This is an attempt to discuss the things that I was trying to talk about on my radio show but couldn’t because of the technical issues that happened. There might be some tangents as I tend to take on my show, although there is no chat room to give me topics to run away with.
I had mentioned Diablo 3 coming to consoles on Sept 3. If you know me or have listened to enough of my shows then you know that I have wanted Diablo 3 since it came out for PC/Mac on May 15, 2012. In fact, when I finally get my gaming computer I was planning on buying it for my first game. True, I have some issues with the always online thing. I just don’t like that, but then, I don’t tend to store personal information on my computers. I do my best to protect my computers with firewalls and antivirus scans and such but of course there is no such thing as hack proof. I’ve spent many hours playing the other two Diablo games. I’ve even spent many hours on the XBOX 360’s version of Tourchlight which while not actually Blizzard Entertainment it did have veterans from Blizzard North. It feels very much like a Blizzard game. I remember I got so excited when I first heard about the Starcraft: Ghost game. I bugged my local game shop for about a year after the rumors of it came out. I still wonder how that game would play on a console.
Finally, I get a chance to own and play Diablo 3! I had heard from a couple of sources that they heard the console version wasn’t as good as the PC version. Truthfully, that is usually how the games go, much like the book vs the movie argument. There is so much more a game developer can add to the experience with the PC games just by the versatility of the keyboard and mouse. A controller is very limited in what you can do, even with a preset 1 and 2 options. But, because of what my sources had said, I did something that I try not to do. I read a review (well, actually two reviews) of the game. (Really, I need to be popular enough to where I get an advance play copy of these games. But then I remember that I’m signed up to play the World of Tanks beta on XBOX and I haven’t done that yet because of everything that has been going on in my life in the month of August. Such is life.) I always try to not read reviews of games that I’m going to play. However, I do find it fun to read reviews after I write them because it gives me an idea to see what others thought and how it compares to my ideas. And, yes I know, I have many game reviews that I wrote and that I haven’t posted. That’s my bad. I would say spank me but I know way too many people who would and I don’t think my tush could handle it. So, both of these reviews are actually very favorable to the transition to console. Both reviewers gave the console version a 9 out of 10 and both claim the transition was as good as could be expected.
It seems all the updates to the PC version made it across. Obviously game play is changed to accommodate the controller verses keyboard/mouse. The left thumbstick controls movement while the right thumbstick is an evade, which is something the PC version never had. The item select is a bit cumbersome making the comparing of items more difficult than the PC would have. Something that changed for the better is that the items only take one slot in the inventory. This is different from the PC version where only such items like potions, scroll, and gems were single slots and weapons and clothing took up more. No more playing Tetris in you inventory which could lead to fewer trips back to town. (Town portal was always the first spell I learned or a scroll I held. Even with that ability going to town was a bit of a chore. Torchlight gave the option to load up your pet companion with items and send them to town for money while you continue through the dungeons.) Another nice inventory change is the ability to mark items as junk. I used that feature quite a bit in KOA:Reckoning.
In keeping with the previous Diablo games, there are 5 distinct character classes which each have their strengths and weaknesses. The Barbarian class (which I think has been in every version of Diablo) is here and it’s melee abilities seems to have benefited the most in the transition. The controller allows the player to move the character much more fluidly. This character has always been my father’s favorite class to play. I’ve always preferred the more ranged abilities of the Amazon and stealth type of Assassins.
Two things are completely missing from the PC version: no auction house and no Battle.net account requirement. True, the very nature of console gaming means the game is online but there are options to it. It can be played offline, online in a multiplayer battle fashion, online co-op or split screen co-op and even the old fashion LAN party.
The game developers felt that the auction house took something away from the game itself. It allows players to buy items without having to play the game to get the loot. The problem is that if you have the money you can get items that are legendary before you would have earned them and makes playing the game take a back seat. The PC expansion, Reaper of Souls, actually tries to balance the need for the auction house. They didn’t take it out but they made the game drop better loot and more class specific.
From reading the reviews I am happy to have my copy reserved (even if I might have to go hungry). I will see you in Sanctuary.
(yes, I know this is a PS3 gameplay video but there didn't seem to be a general trailer for the XBOX 360)
Reviews I read:
www.pcgamer.com (for the bit about the auction house revamp on PC)
I have talked about World of Tanks on my radio show. The only reason I hadn't played it before was because I don't have a PC that I could game on. Now the game is moving onto a platform that I can play and it is supposed to incorportate achievements! Can't wait to try it out.
By now, everyone should know that the original Wolfenstein was my first real computer game. It seems that it is coming back and because of the title, I will play it. However, I notice that there is a name missing from the list.
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