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Old May 10 2012, 08:49 PM   #1
Reverend
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Just finished KotOR for the first time...

Yes I know, what took me so long? Well sue me. I've had this game for years, installed and uninstalled it three or four times and restarted from scratch at least twice, but today I've finally completed it for the first time!

On my first try I never even made it off Taris before I got bored with it. Second time I made it as far as Dantooine before the tedium became too much. The third time I pushed on, made it to Tatooine and fell in love with the game. So after a *very* slow and rocky start, I thoroughly enjoyed what felt like walking around in a Ralph McQuarrie painting. Kashyyyk was a bit of a let down but it was OK. Then I got to Manaan and suddenly the tedium came back with a vengeance. I left it alone for quite a while after that until a free weekend on SWTOR last month gave me an itch to give it another go.

Luckily I still had my old save files so I loaded up Manaan...fast travelled right back to the Ebon Hawk and went straight to Korriban...Obviously I did eventually finish Manaan, but I didn't want to start off there.

Anyway, now that I've finished it, I have to say I'm at a bit of a loss as to why people sing this game's praises so much...

*ducks*

Don't get me wrong it's easily one of the best Star Wars games ever and a *good* game in it's own right...BUT it didn't really grip me. To be fair, the big twist regarding the player character's true identity was spoiled for me a long time ago. I did try to avoid spoilers, but it's an older game and people are understandable careless. I'm betting that was a major part of the appeal and unfortunately I can only imagine how much of a shock that would have been on a blind playthrough.

Still, plot aside I had a really hard time with gameplay.Though I'm more tolerant of thins kind of game than I used to be, I can never feel invested in combat is if all I'm doing is queuing up dice rolls to see if a Jedi can manage to miss a creature the size of a bull that's standing right in front of them. I mean, come on! I can put up with a lot, but if the combat system is rubbish and combat makes up about 90% of the game them to me, that's a deal breaker. Hell, DA2's combat system was probably the only thing that kept be going through that aimless slog of a plot!

Character interaction felt a bit spotty too, which surprised me since I'm often told that's what Bioware has been renowned for since the 'Baulder's Gate' RPGs. Here, while most of your teammates have fairly good introductions, as soon as they get aboard your ship, they just scuttle away to their little corner and refuse to say anything new for half the game. Because of this I found it hard to develop an attachment to them. Though you do get some of their history, none of them really have an arc and rarely do they contribute.

So how did everyone else fell about the first time they played KotOR? Am I alone in my dissatisfaction? Is there something I've overlooked?

...Is the sequel worth bothering with?
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Old May 10 2012, 09:06 PM   #2
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Re: Just finished KotOR for the first time...

There's some entertainment in pairing up different characters to come along with you. Depending on what pair you have, they'll say different things to each other.

One of these days I'm going to go back and finish the be-as-evil-as-possible playthrough I started.
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Old May 10 2012, 10:39 PM   #3
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Re: Just finished KotOR for the first time...

Yeah, I encountered a little of that on Taris, but none that I noticed in the rest of the game. Perhaps I was using the wrong character combinations? I tended to favour Mission, Juhani, Bastila and occasionally HK-47.

I have started a darkside playthough, but honestly I'm already loosing interest. There appears to be very little variation in the story and not a lot of subtlety from a roleplaying POV. One of the things I really enjoyed about my brief go at SWTOR was the ability to play as a "good" Sith. Or rather I should say a dark side user who wasn't a petty, egomaniacal git-face.

For KotOR I'm guessing that the only real difference is that instead of turning Bastila back to the light, you can off Malek, take her as an apprentice and get an "All hail Lord Revan" ending cutscene in place of the medal ceremony. Am I right?
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Old May 10 2012, 11:45 PM   #4
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Re: Just finished KotOR for the first time...

