Tag Archives: Baldur’s Gate 2

What to game, what to game?…

I’ve hit a bit of a slump after finishing listening to the two books in the Kingkiller Chronicles. That was filling my evenings and I was doing chores and playing a bit of Magic: Puzzle Quest while listening. The books are phenomenal, and the audio book was a great presentation as well.

However, kind of like the Amazon ads, I hit a “show hole,” or in this case a book hole, and I wasn’t sure what to read or listen to or do next. I had put 80 hours into listening to the Kingkiller Chronicles, with more and more towards the end.

I have a few books out from the library: Jo Walton’s The Just City out in print, and Station Eleven in audio book, but neither seemed quite right (although I have finally started listening to Station Eleven: liking it so far). But really, what I felt like doing was playing a video game.

I was immediately stopped because we have not yet setup the X-Box 360 in a new place at the new house. This limited my choices considerably, although it especially brought me up short as I was starting to think about replaying something like Final Fantasy XIII-2 (which is not yet backwards compatible) or Diablo III (which had a fancy X-Box One version come out so won’t be backwards compatible).

Given our recent discussion of replaying versus new material, I turned next to thinking about new games. There’s not really one I’m looking to play that we already owned, but now that we don’t have a data cap, the idea of buying a digital game and downloading it doesn’t seem like a terrible idea. Final Fantasy XV isn’t as cheap as I’d like it to be (might be an okay $20 game). I’ve heard such rave reviews of Witcher III that I strongly considered that one, but with the digital game I can’t tell if it’s equivalent to the “Game of the Year” edition which would have lots of the content as well. I did check for this at the store in town as well, but no luck… Hmmm, maybe an Amazon purchase…

My search for a new game to play leaving me unsatisfied, I turned to games I haven’t completed yet. I got started with Dishonored 2 and was liking it alright, but I also felt like I wanted to play in a different way than vaguely stealthy and want to start over – I’m giving myself a bit more time before doing that! On the other hand, I was well into Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, but it’s been long enough since then that diving back into the end feels daunting. Same with Kingdom Hearts 2 HD.

There was playing a classic, as well. I had started playing Final Fantasy VII on the PSP, but when it ran out of power it lost my progress during what is apparently a super long section without a save point – working your way up Shinra Tower! I could play it or VIII easily enough on the PSP or the PS3, but those didn’t feel right.

I also got to thinking about Baldur’s Gate 2 Enhanced Edition, which I had picked up on the computer but haven’t played because I haven’t really played anything on the computer in some time. I had this one recommended to me on Facebook recently by Jeremy, as well, so I may turn to it next…

But the game I ended up picking back up, however, is Mass Effect: Andromeda. The news that this game will probably not have DLC or sequels took some wind out of my sails in terms of finishing the game. However, it also felt like a game where I’ve played recently enough that jumping back in wasn’t a problem, I’m far enough that I feel the completionist desire to finish it, and knowing that I’ll probably just finish it and be good with it, I’ve decided to mainly just focus on the main story and companion quests. Hopefully I knock this one out soon!

Of course then, I might just be back into another bout of wondering what to play…

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What’s Your Favorite BioWare Game?

After talking about Dragon Age and Mass Effect lately, it has us thinking about how much fun the BioWare games are in general. And so, we give you this poll.

I don’t have a clue how I’ll even vote…

J is for Jon Irenicus

JBaldur’s Gate 2 holds a place in my heart as my favorite game. It had a lot going for it, and that little company Bioware that made it you may have heard of before. However, I think a lot of the success and nostalgia come from the excellent voice acting, this being one of the earlier games to really do this well.

Meaning that the driving force behind it, the best voice acting, the plot, all comes back to the villain, Jon Irenicus. He is a rare sort of character in a fantasy world: an evil elf. Doesn’t happen very often; Elves are usually various shades of good, or else maybe there are Dark Elves who are evil. But Jon Irenicus gets to put all the years of experience learning how to be a mage into action as an evil one, and it is scary.

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10 Best Spells

Magic is a great part of fantasy. As much as I am a Science Fiction guy, and the definition I work off of does not allow for magic (check out the definition here), the escapism of Fantasy (check out the definition here) can be a lot of fun. Fantasy and that level of escapism better lend themselves to gaming, because in gaming you can work outside of the bounds of reality, outside of our normal physics.

A fun sort of thought experiment, here I have a list of the ten best spells – with the thought being that you’re coming up with a spellbook and using them all together. Many spells or spell effects are duplicated, in various ways and various manners, in all sorts of books, video games, and tabletop games. So many of these have a variety of analogs, and are a good bet in most of these circumstances.

There are some spells, of course, that are a bit much. Are almost too powerful for regular sorts of use. The king of these spells is the Wish spell, from D&D – basically, it does what all these spells do, and just about anything else. It’s a plot-changer, game-breaker, and is a bit too much. So maybe it’s better to say, these are the tops of spell types, the best for use, for your gaming wizard or fictional mage of choice! Continue reading

My Gaming Past – Trying to Relive Baldur’s Gate 2, or, How BioWare Owns My Wallet

A couple weeks back, I talked about my gaming past in terms of strategy – my love of building decks, armies, and characters leading to my choice of games. There’s one game that especially gave me a world where I not only got to create my character, I got to pause the game to strategize and control what happens, and got to make choices that influenced the game that I ended up playing.

That game was Baldur’s Gate 2.

I had played games earlier that similarly had party-based control, even ones where I could pause, choose my party, most of the elements. I guess especially Baldur’s Gate 1.  However, Baldur’s Gate 2 added a couple of excellent things that really pulled me in. Way more classes, for one thing. Excellent cutscenes for the moments out of our control. And what is still probably my favorite video game villain of all time (see him in a video here).

So there are a chain of related games I have played since, trying to live up to this great game. Nostalgia time: here’s some of my gaming past!

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