Diablo III: The First Three Days (Mild Spoiler Warning)

Posted in Action Adventure, Diablo III, Fan Service, Fantasy, Game-related Events, Gaming, My Stuff, PC Gaming, RPGs on May 18th, 2012 by thelonegamer

Once past the Gates of Hell (aka Logging In), Diablo III is… actually fun!

Yeah, I’ve already ranted my head off here and on Twitter about my Diablo III woes at the start. Buying the game was no problem, and actually constituted a cool lunch-out foodtrip. But thereafter, I was unable to play the game later that night since I couldn’t log in (since D3′s servers were full). Can’t log in, can’t play. Waaa. Feh.
Anyways, the second day was better though- logging in then was quick and I was in Sanctuary finally, ready to kick demon butt as a buff, white-haired babe (Female Monk). Now, I actually didn’t play the Beta, though I did see a few vids of that on Youtube. Still, as I clicked my female fury through Old Tristram Road to New Tristram, killed off the zombies besieging the town and explored the Old Ruins… it all just felt… by the numbers. Well, again, I have been seeing this part over and over and over for months, so no wonder it didn’t exactly excite me. Still, being the one clicking and walking around was cool. In actuality, despite the 3D makeover and the spiffy art, Diablo III feels and plays a LOT like Diablo II. ZOUNDS! Still pretty simple and clickety-clicky. Enemies seemed to cave fast from my Monk’s electrifying punches. Kinda weird though that I could arm myself with swords and such, but still just basically punch in my attack animations. Eh.

Also a bit weird to hear my Heroine talk- been playing silent protagonists for far too long. There’s quite a bit of spoken dialogue in D3, which is good- along with the speech of townspeople and other NPCs, you even find books and journals which relate some side story or lore of the land, kinda like the audio diaries of games like Bioshock (and its clones). Overall pretty well and good… though I am finding the Monk a bit too Girl Scout Goody-Goody. Well, she IS a Holy Warrior after all.

Day 3 found me penetrating the old Cathedral in the hopes of finding the missing Deckard Cain. My ultimate goal of course was The Fallen Star, that weird comet thing that we are shown crashing into Tristram’s church in the gorgeous opening cinematic. Once I found Cain, I also found Act 1′s probable Boss, albeit I wouldn’t face him in battle just yet. Back to town with the old Codger and some side questing. On that, looks like there will be a lot of other little missions to do aside from the main quest- I don’t expect this to be as extensive as in other recent RPGs, but that’s a nice bit. Oh, and stages seem to respawn quite quickly, so there’s always stuff to kill. Nice!

Well, what can I say? Once past the Always-Online BS, Diablo III looks and plays familiar and that should please or put off gamers depending on what they’re expecting/looking for. I don’t mind the nostalgia and the similarities- I just want a diabolically good hack-and-slash action adventure with lots of satisfying monster killing, leveling up, awesome gear and loot, and amazing cinemas at the end for my troubles. Not really looking for much aside from that, so if there’s more it will be a pleasant surprise.
This really isn’t a review- it’s pretty certain that people are going to get Diablo III, and that’s that. Enjoy it for what it is, try out every character and wring out all the fun you can. Diablo IV won’t be here anytime soon.
Between this and the fact that I am STILL playing Skyrim, I guess I’m all set to pass the time easily until my much-awaited VF5 Final Showdown arrives in early June. Whoopie!

What the Hell?! Diablo III Deviltry

Posted in Diablo III, Fantasy, Game-related Events, Gaming, PC Gaming, RPGs on May 16th, 2012 by thelonegamer

Fast Tube by Casper

People are experiencing Hell with Diablo III… and not in a good way.

Yesterday was the release day for the long-awaited click-happy dungeon crawler sequel, Diablo III. It was a worldwide release, and I had anticipated a tricky experience in grabbing a copy given the long lines I experienced several weeks ago when Mass Effect 3 was released. So me and a fellow gamer dude took a lunch out to forage for our ticket back to Tristram. Well, this kinda didn’t happen- for starters I guess copies were in abundant supply in any gamestore, so even if there was a relatively short line of buyers, we weren’t in any danger of leaving without a copy.

Well, that was the easy part, turns out. The hard part of getting into Diablo III was due to login issues. As we’ve known for a while, Diablo III requires itself to be always-online; to play you have to log in and stay logged in; that’s even if you’re not playing coop or even remotely interested in any of the public features like the auction and such. And so, yesterday, as quite gamely brought to us by online game sites and news, countless players couldn’t play since Blizzard’s servers were full, down or such. This, I think, just straight up SUCKS. When I want to play Diablo III, I want to play it immediately, not having to freakin’ QEUEU up for an hour or so. What the hell was Blizzard thinking? This is really suckage to the Nth Degree.

I am so glad that Skyrim, for example, can be played offline with no problem. But Nooo… Prima Donna Diablo III won’t let you play or even do crap if there’s even a hint of server glitchiness. BAH. DOUBLE BAH.

This is going to stab Blizzard in the freakin’ ass, mark my words. Making D3 always-online? BAD IDEA. Whoever thought this up should be ashamed. SHAME ON YOU. BAH.

Anyway, haven’t been able to play yet. I’ll try again tonight. So for now I’ll be staying away from the hours of playthroughs now sprouting up like demon hordes on Youtube. Meh. I’ll be clicking enemies into oblivion in due time. Maybe. If the game lets me. BAH.