Reverend wrote: View Post
For KotOR I'm guessing that the only real difference is that instead of turning Bastila back to the light, you can off Malek, take her as an apprentice and get an "All hail Lord Revan" ending cutscene in place of the medal ceremony. Am I right?
Pretty much. As for you not liking it, I dunno... I was hesitant to play it when it first came out, having lost interest in Star Wars after getting burned by the prequels, but I was glad I did, as it managed to recapture everything that was great about the original films. It was also nifty how they were able to incorporate the D&D ruleset into a sci-fi setting. And it's rather important from a historical standpoint as it provided the template for most of the Bioware games that came after. Hell, Mass Effect 1 is pretty much a KoTOR clone in an original setting. And I like KoTOR better because it didn't have the tedium of the Mako exploration and cookie-cutter sidequests. But if you didn't like it, I probably wouldn't recommend the sequel. Like all of Obsidian's other games it's got better dialogue and deeper gameplay mechanics, but it's buggy as hell. And if you thought ME3 had a bad ending.....
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Old May 11 2012, 03:40 AM   #5
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Re: Just finished KotOR for the first time...

Well, I like a goof Star Wars story that's well told, and a woman is in charge. The fact that I can romance another woman as a woman is a big plus.

But realistically, I just love the characters. The moment I started chatting with Jolee Bindo about his past, I was convinced beyond a doubt that Yoda is the single worst Jedi in Star Wars. Jolee is a Jedi who not only talks sense, but doesn't see things as black and white like Yoda does. He understands that having attachments, even ones that involve a loving relationship isn't something that should be treated like some plague that should be purged. He is in my book the perfect Jedi.

And if you pay attention, this is one of those Star Wars games where the game makers actually made their own music for the game instead of using stock music that we get all the freaking time with every other Star Wars game. And I LOVE the music in KOTOR!
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Old May 11 2012, 08:43 AM   #6
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Re: Just finished KotOR for the first time...

Yeah, I did notice that the music was original (aside from the opening fan-fair & closing credits of course) and for the most part it was very memorable and really authentic sounding.

I did like Jolee Bindo, but I'm not sure if I got the full story on him. By the end of the game his and a few other of the characters' "quests" were still in the journal. I must have missed a trigger or something because I would try to talk to everyone fairly regularly.

Just to be clear, I *did* like the game, I just really struggled at times to stay invested. Mostly the combat system, but also the hit-and-miss character interactions and a few *really* dull maps. It probably wouldn't have been so bad if you could tilt the camera and take in the scenery a bit better. Some more interesting side missions would have been nice too. All it really had was a pointless and pretty dull swoop racing minigames and the odd fetch quest. I'd take Mass Effect over this any day.

Now if they ever decided to do an HD remake with the SWTOR engine and a DAII inspired combat system, then I'm defiantly there!
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Old May 11 2012, 09:28 AM   #7
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Re: Just finished KotOR for the first time...

Keep in mind, you're talking about a game that's nearly a decade old. And funny enough, they still throw in stupid mini-games into their games now and then.

Knights of the Old Republic 2 is really another beast though. There are several reasons why people think it's much better than the first:
1) It expands the mythology beyond the simple Sith/Jedi binary. What's at stake in this game is The Force itself and how that will define the future of the universe (well, not really, since KoTOR3 never happened ). It's simply a much more ambitious story that goes beyond the simple rehash of Star Wars found in KoTOR1.
2) It has arguably a better cast, or at least a more nuanced cast. In gameplay terms, gender actually matters and effects which characters you can recruit. Also, it features a rough version of the "influence" system that BioWare would rip-off for use in the Dragon Age games, where the way characters respond to you is based on a hidden stat that acts independent of your alignment. The characters also actually interact with each other depending on the status of your relationships, unlike every single BioWare game ever, where characters only talk to "you" and seem to forget that they're hanging out with other party members.
3) Obsidian took some of the D&D rules and tweaked them a little bit. I can't remember the specifics myself, since it's been years though. Certainly the quest mechanics try to deviate from the BioWare formula of "fake open world" anyway.

The thing about KoTOR2 is that there is really only one way to play the game now - with the Restoration Mod that restores most of the content that was cut from the original release. It turns a very good game into a great game - especially if you're invested in Star Wars and seeing the mechanics of RPG storytelling unfold.

