Date: 2011-09-11 09:33 pm (UTC)
I admit to playing het romances both times, too, actually. Um, and admit to playing Warden as male, because, hey, my entire motivation for giving the games a try was to experience the angsty Morrigan romance, which was used as a selling point (I may have a thing for het romances involving morally ambiguous flighty women with emotional issues). I probably can't ever play the second one with a male protagonist because Hawke has more of a presence what with actual voice and interaction (and I admit that I found the Warden kind of creepy and kept thinking he was, like, telepathic or something.) But while playing the het romance in the second one, I ended up shipping Isabela/Hawke madly and wishing that I had just played that. Because yes, the relationship between Isabela and Hawke is wonderful, and I admit to having a thing for female friendships where the two women different in terms of personality and moral views. And I imagine that the Warden/Morrigan friendship is similar. And really, even besides that, you get a good sense of the friendship between Isabela and Merril, the weird respect/rivalry relationship between Isabela and Aveline, and the fun banter between Morrigan and Leliana.

And the male (recruitable) characters aren't misogynistic towards them, either! Some of the inter-party conversations about Isabela's pursuit of all the sex, everywhere make me want to break out into song. Good-natured teasing, where her appetites are seen as part of who she is and nothing to condemn? Be still my heart.

THIS, yes. I was trying to figure out what I actually find it funny when people talk about Isabela's sexuality when that's usually something that pisses me off, and that's it. It's discussed with the tone that would be applied to male characters with an active sexuality where it's more "Oh, YOU" and less...a way to control women's sexuality or shame them into not being that sexually active. Which I really, really appreciate. And it does certainly help me like the male characters, and be able to ship them with all the awesome women.

And that's a very good point about the shift in format that I hadn't considered. I admit to cheating on gameplay a bit, so I only took along the characters I liked and didn't care much for the ones left behind. But I would definitely have been sad leaving Leliana behind, and I loved having all the characters have their own homes/stories that went on behind the scenes.
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