Author Topic: A review... (some spoilers)  (Read 4238 times)

Offline bifflechips

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A review... (some spoilers)
« on: February 07, 2009, 01:31:47 PM »
I have not finished the mod yet, but I have to say something...

I have gotten through Upper Dorn's Deep and went back to play Heart of Winter and Trials of the Luremaster. So that's where I am at the moment, going to save Hjollder on the Burial Isles. My main character is a half-elven Fighter/Mage who is pursuing Nella, but still flirting with Teri, at least until I have to make a final decision at some point.

I absolutely love this mod. It has got to be one of my favorite mods I have ever played, and I've been playing them on BG for years. I only beat IWD once, years ago, and this mod has breathed life into a game I never thought I would play again. Ah, but here goes the review cut down into several sections:

Characters: All five of them are very enjoyable. I'd never thought I would use the word 'plain' as a compliment, but there is a certain refreshing plainness to them. They don't all have dark pasts and aren't all insanely unique characters. But they feel very normal and real, and to put that in a fantasy game like IWD, it really invigorates it. Not only that, but the characters interactions are great, and you really get this feeling that they grow to respect and treat each other like companions, in spite of their differences. I never thought I'd be glad to have a generally good-aligned party that was THAT interesting to me. It's too hard for me to really pick a favorite out of the ones you've made; they're all well done. I really liked Nella's backstory the most, since with Arundel's death, it really gives you the opportunity to get closer to her. And not just you, but your other companions as well.

I can't think of a single banter or interjection I didn't like, either. They went off at times that made sense, and I rather liked my characters having something to say when entering a new area and commenting on it, either with you or with each other. I also rather enjoy their reactions to certain events, such as Korin's talks in and about the Severed Hand, Teri's dialogues about seeing the future, etc. Excellent.

Voicing: Another high point. For the most part, very good quality, and nobody's voice gets on my nerves either. The only voice I would suggest some editing on is Korin's, as there are a few times it seems a little off, from a technical standpoint.

I eagerly anticipate finishing this mod soon. Thank you!

Offline Kulyok

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Re: A review... (some spoilers)
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2009, 06:11:01 AM »
Thank you very much. :) I hope you will like the ending.

I'm not especially good with the technical side of things(so if anything feels off, it's probably my fault), but I'm glad the voicing worked for you, more or less. I feel I was very lucky with the actors and the artist who did the portraits.

I loved telling the story(or, rather, adding to the story Icewind Dale gives us), and journeying with Nella, Korin, Teri, Severn and Holvir, and I am glad you are enjoying the journey, as well.

Offline Drizzle

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Re: A review... (some spoilers)
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2009, 02:29:41 PM »
My apologies for (ab)using your thread, bifflechips. I have no review of my own to add, so it seems a little inappropriate, but yours is the most current "appreciation thread". I hope you can forgive my imposition  :)

Moving on to the actual comments, there's not a single thing I disagree with 'bifflechips' on; the characters are brilliantly realised in the manner I've come to associate with mod-NPC's (since that level of perfectionism is certainly lacking in Bioware NPC's, at least in my opinion). As 'bifflechips' has already pointed out by his complimentary use of the word 'plain', the character's are all thoroughly believable, in every aspect of dialogue. The backstories of the characters are wonderful in their relevance to the story while still being fully realised in and of theirselves, and the fact they react so appropriately to the main storyline is just what is needed to bring it to life.

The one thing I must say for myself is that the voicing and portraits are extremely impressive. I've not come across an example of either that have blended as seamlessly with the game they were created for.

Having read your replies in earlier threads I'm even tempted to try G3's IWD2NPC, and given my loathing of 3e that's quite an admission.Since 'bifflechips' has already said everything that needs to be added I'll leave it here; I only want to end with a massive thankyou for giving me the incentive to beat a game I'd never made much progress on before (my previous latest completion was the first encounter with Yxunomei's... well more would probably be a spoiler but I hope you know whom I mean).

Offline Kulyok

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Re: A review... (some spoilers)
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2009, 12:24:36 AM »
Thank you very much. :) I loved working on the mod, and I'm very happy you liked it. (Seriously, such posts make my mornings).


