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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best Party-based CRPG for the PC
Based on a hybrid version of 2nd and 3rd Edition D&D rules, this games allows you to create one character and pickup up to five others to round out your adventuring party. Unlike most games where the NPCs just do what you tell them, these will complain if quests aren't being done, or if they don't like each other (or your actions). There is also character romance...
Published on July 18 2004 by James Wolff

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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No Manual !!
This is a review of the collection. Being a fan of the Icewind Dale series, and wanting to try a game that was more an RPG and less a hack&slash, I ordered this game. I just opened it and started playing last night, and while the game seems great so far, I'm very disapointed that a manual was not included. If I would have known, I'd have gladly paid the extra $$ to...
Published on Jan. 8 2004 by mandeandbob


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best Party-based CRPG for the PC, July 18 2004
By 
James Wolff "puckstop98" (Los Angeles, Ca) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Baldur's Gate 2 The Collection w/Throne of Bhaal Expansion (CD-ROM)
Based on a hybrid version of 2nd and 3rd Edition D&D rules, this games allows you to create one character and pickup up to five others to round out your adventuring party. Unlike most games where the NPCs just do what you tell them, these will complain if quests aren't being done, or if they don't like each other (or your actions). There is also character romance between males and females (which can be turned off). In this regard, there is actual role-playing in this game.
The side quests are fun and some are very challenging. The landscapes and monsters are well done visually though much less of BGII is dedicated to wilderness adventures unlike BGI.
The main plot has a good story (and would have made a better movie than the one they made) and has interesting characters. The NPCs are characters that can (and will) affect you in several ways (good and bad).
I gave the game 4 stars instead of 5 based on 2 'issues' (unrelated to AI issues with NPCs getting lost) or interface.
1. At a certain point in the game, it becomes 100% linear. You have no more choices of what to do. Coming about halfway through an amazing game, that was disappointing to see).
2. Some encounters, as you become very powerful, become absolutely ridiculous in terms of how many monsters are present.
Overall a very fun game (it should get 4 1/2 stars). Much better than TOEE, Pool of Radiance 2, and Icewind Dale (all of whom are hack, slash, and repeat a naseum). If Bioware made a 3rd game in this vein, it would be very much worth getting based on BG and BGII.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite computer game!, Jan. 16 2004
By 
Bilbo Baggins "mighty hobbit" (Land of Dwarves and Hobbits) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Baldur's Gate 2 The Collection w/Throne of Bhaal Expansion (CD-ROM)
This game is, without a doubt my favorite role playing game that I have played on a computer. I even think I like it more than the various and sundry Final Fantasy games I have played recently. Granted, those games have better stories and more detailed characters but there is something about Baldur's Gate that sets it apart and ahead of the competition, for me anyway. I think that it would have to be the ability to shape your won character. In a lot of console RPG's you seem to have very little control of your character. You only seem to be watching a movie that you happen to control and you sometimes don't seem to have much choice in the outcome, but this game allows you to choose many different paths and make many choices, some good, some evil.
My favorite part of this game is building relationships with the non player characters that travel with you. Not to mention all the various side quests that are in the game. Each character class has different quests that are unique to each. For example the warrior has an opportunity to inherit a keep and protect it from bandits and the wizard can inherit a tower and train apprentice wizards in the magic arts and then have them create magic items for him. Because of these many sidequests this game has much replay value. And that's without the expansion pack. The throne of Bhaal adds another level to the gameplay. I must confess that I still haven't beaten the expansion pack but I have gotten far enough to know there are many plot twists. Another cool addition that wasn't in the first Baldur's gate is the ability for your character to fight with two weapons at the same time.
In conclusion, this game is probably the best thing you could buy if you like old school rpgs. However, be prepared to save often. Like the first Baldur's gate this game is incredibly hard but that makes it all the more satisfying when you finally beat it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Computer Game Epic, April 11 2004
By 
stephanie314 (San Antonio, TX USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Baldur's Gate 2 The Collection w/Throne of Bhaal Expansion (CD-ROM)
This is a remarkably good value for a game set that will entertain you for hundreds of hours (if you do all the side quests and everything). It tells a good story, provides you with ample chances to exercise tactically-sophisticated combat, and is overall just a lot of fun to play. The character interactions and romances are an added bonus, as they help flush out the game world.
I hesitate to give this game five stars, since there are certainly better games out there (Planescape: Torment, for one). But, when I think back on how much time I devoted to this game and how much I enjoyed every second of it, I realize that games really don't come much better than this.
