Friday, June 22, 2012

Dungeon Siege III: Further PS3 Adventures...

Matt and I have had our Playstation for about two weeks now, and I'd like to think I'm getting better! I've not touched Red Dead Redemption since the first night- no worries, I'll get back to it! Just been distracted! I have been playing quite a bit of Jack and Daxter and a lot of Little Big Planet 2. Being platformers, they're a lot easier to get into then a first person shooter is!

After we bought all those games the first weekend, we ended up with a bunch of coupons for money off, or buy-one-get-ones for more used games. So this last weekend, we picked up a couple more for ridiculously cheap! One of the games Matt bought was Dungeon Siege III.

DS3 is a hack-and-slash, which is a game style that focuses on weapon based combat. A lot of fantasy games tend to be this way. You have your weapons and abilities, and basically wail on your enemies and do things like roll out of harms way, or charge into them, or knock them down. For me, these games are perfect and have always been a favorite genre. Like Gauntlet: Dark Legacy, Baldur's Gate, and CHampions of Norrath before it, I've been having a blast with this game!

My main character is a swordsman. Every playable character has two stances they can use, and mine are a one handed sword and shield (Commonly called 'sword and board') technique, and a two-handed sword technique. I can switch freely between them any time, and while the shield gives me increased protection and access to a shield bash, the two handed sword does better damage to groups, and allows me to dash into things for massive damage. You spend the whole game rolling around and flipping back and forth between the two playstyles. It's super fun!

Another feature of the game is that it gives you a little companion to help you in your fights! The companion my swordsman gets is a woman named Anjali.

"Hi, my name's Anjali. It means 'Occasionally Useless'..."

She's an 'Archon' which means that she can turn into this fire elemental thing and shoot fireballs, as well as fight with a spear in human form. For the multiplayer in this game, a second person can take control of my companion, but otherwise, the game controls her for me. I can even pick all her talents and abilities as the two of us level up, so I can customize the way she plays. In theory...

You see, for the most part, the computer plays her great! She's helpful, does decent damage, drops her heal-ey fire circle thing when I need it, and even walks around and picks up gold for me of her own volition. But sometimes, the computer seems to take a kind of sadistic glee in having her do exactly opposite of what I want her to do.

She has this ability called 'spinning kick' that hits multiple enemies. I've buffed it to stun them as well, so she'd hopefully run up and stun them, then we could kill them without getting attacked back. You'd think that's what she does, but every time I get swarmed by enemies, she bursts into flames, stands twenty feet back and tries to shoot them. One. At. A. Time.

Another problem is she often gets stuck on things, or doesn't path correctly. At one point she stood for three minutes, attempting to fireball a spider that was on the other side of a fence, oblivious to the fact that the fence was blocking all her attacks.

Game designer's also don't realize that no one builds small bits of fence line in
middle of abandoned spider infested woods.

To her credit, the spider also bugged out (Get it? Bugged out??) and kept trying to fling poison at her through the fence with equal success. It was awkward. For the most part, these problems aren't any big deal. Every computer AI has little glitches like this, where the pathing fails, or it doesn't relaize it can't shoot through something. Until I got to a boss....

It was a two phase fight, and in the second the phase the boss destroys part of the ceiling, dropping large, flaming beams into the room that you have to dodge around. Anjali spent most the fight in the corner, out of range, running in place against a flaming chunk of wood till I died and had to restart. It was impressively bad!

All in all, despite the occasionally buggy companion, the game is a lot of fun! I think I'll head off and try and beat that boss again... Maybe Anjali won't get trapped in a corner this time, and will actually help!


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