Unfortunately, KoTOR2 just isn't available anywhere legally online (as far as I know). I don't know if there's some weird rights thing that is preventing LA from selling KoTOR2 or if they aren't interested in selling it (which is dumb considering TOR is out). But it is worth tracking down a PC copy of the game in order to play it with the cut content restored. Although the ending will still be "abrupt" (insomuch as this was supposed to be the second game in a trilogy), the restored content adds so many interesting layers to how the ending plays out that it makes that much more interesting - and more importantly, the party influence system actually plays an important part in how the ending resolves itself.
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Old May 13 2012, 08:57 PM   #8
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Re: Just finished KotOR for the first time...

I loved KOTOR 2, but I've had to restart from scratch so many times that I can play the Peragus mission in my sleep. Which is not a good thing, because it's one of my least favorite sections in a Star Wars game ever (aside from that zero-gravity segment in Jedi Outcast). To this day I still have not finished it, and it doesn't look like I will anytime soon because KOTOR 2 strongly dislikes my computer for indeterminate reasons.

It did feel incredibly unfinished when I played through (and almost completed) the game several years ago, though. The Handmaiden's mother subplot in particular was frustrating and confusing... sooo many hours spent going in circles with her dialogue tree.

I did love how it was a totally different take on the Star Wars universe than the black-white, good versus evil noblebright universe that it's always been and added some moral grey areas to decisions. It's one of the reasons I loved Kreia so much, she made you question why you really did things.
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Old May 14 2012, 12:50 AM   #9
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Re: Just finished KotOR for the first time...

KotOR was significant in many ways, in that it was a really good Star Wars game and a good RPG. It did a lot of things right and set a precedent for their future games, to the point that, as mentioned, Mass Effect borrows a lot from. When I played Mass Effect, I couldn't help but feel like it was familiar in terms of locations and pacing of the story.
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Old May 14 2012, 01:26 AM   #10
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Re: Just finished KotOR for the first time...

Why were the KOTOR games so great?

The unspoiled stories, especially the twists, of both were epic during your first run. You weren't restricted by the original movie events while making decisions and it allowed you to actually roleplay in the star wars universe outside of pen-n-paper. It had amazing characters to interact with, great art design, script and voice-acting, cool villains and set-pieces, and a deeper exploration of the Force than previously seen in the print fiction.

All that said, when Malak ordered the destruction of Taris, I cheered. That world was the longest, most boring Act 1 I'd ever encountered, and I made it a point during each of my many playthroughs to skip all dialogue and fluff side-missions to get off Taris as quickly as possible.
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Old May 14 2012, 11:32 AM   #11
Camren
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Re: Just finished KotOR for the first time...

I hated kotor 2. It was a disgrace to the video gaming industry, to release such an obviously unfinished product. And with no further content provided by the developers.
What makes it worse was the potential was there to have a decent game. The gameplay was actually slightly improved from kotor 1 but the original blows the sequel away in terms of the actual story, and has far more re-playable value than 2.
I liken the 2 games to the SW movies. The original kotor is like the OT, simple, engaging plot revolving around good vs evil, republic vs empire etc. Kotor 2 is on par with the PT. A messy, boring plot, no standout characters (except Kreia) and lacking any emotional resonance.

Kotor 2 tried to develop a more complex plot than the typical SW tales and it could have been great to see it fully fleshed out. But it was incomplete and the complexities involved left the story a confusing mess. In kotor 1 you knew why you were travelling to the various spots in the game. To find the Star Maps eventually leading to the source of the Siths power. In Kotor 2 you didn't even really know why you were gallivanting around the galaxy, there didn't seem to be an end goal and the plot 'twist' was pretty dumb to say the least.

I was so looking forward to kotor 2 after enjoying the original immensely. To say I was disappointed is an understatement.
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Old May 14 2012, 02:37 PM   #12
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Re: Just finished KotOR for the first time...

It just let me know that at least in the gaming world i'm as evil and evil can be. I would go out of my way to earn darkside points.

