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Does that sound medieval to you?

Discussion in 'BoM Blogs' started by Caradhras, May 10, 2010.

  1. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    Long story short, I've taken a break from DAO to enjoy some Witcher goodness and although the game is as much fun as it was the first time, I can't help thinking that it shouldn't have been labelled as a CRPG. In all fairness it's more of an adventure game (a great adventure game with hack and slash fun, dialogues and stuff) but it doesn't feature much in the way of choices. There are choices regarding turning points in the story but dialogues are just about going through all the options, sit back and relax.

    That brings me to my biggest complaint about the game and this is even more glaring when you compare the Witcher to DAO. What I'm hinting at is that the dialogues leave much to be desired.

    The use of foul language is ok (I guess) and it gets even more explicit in the Witcher. There may be less buddy talk in the Witcher which is a good thing since Alistair in DAO strays quite a bit on that path (which is totally expected once you realize that Alistair was based on Xander from Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series).

    Still, what is wrong with the Witcher? You've got great scenery, attention to details regarding armours, clothing and architecture which really brings home the medieval feel of the game and then what... There are some major immersion breaking dialogues...

    I think the worst has to be the talk about "psychoanalysis" with the elf leader of the Scoia'tael. The scientific bits at the autopsy were hard to swallow as well. Not to mention the fact that all this talk about mutants and mutagens in a medieval setting really did put a lot of pressure on my willingness to suspend my disbelief.

    Another thing. Although I really liked the voice acting in some parts of the Witcher, I have to say that Geralt himself is really annoying. Hearing an American accent in a medieval setting totally breaks immersion for me. I know that Modern British English has little in common with Middle English but still, I think that it's another thing DAO managed to get right (having American accents for elves and dwarves whereas the humans talk with a British accent or a French accent for the Orlesians).

    The Witcher has one thing that is definitely great and that is the music -except for the electric guitars on action pieces for some of the boss fights... What were they thinking?
     
  2. CelticDream

    CelticDream I play well with others... others, not you Veteran

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    I've never played The Witcher, but it almost sounds like they took something medieval and then popped in dialogue from some modern Nanotechnologist or a 20th century Freud wannabe. I had been tempted to pick it up and check it out... now I'm not so sure.
     
  3. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    You should definitely check it out.

    Despite what I've been ranting about it's still a very good game (if you don't mind monster hunting and taking your time to find out more about NPCs, quests and the rest). The story is very good (although you're limited to playing one character). The music is probably the best (along with the original Fallout and Arcanum) -except for a few tracks that sound way too modern to me.

    The overall feel of the game is quite good actually as far as realism is concerned. It doesn't look like just another rendition of a random medieval setting (think Martin Lawrence in the Black Knight). If anything, The Witcher looks more medieval than DAO. Just take a look at some concept art for the game and you'll see what I mean. I grew up near an old castle and I can say that they definitely got the architectural details right in The Witcher.

    All this make the lapses in the dialogues all the more glaring though. I don't know whether this has to do with the translation and if the original lines are any better. I just feel that those unfortunate lines feel like they're straight from some random TV series (like Hercules).

    To be fair, DAO is not better when it comes to lines that feel as if they're straight from some Hollywood movie (and I don't mean that in a good way). At times some lines remind me of the worst buddy movie comments from The Lord of The Rings -the movie- like the dwarf tossing line or the "you're late" comment...

    Such snide remarks tend to cheapen the whole thing and turn it out into a Joss Whedon script which is not bad for a Joss Whedon piece (in which characters are more preoccupied about their badass look than they are about anything else) but which is pretty bad when it comes to The Lord of The Rings (but Peter Jackson obviously thought he knew better how to tie the story together and thought he could improve Tolkien's work when all he did was introducing some major plot holes and inconsistencies not to mention terribly cheap lines like the dwarf tossing one). What I found most amusing was that he had the gall to criticize Willow when he (knowingly or not) imitated it on more than one occasions (the tavern scene in the first movie and the Gandalf vs Saruman fight which looked a lot like the fight between Fin Raziel and Bavmorda -I don't know why Jackson got rid of the "saruman the many colored" scene, it's just one example in a long series of stupid choices resulting from a really bad interpretation of the book. A much better version can be seen in the cartoon:

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2015
  4. Nakia

    Nakia The night is mine Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    I love your review of the Witchers. Do you think I would be able to handle the graphics and text?

