Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Shivering Isles

I just finished the Oblivion expansion, Shivering Isles! Overall, it is a good expansion and I recommend it. The highlight of the game has got to be Sheogorath, the madgod ruler of the Shivering Isles. He has tons of witty dialogue, and speaks with a Scottish accent. The quests are on par with the rest of the game; many FedEx quests, but a few really inventive ones that take you following someone to find out their secrets, or sneaking around to poison an official's dinner. The final battle is a bit anticlimactic when compared with the main quest, but it's still satisfying. And when you win, you get the Staff of Sheogorath, which is a really awesome staff that freezes everyone within 75' for 60 seconds. It's really useful when you just aren't interested in fighting through another hoard of baddies.

I have one big complaint with the game, though. The XBox 360 version has 10 achievements. Playing through the game, however, will only get you 9. There is a point in the game where you have the choice between one achievement or another, and once you choose one, you can't get the other. This is in stark contrast to the main game, where you can play one character through the game (as I did) and gather all 50 achievements. To get the last Shivering Isles achievement, you need to have saved the game before the choice, make the other choice, and play through that branch of the storyline. Fortunately, I had a save game pretty close to the choice, but I'd sure be pissed off if I didn't, and had to play through hours of the game just to get that last achievement.

I am glad that it's over now, as I have gotten sick of the game. There are only 3 or 4 dungeon themes, and after you've gone through all the quests, it gets hard to tell one from another. Although the areas look great the first time you see them, and are fairly well created and detailed, they get pretty boring after seeing them so many times. And if I never see another loading screen again it will be too soon.

I did enjoy the expansion, though; I'd say it was a good length for my $30. If I was interested, there were still plenty of side-quests that I could have done; they're often pretty inventive- more inventive than some of the main quests. But I want to move onto other things, and bid Oblivion and the Shivering Isles a fond farewell.

Oblivion: Shivering Isles: 4/5

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