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Reviews Comments: really overrated Knights Of The Old Republic episode review by deuxhero

(This will likely end up a shorted version of my Game FA Qs review on the game, see the full thing here )

Firstly Kot OR's story is... Very poor. "Find the 4 Plot Coupons to defeat The Empire." doesn't even pretend to be anything of interest. It wouldn't bad if that was just the front premise, but it is all there is too see.

The combat system plays really poorly and is horribly unbalanced. The "real time with pause" does not allow the player to have use any real strategy, limiting them to "walk up enemy, bash with lightsaber, heal, repeat, use force heal if someone gets a stats condition.", because of the way the system works you can't manage something as simple as a retreat, you must manaually threw WASD direct each character out of battle, and if you manage to do so, it doesn't really work, as the enemy stands by attacking every few steps you make, because the enemy keeps tied to your back, as you can niether take a turn, and useing your superior speed outrun them (as per turnbased, as increases in move speed in RTWP only matter over long distances you can't cover in battle) or avoid the enemy being chained to you in it's entirty (real time). Ballance wise, Jedi are quadriatric, vibroblade users are linear, and gun users are a flatline. Jedi get amazeing force buffs and higher damage in the first place, guns have low range, it is impossible to get out of melee range with a foe (see above) and do poor damage while gaining nothing but worthless skills for the buffs.

Party members are boring. You have the pilot with trust issues (the same trust issues Bioware can't stop using), a street urchin who wants to stop being treated like a kid, a nagging women who wants to be your moral compass, but is far from perfect herself. The two characters with the most deph are a snarky sociopath and Jolee Bindo who has to have been designed separately, as his combination of Grumpy Old Man and The Obi Wan is actually memorable.

Player choice is limited to Lawful Stupid Chaotic Stupid, and beyond a last minute choice, has no impact beyond that quest.


  • 4th Jun 09
  • Dracomicron
  • 4th Jun 09
Well, a couple of things:

  • Why are you trying to run away in battle if the system is horribly unbalanced? Seems a bit weird to even notice that.
  • I don't see how the RTWP system is any worse than 90% of CRPG systems. In fact, I'd say the "walk up to enemy, bash, heal, repeat" schtick is the hoary old standby and most of the time when somebody tries something else, it ends up problematic somehow. Also, suggesting that RTWP "doesn't allow strategy" implies that other games that use it, like Baldurs Gate 2, are without strategy... which is clearly not true.
  • It's extremely rare in any video game featuring Jedi for them not to outclass the other characters.

While you have some points about the plot and characters, I think that Kot OR gets a bit of Hype Aversion backlash simply because it practically created the modern standard in 3D CRP Gs. The successes of other games were often built off of Kot OR.
  • ImpudentInfidel
  • 10th Jun 09
Seriously, this is a Star Wars game. It has deeper characters and a more complex plot than any of the movies (let's face it, no one in the movies has any real character arc unless considered over a trilogy), and if that doesn't meet your standards, why the ^%$# are you playing a Star Wars game?

The same applies to the morality system. Jedi and Sith are ALWAYS depicted this way until after ROTJ, and even then it just made the Jedi very slightly less stupid while the Sith were still self-destructive maniacs on the whole.

The core of Star Wars has always been it's very basic story of clearly defined good and evil, not a complex tale with involving characters. By that standard the plot and characters are amazingly detailed.

As to the gameplay issues, I don't see why you expect Jedi to be balanced. The whole point is that they aren't. I also don't see why you want to retreat in a linear game with cheap healing.

I do agree with the problem with alignment not mattering. It changes what force powers cost and that's it.
  • CleverPun
  • 30th Jun 09
You misspelled "Quadratic".
  • Ouroboros
  • 3rd Jul 09
Dracomicron: And it's success was built off Planescape Torment, which executed it all much better. Older than you would think buddy. It also hardly set the standard for all computer rpgs ever after, or was completely original to begin with.
  • 24th Aug 09
I honestly didn't have a big problem with the combat; The only real weakness was that the Jedi were stronger then everyone else. Plus the customization was varied, and the story was quite appropriate for Star Wars.
  • Dracomicron
  • 24th Aug 09
Ouroboros: What was built off of Planescape Torment now? KOTOR? I'll grant you that P:T it's one of the best video games ever made, but it wasn't that popular; if anything, its success was built off of Baldurs Gate.

I'm really not sure what your point is.
  • 31st Jan 10
People why do you even bother replying this is the same guy who criticized Dragon Age for its combat system.

As for the review as Impudent Infidel already said Star Wars suck dick what did you expect?
  • Gwonam
  • 12th Mar 10
  • Gwonam
  • 12th Mar 10
Oh... got a bit carried away there, friday night and all. Anyway, I agree with deuxhero but the game is still superior to the prequel trilogy in every way. I mean at least it makes sense and uses well-established character archetypes (Gay Pilots...?) instead of those incoprehensible piles of CGI shit (Joda ohmigod). Definitely a progress for the Star Wars saga, so well done there. It's nice Bioware moved from Lawul Stupid Chaotic Stupid to the chilled-out/badass - style choices in Mass Effect, seems much more satisfying. I mean psychopaths are only 1% of the general poplulation so unless you just want to make a personal Take That at the game and its shitty characters there's no real reason to play a bad guy. Anyway, squadala! I'm off!
  • FurryFury
  • 1st Apr 10
Pretty much agree with the author of the review, that's a typical Bioware game with all cliches this entails. Though it captures the "spirit" of Star Wars rather well. The sequel, though... now that's an entirely different story.
  • BattleMage
  • 9th Apr 10
People why do you even bother replying this is the same guy who criticized Dragon Age for its combat system.

