Nov 30, 1998 - Dec 4, 1998

As we enter the final act of 1998, I wonder if lightning can strike twice. One game has already come from out of nowhere this year to rock the gaming landscape. Sure, Half-Life carried the time-worn Sierra pedigree, but these new cats called "Valve" may have just been lucky. Is it possible that yet another complete unknown -- in this case a company known as "BioWare," whose pedigree to date is the completely forgettable Shattered Steel -- can come to the rescue of the ailing CRPG genre in the same way that Half-Life seems to have breathed new life into the largely dull landscape of FPS games (see: Sin)?

The likely answer is: definitely not.

Maybe it's just the lingering memory of the X Files movie, but I Want to Believe that this week's Baldur's Gate is a harbinger of things to come. Tragically, I'm having trouble imagining that suddenly D&D and computers are going to get all chocolate and peanut butter with each other after such a long, depressing drought, particularly in the hands of this upstart BioWare. The most I can manage to hope for at this point is that Baldur's Gate is an entertaining distraction. I don't expect Gold Box quality, but it'll be nice to dabble with Magic Missiles and saving throws on my computer again.

Either way, I don't want close out what's been an amazing year with skepticism or pessimism. I could comfortably hang my hat on any year that provides games like Half-Life, Unreal, Grim Fandango and Fallout 2. I know there are a number of you who will add StarCraft to that list, and so for you it's a pretty good week with the release of the Brood War expansion pack. I don't count myself among your cult, ever the Warcraft 2 purist that I am, but I recognize that it's something of a big-deal release. Add to that an inventive shooter called Thief that also releases this week, and there's a lot of possibility hitting the shelves, if not so much certainty.

Going back to my desire to end on a positive theme, I'm going to give the nod for Game of the Week to Baldur's Gate. Hopefully years down the road we'll be talking about this moment as the year when role playing games became popular again. Hell, living in a state that just elected Jesse Ventura, I gotta believe anything is possible.

Comments

Pages

Pfft...none of these games will ever amount to anything. Just look at the graphics. Rubbish!

Real time combat with pause!? What moron thinks that will ever work! They need to figure out some way to turn it into a cinematic button masher and THEN we'll talk.

The f*ck just happened?

We've gone back in time...don't you guys remember when this website was up in 1998? I don't so if someone could tell me that would be appreciated.

And oh man...I haven't played any of these games even though I have them... I feel sad.

This is too funny. I mean, GoG released Baldur's Gate weeks ago.

And just when I was kicking around the idea of replaying - ahem, I mean playing Baldur's Gate, this goes and happens.

*head explodes*

This is obviously an elaborately planned marketing stunt with GOG.com.

The site appears to have fallen through a time machine.
I volunteer myself to for a task force to go back in time to 1998 and retrieve it. I estimate that we have about a month and a half before it gets lost in the great blizzards of the days of old. I must be honest with everybody signing up... few of you will come back alive... or warm.

I'm not taking any chances. Last time the site was this weird, the zombies took over. Who wants first dibs on the business end of my boomstick?! Come on, bring it!

Hey, if we're in 1998 I should go make some money. I could buy some Google stock and make a fortune!

Rat Boy wrote:

I'm not taking any chances. Last time the site was this weird, the zombies took over. Who wants first dibs on the business end of my boomstick?! Come on, bring it!

Just get into the portal, it's for the good of us all!
DO IT... we will follow *shifty eyes*

Can I just give a quick shout out to the Times New Roman? Truly, the king of fonts. Wut Wut!

Roke wrote:

Edit: About Elysium's piece, was their a successor to Grim Fandango? Half-Life had Half-Life 2, Unreal had other Unreals, Baldur's Gate 2 happened, Fallout 3 exists, Thief 2, Warcraft 3 and now Starcraft 2. Maybe it's a sign?

I think he's trying to tell us he has secret information.
We're going to have to beat it out of him.

Truly, 1998 was an awesome year.

(by the way if you're gonna make any changes to the site, may I suggest a darker backdrop? all white is killing my eyes! and the goggles they do nothing!)

Pfft, roleplaying games! Bring on Duke Nukem Forever! It'll be out soon and it'll be _awesome_.

FedoraMcQuaid wrote:
Roke wrote:

Edit: About Elysium's piece, was their a successor to Grim Fandango? Half-Life had Half-Life 2, Unreal had other Unreals, Baldur's Gate 2 happened, Fallout 3 exists, Thief 2, Warcraft 3 and now Starcraft 2. Maybe it's a sign?

I think he's trying to tell us he has secret information.
We're going to have to beat it out of him.

I think we need to beat me for my grammatical error first. My God. After that, I'll leave him to you. I'm pretty sure he could take me after downing 10 Coronas.

Well, this is scary. First a blog I read gets hammered with traffic and it's like the 56K days and then the weird time-warp here.

If it is zombies all I have to defend myself are a couple pet rocks and books... I'm screwed.

Edit: About Elysium's piece, was there a successor to Grim Fandango? Half-Life had Half-Life 2, Unreal had other Unreals, Baldur's Gate 2 happened, Fallout 3 exists, Thief 2, Warcraft 3 and now Starcraft 2. Maybe it's a sign?

The icing on the cake is the time stamp for the replies in this thread. Did we all somehow pile into the DeLorian unknowningly?

I sincerely hope this doesn't become a trend during slow weeks. What'll the site look like if the only game of note is "Rescue on Fractalus!"?

trueheart78 wrote:

The icing on the cake is the time stamp for the replies in this thread. Did we all somehow pile into the DeLorian unknowningly?

I don't know about you guys but I came in on the TARDIS...

Christ, we've landed smackdab in my formative junior high years. At some point I think I played every single game up there, and they were all awesome.

Goddamn but '98 was a good year.

Retro for the win!

..And in a year and a half, I got my first console, a Gameboy Colour. Man, I wish I'd experienced '90s PC gaming in it's prime..

I'm scared...

Gosh! Did not realize they all are so old... err... I mean new! Feels like they came out last week, which they did in deed. What saddens me the most these days, is that I have a feeling that Grim Fandango is the Swan Song of the golden adventure era. But maybe somehow will come up with something fresh in a few years.

Anyone want to play some Quake II Rocket Arena? I've got a server running, you can find it with GameSpy.

Awesome. Remember everyone: keep your limbs inside the temporal transport vessel at all times. We can't take the chance of accidentally disrupting the timeline. It would be shame to come back and find you've inadvertently kicked of WWIII.

Well played, gentlemen. Maybe this will finally give me the impetus to finish off some of these older, great PC games that are on my pile. Baldur's Gate in particular. I've lost track of the number of times I've started it and then dropped off in chapter three or four. I think I still have my saves and install from last year's attempt.

Whatever happens, Elysium, don't press that switch.

IMAGE(http://images.paxholley.net/blog/time_machines/Tardis1.jpg)

Yes, THAT one !

(sighs)

Oh God. What the hell is going on?

I turned twelve last week! Why am I on this website? I should be at school trying to crack the Library Staff's password so I can play Nanosaur and/or Snood!

Pages