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Jaybird

Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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19 Responses

  1. Avatar Hoosegow Flask says:

    Dragon Age: Inquisition. I finished Dragon Age II after a late night/early morning session and starting downloading DAI so it’d be ready for the next evening. With the positive reviews coming in, I was stoked to start. I’ve played through the prologue (I guess) and to the title screen. My initial reaction was pretty significant disappointment.

    Not so much with the story or game mechanics yet (though I can’t say I’m happy about the way healing works and I don’t understand why they added jump), but the flipping interface. It’s horrible. I hate to sound like a snobby ‘PC master race’ guy, but it was clearly designed to work on consoles and TVs. If it had been some other game by some other developer, I probably wouldn’t be complaining as much. However, 15 years of playing Bioware RPGs given me certain expectations on how the UI will behave. They’ve changed a bunch of them, seemingly arbitrarily. Spacebar is no longer pause, it’s jump. I don’t know how many times during the first boss fight I made my character jump inadvertently. Gone is being able to just assign targets to your character, you now must hold down the LMB the entirety of combat. Tab no longer highlights items, it’s V to send out a sonar pulse. When you find an item to interact with, you can’t just click on it and have your character move to it, you have to move to it first. Annoying when you’re a step or two away. The limit on how far you can zoom out in tactical view reduces its usefulness. The inventory, character, and journal screens remind me of going from Morrowind to Oblivion. It was obviously designed to be easy to read and navigate when sitting 10′ from your TV. Not quite as useful when sitting 2′ from your monitor.

    I could probably (and likely will, at some point) get used to the changes, but that first boss battle was very frustrating. I felt I was battling more with the interface then with the enemies on the screen. I just got South Park from the Steam sale. I think I’ll go play that and return to DAI at a later date and hope a patch or mod is released that addresses some of my issues.Report

    • @hoosegow-flask
      I’m further in than you, and you do start to get used to it, but it is a step backward in interface terms.

      As for why jump is included, I assume it’s to aid pathing in mountainous regions.Report

    • How is equipment customization?

      I know that I’m a “Not. One. Red. Cent.” person but I do wonder if I shouldn’t pick up the ultimate edition (used, of course) in a year or two.Report

    • Avatar kenB in reply to Hoosegow Flask says:

      Have y’all read Freddie on this? It uses DA:Inq as a jumping-off point for complaints about modern game design in general (many of which I agree with).Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to kenB says:

        ken,
        Since when is the Thieves Highway not timeperiod appropriate?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to kenB says:

        Eh, I’m not sure I agree with him. I mean, we had Dragon Age II, right? I suspect (though, seriously, I don’t know) that he prefers Inquisition to DA2. DA2 was all that I could think about when he talked about stripping the game down.

        Now, personally, I use vidya games as a “sorting m&ms” substitute and a game that gives me more m&ms to sort is only troublesome if I don’t have time to sort them. The thought that there might be an unsorted bag can keep a guy up at night. That said, if I could have, like, the *PERFECT* video game? It’d have side quests, side quests, and more side quests, an economy to tinker with, buildings to build, shops to buy, and animals to husband. Not only m&ms that need to be sorted, but *DIFFERENT KINDS*.

        Dragon Age (the first one) was a rare video game in that it not only left me satisfied, it left me so satisfied that I needed to play it a second time to get that satisfaction again. If that makes any sense.Report

      • Avatar kenB in reply to kenB says:

        I’m not surprised that you disagree — I think I’m out of step with most of the gamers on this site. I haven’t actually played any of the Dragon Ages, but I’ve shared his reaction to the endless crafting options and errand-running side quests in other RPGs — a little goes a long way for me, and I’m happier when it becomes clear that neither is really necessary for finishing the main story. In general, I’d rather have 3 decisions to make at any given point, rather than 30 or 300. I do too much deciding in my day job, so for my downtime I’m mostly happy to just be put on a path and told whom to shoot or stab.

        Also, I haven’t played AC 3 or 4, but my reaction to finding that AC:Revelations included a tower defense minigame and a staff management minigame was much like his — why can’t we just let this game be what it is and not cram a bunch of completely different game genres into it?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to kenB says:

        The tower defense game kinda sucked but the staff management game? That was *AWESOME*.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to kenB says:

        Jay,
        the issue with having too many sidequests is when you’re … a little subtle about the main quest. Witness “Magic Candle”. Boatloads of fun if you just want a world to explore, but people got mighty upset when the game suddenly ended. “but what do you mean I was supposed to pay attention to my inventory…?”Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to kenB says:

        Replayability.

        Golly, The Magic Candle? That takes me back…Report

      • Avatar kenB in reply to kenB says:

        The staff management thing was waaay too much like my day job. Except for the part about killing people (unless you count deaths due to stress).Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to kenB says:

        Jay,
        I’m honestly really impressed you remember that game. I’ve been meaning to play it, one of these days…Report

    • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Hoosegow Flask says:

      Yeah, I hate it when they make games for consoles, and then release them on the PC. So often, you wind up getting controls that are impossible to maneuver — and the strengths you get from a mouse and keyboard are totally ignored.

      System Shock had a great “game-in-a-game” about the inventory, but I think that’s nearly impossible (and clunky) on a console.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Hoosegow Flask says:

      It is eminantly clear that DA:I was built with the video game controller in mind. It plays very well on one.
      The introduction of jumping is a rather huge deal because it means you’re in an open world environment or sorts. The developers can hide stuff and areas by requiring a big of exploring to find them. I don’t know how far into it you’ve gotten but in time you’ll start hitting places where you have to do a (small) bit of platform jumping to reach stuff. Compared to DA and DA:2 where it was pretty obvious where you could and could not go it’s very open and explorey.

      Items have slots of customization, generally two slots on armors (arms, legs) and two slots on weapons (grip and pommel for swords for instance) and also a rune slot. The customization goes deeper than that, however, in that you can customize the items by making them from scratch: depending on what raw materials you use and what construction slots you put them into your item will have significantly different armor ratings and abilities. The slot items are also craftable so the customization goes rather deep. There’s not much explanation of any of this system in game so you have to play with it a bit. That said since materials out in the wilderness refresh every time you revisit the zone you have relatively infinite common resources to play with.Report

  2. Avatar dhex says:

    binding of isaac rebirth is really hard, but i discovered i was playing on the hard setting (which didn’t exist in the original) so i feel better.

    still on fence about dark souls 2 dlc. my data caps make game buying a double-fraught decision.Report