Yes, Domi's mods are wonderful, and I liked Diriel and Prachi from IWD2 NPC a great deal. (We worked together with Domi on BG1 NPC, and since then she moved on to IWD2 and even NWN2 - you can see a NWN2 Romance Pack among G3 mods/forums).

Offline bifflechips

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Re: A review... (some spoilers)
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2009, 12:40:21 PM »
And now to finish this review. University-work and employment-work keeps me fairly busy, but I managed to complete it on, coincidentally, a snow day.

I can't really say my praise in such a way that would be worthy of this mod. It is simply wonderful, all the way up to the end, and the only bad thing about it was that it eventually ended! I wanted more! I really enjoyed the character's interjections, especially, when they actually asked your main character what they thought, and it even manages to build a story and personality on your own PC, which I was quite impressed with. The choices were never too specific or too broad, but just right. As stated in my mid-game review, all the dialogue is perfect and wonderful, and though I don't think they ever novelized IWD officially, I would have to consider these five NPCs to be canon(much like I do with several specific fanfictions of the BG series, in spite of those horrendous novels).

As expected with my first experience, the interjections of areas in the game were amazing, and since I had never played through Trials of the Luremaster until this time, I found that area to specifically feel the newest for me. Also, I really liked Holvir's pyrophobia dialogue with the party in Upper Dorn's Deep, I believe it happened where Ilmadia was, if I'm not mistaken. It was a very cool way to keep the characters, Holvir being case in point, overcoming their personal demons in such a realistic and well done way. Same Korin's revelation of good and evil, as well as his reactions at the Severed Hand.

I did romance Nella, and let Severn have Teri, and if I haven't said so already, the dialogue is great. I really got that the friendship was building before the romance interest, and it is rather annoying that the only bantering you got in BGII with NPCs was if you were romancing them. The budding relationships with all the characters was paced very well, in fact, and the dialogues were quite funny when they were meant to be, and I admit the one I remember mostly off the top of my head, when we were traversing Marketh's castle, the dialogue about Holvir's codpiece which pretty much involved the entire party as I recall, but I remember it very well. It was comedic gold!

Again, the voicing was good, and the portraits were amazing. They retained the painted feel of IWD, but there was a certain originality that also kept them a little different. Overall, they were amazing. The voices and the portraits completely matched.

Now I can only secretly hope for a Korin BG mod to tell me what happened to the rest of the NPCs after IWD. Again, thank you for this wonderful mod, one of the best I've ever played. You're a truly gifted writer.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2009, 12:54:21 PM by bifflechips »

Offline Kulyok

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Re: A review... (some spoilers)
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2009, 11:55:37 PM »
Thank you very much.

I think BG is another story. Then again, there are so many mods for BG1 and BG2 these days - from BG1 NPC at Gibberlings3 to quest mods like my own Dungeon Crawl and Assassinations to NPC mods like Kivan, Keto, Xan... well, yes, it's a long list.

I'm really happy you enjoyed the mod. I write novels in Russian now, and I have a feeling that Nella, Holvir, Severn and others are bound to appear in one of my texts, somewhere. (I'd love to do an official novelization, but... but. Original fiction it is).

Offline Joeaverage

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Re: A review... (some spoilers)
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2009, 01:14:57 PM »
I just finished the mod and sure it wasn't all perfect, but the interesting thing to me was how it fit so well with the story and pacing of the game. Comments on the dungeon, new phases of the story, even the trip back out of a dungeon sometimes. I actually really liked that last bit since walking out is basically dead time and bad design without your npcs.

You made the game come alive and it was totally worth replaying it just for your mod. I only feel bad that it wasn't too popular, but I guess that makes it more of a privilege for me to have tried it. :)

Thanks for taking the time to make this!


Favorite parts:
Nella's relationship to Arundel. Actually made me care a bit when he died.

The Severed hand just worked really well for me. Hard to say why.

"Yay, happiness!" from Teri near the end. Maybe I have a weird sense of humor but that just made me smile!

Offline Kulyok

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Re: A review... (some spoilers)
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2009, 02:02:04 PM »
:) I liked writing these bits, too. Good to know it worked for you - and thank you for letting me know.

 

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