HERE'S WHAT SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED.
"Please, Mr. Jedi, can I have a credit?"
"I'm sorry, but I really don't have any to spare." Keep walking and don't make eye contact.
Devon, I am EXTREMELY fond of Torment. But Avellone's abilities have fallen off a bit. And, sorry, but no matter how good MOTB is...well, there are better ways to handle a situation than with an apparent Death Ending, without so much as an After the Credits scene to show that the protagonists survived. No, you're just presumed dead. That's it. Now, what they could have done is set it up as a cliffhanger. Instead of having it be easily assumed that the characters all get squished under a hundred tons of rock, have a lead-in to Mask of the Betrayer, instead of just "Oh, surprise, you actually survived!"
Further, when no matter what your action is results in you getting chewed out BY THE SAME CHARACTER, there's something screwed up about the game. Now, I'm all for a good dose of moral ambiguity, Star Wars needs it, but having it be that, no matter what your actions down there, one beggar kills another REEKS of the criminally retarded, while you get lectured about the Way of the Closed Fist, well, it starts to wear thin.
Then there was the bloody wretched presentation of the plotline, not even a general outline of what had happened in your character's journal, like what Mass Effect did, no, instead they throw you out there and the PLAYER is more clueless than the Protagonist. That should NEVER happen. The Player should always be as well informed, or better informed, than the Protagonist. Hell, we even got to see what the Bad Guys were doing sometimes and that STILL didn't get us ahead. People would talk about the Mandalorian Wars to the Exile, and I'd be catching up, just trying to figure out what the truffing Hell he was doing during that time.
Now, if you want to have the story presented through a character who is not the pivoting point's eyes, FINE, but let us play that character! But EVERY CHARACTER in the party knew more than the Player did, which is so mind-bogglingly frustrating it makes me want to choke babies. Make a character's backstory important from the start? Fine. But let us get at least an outline of what that bloody history is before you start doing the story, or people, like me, will get preoccupied piecing together what the hell happened in the Mandalorian Wars that they're not really able to give their full attention to the actual story in front of them.
Not to mention that most of the characters were bland. Atton? Carth, but with a nastier backstory. I hated Carth anyway, but what's new about that? I always played the male, so I didn't get the salacious romance. Kreia? She was the only interesting character, really. Too bad I hated her guts and wanted to space her, forever wondering why Exile was obligated to keep her around, given that she's a fairly obvious psychotic and already admitted to being an allegedly former Sith. Then we go through the delightful roster of Handmaiden, the Generic Tough Girl who has all the emotions of a thimble and inexplicably falls in love with your character, Bao-Dur, who might have been the most compelling in the world if he ever opened his bloody mouth and talked. You know, when I got him, I was ECSTATIC! One of Exile's war buddies! Now I can figure out what was going on during the Mandalorian Wars that's not readily apparent! Oh, wait, Bao-Dur never talks. Visas, another Emotionless Girl, although that may have more to do with her rather disturbing subservience and less to do with actually being emotionless. Leastways, she was more palatable than Handmaiden. Mira, a less emotionless but still pretty generic Tough Girl. I actually liked her better than most in the party, though. Never saw Disciple, so I can't really pass judgment on him. Hanharr was an interesting character, if only because he was a Wookiee who wasn't noble as the sun is bright, which is an admittedly refreshing change. Mandalore and HK-47 I liked, and T3 is hard to say anything about since he never says anything comprehensible, but at least he DOES talk. But they didn't make any of those three, so it doesn't matter.
So, of the eleven characters, I would like to space Atton, Kreia, Handmaiden, and Visas. I'd lock Mira, T3, Bao-Dur, and Hanharr in the Cargo Hold, and then me, Canderous, and HK-47 would go gallivanting across the galaxy together.
Unfortunately, much like Mass Effect, this game doesn't allow you to fling unwanted party members out the airlock and then perforate their decompressed bodies with laser cannons until they are atomized. UNLIKE Mass Effect, however, this game actually makes me want to do that to most of the characters, and not just Kaidan.
Besides, it was actually possible to get rid of Kaidan.
The story of TSL is not the bad part. The story is quite respectable, in fact. Not Baldur's Gate, Fallout, or Planescape, but good. However, it's crippled in it's presentation, by the sharply declining lack of choices (SORRY, BUT BEING OBLIGATED TO SIT THROUGH A LECTURE BECAUSE A BEGGAR ASKS ME FOR CREDITS IS BAD GAME DESIGN), even in a series where, hey, your choices don't matter that much in gameplay, is frustrating as hell. The presentation was mediocre, and Malachor V was like getting teeth pulled.
Then there are the villains. You have Sion, who reinforces the incredibly irritating stereotype that Ugly is Evil and has all the character of a rodent that had been lobotomized, followed by spending twelve rounds in the ring with Muhammad Ali (During Ali's good days, I mean.). And then there's Nihilus, and his name is unusually apt - Because he's got NOTHING for a character! Get it? (Raucous laughter.) I mean, he doesn't even talk. Except, the thing is, he doesn't do us the courtesy of blissful silence, instead, he does what can only be described as Wailing, like the morons in your class collaborating to climb into the old church and play the organs at full blast at 2:30 in the morning. Okay, not that bad, but the point is, his character had all the CHARACTER of an ape that had been beaten over the head with a shovel and then fed to a shark. None.
