Baldurs Gate: Dark Alliance II (Xbox)

Baldurs Gate: Dark Alliance II (Xbox)

Baldurs Gate: Dark Alliance II (Xbox)
List Price: £39.99



Baldurs Gate: Dark Alliance II (Xbox)
List Price: £39.99
Your Price: £39.95- Baldurs Gate: Dark Alliance II (Xbox)

Billed as the role-playing game for people that didn’t like role-playing games, the original Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance was a surprise smash in 2003; now the sequel, Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance II, is here to carry on the good fight–almost literally, as the last game ended on a bit of cliff-hanger with our heroes being menaced by the vampire king Mordoc.

Despite the Baldur’s Gate name Dark Alliance II, with its real-time combat and simplified stats and rules, is more Gauntlet (or Diablo if you’re too young to recognise that reference) than the Baldur’s Gate PC games. This is not to imply that it’s a simplistic button-basher, though; the combat is highly involved, with different styles of melee, distance and magic attacks depending on which character you choose to control. When you’re not fighting (which isn’t often) you can take part in those other stalwart features of the RPG genre, shopping and levelling up–both of which are made as easy and interesting as possible.

If you’re wondering what has changed or been improved for the sequel, the simple answer is not much. Even the graphics seem the same and the few gameplay features that have been altered are entirely minor. To be fair, though, there wasn’t much wrong with the original. —David Jenkins

Your Price: £39.95 – Baldurs Gate: Dark Alliance II (Xbox)

Champions of Norrath (PS2)

Champions of Norrath (PS2)

Champions of Norrath (PS2)
List Price: £39.99



Champions of Norrath (PS2)
List Price: £39.99
Your Price: – Champions of Norrath (PS2)

It may labour under one of the blandest names yet devised, and contain some equally unimaginative character designs, but beneath it all Champions of Norrath is actually really good. The game is based within the EverQuest universe but this does little to offset the preposterously uninteresting plot and setting. In fact it’s all too easy to dismiss the game out of hand until you realise it has been developed by the people behind the original version of Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance.

Just like Dark Alliance, Champions of Norrath is an action RPG that’s heavy on the action and light on all the other boring stuff. It’s essentially Gauntlet for the 21st century and could almost be described as a shoot-’em-up if it weren’t for the role-playing elements that see you gaining experience points and constantly replacing your armour, weapons and other items.

Apart from the excellent graphics (which, despite a bit of slow down, are some of the best ever seen on the PS2) the main draw with Champions of Norrath is its multiplayer cooperative mode–particularly the online option. Played with some trustworthy friends this is as excellent as it sounds, although Sony have been rather naive with the trading system, which makes it all too easy to get ripped off by errant traders. Despite this, Champions of Norrath works extremely well and although it’s utterly unoriginal it’s certainly the best Western-styled action RPG lately, beating both Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes and Dark Alliance II. —David Jenkins

Your Price: – Champions of Norrath (PS2)

Baldurs Gate: Dark Alliance II (PS2)

Baldurs Gate: Dark Alliance II (PS2)

Baldurs Gate: Dark Alliance II (PS2)
List Price: £39.99



Baldurs Gate: Dark Alliance II (PS2)
List Price: £39.99
Your Price: £49.98- Baldurs Gate: Dark Alliance II (PS2)

Billed as the role-playing game for people that didn’t like role-playing games, the original Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance was a surprise smash in 2003; now the sequel, Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance II, is here to carry on the good fight–almost literally, as the last game ended on a bit of cliff-hanger with our heroes being menaced by the vampire king Mordoc.

Despite the Baldur’s Gate name Dark Alliance II, with its real-time combat and simplified stats and rules, is more Gauntlet (or Diablo if you’re too young to recognise that reference) than the Baldur’s Gate PC games. This is not to imply that it’s a simplistic button-basher, though; the combat is highly involved, with different styles of melee, distance and magic attacks depending on which character you choose to control. When you’re not fighting (which isn’t often) you can take part in those other stalwart features of the RPG genre, shopping and levelling up–both of which are made as easy and interesting as possible.

If you’re wondering what has changed or been improved for the sequel, the simple answer is not much. Even the graphics seem the same and the few gameplay features that have been altered are entirely minor. To be fair, though, there wasn’t much wrong with the original. —David Jenkins

Your Price: £49.98 – Baldurs Gate: Dark Alliance II (PS2)