Neverwinter Nights

OK, I’ll admit it: when I was a kid I played hella Dungeons & Dragons. I loved that shit. I’d be like, “I’m gonna
wale on that orc with my sword until I see his brain start squirting out.” It was great to just have this little
piece of paper with all these stats on it and the more I beat the shit out of people the more the numbers went up. My equation
for waling on something in D&D? “If I turned my back on this thing, would it wale on me?” If yes, then start waling.

I used to really like games like Final Fantasy and Phantasy Star, but they didn’t let you customize your character enough.
Dammit, if I want my foppish half-elf ranger to have a mustache, then he better be able to grow a mustache. There’s just no
way around it. So when Neverwinter Nights came out I picked it up to see what online RPGs were up to these days. And the result:
yeah, they’re pretty cool these days. First order of business was create my character. I ain’t some fanboy who always uses
the same name for every character (Darkbow the Strong or some shit), so I just clicked a button that generated a name for me.
I also wanted to be able to talk to animals just like Aquaman, so I made my guy a ranger. Great idea: my main ability is telling
badgers and deer to stop fucking following me.

Let’s get to the game itself. I don’t know how much the makers estimated the play time at, but I’m still playing the single-player
storyline, due mainly to fact that I don’t play the game at all very much. The story is pretty involved. You start in some city that
is being fucked by a plague of some kind. The town guard doesn’t have the balls to take control of the situation, so I get hired to
do some tasks such as:

1. The inmates have taken over the local prison and have reduced the Prison Quarter of the city to shit and ashes. My job is to
Die Hard my way into the prison and restore order. Oh yeah.
2. Another quarter of the city has been sealed off because it is being overrun with zombies. They send me in as John Goodman from
Arachnaphobia to take care of the sons-a-bitches.
3. Some homo wizard took over the richy rich area of the city, and I have to break into his house and beat the crap out of him.

Yadda yadda yadda, and then we find out that the plague was unleashed by a cult, and one or more of the city’s leaders (including
a paladin and two clerics) may have been in on it. So off I go to track down the traitors.

Lots more story than that, but I’ll focus on the gameplay for a bit. The commands are relatively simple to learn, though it is
pretty difficult to execute certain special attacks or abilities. Basically, I just have my heavy weaponry always at the ready,
and just leap in and start lopping heads off. Sometimes when trying to move your character, you’ll get stuck behind a bush or an
outhouse, and you’ll have to do a complex manuever to get your guy to somewhere useful. Also, if your’e carrying too much shit, you
get Encumbered and you walk about 1 foot per hour, so keep yourself light. I run everywhere.

The best thing I’ve found in the game are the henchmen. Very early in the game I tried to hire some huge guy who had a big axe. He
told me to go to hell and that he wouldn’t work for me. So I kept on walking and asking people if they wanted to go Die Hard a prison
full of crazies and monsters. Finally, I found my bestest friend in the game: Grimgaw. He’s a dwarven monk who worships Death. He
fits in perfectly with my “Wale Or Be Waled On” Theory of life in Neverwinter, and so I hired him for a song. He’s been my compadre
ever since. He has a hot head, and he likes to run ahead and beat the shit out of mummies, skeletons, death wolves, or whatever else
happens to be hanging out just ahead of where I am. Sometimes its hard to calm Grimgaw down and just stand there. He’s a hyper
little death monk.

Bottom line: pretty good game once a few patches came out for it. Right now I’m trying to fight a dragon that is inside a child’s
snow globe. It is difficult to say the least. But overall a fun game if you’re into RPGs and such.

The Verdict: 7.0/10.0