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Review GameSpot: KOTOR 2=More of the same

Vault Dweller

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Tags: Obsidian Entertainment; Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords

<a href=http://www.gamespot.com>GameSpot</a> has posted a 3-page <a href=http://www.gamespot.com/xbox/rpg/kotor2/review.html?q=1>review</a> of <a href=http://www.lucasarts.com/games/swkotor_sithlords>KOTOR II: Attack of the Clones</a>. The clone here is the sequel itself as "chances are you'll feel like you've played this game before, only you'll swear it looked better the first time". The score is <b>8.5</b> with a penalty for graphics.
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<blockquote>There's some added depth in The Sith Lords in the ability to create various useful items in labs or upgrade virtually all your existing equipment to make it more powerful, but you won't feel the need to take advantage of these systems very often, since you'll be finding so much new stuff everywhere you go. Another new system involves the ability to gain or lose influence with your traveling companions, depending on whether or not you tell them what they want to hear. Your influence will largely determine whether your allies will loosen their lips (or the equivalent) with regards to some of the most important aspects of their past. It's pretty subtle and basically not that different from how Knights of the Old Republic would allow you to try to persuade certain characters into telling you what you wanted to know, but it helps flesh out your relationships with your traveling companions a bit more. Also, once you regain your lightsaber--which takes a surprisingly long time, but there's a good sense of payoff as a result--you'll learn a variety of different fighting forms with the weapon, each suited to a different type of combat situation. These are good in theory, but don't have a particularly noticeable effect in practice.</blockquote>
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Hmm, sounds less than impressive so far.
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Thanks, <b>Lasakon</b>
 

dipdipdip

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What's biting my balls is that this is the second time a reviewer seems less than enthused over the story. I really expected this game to kill its predecessor in terms of story, if nothing else.

Gee wiz.
 

Vault Dweller

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@Whip

Regardless of that, if the sequel is a carbon copy of the original minus the big twist plus few pointless gimmicks, then that would certainly suck. Still, I hope that the beauty of the game is in its story and NPCs PST-style.
 

Whipporowill

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Well, there's no special mention of the game having better writing or more memorable characters in the two reviews to date, but I guess it's possible. At least they say there's plenty of light/dark choices throughout.
 

Lasakon

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Bioware makes a game, Obsidian makes an exact copy of it and calls it a sequel.
This is the beginning of a long business relationship.
 

suibhne

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I don't generally catch myself saying this, but IGN's review seemed better. Who knows, maybe I'll end up agreeing with GameSpot's concerns and the resulting lower score, but this piece is rife with logical inconsistencies which add up to an impression of just plain sloppiness.

Their screen grabs are terrible. Looking back through the screenshot archive, it looks almost like those released with the review were taken off a TV by a digicam. I'm not saying the game looks good, but at least the earlier shots show it looking as decent as the first original.
 

Dhruin

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Was it the IGN review that referred to the original KotOR having a brilliant twist "like the Sixth Sense"? If that was a brilliant twist, I'm not on the same page as them on story, anyway, so I'll have to judge for myself.

@suibhne, are you sure the other screens aren't hi-res PC shots vs genuine grabs?
 

suibhne

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Dhruin said:
@suibhne, are you sure the other screens aren't hi-res PC shots vs genuine grabs?

I'm guessing that's the case, though I would call them "hi-res" exactly - even if they do look much nicer than the XBox screens.

I'm guessing the game will look perfectly fine at 1024x768 with AA and AF.
 

dipdipdip

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Dhruin said:
Was it the IGN review that referred to the original KotOR having a brilliant twist "like the Sixth Sense"? If that was a brilliant twist, I'm not on the same page as them on story, anyway, so I'll have to judge for myself.

Yes. Their review of the first game was something of an embarrassment -- 7-9 pages of calling everything in the game "brilliant this" and "brilliant that." I think, somewhere in there, they even accredit Bioware with inventing the dialogue tree or something to that degree.
 

MarFish

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as expected

Considering that the first KotOR was like 3 or 4 years in development from what I read, I wouldn't have expected wonders from a sequel whipped up using the same engine in less than 1.5 years.

Anyways, IGN has always be a whore for StarWars games, so it's kind of expected that the scores go down from here. It's quite suspicious that they were two days before any other site with their "review", probably because they "bought" the first review rights with the promise of a 9.X score or so, common business in the industry since Driver...
 

Volourn

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Why do people seem so suprised? I've been saying a lot it was "more of the same". It's a friggin' sequel. If you liked KOTOR1 you will probably like KOTOR2; if you didn't like KOTOR1 you probably won't like KOTOR2. It's not complex, you dingalings.
 

Vault Dweller

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Well, Volourn, you see, there is a difference between expecting similar gameplay from a sequel running on the same engine (example FO2, BG2, etc) and a game that, as the reviewer put it, makes you feel like "you've played this game before", now with few more features.
 

kumquatq3

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That same reviewer gave the game:

Gameplay - 9
Graphics - 6
Sound - 8
Value - 9
Tilt - 9

Sure seemed like a pretty bland review, much like the ign one imo, and a high score. These reviews are getting goofy.
 

dipdipdip

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Yeah, it's amazing how a review can seem so blase with scores as strong as that.
 

