Diablo 3 – What the happened?

(OK this is a quick post.. it’ll be cleaned up later) 

Now I’ve read the stories and reviews for this game on the net for weeks.   I was still hanging on if I was going to buy this game or not.     Then a buddy gave me a friend code to allow me to play the demo, and this was a three day weekend..  little did I know I was going to be pulled into the maw of hell before my time with Diablo 3  was finished.

First off.. the download.. holy jeebus.  That took a while to patch, re-patch, then install. then I get into the game and I’m treating to the horror of this game.   The ‘always on-line feature’   Yes, Blizzard.  Please tell me what evil demon crawl into the souls of your management to have forced some of the most horrible design choices made in a game?

1) Why do I need to online at all times?   can’t I just PLAY the game?  No?  I need to allow people to join my game?   Why?  If I want to play local
it’s called a LAN.. (Google it)   I have no interest to allow some jacktard to pop in and out of my game.   If I wanted that I would play multiplayer.

2) Why do you need to track how many times I fire a magic missile?   Really?   every single damn one?   and if you tell me because you use it for reporting.. then save all that crap to a log and let me OPT into sending you the information.     and part two.. if you are THAT worried about balance.. it’s called QA (Google it)  Why don’t you try that for a change.

3) Speaking of QA.. Really?  Give a avatar a shield and the game breaks?   I wish to give thanks to the Blizzard QA team for that one..WAY TO GO Blizzard QA!!!   Glad to see you are doing your job.   Let alone  all the other game breaking bugs that wouldn’t have been game breaking if I didn’t need to be online at all times.

4) Excellent graphics, and I still like the destructible items.. but it still felt like Diablo 2 with a graphics overhaul.     Even the ‘random’ generation really wasn’t that random.   When you can play the DEMO and start picking out the set pieces there’s a problem.

5) WTF is up with the total lack of skills?   What’s the point of even having a skill tree when you only have 4 choices and various power up of those skills.   

6) Each level boils down to, hit this level and now the mobs will be tiered to you.    SO it’s like playing Dragon Ball Z.   You train to beat a specific mob in order to find out there is something stronger to you train some more.  Rise and repeat.       IE.. Boring after about an 6 hours.

7) It seems to me that Diablo 3 suffers from the ‘Hollywood’ effect.   That’s when management steps in and takes a great concept and runs it into the ground.

DJ Hero Helped Kill Guitar Hero – Games News at IGN

Activision boss Bobby Kotick says the company’s flop music game DJ Hero contributed to the company taking one-time star franchise Guitar Hero off the market….

via DJ Hero Helped Kill Guitar Hero – Games News at IGN.

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Really?   How stupid does Booby Kotick think we are?   First off, DJ Hero WAS a bad idea from the start.   But, someone thought it would do well enough to make a sequel and have a third on in the works..   But no.. it’s DJ Hero’s fault that the past few Guitar Hero games have had horrible track lists, lackluster game play, and pretty much boring.

Booby also admitted that creating DJ Hero pulled valuable care and attention away from Guitar Hero.   Wait.. WHAT?    So like you had the whole company focused on a game like DJ hero?  WTF?!     and DJ Hero wasn’t created by the same team.. so how was focus shifted?

Boils down too.. Some upper brass screw up.  But will they take the blame?   nope.    the Developers where the problem.  Not some idiot giving the green light on a game that was OBVIOUSLY not A) thought though and B) had any market research done.

 

Economy down! Economy down!

http://www.joystiq.com/2009/07/16/report-modern-warfare-2-triggering-uk-games-price-hike-ea-not/

We feel for our UK-based gaming brothers-and-sisters-in-arms. We’ve seen the gaming industry putting them through the financial wringer many times in the past, but a recent report from MCV describes the cruelest economic hardships they’ve ever had to face — Activision has kicked the UK price of Modern Warfare 2 up to £54.99 (close to $90), and according to the report, other publishers may plan to follow suit, raising the prices on their titles as we move into the holiday season.
The price hike is attributed to rising game development costs and the faltering strength of the pound — still, compared to last holiday season, when titles like Prince of Persia and Far Cry 2 hit store shelves for around £40, it’s a pretty sizable leap to make in just one year. However, not everyone is following Activision’s example — Electronic Arts responded to MCV’s report, confirming that it would not increase the RRP of its holiday releases. We’ll see which strategy pays off once the smoke from the holiday shopping season clears.

