(My layout vanished, I guess this means it's time for a new one. Until then, A POST! It's a rainy Sunday miracle.)

I love games. Anyone who knows me long enough to come over for dinner on a random Friday (and subsequently strong-armed into a game of Lips or Arkham Horror)can attest to, I have them everywhere. Board, computer, console. I heart them with my squishy girl heart.

Racing, RPG, Survival Horror (squee!), Casual. All sorts of genres and I'm always pretty open to trying new things. In fact, one of my favorite things to do is randomly select a game from the store (usually used, usually under $20.00) based solely on it's description. Sometimes it's a horrible, unspeakable thing that makes me want to cry and throw up in my mouth at the same time. But sometimes, it ends up amazing (Deadly Premonition, right Zach?).

I also take others advice very seriously, especially when it comes to games that are new or expensive. So, when I was told not to play Dragon Age: Origins when it came out eons ago (in gamer years), because it wasn't that good of a game, I passed it up. Six months later, I passed it up again on the same advice. Then again around Thanksgiving. Instead, I got Skyrim for my birthday, and have enjoyed calling down electric storm wrath on unsuspecting villagers and beheading random bandits...I mean, saving the Nords from a terrible fate.

So a week or so ago, after I was tired of fetch-questing peoples lunches and giving them to their sister/husband/love interest ten feet away (one of the sad face downsides of Skyrim, which seems to be a trend in open-world RPGs) I saw a copy of DA:O Ultimate for dirt cheap. I figured, why not? If it's awful, it was only a few dollars. I'm not too proud to admit I've bought some craptastic games. Plus, it comes with all the expansions and DLC. That's a good buy. If anything else, it'll help fill out the game shelf. Seems reasonable, so I bought it.

So I had it for a few days without even taking the shrink wrap off it. It sat there on the game shelf until I felt bad, and took the plastic off. Then it sat the for another day before I decided since I had an extra hour or two, and I didn't really want to be super productive, I'd give it a shot.

I'm sure everyone else on the planet knows all about this game, but I'm going to say it anyway. The character creation allows you to select from three races (Human/Elf/Dwarf) and from there you select your class, and then your background. Some classes/backgrounds are exclusive for some races. (For instance, Dwarves can't be Mages). For sake of simplicity, (and because I liked the VS, which I admit is pretty shallow, but don't judge), I selected a Human Noble.

So I play through my Origins story, which I thought was very sad (but let's face it, you knew what was coming, I mean, obviously, this is an RPG after all). Then I got to the end of my Origins story, and I was very sad. I felt like for 40 minutes or so of gameplay, a pretty good job was done of making me feel a little bit connected to the story that was happening.

I mean, okay, I get emotional at dog food commercials. Let's be honest. Pixel people are not real people, and I didn't cry (I got maybe a little misty eyed, ok?) but I was sad about spunky parents being slaughtered as they held off bad guys so I could escape. Especially spunky mom, I liked her.

My own mom is very spunky, this must be why I was a little sad about it.

So, I travel to Ostagar, do the Warden joining, all that stuff. So far? The game isn't bad, it's got good points, a good storyline in the first hour (and that says a lot bad opening story lines can kill a game), and some fantastic voice acting. I'm not a huge fan of the battle system, and some of the menus drive me crazy, but it hasn't been a horrible train wreck.

Then, I get to this scene (video is not mine, but found conveniently on YouTube), and make the same dialogue choice at the very end.

I'm pretty sure I couldn't breathe for at least five minutes.

I'm not much further along in the game then just after getting to Lothering, but the humor in this game, just in the couple hours I've played, has me completely hooked.

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