Whipporowill

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Well, the thing is that he didn't really explain why he'd give it the next to highest score in any of those categories and shows almost no enthusiasm whatsoever. Not saying Greg dislikes the game, or that it's bad - just that it doesn't sound as if Obsidian did much to the Kotor forumla after all.
 

Vault Dweller

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I guess they bet their money on "don't fix what aint broken" which wasn't the smartest thing to do, considering how much was actually broken. It's if Bio released a clone of NWN OC instead of HotU. Although everyone loved NWN when it came out, people were trashing it (the OC) by the time HotU hit the shelves.
 

dipdipdip

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Well, I will be the Codex guinea pig and share my thoughts on the game.
 

Mendoza

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Vault Dweller said:
It's if Bio released a clone of NWN OC instead of HotU. Although everyone loved NWN when it came out, people were trashing it (the OC) by the time HotU hit the shelves.

I wouldn't put the KotOR on the same level as the NWN OC. It wasn't perfect, but I thought KotOR was very good.

One thing I haven't heard in any of the review so far is increased use of skills. I thought one of the things Obsdian said they'd include is skills that were actually useful throughout the game. Then again, there's pretty much no mention of skills whatsoever, so maybe the reviewers thought that their readers would be bored with the idea of skills, and that any changes to the combat animations were much more important.
 

Vault Dweller

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Mendoza said:
I wouldn't put the KotOR on the same level as the NWN OC. It wasn't perfect, but I thought KotOR was very good.
I thought it wasn't very good, and kinda sucked, but that's not the point. I didn't put KOTOR on the same level as NWN, KOTOR is obviously a better game, but the analogy still stands. KOTOR, just like NWN, had many flaws that were ignored at the time. If Obsidian didn't fix them and assumed that K2 will fly on the K1 reputation alone, they've made a mistake

One thing I haven't heard in any of the review so far is increased use of skills. I thought one of the things Obsdian said they'd include is skills that were actually useful throughout the game.
My guess is just like crafting and influencing, the improved skills don't affect the game much, and add little. Considering the gameplay of the original, I really don't see any room for more advanced skills use.
 

suibhne

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Vault Dweller said:
My guess is just like crafting and influencing, the improved skills don't affect the game much, and add little. Considering the gameplay of the original, I really don't see any room for more advanced skills use.

The alternative, of course, is that the reviewers played the second game basically the same way they played the first game - and thereby missed all of the new skill applications and role-playing opportunities created by Obsidian.

I'm definitely not saying this is the case, but I don't think either of these reviews are high on the RPG Trustworthiness Index.
 

Vault Dweller

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suibhne said:
The alternative, of course, is that the reviewers played the second game basically the same way they played the first game - and thereby missed all of the new skill applications and role-playing opportunities created by Obsidian.
True, and honestly, like I said before, I'm expecting a miracle from MCA, and hope that the stupid reviewers missed a game of PST proportions. Yet, if the gameplay's unchanged, there won't be many applications for the improved skills.
 

Mendoza

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Well, the Gamespot guy is the same guy that reviewed PS:T for them (he gave it 9.0). He did complement PS:T much more for it's graphics though, so maybe (graphics aside) he thinks they're equally good. Not that I'd trust that to mean that they're actually equally good.
 

Volourn

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"I guess they bet their money on "don't fix what aint broken" which wasn't the smartest thing to do, considering how much was actually broken."

Your opinion is both unimportant in the rgand scale of things and plainly stupid. Most people loved KOTOR and din't find it was broekn at all. Hate (actually I don't) to break it to you; but Obsidian didn't design KOTOR2 for VD; but for KOTOR1 fans.


"Yet, if the gameplay's unchanged, there won't be many applications for the improved skills."

Can'y speak about how often theya re sued but skills are now used in dialogue. One example is that awareness being used more than once in early dialogues according to someone who has played the game.


"Although everyone loved NWN when it came out, people were trashing it (the OC) by the time HotU hit the shelves."

Wrong. The same people who were trashing it were when it first came out were the same ones whow ere trashing it later on. A handful of reviewers lessened their praise of it though later on. This occurs for most any game after hype dies down.


"Well, Volourn, you see, there is a difference between expecting similar gameplay from a sequel running on the same engine (example FO2, BG2, etc) and a game that, as the reviewer put it, makes you feel like "you've played this game before", now with few more features."

Meh. It was obvious to anyone with half a brain that it be 'more of the same" just hoepfully improved in the little things. ie. the inventory thing fixed, more use out of skills, mini games being more optional; shit like that. If you wanted a brand new experience buy a different game.
 

Diogo Ribeiro

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Volourn said:
Your opinion is both unimportant in the rgand scale of things and plainly stupid. Most people loved KOTOR and din't find it was broekn at all.

Remember that time when most people found the earth to be flat and that the Sun revolved around the Earth? :P
 

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