Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 Enhanced Editions: How Do You Like Your Re-releases?
Recently, a throng of games have been re-released. We've seen these rehashed games become just as, if not more, popular than the original. Resident Evil 4 is getting a new ultimate release on Steam. I'm currently working my way through The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD Edition. Not only does it have better visuals, but it has been upgraded, making some of the biggest complaints of the original better and the game in general more enjoyable.
I've been wondering, though: At what point is a game passing "re-release" and going full into "re-make"? While I never got to play Wind Waker on the original system, I do wonder what the experience difference will be: almost as if I would rather have the option rather than simply be forced into what is "better." Of course, it is the right of the developers to do as they see fit, so if George Lucas wants Han to shoot first, I suppose he can make Han shoot first.
Recently Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 were re-released on PC via Beamdog, and I've got to say that it feels done right. Collecting all of the original expansions into one package fully ready-to-go with today's computers, Beamdog has given fans of the original everything they expect in an enhanced, hi-definition package, complete with some modern twists like easy loot collection and a handy help menu. The basic game is all here, just with a few natural advancements that you can appreciate. It's like if your favorite shoes suddenly came out with those Marty McFly auto-lacing things. Same comfort, but you don't have to take 30 seconds in the morning.
Also added are some optional additions in the way of additional characters. They have extra story lines that are subtly inserted into the traditional game, offering devout followers of the original a reason to plow through beyond living their memories.
It may be cheaper to find the original copies of these games, but most all of these upgrades do nothing but add flavor to the already classic game play. Until you find someone who actually prefers lacing their shoes instead of having the McFly auto zip, you won't find someone who won't see what has been done to this game as anything but improvements.
Baldur's Gate's Enhanced Editions can be picked up at the Beamdog site for Windows and Mac OS X as well as Amazon. The game is also out for iPad. It will be coming soon to Android as well. While no news has come out recently, the developers of the Enhanced Edition have called making an official Baldur's Gate 3 a "long term goal" that could one day be Kickstarted, but picking up these editions of these classic games will only press them to push harder towards making that dream a reality for true fans of the series.