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Dungeon Defenders, Warhammer, and a new place to live

November 1, 2011

Well, I finally moved out of that shyt-hole ghetto apartment. YAAAHOOO. I’m now in a village of 500 people, but this isn’t the first time I’ve lived in a village, or in the country, so I don’t find it at all uncomfortable. In fact, I like it in some ways, because it forces people to behave a bit better to each other, because they are far less anonymous and much more accountable for acting their actions.

This is going to be one of my shortest entries, just because I’m way too busy with work and way too tired /because/ of work (and moving) to blog much right now.

Dungeon Defenders is probably one of the better purchases (on PC) and /free/ games (Android) that I have made recently. I’ve got to say, if you want to play the game, just get the free-ish Android / iOS version instead of the $20 PC / PS3 version. The reason being: as far as I can tell, they are the exact same thing… and the game was most definitely designed with touch-pad or consoles in mind, not a PC. Mind you, it doesn’t look or handle poorly on the PC, but there are “fit and finish” issues that lead me to think the PC port was an afterthought… Though not nearly as terribad as most console-to-PC ports.

If nothing else, Dungeon Defenders is the most competent and entertaining tower defense game I’ve played so far – and that is saying a lot, given that I consider myself a connoisseur  of the genre as well as a venomous critic. I think that the hybridization of action RPG with tower defense is a great fit, especially in today’s gaming landscape (given how ultra-popular MMOs are right now and how tower defense games are on the verge of jumping the shark). There are several elements that set Dungeon Defenders apart from other tower defense games.

– First and probably most importantly is the multiplayer. Almost all tower defense games are single-player affairs, making them good only for a once-through. Multiplayer gives players a reason to keep replaying the “same old levels”.

– Greatly adding to the multiplayer component is the class system – something completely original to the genre. Players need pick complementing classes in order to maximize their scores.

– Not only must player pick the right class, they need to pick the right /build/. That’s right, the character building system is /just/ thick enough to enable character “builds”. You can specialize in towers or action combat, or a balance of the two. Each has their role, and a mix of classes and builds does better than homogenous groups.

– Action combat. Oooohhh yes. I thought that the game Sanctum was going to be an action/FPS and tower defense hybrid. It really, really wasn’t. It’s not a terrible game, but it’s not my style. The enemies don’t actually target or attack you, though they can hurt you if you stand in their way. HEH. Anyway – action combat in Dungeon Defenders is quite a bit more entertaining. Getting to close to mobs, or attacking them will usually get their attention. This can be useful in slowing monsters down, and it actually provides more challenge when gunning down the AI monsters.

The cartoony, Fat Princess-like graphics turned me off when I first saw the game, but the gameplay won me over. Two thumbs up for Dungeon Defenders.

I’m short on time, so I’ll keep my Warhammer “reviews” as short as possible.

Warhammer Dawn of War I and expansions: Fun, fairly unique RTS games that run a bit long but can usually be picked up for cheap on Steam during quarterly THQ sales.

Dawn of War II: Addictive, but overly simple top-down “squad based action game”. Absolutely not an RTS, except in multiplayer.

Dawn of War II – Chaos Rising: Broken, shitty, linear garbage that is absolutely unplayable, and Relic knows this but they refuse to patch it. I will never pay for a Relic game again because of this turd.

Dawn of War II – Retribution: Exceptionally boring, linear, thoughtless single-player campaign but the multiplayer is the best in the series. The fact that it’s stripped of the GOD-AWFUL Windows for Games Live parasite means the multiplayer is infinitely better in Retribution than in the previous entries. It has all the units from DoWII and some extras. I’ve got to admit however, the gameplay is absolutely, one-for-one identical to the now (mostly?) free Company of Heroes with worse balance but MUCH more interesting units.

That’s it for now. Since I’m settled in, I should be posting updates more regularly again.

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