Lurky McLurklurk (ionlylurkhere) wrote,
Lurky McLurklurk
ionlylurkhere

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II -- surprisingly not a dating sim

So I've barely done anything useful this week thanks to gaming.{*} Never mind Civ IV; thanks to james_nicoll, I realised that my new laptop would probably be able to play Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords (hereinafter KotoR2 to save my colon key from wearing out), which I bought ages ago in the forlorn hope my old machine (which only barely managed to run the first game) might just cope with it and it does, though without any sound or movies thanks to Vista being so very backwards compatible.


And I have been having huge fun with it. It works nicely as a proper sequel to the first game (which is the best single piece of Star Wars anywhere ever IMO, much better than the fillums), it's got the immense fun of running around the galaxy with your very own lightsaber (I'm afraid mine's very Mary-Sue-ish, a violet double-bladed one), it's got some occasional entertaining criticism of the D&D standards of stealing from every container and plundering every dead body, and best of all it cleverly doesn't make you an amnesiac for once in this sort of game but instead establishes through relatively early dialogue what your take on your character's back story is (you also get to tell the game how the first game played out, which is cool).

Where it really lacks compared to the original (I haven't got to the end yet, so I don't know if it's as rushed as everyone says, but apparently masses was cut to get it out of the door in time) is in the interaction with the other members of your party, and particularly the "romance" plots. In the first KotOR, every member of your party had long dialogue trees and their own sidequests, and there was a het pairing for each gender you could play as, and if you spent long enough listening to their backstory and sorted out all this stuff you got different things happening at the end as a result (there was even a moment where Carth threatened to spank you as a female PC if you got your dialogue options just right). There was supposed to be a femslash pairing in KotOR but it got cut, except for one line from Juhani that they forgot about; KotOR2 does slightly better on this score, though just like Star Trek the only lesbians I've come across so far were evil aliens who I had to kill.

KotOR2 supposedly has romance as well, and it also has this massively complicated influence system where the other members of your party respond to your choices which would lend itself to that sort of thing. However it doesn't seem to be anywhere near as good as KotOR1's, all in all. I'm playing my first game as a Light Side female. Witness the complete obliviousness of supposed love interest Atton:

A scene from play


Left to right in this picture we have:


  • Vogga the Hutt's translator person, who is wearing the strappy outfit because that's apparently the only skin the Twi'lek females come with.
  • Atton, the most transparent Han-substitute ever and supposed love interest for the female PC. He is quite fun (he keeps saying "I've got a bad feeling about this", which is irritating, but is supposedly a warning to save the game), and he's flirted with me from time to time and keeps being all "protective" (despite the part where I'm a quite ridiculously munchkiny Jedi who hasn't encountered any serious problems from anyone whereas he's moderately good with a blaster and has this silly "luck" thing where the closer to death he is the better he gets at dodging). He also got all jealous when I bought another guy on board our stolen spaceship, which gave me hope that there might actually be some romance subplot happening. (On the other hand, there was a cut scene where my Grey Jedi trainer person Kreia implied he was a murderer, but I don't really care: my backstory involves killing entire planets as far as I can make out, and also Kreia is very, very annoying -- every light side choice I make loses influence with her, so I have given up trying to make her like me.)
  • Vogga the Hutt, big crime boss but who's not affiliated to the really big syndicate I'm fighting, and who I need to butter up so he'll send fuel to another planet that desperately needs it, blah blah if I want to know the plot I'll check my journal.
  • My randomly-generated-name PC, who has just infiltrated Vogga the Hutt's enclave in KotOR2's very own Princess-Leia-in-the-gold-bikini cheesecake moment by offering to dance for him, for which I was given this oh-so-special outfit.
  • A kath hound.


Now there was plenty of cheesecake in KotOR1, really (the female characters' underwear was much skimpier there than this time round, and there was that whole business with Bastila's undies changing depending on whether she'd been wearing Dark Side robes and stuff), but this is very much the most obvious (and definitively plot-related) example yet in either game. And the game even acknowledges this. Here is how the equipment screen describes my outfit:

Equipment screen for the dancer's outfit.  Gender Required: Female.  Skills: Persuade +2


As it happens, I don't need the boost to my Persuade skill 'cos I learned in my very first run through KotOR1 how crippling a low Persuade could be so I always pump loads of points into it and the related Charisma attribute, but this is actually quite amusing. The thing is, I'm clearly meant to be looking very good right now. And yet here is the entire extent of my dialogue options with Atton:

Atton's dialogue options.  1. Can you teach me to play pazaak? 2. How about a game of pazaak? 3. Nothing, never mind.


Pazaak is a minigame-within-the-game where you play cards; basically, it's Blackjack if Blackjack was a CCG. I've played a lot of Pazaak with Atton, as it happens, because it's a moderately more entertaining way to pass the time while waiting for my force points to regenerate after a battle than just standing there. But let's face it: I'm right here in front of him wearing next-to-nothing, and all the guy wants to do is play Pazaak. He doesn't even suggest strip Pazaak!

In conclusion: Atton has a serious gambling problem. Or is gay. Or both.


{*} Don't worry, people I owe betas/fics/Anji ravings: that's all under control. Sort of.
Tags: gaming, random nonsense, star wars
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