Monday, April 23, 2012

Dialbo III, Agarest War, Final Fantasy, Kid Icarus, RPG Maker... my weekend in gaming!

That's a pretty long subject line for this post, isn't it?  Well, I kept pretty busy this weekend in general.  I guess I'll start with the topic I've already conversed about a dozen times at work this morning, but there was a beta run of a little title called Diablo III.  Maybe you're heard of it?


I fiddled around with the barbarian and demon hunter, and liked how the two classes felt so different from one another.  I think the visuals, while a departure in style from the first Diablo (full confession here - but I never did get to play Diablo II - I didn't have an adwquate computer at the time so it was just a missed title for me), I found the graphics and gameplay itself to be satisfying.

So was it all rainbows and puppies?  Unfortunately not.  While the game itself seemed very polished, Blizzard no doubt got the stress test the wanted with difficultly in areas such as the download launcher (a handful of errors on my part that mysteriously just went away on future tries) and long wait times.  I got roughly two hours in with the game, but not for lack of trying to get more.  Overall though, I am quite excited by the title, which comes out exactly one week before my birthday.  I get the feeling I know what game I'm grabbing for my birthday.

*** Edited to add ***

Because I was asked for a few more thoughts, I put this in comments but will add here as well:

More Diablo 3 huh? Well, a few more off of the top of my head:

- I liked demon hunter more than barbarian, which is sort of funny since in 90% of rpg games I take the warrior class first, but demon hunter forced me to be more creative I felt.

- The graphics were good, but they were not anywhere near as taxing as SC II it seemed. One of my buddies at work confirmed this as well. Pushing things to max on SC II gave his ridiculously tricked-out system a pretty good test, but D3 did nothing of the sort. I know from my own experience, I play SC 2 at about half graphics and d3 I was almost 100% on everything.

- Loot drops are still fun. :)

- The use of hotkeys reminded me a bit of WoW, as did the colors used in the visuals. I didn't play with any friends, but I have read that the difficulty scales depending on if you are solo or not.

- Max cap was 15 according to one friend who spent most of the weekend on there. He said he felt like he was struggling a bit to make sense of the skills as he got up in levels though he didn't explain further.

- I've heard complaints about not utilizing WASD controls, but I was fine with click to move, which is what I prefer in a lot of other games too.

- I want the sound track. There were a few songs in particular I really liked, though I have no clue what they're called at this point.

- Ease.  I know it's a beta, but it all seemed a bit... easy.

*** End above edit ***

Other titles that I poked and prodded over the weekend:

- Final Fantasy XIII-2: Not a ton new to report here.  I figure I'm teetering around the game's midpoint, but overall I am enjoying it, even if the story is a bit flaky in places for my liking.  The rest of the game's mechanics show that the devs took a lot of the criticisms for XIII to heart.

- Record of Agarest War Zero: I would guess I have passed the 1/3 mark here?  One thing I notice is that this game feels shorter than the initial Agarest War.  There is a neat 'digest mode' you can access that gives you the ability to play through the primary plot points of the first game, and it does trigger some stuff in Zero if you have end game data from the first game as well. I am a bit of a sucker for those data tie-ins.  I do like how the game seems to allow you to get to the 'perfect ending' more easily than the first game, though I do have a slight bone to pick with the whole 'perfect end' principle in general that I'll likely get into with the full review when I beat it.

- Kid Icarus - Uprising: Got through another couple of stages, updated my weapon.  Not a lot to report here.  This game's sort of my filler for when my wife's watching Netflix.  Which is going to lead to another post.  I'm staggered lately by the number of people I see using their consoles for non-gaming purposes lately.  I use them sparingly for blu-ray or Netflix, but I'm noticing that at any given time, 75% of my Xbox or PS3 friends are using their systems for Hulu, Netflix, listening to music - things like that.

And lastly, I spent a huge chunk of the day yesterday fiddling with RPG Maker VX Ace.  I have already written up a review for Otaku Gaming recently, which went over some of the product's talking points and ease of use.  I tried to look at it primarily from the perspective of someone who may be new to the series, or at least relatively new, such as my son.

I plan to do a second write-up on here though, where I go over deeper impressions as I have continued to use the software more and more.  Small things like trying new, specific scripts that are being released, some of the significant time-savers built in (like a lot of the text message options and greater database flexibility than I saw in RPG Maker XP) as well as just some of the fun new bells and whistles (I'm loving that I can add movies to it now).

So while my RMXP project, KotL: Summoner collects dust in My Documents folder on my hard drive, I've begun a new project that will be a bit more streamlined as I try to get a game out of it.  Again, it will be a swords and sorcery fantasy setting, but hopefully it'll turn out well.  I'm hopeful that things like random character and dungeon generators will prove great time savers for me as I continue to plug away at this.

How was your weekend?  Anyone else play anything new and exciting?  Anyone else get their hands on the D3 beta this weekend and if so, what did you think?  Sound off below!