Weekly Roundup 05/27/2012

This past week was, unsurprisingly, a lot more Diablo III. We finished the game on Normal late last weekend, and have continued to push forward into Nightmare difficulty, which hasn’t felt like a huge step up to be honest. A few of the elite mobs can get a little tricky, but it’s still been pretty easy (Normal was incredibly easy). As of the time I write this we just finished Act III on Nightmare, and my Witch Doctor is level 50. This playthrough has actually been much faster than the first, since we’re skipping all the dumb story stuff. We’re just going.

Hey, I remember this guy!

Speaking of, I do find the story to be pretty dumb. Then again, I didn’t care for the stories in the previous games any more than this one. There’s about three or four actual “characters”, all of which have little to no personality, and the plot can basically be summarized into “Hey guys Diablo’s back, kill him!” (spoilers?). That’s not as reductive as you might think either. I tend to prefer character driven stories, and that’s just not Diablo. It doesn’t bother me though, as I don’t come to this series for great storytelling, and what’s there isn’t intrusive enough to be annoying. It just kind of sits on the periphery, not really adding or subtracting anything from the game. The cut scenes look great though; this is Blizzard after all.

Anyway, everything else about it is still good. We’re getting to the point where it actually matters what gear we have, and what skills we’re using to some extent. I’ve been fiddling around with different builds and stuff, and it’s fun to experiment with it all. I’ve discovered some new favorites, and still don’t really get what purpose some of my skills serve. Maybe some of them are better in single player, who knows. That’s really all I have to add to last week’s Diablo III thoughts for now. We’ll keep playing and I’ll keep updating as we do. I’m still really enjoying it, and still looking forward to the higher difficulties.

Otherwise I picked up Trials Evolution and have been playing that during Diablo downtimes. I just completed the A License Test and got the last bike (I think?). I’ve been enjoying the game overall, but I do think there are a few wonky things about it. First, the game doesn’t do the best job at teaching you the more nuanced maneuvers you can pull off. Often times when I have trouble with a spot I feel like there’s some key thing I’m missing, some way of shifting my guy a certain way to make him take a jump or a hill better. In a technically demanding game, it’s always nice to have as much information as possible available up front. In Trials I feel like I have to keep beating my head against the wall until something eventually clicks.

Oh boy.

In addition, some of the levels have environmental effects that mess with you as you’re driving, which I find incredibly annoying. For example, one level shoots large streams of water at you while you’re driving, which pushes your guy all around. To me this adds more trial and error to the game, as you can’t really prepare for these things until you’ve seen them at least once. Even then it’s not always super clear how they affect you, and it’s just another layer of not being properly prepared. I tend to like technically demanding games (Super Meat Boy being a great recent example), but the ones I like tend to have one thing in common: transparency. It’s always clear what you’re supposed to do and how you’re supposed to do it; the challenging part is then actually pulling it off. The harder levels of Trials are still challenging to pull off even once you know what to do, but getting to that point is an extra layer that feels counterproductive to me.

That being said, Trials does control very well, and I do really like the challenge it offers. There’s a real “touchy feely” aspect to the physics as you lean forward and backwards, which leaves a lot of room for finesse and improvement; I bet there are some amazing Trials players out there. I don’t really care for the silly minigames, but I have been enjoying most of the normal races. I’ll keep rolling with that, and I’m also wanting to play The Walking Dead at some point (the second episode should be out soon, right?). But that’s going to be all for now, until next time!

Currently playing: Diablo III, Trials Evolution, Magicka?

Start the Conversation
1 Comments
Posted by MajorMitch

This past week was, unsurprisingly, a lot more Diablo III. We finished the game on Normal late last weekend, and have continued to push forward into Nightmare difficulty, which hasn’t felt like a huge step up to be honest. A few of the elite mobs can get a little tricky, but it’s still been pretty easy (Normal was incredibly easy). As of the time I write this we just finished Act III on Nightmare, and my Witch Doctor is level 50. This playthrough has actually been much faster than the first, since we’re skipping all the dumb story stuff. We’re just going.

Hey, I remember this guy!

Speaking of, I do find the story to be pretty dumb. Then again, I didn’t care for the stories in the previous games any more than this one. There’s about three or four actual “characters”, all of which have little to no personality, and the plot can basically be summarized into “Hey guys Diablo’s back, kill him!” (spoilers?). That’s not as reductive as you might think either. I tend to prefer character driven stories, and that’s just not Diablo. It doesn’t bother me though, as I don’t come to this series for great storytelling, and what’s there isn’t intrusive enough to be annoying. It just kind of sits on the periphery, not really adding or subtracting anything from the game. The cut scenes look great though; this is Blizzard after all.

Anyway, everything else about it is still good. We’re getting to the point where it actually matters what gear we have, and what skills we’re using to some extent. I’ve been fiddling around with different builds and stuff, and it’s fun to experiment with it all. I’ve discovered some new favorites, and still don’t really get what purpose some of my skills serve. Maybe some of them are better in single player, who knows. That’s really all I have to add to last week’s Diablo III thoughts for now. We’ll keep playing and I’ll keep updating as we do. I’m still really enjoying it, and still looking forward to the higher difficulties.

Otherwise I picked up Trials Evolution and have been playing that during Diablo downtimes. I just completed the A License Test and got the last bike (I think?). I’ve been enjoying the game overall, but I do think there are a few wonky things about it. First, the game doesn’t do the best job at teaching you the more nuanced maneuvers you can pull off. Often times when I have trouble with a spot I feel like there’s some key thing I’m missing, some way of shifting my guy a certain way to make him take a jump or a hill better. In a technically demanding game, it’s always nice to have as much information as possible available up front. In Trials I feel like I have to keep beating my head against the wall until something eventually clicks.

Oh boy.

In addition, some of the levels have environmental effects that mess with you as you’re driving, which I find incredibly annoying. For example, one level shoots large streams of water at you while you’re driving, which pushes your guy all around. To me this adds more trial and error to the game, as you can’t really prepare for these things until you’ve seen them at least once. Even then it’s not always super clear how they affect you, and it’s just another layer of not being properly prepared. I tend to like technically demanding games (Super Meat Boy being a great recent example), but the ones I like tend to have one thing in common: transparency. It’s always clear what you’re supposed to do and how you’re supposed to do it; the challenging part is then actually pulling it off. The harder levels of Trials are still challenging to pull off even once you know what to do, but getting to that point is an extra layer that feels counterproductive to me.

That being said, Trials does control very well, and I do really like the challenge it offers. There’s a real “touchy feely” aspect to the physics as you lean forward and backwards, which leaves a lot of room for finesse and improvement; I bet there are some amazing Trials players out there. I don’t really care for the silly minigames, but I have been enjoying most of the normal races. I’ll keep rolling with that, and I’m also wanting to play The Walking Dead at some point (the second episode should be out soon, right?). But that’s going to be all for now, until next time!

Currently playing: Diablo III, Trials Evolution, Magicka?