Admitting Defeat

As soon as I decided that playing through Bioware’s catalogue of games was a goal and not a happy coincidence, my failure became inevitable. I was never going to be able to keep it up and honestly, I never really intended to. I had wanted to beat Baldur’s Gate for a long time. I had played it in the past, but spent more time trying out new characters than actually trying to beat the game. Seeing it through to the end was a long time goal. I had also wanted to play Mass Effect. Once I was really starting to dig into my PS3 (or more specifically my brothers’ PS3) library, running into some of Bioware’s fairly prodigious output on the system was inevitable. I didn’t try to fight it; I just played them as they came up in my queue. However, the combination of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Dragon Age Origins, along with some personal problems, has ground away my desire to play anymore Bioware games at the moment.

It isn’t anything against the games, neither those two games specifically nor the company’s oeuvre. I like Bioware’s games, even with some of their idiosyncrasies. But there is no denying that for the most part they all play similarly. It is pretty easy to trace the gameplay traits all the way from Baldur’s Gate to Dragon Age Inquisition. One thing they all have in common is that they aren’t short games. Even Jade Empire, likely the briefest of their games, takes a good 25 hours. Playing the same sort of game, over and over, is a great way to kill any enthusiasm for them. I like Kotor, but I played through the first two thirds of years ago, doing it again, after doing something similar six times already this year, held little appeal to me. It didn’t help that my laptop has recently come up lame, with choking and wheezing itself into needing to be replaced before too much longer. I don’t really feel comfortable playing games on it right now.

As for Dragon Age Origins, it is just too much. Having played roughly half of it, I can now see why DA2 got the reception it did. The two games are as different as night and day. DA2 is concise and focused, Origins is epic and sprawling. I can see why coming from the big game to a much smaller one would turn off fans, but personally I appreciated DA2’s intimacy. It also hurt that my time has recently become much more strained. I don’t have the time to play Dragon Age Origins for 80 hours. Especially not in a month.

Trying to beat every Bioware game in a year was obviously a case of too much of a good thing. The only reason I decided to make it a thing is that I was almost halfway done on accident. I played through 5 just as a matter of course, doing another 7 didn’t seem like a big deal. As soon as I made it a goal, though, my work schedule changed and my desire to play evaporated. Instead of continuing to try to play the games and making myself hate them, I am giving up. I’ll get back to them eventually. Neverwinter Nights, KotOR, DA Inquisition, all of them. But not now, and probably not this year. I would rather play Etrian Odyssey Untold 2, or Super Mario Maker, Yakuza 4 or Metal Gear Solid V. Maybe late this year, or early next year, I’ll get back to them But for now there is no rush.

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