pokemon (though it's older than Pokemon damnit!) but they are totally not the same.  My understanding is that Pokemon is very much a monster collecting game, while Monster Rancher is a breeding/raising game.  I dunno, personally I've never touched Pokemon and have no inclination to do so.  But overall, if someone is into those types of games, Monster Rancher DS is probably worth a shot. 
  
And that's it for this week really.  No idea yet what I'll be playing next week, though I expect the DA2 demo will be in there.  Also, probably the Rift open beta.
Edited by JustinSane311

I really enjoyed the witch hunt.  Maybe it was because my Warden was romantically involved with Morrigan and fathered a demon/god child with her, that I was attached to the story more.  I also found it satisfying that my Warden entered that mirror thing with her and ventured into the great unknown.

Posted by melcene

Yeah, I did hear about the choices offered if you were romantically involved with Morrigan, but ultimately, I felt they still didn't answer any questions, such as what happened to that demon/god child?  Where did you venture off to together and what did you do?  I guess I expected more Morrigan that a brief, cryptic appearance at the end.

Posted by Driadon

Bought Monster Hunter DS on release week last year. And, well, general consus is "DS, I'mma let you finish, but Monster Rancher 4 was the best monster breeding game ever." 
 
That said, still love the damn thing.

Posted by Napalm

I wish I had something worthwhile to add to the discussion, but I thought this topic was about Mel Gibson. I do admit I am greatly disappointed. I figured it was about Mel's movie career problems, so he decided to jump into videogames. How would he achieve this? I really have no earthly idea, and this is why, as the meme goes, "I am disappoint."

Posted by Make_Me_Mad

Love Monster Rancher, so much.  I've heard 4 was the best in the series, along with 2, but might have to give the DS version a shot.  Does it have Jells?  No Jell, No Sell.

Posted by melcene
@Driadon: @Make_Me_Mad: I actually wasn't terribly keen on 4.  I guess I just preferred the one on one with the monster you were working on at that time, rather than the ranch full of monsters.  I also felt like the game had been watered down by this point. 
 
Unfortunately, I don't think there are Jells in MR:DS. 
 
One of the other interesting things (and not necessarily good) is how they changed combining monsters. 
 
In the old games, combos worked like this: 
 
Monol/Gali combined with Monol/Gali could give: 
Pure Monol 
Monol/Gali 
Pure Gali  
 
Now, a Monol/Gali combined with a Monol/Gali will only give you a Monol/Gali.  If you want a pure, you would have to combine a Monol/Gali with a Gali/Monol.  See what I did there? 
 
Oh yeah, Hengars are back in, as are Durahans, Dragons.  A list I found online shows a total of 270 monster combinations for the game.
Posted by KaosAngel

Monster Rancher those PS2 games when you can take pictures of stuff and it comes to life?

Posted by Make_Me_Mad
@melcene:
I'd much prefer raising one monster at a time, as it's what I got used to from my years of playing Monster Rancher 2.  Never played 4 because I've never actually seen a copy, and hadn't really liked the way the series went after 2 anyways.  The Advance games were fun, but I couldn't get past all the limitations- are the monster combinations in this one more than just a recolor?  In two, for instance, every different breed of Gali had a new mask and cape pattern.  Anything like that in the DS game?  I've been hankering for some more monster prize-fighting, and either this or 4 seem like the best bets.
Posted by EvilTwin

Can we talk about how awesome the supporting cast was in Witch Hunt?  For two throw away characters in a two hour or less piece of content I loved the hell out of those characters.  I was almost sad to walk through the portal with Morrigan and leave them hanging.

Posted by Driadon
@Make_Me_Mad: Different breeds have different visual elements, like the non-Advance games. It's much nicer, I agree.
Posted by melcene
@KaosAngel: In the old PS1 and PS2 versions of the game, you would just stick any random CD in your console, whether it was another PS game, or a PC game, or a music CD, and the Monster Rancher game would lift a monster from that CD.  A particular CD would always yield the same monster.  I believe you could even use DVDs, though back in the early days of the series, DVDs were still really new.  Not even sure if they were out yet for MR1. 
 
@Make_Me_Mad: If you prefer to raise one monster at a time, I would definitely go with this one over 4.  This one is more reminiscent of MR1-2, although I guess it is sort of a compilation of all of them.  The monster combos so far do seem like mostly just a recolor. 
 
Oh, another good thing that they did, is that when creating new monsters, you don't have to take them back to your ranch (or freeze them) after each creation just to get them in your encyclopedia.  Its been so long since I've played a MR game, I'm not sure if this is new.
Posted by melcene
@EvilTwin said:
" Can we talk about how awesome the supporting cast was in Witch Hunt?  For two throw away characters in a two hour or less piece of content I loved the hell out of those characters.  I was almost sad to walk through the portal with Morrigan and leave them hanging. "
Actually, this was another problem I had with the DLC overall - What happened to my elf buddy and this book she was looking for?  Sure, she got the book, but then what?  I just really felt like the DLC left the player hanging with too much undone/unanswered.
Posted by ArbitraryWater

Wait, you could go through the mirror thing if you had a romance with Morrigan? My character did that in the main game, and that didn't happen when I played Witch Hunt. I probably picked the wrong dialog option or something. But really, I thought Witch Hunt was at the very least leagues better than every other Dragon Age DLC, even if that isn't really saying much, considering how generally bad all the DLC for that game is (I would personally consider Darkspawn Chronicles to be worse than horse armor because you are paying $7 for an experience that is actively bad as opposed to just wasting your money on something borderline cosmetic. Yeah, it is still less than 2 hours of gameplay in exchange for some incredibly opaque hints, but at least you can tell they put some effort into it, unlike aforementioned Darkspawn Chronicles or Golems of Agmarak.

Posted by melcene
@ArbitraryWater: I didn't touch Darkspawn Chronicles or Leliana's Song.  I started Golems of Agmarak after I did Witch Hunt, but wasn't really in the mood anymore and dropped it pretty quickly in.  I went with Witch Hunt because I was under the impression that I would get more information on what happened after the Final Battle, at least with events as they pertained to Morrigan.  But I was disappointed in that regard.
Posted by SuicidalSnowman

Oh man, your thoughts on Monster Rancher almost make me want to get a DS just for this.  I loved the original and the second one, but then found they started drifting away from Monster Raising into some bizarre design choices.