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The Dungeons & Dragons Anthology: The Master Collection packages 6 of the most beloved classic RPG video games of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise and their expansions into a single SKU - the ultimate RPG package for the ultimate D&D fan.
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All the games fit on 2 DVDs with no swapping of discs required.
Icewind Dale (the game I'm starting with) has some minor tweaks such as scroll bags and potion chests available that were not in the original.
The display is slightly different, with 'full screen' being slightly smaller in the Windows 7 version compared to the original version.
The Windows 7 version has black borders to the left and right which did not exist with the original full screen option.
The Windows 7 version allows 32 bit color while the original was limited to 24 bit color.
I'm thrilled to have the Windows 7 compatible version of these games!
Avast! needs to be turned off while creating characters, but can be on while playing the game.
If you want to play Baldur's Gate in multi-character mode, you need to jump through a minor hoop.
You need to start Baldur's Gate in a window screen (press Alt + Enter),then connect.
Once you successfully join the game, press Alt + Enter again to maximize the screen again.
One minor disappointment is that after finishing Icewind Dale, the characters are NOT transferable to Icewind Dale II.
I was a little disappointed with the delivery speed. I paid for 3-5 day delivery. I ordered the games on Friday July 6. They were mailed on Monday July 9.
They were delivered on Monday, July 16. If we ignore the day the order was placed, and we ignore the 4 weekend days, it was still 6 days for delivery.
If we include the day of order and the weekends, it took 11 days for delivery. I have become accustomed to faster delivery with Amazon orders!
But hey, I don't want to sound like I'm complaining, I love the games!
Unfortunately, there is a Runtime Error occuring when you download the "Heart of Winter" expansion to the original "Icewind Dale" game. Whenever you Create a Character and look at that char's Bio then click Done, or while Importing a Character, there is a runtime error. After some online research it seems that Avast Anti-virus is causing this, and it is a fairly recent problem. (Hopefully Avast will have a patch that fixes this.)
In the meantime to get around this error, you can either skip the Bio's when creating a character, disable Avast temporarily while creating your party (as this error does NOT happen in-game), or add IWD's file to the Avast system. This 3rd option is the best. The steps to doing so are: Click on your Avast icon > Real-time Shields > Behaviour Shields > Expert Settings > Trusted Processes > add in the file to be excluded, for example mine is C:\Program Files\Atari\DnDMC\Icewind Dale\IDMain.exe (your's may be different). Click "Okay".
It's a little annoying, but an easy process. After this, enjoy playing Icewind Dale & Heart of Winter!
The games themselves are scaled surprisingly well on a widescreen monitor and the portraits, text and buttons all look fantastic. Even so, you can run the game in windowed mode if you so desire. The audio is excellent. The intro movies are just as good as I remember (I was always very fond of the intro for Icewind Dale II).
The case stows both DVDs on a single spindle (one stacked directly on top of the other) so be careful when pulling them out. The manuals are in .pdf format. Thank goodness for that, because the original paper manual for Baldur's Gate II was an inch-thick, spiral-bound monster that put the manual for your high school TI-83 calculator to shame. I suppose that added to the "D&D-ness" of it. Showing my nerd colors, here.
Anyone looking to get updated copies of the Infinity Engine games from Bioware and Black Isle shouldn't hesitate to snap this up, even if it's a used (there's no one-time registration key nonsense and the discs aren't required to play, once installed).
Baldur's Gate II and
To get these AND BG1 AND the IWD Series AND all their expansions PLUS another game in one package for a fabulous price is a tremendous deal that anyone with even the slightest smattering of RPG interest should take advantage of.
OK, they don't have the latest graphics, but they have intelligence, and story, and humor, and epic adventure, and depth, and complete and total immersion, and they will give you hours and hours of fun. What more could you ever want from a computer game?
Whether you've only heard of these and always wanted to try them, or are an old fan and want a consolidated, DRM-free, return to nostalgic awesomeness, I would highly recommend this collection.
Despite what some reviews have said it DOES work well in Windows 7, provided you install into a directory other than the default -- the parenthesis in the default "Program Files (x86)" directory name can confuse older software. Also, run the games in compatibility mode (XP SP2 -- set under the "Compatibility" tab after right-clicking on the game icons) and with Administrator's rights (check box).
With just these few tweaks, I've had nothing but great results so far.
Order and enjoy!