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As the title says, I haven't experienced these games............how badly am I missing out and being deprived of a better life because of this?
You're not.
If you take the nostalgia from Baldur's gate, you're only left with a really good game.
If you're into games like Dragon Age, you'll really like Baldur's Gate though, as it's a bit like that, but with more options and a better story.
Dragon Age is like a dumbed down version of Baldur's Gate in all aspects.
Post edited November 27, 2012 by Gromuhl
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Gromuhl: You're not.
If you take the nostalgia from Baldur's gate, you're only left with a really good game.
If you're into games like Dragon Age, you'll really like Baldur's Gate though, as it's a bit like that, but with more options and a better story.
Dragon Age is like a dumbed down version of Baldur's Gate in all aspects.
Hmmm...okay. I'll admit, I expected to be told that my life was not complete until I'd play these games. This is a refreshing answer.

I mean, I'll still probably play them eventually, because I did like Dragon Age, but thanks for the input!
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bensinkula: As the title says, I haven't experienced these games............how badly am I missing out and being deprived of a better life because of this?
Your life is not complete!!!

:D

Seriously, though, they are really good games. If you're looking for a good RPG to play, you'd be seriously missing out without having played these two games.

That said, I think I probably enjoyed Dragon Age even more. The options and the way you can affect the world is just awesome in Dragon Age.

But these games are also very engaging. There's depth in the characters and the story. And it moves along quite well.

With the new editions coming out tomorrow ( www.baldursgate.com ), there's no better time to play them. Especially if you have a friend or two to play with.
Post edited November 27, 2012 by Tallima
Baldur's Gate 1 is an important title because it helped to bring CRPGs into the mainstream, and it launched the Infinity Engine, which at the time was a pretty revolutionary thing, as it had (gasp) easy mod support and a bunch of other (now-ubiquitous) features! As a game, though, I think it'd kinda mediocre.

BG2, on the other hand, is an incredible experience and you've been living a shallow life if you've never played it. You have a duty to yourself to play it, and enjoy the cultural enrichment you'll receive.
From a gaming experience perspective, I`d also say that BG1 really is neglectable, however BG2, if not a must, is certainly a good party-based RPG experience. Just read up on the main story of BG1 (which is not that long, really), and you`re good to start out with BG2.
I would recommend playing BG1 first actually. They're not easy games, but this way you'll learn the basics, instead of jumping right into BG2 where magic is more important than in BG1, and for a first time player magic isn't easy to get a good grasp of. The story is also pretty good, especially when compared to 'modern' games, and it's good to be through that at least once. Certainly am glad I did it when I started playing BG, which was quite recent. Either play BG1 through easyTutu, or buy the overpriced EE version that's out right about now.
I would play Baldur's Gate 2 over playing the first one. 2 has a tutorial, something that

Baldur's Gate 1 lacks surprisingly, the art style is less generic medieval fantasy and more

of its own awesome look (something that 90% of fantasy RPGs lack including Baldur's

Gate 1), you start from a high level so you get to experience the fun parts of D&D combat,

the story is more original (yes I know at it's basic its just defeat the evil wizard but the

antagonist is very memorable and the main plot is not save the world like everything

ells), the game is a lot longer, you get the point. For me the biggest difference is the art

style. Baldur's Gate 2 has this Mediterranean Byzantine look that beats the crap out of the

samey middle age style we all know like the back of our hand; if you take a screen shot

land look at it out of context you can immediacy tell it's Baldur's Gate 2 and not another

generic fantasy game, IMO
BG1 is a great game, but it definitely doesn't have the emotional immersion to me that BG2 had. It's more like being told a story where you get to mess around with all the parts in between the main story points. It's still a ton of fun, but your life isn't going to be incomplete without it.

However, it sets the stage for BG2. Now, sure you can play BG2 without playing BG1. I know several huge fans of BG2 that can barely stand BG1. BG2 has a story that really sucks you in and you feel like you are making real decisions, not just being railroaded along. If you're a serious RPG fan, I'd say you owe it to yourself to take a look at BG2.
I know this thread has kinda been inactive for awhile, but...thank you for all your replies!

