Your Dungeon-Looting Preference

In order to get my index finger in shape while deciding whether to buy Diablo III I’ve finally gotten started on Torchlight – two years (I think) after buying it on a Steam sale. I ended up waiting so long because I feel like I’m saddled with way too many games of its ilk.

For the last few years, the loot-driven game has become all the rage in RGPs – strangely on both the western and Japnaese sides. Y’know, games where nearly the entire driving force is the thrill you get upon finding a slick halberd or helmet and selling the rest of the crap. Those games are great, but I can only really devote myself to one at a time.

I don’t know if anyone else feels like this, but I think we hit a saturation point for this kind of game a while ago. Maybe that’s already tapering off, but it’s still left behind a pretty serious backlog for people like me.

At the time I got Torchlight I think I was already on or about to get on Phantasy Star Zero – which many proclaimed was the true successor to Phantasy Star Online. Personally I enjoyed it a lot – my favorite action RPG combat (before Demon’s Souls) was back, the loot drops were as compelling as ever, and it was all on a handheld now… until I picked up Phantasy Star Portable 2 on a half-off deal. That game felt like a proper advancement on top of the PSO design, but for some reason there’s still nothing like the original, which miraculously came back on homebrew servers. Even today I still log into PSO’s SCHTHACK servers every now and again, especially since they just released a massive client update. The price for that though is a line of abandoned dungeons and characters in my wake.

This is exactly the reason why I haven’t bought Borderlands, don’t plan to, and have passed up numerous Steam sales for the game. It’s probably a very good game, and a co-op loot-based shooter is something I’ve wanted to see for a while, but I don’t need one more of that kind of game.

Even now I’m deciding what to do after finishing this blog – log back into PSO, or boot up Torchlight. Just starting up Steam drew my attention to this new little game called Hack, Slash, Loot.

Finally getting into Torchlight, I can definitely feel the craftsmanship Runic put into this game. Having never played previous Diablo games, I can tell this is of some highly refined game design which I guess has been enough to draw me into Torchlight. If this is a hint of what I’ll find in the big DIII then I’ll definitely consider getting it.

On the other hand, for some reason I still can’t get over the sense of desire that Sonic Team still manages to illicit in Phantasy Star. With everything going on on-screen in Torchlight, each new drop you get just feels like a bunch of numbers to me. If I happen to finally find a red lightsaber in PSO though, it genuinely lights up my gameplay experience. It’s probably a less advanced game than what I might get from Runic or Blizzard, but everything in it feels more personal somehow.

Most people are probably gonna drop everything else when DIII hits. I still don’t know yet as I have a strange feeling I’d be stepping into something way out of my depth. If Sega can get us an English version of Phantasy Star Online 2 though, that will definitely be my game.

BULLETS:

  • I can’t be the only person who keeps having 240 Microsoft points in change left over. Somebody’s gonna tell me the best way to spend those points every time this happens. This is one thing that’s better about PlayStation Network: they tell you how much it actually costs and only transfer the exact required amount of money to your account.
  • “You won’t like me when I’m angry. Becase I always back up my rage with facts and documented sources.” – The Credible Hulk
  • Had no idea they were making another Total Recall.
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