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August 24th, 2019, 11:49
I also have Ghost Of A Tale, but it seems to me that my own PC is a bit too weak for that. My personal impression is that it uses up HUGE amounts of resources / graphics processing.
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August 29th, 2019, 02:32
I finished Bard's Tale one earlier today, what an excellent game this is!! I first started playing last year, then took a very long hiatus when I heard the details about the legacy mode that was going to be implemented. When I got back into the game maybe two weeks ago, it was tough…..brutal, almost. I think current games have weakened my resolve and skills in some ways, so I took a day or two off from it, reassessed my desire to play all the way through, and then got serious about it.

I'm glad I did. This wasn't about nostalgia, it was more about the kinds of games that attracted me to computers in the first place. Really, if you enjoy the genre, or have played the games in the past, you should give the updated versions a full vetting.
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September 4th, 2019, 21:50
A few hours ago I completed Bard's Tale two, it seemed a much shorter game than the first. I honestly don't recall how long it took me to get through it back in the day when I first played. I didn't enjoy this one as much as the first entry, probably because I took the option of resetting all my characters to beginning status and then had to work them back up. When I go into the third game, probably later this week, I plan on doing a full transfer over, I don't care if that makes the first dungeon trivial because I'm not re-leveling those two mages again!!
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September 10th, 2019, 21:06
Tyranny. Length was perfect for me at this time in my life - long enough to feel epic, without any grindy, or slow points. Not a fan of the forced conflict with factions you have established a good rep with - if you are diplomatic enough, why can't you negotiate peace without conflict (which was my internal goal)?
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September 11th, 2019, 10:12
Finished Shadowrun: Hong Kong a short while ago.

Like the previous SR games, I found it to be a fun but light crpg. I thought the writing and plot were above average, but the gameplay becomes too formulaic after awhile. It also suffers from the same small maps and lack of interactivity as SRR and Dragonfall.

Worth playing if you enjoy the setting, but don't expect anything innovative.

7/10
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September 12th, 2019, 18:31
This morning I completed my run through Bard's Tale three, and thereby finishing the trilogy. All in all it was a fantastic trip down memory lane, and remembering just how tough some games used to be. That final dungeon in the last game, where you basically have to avoid most random encounters or you'll get spanked, really kept me on my toes! It took me longer than I initially thought it would to run through all three games, which only tells me I totally got my monies' worth.
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October 6th, 2019, 15:53
I finally got around to playing Pillars of Eternity Two, what a delight that game was!! From the moment I rolled up my beefy barbarian until I knocked out the final quest/battle, this game was a pure joy to play. All told, I believe it kept me fully engaged for close to a month, every time I thought I was getting to the resolution I kept finding more islands or quests to do. Turn based combat being included was a big draw for me, while I did play the first Pillars I'm unlikely to ever replay that game simply because the combat style gets old with me quickly, and it no longer is fun after a while. Pillars Two, on the other hand, is a game that I know I'll be replaying many times in the future.
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October 13th, 2019, 01:15
Finished Avadon 2 last night. I thought it was a step up from the first one, but probably only due to me finding the first few hours of the first one incredibly dull.
I took Redbeard's (supreme leader of The Pact) side this time. I didn't exactly get a happy ending, as I apparently eventually got taken over by Corruption and got locked in a dungeon for the rest of my life when I became too useless.

I especially liked:
1) The Corruption. It had some good strange encounters, and weird new creatures (e.g. the unstable ones that can randomly turn into something else if you're not quick enough killing them). Many excellent combat/encounter set-pieces (e.g. the "stalked by a dragon" parts).
2) The Tinkermage, a new class, quite different from the ones carried over from Avadon 1. Some players think they were OP. I didn't find it so, but I probably suck at games or something. (However, it did seem a bit strange that there were Tinkermages all over the show in this one, but nary a mention of them in the first one)
3) The conspiracy was fairly interesting. It seemed fairly obvious who parts of it involved, but there were a few characters that were suspicious enough that I got a bit paranoid about them, only to find by the end that they they had nothing to do with it. (Or do they? Mwuhahahahaaa.) Not everything is black and white, people have reasons for doing wrong, or legitimate reasons for why they think they aren't doing wrong. I like that sort of thing.

The main negatives (also apply to the first Avadon):
1) Three person party limit makes things a little less interesting. Gets a bit silly when this gets applied so strictly, where it doesn't make sense, e.g: you rescue one of your characters, thus having four, and it makes you choose only three to fight your way back out. What happened to the one you didn't choose? Did he/she vaporise? Teleport back home? Seriously, was it too hard to just balance that section for four characters?
2) Having one of your mainstays disappear for plot reasons. Seriously, I hate this shit. I got a fair way through and was thinking "at least he hasn't done that again", but no.
3) The skill trees don't always make sense. Why do I have to be an expert with bows before I can learn how to hamstring someone? (There are many other examples). Also, the inverted skill tree ensures that rather than start generalised and become specialised, you are forced to become more generalised as you progress, because the upper skills have a heap of the same lower skills as pre-reqs.

