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

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

Mordheim: City of the Damned Lands on PS4, Xbox One

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“Well, this one looks neat!” said the brain, both halves actually agreeing for a rare change. Focus Home Interactive’s busy year of interesting games I want to play continues with developer Rogue Factor‘s Mordheim: City of the Damned, a really nice-looking tactical RPG based on the classic Games Workshop out of print board game from 1999. Four separate campaigns (a full campaign for each of the four Warbands: The Human Mercenaries, the Sisters of Sigmar, the Skaven of Clan Eshin, and the Cult of the Possessed), online play if you want to compete with like-minded gamers, snazzy visuals, all that good stuff.

While not a “horror” game per se, I do love the visual style chosen quite a lot and hell, imagine wanting to whip up a Halloween outfit based on some of the wilder looking characters? Yep, that would be fun, right down to the people running away from you and into nearby trees or lampposts. Ouch.

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Earth Defense Force 5: If You Just Needed ONE Game in 2017…

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Holy Crap. I’d been so busy last month with missing consoles and personal stuff that I very COMPLETELY forgot to pay closer attention to Tokyo Game Show (TGS). Well, thanks to me finally coming up for air and asking myself while playing EDF 4.1 on my PS4 last night “Hmm, I wonder if any EDF5 news was announced…” before I passed out for the duration. Yes, the PS4 has an auto shutdown, thank you very much.

Anyway, I woke up this morning with bugs on the brain, checked YouTube and… WOW:

 

 

Yeah, I need this. I decided to look up some actual hands-on play and… my eyes are around here somewhere, as is my jaw:

 

 

Good gravy on a stick. Give me this, Breath of the Wild, a ton of indies and I’m good for all of 2017.

-GW

Review: VIRGINIA

A must for those who love cinematic game experiences, unique visuals and jigsaw-piecing together a compelling narrative that holds a few surprises and life-sized curve balls for its cast of characters. Short attention span types, those who think some/all games are “art” that require no commentary, and those who want everything explained at the finale need not apply, though.

Virginia header

Platform: PC (also on PS4/Xbox One)
Developer: Variable State
Publisher: 505 Games
# of Players: 1
Release Date: 9/22/2016
MSRP: $9.99
ESRB Rating: M (Mature)
Official Site
Score: A- (90%) BUY IT!

 

 

Variable State’s first game, VIRGINIA, is more of a work of interactive fiction presented in the language of videogames, but it’s also an impressive debut that works brilliantly. The catch is, in hoping players “get” the tricky mix of disjointed narrative and timed exploration sequences, the developer has unintentionally created a game that’s too damned smart for much of today’s gamer audience that craves explanation and arbitrary rules of realism apply to everything they play who also refuse to open their minds to something different that’s actually worth playing and replaying.

Virginia 24

In a nutshell, the story is about an FBI agent sent on a missing child case with another agent who needs a close eye kept on as there’s an ongoing investigation into unorthodox methods being used. That both agents are female, minorities and have some usual human flaws seems to rankle a few skulls. But reversing the sexes of the agents wouldn’t make a dent in the plot, as anything presented could happen no matter the gender of the main character or agent under the magnifying glass. Continue reading

Pathologic: Ice-Pick Lodge’s Re-Invention Looks Mysteriously Magnificent

Pathologic Logo
 

Back in 2005, Russian developer Ice-Pick Lodge released Pathologic, an unsettling horror/adventure/RPG hybrid that garnered excellent reviews at home, decent to fair reviews in the west, and gathered somewhat of a “cult” following for its unusual, creative art direction, extreme difficulty and distinctly bleak tone. The game’s fan base grew with its gog.com release and subsequent 2012 HD remastering (both of which come with the purchase of the HD Classic version). With a successful Kickstarter to re-imagine the game in 2015 for PC (and possibly consoles) Pathologic’s new path has added even more fans to this weird game’s potential player base. Ahead of Gamescom, IPL has released a nice set of screenshots that show off some lovely, haunting images from the new version.

Let’s take a look now, shall we?


 

Pathologic Artwork
 

While gameplay videos have yet to surface, this 2014 Kickstarter video should give you an idea of what to expect. As the game has no set release date, the waiting period between information drops will no doubt keep fans begging for more. It’s a good thing there’s a board game coming to make that wait less frustrating.

Speaking of more, click below the jump for more about the game (in handy cut/paste/corrected form)…

Continue reading

Portal Knights Goes BIG So You Can Go Home

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…and stay inside playing a lot longer. 505 Games and developer Keen Games have announced a huge new update to their popular family friendly crafting/action/RPG, Portal Knights that includes many requested features such as voice and text chat for online play, remappable controls, and a ton of tweaks and fixes. The new larger islands make the overall game world even more fun to run around in, and my logging in to check out the changes also revealed the game’s visuals have gotten nicely upgraded as well. 

Check out the new trailer and screenshot slideshow below.


 


 

-GW

Earth Defense Force 4.1 Stomping to Steam July 18

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Well, this wasn’t a total surprise, but it still make me do a little happy dance when it was confirmed. EARTH DEFENSE FORCE 4.1 The Shadow of New Despair July 18, on Steam. $49.99, but with a limited time 30% discount. Worth every penny even at full price. No mod support has been confirmed, but the game doesn’t need people messing with it creating content thanks to a few hundred hours worth of gameplay just in the challenge of clearing every difficulty level with every character AND getting all 800 randomly dropped weapons. PR on this has been quiet as a mouse, but I hope this gets kicked up a notch and made bigger news soon.

This DOOM Trailer is a Feat of Clay

DOOMSo, yeah. DOOM comes out on May 13th and this 4th game can also be seen as a modern reboot of the seminal FPS franchise as well as a love letter by id Software to itself. While the official game trailer itself is quite NSFW, the very talented Claycat (or Lee Hardcastle) has whipped up a hilariously cartoon gory (and not for the kiddies) claymation version of one of the early trailers that’s a must-watch.

Er… Hey, that’s NOT blood, kids… it’s um, jelly! Take a look:

Yep, awesome, innit? Here’s the yuckier (content-wise) official trailer:

DOOM hits retail and digital on May 13, 2016. As the song says, “go to hell and see how you like it!”