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Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance- And Budget Gaming

Games have always been a huge passion of mine. As a teenager I would seriously play the shit out of any game for hundreds of hours, so spending $50 on a Genesis game made sense. It probably worked out to about one cent per hour of entertainment. As I've gotten older I've had less time to spend on gaming, and $50 just seems like too much money for a game these days, considering how much time I'll actually be able to devote to it. So lately my gaming strategy has shifted towards picking up used games for $25 or less.

In this spirit, I picked up Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance for the Gamecube for $25- you can easily find it for any of the three major systems for this price or less. So far it's been a good deal of fun- it's basically Gauntlet with some RPG features thrown on top of it. You hack your way through innumerable dungeons, completing various quests that mostly involve beating the shit out some things, while retrieving other things and bringing them back to a collection of poor saps who hang out in taverns. There's also a storyline but like... whatever, you know? Combat is pretty satisfying, especially if you're clubbing the creatures to death instead of stabbing them. There are some annoying jumping puzzles, but save points are rather liberally scattered throughout the dungeons so that not too much backtracking is required when you die.

As a $50 purchase, this game is a failure. It's just too simplistic and repetitive to really be kick-ass in my book. However, as a $25 purchase, I call it a success! For $25 I'm perfectly happy to mindlessly beat the shit out of various unsavory creatures who, quite frankly, had it coming to them. I've been playing videogames for nearly 25 years and any creatures guarding treasure in a dungeon should know by now that I am very likely going to kill the fuck out of them.

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