In lieu of any meaningful content to present, I’ve finally decided to break my posting trend with something completely pointless: Commentary on video games!

Hellgate: London

First off, it’s not 3D Diablo. Honest. Even if it’s made by the same guys who developed Diablo 2, and you’re using exotic weapons to kill all manner of hell-spawned demons and undead, it’s not D2. Why? Well…we’re really not sure, but it’s not. Truth be told, while it may be unfair to compare the two games, the comparison is inevitable as the Patriots winning the Super Bowl this year. And unfortunately for Bill Roper and the gang, the game doesn’t come close to the polish of the original. It could, and at times you think it does, but you never get the feeling of belonging to the world you’re playing in.

I got hooked into (not onto) the game after listening to an interview of Bill Roper by the guys over at the 1Up Yours podcast; I came away really excited about the game, and started watching trailers and reading previews like a Flagship fanboy. Thing is, After dropping fifty bucks and spending twenty-thirty hours playing it, I’m not really feeling the quality of “this is awesome” that I expected to. I came into the experience really really wanting to like it, and that managed to carry me through the first week or so of playing it, but now I’m not feeling the urge to pick it back up at all.

Let’s get down to specifics.

The graphics? Pretty, but the dark and dank does get a little old after a while. I guess I can’t expect anything else from a game set in post-apocalyptic London though.

Gameplay? Fun, especially the evoker and marksman classes. My main is a guardian, mostly because it’s the easiest to play and hardest to die when lag strikes. Which brings me to the first of my big concerns. I don’t know if it’s the servers or if it’s because I’m playing the game over a DSL connection, but the lag is ALWAYS horrendous. Usually anywhere from a 1-15 second delay between my mouse-click in real-time and the response in the game. This might have gotten fixed in the past week that I haven’t been playing, but I doubt it. I honestly haven’t even tried to play a different class any farther then the first five levels online because I know I’ll do nothing but die in the later levels if there’s any lag in the game. Guardians do better when surrounded, evokers? Not so much.

Second big concern: no skill reset. In a game where skills make up EVERYTHING about your character, the lack of a reset button is nothing short of freakin’ ridiculous. If I have to pay 10,000 pallidum to do it, sure. Whatever. Just get that feature in the game and live as soon as possible. Especially in a new game when you really have no idea how all the skills work together in actual gameplay, its just stupid to expect players to put 50-70 hours leveling a character to fifty just to try out ONE set of skills. Please Flagship, please Bill Roper, do the smart thing.

The other thing people are complaining about is the lack of subscriber content. Since I’m not a subscriber and don’t plan to be, that really doesn’t concern me. My only hope is that the game will be patched to it’s full potential before too long. Because dang it, I need something to keep me occupied until Starcraft 2 comes out.

World of Warcraft

First I played, then I quit. Then I played again, then I took a break. Then I played some more, and then I got a girlfriend. Then Burning Crusade came out, and I started playing again. But I’m not addicted, oh no, definitely not.

After leveling my warlock to 70, getting his flying mount, and taking a poke at the Netherwing and Skyguard line of quests I came to the same conclusion I always come to after playing for a while. Getting anywhere in this game after max level takes more time then I have to give it. I know, I can do a Heroic run every week for two years and get raid level gear, but honestly I’d rather wait for Wrath of the Lich King and play new content next time I reopen my account.

After raiding 8 hours a week before Burning Crusade came out only to watch the hours I spent farming DKP go down the drain with the new quest gear I got spending minutes a day playing the game, I’m less then excited to spend forty hours getting fully keyed, attuned, and pimped out, only to have to start all over again when the next expansion comes out. Don’t think that I’m complaining though. It’s easy to look down in disgust at the time sink factor of WoW when you’re not playing it, and that’s the luxury I can enjoy now. Raid on, my fellow guildies, raid on.

Nintendo DS

I love this system. L-O-V-E it. I never knew how awesome the pick-up-and-play experience could be until I bought one of these things. It’s well on it’s way to being the only form of video games I play, purely because whatever I play on it doesn’t demand hours out of my day. In fact, it rarely demands more then half an hour. It’s perfect for anyone who likes games but doesn’t have time to schedule two hours out of their day to sit in front of a TV or computer screen.

Ahem. Nintendo fan-service concluded.

Published by

Fred Smith

is the senior video games editor and is our resident grammar and punctuation czar. He prefers to define his career choice as “pending”. His hobbies include basketball, writing, and video games. He is employed by a regional chain hardware store as a salesman/peon.

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