Last week I purchased Titan Quest for the PC when it was on sale. I'm playing through the campaign right now, and I must say it's fun. When it came time to write this week's Co-Op Classics, I considered using Titan Quest. I decided against it, as the game was just released in 2006, and it feels "current gen". Since we just do previous gen consoles and older in this column, Titan Quest gets disqualified. Don't fret, though, because playing through Titan Quest reminded me of an older, similar co-op game: Neverwinter Nights.
Dungeons & Dragons was a big part of my youth. I read the Dragonlance books, and followed the adventures of Drizzt Do'Urden in the Dark Elf series. My first experience with the gaming end of D&D was the Adventure Gamebooks, which were basically Choose Your Own Adventure stories with stats and randomization. By the time I was in my mid to late teens, I was meeting regularly with my buddies for some role playing fun. I'll admit I enjoyed the gaming part more than the role playing, and I am a "min-max-er". Dark Sun, Forgotten Realms, Ravenloft... if it was a D&D product available from 1988 to 1994, chances are I was playing it.
Fast forward to 1999. I am now married, and my D&D playgroup has long since scattered across the country. Luckily, EverQuest came out, and I was able to stay in touch with my friends this way. (I could write many columns about my experiences in EQ, good and bad, but not today.) EverQuest was great, but it was missing something: customization. With only a limited amount of classes, spells, and abilities, most characters felt too similar to the others. That didn't stop me from playing it for years, but it didn't quite scratch the D&D itch like I wanted.