JoystiqReport: Modern Warfare 2 triggering UK games price hike, EA not budging originally appeared on Joystiq on Thu, 16 Jul 2009 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

(Rebuttal) Guitar Hero: Another sell out…

[From the Editor in Chief of the Pogowolf (and soon to have a Pogopup…)]

I’ll admit, I am a die-hard Metallica fan, and have been for since my early days of Junior High.  In a time of self discovery and becoming less of a product of my parents and more of a individual, I was introduced to Metallica’s fiery guitar licks, thundering double-bass drum beats, hard bass-riffs and raw lyrics that send chills down my spine each time I screamed at the top of my lungs to release the pent up rage I felt when growing up with the injustices of the world.

So, I was hook on Metallica.  I studied them, learned their history, with the beginnings of Lars, James and Dave Mustaine (later to form Megadeth), Ron McGovney, to the tragic loss of Cliff Burton; which almost lead to the demise of the entire band in the mid-80’s.  Despite the indulgence and complications of the booze, the lost of band-members, Metallica as prevailed, they continued through the darkest of dark times and their music captured that feeling.  I remember the haunting lyrics from a passed Cliff Burton off the “And Justice For All” album, track “To Live is to Die” which says, “When a man lies, he murders some part of the world…  Cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home?”  How does that not captivate you?  I feel even the lyrical genius Leonard Cohen would struggle to come up with something better.

In the tale of two-halves commonly known as “Pre-Black Album” and “Post Black Album”, Metallica, like ALL long standing bands, have changed their sound and song style as an evolutionary process with the times.  For reasons I cannot understand, this “change” is uncomfortable with many die-hard fans of the like.  They are referred as “sell-outs”, or “going soft, weak”, thinking that all bands must stay in the same style they started with and should never expand themselves from that box we as fans put them in.  No one raises a stink or throws a fit for the band KISS when their hard-rock sound changed in the 70’s to fit the Disco era.  Just look at the song, “I was made for loving you.”  It’s is Disco at its finest, and the KISS Army has grown to accept it.  Why is that?  What about Led Zeppelin disallowing license to their music for TV spots and movies? Do people beat down the door of Robert Plant and Jimmy Page and call them weak for protecting their music?  (Granted, the movie “School of Rock”, did finally, convince Zeppelin to use “The Immigrant Song” in the movie.) We create such a double standard for musicians that have been around for 7 years or more.  I even remember people talk about hating Korn because of the album of Cover songs they did, hearing people say that Korn has gotten soft.  We as fans are horrible.

After Metallica’s whole Napster incident, they were the labeled the black sheep of all bands because of the lawsuit of illegal downloads.  For that I say, “good for them.”  Buy the music people.  Support your musicians.  The artists should be compensated for their works.  Your beef shouldn’t be with Metallica, but with the record companies failing to recognize the ever changing model of the music industry and electronic distribution.  I should also let you know that in a former life, I was Disc-jockey and a Bass guitar player, and I can tell you, without music, even the cheesy artist such as Vanilla Ice, it’s tough to throw a great party.  What’s .99 cents?

Now, I heard from the Pogo-peeps of a Guitar Hero: Metallica in the making for 2009?  Wow, I am really not sure what to say about that except for maybe, “Good luck to the developers at Activision.”  I am sure that all fans would come to expect that the GH:M game should focus on the songs “pre-black” that we fans have come known as our favorites.  I feel that Activision will have a difficult time trying to replicate the authentic sounds of Kirk Hammet in songs like “Whiplash”, “Master of Puppets”, “Seek and Destroy”, “Fade to Black”, “One”, “And Justice for All” and the list goes on and on.  Now that GH allows Bass guitar, will it include such Bass solos as “(Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth” or the epic instrumentals like “The Call of Ktulu”, “Orion”, or “To Live is to Die”.  Can Activation recreate this essence of Metallica in the scrolling-button-pushing arena of Guitar Hero and be even remotely close to the real thing?  I have a feeling that it won’t, and their attempt will be shoddy at best.  If GH does it right, ALL songs from ALL albums should be in this game; from the ballad of “Nothing Else Matters”, to the two-hundred-ten-beats-per-minute second-half of “Whiplash”.  If they are going to do it, they need to do it right as justification for all the millions of Metallica fans in existence.

Although, here’s a small beef:  But if someone is going to spend the time trying to master these songs via the 4-color, 4-button controller, why not just pickup a real guitar and learn the real songs?  Mastering a “Trash’em” song in Guitar Hero makes you a geek, mastering a “Thrash’em” song with 6-strings through a Marshal Amplifier makes you a God.  I feel that if people are going to label Metallica a sell-out for allowing the folks at Activision to create a GH featuring them, then everyone that offered their songs in the previous version of GH should also be called a sell-out; after all, what’s the difference between tracks from multiple artists in a single game versus multiple songs from a single artist in the same game?  Zero, period.

