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Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance


You loved "Gauntlet", right?  So, then, you'll love "Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance" for all the same reasons you loved hearing the announcement "Valkrie is about to die!"

In "BG: DA", you take control of a particular character class and lead he or she through numerous dungeons, hacking and slashing and burning your way towards the game's conclusion.  Sure, there's more too it than that...but not TOO much to get in the way of these top-down D&D-style games that have been in surprisingly short supply since "Gauntlet" won our hearts years ago..

The game plays fast, and its two-player mode is sweet.  My friend Aaron and I played through almost the entire game together one afternoon, and it's good times to watch your boy's back as you cast spells, open chests and beat the shit out of orcs with a controller in one hand and a Mountain Dew in the other.  After a while, the thinking part of the equation is dropped, just the way Daddy likes it.

Talk about your perfect rental:  for $5 and a free weekend, this is good times.  But, then, you wouldn't be able to do it all over again...and now that the game is value-priced at $20, you can't wrong, negro!

Rating:  Opening Weekend


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Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  Buy this game right away, and don't ask me any questions as to why that's a good move.  A game experience that will almost guarantee repeated controller abuse, lots of ManScreaming and high resale value, you will assuredly play this bad boy for months on end. 

"$40":  Usually after games have been out for a while, they drop in price slightly, or can be bought for slightly cheaper in combination with other new games.  Usually, that's about $40.  You'll feel good getting the game for this price, since it isn't quite run-out-and-get-it-right-now good, but it has enough game in the box for a few weeks' worth of enjoyment.

"eBay":  This game is not too bad, but you'd be better off buying it used from either or eBay.  You also might let a friend buy this game, let s/he beat it, and then try to buy it from them to make them feel better.  Yes, this does tend to feel like "Sloppy Seconds."

"Rental":  Like my cousin Ron, you should always rent games that you aren't sure about first, to make sure that your $50 is going towards something worthwhile.  For games in this category, this is the maximum amount of money ($5) and/or time (3-5 days) you'll need to either gain satisfaction from the game, or beat the game in its entirety.  Rental-rated games are also sometimes perfect for a weekend when you are going to be at home on your ass, with some time to kill.

"Dogshit":  Games like this should have never been released.  If you play this game for any reason, you will regret every second of the experience.  Further, if you can get this game for free, don't do it, because even for FREE, it will still be a negative experience for you!

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09