Switchy Business, Or: Blizzard, Just Do It.

So, yeah. A few days ago this happened on Twitter:

Naturally, a LOT of people jumped on this (including yours truly) and thought right off the bat that this cryptic tweet was not at all cryptic and meant we’d be seeing a Switch version of Diablo III at some point. Well, Blizzard says nope, it was all just a misinterpreted tweet. Boo. That said, I think they’re at the very least planning something and that tweet was a means of teasing and testing the waters as far as responses to a Nintendo version. While I despise speculation, I’m about to speculate on what’s up while adding a few thoughts on this matter.

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WHAT Summer Drought? This Week’s LOADED With RPG Madness!

 

Yikes. Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed is out (PS3 and PS Vita! BUY IT!), as is Disgaea 4: A Promised Revisited (PS Vita, BUY IT). Next week (all arriving on the 19th!), it’s Tales of Xillia 2 (PS3, BUY IT!), Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment (PS Vita, BUY IT!) and the summer/fall/winter/forever eating madness that is Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition (PS3/PS4, Xbox 360/Xbox One, BUY IT!).

 

Finally, the close of the month (well, August 26) brings in DLC for Dark Souls II in the form of the Crown of the Old Iron King content (PC, PS3, Xbox 360, BUY IT!) and Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 (PS Vita – the jury is out, but it does look cute!). If you like your RPGs a bit more (well, a LOT more) European, Risen 3: Titan Lords (PC, PS3, Xbox 360) and Sacred 3 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360) are out NOW, and while the reviews aren’t “stellar” for either game, I’m gathering both will find their niche among more open-minded RPG fans.

 

Well, now that your wallet is gasping for air and you’re curled up in a fetal position wishing you had more time to PLAY all those games, I’ll consider my work here done as I bid you adieu (for now)…

Review: Diablo III

Platform: PC

Developer: Blizzard North

Publisher: Blizzard

# of Players: 1 – 2

ESRB Rating: M (Mature)

Official Site

Score: B

 

With no reliable internet connection and no desire to play any game with a solo mode that demands one, no matter the reasoning, I’m exactly the sort of gamer Blizzard doesn’t want playing Diablo III, and that’s a shame. No one asked the many thousands of folks like me who happen to love the series what our thoughts were on an online-only Diablo experience, and the fact remains that not everyone who wanted a straightforward campaign is some sort of pirate or cheat-happy coder out to break the game up into pieces and make our own content or whatever else Blizzard was fearful of. That said, last year when I heard about the game being online only, I automatically thought I’d never get the chance to review it. However, I was able to wrangle a deal with a friend where in case a copy DID magically show up, I’d use his spiffy, always updated gaming rig in trade for the game if he set up an account just so I could at least play through it to see how it turned out.

Amusingly enough (and much to my surprise) a review copy showed up two days before the launch and after letting out a nicely demonic laugh (you should hear it – your spine will rattle), I made a phone call and set aside what I thought would be enough quality time to go through the game. Let’s just say that everything I was concerned about came to bear in a few ridiculously annoying ways, but when the game works, it’s addictive as ever (despite some changes made for the casual crowd) and about as good as I’d hoped. The caveat being WHEN it worked…

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Diablo III Officially Dated: Wake Me When There’s An Offline Solo Mode…

Yeah, yeah, I was bitching earlier about people bitching about Mass Effect 3’s ending, but this is entirely different and worth it’s own special gripe. Sure, Blizzard wants to be in better control of its long-awaited baby, but shutting out Diablo III to those who don’t have constant online connections, don’t WANT to play nice (or nasty) with others or hell, just want a game they can play when they want to without having to rely on constant updating just blows. Not everyone who wants an offline mode is a hacker, cheater (or whatever is considered “bad” for DIII) looking to bilk Blizzard. We just want to enjoy the story as solo players and not go near the Internet, that’s all.

Yes, Blizzard will make a MINT on DIII pre-sales and launch day sales and based on what I’ve seen of the beta, they deserve every penny of your hard-earned gold. However, YES, you’d better believe there will be such a download crunch-fest on and around day one that a lot of people will be screaming that they can’t get online or download the game or are suffering through whatever other issues that ALWAYS crop up in a big release like this. A lot of you guys and dolls will be doing the happy dance on May 15, 2012, but for me and a lot of other folks, it’ll be business as usual until we hear of some solution that can get us enjoying SOME form of the Diablo universe (even if it’s a console side-story set in the same period as the game).

Why A Console Diablo Is A Really Great Idea (Again)



If you've been around for a few console cycles and managed to snag a copy of this game (which still fetches a premium price in some spots), you probably remember this shiny little gem from the “ancient” PlayStation days. It ate up nearly a whole memory card for saves, was brutal as hell and had endless replay value for those who loved it. Well, It looks like console owners may finally be getting another Diablo-like game after all… this time from the makers of Diablo, and I couldn't be happier.

According to a posting on the official Diablo III Community Forums:



“We're exploring a Diablo-related concept for consoles and are currently looking to fill a few senior console-related positions on the Diablo III team. As we've said in the past, with proper care the gameplay could suit the console platform, and we're interested in seeing what talent out there might be interested in such a project. If you're passionate about all things Diablo and have the requisite skill and experience, then head over to our jobs site to check out the positions and apply.

Please note that this is not an announcement of a console title. We are first and foremost developing Diablo III for Windows and Mac PCs and don't intend to allow any possibility of a console interpretation to delay or affect the release of the game.”

Reading that made me grin for a few minutes too long, but it's stellar news if it actually gets done at some point. Granted, the PC-only adherents are up in arms and whining as usual (in some over the top rants that make as much sense as a Rick Santorum supermarket speech). Nevertheless, I say it's one of the smartest moves Blizzard can make going forward and benefits everyone at the end of the day… Read more »

Hudson Entertainment Shuts Down, Activision Slays Guitar Hero, True Crime


In a double shot PLUS of depressing industry news, it looks as if the current recession plus gaming trends split down the middle toward bigger-budgeted or smaller indie “casual” games has taken down the US offices one a fan favorite middle range publisher and a couple of major franchises by a major publisher. Of course, the real story is how companies see games (and the creativity behind them) as commodities and simply chop product lines and jobs based on under-performance (among other things) rather than shift jobs around to other projects. Fan favorite Hudson Entertainment is shutting down its US offices by the end of this month, according to multiple reports including a blog post by Morgan Haro, Hudson's US Brand Manager.
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