I think it's way too underrated. It pulls off the whole lovable character thingy REALLY well and does it primarily through good dialogue. Story's fun, gameplay is good once you get the control scheme/if you're right-handed.
Besides the ME series, I want recommendations for games that are in the same vein.
And to those that haven't played either ME or KIU, you're missing out.
Yeah, the Mass Effect series. I just think it's a real shame that such a fun game is so unknown. But yeah, PC games are way more affordable. If Nintendo ever stops putting out good games (subjective) I wouldn't hesitate to go full PC, but at the moment most of their stuff is preeetty solid.
Hmm. For story driven epic adventures with a similar vein, I recommend Jade Empire: Special Edition, Knights of the Old Republic 1 followed by the masterpiece that is 2 WITH the Restoration pack (without it the first is the greater game). Valkyria Chronicles has no exploration component and more focus on tactics, but has compelling story and gameplay in its own right and the character art is fantastic. If you're feeling more Action RPG, Witcher 2 and Witcher 3 are some of the best games made by mankind. If you're willing to trade off graphics for exceptional story and NPC design, head over to Trails in the Sky 1, 2, and 3; the series gets better with each iteration but you have to play them in order, ~120 hour playtime overall, similar to the Mass Effect series. I little bit less Mass Effect-y but still competent exploration wise and with a Good/Evil meter is Fable 1, though I haven't played it in a while and when I did it didn't feel like it had aged as well as I last remembered.
Moreso, since I'm based in India PC games tend to be 50% cheaper than USD prices due to Indian Rupee pricing, though unfortunately most games 2016 onwards are now maintaining price parity with the US versions (well, atleast there's always Humble Bundle/Monthly's great deals). In that context, each 3DS cartridge is really expensive, and so I probably don't have more than a dozen games for the system, and I mostly just play Mario Kart and Super Smash Brothers 3DS while travelling. Never got round to finishing Pokemon White or Luigi's mansion, will probably come back to them one day.
Nice! I'll check out some of those since winter break is just around the corner.
Since I've read Shantaram (by Gregory David Roberts, based on his true story) my conception of India is - it's a cool place to be. It talks about how Indians are the only people in the world to communally maintain a spirit of integrity, despite how twisted their situation could be or something. He mostly focuses on his slum, village and underground, criminal life in India as a foreigner. I have no real idea of what India's like apart from this book, but nevertheless I think it would be interesting for someone that lives in India to read it, since it is also well written.
That was just a weird tangent but it crossed my mind and I might as well write it down here to give some sort of compensation for (probably) making my holidays more fun.
I'd say a better perspective of India would be from The Origins of Political Order by Francis Fukuyama. I maintain that India is half a dozen or more ethnographically divergent nations sharing the same flag and railway network, brought together historically by British hegemony. Before the British dominion and up to India's independence, the subcontinent was like Europe, lots of kings based on kinship and local ties through blood and marriage. Forced assimilation by the British is what made the modern Indian state, otherwise we'd still be separate kingdoms to this day.
An interesting part of that arrangement is, in my opinion, intertwined with the religions and historical mores of the subcontinent; you'll be hard pressed to find any other region with as strong a 'live and let live/die' approach to life in general.
Rule/administration was mostly provincial, with the administrators (kings or appointed representatives) bending the knee to whatever kingdom they were a part of, but never being ruled by that overlord. Ashoka unified the sub-continent for the most part around 250 BC, but he only exerted direct control over his direct subjects, and rarely intervened outside of his region, and upon his demise that empire slowly fell and the kingdoms reverted to their independent control. Contrast this with China, a similarly ancient civilization, which grew a very strong centralized form of governance, made possible by common ethnicity and language (neither of which are features of India, leading to more autonomous rule than centralized rule, something that remains till this day).
