JONATHAN JK

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Posts Tagged ‘baldur’s Gate

Icewind Dale Enhanced Edition – Review

Following on from my last game related post, I forgot to mention that I bought without hesitation, Beamdog’s ‘Icewind Dale’ for my iPad. This is my review which mostly concentrates on the accessibility and nostalgia regarding these games. Readers can find performance reviews with in-depth opinions elsewhere very easily. This is from is more personal, we know these games are great.

I spent some digital gold for it because I love older RPG’s (mostly for the sprites and top down perspective) and I have always thought ever since the inception of the original iPad, that RPG’s games would be a perfect game for such handheld devices. I wasn’t wrong when the Baldur’s Gate series eventually did come out as its own enhanced edition and I don’t feel I’m wrong this time either. The nostalgia has struck twice because of Beamdog.

The accessibility is definitely easier than it is on the PC because of the portability and even easier considering the touchscreen we all take for granted. I contain within myself a bit of buzz when carrying these classic adventures with me all day and choose to play them whenever I want, at a doctor’s appointment or on the subway. I remember installing these games from multiple CDs and then needing to store them safely. Can’t believe we all use to do that, along with returning video tapes and DVDs (some of you already don’t do that right?).

My level 8 Dragon Disciple, also my first. I never made one in Baldur's Gate.

My level 8 Dragon Disciple, also my first. I never made one in Baldur’s Gate.

Icewind Dale was first released 14 years, being 20 years old back then meant I grot bored and frustrated quickly after trying to loot the first dungeon and never played it again. Today I am more likely to finish it, I’m already past the first dungeon I quit on all those years ago.

‘Icewind Dale II’, I enjoyed more, played more, and my method for finishing it, was more of the same meaning I didn’t actually finish it. My hope is the sequel is also enhanced later down the line.

It’s been my fault for not being able to finish these games. I always have this problem with these RPGs, but at the same time I like putting down these games that I can pick up weeks or months later. The accessibility offered has a sharper edge to it than any Swashbuckler’s sword!

YOU GOTTA ROLL WITH IT.

Accompanying the release of IWD are of course the usual comments and criticisms. Some regard the lack of story (there is a story, but whatever), group interaction or no NPC’s as weaknesses. I don’t, they are a strength in two ways.

I’m writing this review from the perspective of somebody who loves the Forgotten Realms and the Baldur’s Gate games, but that same somebody who needs a break from all the story quests, the side quests, the character quests and the general management of my party members as and when they start fighting or romancing each other. Compared to the BG series, IWD is far more refreshing at the moment because it is easier to get up and running (no Irenicus dungeon here*). Icewind Dale is on equal terms for character creation, gameplay wise it’s a leaner, more linear game so that the mental overhead required is far less than that for BG1 and BG2.  A temporary fatigue has set in with the BG games as I’m just in the mood to kick arse with a +3 something, repeatedly (sorry, I don’t know what the good weapons are yet in IWD)!

Dungeons, dungeons and more dungeons! So many indoor spaces, being outside is rare but a welcome break from the claustrophobia that IWD gives you for the most part.

Dungeons, dungeons and more dungeons! So many indoor spaces, being outside is rare but a welcome break from the claustrophobia that IWD gives you for the most part.

Also because IWD is mostly combat orientated, that actually makes it something far more casual for new comers to take an interest in, this strength is backed up by the new Story Mode (which I have tried when I couldn’t get past this particularly hard boss that was a little girl but turned itself into a giant lizard casting magic, sorry i don’t know the name) where party members are invulnerable and gain double experience point rewards! This makes me wonder how the Diablo and World of Warcraft games are vastly more popular, it’s probably down to their accessibility and arcade mechanics**. I’m happy for this type of feature as maybe it will get other players into the Forgotten Realms setting as it expands (Trent Oster, the lead developer of Beamdog is on record saying he wants to do Baldur’s Gate 5!).

*Really wish there was a way to skip that part of the game for seasoned players.

** This makes me wonder why Adam my co-host on JPG Podcast doesn’t play any forgotten realms title, but gets engrossed in his Diablo series. Something which I played myself, but I was attracted to the history of the Forgotten Realms and its complexity. I’m a dice chucker at heart rather than a mouse clicker.

