I can even remember the first time I played the original Diablo, and I can remember the years I spend playing Diablo 2 and its expansion. Even long after that infatuation had ended, I kept my Diablo 2 CDs on hand and would occasionally install it so that I could run through a new mod, like Eastern Sun. I had Diablo 2 installed on my computer alongside the Diablo 3 beta.
I have also played most of the other major releases in the genre, but none of them have had the staying power of Diablo 2. There are always flaws that become more and more apparent as time goes by, until they eventually drive me away. In the case of Path of Exile, the process was so accelerated that I didn’t even finish the main game before giving up.
There are many things I could cite as reasons for my disillusionment with the genre that I grew up on. Boring items are at the top of the list, and something that is particularly a problem in the Torchlight series and Titan Quest. A general sense of been there, done that, which suffuses Path of Exile and Marvel Heroes. Maybe my dopamine receptors are broken. That’s all fine and maybe also true, but at the same time, I’m putting hundreds of hours into Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, and Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate will be my first system-selling game since Tales of Symphonia on the GCN. Both types of games involve grinding out loot tiers at their hearts, so why should I love one and not the other? Continue reading