I’m playing Diablo 3 on the PS3 right now. This is actually something kind of rare; I don’t really play a lot of videogames. I tend to fixate on a select few, mostly PC games, that I play enough to get reasonably good at. And then I go back to them periodically, running through once or twice for either the fun of the repetition or just for the therapeutic value of blowing stuff up.
So Diablo 3 has a bit of historical significance. A buddy of mine introduced me to the first Diablo just as Diablo 2 was hitting the market. I played it on his PC a few times, and when the expansion bundle came out I picked it up. I played through Diablo for a while before getting into the second one (and here comes the big reveal) because traditionally I suck at videogames. It took me a ridiculous amount of time to get a feel for the controls, and strategy is often very different for real-time games than I’m used to. I tend to struggle with timing and with skill development; again, the controls are hard to master when what you’re trying to do changes every other level. (D3 is less forgiving that D2 was; part of that is the controller vs. the keyboard controls, and part is that if you die in a boss fight you start over.)
I’m dying a lot in D3, but I’m enjoying it quite a bit anyway. I’m about halfway through with my first character, so I’m still learning the controls and how the powers and skills work. I tend to enjoy the learning process when playing a new game (of any kind, really); once I get to the point where I feel comfortable with the rules and controls, that’s when I start to get competitive and it stops being fun.
A game that’s more down my alley is Civilization. I have played the hell out of Civ 4 over the years; I never did pick up Civ 5 (I attribute that to the reviews of the changes made to the game; it sounded like it was less turn-based, which was for me a deal-breaker). Turn-based strategy is where I tend to do best because my weakness is my reaction time; my reflexes have never been all that great. (I always preferred the buggy old Temple of Elemental Evil turn-based PC game to the real-time D&D games. I’m weird, I know.)
For me videogames serve a very limited purpose – they let me vent, whether it’s actual emotions or just to get a gaming fix. And I’m cool with that. And Diablo 3 is a good game, even if it is on rails just a bit.