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My initial impressions

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Hey, folks.


I haven't been on the boards much since the X-box version came out, but now that the PC version is out, I have my first impressions.


Graphics: I am not so hardnosed as such reviewers as IGN on graphics. Age doesn't matter to me. Does it look good, or does it not look good? KotOR 2 looks good, with only one complaint. I don't care for the lip-teeth-jaw action, but that's a minor quibble. The game looks good, and unlike something like FF7, which now makes my eyes bleed, the game will /still/ look good seven years from now. Points awarded. Secondly, as of now, this game /refuses/ to remember my brightness settings, which is extremely irritating.


Sound: Lightsabers whoosh. Blasters bwazap. The music is Star-Wars-y, but unique. I haven't had any problems with the voice acting so far, but is delightful that Davik's head and voice actor have taken up residence in a more legitimate line of work. :>


Interface: I like the green, but I tend to like green. I prefer these character portraits to the portraits of KotOR. I'm not sure why, precisely, but I think they look better, as do the rounded off vitality and force point bars. Points to Obsidian for making the unwieldly inventory screen easier to sort and to peruse.


Mechanics and Gameplay:


This will be a more general rant/ramble/narrative. I finished Peragus Station in about four or five hours, and I prefer it to Taris. I would replay KotOR 1 a lot more if Taris didn't seem like swimming up river through jello. Peragus has a fine pace, and once you know what you're doing, I expect it takes about two hours to finish.


I received my lightsaber at level 13, and at just over 11 hours. I didn't miss it, nor was I in any great hurry, really, but I was mildly worried that I would start my prestige class before I put it together.


As far as the pace of things go, I'm level 17 with the better part of three planets left. I've no idea if this pace is typical, but at this rate, I expect to be mid to high 20's by end game.


With regards to difficulty, I have several criticisms which I feel are reasonable and not inflammatory.


1) Characters heal automatically over time. I realize this is likely an alternative to Direct Transit, which could be spammed repeatedly to make KotOR a lot easier. In adding this feature, however, Obsidian created two effects: One, my experience (and everyone else's) was deprived of choice. I didn't have to abuse Direct Transit. I am, however, stuck with regenerating hit points. Similarly, this feature undermines the utility of the Heal powers and encourages me to go get a sip of water between fights, rather than concentrate on strategery(sic!).


2) Base Attack Bonus Progression: I don't consider simple mechanics to be spoilers, and I apologize if they are considered that here. Move me along if that is the case. At any rate, every Jedi Class gets Fighter base attack bonus. That is, +1 per level. Again, this change results in multiple, profound effects. The guardian is cheapened, while the sentinel and consular receive a great boon. I believe there are numerous threads detailing this effect more thoroughly than I have.


3) Difficulty -- Both of these mechanical issues make the game very easy. I find the War Veteran feat reasonable, since Revan got his free +50 power points, but my opinion of this feat may deteriorate as I unlock more abilities. I would have appreciated a toggle of some sort on the health regeneration, or possibly making that a feature of Easy, and increasing the feats related to it to Epic Levels. Essentially, I would have liked choice in the matter. The Base Attack Bonus change baffles me. I don't understand the necessity for it, and I wish I had the wherewithal to go into the ini files and change it myself.


4) Random Phat L3wt: This doesn't bother me. It prevents cherry picking the game, which was very easy to do in KotOR, and thus adds to replayability.


As far as the characters go, I like them and their stories so far. Influence is an interesting system, but I can't say more until I've finished.





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My initial impression: Be careful what you wish for.


After playing KOTOR a few times, I was wishing for more items and better ways of upgrading stuff.


I got my wish in KOTOR2 and I'm still a little overwhelmed with the whole idea of breaking down and making new components. I'm totally blown away at how customizable some of the weapons are, but I'm starting to get the hang of it.


I still feel like I'm only starting on my journey, but thus far the story has been quite interesting and a great game to play.


Overall, it's every bit as enjoyable as the original KOTOR, although I must confess, I prefer Bastila as a "mentor" over Kreila. But hey, I am a guy afterall. LOL.

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