Tag Archives: Diablo 3

Console Look Back 2020: A Year in Gaming


In this “final” week of 2020 here at 2 Guys Gaming, we’re starting with a familiar refrain. Similar to mobile two weeks ago and tabletop last week, I’m going to do a console look back 2020. I put final in quotes because I currently don’t have anything planned for next week. That may change depending on how motivated I feel after the holidays. However, I’ve been really good about updating this page for this year and especially the last few months.

I deserve a little R&R.

Besides, I have to get ready for the re-relaunch of the podcast and the re-re-re(?)-relaunch of the YouTube Channel. Also, who else can stream myself playing terrible games while making equally terrible dad jokes? I know that some can do either, but I’m confident that I’m the only one who can do both. Be on the lookout. 2021 is going to be 2 Guys Gaming’s year. Oh crap, we weren’t supposed to say that. Never mind.

Ah, who am I kidding? I will get some ridiculous idea or another to fill next week and we’ll all be here to do it all again. Perhaps I’ll review some of the new games we get for Christmas (even though that is tentatively on the schedule for January). Maybe I will convince the family to try Dungeons and Dragons again (if I can ever find my adventure I wrote). Oh, actually, I’ve got it. But, now, you just have to wait in suspense to find out what it is. For now, let’s dive into the console look back 2020. Note: I’m going to include PC in this as well, but the titles are already getting too long for my SEO optimizer.

Diablo 3

Long time readers of th epage know that I have a love/love relationship with Torchlight 2. It is even the topic of a now lost (thankfully in retrospect) episode 2 of the original podcast. I played Torchlight 2 far more than any of the Diablo games. Until Diablo 3. I think I bought it after Chris and I did some couch co-op at his place.

At first, it took some time to get used to the XBox controls. I also played the Marvel ARPG, Marvel Heroes, a ton on the PC. The controls on the PC for these types of games are just so intuitive. Easily and fully customizable, too. You can customize your build on the XBox, but the controls are not. They take some getting used to. I nearly stopped playing the game altogether because of the controls.

I kept playing. The story hooked me and we all know I’m a sucker for good story. The loot impressed me. I’m not usually one for loot, but Blizzard does a good job with their loot and cosmetics. I kept playing. Then, one day, something clicked. I enjoyed the game. The controls no longer kept me from doing mega damage with my rotation. I still have to finish the game, but that’s only a matter of time.

Minecraft and Minecraft Dungeons

These are two very different games. Minecraft is what it has always been. As I heard it described by some boomer reporter years ago, “You mine. And you craft.” As simple as it is, that’s literally all the game involves. How can it possibly be so popular then?

I can’t speak for anyone else. However, in my experience, the game is fun because it is one of the few modern games I can play with my kids. We have all spent countless hours on survival worlds mining entire mountains and crafting more than one nether portal. Sure, not that impressive to the Minecraft pros out there, but always an achievement when we finally get the experience of dying on another plane.

Quinn and I started a new world recently. Well, he started it and I joined it one day. Within the first hour of playing I had already fished up an epic fishing rod and several strong bows. We’ve both died in the nether and lost more than one of those epic rods in the weeks since. He built a villager farm that one day vanished. All in all, we are in it for the long haul on this one. In fact, he just ran another plan by me earlier this evening.

We haven’t played Minecraft Dungeons recently. For a few weeks over the summer, it hooked us both. I liked the Diablo like gameplay. He enjoyed the Minecraft setting. I logged in a couple of weeks ago to see they updated the game in many ways. We will be sure to play this one over break.


What would a PC/console article be without me swearing about our favorite CCG that we all love to hate. Yes, it’s true that more often than not, the love/hate relationship is cemented firmly in hate. That is not the case this time. Plus, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t partially include Hearthstone on the console look back 2020 list just to make the mad nerds mad.

You might have heard about the kerfuffle surrounding the release of a “battle pass” for the game about a month ago. I, personally, didn’t see what the problem was. The mad nerds, though, attacked Blizzard, streamers, and even each other for not being mad enough nerds about it.

In spite of that, I come not to bury Heartstone, but to praise it. I genuinely like the latest expansion, Battlegrounds is a fun time waster of a mode, and I will even play a game of Duels now and then. Someone wrote an article that Hearthstone is the healthiest it’s ever been. Like Magic, you can argue if you want. But, I agree. The game is so much fun.