Highly recommended, particularly if you have a couple hundred hours to kill.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Three years after buying it I STILL love this game!, April 23 2004
By 
P.W. Reader (Mountain View, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Baldur's Gate 2 The Collection w/Throne of Bhaal Expansion (CD-ROM)
Let's face it...most computer games you buy will present an interesting novelty for MAYBE a couple months at most before you get bored and retire it to the shelf or sell it used to someone else. Not so with this great game!! It's still novel even after owning it several years!
I can't think of any other game that has been on the market this long and still sells in software stores today for over $10. And for great reason! There are so many ways to play this game that even after three years of trying I STILL haven't explored every facet and possibility! When this game was released in 2000 I wrote it off as a bit too expensive and complex for my taste. The following year the price had dropped slightly and I was itching for a new game, so after reading all the great reviews, I bought it. Wow! I couldn't believe the combination of depth, entertainment value, variety, and graphics a single game could produce!
I can absolutely GUARANTEE that anyone who likes role-playing will love this game. While you only start with a single character, you pick up other NPCs along the way, each one with their own unique personality, race, goals and behavior pattern, splendidly illustrated by voice-over sounds, dialog, and portraits.
Just a few examples...there's Minsc, the bald and brusque ranger who takes all his best advice from a small space hamster Boo, and loves to give any evil a "good butt-kicking!" Viconia, a seductive, almost liquidic evil dark elf (aka drow) who thrives on subtle innuendo and lust for power. And Imoen, the sweet, the innocent, slightly naive but ever-supportive mage who has stood by your side as a sister since childhood. There are a slew of other characters just as interesting, some you can take with you, some to provide you with quest clues, and some who only want to kill you. And you can even romance some of the party characters based on your dialog choices. If you play a male, you can even go so far as to get one of the female characters pregnant! (I won't give away which one).
The many possible permutations of the game let your quests and sub-quests vary greatly, depending on factors such as who you have in your party, your alignment, your ability scores, your class of choice, who you might choose to romance, and in some cases even the items you carry. Change any one or more of these and you are presented with different plot lines and conversation choices for your many quests. But one thing in common with ALL plot lines is that none are boring, and many will make you laugh. In repeat play, I saved every 2 minutes just to explore the different possible quest and dialog paths.
I think I've played this game about 60 times now, and I'm STILL happily exploring it.
Another pleasant thing about this game, if you are an advanced computer hacker, is that it is relatively easy to modify...which, naturally, has produced PLENTY of unofficial expansions and modifications available on the web, providing you with even more ways to play (my personal favorite is a modification called "The Darkest Day", which you can easily pick up from any web search engine).
In a nutshell...I can't think of a better PC game investment than this one in terms of playing time, interest, entertainment, humor, and modifiability, than to buy BG2. Still going strong 4 years after release!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best RPG EVER on the PC, Play It Before It's Too Late, Jan. 11 2004
This review is from: Baldur's Gate 2 The Collection w/Throne of Bhaal Expansion (CD-ROM)
Have you ever pulled out one of those old games that you remember as a classic and while YOU can still fully enjoy the game, OTHER gamers that have become accustomed to the current standard for graphics and production value have no idea how great the game is they're playing? Luckily, this doesn't apply to Baldur's Gate 2 yet. It still has comparable graphics and the story, voice acting and brilliant playing engine still make it better than any RPG on the market right now but that won't hold for long. If you've never had a chance to play this classic RPG, grab it now before it's too late! I've played RPG's since the days of the early Ultima games and Baldur's Gate 2 is probably the best one I've ever played. Now, you do need to be familiar with Dungeons & Dragons. So if you don't know how the classic D&D system works, you may not find Baldur's Gate 2 as appealing as I did. It also uses the older D&D ruleset which is good or bad depending on which one you prefer. Ever since playing (and replaying) this title, in my mind it has set the bar for RPG's and I compare all RPG's since to Baldur's Gate 2. The expansion isn't as great as the game itself but you can't go wrong buying the collection edition which includes both. Also, if you plan on playing the first Baldur's Gate, I'd recommend you play it first because it begins the story that concludes in this game. But you don't need to play the first game to understand what is going on in the sequel because it feels like it's own story. Baldur's Gate 2: The Collection is cheaper than current titles and a better play. If you're and RPG fan that hasn't tried this game, buy it now, you'll thank me later.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great game, March 22 2004
By 
Christopher A. Jones "cajslc1" (Salt Lake City, UT United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Baldur's Gate 2 The Collection w/Throne of Bhaal Expansion (CD-ROM)
This game is huge, and can take a really long time to complete...but that is a good thing. I don't get to play very often, and I found the newer journal system to be much more useful than in the first Baldur's Gate.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Still one of the great games of all time, Jan. 7 2004
By 
J. A Magill (Sacramento, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Baldur's Gate 2 The Collection w/Throne of Bhaal Expansion (CD-ROM)
New technology, desire for on-line play and changes in interface preferences (less overhead point and click of several characters) have led to substantial changes in the later games produced by bioware. Nothing against the later games, some of which are excellent, but BG 2 still stands out as one of the great games of all time. The graphics are excellent and the story moves well. Further, there is a strong range of NPCs to choose from and lots of excellent subplots for each that the player can follow.
