Hob Review

Oct 06, 2017

Thrust into a world, colorful and pretty, no idea who I’m playing as, what I’m playing as, or where I am. Yet the world immediately captivated me, already making me feel that special tinge of gaming magic that only a handful of games do over the ages. I didn’t intend to feel this way, as I hadn’t heard of Hob up until this review opportunity and perhaps readers are in the same boat, but everyone who loves adventure games should put on their list to-play list ASAP.

Torchlight II Review

Sep 28, 2012

Torchlight has been set aflame from the now Ember-crazed Alchemist after the ending of the first game. The Destroyer and Vanquisher have fled the little town to where new heroes can now take on the new threat set to conquer everything.

Torchlight II finally releases on September 20th, 2012

Aug 31, 2012

Runic Games, Inc. (“Runic Games”), a developer of PC and console game entertainment software in the United States, announced the official launch date of Torchlight II this morning at the kickoff of PAX Prime 2012.


Armed Heroes Online looks awfully familiar

Jul 18, 2012

You can’t plagiarize and expect not to get caught, it just doesn’t work this way anymore. You can’t hide on the internet.  But somehow, Chinese developer EGLS Ltd. (Electronic Game Labs) thought no one would notice that the assets that appear in this free-to-play game were ripped directly from Torchlight, developed by Runic Games.

Currently this is still available on the Canadian App Store: http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/armed-heroes-online-3d-mmorpg/id533790395?mt=8, I spoke to Runic Games’ Community Manger, Brian Ward via Twitter:

A thread started by Serena Zhang at EGLS, Ltd on TouchArcade went on to discuss the differences between their game and Torchlight – which they have been accused of stealing assets from. Travis Baldtree, who has worked on Fate and Torchlight stepped in to point out some of the things EGLS failed to mention or completely sidestepped.

A comparison image provided by Travis shows the artwork is identical, save for some alterations made by the developer to appear different. Also included with Travis’ post is the fact that misspellings existed in the files used that were never fixed. Having unpacked the files for Armed Heroes Online, he found the exact same misspellings.

Can you spot the differences? I can’t.

It’s deplorable that EGLS expected to profit (through microtransactions) in their free-to-play mobile game. It’s sickening that they defend their position that they did not steal assets and then try to turn the tables on Runic for borrowing from other games.

Hopefully EGLS or Apple will do the right thing and remove the game from the App Store and so the game can be redesigned to be re-released. I just hope they don’t steal from a different game next time. #StolenTL

UPDATE: Armed Heroes Online has been pulled from the Canadian App Store and the developers will be “modifying some things”.

E3 2012: Torchlight II

Jun 09, 2012

So I got to sit down and play with Wonder Russell (Runic’s Community Manager) and talk with Max Schaefer about the game. The build was the beta version that was available in late May, so nothing new to see but I played a new class and heard musings from Wonder. This time there won’t be an infinite dungeon for the game as there was for Torchlight, in it’s place will be “New Game+” and no limit in using it. Though there is a level cap of 100.

I do have a release date to share with the world on Torchlight II, Wonder stated that it will come out “Orange” – I think she is messing with me.

Torchlight II (Network) Beta Impressions

May 14, 2012

Happening right now is Runic Games and thousands of players worldwide stress testing the servers for the upcoming summer release of Torchlight II, an action RPG sequel to the PC and Xbox Live Arcade smash, Torchlight. The reason we’re seeing a Network Beta, to aid the developers wrangle any and all issues with the netcode, addressing the complaints of the first game not including any local or online co-op. Runic heard those complaints and made it the primary focus. But what else is new?

Pretty much everything. They threw in everything but the kitchen sink. As mentioned above, the inclusion of multiplayer co-op is now present. You and up to five other people can drop into the world and work together, or go off on your own ventures in the same world. The network in my experience was easy to play on and I didn’t experience any lag. That may not be the case for everyone as people mix and match various internet types, which is the whole purpose of this Network Beta.

The game includes Act I of Torchlight II. I’m not sure how many total acts there are, but Runic Games is generous to allow you to play a large majority of the game to help them test out any networking bugs while you hack n’ slash and claim victory and loot. The overworld was something you never got to experience in Torchlight, and is now present here. You have the Etherian Ruins as a hub for vendors, trainers, etc and as a central waypoint location. From there you can leave through several exits that lead to diverse locations that have rain, snow, and other improved location weather effects.

As before, the game anytime you play it – whether you create a new game or join someone else’s, the worlds are randomly generated. New dungeon types starkly contrast from the previous area. All of which I think improve on the prior game ten-fold. Torchlight II is very promising in exploration and allowing you to experience something new all of the time. It’s highly unlikely you’d see the same path twice. In doing so, you’ll click on a wide variety of enemies that was lacking in the first game, ranging from the game’s enemies to feral animals that just don’t like you.

Torchlight II features an improved graphics engine, dynamic weather, and spectacular particle effects that are vibrant and a spectacle to behold. You’ll see the improved UI that makes it minimal when you don’t need it, but when you are using it, it is easy to understand and follow. Everything you’d expect is laid out before you, allowing you to customize your hotkeys and transfer items from your inventory to your pets and so on.

