I am a huge fan of The Walking Dead and have been watching the show since the first episode. Well technically that is a bit of a fib, I intended to watch the show… but ultimately bought the first season boxed set and used it as a way to leap frog me into caring about the show in season two. I struggle to get into shows if I do not watch a deluge of episodes, because it takes a good four or five before I start to care about the characters. Zombies have always been that one movie monster that freaked me out, in part because other than twitter I am really not that connected to the media. So a movie opening like Dawn of the Dead where the entire world falls to shit while a couple is having an unplugged “date night” ends up resonating with me. It has never been so much about the zombies, but more about the hopelessness of it all. One bite or scratch and it is just over… and there are so many more of them than there are of you. The Walking Dead started several months after the fall of society, so when AMC announced that there would be a show set in Los Angeles during the fall.. I was on board with it from the start. As the summer drug on I looked forward to the premiere which was set for last night August 23rd.
Now that I have watched the first show… I am decidedly “meh” about the show right now. I guess part of it is that society is falling apart far slower than I had expected it to. Usually in the zombie movie genre the world changes over night, and in this case the show takes place during several days and even at the very end…. the world has not fully woken up to the danger. I expect that in episode two there will be a lot more action as people scurry about and attempt to get someplace safe. Quite honestly I cannot think of a worse place to be than in Los Angeles. The interesting thing about this show is we the viewers… know more about their world than the characters on screen do which causes a strange frustration. You want to take them by the shoulders and shake them and make them realize that the shit is going to hit the fan soon and they need to get the hell out of town. The other strange thing that is going on is that as I am watching I am trying to figure out which character is going to die first. There have been enough people introduced at this point as to assure that at least one of them will not survive the initial fall. I am taking a wait and see attitude on whether or not the show is going to “feel” better.
One part that feels completely wrong however is the fact that there is no “Talking Dead” airing immediately after it. This has become part of the experience for me and my co-workers as we watch the show. It is like this grand after party where you watch other fans of the show hash out the details that were just seen. To be truthful the entire Walking Dead > Talking Dead > Walking Dead rebroadcast thing has become a Sunday ritual for me. I sit on the sofa with my laptop and periodically change the laundry while watching the first two shows, and then fold the laundry during the rebroadcast. So just having Fear the Walking Dead without the Nerdist and friends… left the whole experience feeling hollow. There was a Talking Dead show ahead of “Fear” but it was to show off previews of Season 6 starting in October. On that show he mentioned that there would be a special Talking Dead after the season finale, but I am really hoping that AMC fixes this for Season 2. There was a hashtag going around twitter last night saying as much, so hopefully someone is listening. Chris Hardwick is pivotal to my enjoyment of this series.
Last night was also the end of Season 3 and I had wondered ahead of time how exactly the transition would work. Starting about thirty minutes before the end of the season we started getting warnings piped across the server, and the strange thing is that when the season actually finished it did not disconnect us from the server. Being curious however I ended my game and went to start a new one and got a message telling me that the season was over. I killed the Diablo 3 client and started it right back up, and immediately my new character was sitting in list of available normal characters. When I logged in I had a bunch of mail messages waiting for me, and in each one was an item that had been in the bank for seasonal characters. So I have to say the transition went extremely smoothly. I knew that I would not hit 70 before the season ended, but I did make it to around 35 before it finished. When season four starts I will absolutely make a brand new character, and it honestly may end up being another Crusader. Right now I am pretty fond of the gameplay, and it mixes some of the things that I loved about the Warrior and Monk together into a more enjoyable package.
Right now I am using a combination of Slash for my main attack which hits multiple targets in an arc in front of me, and Sweep Attack for my secondary which does pretty much the same thing… but just deals a hell of a lot more damage. My favorite ability however is Falling Sword which is an almost Dragoon like jump attack that crashes down on a target location dealing a radius of damage around where you landed. I love the versatility of this ability, that I can use it as a strong AOE attack or just a way to move around the battlefield quickly. It is great for chasing down runners like Treasure Goblins. My original plan was to rush through normal mode and then start cranking up the difficulty, but I only actually made it to act three before things went offline. While I might have had every intent to rush through the levels, I still found myself unable to skip up that option dungeon here or ignore that unexplored bit of map there. In hindsight I should have cranked up the difficulty from the start and just played like normal. I was under the impression that adventure mode did not actually work until you had unlocked all of the story content, but maybe I was wrong there. I’ve honestly not really spent much time exploring the Reaper of Souls features, because my friends and I had a few weeks where we played Diablo 3 hard and heavy… then never touched it again. For the time being I am still focusing on my Crusader because I am having a lot of fun playing it, and it fits my current gaming attention span.