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The Significant Other Effect
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Snowblind Studios > BG: Dark Alliance General Discussion

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PretzNChz



Joined: 30 Jan 2004
Posts: 182
Location: Madison, WI
The Significant Other Effect  Reply with quote  

Time to fire up some talk about one of my favorite PS2 games - Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance!

Before we started dating, my wife and I never really played video games at all. I think she mostly saw people playing sports games and first-person shooters; nothing that interested her at all. She is really turned off by "twitch" games or anything with a timer. Until we met she never really saw any games that excited her.

The first game she really wanted to play was Escape From Monkey Island on the PS2. I love point-and-click adventure games, and I wasn't surprised that she was drawn to them as well. There's usually a good storyline involved, and success relies on puzzle-solving abilities, not reflexes. It was a perfect fit for her, and I was happy she found a game she actually enjoyed. After Escape From Monkey Island, she found herself watching me play games more often, even though she rarely had a desire to try them.

Which is why I was so surprised when she asked if she could play Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance. The game is action-oriented and has a fair amount of violence, but after watching me play for a bit she really wanted to try it for herself. I then explained that we could play through the game together, so we gave it a go. She was addicted in no time at all. We'd get home from work and she'd ask if we could play!

Turns out that Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance is an excellent "couples" game. I think the main reason it works so well is that death really isn't a big deal. Sure, it is a bummer if you die, but it isn't difficult for the other person to return to the last save point and bring their partner back. Lots of save points means you don't lose much progress, even if you both die. The character selection had a good range of skill requirements as well; my wife found playing the dwarf to be extremely easy. One button to block, one to attack, and one to use a skill. Sure, she didn't mix up various skills at all, but she really liked the spin attack and stuck with it. Add in the fact that we really had to work together to succeed (due to the experience split, giving you two weaker characters instead of one powerful character), and it ended up being a complete hit with her.

We've played through the game twice together, once at the game's release and again not long after. Since playing Dark Alliance, my wife has followed news on pretty much every dungeon crawler that has been in the works. We're now playing through Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance 2, and are both excited for Champions of Norrath.

I've read about other people who have had their wife/girlfriend/significant other show interest in Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, even though they've never really shown interest in games before. Anyone else here have a similar experience?

For those that want to get that "special someone" in their lives into video games, give Dark Alliance a shot. It just might get their attention!
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Post Fri Jan 30, 2004 8:47 pm
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Guenwhyvar



Joined: 31 Jan 2004
Posts: 10
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Hi there. I agree that these are great games to play co-op with a significant other. Yet it was me that actually turned the hubby on to these kinds of games. hehe He used to prefer the army style of gaming... Ghost Recon, Splinter Cell, etc. And even though I used to be in the army myself, I really don't enjoy those kinds of games because of the 'reality' aspect of it, yet I am a MAJOR fan of fantasy based books and games. And I guess the keyword is FANTASY. hehe So when the day gets dull and mommy duties are finished, there's nothing better than gettin my freak on as some super heroine runnin around on a massive adventure to save the world. And the best thing is that I can do this in the safety of my own home and I'm immortal (just press the load button hehe) and I don't have to permanently die in order to have this kinda fun. LOL!!!
Post Sat Jan 31, 2004 1:12 am
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Rob Shock



Joined: 30 Jan 2004
Posts: 47
Location: Bakersfield, CA
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A lot of the appeal seems to be the "doing it together" thing rather than the "doing it against each other" thing. My wife seldom plays with me because I usually beat the pants off of her (figuratively). But in DA, I wanted to quit before she did.
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Post Sat Jan 31, 2004 10:59 pm
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Threshold



Joined: 01 Feb 2004
Posts: 249
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This game is great for that.

The only bad thing is that the exp for the person who gets the kill is 60%. A straight 50/50 exp split would have been better.

BG:DA2 has a 50/50 split, but pretty much everything else about the game is worse than BG:DA1.
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Post Sun Feb 01, 2004 8:32 pm
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Battousai



Joined: 05 Feb 2004
Posts: 5
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Have to agree... it's fun when my girlfriend and I sit down and play BG:DA 1 & 2 together... and I think it'll be interesting when we get CoN to play together... and since i have a multitap her roomate and her roomate's boyfriend can play as well (they actually got a kick out of watching us play!)
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Post Sun Feb 08, 2004 6:01 am
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Mindcircus



Joined: 01 Feb 2004
Posts: 211
Location: Garden Grove, CA
...  Reply with quote  

Hey Pretz... how did you like 2 vs 1? I'm debating on which one to get first.
Post Sat Mar 06, 2004 3:05 am
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PretzNChz



Joined: 30 Jan 2004
Posts: 182
Location: Madison, WI
Re: ...  Reply with quote  

quote:
Originally posted by Mindcircus
Hey Pretz... how did you like 2 vs 1? I'm debating on which one to get first.


I'm still working on 2, and I'm playing through as a melee class (monk), so I'm not quite sure if I can fully compare the two at this point.

To be honest, I'm just not finding Dark Alliance 2 to be all that compelling. It may be that the monk class just isn't interesting me; I might fire up another game with a casting class and see if it is any better. I really think that the level design feels fairly uninspired, though. They feel more like randomly build maps, even thought they are static and I'm assuming were built by hand. Lots of dead ends and oddly-shaped narrow passages you can't even get into.

I'm not sure if it is just nostalgia, but I remember the first Dark Alliance sucking me in and had me playing through several times over, while I'm almost forcing myself through Dark Alliance 2. Don't get me wrong, it isn't a bad game by any means. I think it just doesn't stack up as well against other hack-and-slash titles. It does have some nice improvements over the original, like hotkeys for skills and spells plus a couple more characters, but nothing so dramatic that you can't live without.

I'd suggest going with the original Dark Alliance first. You should be able to pick it up for $20 for pretty much any system these days I think. I'm fairly confident you'll get your $20 out of the game.
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Post Sat Mar 06, 2004 3:15 am
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Mindcircus



Joined: 01 Feb 2004
Posts: 211
Location: Garden Grove, CA
...  Reply with quote  

Thanks for the opinions Pretz. I think i'm gonna go pick it up later.
Post Sat Mar 06, 2004 3:18 am
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Cestode Raffity!



Joined: 30 Mar 2004
Posts: 51
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BG:DA1 got my girlfriend into video games too! She'd never really played much of anything before, but we've spent hours and hours playing it, it's the first game she's ever got any good at!

The key for her is thwe shopping aspect, she's not interested in games which have no shopping section! She hoovers up as much gold as possible, then heads to the shop to see what she can buy. Must be a woman thing I guess.

It really is a great game for couples, you're right.

As for the second one, it's not as good. There are some good bits, and at times it's really fun, but it all falls to pieces towards the end (looks rushed to me) and leaves you feeling as bit empty by the very end. If someone could take the level design and general game balance of the first game, and some of the new features of the second (like the feat shortcuts and some of the new abilities) they'd have a winner on their hands.
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Post Thu Apr 15, 2004 10:49 am
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