Overall though, I enjoyed it quite a bit. I think Vogel's writing is "good enough". He doesn't overdo it, and there are plenty of examples of wry humour. Despite my issues above, I'm looking forward to the next. (I'll probably jump ahead to Queen's Wish first, though, so I can talk about it with others currently playing it.)
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October 17th, 2019, 18:52
Darkness Over Daggerford (2006) Neverwinter Nights Enhanced Edition Premium Module (2018) by Ossian Studios, enhanced by Beamdog. (I think I've got that right).

Make no mistake, this is a full game and goes beyond the idea of a simple small module, equivalent in size and scope to both the two official expansion to the original Neverwinter Nights. The only thing holding it back from being classed as a full game in it's own right is that you need the Neverwinter Nights 1 base game in order to play it. Upon completion of a completionist run I had clocked just over 46 hours. Played on core rules difficulty.

Ossian studios wanted to make a Neverwinter Nights version of Baldur's Gate and this was the result. In my opinion they achieved this quite well. The game starts with your female companion being kidnapped and that remains your background motivation for adventuring forth and putting up with everyone's shit. Also like Baldur's Gate you can then immediately forget she ever existed and just get on with some good hearty exploration, quest solving and nattering with companions, of which there are two you can pick up very quickly and one much later in the game who briefly joins the party for one dungeon.

The mapping system is taken straight from Baldur's Gate 1 and you explore the region in little chunklets that you discover by walking out of a map in a certain direction, opening up another chunklet. Some chunks are also permanently hidden until you open up that area's questline. There's a main quest and a gazillion minor side quests. You can completely ignore the main quest until the end of the game or you can just beeline the main quest or any combination thereof. I chose the former and no quests got broken as a result. In this regard, it did a fantastic job. I had only one quest left outstanding at the end of the game, and I think this is quite a common one to miss as it relies on a Search check, a very obscure and otherwise not always worth it stat investment that will be best suited to characters who take that skill anyway.

In terms of alternate ways of solving quests and alternate paths for your character, there are plenty of great examples and many quests have different ways of completing them and even different people you can resolve the quest with. Evil playthroughs are given lots of meat to play with and even playing as a neutral character I was so delighted by the evil options that a couple of times I even sacrificed "2 points towards evil" just for the joy of the option, and there were many times I would have chosen the evil option but for the incongruity of my character's theme. The neutral and good options were great as well and I'm sure evil playthroughs would have an equal dilemma on occasion.

As with all Neverwinter Nights games, the itemisation is amazing and every encounter provides some unique goody to ponder. NPCs are wonderfully varied and interesting and you get the whole gamut from talking chickens to lovelorn vampires via competing art collectors and crazy wizards. The optional quests range from basic Hunt The Item to satisfactorily in-depth romps though wizard's towers complete with very satisfying logic puzzles every step of the way.

The main quest is very enjoyable with all the twists and turns needed to keep you interested while the overall narrative is one of light hearted humour and wry observation. This last factor shows the clear distinction between this game, a game which fashions itself on a classic, and the classic itself, as the classic took itself a lot more seriously whereas this is much more about knowing nods to the classic and having some laughs with it as well. There are even references to Planescape: Torment and etc. So one could argue it's a bit theme parky.

Remarkably, I think the game it most resembles is the Neverwinter Nights 2 original campaign, which was also released in 2006 by Obsidian. I thought this so much I had to look up the Wikipedia of both games to see who could have been pinching ideas from who. The main thing they have in common is the design decision to have most quest areas be either single room dungeons or single room houses or small patches of land, where you fight one batch of enemies or talk to one NPC and then move on to another thing. Unlike either the Infinity Engine games or the original Neverwinter Nights, both this and NWN2 both feel 'smaller' in game world and make the player feel much more like they're 'rushing' through the game than their predecessors, even if the game is still quite long and has many locations.

The other aspect which reminded me of Neverwinter Nights was also this game's only real negative, but it's quite a big negative, that of bugs.

The game regularly but randomly crashes to desktop when transitioning between areas. Probably about 1 in 40/50 times, which doesn't sound like many, until you realise that you'll be transitioning between areas extremely frequently and even one small quest will involve approximately 10 transitions. I never had one play session over 2 hours that didn't have at least one CTD. So saving before every transition was quite a tiring and repetitive constant break in the flow of the game.

The pathfinding here is also severely worse than the original Neverwinter Nights release. I have no idea if this is a problem with Ossian or a problem with Beamdog's 'enhancement' but the state of this problem in this game is on a whole different level. Characters get stuck on scenery, companions block you into corners, your character wont move to a location unless it's just a few feet away and in a dead straight line of open road and much much more on a similar variation.

