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Gamebanshee Review

Excalibur_2102Excalibur_2102 Posts: 254Member
So, my favorite RPG site, and site that I agree with 90% of the time have put up their review of BGEE!

Unfortunately the review is... Well, lukewarm. It could have been worse, but considering how much I respect these guys opinions I had hoped for better, though I want to draw your attention to what they consider the worst part of BGEE:

"What's perhaps the worst of all, though, is the way the game simply looks. Where the original version's graphics are sharp and pristine as ever, Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition is blurry and eye-straining when played in full-screen mode. As a result of adding the camera-zooming feature to a game with 2D artwork, the graphics have to be blown up to two, three or four times their original size. Not only is this feature near-useless because of how ugly it makes the game look, you also can't fully zoom the camera back out to regain the sharpness of the original graphics. The only way to get the game looking sharp is to play in windowed mode, which has its share of problems like difficulty in scrolling the screen using the mouse, and of course, the lack of resolution options that prevent you from resizing the window.

On top of that, the user interface and updated fonts have apparently been drawn at a low resolution, and are scaled up. This means that the brand-new interface, regardless of art style, simply looks bad, and on top of that, much of the game text is hard to read as well. Even the new environments added for the personal quests of the new characters are underwhelming too - they don't match the sharpness or painterly attention to detail in any of the previous Infinity Engine games, instead looking more like screenshots taken from an early 3D strategy title, complete with low-resolution textures. The brand-new cutscenes that replace the old ones are drawn well, but have stiff, barebones animation and don't mesh well with the game's established art style... and call me old fashioned, but I don't think the new interface colors suit the game either, as they're just too dark when put next to the bright, vibrant forests and cities. "


I have played bits of the EE since it came out but Im not going to play properly for a while for various reasons. I can understand some of the stuff in the 2nd paragraph, the UI does look a little blurry, which I hope can be fixed or helped in some way. But I dont really understand what they are saying in the first paragraph.. Are they saying the 1998 release in 640x480 looks better? Because to me, thats simply not the case (unless youre zoomed right in) and the general graphics look better. The widescreen mod might look better in some ways, but using my desktop resolution with that mod makes everything look tiny, and I do disagree with this part of their review in particular.

All in all though alot of the other stuff I do agree with, but Im still very much hoping that Trent and co can continue the lagacy of BG in some way, and that BGEE gets patched to become a better experience than BG with mods for the majority of people.

Edit: Oh, heres a link btw

http://www.gamebanshee.com/reviews/110209-baldurs-gate-enhanced-edition-review.html
Post edited by Excalibur_2102 on
The_New_RomanceKharadorBelgarathMTHsazalandGueulEclator
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Comments

  • IkonNavrosIkonNavros Posts: 227Member
    Quite a fair review. While the result seems to be quite a bit doom bringing, it also features all the visible weaknesses of the EE.

    Quite long, and lists everything important. Considering that most reviews only bring a short overlook and are in most cases either too positive or too negative.

    Well done Job here :)

    As to the point of the blurryness of the graphic, could be easily solved, a switch added to the graphic menu with the ability to deactivate the auto zoom ends that socalled blurryness. Because the same feature delivers the user controlled zoom feature. So, having both of the zoo features is not really necessary.

    I also agree with the GUI part, nothing more said to that topic.

    As this are the main critic points, they can seen from a technical point easily be solved with patches, i see no reason why the 2 main points of that review should not vanish soon :)

    mibbles
  • KharadorKharador Posts: 199Member
    It's the best review that I have ever seen at the moment. Is noted that they are real players and great critics of RPGs.
    IkonNavrosDinsdalePiranha
  • DeeDee Posts: 7,377Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer, BG:EE Beta, IWD:EE Beta
    @Kenyon I'm not saying he shouldn't point them out, but he's also omitting details that make it easier to understand what those issues are.

    If most of the bugs he's talking about are the result of using X, then he can still recommend the product to anyone not using X. The way it's worded now suggests that everyone who has the game is going to experience these same issues, which just isn't true.

