Sunday, March 20, 2005

Ah, my poor neglected blog.

KOTOR 2 is one absorbing game that pushes its story chapter by chapter so strongly that hours of gameplay go by so quickly that the sun is up and birds are tweeting in the trees before you decide that perhaps it's time for bed.

Not that the game is a perfect one. Gamers using ATI cards (Radeon, etc.) may suffer serious graphics glitches, at times making the game almost unplayable. Lots of complaints about this if you look up the forum pages. There is a workaround: add the line, "Disable Vertex Buffer Objects=1" under the "Graphics Options" heading in the swkotor2.ini file in whatever directory you installed the game in (remember to back up first!). However, this solution still fails to prevent the screen from turning into a pixel pizza. It only allows your party to move to where you want them to go without getting stuck in a wall or mysteriously teleporting to some other part of the map where you didn't want them to go. I guess only the didicated would want to continue playing after this horror story, so Lucasarts or ATI, get it fixed! NOW!

Having finished the game (yay! no more going to bed at 6am!). I would say that the story in KOTOR 2 seems darker than the original. A lot more guilt, death, despair in the backstory, yet our avatar's redemption seems to require little more than a clearing up of a misunderstanding. Or perhaps I was just playing light-side?

The big boss characters in the sequel seem easier to kill too. Or perhaps I know what to do now, having had the benefit of experience from the original? Simple procedure: power up with all Force bonuses (speed, resistance/s, battle meditation if you must) before you open any door you might expect a hornets' nest of baddies. If the battle is going badly for you, power up with speed and run like mad away from battle. Then heal up and return. If you're lucky, the hoard would have scattered a bit pursuing you and back at full health you can pick them off one-by-one. Not very noble, I admit, but it gets the job done.

The ending came a bit abruptly, with a few loose ends unresolved, even unaddressed. That's probably because I had a few sub-plots left to complete before the final battle launched itself on me. If you want the whole story, absolutely DO NOT go into the Shyrack cave on Korriban (I think this was the point of no-return) too early. Make sure you complete all your quests before that, then proceed.

Also, DO build up the "Repair" skill so you can upgrade T3-M4 and find out its story. I didn't do this so I haven't a clue as to what happened to it, the Ebon Hawk, or Revan(?) just before the beginning of KOTOR 2. You can trade off some "Stealth" for "Repair" 'cos there's only so much Stealth you need. Later in the game, you're going in swinging your lightsabres (2 'sabres are better than 1 double-bladed one) so there's not much use for subtlety anyway.

Guess it'll be worth playing again to complete the whole picture, but maybe not until they fix the graphics glitch. Very annoyed about that. >grumble< >grumble<...

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