Friday, August 5, 2011

I heard you like cornbread

The standard for modern action RPG's was set last generation by Baldurs Gate Dark Alliance. It was was promptly raised a few years later by Champions of Norrath (still by Snowblind, who I just learned are responsible for the oft delayed Lord of the Rings: War in the North, which also means that I need to pay attention to yet another game). Both of these games made excellent use of a very simple mechanic: killing mans to get better stuff to kill more mans. This is all Diablo and Diablo 2 are, and they are still patching the second game, so it certainly works. The action RPG, whether it be on a console or PC, is the equivalent of comfort food. It's your Mom's cornbread or chicken soup or home made cookies that you can simply taste just by thinking about and that keep you coming back home for reasons beyond doing your laundry.

Which brings us to Dungeon Siege 3. The first two were good enough games, hitting all the correct development bullet points for liner action games with just enough wandering thrown in to waste time leveling up for. I remember them being fun, but I also remember they always playing second fiddle to games like Titan Quest and Sacred because they didn't have much weapon variety or things were just a little too linear. Dungeon Siege 3 has the misfortune of coming out while Sacred 2 is still relatively recent and Diablo 3 hype is starting to increase, so is should not be a surprise that the game has been largely ignored at retail and met with a resounding 'meh' by critics. In truth there is nothing wrong with the game; it is just doing the same things that it always has, things that have been modernized or streamlines by other games. I was expecting much more from Obsidian. While they do indeed have a habit of putting out flawed gems, their games have always been interesting. Dungeon Siege 3 is not outstanding, nor is it terrible, it just is, and it is taking up time that should be going toward Bastion of Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet.


I travel game compulsively and travel just enough that owning a second set of cords for the 360 is a must. Taking it on a plane is not a good idea, but it has certainly made a few long car trips with me to hotels that featured televisions that my parents might have owned. The only times I get a television worth a damn are when I don't actually bring the system along. It happened last year when I was stuck in a casino for an extra night and they upgraded me to a presidential suite, and it has happened again, this time in Louisville. The set up was brilliant: nice big flat screen with a full set of inputs mounted into the cabinet it was sitting on. No need to squeeze behind the set and risk breaking stuff, everything was right there for the taking. It was a rig worthy of after hours EVO money matches, and all I could do on it was watch heads up poker on ESPN.

Still, there is no way that I could get a 360 through security, and checking one is a terrible idea. I am already on my third console, buying a forth would be difficult to justify.

1 comment:

  1. Getting a 360 through security can be a pain but I've done it plenty of times.

    The best was when I checked my ps3, TE and mario pajama pants. This was when I was 26.

    I insinuated that the person looking at my bags didn't get as much ass as me because he didn't have the stuff that I had in my bag. He was understandably skeptical but clearly I was not a terrorist.