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Published on May 1st, 2011 | by Greg

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Must-Play for XBLA: Torchlight

Ac­tion RPGs are easy for even non-gamers to like. Di­a­blo and the ocean of clones, se­quels, and sim­i­lar ti­tles work con­sis­tent­ly be­cause the for­mu­la makes sense. End­less dun­geons, plen­ty of room for char­ac­ter growth, tons of loot and equip­ment to dis­cov­er, skill trees and mag­i­cal spells to un­lock- even if a game of­fers on­ly a thin wisp of plot, it can still be fun.

Torch­light, avail­able now for the PC, Mac and fair­ly re­cent­ly to the XBox Live Ar­cade ver­sion we’ve been play­ing, doesn’t bring much new to the table with one sig­nif­i­cant ex­cep­tion. But the parts work so well that you’re too busy hav­ing fun to no­tice, play­ing through yet one more area in search of the next up­grad­ed weapon. Three class­es are pret­ty stan­dard, as is the sto­ry, which con­cerns a mys­te­ri­ous mag­i­cal ma­te­ri­al called Em­ber, mined from the area be­low the town. The nifty new fea­ture is the ad­di­tion of a pet, sort of a com­pan­ion that fol­lows you around and draws off en­e­mies as well as at­tacks them. Your pet can even use mag­ic spells, though train­ing them in one means that you can’t learn it (from that par­tic­u­lar ‘scroll’ at least). There are quests, but rarely too much that draws you off the fair­ly lin­ear path. And the dif­fi­cul­ty scales enough that even be­gin­ners to video games can hop in and have fun pret­ty quick­ly.

It’s a beau­ti­ful game, set to a love­ly score, that suf­fers from on­ly one ma­jor down­fall- no co-op­er­a­tive mul­ti­play­er. The best part of games like Bal­dur’s Gate is play­ing with a friend, and it feels like a nat­u­ral fit to the game. Luck­i­ly, we hear that Torch­light II will be com­ing around in not so long, of­fer­ing mul­ti-play­er. In the mean­time, Runic Games have cre­at­ed a fun, pret­ty, and easy to pick­up ti­tle, a nice com­mon ground for both hard­core and ca­su­al gamers. At $15 and down­load­able through your Xbox 360, the price is def­i­nite­ly right for ad­mis­sion to the world of Torch­light.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.



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