For a quick word on Indian religions, the Indian sub-continent was the birthplace of the world's most overtly pacifist religions, with Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism all being proponents of ahimsa in one form or another. India also has been fairly kind to all religions, and interestingly enough the second highest number of muslims after Indonesia is in India (more than Pakistan's muslim population). Hinduism itself is interesting for being, for all purposes, an open source religion; you're given many ways (bhaktis) to attain liberation (the religion's stated goal), and you're welcome to go freeform. You're welcome to follow your own gods (again, freeform), though there's a reference kit for those interested. Furthermore, it pulls off one of the cleverest separations of divinity and mortality I've seen in any codified religion by asserting that in essence there is one ultimate creator (Brahman) who created everything, but they're unreachable and unmovable, and any devotion to that creator is a waste of your time. On the other hand, there are many local deities who are far more interested and engaged in the affairs of humans (akin to the Greek gods who always were meddling with mortal affairs), who are worthy of praying to and will respond to your prayers and offerings.
I do not know how I ended up on this tangent, but you sounded interesting in the sub-continent, so I thought I'd share my views on India.
They don't, though movies would have you believe otherwise. One of the bigger problems with a large population is managing waste. Plumbing requires canals and regular water sources, but most of the sub-continent relies on yearly monsoon rains for its water supply, and organized water storage hasn't picked up as significantly as other nations. Factor in India being a colony, leaving strong inequalities in wealth and income distribution, and the cost investments in canals, omnipresent bathrooms never happened, though there's been a concerted effort towards building them across the nation in the last decade, with lots of government schemes and support to that effect.
Now, in the absence of bathrooms, what inevitably follows is doing your business outdoors (fields for most of rural India), not in streets. Regarding on the street, that'd be an issue in cities, and in the last two decades public nominal charge pay per use (~4 cents) bathrooms have become a common thing, so this isn't the problem it once was in larger cities atleast. In slums, where there's no aforementioned plumbing, there tend to be 'community bathrooms' as Slumdog Millionaire was more than happy to show off. So yeah, that should cover that.
TL;DR it's an outcome not a choice
Honestly with the way Mizal asked, it sounded more like a joke set up rather than a serious question.
I'd be sure to give it a read over!
Reading this post has taught me more about the prevalent religions in India than looking at the Raj during school. All we really looked at was how the few Muslims in power (shortly before the British came down to make money, forgot the dates) maintained control by encouraging religious diversity to avoid angering the greater Hindu population. Then some guy abolished all this hard work and taxed Hindus more so Muslim support began collapsing, there was civil unrest between the two people, and the British went and governed stuff for the weakened Muslim officials so they could make more money. During this, France's failure to contest Britain's economic machine (and their naval war machine) meant English would become the language of the world - since their monopoly on trade controlled everything from Western Europe to South Asia. If the French won we would all be speaking French right now or something. Imagine that.
Oh, it's a painful book to read, but it makes interesting points. If you're interested in a very unbiased read on religions, I highly recommend Religions of the World by Hopfe, it's remarkably thorough yet impartial. I myself got hold of a copy from the 80s, before Islamophobia became common, and it was remarkably on the mark for its assessments.
Yes, outside of Ashoka, the Mughal dynasty was one of the larger and more recent forms of governance the subcontinent saw. The recency is the primary reason its impact is relevant in modern discussion, and for the most part that dynasty fell into decay, and gave a firm inroad to the British (IIRC, they allowed the East India Company to host armed troops at the time, it didn't end well for them).
India wasn't contested by just the British and the French, other colonial powers also tried to get in on the action, though none succeed as the British did (partially due to the state of affair in Britain and their ascendancy to power after breaking the Spanish armada amongst other matters). Goa, now a major tourism destination, was in the hands of the Portuguese and the small state has very different architecture and cultural norms for it. Pondicherry (now Puducherry, ugh) was run by the French as were three other enclaves. Like so many before and after, that too merged into the larger Indian project rather than staying apart.
History has many inflection points, brought about more through luck than anything else. If Genghis hadn't died when he did, perhaps the common tongue of the world would have been Mongolian. The probability of Hitler, Mao, and Stalin all being born male was one in eight. If a single one of them was a woman instead, in an alternate timeline, things would have been radically different. The more you know, I guess.
Huh, haven't thought of it (historical inflection points) in that way. The more you know.