Retro Games: Nox

I’m using the term retro pretty loosely to include just about any game over 5 years old. Nox is an action RPG developed by Westwood Studios and released by EA in 2000 for Windows. It plays like most Diablo clones and was fun playing through as the Warrior class (Conjurer and Wizard also available with very minor plot changes), but there were flaws that kept it from becoming anything more than average.

In terms of user interface, the biggest departure from Diablo though is the use of the right-mouse button to move forward rather than just clicking on the ground. The level of environmental interaction is actually quite good and I’d say ahead of it’s time. Tables and chairs are separate from each other, you can kick rocks as you run or knock down walls to discover hidden areas. The problem is you can run into and get hung up on those little objects. If you get caught between a chair and table you can keep running into either one to eventually push it out of the way or you can swing your mouse behind your character to backtrack and find a better path.

Diablo II came out the same year and it seems they tried to copy a bit from Blizzard’s masterpiece without actually thinking it through. All weapons and armor have durability like Diablo II, but the rate of wear and the cost of repair is ridiculous. On top of that there is no handy way to get back to town to repair or replenish health potions; they should have copied town portals too. The best part about RPGs is the loot. Problem was all my best gear was constantly broken (or disappearing because I forgot to remove it before its durability ran out) and I was just using whatever I could pick up.

Nox won’t be getting a repeat play through with the other classes, but it does give some insight into how things have changed in the aftermath of Diablo II. If you’re an action RPG fan then it might be worth playing (let me know if you want a copy). Considering its age I’ll give it a solid 7.

Diablo III announced

Kurtis beat me to the punch, but here’s my take.

Some games you quickly play through and get tired of. The Diablo series has not been one of those games. Diablo was one of the first RPGs I played on the PC. Diablo II saw many, many, many hours spent playing with friends on, probably more than Starcraft and Warcraft combined.

Blizzard just announced Diablo III, go watch the gameplay video and start drooling.

GameSpy’s PC Game Awards

GameSpy has their annual awards up for PC games and being that I pretty much exclusively play PC games I found it pretty interesting. It also gave me a few ideas of games to pick up next year on the cheap. I’ve played 1,2,5,6 and will definitely try 3 and 4. Company of Heroes is awesome, best strategy game since Starcraft, just hope they get the online stuff running smoother. Here’s their top 10:

1. Company of Heroes
2. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
3. Half-Life 2: Episode One
4. Space Rangers 2: Rise of the Dominators
5. Neverwinter Nights 2
6. Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords
7. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War — Dark Crusade
8. Dreamfall: The Longest Journey
9. GTR 2
10. LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy

See the full list here.