    Again, that's not to say it's not a problem, but omitting the details only leads to more confusion. My wish for more optimism about future patches is just a personal preference. I wish more reviews would take more of a "This is really bad, but it's mostly due to bugs, and bugs can be fixed" tack, rather than "Because of the bugs, you should never ever play this game".
  • KortokKortok Posts: 161Member
    Gamebanshee is truly a great site. I even gave money to their Project Eternity chipin. The truth is their review is spot-on. The original is superior at this time. That said, I am still hopefully BGEE will get better over time and I appreciate that one of my absolute favorite games of all time is still relevant today.
    DinsdalePiranha
  • IkonNavrosIkonNavros Posts: 227Member
    Kharador said:

    It's the best review that I have ever seen at the moment. Is noted that they are real players and great critics of RPGs.

    People who do indeed care for Baldur's Gate :) People from the BG Community do know best :)

  • KenyonKenyon Posts: 101Member, BG:EE Beta
    @Aosaw That's fair enough, although I think a reviewer shouldn't use phrases like "it crashed a dozen times, but maybe that's because I use an Intel-only card, your mileage may vary". It crashed a dozen times for him, and that says something about the game. I'm of a different opinion than you, I think reviewers should focus on what they have and not what its potential is, unless that potential is realized through, for example, monthly content updates (as in some MMORPGs), where it's very much a part of the gameplay. That is not the case here. I think we just have a different philosophy to the attitude of reviewers. :)
  • DeeDee Posts: 7,377Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer, BG:EE Beta, IWD:EE Beta
    edited December 2012
    Well, the game crashing for him might be engine trouble, but he also mentioned the people who couldn't even get the game to run at all. The developers have been very transparent about what's causing this, so omitting that detail is unnecessarily misleading. Even something to the effect of a parenthetical saying "(Apparently there's an issue with certain chipsets)" would be better than making a blanket assumption that will lead the reader to think that the problem is pure chance.

    A review should give enough information for the consumer to make an educated decision about whether or not to buy a game. This review gives a lot of information (which is good, even if a lot of it is unfavorable), but in this respect it's leaving out a very important detail.
    Post edited by Dee on
  • Excalibur_2102Excalibur_2102 Posts: 254Member
    Like I said I aggree with most of what was said, apart from the overall game looking worse than the original (the UI I can see in a way). Maybe Im just blind? lol
  • namelessonenamelessone Posts: 17Member
    Kenyon said:

    @Aosaw That's fair enough, although I think a reviewer shouldn't use phrases like "it crashed a dozen times, but maybe that's because I use an Intel-only card, your mileage may vary". It crashed a dozen times for him, and that says something about the game. I'm of a different opinion than you, I think reviewers should focus on what they have and not what its potential is, unless that potential is realized through, for example, monthly content updates (as in some MMORPGs), where it's very much a part of the gameplay. That is not the case here. I think we just have a different philosophy to the attitude of reviewers. :)

    No, the "this is just your hardware" is not an excuse. It is inevitable that the game would crash, but it's on the developer to keep it to a minimum. If a lot of people are reporting frequent crashes, it means the game is poorly optimized or poorly coded. It's shoddy execution, and any game, whether it's a board game or video game, should lose marks for shoddy execution.

    It especially doesn't sound right when a decade-old edition is more stable on modern computers than "enhanced" edition.
    KenyonKharador
  • darthchairdarthchair Posts: 191Member
    I'm not sure about the originality slight on the 3 new NPCs. While I suppose they do follow some traditional archetypes...when it comes to Baldur's Gate there really are only a few that people ever tend to remember. And don't they kind of follow archetypes? Minsc...the sort of big, beefy goofball with a heart of gold, Viconia, the ice queen that is hot and unapproachable that it becomes a challenge, Khalid, the guy that studders and stammers who is inferior to his wife and clearly doesn't wear the pants in the relationship...

