Metacognition: Once More, With Feeling

We’re back with our “thinking about thinking” series! If you’re interested in our previous deep thoughts, check out the Metacognition series.  Join us for some deep thoughts (and maybe the occasional not-so-deep thought) about gaming. If you find one you’d like to answer, you can either comment below or write a post and share the link so we can all read your fantastic thoughts!

What is a game that you would like to revisit?

A while ago, I compared BioWare’s middle children. Even further back, I talked about how sometimes games that are otherwise very good can be overshadowed by mechanics or other “minor” flaws. The common game between both of those articles is BioWare’s Dragon Age II.

I admit it. I fell into the hype trap, except this time, it was hype that I managed to hype for myself without any outside influence needed. I was so excited after playing Dragon Age: Origins that I went into Dragon Age II expecting the same amazingly profound experience and… I got completely frustrated by the copy-and-pasted environments and how I legitimately would forget where I was because everything looked the same. I hated that bad guys would literally spawn out of nowhere and for no in-game reason during a frantic battle. I hated that it was more hack-n-slash than the original, and that the tactics menu I liked fiddling with in Origins seemed like a thing of the past.

And man, did I loathe what they did with the character models for the elves. Maybe because I grew up on Tolkein, but elves were always supposed to be striking, if not beautiful, by mortal standards. What they weren’t supposed to look like were bipedal cats.

elves-of-dragon-age
How is this the same person?

Add to that I felt that the game was too fast-paced, trying to squeeze 10 years of information into one game, resulting in the story jumping around too much for any one “thing” to be developed. I understand that it was explained away by the fact that Varric was literally trying to summarize 10 years of life, but the game fell into too many holes as a game for me to forgive it that easily. On top of that, I was really pissed off at it for not being Origins, so any attempt it made to, you know, be a good story was largely ignored.

It honestly took me almost until the end of the game to calm down enough to appreciate all the good stuff it had to offer.

And there are a lot of really good things about Dragon Age II that I overlooked, one of which was its great characters, as any BioWare game has. The other is the fact that, despite its rushed feeling, there is a lot of information packed into it that becomes incredibly relevant in Inquisition (whether or not a second game should be a “holding pattern” or “filler” is notwithstanding).

I think the game, or the reaction to it, is also a great example of how gamers ask for things without actually knowing what they want, and inadvertently wind up destroying the thing they love but… well that’s for another day.

Image result for wait, what?

So…. I guess that’s it. I’m sorry that I ruined my own experience of Dragon Age II by being angry at it.

If you’re looking for less charged games that I wouldn’t mind revisiting, I would pick the following three:

  1. Remember Me, to see if a newer TV (and therefore the ability to see and understand the controls better) enhances my experience of it
  2. Folklore because it still sits on my shelf, waiting hopefully for some love to be tossed its way
  3. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, to see if, again, I like it better now that time has passed and I don’t start the game simply wanting more Twilight Princess.

What about you? Is there a game that you would want to revisit, now that you are an older and wiser gamer? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you soon!
~Athena

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20 thoughts on “Metacognition: Once More, With Feeling

  1. Ooo, Remember Me was a jam!
    It’s a bit of a cop out, but I’d like to buy the original Mass Effect from the Origin store and play it on PC, which would be a huge upgrade over the xbox 360. Hopefully the CPU won’t throttle during the best bits!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was great, wasn’t it?
      Ooo that would be neat. I played Mass Effect on Playstation, so it would be really cool to see it on its original platform 🙂 Let me know what you think if you wind up picking it up!

