Review by horror_spooky

Reviewed: 08/03/06

Hack. Slash. Rinse. Repeat.

One of the most favorite hack-n-slash series comes to consoles! At first, I was surprised at how unbelievably fun this game actually is. Until I found out that they tried to add platforming elements and puzzle-solving into a hack-n-slash game!

I admit that mindlessly slashing up everything that moves is an extreme high-point in this game. However, the lack of enemy variety gets kind of boring. You can only watch a skeleton’s head fall off so many times before it gets repetitive, people.

I love this game’s map system oh so very much! While in most games you have to get to the item screen and choose the map and look at the layout, in Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance you simply have to press the “L1” button and the map pops right up as you play! If the map is too big and bugs you, it has three different sizes. It might sound kind of weird for a reviewer to care so much about a map system, but I hope other games learn from Baldur’s Gate.

Before I get back to the downsides of this title, I’m going to go through another high-note. That high-note would be the large weapon variety. I have never played a hack-n-slash game with this much choice! Is your sword boring you? That’s okay; try out an enchanted club or a battle axe! However, I was somewhat disappointed with the armor implemented into the game. All the enemies would keep dropping the same pieces of armor when you’re in a certain area which was good for gold, but horrible for your weight capacity.

That leads me to another feature found within Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance for the Playstation 2. You can only carry so many items before you are unable to carry anything else. This becomes very annoying and will cost you a lot of Recall Potions. Say, you’re saving up for that real expensive armor so you pick up everything every enemy drops so you can sell it once you return to town. Well, once the weight capacity is full, you can’t pick anything up anymore so you’ll be forced to go back into town to sell off your stuff and restock on Recall Potions.

There are three different varieties of potions. The red potions will heal you and the blue potions will refill your magic gauge. There are also black potions which enable you to return to town as you wish. No complaints here. The major highpoint of the potion system is the fact that you can heal yourself in-game. This saves players the hassle of having to continuously get into their inventory to heal their wounds.

Once you start the game you are given the chose from three characters. This is saddening as with other Baldur’s Gate games, you have a lot more variety. Nevertheless, the characters you can choose from are decent in their own right. You have an archer who is the all-around character with decent health and decent magic power. Then you have the dwarf who has stupendous health but horrible magic power. Finally, you can choose the sorceress who has horrible health but awesome magic power.

Depending on what kind of gamer you are (hardcore, casual etc.) the story mode will either upset you or be just right for your tastes. Basically, after you travel from area to area, the story changes. If you are a casual gamer, this will be refreshing to you, but a hardcore gamer will be disappointed with the zero-percent chance of any character development.

Another department that this title disappoints me in is the graphics department. Games like these should be able to step it up a notch, but Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance fails visually.

If you ended up buying this game, I laugh at you right now. It is a very short game and anybody is capable of beating it in less than three hours. There are a few different difficulty settings you can try out, but one play time through this title is enough for any gamer to endure.

Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance is a great game if you can borrow it from a relative and invite a friend over so you can have something to do for the day, but any hardcore gamer should steer away from this hack-n-slash fest.

Rating:   3.0 - Fair

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