Anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock knows that Diablo II is the single greatest event in human history since the filming of Forrest Gump. Even before it was released, Diablo II had won dozens of awards and been acclaimed as the greatest game since Cricket. Most of South Korea held its breath in anticipation of another Blizzard release which actually tilted the earth in its orbit causing massive earthquakes, a Tsunami and the loss of life in the millions. Personally though I hadn’t heard about Diablo II myself until last week.
As soon as I heard about it though I rushed right off to the nearest store and after making my way through a mountain of X-Box accessories such as optional X-Box controllers shaped like Bill Gates’ head and a block of ice to store your X-Box in so it doesn’t overheat and burn down your entire living room, I rummaged through the Bargain Bin past copies of Deer Hunter, Deer Hunter 2, Dinosaur Hunter and Dick Cheney Hunter to find one remaining copy of Diablo II.
There was no way I could go to work after this. The children would just have to learn basic arithmetic some other day. I went right home and after a long installation process and an introductory movie that was actually assembled entirely out of lost footage from Lizard Queen of the Damned, I finally began to play prepearing to unleash my wrath upon the numerous barrels of Diablo II.
I had been looking forward to smashing all the barrels in Diablo II for a very long time. Most games made today are ridiculously politically correct throwing ‘safe’ enemies at you like trolls and orcs and evil wizards but due to the relentless pressure from the Barrel Rights lobby are too afraid to show our real enemy, the barrel. For me being able to smash barrels at will had a very special meaning because a barrel killed my father. And that was the worst Oktoberfest ever.
Finally with Diablo II, here was a game unfraid to give a player a massive arsenal of weapons and magic spells and unleash him upon a strange magical realm full of barrels waiting to be smashed. Some people mistakenly think that smashing barrels is unsporting because barrels can’t fight back. Oh how wrong they are as my dear departed father found out. Some barrels are booby trapped with explosives. Others hide in the corner in the dark where you can’t see them before they make their move. Still others make evil alliances with living skeletons who hide in their depths like radioactive chickens in mutated egg waiting to spring out at you.
Every now and then some people in the game sent me on quests, which oddly enough were never barrel-centric or barrel-related. This omission was due to their fear of the barrels no doubt which caused them to waste time on demons and hellbeasts while being too afraid to mention the real threat by name. There were of course various monsters as obstacles to keep me from getting to the barrels. They were much like the monsters in the first game with stronger monsters coming in different skin colors just like in the real world where you can tell who is superior by the color of their skin. All this is done because the employees of Blizzard are well known followers of Adolf Hitler and not because they’re too lazy to design a new monster instead of just coloring a zombie pink or orange to indicate that his homosexuality gives him greater and more terrifying powers than the regularly drably heterosexual zombies.
Somewhere around 1 AM after I had been smashing barrels for ten hours straight it occured to me how wonderfull Diablo II really is. It’s so rare in the game industry that a sequel rehashes the everything that made the first game so great, like the barrels and the rainbow monster coalition, and releases it to a gratefull and admiring public.