Friday, July 16, 2010

Bargain Hunter Review #1: Torchlight : Coda

I finished Torchlight Wednesday night. I thought it only fair to finish the review.

I said in my last post that I only got to level 28. I asked for NPC's, Bosses and levels that were different and interesting. Well on level 29, which was entirely a boss fight, I got my wish.

The Boss I had to fight was named Medea. It was a rather large cat-lady with a spear. I actually enjoyed this fight more than all the others. At certain percentages of her health, she would split into mirror images of herself. These mirror images were weak and only took a hit to destroy. Finding the real Medea was actually kind of fun. She didn't do this repeatedly to drag out the fight, nor did she only do it once to be forgotten. I considered this fight to be entertaining and it engaged me as a player.

After I defeated Medea, I entered the Black Palace on Level 30. This was really interesting. The art and architecture were really good. The vibrant colors stood out. The Palace has dark blocks for flooring, with cracks that have a pink glow that match the floating pink crystals. The stairs are webbed and there are great statues all over the place. When I entered the Black Palace I also ran into new NPC's. The Blood Disciples would charge me with a flash of light and a smack in the face. Dragonkin would march toward me and breathe fire when they got within range. The most dangerous among them were these annoying skeletons called Enslaved. While they weren't powerful they would swarm me in numbers and prevent me from moving. This caused me to take quite a bit of damage from the Dragonkin. In some areas of the Black Palace there would be chained Boss Fights.

One of my friends suggested I post a link to a video so they can see what I'm talking about. So here is a video. This is NOT me, just a video I found on YouTube.

Finally, after 28 levels I was having fun. It was good fun. I enjoyed it.

But on level 32 that wonderful surprise melted into grinding again. Please understand this is where the game needed some trimming. I enjoyed the first 2 levels, but I still had to go through 3 more, then the final boss. Five levels of repetition killed the joy. Technically, one of the levels in the Black Palace was a side quest. I didn't have to do that section. Since I like to complete all the side quests I can, I was compelled to go.

Well what about that final boss?

First of all, Ordrak looks like something Conan O'Brien whipped up from "If they mated" using Diablo and Mannoroth. If you don't know who Mannoroth is, he was a baddie from Warcraft 3. So Ordrak looked like a 4 legged Diablo.

Secondly, the final boss fight is cheap. I tried to handle the boss fight the way I thought the Development team wanted me to. He summons Dragonkin constantly. Not just a few, but about 10-15 of them. At the same time, you have those Enslaved I mentioned above charging you. I tried to use my maxed Lightning Skill on the DragonKin, but they were tougher to kill than the level above. I died several times in this fight. This was entirely due to my play style. See, I had only carried 40 health and mana potions into the fight. I was trying to use them sparingly. After watching some fight videos on YouTube, I see some people are chugging down potions like it's breathing.

In the end, I beat Ordrak. This opens up the ShadowVault for this character. The Shadowvault is a never ending randomly generated dungeon.

Since one can't technically finish Torchlight, I'll say this.

I'm done with Torchlight. I've experienced all it has to offer. I haven't downloaded a mod, and don't intend to, unless I'm super bored with the other games I have, or there's a mod that cuts out 2 out of every 5 levels of the campaign and adds some surprises.

In conclusion, even though I was surprised by the final levels, it turned into grinding. My final recommendation still stands.

"Try the Demo. If you like it, don’t pay full price. Wait for a $5 Steam sale."

Now, on to Trine and the World of Warcraft Cataclysm Beta, if it ever finishes patching.

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