Sunday, May 27, 2012

Monday Musings - 28th May, 2012

Another week, another musings. Let's get to it!

Diablo 2 (PC)

To fill the void of Diablo 3, i went back to Diablo 2. Here's the thing though... i've played this game pretty much every year since its release, sometimes for months at a time. The thought of levelling a character up to the point of amazing loot acquisition was not a pleasant one. Then i got an idea. A hero editor! I can test out builds, and create stupidly high level characters and give them a go, starting out at the point where i search for the good loot.

It's been fun. I've created a Whirlwind Barbarian at level 75. To get used to the character, i've been running through Nightmare mode. I love being a whirling dervish of death. I haven't played too much further than smacking down Andariel because i think while a new spin on things, and despite how good the game is after all these years still, Diablo 2 is not Diablo 3. I had a taste with the guest pass, and i want more dammit!

Sine Mora (360)

When i last talked about this game, i was having troubles with Papa Carlo and the mechanical spider that came in the section before it. Like most skill/reflex based games however, the more i play, the better i get, and when i sat down to play this on Wednesday, i not only completed this section but the next two stages in their entirety as well. Part of my success is due to in these stages, the minimum firepower being at level three instead of level one (it goes up to level nine, and when hit, all the power-ups fly out of you). That added ability to chew through many of the small planes on screen in a very quick manner was invaluable.

Funnily enough, aside from the giant beam cannon boss, i can't remember too much else about my game session (well there was getting hit by an oncoming train that happened more than a few times). The giant airship was a pushover but alas i am stuck on yet another crazy boss. This one is some sort of rotating mobile fortress. You have to enter its maze of girders, and then navigate through it, avoiding and destroying not only the guns and laser beams that can fry you, but the power cells that open up new areas of the maze. All the while it's slowly rotating around and around.

The first few attempts were a challenge of time, as it is quite scarce. Once you fry the first power cell however, as long as you don't take a load of hits, time is no longer a concern. This is where use of your secondary weapon can be a godsend. Where i left it, i was getting bombarded by laser beams (as there is not much room to manoeuvre) and searching to see what pathways each destroyed power cell granted me. Every step forward and victory in this game has been quite satisfying, so i look forward to sitting down again this week and besting this foe.

Terranigma (SNES)

A short game section this week. I explored not only North America, but South America as well, enjoying the chilled grooves of the town of Liotto. I travelled by ship to Mermaid Tower, and cleared it of evil piranha fish. The mermaids returned and i got a boat out of the whole ordeal (cue Lonely Island track here).

I started to travel the seas, acquiring magirocks and special armour in Antarctica, New Zealand, and Scandinavia. When i saved, i was headed to Suncoast (Australia), and it will be interesting to see how the game interprets my home.

Oh yeah, i also helped invent the telephone. A man named Bell. I have no idea who they could be alluding to (wink).

Torchlight (PC)

So with Diablo 2 not fully filling that desire to play Diablo 3, i decided to finally try Torchlight. Almost immediately i was wondering why i didn't play this game sooner. The ease of play and the interface combine to make a fully enjoyable experience (so much so i played four to five hours the first day). The pet is an amazing addition (that keeps you adventuring despite a full inventory), and the skills i was acquiring on my ranged character were enjoyably powerful.

Then the next day the sheen started to wear off. I was down to about floor twenty of the dungeon and was getting bored. The frequency of decent loot is pretty lopsided (for example my first play i got a pair of amazing gold gloves... and have not found another useful gold item since), and there's no challenge at all. Groups of enemies attack me, i explosive shot till they die in clumps. For the past four to five floors, i'd been using that skills exclusively.

Still, even though i don't see myself returning to the game anytime soon, i'm happy i played what i did, and this makes me more excited for the release of Torchlight 2 sometime in the coming months.

Final Thoughts

I've plugged the articles i write for the retro page over at indie gaming mag here before, and i will continue to do so. You may have noticed that the games i cover i don't talk about in this column. That's so when i write about them, everything is new and fresh, and i can milk the game for all its worth upon the page.

Sometimes i wonder if i shouldn't talk about these games here though. For instance a lot of this last week i have been playing 'Woodruff and the Schnibble of Azimuth'. Yes, the game is as bizarre and enjoyable as it sounds.


I just started writing about it and then deleted the sentences to write this instead. I was beginning to write what would normally flow out of me when approaching the column. It's probably a testament to the game that i really want to talk about it on this open forum i bring to you each week. Well seeing i link my work, perhaps it isn't too much of a loss that i skip out on games i'm playing on this column from time to time (well, purposely. There have been many times sadly where i've plum forgot about including something i've played in this column. That almost happened with Diablo 2 today). If anything, putting these queries out on the page helps me work through them better than if i just pondered it in my noggin (the same principle applies to my cartooning and webcomic content).

So be on the lookout for a write-up of 'Woodruff and the Schnibble of Azimuth' sometime in the future, and till next week, happy gaming all!

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