    I mean you can break down any character probably into an archetype if you want to. Still the reviewer does seem to approve of the fact that extra emphasis or importance hasn't been placed on them. I think they do kinda blend in rather nicely. And I kind of am curious to see if they are used in BG 2.
  • SchneidendSchneidend Posts: 3,031Member, IWD:EE Beta
    I don't understand where the complaints about the graphics/resolution are coming from. It doesn't look blurry or pixelated in any way when I play in full-screen unless I zoom in too far.
    FredjoCalmarDragonspear
  • EnterHaerDalisEnterHaerDalis Posts: 740Member
    The Gamebanshee Walkthrough's for BG1 and BG2 are simply incredibly resources
  • Excalibur_2102Excalibur_2102 Posts: 254Member

    I'm not sure about the originality slight on the 3 new NPCs. While I suppose they do follow some traditional archetypes...when it comes to Baldur's Gate there really are only a few that people ever tend to remember. And don't they kind of follow archetypes? Minsc...the sort of big, beefy goofball with a heart of gold, Viconia, the ice queen that is hot and unapproachable that it becomes a challenge, Khalid, the guy that studders and stammers who is inferior to his wife and clearly doesn't wear the pants in the relationship...

    I mean you can break down any character probably into an archetype if you want to. Still the reviewer does seem to approve of the fact that extra emphasis or importance hasn't been placed on them. I think they do kinda blend in rather nicely. And I kind of am curious to see if they are used in BG 2.

    They will be used in BG2 :). This much is already confirmed
    darthchair
  • IkonNavrosIkonNavros Posts: 227Member
    edited December 2012

    I don't understand where the complaints about the graphics/resolution are coming from. It doesn't look blurry or pixelated in any way when I play in full-screen unless I zoom in too far.

    @Schneidend This is more or less a "minor experience" - ones are more reacting in a bad way to it, others can ignore it. Feel lucky that you are belonging to the second category :)

    But the facts stated in the review are not wrong. If you apply an auto zoom which is always on (the custom zoom feature is a different thing) to the core game, things get less sharp. If you apply the auto zoom to a higher rate, things do decrease again few steps.

    But it depends on the viewing point. Like i wrote above. Feel Lucky! And still, the decrease is still there ;)

    Post edited by IkonNavros on
  • Excalibur_2102Excalibur_2102 Posts: 254Member

    I don't understand where the complaints about the graphics/resolution are coming from. It doesn't look blurry or pixelated in any way when I play in full-screen unless I zoom in too far.

    @Schneidend This is more or less a "minor experience" - ones are more reacting in a bad way to it, others can ignore it. Feel lucky that you are belonging to the second category :)

    But the facts stated in the review are not wrong. If you apply a auto zoom which is always on (the custom zoom feature is a different thing) to the core game, things get less sharp. If you apply the auto zoom to a higher rate, things do decrease again few steps.

    But it depends on the viewing point. Like i wrote above. Feel Lucky! And still, the decrease is still there ;)

    Yes, but ignore what? I cant really see any difference in image quality from the EE compared to the original.. perhaps its dependent on how high your resolution is?

  • awin123awin123 Posts: 55Member
    The review is accurate and fair.

    By the way some people might remember RAGE and all the issues it had with ATI/Radeon cards on launch, guess what? The reviewers didn't gloss that over and say "your mileage may vary based on hardware", they pointed out the issue and it was fixed almost immediately after the reviews started pouring in.

    The fact of the matter is that the game in its current state is bad as far as optimization and stability goes and that's just the facts. If people want to be in denial about that...well fine what can I and or others do about it? A lucky few have managed to play this game without running into issues and that's just all there is to it, a FEW people compared to the majority that have some kind of issue or another.

