The year of Gaming

I am a gamer with less and less time for games. I’ve also become a lot fussier in my selection of games to play.

But this year brings the release of two games that I’m very interested in and have been waiting for.

Final Fantasy XIII
Final Fantasy (FF) is one of the longest running game series that I’m aware of. With FFXII being a flop (well in my opinion) the videos released so far for FFXIII look to be promising.

The world looks to be very dark and gives me the impression of a cross between the dark FFVII Midgar and the high tech FFX Zanarkand.

The main character Lightning looks cool and according to reports Character Designer Tetsuya Nomura was asked to create a “female version of Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII”. Very interesting considering Final Fantasy VII is definitely the most loved game out of the series by Final Fantasy fans.

FFXIII will be released to PS3 and Xbox 360 however I’m not sure on any other platforms other than these.

Diablo III
The long awaited Diablo III was announced last year and looks set to release this year on PC. Diablo I, II and II Expansion were huge titles earning Blizzard all sorts of awards for best selling games.

One of the reasons that I believe that we’ve waited so long for this game is because after Diablo II – Expansion the team disbanded. After a while most of the Diablo team left Blizzard and created their own company Flagship Studios and created the game Hellgate: London. Although hyped up as a ‘Diablo fans dream’ it was a huge disappointment. Uncreative environments with repeating levels and a small world to explore as well as a poor storyline and execution.

Diablo III will take place 20 years after we saved the world in Diablo II. There is still a lot of information kept secret about the world and characters. The only NPC confirmed from previous Diablo’s is Deckard Cain. There have been 3 character classes confirmed Barbarian, Wizard and newly created Witch Doctor.

One of the exciting things is that the development for Diablo III started in 2005 and they’ve been through three revisions of artistic design before reaching the standards felt neccessary by the Diablo III team. This gives me the impression they’re only going to put out quality and with Blizzard’s track record (i.e Starcraft: Ghost stopped) this is extremely exciting. The released Diablo III will only be the best that Blizzard can do. Blizzard do quality.

With these great games coming out this year my dilemma is the fact that my PS3 is broken and I managed to blow up what PC I had (very old system).

So I will be saving like mad to try to mend or buy a new PS3 as well as look at maybe getting a new PC. Wish me luck!

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Armageddon Expo & Diablo III

I attended with a group of friends the Armageddon Expo in Wellington in the weekend. I must say I wasn’t that impressed. They had a lot of stuff for sell and when you’re trying to save for an overseas trip all you can do is stand and admire the cool stuff. While talking my friend through who each person was dressed up like as she was a non-anime/sci-fi geek, I got interrupted by a stall boy and the conversation went down like this:

Stranger: “Do you like Diablo?”
Me: “I love Diablo actually.”
Stranger: “Do you want to sign up to our forums?”
Me: “Sure.”
Stranger: “You can win prizes such as copies of Diablo III”
Me: “Where do I sign up”
*Ams has a huge smile on face for the rest of the convention thinking of Diablo III*

Diablo III is my favourite game. I was brought up on Diablo, Diablo II & Diablo II Exp. When I was a teenager my Dad would LAN with us on Diablo II til all hours of the morning in the weekends or school holidays (much to my Mother’s disgust). I have definitely been waiting a long time for Diablo III and even live streamed the announcement of DIiablo III at the BlizCon ’08. But I think it was great to see there is a Diablo III Australia/New Zealand forums. If you’re interested the URL is http://www.diii.co.nz which displays the latest news and character information.

As for the rest of the Expo I was slightly disappointed. I saw Kevin Sorbo from Hercules (at a distance) and Sam Jones from Flash Gordon (who looked really old). We watched Michael Winslow who is from Police Academy do his audio sound effects to a star wars clip which was quite funny. I wanted to play Tekken 5 (as I’m known as a bit of a dark horse on it) but the line was quite large and I didn’t want to upset anyone by kicking their butt 😉

My dream would be to have a BlizCon event in New Zealand or to be able to go to one overseas. That would be the ultimate; Blizzard definitely know how to do things well.

Blizzcon never disappoints

So with Blizzcon ’08 finished some exciting news came out of the always eventful conference.

Diablo III has announced a new class, the Wizard. This is the third class to have been announced (of 5) and joins the Witch Doctor and Barbarian.

With the Wizard class they released a new trailer which looked pretty awesome while the character was running through some amazing looking 3d dungeons.

Also exciting news for Starcraft fans, Starcraft II is to be a trilogy. Not so fun for me who never really got into Starcraft but my little brother is going to love this.

On a side note I would love to go to a Blizzcon. Just the way Blizzard do things is super awesome. Let’s hope they’re happy with Diablo III to release it within my lifetime!

Oh P.s. Blizzard I’m available for a job anytime – just call me 🙂