Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Diablo 3 Taste Test, Couch Co-op at it's finest.

Beer in the fridge? Pizza on it's way? Four controllers hooked up to the console? Well get three friends over, because it sounds like you're ready for Diablo 3 on console.

There's something great about organising to meet at a friend's house to play a co-op game. Usually you tell people it starts at 6:00pm but for some reason, you never get into the game until 9:00pm. From that point on it becomes a night of pizza, accidental (but really deliberate) team-killing, beer, bragging and OMFG moments. This is, of course, until the morning light washes away all the fun from the room, and you begin to realise that you've been playing the same game for 9 hours straight and you wonder what excuse you're going to tell your partner.

I can easily see Diablo 3 turning into one of these games for one of these nights. I had a chance to play the game early at an event put on by IGN and Blizzard and I had a blast sitting on a couch bashing my way through the demons from hell with 3 other guys, and the free beer and pizza was flowing.

The game translates perfectly to console, and I was able to pick-up the controls in no time at all. All the character's abilities are mapped to one of the buttons, so switching between abilities is the press of a button. I like the way the game also had hot keys for items you've just picked-up, it clearly indicated which item was better so you could quickly swap it out and drop the trash if need be and continue dungeon crawling without pausing. Most importantly though, the game now features a dodge-roll move which is mapped to the right stick, so obviously, everyone rolled across the terrain to the next object ala Ocarina of Time.

Couch co-op in Diablo 3 brought back memories of playing Castle Crashes with my friends or even playing Golden Axe at the arcades with my family when I was younger. I could certainly see myself bashing through it again and again with different groups of friends.

To summarise, I have written a Haiku about Diablo 3 and the co-op experience:

The crisp taste of beer
Diablo played on a couch
Fun Demons to kill.

Having not been able to pick this one up when it was initially released for the PC, I'm very psyched to pick this one up on consoles.



Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Favourite games, what I'm playing

Just a quick note to list some of my favourite games, I couldn't even describe why I like some of these games anymore, it's been so long, and I've just been telling myself that they're my favourite for a long, long time.

Here's a list:
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Half-Life 2
Max Payne

I'd like to go through these games in detail, I just need to set my mind back to that time.

Currently I'm playing:
Sleeping Dogs (Xbox 360)
The Walking Dead - Telltale (Xbox 360) with my wife
Uncharted: Golden Abyss (PS Vita)
Tiny Wings (iOS)
Infinity Blade 2 (iOS)

Monday, 5 August 2013

When to purchase a console

The PS4 and Xbox One (deliberately in that order) will be released before the end of the year, and it has been sometime since we have seen a generational shift in consoles (Wii U remains on par with Xbox 360 and PS3 in my opinion). So, am I going to buy them? Yes. This year? No.

There are very few launch games that stand up to hindsight. So, I didn't want to be sucked-in. I did my research, and it is usually the second Christmas after a consoles release that the good games start to appear. Also, after the initial launch, there is usually a vacuum until the next Christmas anyway. So why buy it straight-away? You can catch-up on the 2-3 must-have titles that you missed from the first year of the console's life. You can get a better bundle. All the kinks in the OS have been ironed-out and you're getting the first true next-gen games. Christmas 2014 will be PS4 and Xbox One time in Tim Town.

The Wii U? Well, let's just wait until it has at least 5 must-have games, and maybe a price drop... Poor Wii U...

This brings me onto gaming PCs. Is this something I want? Yes. Is it something I can justify? No. I have a Wii, Xbox 360, PS3 and a pile of shame 30+ games deep. I have a MacBook, which I can use on my lap, sitting next to my wife and to check mails and browse the web. A gaming PC, would put me in the spare room, by myself, and would cost me upwards of $1000 - $1500. It will be out-of-date in 4 years and not to mention the driver issues. I always said to myself I would buy a gaming PC when Starcraft 2 came out, that came and went, then it was Diablo 3, and my wife even encouraged me to, but I just can't justify it. The massive savings I would make during a Steam sale would not offset the hardware price.

As a side note, I was able to finish Starcraft 2 on my friend's PC, and now Diablo 3 is coming out on consoles. You can't imagine how happy I was when they announced that.



Greetings & the scarcest resource in gaming.

Hi all,

My name is Tim, and this is a blog about gaming.

These days I do most of my gaming on my: Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PS Vita and iPhone.

With working full-time and being married, I tend to value games that display quality over quantity. Longer experiences such as Skyrim and Fallout 3 are an 'every-couple-of-years' kind of game, as they will take up a quarter of the year. 'Day-one purchase' is also not such a big deal for me anymore, as games drop so dramatically in price 6-12 months after release and there is always a great game to be played, there's always something in your pile of shame. Last year's 'games-of-the-year' haven't magically turned into piles of shite over the course of 6 months. This gives me a unique perspective on the value proposition of games, the 5 - 15 hour campaign full of outstanding and fresh moments is far more preferable than the padded 20 - 30 hour grind-fest. Avoiding the hype means smarter purchasing decisions, game reviewers can sometimes get caught in the hype of a game that scores highly, only to have nothing but negativity towards the game 6-months later. On the other hand, games that may have only gotten average scores have stood the test of time a lot better, with game reviewers remembering their time with these games fondly on podcasts 12 months down the road. Finally, being patient with games gives me the opportunity to play the main campaign with all the DLC, usually packaged into the 'complete' edition and I get the bonus of avoiding the week 1 bugs.