The most outstanding and wonderful feature of Torchlight was the pet system. You could have a cat, dog, or in retail versions of the game – a ferret to travel with you and defeat monsters. You could outfit them with armor and spells allowing them to heal you or spawn skeletons to aid in battle. What truly made the game, was that you could put your unwanted gear and items into the pet’s inventory and send him to town to sell it for you. Then would return minutes later with gold.

This time, there are more pets to choose from, I chose the Hawk (obviously). The pet system also got an upgrade, as you can send pet to shops with a shopping list for health and mana potions and other basic necessities like identify scrolls. That is, until you learn the Identify Spell. The pet will return with the gold from selling your items and bring you the items you requested.

Torchlight II features the same, great action you’d expect from the Action RPG genre. In the network beta, there was no import feature or anything that rewarded you for playing the first Torchlight, but perhaps that’s a feature that will make it into the final game. The musical score sets the tone wonderfully and gives you a whole Act to explore. The most depressing thing while playing Torchlight II Beta, was realizing that all my hard work and effort is going to be wiped away at the end of this network stress test. My engineer and pet hawk will be no more.

Torchlight II is expected to release Summer 2012.

Torchlight II Pre-Orders are now being taken

Apr 26, 2012

Runic Games, Inc., a specialized developer of PC and console game software in the United States, launched pre-orders today for their upcoming PC APRG title Torchlight II.

The highly-anticipated sequel is available for pre-order through two platforms, Steam, and Perfect World Entertainment, and retails for just $19.99 (£14.99, €18.99). Players who pre-order through Steam will receive an added bonus, a free download code for the original game, the award-winning Torchlight.

“As we put the finishing touches on Torchlight II, it made sense to start pre-orders after the great response we received at PAX-East,” said CEO Max Schaefer. “Fans have asked us for a pre-order, and we are planning an imminent network test, so the timing was perfect.”

In other news, Torchlight II’s “Friday Updates” are moving to Thursdays. Gamers can visit the official website at http://www.torchlight2game.com/ to see the latest Thursday Features, news updates, game play details, trailers and screenshots.

And of course you can visit the official Torchlight II page for more: http://www.torchlight2game.com/news/2012/04/26/torchlight-ii-available-for-pre-order/

Torchlight 2 delayed for all the right reasons

Nov 21, 2011

So you may have been wondering what’s going on with Torchlight II (or Torchlight 2). First, Runic released Torchlight XBLA in the Spring. Then it was stated that Torchlight II would be out Summer 2011. Last we heard, Fall 2011 for the game. Now we have an official update from Travis Baldtree:

“Well, yeah. We did – and we made a good run at that. We’ve come to the realization, however, that getting a game of this scope up to the quality and polish level we want to achieve is going to take a little longer; especially since we want to run a small beta before release to ensure that our launch is smooth.”


“Besides, you’re all playing Skyrim right now anyway, aren’t you? Or Battlefield 3? Or Uncharted 3? Or Saints Row 3? Or Arkham City? Or Skyward Sword? Or Minecraft? Or Modern Warfare 3? Or Dark Souls? Or Assassin’s Creed Revelations?”

Runic Games has recorded their first ever podcast with Travis, Max, Marsh, Art Director Jason Beck, Lead Level Designer Patrick Blank and Producer Brock Jones crowded around our solitary microphone to candidly address the State of the Game. Listen here: http://www.torchlight2game.com/news/2011/11/18/community-qa-podcast/

Fans were invited to the Seattle office to preview Torchlight II. The Runic Games Fansite has all the coverage you need: http://www.runicgamesfansite.com/content/1284-runic-games-2011-fansite-event-coverage.html

I think this is a delay we all can settle on. We would love to see Torchlight II make it for this year, but not at any expense of the game’s quality or content. So instead, we’ll accept this delay so that they can make the game the best they can. And when it does release, we’ll all be in for a real treat.



Torchlight II final reveals happening at PAX

Aug 26, 2011

We were given some amazing news regarding Torchlight II. Runic Games is at PAX in Seattle, and today (at this very moment) the website Torchlight2game.com is revealing both the price point for the game and the fourth character class. The only thing left for reveal is the actual date of release. Though, it is stated in several places that Torchlight II will release on PC in 2011.

Torchlight sells 1 MILLION units across all platforms

Jul 07, 2011

Congratulations are in order, for probably one of my favorite developers today, Runic Games has announced that TORCHLIGHT has officially sold over one million units across all platforms (PC , Mac, and Xbox Live Arcade).

The announcement comes after closing a successful 4th of July holiday sale on Steam, which kicked-off a Deal of the Week promotion on Xbox. This sale also coincides with the simultaneous Xbox unlock of a new spell (spoiler: bees) by the Xbox community.

“We’re very excited to share Torchlight’s success with our fans and supporters. It’s been a great ride so far and we can’t wait to give everyone more of what they want in Torchlight II,” said President Travis Baldree. “It isn’t every day you sell a million games. We’re grateful to be here.”

Torchlight debuted in October 2009 for PC, and premiered on Xbox on March 9th 2011. Runic Games is currently developing the PC-based multi-player sequel, Torchlight II, which was nominated for six awards at E3 2011, including Best RPG and Best of E3.

For more information on Torchlight, gamers can visit the official websites for TorchlightTorchlight XBLA, and Torchlight II to view additional game play details, trailer, and screenshots