So with the lockout ended and the flurry of trades and free agent signings happening in the NFL recently I got that itch to play some football again. What better game to go back to then ESPN NFL 2K5, still the greatest football game ever after all these years. With my PS3 having the wonderful YLOD that means getting current rosters is out of the question, so I've decided rather then play with the base 2004 roster I'm gonna start a franchise and just sim 10 seasons in to the future so I won't know who any of the players are anyway. Besides I really enjoy the off-season aspects of sports franchises especially the draft and working out free agent contracts so playing GM for a while will be fun.
Started up my fresh franchise this evening and opted to go with the Lions the 31st ranked team in the league a rebuilding project to be sure. Playing 8 minute quarters with custom sliders slanted towards a more sim play style. Played through week 1 of the preseason just to get a feel for the game again and see how the sliders worked out, ended up beating Indy 21-14 in a game that shouldn't have been that close but I am the Lions so comfortable wins aren't gonna come easy. Shining moment of the game was a 6 minute, 17 play, 89 yard TD drive it's a beautiful thing. Today was the practice run, tomorrow I start simming seasons and get down to business. Trying to get through 10 drafts in one day should be...interesting.
So far the reception to Dragon Age II has been mixed to say the least. Many people seem to fall on one of two sides, either the game is a huge disappointment for not carrying on the Origins gameplay structure or the game is better because it strays from the Origins formula by speeding up the combat and streamlining the number crunching aspects of RPGs. Could much of this been avoided with a simple name change?
The way I see it much of the anger and arguing done by both sides is because they're essentially fighting to make Dragon Age III the game they want it to be before it's too late. Dragon Age as a franchise is at crossroad of sorts it could go back to the Origins style or continue on with a more action oriented style presented in Dragon Age II, both sides feel like they need to "win" this argument and make sure the franchise goes down their preferred path before it's too late.
I think a lot of the disappointment from Origins fans comes from the fact this is called Dragon Age II, with the name alone you expect it to follow in a similar path to Origins when in many ways it's a vastly different game. If this had been called Dragon Age: Champion of Kirkwall and marketed as a more action oriented adventure in the Dragon Age universe I think much of the backlash would have been avoided. This would also allow Bioware to avoid having to make a crossroad decision of where the franchise is heading and allow them to appeal to both audiences.
The prime example that comes to mind is the Baldur's Gate series. You had Baldur's Gate I & II the more story oriented tactical combat games and you had Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance I & II the hack and slash action games. Two series set in the same universe but made to appeal to different playstyles. Why not do the same with Dragon Age? You could have the Dragon Age: Origins series to appeal to people who prefer that playstyle, and the Dragon Age: Champion series to appeal to people who prefered the Dragon Age II playstyle.
Splitting the franchise in to different series would allow Bioware to meet the needs of both fanbases and ease the concerns of Origins fans that are worried that playstyle is dead.
3 years ago I got the 80GB Motorstorm PS3 bundle for Christmas, this year I got the YLOD. Got 4 new games that are going be collecting dust for a while, not sure when I'm gonna be able to afford to fix or replace it.
Dunno if it's worth paying Sony the $130 for a refurb since I'll just get another Phat PS3 that will likely YLOD or if I'm better off paying $100 and swapping it for the Slim. Of course if I get a Slim then I need to go get a new PS2 since that decided to stop working as well ugh.