Re: KOTOR II Ships !
I've finished the game. Well despite my initial rumblings, I've found this game better than I anticipated... until I played the last chapter. It occurred to me and apparently to a certain numbers of individuals on the Obsidian forums, that this game is another bad example of rushed out product.
Why? Well the ending itself does not explain many things, it happens in a sort of anti-climatic atmosphere and while the "main villain" dialogue is well scripted and shed some light on her actions this is not true for other characters, their motivations and their fate. It appears that there are many more dialogue lines and half-finished missions to be found in the files. There's a couple of people digging them out over at the Obsidfian forums and, by the look of it, it seems that Kotor 2 might have been a much better game.
For start there is an incredible, dramatic ending not accessible in game and that might be the original ending planned and that was cutted out either for time constraints or because of "political decisions" from the LE part. It's very dramatic, maybe too much "adult" for a computer game; it reminds me somehow of the ending of Panescape Torment where all the rancors/friendships between characters come to light. And it would have been even better as the main character influence on them results on a lot of different variations in the outcome.
There are also many leftovers from unfinished missions (ever wondered where all those assasin droids came from ?), new areas to explore, better interaction with some characters (Mandolore and Bao-Dur are little more than furniture aboard the Ebon Hawk). Other characters like Atton and the Handmaiden appear to had originally more dialogue options including *romances* and some degree of influence on their jedi training.
Who to blame ? For sure Lucas Arts Entertainment. I still miss the days where LE was a recognized developer with an in-house army of talented developers. Monkey Island, the many other adventures on Commodore 64/Amiga that filled my youth, Dark Forces... only to quote some. The new strategy of LE is only oriented to make some quick cash on the Star Wars franchise with a broad range of producs devloped by third parties. It seems this strategy works well, save for upsetting the loyal fans of the Sw universe, but they're only a minority of geeks and the industry usually does not pay attention to the ramblings of geeks when the louder sound of money coming from uneducated masses captures their attention.
Who else to blame ? Obsidian ? Probably they had their hands tied by a contract with many obligations. It's either take or leave. Obsidian is a young company formed by some former Black Isle developers and from other well recognized developeing studios. They're a bunch of skilled people but, as it happens with Troika, they're probably crushed between budget considerations and timelines dictated by their producers.
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