I'm just posting to say that the problem around which this topic revolves is soon to be remedied; I finally bought BG1 and BG2! I picked up the holiday Dungeons & Dragons bundle a few days ago, and am now a proud owner of so many fantastic games! =D

...It'll be a little while before I really play them, admittedly, because I have so many other games to finish first....but at least I own them now!

That is all! Happy New Year to everyone.
Personally I think BG1 is only really fun when played with BGTutu or BGT. The older engine just has so many quaity of life issues that it makes the game kind of a chore to play. However I will say that playing it in the BG2 engine will unbalance the game quite a bit.

That said, BG2 is probably still my favorite RPG of all time.
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bensinkula: I'm just posting to say that the problem around which this topic revolves is soon to be remedied; I finally bought BG1 and BG2! I picked up the holiday Dungeons & Dragons bundle a few days ago, and am now a proud owner of so many fantastic games! =D
I know a lot of others prefer BG1 in BGT or Tutu, but I'll come from the other side. Play the games unmodded (except for fix packs and a few tweaks) before going combined. BG1 may be the original (and most limited) of the games, but it has an atmosphere all its own on its own that can't be found in Tutu or BGT.

In my opinion...
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bensinkula: I'm just posting to say that the problem around which this topic revolves is soon to be remedied; I finally bought BG1 and BG2! I picked up the holiday Dungeons & Dragons bundle a few days ago, and am now a proud owner of so many fantastic games! =D
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grogerson: I know a lot of others prefer BG1 in BGT or Tutu, but I'll come from the other side. Play the games unmodded (except for fix packs and a few tweaks) before going combined. BG1 may be the original (and most limited) of the games, but it has an atmosphere all its own on its own that can't be found in Tutu or BGT.

In my opinion...
My last couple play throughs I've done BGTuTu and enjoyed it, but it definitely can become a bit unbalanced. There are a few things that BGTuTu adds in that I find hard to live withouth

1) engine speed. BG2 is just faster, which means it takes less time for you to explore an area, get from point A to point B, etc. (there may be a way to change this in the ini file for BG1, but I can't remember)

2) Containers - Scroll Cases, Gem Bags, Etc., there are just too many of those items you come across if you don't have the containers to store them

3) the Tab key. Given the vast number of barrels, chests, etc. that are just background and not actual containers, it's a real pain to hover over each one to find stuff. Love hitting tab and seeing everything I need to check into.
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ncarty97: 1) engine speed. BG2 is just faster, which means it takes less time for you to explore an area, get from point A to point B, etc. (there may be a way to change this in the ini file for BG1, but I can't remember)

2) Containers - Scroll Cases, Gem Bags, Etc., there are just too many of those items you come across if you don't have the containers to store them

3) the Tab key. Given the vast number of barrels, chests, etc. that are just background and not actual containers, it's a real pain to hover over each one to find stuff. Love hitting tab and seeing everything I need to check into.
I can't speak for item 1, but BG1 Tweaks has a Portable Containers component. They're bottomless, but they do have the problem of removing items one at a time. This can be a real pain for arrows, bolts and bullets. As for item 3, Tales of the Sword Coast enabled that very hot-key.
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ncarty97: 1) engine speed. BG2 is just faster, which means it takes less time for you to explore an area, get from point A to point B, etc. (there may be a way to change this in the ini file for BG1, but I can't remember)

2) Containers - Scroll Cases, Gem Bags, Etc., there are just too many of those items you come across if you don't have the containers to store them

3) the Tab key. Given the vast number of barrels, chests, etc. that are just background and not actual containers, it's a real pain to hover over each one to find stuff. Love hitting tab and seeing everything I need to check into.
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grogerson: I can't speak for item 1, but BG1 Tweaks has a Portable Containers component. They're bottomless, but they do have the problem of removing items one at a time. This can be a real pain for arrows, bolts and bullets. As for item 3, Tales of the Sword Coast enabled that very hot-key.
Didn't know about the Portable Containers, but I think you are wrong on the TotSC adding the tab key. It wasn't in the original BG2, it was added in the Throne of Bhaal expansion.