Of course, those are just Henchmen, although you'd think that the Villain that takes DARTH VADER'S place on the art that imitates A New Hope's poster would at least have some memorable lines. But I don't think we have the font for musical notes here, so he hasn't been quoted anywhere I've seen.
I will say this about Nihilus, he represents a trend. I'm sure many of us EU fans will remember the days before the Yuuzhan Vong, when Star Wars books mostly centered around the Empire building some brand new Superweapon, or even OTHER bad guys, like Durga the Hutt, building a Superweapon. See also: The Jedi Academy Trilogy for the Sun Crusher (Geez, they worked hard on that), and Darksaber, for the Darksaber Failed Planet Killing Device Thingy that is basically a Space Lightsaber. Well, Nihilus represents the other train of thought, represented in a line from Nihilus' Poster-Art-Sake.
Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed. The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.
Nihilus set out to PROVE that, by showing that the Force COULD destroy planets. Yay! Now instead of Technological Superweapons, we've got Biological Superweapons. I only wish I could say they were the Star Wars equivalent of Smallpox. That, at least, might be somewhat interesting instead of the Guy Who Can Only Be Killed By One Man Because He's Just Too Powerful. (Gag)
Sion was a delightful orgy of destruction. Now, I can take a bit of ridiculousness for the sake of gameplay and a good plot. Beating Malak with a lightsaber was one thing, you could at least pretend he was just getting tired and draining the Jedi to replenish his stamina. But Sion, you KNEW you were inflicting wounds on him, but he made it readily apparent that it didn't matter jack squat if you carved his bloody head off and fed it to him (Don't ask how that's possible. You need to be very limber.), he'd just grow a new one! Hell, the severed head might even grow a new Sion! So finally, after beating on him for half an hour with a WEAPON THAT CARVES ARMS OFF AS EASY AS IT SLICES ROASTS (See also, Duel under Cloud City, Duel on the Death Star II, Mos Eisley Cantina Incident, Duel in Naboo Palace, Duel on Geonosis, Duel on the Invisible Hand.) So unless Sion has Cortosis-Plated Bones, which actually wouldn't surprise me, he already has the whole "I've taken tissue damage that would kill a normal man, and I feel fine" thing going, but I don't really see Sion as being played by Hugh Jackman.
Last of all, there's Traya, and she continues the subtle trend with even more ridiculous Force-Wizardry. You know, one thing I always liked about the Force is that direct manipulations tend to be fairly small scale, with even the Sith and Dark Jedi mostly using it for knowledge. Insight and precognition and stuff. Then you throw these three in there and they screw everything up!
Traya has the ability to make three other lightsabers FLY AND ATTACK YOU while maintaining the composure to wield her own. Hey, Traya, why didn't you exhibit any of these powers when you were with me? I really could have used some of this when we were running from Sion on Peragus! At least this one doesn't REALLY break verisimilitude, unlike the previous two examples - wielding a lightsaber by the Force had been done by Leia Organa Solo in the Thrawn Trilogy, before she had anything more than the most rudimentary training. But then again, she just made it hover in front of her, didn't duel with a Noghri Commando.
Anyway, she was a character that did a Face Heel Turn so fast I think she might have kicked herself in the mouth. Randomly walks in and BLOWS THREE JEDI MASTERS to Hell, then somehow warps to Malachor V (I sure as hell didn't give her the Ebon Hawk, although that's rumored to have been part of the plans originally) and goes on her epic quest to destroy the Force.
Now, I didn't see that coming. Star Wars always played on the Grand Scale, but we just escalated. We went from "A threat to Galactic Peace and Prosperity..." to..."I WILL DESTROY THE WORLD. FEAR MY GENERIC MOTIVES!" Okay, her motives weren't that generic, and actually kind of made sense, except for the minor flaw that the Force and Life tend to be rather inextricably linked. Sort of like The Master wanting to subjugate all Humans, but forgetting that his Super Mutants couldn't breed, except you could at least call attention to that if you were aware of it and it influenced the plot.-
Above all else, though, I'd like to point this out: THERE WAS NO REASON TO MAKE KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC II. The story of Malak, Revan, and the Star Forge was complete. Chucking in this whole True Sith thing and how Revan turned to the Dark Side because the Galaxy needed a huge War Machine to survive just makes him more of a Mary-Sue than he already is. He was already Grand Admiral Thrawn, Mace Windu, Lando Calrissian and Darth Vader rolled into one, now they've made him, in truth, Always A Good Guy. So instead of the story of KotoR being of "Revan, the Prodigal Knight" it's of "Revan, Biggest Mary-Sue in Star Wars since Jacen Solo."
Oh, yeah. Before I forget - what the hell is Kotor II's thing with the Star Forge? If you choose that Revan redeemed himself, then yeah, it's destroyed. But if you choose that he went back to being a Sith Lord, it STILL was destroyed? What? The Star Forge existed for 5000 years without a Sith behind it, Revan leaves for less than a decade and suddenly it just goes to hell?