Impulse Sale: Bioware Classic Games Are 50% Off This Weekend.

Digital download service Impulse is having a sale on select Atari titles this weekend, taking 50% off Bioware's classic RPGs Baldur's Gate Collection and Baldur's Gate 2 Collection, as well as Neverwinter Nights Diamond. At $4.99 each, this is as low as we've seen these games in recent memory. However, potential issues with Impulse installations have us throwing in a caveat emptor after the break.

Perusing the support forums on Impulse's site, we saw that some customers have issues with installing and playing Baldur's Gate 2 and Neverwinter Nights from the site. Specifically, NWN copies are having compatibility issues with Windows 7, while some digital versions of BG2 are still running disc checks, if they manage to launch at all.

Neverwinter Nights Compatibility Issues

If you're having issues with Neverwinter Nights in Windows 7, first try changing the settings of the program to run in Compatibility Mode with Windows XP. To run a program in Compatibility Mode, try the following steps:

  1. Right-click on the shortcut or the .exe in the game folder. In the context menu, click on "Properties".
  2. In Properties, click on the "Compatibility" tab.
  3. In the Compatibility, there are two options that should help you. First, check the box for "Run this program in compatibility mode" and select "Windows XP Service Pack 3" in the dropdown menu by that option. Also, check the box for "Disable visual themes" in the menu as well, which will turn off the Aero visuals when you run the program.

If this doesn't work, then you can try this fix from blogger Laslow. There isn't any official word from Impulse on the matter, however, and this hasn't been successful with every user who's tried it.

There is also an issue with Impulse's version not being fully patched to 1.69. Bioware released a fix for the issue which you can download and install here.

Baldur's Gate 2 Issues

Customers who bought Baldur's Gate 2 reported launching issues with the game, though as of right now there is no publicized fix for the issue. Running Baldur's Gate in Compatibility Mode (using the same steps as above) may help, but an alternative fix involve edits to the baldur.ini file, which isn't recommended unless you know what you're doing.

Users are also reporting issues with running Baldur's Gate 2 purchased through the store. After character creation, the game will ask for Disc 2, which of course shouldn't happen with a digital sale. There's no fix public fix for this eiter, though contacting Impulse's support email may be able to get you some help with this issue.

An Alternative

Impulse's current sale is the lowest price point we've seen for these titles, but the issues encountered by those who have bought from the site gives us pause. Instead, we recommend going over to Good Old Games' store. GOG has all three titles made compatible for modern Windows operating systems, and includes several goodies, such as wallpapers, digital manuals, and soundtracks for no additional charge. All this, and GOG charges the same base price as Impulse for these games. GOG offers a much beefier support system as well.

While GOG is a bit stingier on discounts for titles of this calibur (cheapest we've seen is 30% off), the updating of the titles to Windows 7, quality of their support, and the additional goodies included makes GOG a viable alternative to the sale, if you'd rather pay for stability over savings.