The Verdict

The console look back 2020 shows that this aspect of our gaming wasn’t as varied as mobile, certainly, but also tabletop. Nevertheless, the games I played were fun. Quinn and I have to continue that world we started. I need to finish Diablo 3. Hearthstone will continue to occupy my time until I finish the reward track. What about the new consoles? I’m glad you asked. Join me on Wednesday for that discusssion.

Minecraft Dungeons First Look


Thanks for reading Minecraft Dungeons First Look! I was going to call this a review and, technically speaking, it qualifies. However, I’ve only played through about an hour and a half with Quinn, so it is by no means comprehensive. So, to finish out another Minecraft week, let’s talk about Minecraft Dungeons.

I’m not sure how I learned about the game. I think it came up as a suggestion in the store perhaps. That’s probably it. That’s not entirely relevant other than I learned about the game late as usual. When I told Quinn about it, he said something about a YouTuber he watches talking about the game.

Perpetually, Captain.

The game was advertised as a classic dungeon crawler in the Minecraft style. For some reason, I couldn’t envision that. Even watching video, I was confused. What do they mean, dungeon crawler. Then, I played the game and it clicked. Oh, this is just Minecraft Diablo. I’ve just always put Diablo in the ARPG category. So, labels are dumb, Folks. Now that I’ve played it, let’s take a first look.

The Great

Fun! – The game is a ton of fun. I mean, at least to me, that’s the only qualifier for a game to be good. Sure, story and graphics are nice little cherries on top. But, there’s only one thing that I ultimately care about. Is the game fun. This game is. I had fun. Quinn kept saying during our play time, “This game is so fun!” A friend just texted me last night to say, “Minecraft Dugeons is so damn addicting.”

Familiar – This game isn’t Minecraft. But, it’s not meant to be. With that being said, it’s familiar enough that you will find yourself doing a double take when you aren’t able to mine that cobblestone over there or you take damage from a runaway minecart.

It’s exactly as advertised. Classic dungeon crawler with a Minecraft skin.

The Good

Helpful – We all know Minecraft is a kid’s game, right? Nevermind all those streamers on Twitch. By and large, the audience of Minecraft is kids and maybe their parents. Mojang hasn’t forgotten those roots and includes helpful hints and tips as you play. There’s even an icon that points you in the right direction in case you get lost. Very nice touch.

Tough? – Don’t mistake the game as a kid’s game for one that isn’t challenging. Sometimes, games remove the challenge. That’s incredibly frustrating for me. Thankfully, the Lego games don’t. Mojang seems to have taken a page from their book. The game is tough. Quinn and I wiped multiple times against a particular boss, even with the two of us.

The Decent

Limited – I don’t know if this is true, but the game does feel limited. As Quinn and I were playing, there aren’t a ton of different types of drops from what I can see. The map feels small. And, like any of these games, there isn’t much to combat. X,X,X,X,A,X,X,X,X,A,B,X,X,X. There are two expansions already planned and maybe more will come if the game is popular. Until then, expect to be a bit frustrated by how little there is. Even Quinn said, “Wow, I haven’t played this game much and I think I might already be close to beating it.”

Lego Failure – Mojang took a page from Lego’s book and made the game challenging. They appear to not have learned from the mistakes that Lego once made. Way back when, Lego games forced both characters to be in the same area on screen. This was incredibly frustrating for a young father of young kids. I think it was one of the Batman games. I’m not sure. But, eventually, they allowed for a split screen so that each person could explore individually. That was a huge QoL improvement that isn’t in Minecraft Dungeons. Not a huge deal, but as an explorer, it’s not ideal.

The Verdict

After a Minecraft Dungeons first look, I can confidently say that it is a game that will see quite a bit of play from us here at 2 Generations Gaming. I would, obviously, like to beat the game with Quinn and maybe Aiden if he chooses to play. Then, I’d like to do what I usually do with these types of games and replay it to explore. I was so bummed when they shut down the Torchlight 2 servers. I put so much time into that game. D3 has been a bit slower, but I have times that I’m very much interested in that one. Minecraft Dungeons will join that group for sure.

Back into Hell Again

(Editor’s Note: I’m swear that I’m not a Meatloaf fan. The guy just writes the most obnoxiously catchy earworms int he history of pop music. Okay, I guess “I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)” is pretty damn good song.)


Our recent expansion of the groupnotwithstanding, I’m not not very enthusiastic about Magic. My discovery of free online Magic reignited my interest briefly, but the rise of mindless red decks make me never want to play the game again. I’ve played Cube so much that I’m sick of the cards and format and I just feel like I’m on a phenomenal cold streak in general. The game just isn’t that much fun.

