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IwubCheeze: I'm surprised you didn't mention the ice temple battle squares
ah yes!!!! this too. definitely had to use a faq there after wandering around and was ready to quit. if it were only one snag this bad i could get over it. but the fact that there are least 3-4 that i can remember just ruins the idea of me ever giving it another go.

again...not to totally knock the game because combat was top notch and i even got into the story as well.
Post edited May 27, 2015 by JLH
I like both series. Both have good and bad many people have already pointed out. That said, if you like one of them, and you aren't super-bitchy about your preferences, you will probably enjoy them all.

There is one thing that seems to be missing in the discussion though...admittedly, I have not read through the entire thread. That thing is, BG1 and BG2 are inseparable. I see comments about how BG1 is too low level, and that only makes sense if you never intend to play BG2. If you just skip BG1 and go straight into BG2, you are just playing with pre-generated characters. Yeah, you may be the one who customized them, but you did not play them up from level 1. You haven't really "played" the character...which is one of the best parts of ROLE playing games.

If someone were to ask me what they should do, if they were going to get involved with these infinity games, I would recommend starting with BG1, then switch to IWD1, and finish off with BG2 (all game expansions included, of course). Make sure to hack the xp caps, or you will lose out on earned xp. That will allow for maximum fun with mutli and dual class characters. And...definitely find someone to do a multiplayer run-through with. That will get you many months worth of fun and replayability.
Due to the name of the topic I'll limit my opinion to the original Baldur's Gate and first Icewind Dale games:

Baldur's Gate is my all time favourite game, so no surprise I prefer it to Icewnd Dale. To me it's in that sweet spot where story, combat, characters, exploration, artstyle and sound are just really good. I appreciate all the little details that are in the game, like rumors, books, dialogues with commoners, etc. The one thing that keeps me playing this game by far is the sheer number of possible playthroughs. Not only due to the choice of the protagonist and party members, but also the freedom to wander through the Sword Coast.

Icewind Dale is a good game as well, but I've never enjoyed it as much as Baldur's Gate. I would appreciate the combat more, but there are just too many monsters (encounters with NPCs are more interesting to me), it feels like this world is rather empty. The game can become tiresome after a while with is simple story, I like Heart of Winter much more overall, though. It's an excellent expansion. Where Icewind Dale shines the most in my opinion, is the multiplayer. Playing it with friends is one of the best multiplayer experiences I've had so far. The game being linear and more combat focused helps quite a bit with that as well.
The last post was over a year ago. Does this count as a necro?