Thursday, June 18, 2015

Dragon Age Inquistion Jaws of Hakkon Totally Worth It

 I'm already on my third play through of Dragon Age Inquisition (as a female Dwarf rogue this time) and having as much fun with the game as I did on my first play through. I realized I haven't reviewed the DLC Jaws of Hakkon yet, so here it is!

Jaws of Hakkon opens a new spot on your war table map and unlocks a new area, the Frostback Basin. While it's not the largest wilderness in the game, it's quite stunning with autumnal valleys, sheer icy cliffs, and hauntingly beautiful swampland. There is also the rather cool factor of establishing Inquisition camps in the trees making for some nifty tree house forts. Bear in mind that Jaws of Hakkon is meant for high level characters, so it's best to do all the main story things for Inquisition first before tackling this. I personally explored this area before the final showdown with the main villain Corypheus and that was the right decision as my characters were at a level where they could handle all the battles.

Incredible scenery like this abounds in Jaws of Hakkon

 The story is that your Inquisitor is following a tip searching for information on their predecessor Inquisitor Ameridan who disappeared 800 years ago and the search has led to the Frostback Basin. You get to chat with everyone's favorite scout (she's my favorite at any rate LOVE Harding), Scout Harding about the surrounding area and she mentions an aggressive group of Avvar who call themselves the Jaws of Hakkon and are wreaking havoc on the surrounding area and on the Inquisition soldiers.

One of the best scouts in the Inquisition, Scout Harding

 Scout Harding also informs your Inquisitor that there are friendly Avvar also in a place called Stone-Bear Hold. The Avvar over all are quite interesting. Think a mix of Wildlings and Vikings. I enjoyed the fact that you actually get to really explore and learn more about the Avvar here whereas in the previous Dragon Age games you only got to read a variety of lore about them. With Jaws of Hakkon you actually get to interact with both factions; the self proclaimed Hakkonites (the Avvar who want to kill your Inquisitor and conquer the Ferelden Lowlands) and the peaceful Avvar in Stone-Bear Hold.

Stone-Bear Hold is another gorgeous area that offers some great exploration where you can learn more about the Avvar culture and history. The interaction with the Avvar of the hold is great too. You discover that they are in conflict with the Hakkonites as well due to them wanting to resurrect their God of war in a giant dragon to destroy everything in Thedas, so they wish to work with your Inquisitor towards a common goal of stopping that from happening.  I particularly liked the character of their Thane Svarah Sun-Hair because 1. The name is amazing and 2. She's an incredibly intelligent, pragmatic, and strong woman. Just from the conversations she has with your Inquisitor it shows that she not only thinks about the interests of her clan, she also considers how certain actions will affect the outside world as well.

Thane Svarah Sun-Hair 

The world for Jaws of Hakkon is fairly open leaving you the freedom to explore while doing some of the usual Inquisitor things such as closing Fade Rifts, finding Oculara shards, and doing a myriad of side quests. The main thing I really liked was uncovering the history of Ameridan and his companions. There are a lot of things that come to light about various things such as the Seekers and the mages. It appears that a lot of thought and detail went into the history and lore for this particular DLC and it works on many levels.

Another plus is the new gear that your Inquisitor and friends get. You can also find some nice schematics for new armor and weapons which work in nicely with the crafting system. Your Inquisitor also gets a new power that is quite handy during all those battles. While the battle system hasn't really mixed things up that much, it doesn't interrupt the flow of game play or detract from the sheer fun of playing. The price of $15 may seem a bit steep to some people. However, for what you get from the content of Jaws of Hakkon, it is totally worth it just for the unique story and characters alone. I know I do not regret my purchase at all and had a blast playing it and I will enjoy playing it again with my current play through. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a dragon to hunt!

Amazing view of Stone-Bear Hold

Monday, June 15, 2015

This Makes Me Happy

Anyone who knows me, knows that Final Fantasy is one of my favorite RPG series of all time. What they don't know is how much Final Fantasy VII means to me. That is a game along with Suikoden II that I play again and again and I always love it. So when I saw this news announced on The Nerdist I was ecstatic:

Yes. A Final Fantasy VII remake for the PS4. Just watching the short trailer alone made me excited. I am thrilled by this and my husband Ron who has never played the game was actually excited too. He saw how happy this makes me and he has promised he will play the game with me when it comes out. In the meantime, he's going to play the original Final Fantasy VII with me and it's going to be a blast!