Diablo IV: Back To The Past For The Future’s Sake

While Blizzard is in a wee spot of trouble for a few things these days, if you can divorce yourself from those elements, Diablo IV is looking mighty incredible. The return to the bleak color palette of the first two entries in the series is a great decision as is the company deciding to release both the opening movie and a gameplay trailer that looks pretty spectacular. I’m concerned about a few things, though.

Only three classes (so far) is a throwback to the original game (an excellent touch), but I’m hoping more are added and not at a premium price point. Some fans are already too testy about microtransactions in games and game companies overcharging for content that should be part of the package, so I’m mot sure how Blizzard will respond to this. At least the game is wisely confirmed for PC and save for the Switch, consoles, so it’s a definite day one purchase for me. EDIT: Ah, I see from the official site that these are  “the first three” classes, which probably means more will be made available at some point, likely by some form of unlocking (payment?) or a completion reward for completing the game with one of the three starting characters.

With that out of the way, I can breathe easy that the game is in good hands as development continues. Multiplayer I can take or leave, but we’ll see how it turns out as things progress. The brief bits I saw certainly looked good, but I’m more of a solo player in games like this because I tend to take my time and not rush through dungeons.



Diablo III 2.4.3 Update: Party Like It’s 1996 (Or, To Hell & Back, Grinning)


Well, oooh. I wasn’t expecting to be this surprised by an update, but yep, Blizzard did just what I was thinking they were going to do with a bit more throwback action, albeit it short-lived. The update also popped up on PSN (as the 1.15 patch), which is the version I played through last night and messed around with into this morning. Other than it not having the retro UI, it’s exactly the same content. I was more surprised that the team had not a lot of info from the original Diablo and had to piece things together using fan wikis, but hey – most fans are helpful when they’re not fighting with each other.

(Hey! Subscribe to my boring YouTube channel, already!)

The throwback maps made me grin like a loon as I took a newly created Monk through those hellish stages. I went through on Normal the first time, which is why The Butcher went down without killing my holy fist punching dame. Actually, in my original Diablo play back in ’96, I didn’t die against that brute until my second time through because I got overconfident, his room was on a new spot on the map with a dead end outside I got trapped in and the exploding barrels I hit took off a wee but too much health when he rushed up with that axe. Ow. Actually, I had a run later through the PlayStation version in 1998 where I got stuck dying on the 7th floor thanks to a lightning fast lightning magic blasting mob parked right at the stairway. I think I still have that save data on an old memory card here.


In any event, if you’ve a PC, PS4 or Xbox One, remember spending too much time in digital Hell and want a quick trip back to 20 years ago… yeah, go grab Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition, but do it soon. The Darkening of Tristram event only lasts until the end of January and you might not want to miss the oddball gifts you get when completing the run.


Diablo Turns 20: Blizzard, What Are You Up To?


Twenty years is a long time for any form of interactive entertainment to be around and still have an active fan base. Blizzard seems to know its classic PC game Diablo has a rather dedicated and somewhat vocal legion of players that have stayed with the franchise through three games, numerous patches and a few expansion packs. Granted, the love for the first two games meant Diablo III was going to be heavily criticized for both its long development time and any huge changes to what longtime fans expected. Let’s just say the fans didn’t disappoint in letting themselves be heard.


But of course, Diablo III was a mess at and post launch, but tons of patches, the removal of that horrid Auction House and surprisingly, mostly superb console ports that actually improved upon the foundation laid made it a far better game for everyone save last-gen system (PS3/Xbox 360) owners who didn’t get the great 2.4.0 update. I’d already sunk a few hundred hours into the PS3 version and planned to transfer my save files over to the PS4 when I finally made the move to that console. Of course, that didn’t happen thanks to Phill Katz stealing my PS3 after I sent it to him for repair. NO, I haven’t forgotten you, asshole.


So, yeah. I’ve had to restart from scratch with Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition on the PS4 and so far, I’m quite pleased with my progress. I’m working on a Demon Hunter build and blazing through Adventure Mode after completing the Campaign once just to build up a ton of Paragon points so I’ll have a huge pool to use when creating other characters later. The 2.4.0 content surprised me with a dark and grim new map that added a few new enemy variants, crashing waves, rain and… freakin’ gigantic sea snakes popping up if you ran too close to the edge of some spots on the map.


Anyway, this post has no point other than me reminiscing and wondering just what the hell Blizzard is up to. Yes, I know about the Necromancer class coming as well as the upcoming “remake” of the first game using the DIII engine. But I’m hotly curious as to what else is planned. Other games get re-releases, HD upgrades or flat out remakes, so it only makes sense that this one would at some point soon. Unless Blizzard is just messing with us fans. Those old cinematics sure cleaned up well, huh?


Oh Yeah, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition Is Out. Buy It.


No, I didn’t forget about this one. Between the low drama of other game issues and crappy connection speeds everywhere, I know all those games dropping into retail this week were overlooked here. It’s funny that with the PS4 version of RoS, Blizzard, Sony and plenty of gamers aren’t even talking about the “last-gen” versions anymore even though MORE people still own and play games on the PS3 and Xbox 360 than their shinier replacements. Hell, I’m buying this expansion on the PS3 because I’m the stubbornest of old goats as well as a total cheapskate. Anyway, as noted earlier, I won’t touch this game at all until I finish up some stuff I need to get done or it WILL NOT GET DONE at all. Diablo does that to productivity…

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls UEE: A Reminder That It’s Nice To Share…