It has gotten to the point that I might need to get a restraining order against this card.
It has gotten to the point that I might need to get a restraining order against this card.

Magic Duels released last week. I downloaded it on the day that it did and will write an article for next week. The problem is that one of the only reasons that I play the game is for the story and I finished that in only three days. In the past, they’ve had puzzles and other side events to keep me busy. Those don’t exist anymore, but they do have daily quests now. Given my already negative attitude, that’s just not enough for me to log into the game.

It all came to a head earlier this week in a test to Chris. It said, simply, “Why do I even play this game?” I had just gotten blown out in another Cube event by a deck that seemed to have the exact answers for my deck. I furiously closed the program and tried to walk away from the computer. Aiden and I tried to get a game of Dicemasters going to help distract me, but work, Tae Kwon Do, and swimming have prevented us from making it happen.

More recently, I texted Chris with a fairly mean spirited assessment of mono red deck players. We had a good conversation about our attitudes towards Magic. Mine, I decided, is really dark. I’ve taken a step back from where I was only a few months ago. In addition to not enjoying the game, I’m back to blaming most of my losses on bad luck. I agree with Chris. I just need to step away for a few days. Thankfully, we are going to the Cape and I will be away from the computer completely.


Because, I’ve tried playing Magic via the free client and Duels, but every time I’ve just gotten angry about the proliferation of mono red in every format, the feeling that the MtG universe is against me in any limited environment (Seriously, who has two thumbs, drafts BW enchantments in Origins and then gets mana screwed game 1 and flooded game 2? This guy, that’s who.), and the recent discovery that yet another category of cards has become unobtainable due to speculation and price gouging. The game as it is available to me just isn’t fun.

No land and no spells makes Homer...something something.
No land and no spells makes Homer…something something.

Chris, as he does whenever I text him one of my one line manifestos against the game, mentioned Diablo III again and how much fun he has playing it. My history with Diablo III is long and checkered. I started a game way back when Blizzard gave it free with some WoW promotion, lost the game when the promotion ended, tried playing coop with Chris, had fun and thought it was only fun as coop, tried again with a witch doctor character, abandoned it, tried it yet again solo, abandoned it again, and finally found a class that I enjoy playing in Demon Hunter. It felt like a whole different game. It was the fun game that I’ve heard Chris and others kept mentioning and the one that we had fun playing together.

Even so, I started back to teaching, that sucked up any and all free time for about a month. Diablo III got relegated to B-team status and I fell into the habit of playing computer games again because I was always on the stupid thing planning. That led to Hearthstone and Magic and the blow ups this week. When Chris brought up DIII again, it gave me a reason to boot up the XBox 360.

Please, Sir, won't you just pay me to play video games?  My CV is attached in the form of this web page.
Please, Sir, won’t you just pay me to play video games? My CV is attached in the form of this web page.

I played the game for the last four nights and plan on playing it again next week when I’m home on temporary bachelor status. I played too late on Tuesday and paid for it the next day at work when I had to get up early. I just had to beat the damn dungeon that I started because I was only halfway through Act I and Chris is in the middle of Act II. I’m getting too old for this crap. Oh well, I beat the dungeon, finished the act, and the students were giving presentations in class. So, it all worked out. #aginggamerproblems

Agent Murtaugh gets it.
“WTF is a hash tag? In my day, that was a pound sign and we played Tic Tac Toe on it.”

Diablo III has done what I hoped it would. Even though I’ve been on the computer watching Twitch while playing, I haven’t once logged into any Magic program. I’m having way too much fun crawling through the darkest dungeons in search of the sword that restores Tyrael’s memory. Well, that’s what I was doing two days ago instead of getting much needed beauty sleep. Now, I am on to uncharted territory in Act II.

Actually, I played through part of Act II yesterday and some of it was very familar. That means that I’ve at least played through part of it already and forgotten. Never mind what that says about the strength of the story, what of my already bruised ego as a sad old guy trying to remain relevant in a world that is rapidly becoming younger and younger. Do they have a “fade into a void of despair and nothingness” channel on Twitch? Oh wow, that just got way too existential and nihilistic.

Get off my lawn, too!  There's no room for the plants to fight the zombies.  Damn whipper snappers.
Get off my lawn, too! There’s no room for the plants to fight the zombies. Damn whipper snappers.

