Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Top 5 of 2009 - #4 Knights of the Old Republic

What? Just because it took six years for me to finally play and finish this game makes it no less chock full of awesome. Anyway, if you’ve been reading the blog for any length of time you know Bioware pretty much always has me at hello when they release an RPG and KOTOR was no exception. The fact that I was able to get it off of Steam last October for a mere $10? That’s just gravy because this game is nigh impossible to find at retail anymore, even on the PC.

I’ve written it before, but seriously, how is it that Bioware gets Star Wars so much more than its own creator. I know Lucas has become the icon for a creator run amok, but I mean really, how? How can a bunch of guys up in Edmonton come up with the story in this game while Lucas, and all the resources his name entails, comes up with Attack of the Clones?


Anyway, at its heart KOTOR is a story about redemption, which is really the theme at the heart of all of Star Wars. The fact that it takes place a few thousand years before the films frees it from a lot of baggage, but credit where it’s do because I’m pretty sure I caught more than one reference to events and characters from the old Dark Horse comic series-es(?) –just how does one pluralize that word to mean multiple series?- Tales of the Jedi, which was itself some great stuff (if memory serves; it’s been awhile).

The fact that the game is six years old does mean the game comes with baggage. It’s clearly designed with the original Xbox in mind, and all the graphical –uh- wonderfulness that entails, but it does play just fine on the PC and on modern operating systems. (I was on Vista at the time.) The storytelling is, at times, trite, but if you’ve a sentimental bone in your body it’ll hook you when it has to.

The RPG ruleset is based on D&D 3.0 so there’s plenty of number crunching going on in the background for the pen & paper nerds (of which I am one – a little). The force powers –the ones I tried- all work in the context of the gameplay and dammit, it’s just so frigg’n cool to dual wield a pair of lightsabers. If you’re an RPG player who let this one pass by, do yourself a favor and pick it up off of Steam. Yeah, it’s dated, but it’s still pretty damn great.


Dave T said...

I loved KOTOR, even winning over the somewhat annoying Bastila. KOTOR 2 will make you cry though...good setup, excellent characters with plenty of secrets to tease out of them - and it's just not finished.

todd brakke said...

I've shied away from KOTOR 2 specifically because of its rep as being unfinished and that's the kind of thing that will eat at me if I get hooked on the story.

I know there was a fan patch in the work to address that, but I was never sure if it was finished or, if finished, successful. Still, as much as I liked this game I should make some time this year to give it a shot.

Also, I liked Bastila so bite me! ;)

Dave T said...

I was trying to juggle two of the female chars on KOTOR 2 at the time, Bastila just came over a bit too much like hard work. Plus her haughty British accent doesn't have any novelty value for me, though I know you Americans love it :)

todd brakke said...

"Plus her haughty British accent doesn't have any novelty value for me, though I know you Americans love it."

You get points for being funny and right at the same time. ;)

Mike in the D said...

:) Dave, I lived in England for two years and I never heard anyone talk like that... Oh but if I had. Of course we did spend most of our time in East Anglia!

Dave T said...

The good news for you Todd is that Mass Effect 2 has such a character, according to the latest vid clip release. Strong physical and vocal resemblence to Liz Hurley, which can't be bad.

Mike, if you lived in East Anglia you'll know that it's difficult to say 'oo-arr' in a clipped newsreader style delivery, or to act posh on a tractor ;)