Review: Old D&D Games
Anyone who reads my blog or follows me on Facebook knows that I’m a pretty avid D&D player. I’ve been playing since I was a teenager in some form or another and almost always look forward to a game. I’m also a video gamer and one of my favorite genres of video games is fantasy RPGs (role-playing games). Some of my favorite titles in this genre are games based on 2nd edition and 3.5 D&D rules and set in one or more of the myriad D&D worlds. I recently got a blast of nostalgia in this vein when, as I mentioned in last week’s post, a I got a plethora of bitchin’ retro games from GoG.com on an AMAZING sale. Most of these were formatted D&D games I used to play when I was much younger.
The first game I started playing was Neverwinter Nights. I haven’t played this game in awhile and I wanted to give it a try again, because I got an itch to play it like last year or something and my old DVD-ROM wouldn’t play nice with my new-fangled computer, so I had to up the ante and play Neverwinter Nights 2 instead. Going back to the original was really cool. The original game had an interesting story that played out exactly as a typical D&D campaign should. I missed having a whole party of guys but not having to manage a bunch of other characters was a somewhat a relief. I did find myself having a bit of what a friend of mine termed as FRS or Frequent Restart Syndrome, a phrase expressing when the person playing a game constantly restarts with a different character type until they get it “Right.” (This happens to me a lot in Elder Scrolls games.)
I acquired (and of course had to play) the entirety of the original Baldur’s Gate series. I have played through Shadows of Amn before, but never finished the expansion to the second game and I’d never even played the first game. It was really fun going back to the 2nd addition rules where being a Dual- or Multi-classed character was kindof a bigger undertaking. Baldur’s Gate 2 has one of the most compelling stories in a fantasy game, especially at the time in which it was released. It also has one of the coolest ending cinematics from that time as well. Jon Irenicus was such a great villain and he’s voiced by one of everyone’s favorite actors and voice actors, David Warner.
Also, it’s a real treat to meet one of my favorite literary characters, Drizzt Do’Urden. I didn’t get to finish Baldur’s Gate One yet, but I will. It’s much more free-flowing and open world than the second game and I am getting a bit lost… though a friend told me that I could find a ring of wizardry in a log just outside of the first town, so I’m gonna go check that out. Ahem…
The last of these than I’ve actually replayed is my favorite, Icewind Dale II. Once again, I played the second before the first for whatever reason, but I plan to play Icewind Dale as soon as I’m finished my current playthrough of the second game. I love Icewind Dale 2 (the game) so much, because I love Icewind Dale (the place) so VERY much. I was reading The Crystal Shard right around the time I played the game for the first time and it influenced me greatly. I also generally love the feel of the game. It’s very atmospheric and I often found and find myself getting lost in the idea of the place. I also LOVE the music from this game, because, especially in the first city of Targos, it really gives you a feeling of being on the snow-swept tundra of the Dale.
As a gamer, I also love the faux 3.5 rules for the game. It was my first exposure to 3.5 and offered a lot of cool options for character builds. My favorite aspect of the gameplay, I think, is the fact that you can create an entire party of six characters for your mercenary/adventurer group. I love making cool teams based on myself and my friends and loved ones, or copying great parties from other media like The Companions of The Hall, or members of The Fellowship of The Ring. My current playthrough I’ve made myself, a multi-class Sorcerer/Fighter and Liz, a slighter, multi-class Rogue/Sorceress. (I also created two extra characters that are based on NPCs who died in the battle at the end of the prologue: Isherwood, an archer and Tabard, a sword-and-shield fighter. Both were militia men and I didn’t like that they died, so I brought them back.)
If you’re looking for solid D&D computer game titles, you can’t go wrong with the ones I’ve mentioned. I have a couple others as well.I still need to play The Temple of Elemental Evil and Dragonshard. I ALSO really need to continue the game I started of Planescape: Torment and yes, I know, it’s likely the best of the bunch. I just need to immerse myself in it.
What’s your favorite old game?
What’s your favorite tabletop game? What’s your favorite RPG based on D&D? Let me know in the comments below. As always, thanks for reading and have a wonderful day!