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    jp's Dungeon Siege: Throne of Agony (PSP)

    [September 3, 2007 12:41:25 PM]
    Finally finished it. Fortunately, the 2nd chapter was shorter than the first and the 3rd was in turn (much) shorter than the 2nd. Overall I'm surprised by how little I understand what was going on in this game.

    In particular. I spent a lot of time towards the end wondering about the experience system in the game. It seemed that sometimes I would gain a lot of experience while at other times, rewards would be pretty rare. So, how are experience points assigned in this game? I have no idea. I know that it's tied to defeating monsters, but it doesn't seem to be uniform. For a while I thought that you got more experience from killing a monster that damaged you. After that I entertained the idea that you earned more experience when all your followers have been killed (otherwise, experience would be shared). Truth is, I don't really know and it doesn't really matter because the game was waaaay to easy as is. So, why bother to learn the nuances when they're not necessary?

    I did, however, learn a few things from the manual and GameFaqs AFTER I finished the game. You can also chalk them up as interesting tidbits that are useless because the game was too easy:

    1. There are two different attack modes! If you button mash you get frequent, but less powerful attacks. Keep the button pressed longer and you get slower, but more powerful attacks. I button-mashed all the time.

    2. I'd been collecting these "Crossover Tablets" for a while with NO idea of what they were for or who (NPC) I should given them to. It turns out you can turn them in to one of the characters in the main town for "cool" items. (cool stuff, but not so cool when you've already finished the game and already have better items). It turns out that I hadn't ever talked to this character because, since he appeared in conversations with another character, I thought I was talking to him (both) already.

    3. It's easier to finish the game the wrong way than it is the right. At the end (spoiler!) you have to choose whether to sit in the throne or destroy it. You are given an explicit choice to sit on it and if you run up to it, you automatically sit on it. It took me 3 attempts to destroy it, which is what I wanted to do originally (you have to run up to it, but stop RIGHT before it and attack)

    4. Once you finish the game you can unlock "Elite" mode. I WISH I had been able to start the game on this mode! Sigh.

    5. Next to each mission there is a number. I had wondered about what it meant. It turns out that it's the recommended level your character should have for the "optimum" experience. Sheesh. I wish I had known that beforehand! Not that it would have made a difference...but still. (I have no idea if I was overpowerful for all the missions I did)

    In all, the music was great (I really enjoyed it), the game was so-so...It really would have been so much better if it was harder.
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    [August 30, 2007 10:52:22 AM]
    For some reason I cannot fully comprehend I'm actually having more fun with this game than before. Actually, I do have an idea, but it's largely unrelated to the game itself. Basically, my playing habits have changed since I first started playing this. I spent the first 12 or so hours playing over the course of very few sessions. (sitting in a plane, mainly). Now, however, I play in spurts of 30-45 minutes (commuting to-from home).

    So, the game is largely unchanged but I'm experiencing it in shorter periods of time. Maybe, I'm finding it less boring and more exciting because (1) the repetitive gameplay feels less so because I'm doing it over a shorter period of time and (2) for each session I have specific goals that I try to achieve. Instead of playing to see how far I can get, I try to get something specific done. (finish a quest, get prepared to start a new quest, etc.)

    I'm not sure that this observation is terribly insightful, but it does highlight ,once again, how much the experience of a game is affected by how often and for how long you play.
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    [August 27, 2007 10:44:36 AM]
    A lot of the confusion I've had has finally been resolved. Unfortunately, its resolution has highlighted some issues with the game that are, also unfortunately, rather common in most games of this type.

    Basically, I had spent a lot of time wandering into areas on the map, killing a bunch of monsters, finding chests that would not open and generally not knowing what to do next. All of this until I found an area that upon reaching the end (and killing the baddie) triggered a nice cut-scene and opened up a new area. I then went ahead and did a few more missions before becoming confused again (with regards to where the next new area I was supposed to go to was). So, I did a little back-tracking and discovered that, upon talking to a character and having him assign a mission, I had essentially skipped over 1/3 of the game I had played so far. The first third went fine, the second third saw me wander and them go straight to boss fight, and the last third went fine.

    No wonder I felt the game was getting harder! Unfortunately it was due to my skipping a whole lot of game, rather than a real increase in difficulty.


    I hate it when a game looks like it's open-ended, yet requires you to do things in order and DOESN'T make sure you can't mess things up! For example, it turns out that those chest I couldn't open where "locked" because I hadn't received the mission activation that required an item inside the chest. Sigh.

    Oh well, I'm still slogging through this and trying to find out how to use the donkey/mule I bought! I suspect it will help me carry more inventory, but I haven't checked.
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    [August 21, 2007 08:24:37 AM]
    It looks like I had made less progress than I though, which is a real bummer because it implies that this game will probably outlast its welcome with me. In other words, I will get bored long before I get close to the end. I think. At least the game is getting harder...
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    [August 3, 2007 09:59:02 PM]
    I'm amazed by how familiar and comfortable this game felt when I played it. It was almost exactly what I was expecting, in terms of general gameplay. What's weird is that the game is called "Dungeon Siege" and the games this feels most like are Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, Champions of Norrath: Realms of Everquest, and The Bard's Tale. Dark Alliance was brilliant fun, especially because I played it co-op with a friend. I'll have no such luck with this one...

    So, first impressions? (I think I've finished the first of three chapters)

    a) I hate loading times. I really do. This might be an endemic problem to the PSP, but still...

    b) There's a cave in the main town wherein lives Gollum. Ok, he's not called Gollum in the game but for all practical effects he's an homage to Gollum. It was funny.

    c) This game is really easy so far. The hardest thing by far is dealing with my inventory because I've become overloaded with healing and mana potions (since I've never had to use them).

    d) I wish I could run. I feel like the character walks soooo slowly.

    e) Enemies are pretty daft. You can kill them one at a time. I seem to remember that Dark Alliance had great moments of tension and panic when you were basically swarmed by hordes of enemies. No suck luck here it seems.

    f) I really like the music. Nice fantasy epic style.

    g) You can buy scrolls to teleport back to town. The nice thing is that they leave a portal open back to the point of origin! (so you could teleport to town, offload inventory and then go back, but it isn't really worth it).

    h) I headed into an important location too early and couldn't figure out what to do. I then headed back in there again, because I thought I had figured out what to do, but I hadn't. Once I got the official "mission", I was able to head in there a third time and do what I knew had to be done all along. (rescue some villagers)

    i) You have followers (1 active at a time), which is a really neat idea. However, it was better done in Bard's Tale (the new one), even though that game was very uninteresting to me with regards to everything else.

    j) You have some "passive" powers, but I have no idea how to turn them on, or are they always on? I left the manual at home so I can't figure out the keys to make sure. Maybe I'll look on Gamefaqs.

    That's all for now...
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    jp's Dungeon Siege: Throne of Agony (PSP)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Friday 3 August, 2007

    GameLog closed on: Monday 3 September, 2007

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    Very confortable gameplay, but way too easy so far...and no, I'm not that good.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstar

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