Picking at the bloated carcass of geek culture...occasionally!!!

Gaming by Torchlight

In Video Games on July 15, 2010 at 12:12 am

It’s been over 24 hours since I shocked myself silly changing a light bulb. Since I haven’t shown even the slightest sign of even the mildest of superpowers, back to work.

Yesterday, I decide to take a chance on downloading an inexpensive game for my PC to satisfy my craving for video gaming. I decided to go for Torchlight. It’s sales pitch? It’s a pleasant-looking, smooth-running Diablo 2 clone. That’s about it. And, really, that’s all it took.

You see, for those of you who don’t know, Diablo 2 was the refinement of mouse-based action RPGs. You moved a character around from an isometric view and clicked on monsters to kill them. Then you collected their loot. Repeat. Yes, you have character classes and special abilities and so on, but the vast majority of the game is going to new dungeons, fighting mobs of monsters, collecting items to allow you to kill faster or more effectively, than killing some more.

And there have been other games, such as Titan Quest that allow you to continue doing that again and again. No real story to speak of. Not a ton of variety in strategy, level design, or monster AI. You just click and kill and collect and click and…you get the idea.

Just 5 for minutes. Just one more level. Just...who am I kidding? I'm doing this for the next 12 hours.

Yet, there is something so satisfying about this. I cannot put my finger on it. Maybe the feeling of constant accomplishment? Maybe the intangible feeling of hitting an enemy that the best games of this genre make feel just right? I don’t know. All I know is that Torchlight does it just right. With the use of many, easily accessible or easily created portals, boring backtracking is a thing of the past. With the use of a pet (dog or cat) that not only fights with you but carries gear back to the surface to sell while you continue dungeon-crawling, you never have a good time to stop going. It’s addictive and fun but I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why. I do know, however, that is is the cure for the summer doldrums. Back to it.

  1. Bummer on the no super powers thing. Better luck next time.

    For me the most satisfying part of Diablo was not just collecting the stuff, but getting a new piece of something to place on my person puzzle. New armor, new weapon, I loved clicking and dragging it onto my profile. “Ahhhh… now I have new greives…” It was very satisfying. That and firing arrow after arrow into an on-coming horde.

    Did you see the new Thor pic I posted on my blog? Thoughts?

  2. I was not advised of a return to blogging. I’ve missed a lot.

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