If people call Metallica sell-outs, they are right, they do sell-out…  every concert they play.  No Napster incident, no “bad album”, no media coverage, rehab-incident, etc has stopped Metallica from creating music or continuing to go on tour since 1983.  If Activision wants to create a game, featuring one of the hardest to duplicate musical style-bands of all times, then go ahead and let them.  (Anyone remember the powerhouse concert of the mid-90’s of Metallica and Guns n Roses Use your Illusion Tour?) This could be Activision’s crowning achievement.  If this venture succeeds, perhaps it is a turning point in the GH world and maybe something great comes from it.  However, if it fails, perhaps this will finally end the GH series with nothing more than quiet slip into “Fade to Black”.

[This topic was origionally posted as a comment; however, I deicded to step things up a notch and make this a full topic]

Guitar Hero IV to be a Rock Band knock off.

[Tech Radar] has a nice write up about some up coming features of the newest primary version of Guitar Hero, and low and behold.. they can’t come up with some original, so they are ‘stealing‘ ‘borrowing’  the Rock band idea by adding drums and a Mic.

 

Activision CEO Bobby Kotick has now gone on record, stating after Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, Activision will be concentrating on Guitar Hero IV.  With the only ‘new’ feature over Rock Band is the inclusion of local band songs to the planned downloadable content. 

 

Speaking of music, where as Activision has access to the Universal Music library, Rock Band has EA and MTV.  Will they be able to compete?  Can you have a Guitar Hero with drums?   And will you be able to play those drums one handed?

(10 points to anyone that gets that reference..LOL)

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05/14/08 – Update

  Fine, no one gets the points. 😛
  Way, QJ.NET has [some updates] to this thread about what’ll be coming to GH4 which boils down to:
1) More then just Drums, Bass, and Vocals?  It’s possible.
2) The ability to create your own guitar and drum sounds (?!.. why?)
3)  Song Creation. Yep create your own track!  minus the vocals.
4) Song ratings:  You can help out bands by rating them high, which allows them to upload more songs.
5) ok, THIS is good.. ALL songs will be master recordings, and beside Def Leopard, look like ‘The Answer’, Van Halen, The Eagles, Linkin Park and Sublime will have tracks.

6) and a new guitar design from Red Octane which has an innovative input mechanic subject for patent.   Now to search for the patent… =/

Guitar Hero: On Tour

Well as some of you might already know the Nintendo DS is tarticle_imgo get their OWN version of the Guitar Hero game series. Actvision has confirmed 15 of the 25 songs to be included and let us know that the game WILL have a wireless co-op mode.

As you can see the fret board pops into the cartridge slot and you strum with the stylus.  I’m not sure this will be the most comfortable way to play the game, but time will tell.

as for the set list, here’s what you can look forward to:

Do What You Want – OK Go
All The Small Things – Blink 182
Spiderwebs – No Doubt
Are You Gona Be My Girl – Jet
We’re Not Gonna Take It – Twisted Sister
All Star – Smash Mouth
Breed – Nirvana
Jessie’s Girl – Rick Springfield
Hit Me With Your Best Shot – Pat Benatar
This Love” – Maroon 5
Heaven – Los Lonely Boys
Helicopter – Bloc Party
China Grove – The Doobie Brothers
Rock and Roll All Nite – KISS (cover by Line 6)
What I Want – Daughtry

 

at least it’s a better track list then the Guitar Hero: Aerosmith edition..=/

Aerosmith sells out…

Now if you’ve been reading this blog you’d know that I reported a little while ago about the Guitar Hero: Aerosmith edition for all the major consoles. 

According to multiple sources on the net, In a stoke of GENUIS from the execs at Activision the company has bought out the Aerosmith song collection!!

According to an Activision representative:

I can say that we do have the band exclusively, and their catalogue should be exclusive to us beyond the one or two tracks they had licensed out to Rock Band before we made our deal.

So what this means is besides the couple of tracks already on Rock band, There won’t be anymore Aerosmith on any game unless it’s licensed though Activision.

Now what this REALLY Means…

1) Aerosmith is now Activision bitch and we won’t see any more Aerosmith in Rock band.  Point is.. do we care?  Come on.. it’s Aerosmith!  there’s a few good tracks, but come on!!  it’s Aerosmith!

2) This would give the developers of the Guitar Hero series insider information about concerts and the ‘live style’ of a band that’s been together for a number of centauries.   Elements that could play into the next version of Guitar hero.

3) Now the sad news, here comes the music battle royal.  You thought the RIAA was a bitch, just wait until you see EA starting to gobble up new bands and tracks just to make sure they don’t get into the Guitar Hero series.  Great news for bands, horrible news for gamers.

Corporate America has just ghostbusted the spirit of the Guitar Hero series
   RIP Guitar Hero, it was fun while it lasted.