    Having played DA:O your comments there really hit the mark IMO. My reaction to Alistair was this poor guy needs a good therapist. So we Americans make good Elves and dwarfs? Hmm I'll think about that one. :) Since my favorite character was a common, female dwarf rogue I'll accept that one. At least they didn't use fake Scottish accents for the dwarfs.

    Good job, Cara.
     
  5. CelticDream

    CelticDream I play well with others... others, not you Veteran

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    Nakia - I resemble the dwarf remark! Hehe I'm a short, round, busty female and, from the looks of how they've scaled the dwarves in height compared to the humans, that's about how tall I am too (would guess Alistair at 6' in the least and my dwarf came up to just about his shoulder in height which is about where I come on someone with my 5' 1"). And while Alistair might have some family issues, play him the right way and he's not as annoying and in fact can end up to be quite a sweetheart. I'd love to find a guy who's part Al, part Zev - he'd be my perfect mate :lol:

    Ok, sorry to ninja convo here - Cara, after reading your comments on The Witcher, I might, when I have the funds to do so, pick up a copy and see what it's like. Enjoyed the cartoon vid you linked up :D Then again, I have this thing for LotR, no matter what version it is - book, cartoon, Elijah Woods (gag) version... (gagging at EW - loved the other actors in the movies lol).
     
  6. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    Well Nakia, it really depends on how it translates on your screen. I have a 17" screen and the text is definitely too small. It's not that bad as far as dialogue is concerned but managing inventory and reading the journal entries may strain your eyesight. It probably works better on a larger screen but I really can't tell. Besides there is no UI mod that I know of that makes the text larger (I would gladly use it). The UI mod I've found makes it more immersive by taking many things away (definitely not something one should use for a first run). Regarding graphics, it's not that bad as you can enable captions for objects and characters you can interact with (the drawback is that it tends to get a bit crowded at some points).

    Fake Scottish accents tend to get a bit boring, that's for sure. It's not as much as American accents being suited for Elves and Dwarves as having some sensible art direction that makes the way accents are distributed more coherent. If humans in Ferelden spoke with a large variety of accents it would have to represent existing social and geographical specificities. British accents in that respect have the advantage of classifying people. Hence a Fereldan lord won't talk like a commoner. American accents don't work in the same way and are perhaps too diverse. I think that the gruff American accent of Oghren suits him perfectly for instance. It makes him sound like a badass (or a fratboy) and that didn't work in the same way for the Witcher Geralt of Rivia IMO. Geralt's American accent clashed too much with other characters whereas Oghren's accent is consistent with him being a Dwarf in the DAO setting. In any case it's not worse than the fake French accents for the Orlesians in DAO. I say fake because they are the stereotyped version of how English speakers would imitate a French accent (the real French accent would probably be worse, trust me). Still, I like how Leliana talks, the voice actress must have worked really hard on keeping a distinctly French accent while talking good English (I hate when French actresses who can't talk proper English are cast in big budget Hollywood movies -Juliette Binoche being an exception as she really can act in English).

    Things aren't that bad Celtic Dream! In other games Dwarves are a bit like Santa's little helpers whereas in DAO they are the most fearsome fighters and the coolest (and weirdest) characters. Think about the facial tattoos, the Provings, the Legion of the Dead, the Silent Sisters... Dwarves in DAO rule. Besides, female Dwarves are not bearded ladies like in old IE games (if you looked at their avatars), in DAO they can be hot. :D

    As for the Alistair/Zevran mix, it's a chimera. Why is it that girls want their perfect guy to be a sensitive fellow (probably too sensitive as far as Alistair is concerned) AND a take charge kind of man at the same time? It's just like guys who want their girls to be both needy and independent (so they can go out for drinks with their mates and know someone is waiting for them at home but won't make a scene when they come back at 2AM reeking of beer). :shake:

    What I find really ironic is that Alistair has a very strong feminine side while Zevran is definitely more manly. Given their sexual orientations and the way they look, it's not what one would have expected but then once again, given their characters and histories it makes a lot of sense.

    So you don't like Elijah Wood? I'm not fond of his acting and truth be told he gives me the creeps. It's not natural to look like a thirteen-year-old kid when you're almost thirty. It's downright creepy.
     
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