Best Game Ever — Baldur’s Gate 2, Shadows of Amn

When Jay asked me to write a “Best Game Ever” entry for Baldur’s Gate 2, my first instinct was to refuse the offer. Why? Because I love the game too much and I feared that nothing I could write would do it justice. It would be like trying to write a review for New York City. I mean where would you even begin something like that? How would you dissect something so steeped in its own mythology? Would you even want to? And just because here I am writing, does not mean that sentiment has changed. Whatever ideas I might express here will ultimately fall short of accurately encompassing the experience of playing Baldur’s Gate 2. However strong my control over language might be, it will ultimately prove woefully inadequate in approximating for you, the reader, the overall feeling I had as a player of Baldur’s Gate 2. →  Actraiser Readnaissance

Lame Discussion: To Pull a Review

It’s been a while since the last discussion. The format will be the same as always; I just drop you into our chat room. Today we are talking about the pull of 1up’s Neverwinter Nights 2 review. If you aren’t sure what I’m talking about, don’t worry, Horatio wasn’t, either. For those of you who would prefer to read opinions in a more traditional format, check out Craig’s editorial on this issue.

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Horatio: Before we start, I quickly read the article, but can someone do like a three sentence explanation of what happened?

Christian: Basically, Matt Peckham wrote a scathing review of NWN, 5/10. People thought it wasn’t a fair review, and 1up’s editorial staff pulled it. Later it was explained that their editorial process was a bit different for this one. →  If you die in the article, you die in real life.

Best Game Ever – Planescape: Torment

For as long as there have been computer role playing games there has been the paradox of character. How can a game give you control of someone who has feelings, memories, personality traits and a history that you don’t share without you undoing these qualities? How can a strong narrative allow for the main character to be completely amorphous?

If I wanted to read I’d go to school.

Traditionally, the East has dodged this problem by simply forcing us to control a character whom we have no actual control over. We can steer him left and right, but all of his decisions, dialog, thoughts and feelings are his own. Our job is to control the character in battle and make sure they get to the next cut scene alive. This method allows for a potent narrative and excellent characterization but, for obvious reasons, very little actual role playing. →  There is only one really serious philosophical problem, and that is games.