Neverwinter Nights

Sometimes it takes me a while to catch onto the big non-FPS games of note. This is mostly due to the fact that I am a hard core FPS-gamer type of guy. I didn’t start playing StarCraft until Broodwar was well over a year old. I didn’t play Diablo (though still haven’t touched Diablo II) until a few years after it came out as well. However, you can bet your ass that the day Doom(s), Quake(s), Unreal(s) were released my butt was in line waiting for it. A couple of weeks ago I finally made the jump to another big game of recent time and pretty much only bought it at the time because it was going for $19.99 at the local Target. This game is Neverwinter Nights and I picked it up because it came bundled with Shadows which I figured wasn’t a half bad deal. If I wound up detesting the game, it only put me out 20 bucks.

After a couple of weeks of playing this game all I can say is WOW!!!

While it’s no Doom3 or UT2004 graphics-wise, the graphics really are stunning and with my Radeon 9700 Pro, I can ramp up all anti-aliasing and run it very smoothly at 1280×1024. I’m not a big fan of turning music on while I am doing my gaming thing, but this score is very nice indeed. The way it picks up during the intense battle scenes adds the extra oomph that I wish more games I have played in the past had. The story and the insane amount of sub-plots drives you deeper into the game and at times I get so into it, I don’t realize how much real-life time has passed. The story writers definitely did an awesome job keeping this game suspenseful and intriguing at all times.

The only downside to this whole game (which isn’t the game’s fault), is that I never really enjoyed Dungeons & Dragons and pretty much avoided playing it every chance I was offered to. So, as a non-fan of this particular genre of gaming, it makes it pretty hard to understand what is going on while I am playing. My only role-playing experience I have amassed thus far in my life boils down to essentially 2 games which in no way are considered true RPGs, Diablo and Ultima Online. I love both of those games and every once in a while, I slap in the Diablo CD and start up another game just for old time’s sake. I can understand certain things like hit points and experience points, but when it comes to the calculations that occur as I cast a spell or shoot an arrow from my crossbow, I am completely at a loss. If there was some form of D&D for Dummies web site or low level tutorial, I would love to find one. Granted, I starting to pick up on some things like knowing that a 1d6 crossbow is lower in damage than a 1d8, I have no clue what that means in battle when you add things like attack+1 or mighty+4. Does that mean one does 8x normal damage with a special attack and a bigger scream and the other 6x? Or is it something else?

On my first go at this game, I picked a elven wizard whom I named Kerberos (lvl 12 I believe now) and I actually just began Chapter 3 yesterday. One of the things I do not understand is that if I am a wizard, why can I only cast a spell once without resting? In other games I have played, you could essentially cast the same spell as many times as you want as long as your mana was there. Once that ran out, you had to rest. Here, it seems like there’s no such thing unless I bust out a magical staff. My guess is that the other games I have played in the past were terribly wrong and this is the right way everything is supposed to happen. Eh well, no real biggie.

All in all, I am beginning to be a huge fan of this game. I know my little brother wants me to hop on-line to play with him and his buddies, but I want to at least get through this, Shadows and Hordes which I bought the day after. I figured it’ll take a while to do all of that eh??