Blips

What have I had my hands on lately?

Destiny. Still going. I managed to find an excellent static group for raiding, so I’m online at least once a week for that. I don’t feel much pull to upgrade gear or anything, so I’m not grinding through daily bounties much anymore. Just having fun with friends a few times a week!

I don’t know what kind of legs Destiny will have. The raids are fun, but the rest of the game is lackluster, and without some heavy duty improvements in the next expansion it’ll probably drop out of my rotation.

Infamous: First Light. Free through PS+ this month. The story is short, and only really interesting if you like Fetch as a character, but that’s not where the attraction lies: this game has a kickass battle arena. You’re either trying to survive endless waves of enemies or rescue hostages as they pop up. In the later waves it gets really challenging, but you get fun boosts like invulnerability, super blasts, and infinite melee finishers to help you tackle the mobs that spawn. I like it a lot, and I think I’m gonna try for the platinum.

Diablo 3. I hopped back into this a few weeks ago when Blizzard gave us a 100% experience boost for the weekend, and I used that to get my hardcore monk to 70. Rediscovered a little bit of love for smashing and looting in the process, not to mention my brother just started playing this and i’s fun to run rifts with him. Currently debating between trying to gear up my crusader to tackle Torment 6 or just start more characters and mess around.

The Swapper. I played a few hours of this on PC then dropped it, but I’d like to clear it now that it’s free on PS+.

Dragon Age: Inquisition. Woooow. This or Destiny probably my game of the year for 2014. I finished my first playthrough at around 80 hours, almost entirely satisfied by the experience. I was getting a little burned out on the side quests at the end, but I was still having enough fun to immediately start a second character. This time I’ll be sneaking around a dagger-wielding rogue.

Persona 4. I have finally almost reached the end of this one, after playing it on and off since sometime early this summer. The more time I put into this, the more psyched I get for the next installment. Which is hopefully still coming out this year? Anyway, I’ve hit the point toward the end where I have access to some crazy demon fusions, and I really need to sit down, spend a little time, and try to create some of the awesome ones. Now I just have to decide if I want to put time into a second run and access more of the super secret stuff at the ending…

I’ve been trying to play a lot of games lately on relatively little free time, so I’ve been a little scattered. In the midst of this, I still find myself wanting to pick up FF14 again, especially with the first expansion dropping in just a few months. It seems to be the MMO with the best support out there right now, and I reeeeeally like the look of some of the new classes coming, especially Dark Knight. I might resub to this soon and mess around in preparation for the summer, when I’ll have a lot more free time.

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Dungeon Delving in Diablo 3

The world of Sanctuary is a giant, gothic pinata filled with gold, gems, and skull-studded pauldrons. Crowds of colorful demons explode with all kinds of loot, an upgrade around every corner, and I’ve spent the last few weeks in front of the PS4 hoovering up as much as I can.

When Diablo 3 first came out on PC in 2012, I only played for about a month. I made it through the first two levels of difficulty but quickly ran out of steam. It’s changed a lot since then: more control over difficulty, the paragon system, more frequent & more exciting loot… I’ve watched all this, but waited to jump back in because I knew it would be coming out on PS4 and I had a feeling I’d have a blast playing from the couch. I was right.

Diablo’s clicky action translates like a dream to the controller, and the introduction of a dodge ability (mapped to the right stick) gives me a better sense of mobility. Menus are a little less intuitive to navigate, but everything’s still pretty easy to figure out – it just takes a little longer. The action shines at an almost-rocksteady 60 FPS, broken only occasionally in the particle showers of co-op.

Couch-co-op is really where the game shines. “Apprentice Mode” erases any level disparity, so my girlfriend’s level 40 witch doctor scales up and she can hold her own with my level 70 crusader. It takes 10 seconds or less to hop into a game with friends. Really, the only drag is inventory management with multiple people. You can only have only character’s menu on-screen at a time, so we’re always in for some downtime when we head back to town.

I’m having a blast with the game, and my only regret is that its release fell so close to Destiny. My attention will soon be divided.

I hit 70 with my crusader and started earning paragon levels a few days ago. I’ve been running bounties on Master, building up my DPS and trying to optimize gear until I’m ready for the first level of Torment difficulty. I’m running with Blessed Shield and I feel like a homicidal, hyperactive Captain American, tearing through hordes of demons and watching my shield bounce between them. Right now it seems like the best way to boost my DPS is to stack crit chance and crit damage gear, and I’m seeing some huge hits. Looking forward to finding some of the really crazy legendaries!