Best of 2014, honorable mentions

If you haven’t yet seen my top 5 games of 2014, be sure to check that out. Now I’d like to throw out some honorable mentions that just didn’t quite make the cut.

A significant game that didn’t land in my top 5 is Dragon Age Inquisition. I absolutely loved the first two Dragon Age games, and I’ve enjoyed my time with Inquisition so far, but it just hasn’t grabbed my attention enough to merit making a top 5 list.

 

I’ve put maybe 18-20 hours into it so far, which overall isn’t a lot, and I’ve never really felt all that involved. It feels like the game is trying to accomplish too much, or at least more than I care to pay attention to and I never have any idea what’s going on. Also I’ve been annoyed by the insane amount of loot that appears in the game. If I want to pick up everything possible I find myself hitting ‘A’ every 20-30 seconds and picking up a bunch of items and then I have to go to the inventory screen and see if I picked up anything worth using. It’s just downright annoying, and at this point I’ve just stopped looting the enemies I kill.

Maybe I’ll start to enjoy the game more as I get further into it, but so far I feel like it’s been pretty mediocre at best.

Another game worth mentioning is Madden 15. I really wanted Madden to make my list, but I couldn’t squeeze it in alongside the other great games that made it. Madden 25 didn’t feel like much of an upgrade on the new consoles, but Madden 15 was a wonderful step forward. The game looks and feels amazing to play and is one of the best football experiences to date. I didn’t end up getting FIFA 15 this year, but I’m sure that’s just as good of an experience (I love FIFA 14 still!).

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is a refreshing take on the Call of Duty formula with the exo skeleton freshening up the online play and Kevin Spacey bringing an amazing performance to the campaign. I’d probably still be playing Advanced Warfare if I weren’t so swept up in the Master Chief Collection.

Diablo III Ultimate Evil Edition not only provides a great value by including the Reaper of Souls expansion but it also offers a revamped Diablo III experience tailored for current gen consoles. The game is a blast to play either via couch co-op or online with friends and strangers alike, and there’s more epic loot than you’ll ever be able to carry. It’s a great experience and one of the best co-op games of the year!

Forza Horizon 2 is an absolutely beautiful racing game that makes exploring the world just as fun as competing in races. The road trips that take you between each racing hub or a wonderful way to explore the world and see all the amazing scenery. The online multiplayer modes are a blast, whether you’re free roaming or playing the zombie attack mode. There are plenty of beautiful cars and a ton of road (and off road) to cover.

It’s strange to think Titanfall came out this year. It came out early in the Xbox One’s life (at least early enough so there wasn’t much else to play) and I was quite excited for it. Initially I was amazed by Titanfall and found it refreshing to play and a lot more enjoyable than the other shooter available at the time, Call of Duty Ghosts. Although I enjoyed Titanfall at the time, it quickly became lost in a sea of other releases and I haven’t given it a second thought since.

Last, but certainly not least, is GTA V. Rockstar put a lot of love into making GTA V a superb experience on current gen consoles. The world looks even more stunning than ever before, but they also added an entirely new experience with first person view. I haven’t used the view much, but it certainly changes the way things play throughout the game. I’m just in awe at how amazing the world looks and how fun it is to run around in it still.

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Diablo III Ultimate Evil Edition, where are my Infernal Pauldrons?

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Yesterday I picked up Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition for the Xbox One. The Ultimate Evil edition includes Diablo III in much the same way it was offered on the Xbox 360 and PS3 but with the addition of the Reaper of Souls expansion thrown in. There may be some more differences (besides graphics and performance ones), but so far it feels very much like the 360 version which isn’t a bad thing. The console version of Diablo III is by far the better experience if you ask me.

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The only issue I ran into was trying to find my Infernal Pauldrons once I booted the game up. After you redeem the code on the insert there’s one more step required that isn’t quite mentioned. You have to go to the Games and Apps menu, select Diablo III and select manage game. From there you have to select the Infernal Pauldrons ‘DLC’  and tell it to install. It’s a small 9.5mb file, and once it’s downloaded the pauldrons will be in your character’s inventory.

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Sorry about the blurry picture.

