Boxed Again!

I couldn’t remember when was the last time I bought a boxed PC game. All I know is that I started buying digital games since February of 2009 from Steam.

Steam is awesome! They offered me another way of buying games, not wasting any of my time and money driving to big box stores. But their deals is what I really love about them. Because they offer new games, not bargain bin games, tagged with cheap-as-dirt prices.

But Steam’s current Summer Sale has failed in goading me to buy a digital copy of Dragon Age II from them. Not their fault though. Dragon Age II for $36 is enticing. But I got a better offer from Best Buy:

This is one of the best deals I've seen.

Dragon Age II for less than $6!

The game wasn’t really that cheap. It’s original price was $35. Except I used a $30 Reward Zone certificate, which I found in my sister’s glove box. Since she didn’t really need it, I asked for it. Hence, a cheap-o game.

I don’t have some spare time to play the game though. But I’ll dip my gaming fingers soon enough into it.

The Witcher 2 is Ploughing Awesome!

I will plough your face with my ploughing sword!

I didn’t expect anything grand from The Witcher. But when it was released in 2007, the game blew my mind away with its storytelling and grim atmosphere, instantly becoming one of my favorite games for the PC. Now, four years after its release, developer CD Project Red is back with its sequel, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, and proves us that the first game wasn’t a fluke.

In The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings players will step into the shoes of Geralt of Rivia, an amnesiac and a mutant monster-hunter –also known as a witcher– who delivers all manners of kick-assery. He has a bad-ass demeanor, a plethora of skills, ranging from magic to alchemy, and a wide range of arsenal, including traps and bombs, all of which are essential to successfully track down the man who framed him for killing a king.

While Geralt’s main quest seems like a simple chase adventure, I promise you that it is not. The deeper you get into this game, the thicker the plot will get. You will find yourself embroiled in a political drama that is rife with deception and betrayal, which really showcases the gritty universe of The Witcher. As a sub story (presented in a form of a motion comics), you’ll also learn about Geralt’s past as fragments of his memories starts rushing back in.

Like with its predecessor, the story in The Witcher 2 doesn’t flow in a linear fashion. Instead, it twists, turns and branches into different directions, depending on your allegiances and the choices you make. The choices in this game are quite difficult too. Since, unlike most RPGs, they don’t just steer you to a path of good or evil. But they’re real choices with palpable consequences.

The most difficult choice I have to make in the game, or in any game at all, was to choose who to save: a young princess or my lover. The most logical and humane choice was to save the princess. Not only will you save a girl from a terrible fate, but you’ll also secure the independence of her nation. But I couldn’t stand the thought of my lover being raped in my enemy’s prison. So, I rescued my lover instead and spared myself from a broken heart.

Speaking of love, NPCs in this game have a side that you’ll love and another that you’ll hate. When I started out, I wanted to support the nonhuman rebels, or the Scoia’tael, like I did in the first game. But after I spent time with the Blue Stripes –archenemy of the Scoia’tael– and heard their side of the story, they weren’t as bad as I thought they were and the rebels weren’t as good either. So, I ended up taking their side and fought the Scoia’tael with them.

Unfortunately, combat in the Assassins of Kings can be a little bit unforgiving. The controls are a bit sluggish and the targeting is quite fussy. Both a problem when you’re pressed by enemies at all sides, which often happens. Drinking potions isn’t instant like it was in the first game. You have to meditate in order to use them, and you can’t meditate in the middle of combat. So, you might want start on easy mode first.

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is the best game I’ve played since, well, The Witcher. Almost every facet of this game is sublime. The environments are beautiful. Its story is intricate and intriguing. The voice acting is masterfully done. Even its dialogue is grand in all its vulgarity. It has its flaws, however. In my case, I suffered multiple crashes during my first play through. But I’ll gladly suffer the same bugs again for another play through.

Score: A-
Game #05 of 15

Triss Merigold Bares It All!

I finally finished The Witcher 2 today. I haven’t enjoyed any game as much as this in a long time now. It’s even better than my recent favorites like Dragon Age: Origins, Mass Effect 2 and Fallout: New Vegas. It’s also clear that its developer, CD Project Red, stepped up its standard of production and improved a lot of things from the first game.

One of the first few improvements I’ve noticed is that, unlike its predecessor, it’s not censored. The dialogue in the game is so vulgar that it’s funny and awesome. During the first few minutes of the game, you’ll also see Triss Merigold, sorceress lover of Geralt, naked in all her glory from head to toe, showing all her goods: tits, arse, pubes and all.

On top of that, Triss is also the cover girl in the May issue of Playboy Poland:

Triss Merigold. Sorceress, Witcher's Whore and Playboy Poland's Cover Girl

She’s one hot and sexy dziewczyna. Anyways, if you want to see the rest of here pictures (which aren’t safe for work), you can check them out here. They are quite nice and will keep you occupied while I work on a proper review for the game.