joiedecombat: (Dear LJ...)
I recently finished playing Knights of the Old Republic II. I'd heard a lot about how the game's release was rushed and how a lot of content was cut form the official release, and how the game suffered as a result, but even so, I have to say that it's a good game. It is fairly obviously a rush job - the final stage of the game is clearly missing a lot of content, leaving any number of threads dangling, and aside from that there are a good many bugs. But it's also got an honestly cool storyline, one which spends a lot of time exploring the nature of the Force and the way it affects the setting without resorting to lame, mystique-killing devices like midichlorians. I enjoyed KotOR I a lot too, but it wasn't until KotOR II that I really felt I'd been reminded of the things that I like most about the Star Wars setting.

As always, for me, a lot of it comes down to the characters. The Jedi Exile deserves a special mention for giving new meaning to the term "dysfunction junction" - RPG character teams are always at least a little dysfunctional, but the Exile's teammates, for the most part, actively hate one another. Seriously. Okay, Atton and Bao-Dur seem to get along reasonably well by the later stages of the game, and apparently Mandalore and Visas can get kind of chummy as well, but for the most part I was just sitting back being entertained by the constant snark being slung in all directions. The special hatred that Kreia apparently reserves just for Atton tickles me especially for some reason.

To nobody's great surprise, Atton is my favorite of all of them, because I like them broken and oh man is Atton broken. I am particularly charmed by the fact that he seems hell-bent to sacrifice himself for the Exile. He drops enough hints in various different bits of dialogue that I was kind of surprised when he didn't pull some kind of grand kamikaze maneuver during the endgame, and I suspect that something to that effect must have been in the cut content; the boy is clearly self-destructive.

About the other characters I have somewhat less to say. I will observe, however, that when your wise old mentor mind-rapes your friends - repeatedly - you know you're in the midst of something special.

I also love being able to turn basically the entire party into Jedi.

I am a bit more divided on the game's Grand Revan Retcon; while it's kind of gratifying, after playing the first game, to go through the second game watching more or less all the characters having little fangasms over Revan, the whole bit about "actually the whole thing was a Grand Plan to prepare the Republic for the greater threat of the True Sith" rings a bit hollow when combined with the details of some of the more heinous things Revan actually did, such as, you know, employing a whole bunch of specially-trained assassins for the specific purposes of capturing and torturing Jedi in order to break them into Sith. Etc.

Of course, the game's moral structure is unusually blurry for Star Wars in some ways, so.

The big trouble now is that I'm remembering all the stuff I like about Star Wars and have... no outlet for it at all, aside from maybe re-watching the original trilogy sometime soon. And maybe writing some fic.

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joiedecombat

August 2012

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