All posts by Ashley Hagood

Hi there! I'm a writer in San Francisco who's been blogging about geeky things for years. Robo♥beat is my place to share what I'm passionate about and hear from others with the same interests! =)

What Makes “Dragon Age: Origins” Different

Some of you may know that Dragon Age: Origins is my most cherished video game. It is one of the very first games I played as an adult — back when I was not a gamer — and it made me fall in love with video games. Especially RPGs, because they had characters to get to know, stories to engage with, worlds to explore, even romances to pursue. BioWare is known for creating games that capture you in all of these ways, and playing Origins was the start of my passion for these games.

One of the cool things is that I know many people who still love Dragon Age: Origins, even though it’s been out for eight years already. Some people, like myself, even replay it. I try to do so every year. Going back to it, I feel its age — the stiff character animations and the PC visual novel-like dialogue selection feel pretty dated nowadays — but I give myself some time to sink back into it, and then I forget about all that. The game is magical. It’s also timeless, in many ways.

BioWare has come out with many other games since then that I have fallen in love with. Mass Effect is my favorite video game series ever, for instance. But there are a few things that make Dragon Age: Origins stand out, and BioWare has never brought these elements back. It’s okay if they don’t, though I would love it if they did. But in any case, they are what make Origins so special to me.

Continue reading What Makes “Dragon Age: Origins” Different

Initial Impressions of Mass Effect: Andromeda!

Sure, it’s not quite like the Mass Effect trilogy, but so far I’m loving Mass Effect: Andromeda. Here are a few things I’m enjoying about it as I play. =)

You can also read my game diary as I track my progress and experiences in the game here! I’d love to compare notes!

Thanks for watching! =)

— Ashley

 

What’s New — April 2017

Well, March turned out to be a pretty amazing month for me, and now I’m hoping April will top it. =)

YjgxZjk5MDcxMCMvMU5aSXU4Z2lxdzJWRjVReHdmLVBPYlZzVE1NPS8xOTEweDEwMDAvc21hcnQvaHR0cHM6Ly9zMy5hbWF6b25hd3MuY29tL3BvbGljeW1pYy1pbWFnZXMvd2p1a3hycGJtd3JocGMyaWtpeHA2a2dkN2o3dWdmMG52cWVoanZ2Y2Last month I played Horizon Zero Dawn. It was easily one of the best video games I’ve ever played. The story, the lead character Aloy, the graphics, the scenery, the structure to the open-world questing… everything was near perfect. I’ll post something about it soon, because I’d like to discuss how it approaches an open world format and compare it to other open-world games like The Witcher 3, Dragon Age: Inquisition, and Skyrim.

Aside from that, I started re-reading one of my favorite books ever, the science fiction classic Dune by Frank Herbert. I’m actually listening to the audiobook on my commute, downloaded from Audible, so if anyone is interested in what it’s like to listen to I can review that aspect of it. You can read about my history with Dune here — it’s kind of the book that got me into sci-fi in the first place!

C7yMP1wVUAAZ6yqI also started playing Mass Effect: Andromeda last month, and I must say, it is so much better than I expected. While I tried to avoid reviews before starting, I was hearing a lot of complaints — not just about the facial animations (which honestly doesn’t phase me, that’s not why I play Mass Effect), but also about the writing not being great and the story not being very captivating. Fortunately, I disagree with those complaints. I am loving the game so far. I feel really connected to my Ryder, the protagonist of the game, because Andromeda features four tone options that really shape a unique personality for her. It’s much deeper than what I’ve seen in previous BioWare games.

Anyway, I’m sure I’ll review the game when I’m done with it. In the meantime, you can read my game diary as I play it here.

In other news, baseball season is back! I went to my first game (pre-season) a couple of days ago, and I can’t wait to start watching games again. If you’re into baseball, you can read this post I wrote about the baseball team roster I would create out of Mass Effect trilogy characters. I totally want to do that again for Andromeda now!

I’ve also been working on fitness goals a lot lately. Originally I was going to train for a 10K this month, but I decided to postpone running goals to focus more on strength training and flexibility. I took my first lyra class last week — it’s an aerial sport where you perform transitions and poses in a hoop suspended from the ceiling — and am so sore and bruised, I have some work to do to get in shape for it! I’m excited to start training more heavily as I continue to take beginner’s classes.

As for writing… I haven’t done anything all month. I want to change that in April. I have been thinking about my novel a lot lately, and I miss writing it. I think I just needed a breather to focus on other things (new job, fitness, and video games!) and gain a little perspective on my story. I feel I have that now, so it’s time to dive back in.

Dragon Age OriginsI also attended a Game of Thrones concert last week which was extremely fun. You can check out my mini-review here.

This month is also my birthday, and as always, I’ll be honoring my tradition of playing Dragon Age: Origins again. I hope to complete a playthrough this year, since I didn’t last year. I think I’ll go with a male character this time, which is something I just never do…

What are you guys up to this month? What games are you playing?

— Ashley