Written by jonathanjk

November 17, 2014 at 14:39

13 – The Lannisters Have Landed

New JPG Logo cover 600 x 600The show can be downloaded here (non-itunes) via RSS and from here (iTunes).

Show Notes

I’ve never watched Game of Thrones, Charmaine, my new semi-regular co-host has never seen Futurama. Together we watch both series from the beginning and discuss their plots, characters while refering to other TV shows and movies along the way.

Sounds from Youtube Videos found here:

Star Trek Deep Space Nine.

Baldurs Gate Intro.

X-Men 90s Intro.

Dwarves singing from the Hobbit.

Stargate Atlantis Intro.

Game of Thrones Intro.

Avengers A Promise Theme.

Only Lovers Left Alive.

Under the Skin.

The Shining.

Lightsaber sounds.

Off With His Head.

Zoidberg – Woop, Woop, Woop.

Homer – You are gay.

Doctor Who – Blink.

Connie Franics – I Will Wait For You.

Recorded on the 30th July. My first queued episode. Still don’t have my Blue microphone.

JPG Podcast – The One Where Adam Expects Me to Fuel His Rants.

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Welcome to our third show, it’s that time again, a movie centric episode. Journalism and photography is on hold until Alex finds time to escape his new life in Canada.

This time the show mostly consists of Adam trying to break me into some movie news and discovers I won’t get riled up. We follow up with some previous topics covered in our last episode and I welcome Adam to the present after he discusses his new iPhone 4S purchase, missing out on the great deal that was NeverWinter Nights 2 for 69p on the Mac App Store (Mac App Store) and unbelievably some people still haven’t seen Star Wars so what order should they view the saga?

iTunes or the direct links.

Show Notes:

Follow Up – Baldur’s Gate (TouchArcade podcast with Cameron Tofer (twitter profile) from Beamdog, Trent Oscar ([developer working on BGEE] twitter profile), and Diablo 3 (Video).

Discussion – The state of the used games market to come.

Is the iPhone the only Camera you need‘? – Wall Street Journal

Star Wars Machete

Comic Book Men – A discussion (Secret Stash podcast)

Paper 53 – the better stylus to buy, the Cosmonaut and Project Blue Tiger. (Accompanying article from Gigaom – Creativity tools: The Next Wave of iOS Apps)

Glif for iPhone

Total Recall‘ trailer

Fuck‘ A Documentary via A Parliament of Owls (@Apowldotcom)

Liam Neeson  and the Hollywood Babylon podcast and ‘Taken

iOS App Recommendations – Kinotopic, Instagram, PhotoSynth, Project 365, GifRus, 1-Bit Camera and Snapguide.

JPG Podcast – The One Where Adam Gives Me Gold

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Our second episode, but Adam’s first, I break him into the format we’re setting up, I give Adam the floor and along the way we open up by discussing Kony2012 and some of its criticism, the new iPad, our first iPods and Apple Macintoshes, why pulling away from Windows wasn’t pain free for me touching on the gaming scene at the turn of the century.

We look back on PC classics such as Balder’s Gate, Half Life, Total Annihilation, Diablo, Starcraft and development delays with Starcraft 3. We also revisit Mario through Mario Portal. Having conquered gaming we discuss the Japanese version of the new Avengers trailer, then going seriously off topic with our movies into discussing who could play Steve Jobs in the movie about him.

Rounding off with mentioning Kottke.org, TV shows I don’t watch and I assumed Adam had used Pixelmator sufficiently enough to tell me how he feels about it.

In brief, a crazy, throughly geeky episode.

iTunes or direct links

Show Notes:

Kony2012, Jason Russell hospitalised.

The iPod

Classic Games – Baldur’s Gate (Digital download [Press release announcing Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition]), Half Life, Total Annihilation, Starcraft, Diablo, Mario Portal (free download) and Sonic the Hedgehog including Sonic CD – iOS App

The Japanese Avengers movie trailer

The Pirates of Silicon Valley

Kottke.org

History of the animated Gif

Ultimate Taser Ball (originally from Kottke)

Super Mario as Surrealist Art

Tron Dance Party (Not mentioned as I forgot, but I wanted to share)

Pixelmator

Pixelmator tutorials

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