  • SchneidendSchneidend Posts: 3,031Member, IWD:EE Beta
    edited December 2012
    @IkonNavros
    It's not so much that I'm "ignoring" it. There is nothing to ignore. The game has never looked better, in my opinion. Like I said, the only time I notice an issue is when I zoom in too far and my party becomes a bunch of Super Nintendo RPG sprites. I can use virtually any level of zoom besides zooming in as close as possible. I'm on a 1600x900 screen and haven't customized any visuals, whether through mods or .ini shenanigans. I'm playing the game as vanilla as EE gets and yet I enjoy the visuals immensely.
    Post edited by Schneidend on
  • Excalibur_2102Excalibur_2102 Posts: 254Member
    @Mornmagor Perhaps some are, though in large the community is relatively down to earth... if you read the entire review, its not all bad, I just quoted the worst bit.

    Though I think Im on your side regarding the bluriness
  • CaptRoryCaptRory Posts: 1,363Member
    I don't see any problem with the graphics.

    1) I like the new UI. I don't think it's any worse than the ones from BG1 or 2.

    2) I like the zoom function. Haven't found much of a use for it yet, but zoomed all the way in and it looks like a really good NES game. *shrug*

    The game is friggin' old and they couldn't make HD graphics. They did a lot of good with what they had.
  • DeeDee Posts: 7,377Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer, BG:EE Beta, IWD:EE Beta
    @awin123 I think your statistics are backwards.

    Most of the people playing the game have had no issues running it. Most of these people, understandably, do not spend their time posting on message boards about how "It didn't break for me, is anyone else having that non-problem?"

    What you see on message boards is the people who are having issues. The demographic is small, and very vocal (as they should be: you bought the game, it ought to work).
    elminsterCheOffshore
  • SchneidendSchneidend Posts: 3,031Member, IWD:EE Beta
    awin123 said:

    The review is accurate and fair.

    By the way some people might remember RAGE and all the issues it had with ATI/Radeon cards on launch, guess what? The reviewers didn't gloss that over and say "your mileage may vary based on hardware", they pointed out the issue and it was fixed almost immediately after the reviews started pouring in.

    The fact of the matter is that the game in its current state is bad as far as optimization and stability goes and that's just the facts. If people want to be in denial about that...well fine what can I and or others do about it? A lucky few have managed to play this game without running into issues and that's just all there is to it, a FEW people compared to the majority that have some kind of issue or another.

    The people having problems are a vocal minority. There's just as many threads, if not more, full of people happily discussing party compositions, strategies, and how to do what and when. Your attempts to aggrandize your issues with the game are transparent.
  • IkonNavrosIkonNavros Posts: 227Member

    @IkonNavros
    It's not so much that I'm "ignoring" it. There is nothing to ignore. The game has never looked better, in my opinion. Like I said, the only time I notice an issue is when I zoom in too far and my party becomes a bunch of Super Nintendo RPG sprites. I can use virtually any level of zoom besides zooming in as close as possible. I'm on a 1600x900 screen and haven't customized any visuals, whether through mods or .ini shenanigans. I'm playing the game as vanilla as EE gets and yet I enjoy the visuals immensely.

    @Schneidend the problem is not really that you see the sprites more clearly, it just makes it more hard to view the graphic over a long time, because it is just not sharp, its more fluid. And of course some people do value more fluid looking graphic, it all depends on each ones liking.

    Since i am an eyeglass wearer, it is even more worse in my opinion. Can play Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 without Problems in standard resolutions around 1024 x 768 up to max. 1280x768 (thats the value the eyes began to hurt much). But that Auto Zoom on the EE is hurting my eyes quite much, thats also a part why i can not enjoy the game in any way, it is just not possible :(

  • darthchairdarthchair Posts: 191Member
    I think the game looks great. But at 29 years of age, alas, I am already knee deep in my grave. First it shall be my eyes that fail. Then my sense of hearing. And then I won't be able to stop shaking my mouse as I try to click on my protagonist and NPCs.

    Oh Baldur's Gate, why must you fail me so? Why can't you fill an old man with youthful vigor? Am I not deserving of the perfection of things that seemed so fantabulous when I was but a boy? Nay! I have grown too old to enjoy such boyhood schemes.

    Farewell turn-based combat! Farewell constant hammering of the spacebar. I am but a spirit on a journey t'wards the Giant Miniature Space Hamster in the sky!