Could I have a link to that, please?
  • codenamehunterwolf
  • 13th Apr 10
On the real time combat with pause, did you know you could go into options and stop the game pausing?

On the characters, believe me Carth and Bastila cop a bit of flak over this. The second game lampshades this, where HK-47 mocks the first game's characters.

The Sith Lords; where Carth is replaced by a dark Han Solo, Bastila is replaced by a female mix of Obi Wan and the Emperor and Mission is replaced by a moody war veteran, might be more your cup of tea.
  • 7th Jun 10
"On the real time combat with pause, did you know you could go into options and stop the game pausing? "

You can, but that doesn't change the posed-turn base nature (or make the combat... you know? half decent.).
  • GoldenAlex
  • 10th Nov 11
Wow...This reviewer has to be one of the stupidest people I've ever seen. Probobly some morbidly obese guy in his mums basement.
  • kay4today
  • 10th Nov 11
@Golden Alex

U mad, fanboy?
  • eveil
  • 10th Nov 11
^Shh, didn't you know that bashing people is allowed as long as they're ridiculously outnumbered?
  • maninahat
  • 10th Nov 11
Eveil is right, quit with the kneejerk responses. The guy obviously doesn't like the game, and he gives plenty of reasons why. There is no reason to act butt hurt over the precious game.

Incidently, I happen to agree with what the reviewer was saying. I disliked the turn based combat (which lacked tactical depth), the unbalanced classes, the lousy characters and villain, and the uninteresting story.
  • JobanGrayskull
  • 4th May 12
I found the combat system incredibly easy to exploit because of some the reasons listed. The enemies would just tail like idiots while your health regenerated, and you could often turn around, shoot them, and continue running while they stupidly switch weapons over and over depending on your range. Often, you could cause them to miss entire attack turns just by being at an awkward range where they don't know whether to use a gun or a blade.

I mean, that doesn't really count as "tactics" in a traditional sense, but there sure were plenty of exploitative tactical maneuvers to make given the combat system.
  • Tomwithnonumbers
  • 4th May 12
I like the game, I think it's maybe a little lacking compared to it's sequel (the modded finished version that is) but the worlds are fun to explore the quest lines are good and you get to make some interesting choices about your party to the end. However you're right that the plot line tying the first 4 worlds together is ridiculously weak. I think the exploration of the differences between Malak and Revan are quite clever though.

But yeah, the combat isn't good. I don't think it's bad, it manages to look right and get some thematic things across (Jedi are awesome) and I don't think the problem is real-time with pause or the fact it's turnbased and I remember doing a lot of running around and keeping away from enemies when things got tough, but at it's heart there is no strategy in it at all beyond attack and heal. They don't have status affects to make you think, or enemies with special twist to be played off, or unique difficult to manage situations. No difference really in DPS' with one thing or the other.

But in some ways I don't think it's make or break for the game. Koto R's are more about running around, exploring and talking. Combat is a decision and it's main form is to display the character and power of the people involved (although it doesn't do too much special to convey this). HK-47 was fun (Although he's appeared in a lot of other Bioware games now), Bastilia had a good arc, creating different characters were good and I have fond memories of the Genoharddan arc
  • RTanker
  • 1st Jan 14
I liked the game overall, but I agree with a lot of what this review has to say. To respond to Dracomicron's question about why one would retreat if the combat system is so unbalanced, the fact that the combat system is unbalanced doesn't mean you never run into trouble in combat ever, or that you never want to reposition or redeploy your characters. I really noticed the inability to retreat in the attack on the Star Forge, when Malak was throwing everything but the kitchen sink at the party. Since the enemies seemed to keep respawning, and to be coming from behind, I thought the sensible thing would be to keep moving, keep heading toward Malak. Realistically, you wouldn't want to have to fight your way through the entire base, you'd want to keep moving, avoiding getting bogged down fighting every last Sith trooper, Sith apprentice, and Dark Jedi in the whole place. Unfortunately, the game doesn't let you do that.

Another problem with the inability to retreat is that my shooter characters would frequently run forward right into melee range of the enemy before starting to shoot. Maybe this was just a bug, but, if so, it was a really annoying one; I eventually solved this problem by only using melee characters, of course.

As for the difficulty involved in using sophisticated tactics in combat, I think that was as much the interface perspective as anything else. Since the camera follows the selected character, you often can't see where your other characters are or what they're doing, unlike, say, a third-person isometric game like Baldur's Gate, where you can see the whole party at once. Also, there's the fact that characters will do things in combat that the player didn't instruct them to do. Usually, that means lapsing into their default attack mode, but sometimes a Jedi character would use a force power that I didn't want that character to use. For example, Juhani would frequently use Jedi speed to rush forward in combat, which meant that, great, now she's facing a whole mess of enemies solo, and my other characters have to hurry forward to rescue her, and, to top things off, she's used force powers on that that I would have preferred to use on something else. It would have been nice if their had been an option under scripts to turn off the Artificial Stupidity altogether so that my characters would do exactly what I told them to and nothing else.
  • Reviewgamesh
  • 26th Jan 14
I thought it was a good game, but I think it can be argued KOTOR is a pretty awkward transition between Baldur's Gate II's greatness and their original I Ps. The writing and pacing is uneven. I mean, some of the writing is hokey even for Star Wars. There's a pretty immense satisfaction in the moment you turn to the Dark Side, though- and Carth just runs away like a scared rabbit.

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