Thursday, December 15, 2011

Top 50 Video Games: Number 24

Stats of Import

Platform: Xbox
Absurdly Specific Genre: Star Wars
Difficulty: I just used it as an example of a '5', so I'd probably better put that.
Beaten: Yes

When my brother bought Knights of the Old Republic, I didn't know a thing about it beyond the fact that it was a Star Wars RPG. Since he had an Xbox, and I was rocking the PS2, I didn't really give it a second thought. Then one day he came into my room with his Xbox in his arms and tossed the game on my bed.

"Play this"
"Just play this."

So I did. I was a relative novice to the action RPG world, so I messed up horribly on the skill tree, putting valuable points into asinine things like lock picking (a RPG quirk that I've never been able to shake) and never maxing out one skill, opting to put all kinds of points into as many different skills as I could.

The Firkrann crystal has a minor damage bonus to droids, but it looks frakking awesome.
The characters were split right down the middle between those that I only barely tolerated (Carth, Mission, etc) and those that I loved (Bastila, Canderous, and, most especially, HK-47*), but the story always had the proper galactically epic feel. The combat wasn't perfect (in fact, a replay from a couple months ago showed the mechanics to be just flawed enough to bump the game a couple spots down on this very list, but the gameplay itself was phenomenal. The unexpected genre changeups, like the Rashomon-inspired arbiter scene, the (easy) puzzles in one of the last temples, everything stayed fresh.

* Yes, I love the dark side characters, even though I am a serial light side player. Carth is a pussy.

That footnote brings up the best part of the game, actually. The light side/dark side mechanic felt more natural in this game than in it has in any game I can think of. Star Wars is a universe that encourages that sort of duality to begin with, but this game captures it well, and you feel like your choices matter.

Though, let's be honest, whatever your alignment, you will kill the gizka. Even that pussy Carth would kill the gizka.

I haven't brought up the famous twist because honestly, it's not even necessary (though it will be featured in the other list, because it's pretty sweet), the game was good enough before it to be on this list, and even years later, wit the twist known, it's a joy to play through.

Other Notable Games in the Series: Much as I adored the first game, I didn't play a single minute of the second game. I heard it suffered from massive Indigo Prophecy Syndrome, plus I didn't have an xbox. I own it now (bought for $3 from the local GameStop), so maybe I'll have to give it a try.


  1. I think I'm the only person who doesn't hate the endgame of Indigo Prophecy. I certainly think it could have been better, but not worthy of defining a trope.

    Final Fantasy VI probably best defines it. Other than the design of Kefka's tower (with the three parties needing to work together), and the credit sequence, the last half of the game is garbage compared to the first half. No effort at all. I don't how many times I've played the game through the Floating Continent and then quit out of boredom.

  2. Really? I sort of liked it......we'll get to that later.

    Indigo Prophecy completely fell apart right after the Ferris Wheel falls. Characters disappear for little reason, a weird romantic subplot that doesn't come across as real at all, and then... end.

    Not to say that I didn't replay the last couple of chapters 4 or 5 times to see all the different endings, but it fell pretty badly toward the 3/4 point. Too bad, too... because I really liked it to that point.

  3. I don't disagree with anything you say there. I think it doesn't bug me as much because it's not dragged out. It's perhaps 7% of the entire game. And Fahrenheit had nipples, so there's that.

  4. Of course, I played the American version: all of the corpse-sex, none of the nipples.

  5. Having played both KOTORS, save yourself the time, don't play II and preserve the good memory you have of the first game. First one was great! (and I don't dig RPG games).

  6. That was sort of what my brother said, and he loved the first one even more than I did, so I took him at his (and several other people's) word.