The only problem with the game is the problem inherent in all of these games. I can’t play it while the boys are awake because of the rating. Therefore, I find myself jumping onto the computer when I need a quick gaming fix. Even so, I think that DIII has done a good job because I don’t immediately start a game of Magic and sometimes I’ll even log in and start either game and not not play any Magic. Also, I’ll be home by myself next week while I’m working and they’re at the Cape, so I’ll have almost all day those three days to play the game and continue my treatment to try to get my inspiration and enjoyment from Magic again.

Episode 4 – Here There Be Dragons…and Demons

On the Tabletop – We double dip into Magic the Gathering with our final thoughts on Fate Reforged and an introduction into Dragons of Tarkir.  More on Dragons in a couple of months!

The Digital Playground – We finally (I know, I know!) played Diablo III on the XBox 360.  Listen to our first impressions.  Spoiler Alert:  We liked it!

Stay tuned after the credits and closing music for the debut of the Gamer Bros. They talk about some of their favorite Youtube videos and Pokemon emulators on the web.

2 Guys Gaming
2 Guys Gaming
Episode 4 - Here There Be Dragons...and Demons



Into the Mouth of Hell All By Myself

(Editor’s Note: Ever been so sure of something only to be proven completely wrong? Enjoy watching me eat a nice helping of crow.)

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a big fan of World of Warcraft. I have not enjoyed this latest expansion as much as I thought and I might even be in the twilight of my WoW playing days. I start with this statement to immediately clear up any misconception right away. I like Wow, which immediately brands me as a Blizzard fanboy. As with most generalizations, this one is simply not true. I enjoy Heroes of the storm and occasionally tolerate Hearthstone when I can, but I have never even played any Starcraft game and only played Diablo III completely by chance.

I knew of the Diablo games, but only came upon Diablo III as a result of a WoW promotion. Unlike many players in the game, I never even played Diablo II. I know that is considered a sin because DII is widely thought to be one of the best games made and possibly Blizzard’s greatest game. I just wasn’t much of a PC gamer at the time. By the time I started gaming on my computer, WoW became my loot filled addiction. As tends to happen, that addiction became a potential gateway into others.

Blizzard ran a promotion that got you access to Diablo III if you signed up for their WoW annual pass testing. I had nothing to lose and another game to gain, so I joined the test. True to their word, I received a code for Diablo II and downloaded it using their Battle.Net app. Having never played DII might have worked to my advantage. All I kept hearing from other players was how much DIII sucked mainly because it wasn’t DII. I came into the game without that baggage and could decide for myself. Unfortunately, whether or not you played the previous game, DIII was not that great of a game. I played it for a couple of weeks or maybe a month, off and on, and then stopped in favor of other games. It wasn’t terrible. It just was not very fun. Blizzard pats themselves on the back for making fun games. They really missed on this one.

More recently, Scott Johnson from The Instance podcast mentioned how much he liked the console version of the game as a couch coop game. He is an admitted Blizzard fan boy, so I considered the source. Nevertheless, always on the lookout for new games for the web page and podcast, I ordered the game from Gamefly. When Chris and I got too busy over the holidays to play or record, the game sat at the bottom of my gaming bag. We started recording again and I suggested DIII during our most recent game night as a topic for the digital playground.

Part of the problem with the game is that it starts off slow. Really slow. I know that games are supposed to start off with training wheels to give you time to find your footing (sorry for the mixed metaphor), but DIII’s beginning is annoyingly slow. There is entirely too much talking and not nearly enough action. I know that Blizzard prides itself on story (mostly ripped off from other sources) and those stories are sometimes actually very good, but there has to be a balance. Diablo III, in my opinion, goes too far in the direction of story at first. That certainly led to my less than favorable first impression of the game. It nearly made me just say forget it and go back to the drawing board for the podcast.

Luckily, it didn’t take too long for the action to increase. We were soon up to our eyeballs in zombies, demons, skeletons, and other supernatural foes. Once that happened, the game was really fun. We played through until our tired brains wouldn’t allow us to focus well enough to progress anymore. After we played, Chris wrote in an article that he enjoyed himself and I finally did, too. For me, Diablo III is much better as a multiplayer game. Heck, it might even only be fun on consoles as a couch coop like Scott Johnson mentioned. I do know that i wasn’t fun to play by myself. But, I’m going to try it again. Hey, you can’t say that I didn’t give it a chance.

Maybe I’m stubborn. Maybe I’m just trying to figure it out. Like most gamers, when there’s a game that I don’t like but probably should, I want to know why. For what it is, DIII is a good game. Other gamers who play it really like it. I play the game by myself and I don’t like it and I’m not sure why.

