Monday, 21 May 2012
Another weekend has past us all by. The most exciting thing for me was seeing my son, riding his bike for the first time. Just need to get him to swim, and my job as a parent is almost done. In my opinion there are several key areas in a childs development, reading, writing, and numeracy are key skills learned mostly in a school environment, then the fun things which are parental responsibility like swimming and riding a bike, and of course much later driving a car.
The weekend allowed some game time which was split between WoW and Diablo III. My interest in Diablo is starting to wane, due mostly to the problems I have killing the bosses. I guess that I am either a real noob or I am missing something like lightning reflexes.
As a long standing gamer stretching back to pong, I have played all types of computer games, but some genres are best left in cupboard marked frustrating. I never understood the idea of realtime flight simulators, and was completely baffled to find that a work colleague was currently flying from Manchester to New York in a 747 and he had to get home at lunch time to land the plane. Over games that do not cut the mustard are platform games. Anybody recognising the picture below might understand my frustration.
For those of you, not old enough to have experienced the Atari 800 or the Comodore 64, this is a classic from 1982, Pitfall. This is what Wikipedia has to say on the subject, "
The player must maneuver a character (Pitfall Harry) through a maze-like jungle in an attempt to recover 32 treasures in a 20-minute time period. Along the way, he must negotiate numerous hazards, including pits, quicksand, rolling logs, fire, rattlesnakes, scorpions, and crocodiles. Harry may jump over or otherwise avoid these obstacles by climbing, running, or swinging on a vine to avoid them. Treasure includes gold and silver bars, diamond rings, and bags of money. Under the jungle there is a tunnel which Harry can access through ladders found at various places. Travelling in the tunnel moves three screens at a time, which is required to collect all the treasures within the time limit. However, the tunnels are filled with dead-ends blocked by brick walls, forcing the player return to the surface at one of the ladders, and try to find a way around again. The tunnels also contain scorpions Harry must avoid." The rolling logs, the swinging vines all required split second reflexes or you would soon be staring at the “GAME OVER” screen. The description above still brings me out in a rash.
This is how I am starting to feel about Diablo III, and then I read the latest post from Tobold and I am starting to see things a little clearer. The gameplay is a throwback to Diablo II which is 12 years old, and sits in the pantheon with classics like Pokemon, Roller Coaster Tycoon, Super Mario Bros Deluxe, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater and Gran Turismo 2. Classics they may be but would you want to play them again. I was appalled at how bad the graphics were on the PS2 when I plugged it in and fired up Gran Turismo 2 a few months ago. I realise now that I am only playing Diablo III, because it is Blizzard and they gave it to me free as a loyality bonus for 12 months subscription.
In summary Diablo III at the boss stages is too twitchy, the gamestyle is old even if the graphics are sharp and the game polished, Everything that Tobold discusses in the fictional Hack 'n' Slay is perfectly true of Diablo III.
Will I continue to play Diablo III? I think the answer is occasionally, but for now I am returning to my bedrock and awaiting the coming Panda explosion.