Reminiscence of Diablo 2 and Great Expectations

Posted in Action Adventure, Diablo III, Fantasy, Game-related Events, Gaming, My Stuff, PC Gaming, RPGs on May 11th, 2012 by thelonegamer

Remember what your character was back then?

The first time I saw Diablo 2 was over the counter at a local comic shop, being played by the owner/manager (and my eventual friend). I started off just ridiculing the way he’d sit there, looking blankly at the little objects moving on the monitor, the only movement in his body being on his fingers, clicking away like mad on the mouse, slaaughtering hordes of frisky Fallen, underdressed Corrupted Rogues and what other monstrosity the game saw fit to throw at him. This eventually evolved to growing interest on my part, to rabid questioning, to eventually me making up some excuse to purchase my own desktop computer. Before I knew it, I was clicking away myself on the quest to destroy the Prime Evil.

My first character was a Paladin- the dusky-skinned armored champion with the buffing auras and the fancy sword swings. I guess that reflected my white knight personality of the time. I was fascinated as well by the Necromancer and having a small army of underlings to follow you around, but I never did get used to managing the pets well enough. When the Expansion arrived, I naturally gravitated to the Assassin- yeah, even then I had a thing for hot babes in skimpy outfits. Kinda overpowered, I guess- Baal was a cakewalk with the Teleport Kick. Was my Assassin chick named Kitana? I don’t remember.

I remember the hours and hours I played, clicking and clicking, organizing the puzzle-like interface of the inventory, figuring our the Horadric Cube, breaking into the infamous Cow Level… good times. It’s kinda odd to realize that Diablo 2 was a pretty linear game, with relatively small, closed stages that now seem quite small compared to the huge open worlds given to use today by games like Skyrim. You interacted with very few NPCs- mostly merchants and mercenary captains, the pivotal NPC and the occasional stranger. The story as well was pretty minimal, told only in some lines of in-game dialogue, and mostly via the game’s awesome (quite awesome at the time) cinematic cutscenes. Again, not that much narrative compared to the relatively huge volumes of text and narrative in more contemporary RPGs.

What I’m saying is, as much as I am excited for Diablo III, I’m a bit worried. Will the incessant, frantic clicking, kill-and-explore action gameplay of this classic series still hold the same appeal as it did before? Surely… not. We’ve moved on since then, seen bigger things. Seen greater things. But nostalgia should be enough to get us to play- it’s up to Blizzard to have refreshed their game since then to stand up to today’s gamer demand.

I’ve no doubt that D3 will be a best-seller, as much as Starcraft 2 was. I wonder why it needs to be constantly online. I wonder what character class I’ll use first and what I’ll love or hate. I wonder at what story this will tell and how improved the narrative will be. I wonder if Old Deckard Cain will still be around at the end of this game. So many questions.

Just four more days then.

Get Your Demon-Killing Fix: Diablo III Animated Short Film

Posted in Action Adventure, Anime, Diablo III, Fan Service, Fantasy, Game Advertising, Game to Movies, Game-related Events, Gaming, PC Gaming, RPGs on May 9th, 2012 by thelonegamer

Fast Tube by Casper

This should whet your appetite a bit for May 15.

Diabolical hack-and-slash RPG sequel, Diablo III, is almost upon us. But as we count the days till we are clicking like crazy again, here’s a short animated film based on events prior to the game’s timeline, portraying a pivotal battle (and aftermath of said battle) between the forces of Light and Darkness. Brought to us by the animators of Metalocalypse and Aeon Flux, it’s quite full of eye candy, although I prefer seeing action with more human characters, but this is pretty much in the flavor of the franchise. So check it out for more than six minutes of demon-killing action that should get you psyched up for launch day.

Evil Returns… in a New Diablo III TV Spot!

Posted in Diablo III, Fan Service, Fantasy, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, PC Gaming, RPGs on April 30th, 2012 by thelonegamer

Fast Tube by Casper

May 15 can’t come soon enough.

Here’s the smokin’ new TV spot for the just-around-the-corner Diablo III that Blizzard has been hyping up over the weekend. The spot was slated to air after the latest episode of Family Guy, but the ad’s been posted online as well. The 30-second ad was supposed to contain some never-before-seen bits of cinematics, and I guess this includes our first-time looks at an Angel, perhaps Tyrael himself, back in the fight, as well as a look at the Flamin’ Lord of Terror as well. As usual, the cutscenes look spectacular… this game is going to rock. May 15, on PC and Mac. It’s finally going to happen. Awesome!

Diablo III Beta Hopes Dashed!

Posted in Diablo III, Fantasy, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, PC Gaming, RPGs on April 23rd, 2012 by thelonegamer

Blizzard announced late last week that the Beta for Diablo III would be open for players all over the world. All you needed was a Battle.Net account and you were set to play any of the available classes up to Level 13.

Well, sadly as much as I wanted to get my Monk fix, I just wasn’t able to complete the installation. It was just taking too long- at the rate it went, the weekend would have been over by the time I got it installed. So what the hey- it’s only a few weeks to the release of the final game… I’ll just wait a bit longer and have my Diablo III Experience a complete one. Sigh. In any case, if you want to see how the Beta went, there are TONS of gameplay/playthrough vids posted/being posted online now, so check those out if you want.