Something old, something new, something Dragon Age, too

Before I begin, my deepest thanks go out to everyone who offered up kind words about the recent passing of our beloved cat. We’re doing fine and are still in the process of adjusting to life without him. We have good days and bad days, but all we can do it take it one day at a time. We only took about a million pictures of him, so thankfully we have lots of wonderful memories stored. Good times with a companion are great times, indeed. Cherish them.

And now, on with the blog!

I went and did a thing. It’s not a necessary thing, a culturally impactful thing, or a socially meaningful thing. But it is a thing that made me happy, and maybe it will make you happy, too. Maybe. If you happen to like the Dragon Age games, that is. Or, even if you don’t like Dragon Age and just happen to like to watch/listen to people bumbling around in games they enjoy. I shall explain.

A few years ago, I wrote a series on Virtual Bastion called “What is an RPG without the ‘R’ and the ‘P’?”, in which I documented my first ever main-story-only playthroughs of the Mass Effect trilogy. As I said at the time, having never put in less than 40 hours into any of my previous playthroughs of the games, I simply wanted to experience the games in a different way, a way that I figured would be meaty, stripped of fluff, and would allow me to fully focus on the series main plot…which is something that can be easily overlooked when a billion side quests get in the way. Or maybe that’s just me. The outcomes with all three games were quite positive, and the experience gave me a new appreciation for video game writing and direction.

Since then, I’ve had in the back of my mind that I’ve wanted to do the same with the Dragon Age series – main-story-only playthroughs of each game. As recently as last year, I delved deep into the games again, and I discovered that the games had so much more to offer than I ever knew before. It was those playthroughs that brought me back around to the idea of doing story-only playthroughs — what could these rich, immersive worlds possibly offer when stripped down to their cores? Would I feel as engaged with the series’ mage versus templar arc? Would I find Alistair as charming or Varric as wry? Who would I see, or more importantly not see, during my speedy travels?

These questions and more gnawed at the back of my mind for some time, and I supposed I only have COVID-19 to “thank” for what happened next. In short, instead of doing the playthroughs and then writing about them, I decided to dust off my pretty much dead YouTube channel and upload story-only playthroughs of Dragon Age: Origins, Dragon Age II, and Dragon Age: Inquisition. Is this a good idea? Well, that’s a moot point now, as I’ve already completed DA:O, and I’m currently working on DAII videos. And while I wasn’t sure about it at first with life being what it is these days, it’s looking like I’ll probably have time to complete DA:I, as well.

If you happen to follow me on YT (I don’t recommend it, but you can), new videos will go up every Wednesday. I’ll be adding here one or two videos in the series every other Wednesday; after today, the next one will go up on the 17th, then July 1st, and so on.

So that’s the thing, and there are more Dragon Age things to come. By the way, If you happen to want to see me playing through non-Dragon Age things, then check out Virtual Bastion on YouTube. Right now I have a new run of “Not Zangief” (fighting game) videos posting every Sunday through mid-August. After that ::shameless plug:: I’ll be adventuring with machine-hunter extraordinaire — perhaps you’ve heard of her? — Aloy. But there’s plenty else on the channel to enjoy, a little something for everyone. Play on, good people. Play on. 💛


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