Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that. It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed than my piece. I strongly recommend anyone...
"Welcome, lords, ladies, lads, landlords, and local land owning populace. You have cordially been invited to play this awesome game developped by Black Isle, Wizards Of The Coast, and Forgotten Realms. Please, raise your goblets in a toast!" *trumpet call* "I present thee, king Baldurs Gate: Dark Alliance."
Enough of that. Baldurs Gate is one of the coolest new games for the PS2. It is super cool, super-duper cool, even more cool than whatever you think is the coolest cool thing in the world!
So, what makes it so cool? (as cool as video games can get)
Well, lets start off with the characters. The characters are the Dwarven fighter, the Human Archer, and the Elven Sorceress. The dwarf is the breathing tank of this game who swings axes, swords, and halberds in a fiery fury of death. The human is the most precise shooter than anyone has ever seen, able to hit anything at any distance. the sorceress is the magic user, who can rain meteors, shoot poisonous arrows, create a flying sword that attacks rats, larvae, and other miscelaneous things one might not like, and, the coolest one, magic missile!
Also, the game allows you to play with a friend. It is the same thing as single player, except cooler! The monsters are harder (slightly), the item drop is more frequent, and you get to bust some heads open, or stab it's brain with a sharp stick, or make stones fall from nowhere together, as one big happy family! The gameplay together is smooth, coordinated, and fun.
The game itself is remarkable. If you check the official review, this game almost stole E3 with it's water-rippling effects! Good job, Black Isle! Keep 'em comming! The framerate is also very smooth, with very few minor glitches. There is one place that the ground will disapear in the game (2nd act, going up the mountain).
The best thing about this game, is how the characters follow the wake of everyone's favorite elf with 2 scimitars which happened to be named Icingdeath and Twinkle. That's right! You get to follow Drizzt Do'Urden! One new option they added was the Gauntlet, which you need to clear before being able to play in extreme mode. I'll get to that in a moment. The Gauntlet is a series of monster waves you have to clear in a certain amount of time, using none other than Drizzt Himself. It is extremely hard, but not impossible.
Extreme mode, however, nears the impossible. The monsters deal almost 10X their normal damage in hard mode, and if you decide to bypass this little thing with importing characters with buffed out armor, take another look. Imported characters lose everything except their clothes, and level. It adds a new challenge to the game, which gives it EXCELLENT replay value! And, for motivation to actually attempt to beat the impossible, if you beat extreme mode WITHOUT cheating, you get to use Drizzt in a normal game.
Give this game a whirl. It is revolutionary, but not extraordinarely revolutionary. This game deserves this A- with flying colors! Good job black isle!