The thing about hack 'n slash dungeon crawlers is that the combat needs to be astoundingly excellent. Since the combat is 99% of your activity, it needs to feel right. Games like Dragon Age or even Baldur's Gate have you infatuated with the world, your party setup, character building & role-playing & you role in the world.
Your goal for games like Diablo & other action rpg's is: Kill everything!
But even then the formula is hit or miss. The thing I think is important is this: Overkill! Since the only thing you are doing is slaying monsters, you need some sensory overload accompanying this. I remember that in Diablo 2 we had Druids running around whilst being the center of a Maelstrom, Sorceress' would 25 lightning bolts as fast as you could click. Same goes for the Amazon firing 15 arrows at the same time, or the Barbarian whirl-winding across the screen tearing up everything in sight.
Thats the kind of overkill that I generally miss from other Diablo-like games. They lack that excitement.
A lot of things I WANT to play, but I just don't have the time right now. Been playing the Gears 3 beta to get the retail unlockables and I just got into a guild in WOW that fits me, so i got to get back into that. At the same time I am actually getting better at Starcraft 2, so I need to keep that practicing up as well. But i'll have more free time when July hits an then I really look forward to finally finishing Final Fantasy 13, finishing Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 on hard, getting further in Dragon Age and do some raiding in WoW.
But all that will be blown out of the water if the Diablo 3 beta hits, then i'll just be playing that all summer. :P
I don't think you should blame iTunes, but rather blame the artists for putting out mediocre records. When I hear a song i like, I go check it out on iTunes an immediately check out the album. If I like 4 songs, I buy it. In other words, the other works of the artists are really great too. That's the way it should be if you ask me.
Just unlocked my gold skin for the Retro Lancer in Gears 3 and I am calculating that I now need 20 kills a night to unlock that skin in the retail version.
I think this new way of getting people interested to play your beta and at the same time invested in your upcoming game is absolutely brilliant. I own both gears 1 and 2 and I might have like 10 hours total invested into the Multi-Player of it. First of I kinda suck at twitch gaming (except Starcraft 2, I am actually getting better at it) and the community skills grow like mad in these types of games. The hurdle to overcome is just huge as you as a noob will be taken out again and again before you can get off a shot. The uphill climb is very steep.
I have now invested loads of time into the beta and unlocked the Thrashball Cole costume for the retail version. I am now contemplating buying the game at release to get a little bit of a head-start as well in the Multi-player. I even went back to Gears 2 multi-player when I saw that you could unlock a chrome skin, but I just don't have the time. I do hope I have the time to unlock it and still have a chance to unlock the gold retro lancer in retail. I even curbed my WoW time to be able to get this and patch 4.1 just came out! SC2 is also low-key now, but my zerg-timings are getting better.
I do hope I have the time to get those 20 kills a night as we are coming up to a very busy period at work. But I can hope, can I?
Also this game sounds amazing on my new surround set. I worked to get finally own a quality home theater set-up and it makes me think to back in the day when i was still studying and had to rent a N64 to play Zelda in my small-ass TV.
To all you younguns, stick with it. It's really rewarding when you can finally play these games the way they were meant to be played on a system, TV and home theater setup you yourself worked hard to get.