Diarblo

It’s been nearly sixteen years since the last time I tried playing any games in the “Diablo” series, and my attempt back in 2007 to get into the first game ended pretty abruptly.  I couldn’t get on with the controls and even for the time the graphics were pretty dated.

To be 100% clear here, I realize that many people hold the Diablo “mouse click to do everything” controls near and dear to their hearts, and while your ways baffle and disturb me I’m not going to try to talk you out of it.  You’re slightly better than people who invert the Y-axis for first-person games, at least.

Now that I’ve managed to insult probably half the people who will ever see this, let’s move on to roughly 2018, when I decided that I was going to give “Destiny” a try.  By this time, Activision really wanted everyone to be playing Destiny 2 and I had to go out to an actual store to buy a physical copy of the original game… which was easily found in the “$5, or 4 for $10” bin at the nearest GameStop.

The other games I picked out of the bin included the original release of Diablo III for PS3, since I’d heard that the controls on console were much easier to deal with.

5 years after THAT, well.

I figured I’d give it a go.

To be clear, this is probably the worst possible way to play this game.  The PS3 and Xbox 360 were very much on their last legs in 2013, and Diablo III plays in a sub-HD resolution that euphemistically “targets 60 fps”.

It ain’t pretty.

Oh, and neither are any of my screenshots.  The PS3 didn’t have a built-in screenshot feature and when I tried to hook it up to a capture card I discovered that it has HDCP permanently turned on.  All pictures, therefore, are literal screenshots.

Anyway, while I understand that the campaign mode is somewhat dismissed as a glorified tutorial, I started up a character and spent the next few days turning low polygon demons into glorious piles of color coded loot drops.

And I will admit, this game makes the experience of Making The Numbers Go Up a very pleasant experience.  You get to put your new drops up against your old gear and say things like “well it’s 3 more intelligence but do I really want to lose that 4% crit damage?”

Some choices are easier than others, of course.  Also the vocabulary in this game!  Like, I am an AD&D kid from the 1970s so I am perfectly comfortable with the odd glaive-guisarme, but what the HECK is a “poignard” ?

I suspect someone, possibly many someones at Blizzard go to a lot of ren faires.  I would say something like “I’m not judging” but that would be a lie.

One of the best touches of the whole loot thing is the times you get an orange legendary-quality item and you get to hold down a button while the game “identifies” it and the anticipation builds and builds and then you find that you have looted magical fart pants.

LEGENDARY magical fart pants.

Sadly D3 does not have any sort of cosmetic item appearance change option, like WoW’s Transmog feature.  My demon-vanquishing wizard went through most of the game looking like this, or worse:

It’s probably a good thing that most of the action is extremely zoomed out.

As a side note, I usually play as melee-heavy tanky sorts of characters in any RPG, since spell casters are traditionally sort of glass cannons and I am bad about not getting hit.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that the game lets you recruit a companion, in my case the very tanky and also healy Templar character, and he did a fine job of keeping monsters from eating my face while I turned them into ash.

My only regret is that the PS3 version of the game never got the patch that increased the spawn rate of the rare monster that drops the rare drop that lets you get into the Secret Rainbow Pony Level.  I think there’s a way to transfer your characters from PS3 to PS4, however, so I suspect my $2.50 purchase is about to turn into $22.50 overall.

For now though, this is like only the third or fourth game I’ve finished this year and it’s nice to actually see some end credits roll.

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