Harbinger's Review.

The tale of the siblings Althea and Shea https://www.winterwolves.com/seasonsofthewolf.htm
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Harbinger's Review.

Post by Harbinger1975 »

Ok, first off, these opinions are my own. I speak for no one other that my self. This review MAY be short as I usually get right to the point. So, without further ado:

The review I'm doing is based off my Druid Althea playthrough who romanced Chalassa. If you don't want to see spoilers, stop reading now.

First, let me talk about the combat. When I first started the game, I choose Althea as a warrior and the game choose Shea as a rogue. Let me say, that ended badly after a couple of hours and one mission that ended....badly, several times. And I may have missed that I could have chosen Shea to be a Druid, I'm not sure. But anyways, I started over and chose Druid for Althea. The "tutorial message" about chosing healing spells first was right on. Because some of those mobs at the get go can be tricky. And I normally start new games on Easy to get a feel for the game. I never jump into Hard or Nightmare from the get go. But even on Easy, some of the battles took some planning with abilities. But I noticed once I got to the higher levels, fights became too easy. Now for me, playing my first run through, I sort of expected this. Now what I didn't expect was running out of SP's so fast. I had to either load up on a ton of potions or dump alot of points into Skill. Live and learn. This isn't a complaint, just an observation and I know what to do different next time. All in all, I liked the combat. It was steady paced. And what I really liked is that at the higher levels, the enemies actually used potions and ressurection spells to stay alive. Made the fights challenging. If you didn't kill the healers fast enough, you were basically starting the fight all over again :lol: The one thing I did notice, is that some of the fights weren't necessary. Such as on the way back to Ninim after Shacklesplit, attacking the rhino's once was really enough. After resting they'd respawn, but I saw little need to attack them again. Maybe it's different on higher levels. I'll find that out on my next playthrough as Shea.

Second, story. I thought there was an awesome mix of combat and story. Neither was overbearing on the other. The story, I thought, flowed well. Living the past of your companions was just amazing. Hearing and seeing what they experienced was icing on the cake. And I especially LOVED the tie ins with Loren Amazon Princess. Cursing Draco, talking about Citadel, even mentioning Karen. That was amazing. Now I will say I never did run into Jul. And I may have well missed something. But I'll go back and see if I can find it. I definately thought I was going to run into Grobb though. But still, the story was well done. The mix of strength and weaknesses...and insanity (looking at you Rowinda you fire loving hag you)..in the characters. The banter between Krimm and Riley was classic. How Jariel was knowledgable, and yet still ignorant was perfect (which I totally love that he's on the Century Journey to learn all he can). And Chalassa was, I thought a truly amazing character. She cared and yet, in battle, could still be very cold blooded when the need arose. Krimm, loved how she was alot like Loren. Tough at first but as you broke through the layers, was just as lovable as ever. I thought Riley was a bit of a cry baby. I mean he reminds me alot of Lando Calrissian from Star Wars in terms of the "get rich quick schemes". But he whimpered a bit too much. I was a bit surprised by the turnaround at the end where he seemed to "man up" a bit. But...it was only a bit. Vaelis I thought was an interesting character. I saw him more as the father of Shea and Althea more than Morran. I actually forgot about Morran by the Summer act. And maybe that was the intention. I actually got to hate Morran more when he basically said: "Yep, take my daughter, she's yours." I was like: You rat bastard. I wanted to strangle him for Althea. Even at the end, I actually couldn't forgive him for being so cold. Even though he was happy to see his kids, but acted like nothing ever happened. Vaelis took more of an interest in Althea and Shea's development as people over their father. But at the same time, that's good writing (damn you Illusive Man and Kei Lang).

Romances. This one holds a special place in my heart. And there's a reason. First, I myself am a writer. I'm sure some of you have seen my short Loren/Eleanor fanfic on the Loren subforums and I've done fan fiction on fanfiction.net. Second, I'm a fan of the OLD Bioware games (not the garbage that is DAI). So I may be a bit spoiled in that department. To me, a romance only adds to the story. It gives it that feeling of inclusion. That your character is not just fighting for freedom. But that they're fighting for someone they love. I was VERY impressed by Chalassa's romance. And at the same time, saddened by it. It wasn't bad writing by any means. I mean to break through her defenses to win her heart. To learn the truth of what she was and for Althea to fall so deeply in love with her. It was beautiful. I did wish at the end there had been a real choice. I mean, I completely understand that there can't always be a happy ending for a character. I get it. And I expect my romance between Shea and Krimm to end differently, or at least, I hope it does. But for Althea and Chalassa, I would have liked to have seen an option for a happy ending as well as the dark ending. Eleanor and Loren's ending was bittersweet and yet there was that option of a dark ending if you didn't have Zeal or Sauzer. But in the end, Loren was in Elysium waiting for Eleanor. Poor Althea didn't have that option. And a part of me is very sad about that. Because I loved the relationship between the two. I actually see a Romeo and Juliette theme in that ending. Except this time, Juliette doesn't die. But lives with knowing what she had to do. But again, I would have loved to have seen a "happy ending" choice. I hate to see great characters killed off. But again, I understand fully that there can't always be happy endings. Which leads me to the fact that I would have liked to have seen more interaction between the Love Interests. The build up and professing their love was great. But after that, it sort of fell off the radar until the end of the game. Again, I may be very spoiled because in Mass Effect, I was literally fighting side by side with my love interests or there were points on the Normandy where you could cuddle/talk with them as love interests. In Dragon Age Origins, you could take the time and give them a kiss and tell them you loved them. And it wouldn't have to be anything completely intense. Just a point where you could stop and have, for instance, Althea and Chalassa take a moment in Act 3 and tell each other how happy they were. And that they still loved one another. Or even another bathhouse scene where they are seen kissing again after telling each other how happy they were. I personally think there should have been just a touch more in there. Again, I'm not saying the romance was bad. It was great! The writing was spectacular. But there could have been just a little more.

So, all in all. Tales of Aravorn: Seasons of the Wolf is a well done game and I give major props to Jack and his team for the game they gave us. Combat was solid and can and will leave you thinking. The story was VERY well done and flowed beautifully. You didn't feel lost as to what was going on. And neither the story nor the combat competed with one another. It was a perfect balance. The romance for Althea and Chalassa was beautiful, but personally, I would have liked to see a little more. Again, this is on only one playthrough so please take it as that and not as a hit on ALL the romances. As I said, I'm still going to do Shea and Krimm to see how that one works out. Now I also did not look at this game as a "Loren successor". Each game had its own merits. The use of the map was perfect in SOTW. The art work just as beautiful as Loren (that I can compare it to. Both are beautifully done in the art department). The use of the "camps and resting areas" was perfect. It meant you had to pay attention to your character's health. The music score was also awesome.

With all that being said, I give SOTW a 9 out of 10 score. I love the game and will be buying the DLC when it comes out.

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Re: Harbinger's Review.

Post by kadakithis »

I played with Althea as a warrior, and Shea as a Druid romancing Chalassa. As far as Chalassa happy ending, it existed. After she tells you what she is, an arrow shows up in the pirate town to kill Deceit and/or Jul. If you do this you get a happy ending. I love Bioware games too, even the new ones. But Jack puts different emphasis on romance between here and Loren and I think each game may have different emphasis on the romance depending? Not sure though.
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Re: Harbinger's Review.

Post by Franka »

There is a happy ending for Chalassa (included due to fan "uproar"), and that's also where you'll run into Jul (and one of game's very hard fights).
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