Course.... it was like that in Fable 2. But then again all of the Elder Scrolls games ring a bell. Maybe i should look into that.
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Old May 14 2012, 05:49 PM   #13
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Re: Just finished KotOR for the first time...

My Target has had PC KOTR 2s sitting on the shelf for years, they're still there!
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Old May 14 2012, 06:28 PM   #14
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Re: Just finished KotOR for the first time...

Camren wrote: View Post
It was a disgrace to the video gaming industry,
No it wasn't. I could list some real disgraces to the gaming industry--several of which are rather infamous around these parts, but I'm sure you'd just shrug them off.

And with no further content provided by the developers.
This is simply not true. Both of the restoration projects were supported/assisted by Obsidian even after Lucasarts told them not to.

They provided the project people with the raw code (some of the original coders help out themselves) and access to a few of the voice actors. In fact, I think their support is rather unprecedented.

n Kotor 2 you didn't even really know why you were gallivanting around the galaxy,
To rejuvenate the Force?

the plot 'twist' was pretty dumb to say the least.
That's because there wasn't a plot twist.
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Old May 15 2012, 08:51 AM   #15
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Re: Just finished KotOR for the first time...

firehawk12 wrote: View Post
Keep in mind, you're talking about a game that's nearly a decade old. And funny enough, they still throw in stupid mini-games into their games now and then.
Hey, I've been a gamer since the old ZX Spectrum days! Old games and outdated graphics do *not* worry me.

Knights of the Old Republic 2 is really another beast though. There are several reasons why people think it's much better than the first:
1) It expands the mythology beyond the simple Sith/Jedi binary. What's at stake in this game is The Force itself and how that will define the future of the universe (well, not really, since KoTOR3 never happened ). It's simply a much more ambitious story that goes beyond the simple rehash of Star Wars found in KoTOR1.
2) It has arguably a better cast, or at least a more nuanced cast. In gameplay terms, gender actually matters and effects which characters you can recruit. Also, it features a rough version of the "influence" system that BioWare would rip-off for use in the Dragon Age games, where the way characters respond to you is based on a hidden stat that acts independent of your alignment. The characters also actually interact with each other depending on the status of your relationships, unlike every single BioWare game ever, where characters only talk to "you" and seem to forget that they're hanging out with other party members.
3) Obsidian took some of the D&D rules and tweaked them a little bit. I can't remember the specifics myself, since it's been years though. Certainly the quest mechanics try to deviate from the BioWare formula of "fake open world" anyway.

The thing about KoTOR2 is that there is really only one way to play the game now - with the Restoration Mod that restores most of the content that was cut from the original release. It turns a very good game into a great game - especially if you're invested in Star Wars and seeing the mechanics of RPG storytelling unfold.

Unfortunately, KoTOR2 just isn't available anywhere legally online (as far as I know). I don't know if there's some weird rights thing that is preventing LA from selling KoTOR2 or if they aren't interested in selling it (which is dumb considering TOR is out). But it is worth tracking down a PC copy of the game in order to play it with the cut content restored. Although the ending will still be "abrupt" (insomuch as this was supposed to be the second game in a trilogy), the restored content adds so many interesting layers to how the ending plays out that it makes that much more interesting - and more importantly, the party influence system actually plays an important part in how the ending resolves itself.
I've actually gotten my hands on a copy of KotOR 2 and have so far really enjoyed it. The intro level(s) was a bit on the dull side (though nor nearly as bad as Taris) but they managed to break it up a bit with the switching perspectives. However I wouldn't fancy doing that several times for multiple playthroughs mind, that'd be a hell of a slog.

Anyway, I think I'm about half way though having completed Nar Shaadda, (sp?) Danooine and have just gotten to the Mandalorian camp on Dxun.

I have noticed a number of weird bugs, even though I installed the "restored content" mod right from the off. Mostly minor stuff, though I think there's a fairly major on in that I can't seem to find the HK factory and the journal entry for the quest has vanished.
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