Game Progress 8/18/17
August 18, 2017

Dragon Age: Origins (PS3)
I met with the dwarves, backed Harrowmont, competed in The Proving (and won) and completely took down the crime syndicate in Orzammar. I ventured into the Deep Roads, which proved to be many miles of a lot of the same content: darkspawn everywhere and the occasional giant spider or golem. At last, I reached the climax of the journey, where I fought and slayed the Broodmother and a mechanical boss that was a pain in the ass. The latter kept summoning dwarven spirits while also slinging projectiles. I was low on potions and my healer constantly died, which made the fight more frustrating than necessary. I ultimately triumphed, though, as I retooled my party's logic so that everyone focused on the same target simultaneously rather than spreading our offense thin. That proved to be a wise move that allowed us to tear through the tough enemies quickly.

Following that event, I killed Branka and destroyed the Anvil of the Void. During Harrowmont's coronation, Bhelen attacked us but quickly regretted it. After those three tough boss encounters, Bhelen and his crew were little more than gnats. We squashed them and moved on.

With that, I had all of the contracts fulfilled. I needed only to complete some side quests before finishing the campaign, and there were a couple of super bosses I wanted to kill. I donned the drakeskin armor set that I received for turning in some drake scales to a blacksmith in Denerim, plus engaged in Shale's personal quest. That unlocked a dungeon with some wonderful equipment for the golem, but not sadly not one that provided protection against fire. I bought a decent fire resistant crystal later on and put that on him. Along with Alistair and Morrigan, I ascended the mountain where I fought the cultist and banged a gong, thus beginning the battle against the high dragon.

The going was pretty rough at first. I used a lot of potions to keep everyone alive because the dragon's physical attacks were punishing. However, its fire proved mostly useless. The Warden and Shale shrugged off the fiery blasts and continued to assault the reptile until it collapsed, and I gained a dragon scale.

I took that back to Denerim, along with some more drake scales, and made two more pieces of armor. One was a full heavy set, which I gave to Alistair. The other was an improved light armor for my protagonist. I decided since I was in the mood for dragon slaying, there was one more I should visit.

You see, I started Morrigan's personal quest some time ago and decided Flemeth needed to die. I approached her with the same party, switching Morrigan for Wynne, and surprisingly crushed Flemeth's dragon form in no time. I thought this would be a drawn out fight, mostly because I saw it on a top ten list of "hardest super bosses," but then again that's what I get for trusting Watch Mojo (they also said Seath the Scaleless was the best dragon battle in the Dark Souls series, somehow forgetting that Kalameet and Sinh existed).

I decided it was time to bring things to a close. I talked to Arl Eamon and began Landsmeet. I rescued the queen during the relevant quest, murdered the slavers, killed Rendon Howe and Ser Cauthrien when their respective battles transpired and entered the Landsmeet. I engaged Teryn Loghain in a duel and won without much problem, then allowed Alistair to execute him. As for the queen, Alistair decided to imprison her because she was untrustworthy. With that segment out of the way, it was time to start the final shebang.

The battles at Redcliffe felt like filler. The only purpose they seemed to serve was to add dramatic effect by calling your party away from Denerim so that the darkspawn could get to it first. I returned to Denerim after those fights and massacred darkspawn...


and again...

and again...

I got so sick of felling darkspawn that I wanted to burn every physical copy of Lord of the Rings I could find.

There wasn't much drama involved here. I chopped through a lot of orcs and goblins hurlocks and genlocks before reaching the final boss: the Archdemon.

I started this fight by just running full bore toward the demon and chopping away. That was dumb. We shore off only a modicum of its 4200ish hit points before it destroyed us. I noticed during this battle that I could summon troops, so I did so. Their presence didn't contribute much. It took me several tries before I realized there were ballistae in the vicinity, and that shooting one dealt anywhere from 30 to 100ish fire damage. Thankfully, my character worked wonderfully with mechanical items and could reload the ballistae without much problem. When the Archdemon's HP was about half, darkspawn began to pour in. I took them on, hoping to finish them off and continue the onslaught, except I was overwhelmed. This happened several times before I realized that they endlessly spawn.

I eventually formed a solid strategy. I preserved Morrigan since she was my healer and tended to die almost immediately. My party followed me rather than taking on the demon, acting as a protective barrier. I summoned elves because they tended to live longer than the other contingents, and then manned the nearest ballista. When the Archdemon's life petered out, I ignored the darkspawn as much as possible. With my whole party intact, the other three served as bodyguards while I fired more missiles at that the demon. As the its health deteriorated, it approached closely enough that it aggored Alistair and Oghren. Alistair scored one final blow on the monster and it tumbled to the ground in slo-mo. In short, I beat Dragon Age: Origins.

As for my choice of ending, I decided to have Alistair and Morrigan do the nasty so that she can carry a child that would take the Archdemon's spirit, thus leaving both the Warden and Alistair alive.

Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening (PS3)
So help me God, I have started this nonsense. So far, I'm not impressed. The main campaign had some great characters, and the ones in Awakening are basically weaker carbon copies. Anders is like Alistair without the charm and Mhairi is a less adorable Leliana. So far, I tore through several crowds of darkspawn before recruiting Oghren. I saved and quit not long after that.

Victor Vran (PC)
I began this game recently (Brian's review pointed me in the direction of this wonderful game), and I love it a lot. I searched the areas around the garden for my friend, but didn't find him. I gained access to another part of the garden, where I shall head when I continue the game next.

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overdrive overdrive - August 20, 2017 (05:11 PM)
Yeah, I wasn't overly impressed by Awakening. For me, the main problem was that if you beat the actual game, you have a really powerful hero and it just didn't seem like the difficulty scaled enough to match that. With the exception of one or two battles, I cruised through it without any trouble.

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