Tantus wrote:NWN and Dragon Age were big hits for BioWare, but they lost me after the first chapter with their 'you are the only one who can save the world, with your training blade, newbie skills and ghetto origins - carry the ring Frodo, you can do it!!". And so begins his epic adventure of inventory management.
Hmmm, I thought Dragon Age (1) rose above that. Kept me hooked until the end. Sure, the main character was the accidental hero and all, but the general story and side-characters weren't all that predictable, I feel. Not all that different from Mass Effect, in that regard (but yes about the inventory management, but that's an RPG for ya... and to me it sort of works. Hypnotizing, all that virtual worthless junk).
Total War games are amazing, must be my most played offline. But they're only challenging at the start of a campaign and once you've stabilised the region and built your armies, there's nothing worth conquering as none of the other factions have kept pace with you. It's just a matter of time now to reach the inevitable. And that's the limitation of single-player games, they peak somewhere in the middle, then you are riding down the slope of a foregone conclusion.
Agree totally on Total War games. Often, you 'win' the game in two periods: the early rush to a nice advantage over your immediate competitors (by being 'bold' rather than careful) and the early-middle game where good planning as well as making use of AI mistakes is the way to go. Mostly, you do this with basic units, because at the start, you don't have anything else, and a bit later, you don't have the time to bring your more advanced units to bear. By the time you do, you probably achieved both power and security. You could still lose, in theory, if the AI was really intelligent and if it targetted you, but since that isn't the case, you have effectively won. But now you have advanced units that you'd like to see in action, so you keep going for a while, until you realize that you have won... and you (well, me, at least) stop playing.
The latest TW game (remake of their first game, they love remakes, doing one of Rome too) set in Japan has an artificial event that increases the difficulty greatly once you get too big, but it is a poor substitute for smart AI opponents.
I never did complete it with Parthia and there's nothing quite so fearsome as warriors dressed in pink.
Isn't scarlet kind of pinkish?