Overhead action role playing games are nothing new, after all, some of the best ones from gaming’s past were overhead action fests such as The Legend of Zelda on the original Nintendo (not till the Nintendo 64 did Link abandon 2D for the first time). Games based on Dungeons and Dragons and Advanced Dungeons and Dragons are even older than overhead action RPG’s, dating back to the Atari 2600 and Colecovision days. Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance on the Playstation 2 is quite a leap above, graphically and audiowise, than those aforementioned titles and possibly more accessible to modern gamers to boot.
This being the first console title based on the Baldur’s Gate brand made it notable, though completely different than the PC version, focusing on action elements over exploration and character interaction (think more Diablo than the pen and paper original game). Interplay’s Black Isle Studios teamed up with Snowblind to create this version and while not perfect, it does hold a special place in many gamers hearts.
Elements of the original were held over for the console game, rudimentary stats are available, characters gain levels and use spells- standard fare (remember Diablo?).
Currently, Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance is not available digitally on the Playstation Network. Versions are available, basically the same game, on Nintendo Gamecube (November 18th 2002) and Microsoft Xbox (October 22nd 2002).