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.

-GW

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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?

-GW

Zelda: Breath of the Wild Site Is A Breath of Fresh Air Today

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Yep. While the disappointment of the release slipping possibly into next summer is a bit annoying, the fact that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild now has an official site chock full of too much info is a really good thing. Go poke around, please. Especially if you’re a big, cranky skeptic who didn’t get the chance to play the demo this past June and think an open world Zelda is somehow a bad idea despite the series being chock full of open world goodness from the very first entry.

-GW

A Little More Of The Last Guardian Is A Lot Of Awesome


 

Spoiler Alert: This is absolutely gorgeous. Oh, and yeah – you get too many hints on what to do early on. Ah well. December 6th is getting closer and I’m rethinking my non pre-order plans for a hot minute. Yeah, I may just go the digital route and not deal with a disc version. On the other hand, I like having something to hold onto, specifically in this case of The Last Guardian being Team ICO’s swan song. It’s one of the few games where I’m actually going in with expectations of a greatness and don’t intend to be disappointed unless everything collapses at whatever ending wraps this one up. We shall see, my friends… we shall see.

-GW

Amnesia Collection On PS4: Twist Your Mind With Fear (More So Than Usual)

I kind of wish I had amnesia right about now, but it’s more important to stay frosty an alert out in the real world. That said, I still wish I had Amnesia, but this desire is actually in the form of Amnesia Collection on the PS4. It’s not on the PSN Store as I type this, but trust me, it’s going to be at some point today. If I’m in the mood to camp out under the covers later, perhaps a buy and play will be made. The first game and it’s shorter sequel, Justine, may have aged visually over the last five years, but my money says those old Lovecraftian shivers will still work perfectly.

-GW

The Last Guardian: Almost Here, With A Tear

 

At the very least, The Last Guardian will be remembered as Team ICO’s swan song, long in the making and very likely well worth that long wait. Interestingly enough, there’s an official soundtrack LP (yes, on vinyl!) by Takeshi Furukawa being put out by the fine folks at I Am 8-Bit that looks really lovely.

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As I no longer have a record player here, I’ll just settle for a copy of the game I expect to be readily available on its launch date. Hype on the game seems to have quieted down considerably over the years, but I’m expecting a post-review surge of purchases followed by the usual suspects returning the game because they don’t “get” it. Ah well… we shall see soon enough, right?

-GW

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Happy Halloween From Robo Pixel & Gunnihilation!

 

The fine and dandy run ‘n gun meets bullet hell arcade shooter Gunnihilation is easily making my “best of 2016” list and it’s not even 100% done yet. The completely fun, completely chaotic, completely “shut up and PLAY IT” Early Access game has gotten some excellent and FREE Halloween-themed content called Witches and Boomsticks that adds, well, witches and boomsticks (and more, oh my!) to the game.

The first major update for Gunnihilation called “Witches and Boomsticks”, is out on Steam for FREE and has more content that you can shake an angry skeleton at.

Included in this release;
– More levels (a whole new mission comprised of three full and a handful of new Survival levels)
– New enemies (including LASERBATS)
– Spooky overhaul of all the levels for Halloween
– A new weapon (why should the Green Goblin have all the fun?)
– Achievements
– Trading cards
– Balances and fixes

And as if that wasn’t enough, we’re not going to leave you like the classic skeleton at the disco (with no body to go with) and strip your spoopy content from you after release. All the content we’re putting into Witches and Boomsticks will stay in the game after Halloween is over, accessible from a menu in the game level hub.

Today’s jury duty craziness has me a bit worn out, but I say go grab this game and that free update, get a few friends to come over (you’ll need a controller for each) and go have a blast!

-GW

Today’s Freak-Out, Courtesy of DreadOut

Seriously twisted and interactive to boot, this icky video from talented Indonesian developer Digital Happiness wants to mess with your day in a big way. This VR-enabled teaser for DreadEye almost makes me want to try a VR horror game, but I don’t want to be found dead on the couch with those damn goggles strapped to my head. That would be somewhat expensive and embarrassing, right? Right.

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Oh, by the way… DreadOut is on sale until November 1 for a mere $2.99. Get it, I say.

Xanadu Next: More N-Gaging Than The Phone Version, For Sure

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n-gage-xanadu_nextSo, Xanadu Next and I… have a little history. My first and only encounter with it was via the infamous Nokia N-Gage version that, while a bit janky, was still playable and a bit of fun once you got used to it. When I found out a few years later that not only was it initially a PC game in Japan, but a much better game overall, I was hoping to heck someone would get to work on a localization.

Thank you, Xseed Games and Marvelous USA! This should be interesting, as the things I liked about the portable game are getting a big boot and yes, the truncated/changed story is now here as it should be. November 3 is the release date and $19.99 on Steam, gog.com or the Humble Store is a fair enough bargain for a game I found entertaining as a squashed-down Diablo -like ARPG experience, which interestingly enough, the N-Gage had a few of during its life cycle. Most were actually pretty good, but that’s the subject of a whole different post you should bug me about one of these days if you’re intrigued.

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-GW

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Gunnihilation: Yeah, It’s A Blast

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The ONLY thing “wrong” with Robo Pixel Games‘ brilliant bullet hell on steroids Gunnihilation is there’s no online play, and this is coming from a guy who dislikes online play in most of his games. The “shut up and play it!” Early Access game is so much fun as a local co-op experience that it BEGS to be shared with as many friends as possible, which in this era of “friends” meaning “many people you and I solely know through social circles” is a bit impossible. But that also leads me to believe Robo Pixel is smarter than I am because that simply means MORE of you who should play this need to just buy it ASAP.

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