Maybe it just isn’t my style of game. That’s often where you start when trying to assess a game. I always thought that I didn’t like MOBAs until I started playing Heroes of the Storm. Turns out that I jus tdidn’t like playing with the jerks who normally play those games. Heroes of the Storm is less competitive (offers less competitive game modes, at least) so you can avoid much of the toxicity of the MOBA community. That’s not the case with DIII, either. I have played other ARPGs extensively and they are fun. Another game that had a dubious launch was Marvel Heroes. People hated that game. Initially, so did I. The roster of heroes (and especially free starter heroes) was horribly small. The story was strong, but the gameplay was repetitive with little payoff. However, the the developers took feedback seriously, tuned the game, released more heroes, and the game became the most improved MMO of last year. The gameplay is still repetitive, but now there are more ways to play the game to keep it fresh. I play Marvel Heroes daily and have leveled two characters to max level with a third almost there. Even though the game is free to play, I even bough a character to support the developers and encourage them to keep improving the game.

The other game that I really like from this genre is Torchlight II. Around the time that I abandoned DIII for the first time, I learned of the Torchlight series. Several people called it “the game that DIII should have been.” It wasn’t F2P, but it was only 20 dollars on Steam. Even though I wondered how such a cheap game could compete with one that cost 60 dollars, I bought it. That was when I learned that my life long pursuit of being a cheap gamer would finally pay off in a big way.

(Before I proceed, let me explain. Skip ahead if you want. It won’t hurt my feelings. Once upon a time, I paid full price for a Playstation. Not a Playstation 2 or 3, but an original Playstation. That tells you how long ago this happened. As these stories generally go, a couple of months (or weeks, I remember it as weeks) later the price dropped. I vowed after that to never pay full price for a game again. Other than a couple of games (ironically, mostly when I was unemployed), I have stuck to that vow. One of the side effects of this is that I rarely get to play a game when it is new. Usually that isn’t a problem because I’m not much of an online gamer. Lately, it has been even less of a problem because of the proliferation of F2P.)

Thankfully, I was wrong. Torchlight II is amazingly full featured for such an inexpensive game. Everyone who suggested it as a substitute was right. It played nearly identical to Diablo III at one-third the price. Furthermore, I played the game both by myself and with my friend Kevin. I had fun playing both modes, but I actually played the hell out of the game by myself. Like Marvel Heroes, I played all the way to the end. i haven’t gotten a character to max level yet. I have done some end game and started another to play through again. What about those games makes them more fun than DIII? Let’s explore.

Diablo is much darker than the other two games. I don’t mean the story. While that might be true, the colors of DIII are very dingy. It reminds me of Batman from The Lego Movie if he added brown to his palette. Kevin and I both talked about this in Episode 2 of the podcast that got lost in the murky nether realm of dead hard drives. Even with a less than happy tale, Torchlight II still manages to use many shades of all the colors of the spectrum. Marvel Heroes, of course, inhabits the colorful comic book world. Granted, color scheme can’t be the only reason, but it can make for a dull play experience.

There is also the slow story ramp of Diablo. I don’t think that I can overstate that. Not knowing much about the story of Diablo might have hurt me in this regard, too, because I didn’t care too much about the characters or what was happening to them. The thing that got me through the Marvel Heroes introduction was my connection to the characters and stories. Like Diablo, I knew nothing about the Torchlight story, but the Outlander class kept me interested in the game until I got interested in the story. Perhaps that is my problem with Diablo III.

Let’s try something else. I’ve got the new video capture card for the computer. Maybe I can test it out with Diablo and try again. Up until this point, I’ve picked a Witch Doctor. Maybe that is the problem. Maybe I just don’t like class of Witch Doctor. I thought that it might be cool with the description and the spells available, but let’s try something else. I really liked Outlander in Torchlight II. Is there anything like that in Diablo? Turns out that the Demon Hunter looks similar to the Outlander. I’ll pick that. Also, as I was setting up the video capture card, the introduction of the story played through. I had skipped through it every other time playing the game.

Both the introduction and the new selection of class seems to have worked. It changed my mind about the game. I love hearing the *bang, bang* of the Demon Hunter’s gun as I blow stuff up. Not literally, yet. I don’t know if enemies explode when you kill them like they sometimes do in Torchlight II. If not, add that to the list of things that make TII better. In either case, I was wrong about Diablo III. The game is a fun game as long as you find the right class to play. My final piece of advice. Witch Doctor might not be the right class. Get out there and kick some demon butt.