Hypable game review: ‘Torchlight 2’

9:45 am EDT, September 28, 2012

Torchlight 2 is a hack-and-slash action RPG from Runic Games, a sequel to their impressive 2009 effort, Torchlight. What did we think of it?

Whenever I’ve told friends I was playing Torchlight 2 I usually got the response “what’s that?” and I always replied with “it’s like Diablo but cheaper and better.” Admittedly, my knowledge of Diablo is largely second-hand, but as far as I can make out, Diablo III has no offline option, has a real money auction house and doesn’t have pets. Torchlight 2 in comparison has an offline single player option, no way to pay for power, and about a dozen different pets to choose from. On top of that, there is some appearance-based character customisation, full modding support (via Steam workshop) and I picked it up for less than £15/$20 on Steam, with the original Torchlight thrown in for free. By contrast, if I bought Diablo 3 off Amazon now, four months after its release, I’d be looking at paying over £30 /$55.

Torchlight 2 pets

Let’s move on from the inevitable Diablo comparisons. What works in Torchlight 2? What doesn’t? And, most importantly, is it fun?

The four classes are the Outlander, the Embermage, the Berserker and the Engineer. Each has their own skill tree with three different types of abilities to put points into. For the Embermage, the categories were Inferno, Frost and Storm magic. Inferno was mostly about straight-up fire damage, frost more about control, and storm about applying random conditions whilst throwing lightning around. There’s no real need to only invest in one of the three categories, but each one seems to lend itself to different playstyles. I enjoyed the chaotic nature of storm magic, so spent all of my points on it, just to see if it was a viable way of playing. Skills came in two types, active and passive. Active skills included lightning storms, short range lightning bolts that could stun, and an area-of-effect spell that caused enemies to release healing bolts for me and my allies when they were killed. The Embermage’s three passive skills are: additional damage when enemies become shocked, the chance for enemies to be teleported away when attacking at close range, and the ability to apply random bizarre effects to enemies when using a wand.

Every class can wield every weapon, but each classes’ passives tend to only apply when using certain weapon types.

Each time a new level is reached, points can be used to improve and unlock skills and be put in a mostly standard RPG attribute system of strength, dexterity, focus and vitality – nothing new here.

Another important Torchlight 2 mechanic is the charge bar, a bar that gradually fills during combat and grants bonuses as and when it fills. This can easily turn the tide of a battle – for example, Embermages get fifteen seconds of ‘concentration’ when the charge bar is full, enabling them to cast spells without using up mana, whilst giving an extra damage boost.

Returning from Torchlight 1 is the spell system. Spells drop randomly from mobs and from within chests, and can be learnt by any class. They range from fireballs to armor boosts to heals. Four can be equipped at any one time.

The final and arguably most important gameplay mechanic is your character’s trusty pet. Pets generally have more health than you, so they can soak up damage while you’re busy dishing out spells. They can also learn spells themselves – I found it useful to teach my pet any active spells I found, so I could concentrate on casting my class abilities. Feeding pets fish temporarily transforms them into different creatures, giving them access to new skills and stats. Finally, pets act as a second inventory, like in Torchlight 1. You can send them back to town to sell your stuff, but this time around, you can also give them a shopping list of potions and scrolls to buy too.

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Arrested Development‘s fourth season aired three years ago today. To celebrate its legacy (and to try to forget how much we’re missing it right now), let’s rank the best recurring Arrested Development jokes!

It’s really no secret that Arrested Development has some of the best recurring jokes and gags of all time. Even people who don’t watch the show are familiar with things like “There’s always money in the banana stand” and “I’ve made a huge mistake.” The jokes in this show are just so understated and catchy that it would’ve been crazy had they not have caught on. Thanks to Arrested Development‘s recurring jokes, pop culture has never been quite the same.

To celebrate our undying love for Arrested Development, we decided to forgo the banner (sorry, everyone) and instead put together a list of all of the gags and jokes that we think are the best ones the show’s ever done. Not only that, but we’re leaving it up to you to rank them!

How to play: Love a certain joke and think that it should be at the top of the list? Upvote it. Really hate another joke and don’t understand how it got on the list in the first place? Hit that little downward-facing arrow. Don’t care either way for some of these gags? Then you can just leave them untouched. It’s all good! We just want to know what YOU think! With everyone participating we’ll be able to build a definitive list of the best Arrested Development jokes!