Items also didn't always necessarily spawn in locations and returning to a location sometimes rebooted what should have been there the first time you were there. I also encountered a game breaking bug whereby I rested near a door, the rest-spawned trash mobs then spawned on the other side of the door, opened the door to attack me and so left me bewildered as to why my game seemed to have died all of a sudden. I was completely unaware that the boss of that level spawned from a cutscene that initiates when you open the door. Since it wasn't me that opened the door, the cut-scene didn't initiate and no-one on the planet would think that closing and re-opening the door would provide the means to enable the game to progress. I probably spent an hour trying to solve this issue in-game, thinking it was a "hunt for the key in the long dungeon" situation before finally looking at a youtube let's play and then hoping that playing with the door would resolve the issue, which, thankfully, it did.

And it's a big shame about the bugs and player-unfriendly nature of the basic running of the game. This has nothing to do with the mechanics, nothing to do with the quality of the module generally and is, one would assume, all fixable issues that for some reason haven't been fixed. If they are not fixable then more's the pity as this game deserves being more polished because even though BG was a hugely popular game, there is surprisingly few games that one could say are "very much like BG" and this most definitely is.

If you're a big fan of Baldur's Gate and you've never played this game then this is a little treat for you just waiting for your love. Admittedly, it's a bit of a theme park Baldur's Gate, and a slightly scaled down one at that, but it's fully there in spirit and execution.

In terms of giving a score, this is going to be quite difficult. As a big fan of Neverwinter Nights 1, I liked a lot about this game from a Neverwinter Nights perspective, but at the same time it's simply poorer than Hoards of the Underdark in every way and it's more unpolished than Shadows of the Undrentide or Kingmaker even though it's slightly more entertaining than these last two. A big fan of Baldur's Gate might get much more from it though. But for someone completely new to all these games then it would be an appalling choice and a very bad thing to recommend, solely due to the unpleasant bug issues that could well sour someone to the better stuff available in the NWN universe.

So I'd rate the game a 7/10 from a NWN perspective, probably an 8/10 for Baldur's Gate fans wanting some BG themeparking but as a general recommendation it's definitely just a 6/10.
Last edited by lackblogger; October 17th, 2019 at 19:05.
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October 17th, 2019, 20:12
Hum. Only 6/10 ? When I played it way back before it become a premium module i thought i was fantastic.
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I wonder how much of hte negative vibe is from the bugs in nwn-ee (you mentioned frequent crashes); and how much is due to the module itself ?

Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
Darkness Over Daggerford (2006) Neverwinter Nights Enhanced Edition Premium Module (2018) by Ossian Studios, enhanced by Beamdog. (I think I've got that right).


So I'd rate the game a 7/10 from a NWN perspective, probably an 8/10 for Baldur's Gate fans wanting some BG themeparking but as a general recommendation it's definitely just a 6/10.
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October 17th, 2019, 21:17
Nice review lack, but yeah the score seems low.
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October 17th, 2019, 22:21
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
Nice review lack, but yeah the score seems low.
Which score? The 6, 7 or 8?
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October 17th, 2019, 22:35
"as a general recommendation it's definitely just a 6/10."
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October 17th, 2019, 23:02
I think the score is fine as 6/10. I also thought the module lacked polish (abandoned my playthrough due to a bug) and the story wasn't as gripping as many other modules I've played. But ofcourse, the score is always a subjective matter - some will agree while others won't.
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October 17th, 2019, 23:11
Well if it's in league with original expansions per his review, the number is low.
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October 17th, 2019, 23:24
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
Well if it's in league with original expansions per his review, the number is low.
I rated a 7 if the league was just NWN:

So I'd rate the game a 7/10 from a NWN perspective
The 6/10 is a general rating for people who aren't experienced enough with the series or this game's specific references to take this game on as their first experience of NWN. The polish is of too low a quality for me to recommend this to anyone but those with a specific interest in either NWN or BG.
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October 17th, 2019, 23:26
I'd rate the original expansions, particularly HotU, an 8 or 9, so yeah we differ there.
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October 17th, 2019, 23:43
I don't know what you mean as I'd rate Hoards of the Underdark a 9 myself as well. I honestly can't understand how your replies relate to anything I've written nor why you can't understand what I've written?
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October 17th, 2019, 23:48
Personally, I'd rate HotU 8/10, SoU 6/10, Kingmaker (NWN not PF) 6.5/10

And lackblogger said DoD is not as good as HotU from what I read:

Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
but at the same time it's simply poorer than Hoards of the Underdark in every way and it's more unpolished than Shadows of the Undrentide or Kingmaker even though it's slightly more entertaining than these last two.
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October 18th, 2019, 00:41
Yeah, I missed that.
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