    ...wait what am I thinking? This game rocks my socks. :P
    CaptRoryelminster
  • SchneidendSchneidend Posts: 3,031Member, IWD:EE Beta
    edited December 2012
    @IkonNavros
    Sorry that you're having problems, dude. If it's any consolation, I approve of your ability to recognize that its personal and not a "factual" problem with the game as others have posted in this very thread. That, and you didn't make a frothing at the mouth rage thread about it. Kudos, and I hope they provide a solution for your graphical issues posthaste. Maybe a modder will work on some kind of filter, or they'll add some more graphical options?
    Post edited by Schneidend on
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Posts: 2,652Member
    The more I play with my BG:EE, the more I'm liking it, especially since I can now use Shadowkeeper on it.

    I'm not having any issues with graphics resolution. I kind of like the blue interface, although it clashes a bit with outdoor greenery - the original brown might have blended better. There will be mods galore to change it, just as with the original game. Interestingly, there was a mod to the original BG2 that made the interface blue, and had it look a lot like the BG:EE default interface.

    I guess the review was basically fair. He didn't trash it. He had a tone of being underwhelmed, and he was honest about that. A lot of people have agreed with him, and much less nicely and professionally, on our forums.

    I still think this project can be an overall success. First, the PC crowd is probably the hardest to please, since most of us have already been playing for years and years. It was almost like a courtesy to us for them to release our version first.

    The true success of the project is going to come in whether it can draw in new users or not. The iPad version will be key to its eventual success. I believe that it will be pretty awsome there, as compared to other game offerings available for tablets.

    I think that the PC version could also bring in a new set of users, especially after it gets polished for a few weeks. The widescreen aspect, and the fact that it's already ported to the ToB engine, are huge plusses for attracting a new market. We veterans get all nostalgic about playing in an 860x640 letterbox with a stone grey interface, so, we probably don't see on a visceral level what kind of impression that makes on a contemporary young gamer, as compared to their probable first impression upon looking at BG:EE as their first exposure to the Baldur's Gate game. The first could provoke an "ewww, how primitive" response, while the BG:EE view is more likely to elicit a "hmmm, that's pretty, if a bit retro, what is this" response.

    There could be nothing but good that comes from all the attention, even if the project is not being highly praised, yet.
    mch202James
  • Excalibur_2102Excalibur_2102 Posts: 254Member
    They did say that future content and tweaks would include things on the graphical front as well, which is good news
  • awin123awin123 Posts: 55Member

    awin123 said:

    The review is accurate and fair.

    By the way some people might remember RAGE and all the issues it had with ATI/Radeon cards on launch, guess what? The reviewers didn't gloss that over and say "your mileage may vary based on hardware", they pointed out the issue and it was fixed almost immediately after the reviews started pouring in.

    The fact of the matter is that the game in its current state is bad as far as optimization and stability goes and that's just the facts. If people want to be in denial about that...well fine what can I and or others do about it? A lucky few have managed to play this game without running into issues and that's just all there is to it, a FEW people compared to the majority that have some kind of issue or another.

    The people having problems are a vocal minority. There's just as many threads, if not more, full of people happily discussing party compositions, strategies, and how to do what and when. Your attempts to aggrandize your issues with the game are transparent.

    Aggrandize? No no, sorry but using big words doesn't make you right. The fact of the matter is that people have issues with this game and if they didn't have issues with it they wouldn't be complaining about it. The facts are also that there's a lot more people talking about issues with the game than there are people talking about how much more they enjoy the game they had previously.

    The whole "vocal minority" thing is nonsense, because vocal minorities on forums get stomped out when their claims are proven to be false/irrelevant. The claims of peoples issues with BG:EE cannot currently be proven false/irrelevant and so they continue to be posted and discussed about.

    Get off your high horse. I never voiced any of my concerns in my post and sure as hell didn't aggrandize anything. I simply said that I agree with the review of GameBanshee and that issues are more prevalent in this game they should be.
    Michal
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