I’ve leveled my Barbarian to level 16 and have enjoyed the Xbox One version of Diablo III quite a bit so far. It’s as addicting as it ever was, maybe even more so. I can’t wait to get deeper into the game and see the Reaper of Souls content for the first time. I have Diablo III on PC but stopped playing once I found out a console version was coming as I just can’t stand clicking a mouse.

Diablo III on the Xbox 360

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So I picked up Diablo III on its PC launch day and played through it on Normal and enjoyed it, however it wasn’t as fun as I wanted it to be because I was never really playing with people I knew like I did with Diablo I and II and often played with random strangers. Today I picked up Diablo III on its console launch day for the 360 and this time I’m much more excited.

The console version of Diablo III features 4 person local co-op. You can fire it up, hand out 3 other controllers and sit on the couch drinking beers as you hack and slash your way through thousands of demons together. This is the way a Diablo game should be played. 

So far I’ve played a bit of it online with random people just to get a feel for the console controls and I’m absolutely in love. No more hovering over a keyboard, I can kick back in a recliner and play through Diablo with a controller in hand on the big screen. That is what I loved about Torchlight on the 360 and I’m glad Blizzard has finally brought Diablo to consoles (again).

Diablo III on the 360 plays quite well so far. I’ve never played a wizard character before so I created one tonight and it’s quite easy to play. The aim assist works wonderfully and it’s not difficult at all to hit your intended target with spells. Attacks / skills are mapped to the right trigger and face buttons and you can flick the right stick to dodge attacks and it all feels very comfortable and natural while playing.

Some of the most fun couch co-op games from my high school years were Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance 1 and 2 on the original Xbox and I’m quite excited to relive that kind of gaming experience with Diablo III on the Xbox 360.

 

Loot Crate, October 2012

Just received my October LootCrate yesterday, and here’s a quick look at what’s inside:

 

This month’s Halloween themed LootCrate included a nice Diablo III shirt, zombie jerky, zombie ‘pea brains’, a zombie hunter dog tag, a ‘health / love potion’, vampire teeth, some zombie buttons and a membership card (don’t believe I’m forgetting anything).

Pretty nice bit of loot this month. Like what you see? Sign up for LootCrate (LootCrate.com), a subscription ‘goodie box’ service. For just under $20 a month (which is including shipping) you’ll get a box filled with geeky / nerdy goodies each month.

I also wanted to share the video below by TobyTurner supporting LootCrate. I love Toby, and think it’s cool that Loot Crate chose him to advertise their product.

Gaming update

As I think of something more relevant to write about, I figured I’d follow up on some previous posts. Since beating Diablo III on Normal I haven’t played it once. Well I continued on and played the first few quests of Act I on the next difficulty, but it was so repetitive and boring I gave it up. I never found cool gear, never had the gold to guy gear in the auction house, never had the desire to ‘grind’ for gold and gear (that’s not playing a game in my eyes) and certainly will never spend real money on in game items, so yeah. Diablo III was a pretty big waste of money for me.

Also I sold the Wii I bought from eBay on eBay for $80 (included 2 games and a new controller, so in the end I lost a good $50…). Never really used the Wii after the first week and wanted some extra money for gas, so that’s that.

In other news the next game I buy will be Madden 13 which will hold me over until Black Ops 2 and Halo 4 come around. Those will likely be the only games I buy for the rest of the year. Exciting, I know.

 

Finished Diablo III on Normal

Yesterday I finished Diablo III on Normal as a Barbarian. Overall I can say I enjoyed the experience, especially after I dumped the idea of spending all my gold on blacksmithing. Instead I used my gold to buy better gear in the auction house and greatly increasted my DPS making the game much less difficult. I will say that ACT IV felt sort of rushed and was the quickest of all of the acts in the game. This makes little sense since it’s the climax of the game where you’re chasing down Diablo in an effort to destroy him once and for all. The final battle was also pretty anticlimatic and lasted at most 5 minutes which was disappointing. Of course now there’s Nightmare mode, where I get to start the grind all over again. I can only hope a future expansion will develop the game further. Until then let’s grind for gold and gear, shall we?