The depth of the story is perhaps its strongest feature. This is high fantasy at its finest. Continuing from BG I, the story follows the player as a Bhaalspawn, with great potential for good and evil. Players can choose which trach to take and which alignment they want to associate with. Want to be a Paladin paling around with a good cleric/wizard? Can do. What to be an evil theif with an evil mage companion? You can do that to.
The depth of the maps of the game are excellent, though in a few places you can get stuck because it is unclear what path is available. The game also includes several great improvements, like the character getting the chance to own a keep with its own special quests, based on which class you have.
The Throne of Bhaal addition brings the game to a great creshendow. I don't want to give up too much, but other planes and the possibility of godhood are in your future if you play through to the end.
The truth is, though I love the new games, I still go back every once in a while to play this one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the most captivating game franchise I've ever played., Dec 14 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Baldur's Gate 2 The Collection w/Throne of Bhaal Expansion (CD-ROM)
With all the reviews about this game, you probably already have an understanding of what it is about, so I won't go into it. I will say that of all the games I've played, only a handful (if even that) has ever kept my interest enough to play them all the way through. Most of these so-called "Great classics", for me, tend to get boring half way through where I just lose interest, and I fail to understand what the big deal is about them. This would include games such as Half-Life... there are others, but I mention this because that game is still talked about. So, I am a tough customer to please.
The Baldur's Gate series is one of the few games that has captured my attention to play the entire series all the way through numerous times, and at the end, still being disappointed that there isn't more. It is a shame that there will probably never be another game like this one. Neverwinter Nights doesn't even come close. I would HIGHLY recommend BG2:SoA and ToB. Go pick up the original BG as well, as it may help you to appreciate you character more being able to develop it from the beginning.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ....Its all in the box, my friend., Sept. 30 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Baldur's Gate 2 The Collection w/Throne of Bhaal Expansion (CD-ROM)
Everything you had ever wanted from and RPG is in this ... box you are looking at now. Sure, youre probably thinking right now "O great, another RPG fan.." but let me tell you something; I started off with RTS games like AOE:II and have never crossed anything that has ever been better than that for three years, until now. I heard about Baldurs Gate from a friend, and bought BG: Dark Alliance for the Gamecube. I beat it in three days ... But it gave me an amazingly good taste of the RPG genre. I bought BGII: The Collection and, well, got hooked. BGII:TC was a slap in the face, literally. I only got it yesterday and can tell you this little helpful bit of info, BUY IT! The game graphics are a healthy dose of eyecandy, even your mouth would love to lick it. Stunning enviroments, great lookin' spells, and everything else you would expect a five-star game would have. It is nearly endless.(And I stress the word "endless.") There are points in the game that, if you defeat the headmaster of a guild, you can become its leader, and bring in a bathtub full of sparkling gold coins that your Uncle Harry would bother you about straight to your grave. Ther are also amazingly detailed cities that you can travel to, with a house full o' dungeons and dragons (Sound familiar?) to explore on your way. Even the AI NPC's are too humoures for their own good good, for being, of course, not real. I wont have enough room to fill in my one-billion word list that the game has but before I go I want to tell all you slayin' blood thirsty gamers out there that, if you are interested in the best RPG to date, dont pass up this offer. End.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best RPG series, Dec 2 2003
By 
Kevin Ciero (Cleveland, Ohio) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Baldur's Gate 2 The Collection w/Throne of Bhaal Expansion (CD-ROM)
I have played all the Baldur's Gate installments and they are simply one of the best series available. The experience will submerge you into a vivid and vast gaming experience while allowing you to connect with your characters. The ability to create and personalize your character and ultimately control the overall atmosphere of the game is very refreshing.
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Baldur's Gate 2 The Collection w/Throne of Bhaal Expansion
Baldur's Gate 2 The Collection w/Throne of Bhaal Expansion by Vivendi Universal (Windows 7 / Vista / XP)
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