Finally got that PC to work properly. Had to replace the motherboard. Sheesh.

When I'm not playing Everquest 2 with my buddy, I've been spending a ton of time with KOTOR II.

Keep in mind: I never played the first one. A lot of reviews on the web comment on how it is very similar to the first, and it hasn't advanced the tech or gameplay all that much. So if you played the first KOTOR, then this will be more of the same goodness, but not as revolutionary. For me, though, it kicks ass.

The graphics are great, and the sound is simply awesome. The combat and movement animations are great. The surrounding environments and textures are very well-done. When you're standing in your apartment on Capital Station, shuttles and stuff will fly by your big window. Very nice -- it makes the environment much more dynamic.

The controls are pretty good, though I don't know why the right stick (camera) doesn't look up/down. Just left/right. You have to move to first-person point of view to get the look up/down. Some of the menu controls are a bit wacky, too. I want to hit "A" to make things happen, not "X". So some parts feel a bit clumsy, but once you learn them, it isn't bad at all.

One of the issues that I've had is selecting skills (feats) and Jedi powers, whenever I level up. It is very difficult to really understand how these different things balance against each other. What should I pick? Will it be useful? It almost seems that you have to simply guess, or have played the game before. If I want a character with some particular style, then which ones should I select? How should I invest in this training?

So tweakies aside, the game is great. The story line is absolutely fantastic and draws you into the game. You want to participate, to see the next unfolding of the plot, or to interact with the NPCs to see how they react. Moving through the environments, collecting new weapons, fighting various groups, and choosing sides. All great stuff.

Very highly recommended if you like RPGs with rich stories. The "classic RPG elements" are not very strong because of the uncertainty around them, but you do watch your character grow, change, and increase in abilities. While I haven't finished the game, it appears the richness of the world is on par with that of Morrowind.

Great stuff.

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