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  2. Remember Me is definitely one for me as well. I remember playing it on PS3 a few years back and bouncing off of it pretty quickly, but now that I’ve played the developer’s recent games and loved them (Life is Strange) I’d like to give it another go. Dragon Age II is another. I was super into Origins and Awakening and DA2 taking a more half-hearted action RPG approach and removing character customization soured me. I held a grudge for a long, LONG time and still haven’t made it back around. Gears of War 4 is probably my most recent example. I really liked the first three games but 4 didn’t hold my attention. I hear the story is good and I’m excited for Gears 5 (just shown at E3), so I need to muscle through it even if it’s not very fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I overall enjoyed Remember Me but I also remember being irritated at the time. I have’t played Life is Strange (yet) but maybe that’ll be the catalyst for me taking another look, as well. Dragon Age has gone in a different direction that Origins seemed like it dictated, but so have many games now, I suppose…
      I haven’t played any of the Gears of War games. What didn’t you like about it? Is it worth going back and playing just to get ready for Gears 5?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ohhh, knowing you’re into adventure games I highly recommend Life is Strange and its prequel Before the Storm (although it’s a prequel, play it after the original game).

        Gears became very formulaic by the third game and Gears 4 was its first big outing on the new console (XB1). It had an interesting story, but the mission structure was more of the same and basically had you escorting a 3D printer around and fending off waves of dudes for a dozen hours. I burnt out quick.

        I think it’s definitely worth finishing, I just had a lot of other stuff I wanted to play instead.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I want to go back to Dishonored 2 at some point. I started it, made some poor early game decisions in the way I invested my skills/powers, and then another game came out that I wanted on the Switch so I just stopped playing. I want to give it a proper go now that I better understand what strategies might be effective, and when I don’t have another game that I’m more excited about right around the corner.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Eek that’s rough when you’re starting up a game and just sort of wing the specs and then the game winds up lending itself toward something else. I haven’t played the Dishonored games, although I’ve heard they’re pretty good, so I hope you get a chance to go back and restart it at some point!

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  4. Recently it has been Assassins Creed Origin. I have yet to beat this game because of everything else that is distracting me. It’s been pretty fun for the most part, but for some reason I cannot get myself to keep pushing through.

    I’m going to beat it before Odyssey…maybe…who knows

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s on my to-play list, as well…. It’s sitting snugly on my shelf, waiting for some love haha. I’ve been in that situation, though, when there’s a game that I’d probably love if there weren’t other games that I loved just a tad more around me…

      Odyssey looks interesting, too… maybe… let me know what you think if you finish it!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I actually like the elf models in Dragon Age II better and I think the elf models in DA:Origins are kinda boring… Fight me! *dodges globe* 🙃 I think we talked about this before, haha. I also figured out exactly why I like the DAII elf models better! They are very similar to how the Night Elves look in World of Warcraft… and I really miss my Night Elf Druid 😦

    I think the hype train crushed my enjoyment of Breath of the Wild last year. It just wasn’t what I wanted in a Zelda game and Aloy’s story was just much more interesting than Link’s, sorry. I plan to give that game another serious try soon-ish, Maker willing! Dishonored is another title that just didn’t click with me but I may appreciate more now that I’m learning how to stealth in games, haha. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to play it again one of these decades.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bah humbug. We have, and you seemed to like the cat-like look, as well. To each their own, I suppose!

      Yes, learning how to be stealthy will open up a whole lot of other games, I think!! haha I’ve heard a lot about the Dishonored series, but I never got into it. Breath of the Wild, of course, is on indefinite hold as I don’t have a Switch yet…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. There is one reason and one reason alone why I would not replay DA2, and that is the sheer emotional torment of watching Hawke lose even when they win. Too bad that is what makes it such a good game.

    I would love to revisit the point+click adaptation of Sophie’s World. I played it when I was about 12, and I think it would be interesting to play it as an adult (and having read the book/taken a few philosophy classes).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True. That is something that even I picked up, even through my other annoyances. I really felt badly for Hawke…

      I don’t think I’ve played that game, but I’ve heard of the book. It sounds sort of like edutainment, but what about it is worth a second look?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sheer nostalgia, mostly. Also, I don’t remember much of it, except that for one summer my friend and I got really into philosophy so we could “beat” it (can you really beat an edutainment game?).

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