So, grab your denim cut-offs and hot ham water, and maybe even do a little chicken dance to get yourself pumped up (but not with the hot ham water in your hand, please). If you’re an Arrested Development fan, you’re sure to love ranking these jokes.

(Just be careful about which arrow you hit. You don’t want to hit the wrong one and find yourself saying “I’ve made a huge mistake.”)

Are there any ‘Arrested Development’ jokes missing from the list? Add them below!

 
Related: Arrested Development season 4 drinking game

Marvel fans aren’t pleased with the twist in Captain America: Steve Rogers #1.

By now you know that Steve Rogers is revealed to be a Hydra agent in the first issue of the new Captain America: Steve Rogers series (Read our in-depth analysis of the new issue here). Naturally this news — that ultimate do-gooder Cap would be so evil — has not sat well with fans.

The general consensus is that this shit is unacceptable…

http://cairistiona7.tumblr.com/post/144914269536/we-may-not-agree-on-stucky-we-may-not-agree-on

… And the only thing to do is ignore it:

http://contradictoryfrankie.tumblr.com/post/144924573033/marvel-seriously

http://antis0cial1diot.tumblr.com/post/144916043048/basically-how-the-scene-went-down

Others think Marvel need a taste of their own medicine:

http://demigod-who-crashed-the-impala.tumblr.com/post/144916277135/marvel-needs-to-sign-its-own-sokovia-accords

And/or need to fire their lame-o writers:

http://scarlett-ice.tumblr.com/post/144923588829/if-you-ever-think-your-writing-is-bad-just

Then there are beautiful Photoshops like this one of Chris Evans’ Captain America ripping up a tree the comic:

http://epicgeekdom.tumblr.com/post/144924279502/after-hearing-captain-america-has-always-been

Some people are Photoshopping the comic to make him say things that are just as outrageous as him being a HYDRA agent:


http://codyjohnston.tumblr.com/post/144920242899/marvel-how-could-you

While others are giving him a different revelation — one concerning Bucky. This is the twist that SHOULD be in the new Captain America series

http://fukinweeeb.tumblr.com/post/144923721446/guys-i-found-the-real-version-calm-down

http://saltikitti.tumblr.com/post/144918179067/here-i-fixed-it

Marvel, please write yourself out of this one as quickly as possible.

http://robinthephoenix.tumblr.com/post/144917851788/not-to-pleased-with-caps-new-alliance-p

… Before you start coming up with other outrageous revelations

http://pk-wheeze.tumblr.com/post/144916205184

Emilia Clarke proves there is more to Dothraki than death threats in a recent appearance on Late Night With Seth Meyers.

Clarke, who plays the indomitable Daenerys Targaryen on HBO’s Game of Thrones, sets Meyers straight on the fact that Dothraki is, in fact, a real language created for the show. Linguist David J. Peterson crafted Dothraki, and all of the other fictional languages used on Game of Thrones — but even after six seasons, his words present Clarke with a continual challenge.

“You get it in English, at the top in the first script, it’s like, ‘This will be in Dothraki,'” Clarke recounts of her learning process. Following English is the Dothraki speech, followed by a literal translation, and then finally the dialogue in spoken English.

“And then I get an MP3, and then my kitchen hears it for weeks and weeks and weeks on end, until I sound convincing,” Clarke says.

But given the opacity (and complete invention) of the Dothraki language, Emilia Clarke admits that there have been times when she replaced her lines with something a little more… interesting.

“With the latest marvelous actors we’ve had doing Dothraki with us, it was a long day,” Clarke admits, giggling. Not realizing that the camera was on her, Clarke allowed a moment of silliness to take over.

“I thought it would be funny if I did ‘MMMBop’ in Dothraki,” she says. “And that didn’t help him at all! And then I think some of that was definitely my take.”

Ever game, Clarke dives in to her rendition of the Hanson hit, translated into the language of the brutal horse lords.

“I can’t stress how much less catchy that is!” Meyers laughs.

Game of Thrones 6×06, “Blood of My Blood,” airs Sunday, May 29 at 9:00 p.m. on HBO.