This thread confirms my theory that noone except the developers has a higher opinion of DAII than I do. I'm copy-and-pasting something I posted from another site:
That stuff [the awesome button video] is a real pity because DAII’s story is actually interesting. DA:O was a very cliched save-the-world story with cliched characters, brilliantly executed and lovingly voice-acted. DAII’s story is actually about something even if it’s a flawed mess. And the characters? They drew so much criticism because they rarely resemble the appealing stereotypes of DA:O and so were mistaken for being dull.
Hold, I’m actually going to praise this game. The fact is that there are moments – moments! – when they actually resemble real people, which is the sort of thing that you would never see in DA:O. With a couple of characters (Aveline and Isabella), they even did something extraordinary. The writers introduce you to a character and allow you to draw the obvious impression of them, let you get comfortable with that impression, and then an act later, show you how they behave in a new situation that gives away who they really are and you realize that everything you believed about them was wrong. I don’t mean there’s some grand revelation of someone’s past. I mean that as I got to know them they surprised me, and I felt stupid for jumping to conclusions instead of watching them without prejudice. That never happens in videogames! Even in games with good character development, it’s always about the big reveal. This is the first game I’ve ever played where getting to know someone actually reminded me of a real life experience.
It’s an interesting game because it’s so flawed. One scene that was put in to get an easy joke out of Isabella’s sex life will make you roll your eyes at the screen, but then the next time you see her she’ll be drinking away her sorrows in a tavern as the disappointments of her life begin to pile up, and it’s hard not to start caring about her. She’s never getting her old life back and she’s starting to realize it. It’s a poorly designed and poorly written game, with series of morality-based choices so ridiculous it almost comes off as a parody of grey fantasy…but it’s also fascinating, with moments in between the crap of real poignancy and sadness, and honest-to-god story-spanning emotional arcs that your party members go through that aren’t spoon fed to them by the player. What other game has a story that stretches out over a whole decade, takes the passage of time seriously, to give the characters a chance to really change and mature? I’m not saying it’s a great game but…you know what? There are plenty of great games that I found less interesting than Dragon Age II.