Now, I intend to play this one completely solo just because I prefer the challenge of going it alone (and Okay, because I have a crappy home connection), but it’s great to see Blizzard championing couch co-op for this expansion. Remember, console owners get Diablo III included with this expansion, so it’s a great deal no matter which system you buy it for. Of course, the more powerful PS4 will get the better looking version of the game, allegedly with some other options not available to PS3 owners, but we’ll see about that in a few days, right? Actually, I’ll probably wait until I complete a few reviews in progress before I even decide to touch this one. I have the feeling that once I fire this one up, I won’t be coming up for air any time soon…

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition TV Spot: Giving That Devil His Due (Before He Does You In)…

August 19 is right around the corner and that means quite a few people are planning to take a little vacation to hell and back with this console version of the Reaper of Souls expansion for Diablo III. This one’s going to eat away at productivity here, which isn’t a good thing at all, so I’m actually going to hold off picking it up for about a week or so while I knock the pile of work I have here down to a more manageable size. That’s not to say YOU shouldn’t run like hell out to grab this one on day one if you’re a fan of the series (you absolutely SHOULD). I just know myself all to well and know I’ll just pull a disappearing act if I get this and there’s “suddenly” some “free time” that pops up like a rabbit out of a hat…

Diablo III Ultimate Evil Edition Coming August 19 to Consoles (Yep, PS3 and 360, Too)

When the Diablo III: Reaper of Souls expansion was announced for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, many fans of the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions on a few message boards thought they were going to be left out of the loop. I also initially thought so for a hot minute, but didn’t think Blizzard was nuts enough to NOT bring that expansion to the consoles where MORE of that version sold (and continues to sell). Fortunately, console owners from last and this generation (well, save for Wii U owners) will be reaping the rewards come August 19 when Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition rolls out on PS3,PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Yes, that sound you heard is me screeching like a happy Harpy and dancing around the room.

Now before I break a hip, hear below the jump and read what else I wrote about this excellent news… Continue reading

Humor: While I Go (Back) To Hell, You Can Watch A Movie…

DIII Realm of TerrorOkay, I’ve been obsessed with Diablo III on the PlayStation 3 for the past few months on and off. Why? two words: HELLFIRE RING. As I’m NOT cheating or playing online with cheaters who provide hacked gear to anyone who asks, I’ve been chipping away at the game’s Inferno mode, going past the level cap of 60 and into Paragon territory, where I’m currently at Level 15 (of 100 total Paragon levels). Now, I’ve gotten to Whimsyshire already (there’s NO “Cow Level” in DIII, but you do meet the Cow King once you create the Staff of Herding), but the big deal for me has been trying to craft a Hellfire Ring. Well, a few Hellfire Rings, but the first one is the hardest. Pull up a chair and grab a drink, as this is going to get all game-y and technical.

Anyone else, you can watch a free movie instead while I bend the ear of those who stayed behind with some caffeine.

(thanks, vintagemoviearchive!) 

Hmmm… let’s see now. Ah. THIS should do nicely – who doesn’t love some vintage Vincent Price? Oh, you don’t? Well then… step right this way and stand here while I throw this lever. A little to your left, please? Good. Oh, wait. Here’s a pillow. Consider it a parting gift. You may want to stuff it down the back of your pants, though…

(throws lever, trap door opens)

So long, now!

Continue reading

Review: Diablo III

Diablo III_PS3Platform: PlayStation 3 (also on Xbox 360)

Developer: Blizzard

Publisher: Activision/Blizzard

# of Players 1-4

ESRB Rating: M (Mature)

Official Site

Score: A (95%)

My experience with Diablo III on PC was an ab-Normal Hell Nightmare of an Inferno thanks to the always online requirements, Error 37 woes and a raft of other issues that have finally been patched up over time by Blizzard, but not quickly enough to get me playing again once I finished up my initial review. When the console version of the game was announced, I was one of those people jumping for joy at the news because I know that the game would soar as an untethered from the internet solo or co-op experience because other chase ‘n chop dungeon crawlers were plenty of fun without the online ball and chain. On the PS3 however, the game is not only superior to the PC version in nearly every respect (save for visuals, but it’s not a bad looker at all), it makes for both a great entry level and hardcore experience that’s a must-buy.

While the story isn’t what you’d call “deep”, Blizzard keeps things rolling along through some fine CG cinemas and a few nifty (if not too unexpected) twists before things are wrapped up (sort of) in this sequel. You don’t need to have played Diablo II (or even the first Diablo) to get off and running into the fray at all. But it helps if you’re a continuity freak or someone looking for references to previous installments. Of course, the chances of Blizzard getting those two older games onto any console is slim to none, but it’s something to dream about since this super-enhanced “port” that’s not a port turned out so well… Continue reading

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Gives Me The Hots For The PS4…

Ah, Diablo III. Other than the PC version, you haven’t failed me yet. Yeah, I’m an offline solo guy who had to deal with the original game being a total pain in the neck to get up and running, so I more than welcomed the PS3 version which I gladly paid for. Having blazed through two difficulty modes (so far), it pleases me to no end that the PS4 is getting this expansion and yes indeed, I can transfer my save files over when I finally get that PS4 in a bit. Hell may be other people (and how), but I like my personal hell packed with demons I can decimate on my own time and walk away happy and sane afterwards. Granted, Inferno mode awaits and I know I’ll be in for a fight against that lord of darkness and his many, many minions (and how, according to some folks who’ve survived the blitz of beefed up baddies raining hell down on them in solo play). But the game is supposed to be HARD. Hell, Normal mode is basically training for the others. You may not think so, you uber-core players who seem to LIKE your avatar dying endlessly until you get your skills together. Me, I prefer to have a fighting chance and enough room to run away when needed on those randomly generated maps.