GawainBS wrote:..but why does BG1 barely make the cut?
The Plot was poor. The characters "drab". The locations "thin" and largely uninteresting.
Ex.. Leave Candlekeep (to "protect" your character)? Umm.. isn't Candlekeep home to perhaps the highest single concentration of Wizards, Sorcerers, and other powerful beings - all easily capable of protecting those in the Keep? Later taken over by dopplegangers, what? The "iron trade" problems need looking into by a "newbee" being hunted? "Iron trade" subverted to cause a war - and that strengthens Saverock how (i.e. how do deaths from war come under the portfolio of murder)?
Characters - I barely remember Imoen, Minsc, and Saverock (..that's it). Of the 3 Minsc is the most memorable because of the comic relief with Boo, the other two seemed more like what they were: plot devices. (..and while Minsc was memorable - sadly I remember the *sword* given to Minsc in BG2 ,better than him or Boo.)
Locations: I remember a small town tavern, and Baldur's Gate. Baldur's Gate was good, particularly for the 2d artwork and the overall "size" of the city. Most "maps" however seemed to have little more than seeing how much the player could remove blacked-out pixels.
When I think about the complexity of BG2, BG1 doesn't even come close.
I guess the best way to show the real differences is by asking you to play BG2 again - first, and then within a few weeks start playing BG1. When played in this order the stark differences should become obvious. (..though there are a few things I liked better with BG1 - like *some* free roaming capability, and the map-based continuity of Baldur's Gate as opposed to the disconnected movement in and around Athkatla.)