A Hack’n Slash story :

From Golden Axe to Diablo IV

According to the statistics of the burglaries of my city, breaking doors to recover treasures is one of the favorite activities of human beings. This undoubtedly explains why the hack’n slash is almost as old as video games and how an expression formerly depreciative came to designate a successull type of game.

Like almost everything that displays dragons and swords on a computer screen, the hack’n slash come straight line from the role -playing game on the table. It was also in 1980 in a Dragon Magazine issue, an official revealed of Dungeons and Dragons, that we find the first occurrence of the expression: “There is a great potential for More Than Hacking and Slashing in D&D”

With other terms, such as that of “Munchkin” or “minimaxing”, it is associated with the very fighting-xp-optimization approach (or to say it more politely: “Door-Monster-Treasure”) of the game of role. Logically, it is used to designate the first action video games inspired by Dungeons and Dragons, like Golden Axe or Rastan.

By extension the term comes to describe any action game with vertical or horizontal scrolling in which we fight enemia with arms-to-body weapons, like Ninja Gaiden. And in the high spheres of “video game testers” (that is to say, at that time, the twenty-year-olds who tested games in the first specialized journals), the term retains a pejorative dimension: when a More ambitious game in terms of narration, gameplay or universe construction, whether it is a Zelda or an Ultima, we often compare it favorable to “hack’n slash “Which, themselves, boil down to their fights and its destiny for more muscular fingertips than brain.

DISORDER IN THE TYPE OF GAMES. Besides, at the release of Diablo in 1996, the press does not consider it as a hack’n slash but as an RPG, even going as far as not to recognize that it is about ‘A stupid click-click-boom-boom game. Trent Ward writes for example for Gamespot that if the character of the warrior “will appeal to lovers of action games” the Rogue and the magician are “intended for strategy fans”. A game controlled with mouse, descending in real time of the ancient Roguelikes in ASCII (that is what the RPG on PC was more hardcore), which was based on a system of strict rules rather than on the players of the player, could not be another Something that a variation, certainly a little combat oriented from Ultima. It took, for the term hack’n slash to take from its current meaning, the sequence of two events.

First of all, the appearance of the term action-RPG, designating these descendants of immersive Sims who have various degrees, from Daggerfall (second episode of the Elder Scrolls) to Deus Ex, were more and more numerous to mix elements From Role Playing Games and 3D real -time universes, so much so that they have become the norm. To differentiate these games from the heirs of Diablo II, it was necessary for its latest, a new name.

The second is precisely the release of Diablo II, which has registered in marble the codes of a new kind, of the possibility of modifying the objects by setting them from gems and runes to the division of the adventure into acts. Again, the term hack’n slash, this time associated for good with the games that we know today under this name, was used to distinguish, in a pejorative way, this kind of games from another considered more Rich: any “action” as they are, the Elder schools deserve the beautiful name of RPG, when the Blizzard casinos were only vulgar hack’n slash.

THE QUARREL OF HARDCORE AND MODERNS. If the Hack’n Slash after Diablo II have never really managed to break with their model, they have not stopped evolving. Some of the first major competitors sought to stand out by moving away from the Dark Fantasy side and the serious spirit of the illustrious Encitre (Torchlight), and others have renounced to the random generation for the benefit of a gigantic world Hand -created by developers (Titan Quest). But we had to wait for Diablo III (2012) that the first real breakup took place, for better and for worse.

Until now, the hack’n slash, for lack of a particularly deep or punitive gameplay, had the main difficulty rests on the construction of the character. It is to the knowledge of the effective builds that we recognized a good player and most of the skills choices were final or, at least, required large sacrifices of time or gold coins to be canceled.

Blizzard, with his experience with the MMOs, decided to break with this punitive character and further push the logic of incremental play by creating a game in which it was not only impossible to regress, but also where no choice would be final. The release of Reaper of Souls in 2014 further broke the nail by breaking definitively with one of the last elements imported from traditional role -playing games: the “Directorist” narration. No need to follow a story, we could now be content to teleport from one place to another in the world to grinder experience and objects, a level of difficulty that can be changed freely allowing to adjust the level of difficulty (and awards) with the desired experience.

But even the least hardcore of video game genres still has its snobs and certain, especially among the fan of Diablo II, criticized the new blizzard game for having broken with the complexity of traditional hack’n slash. It is notably with them that the excellent Path of Exile has its success, overcoming both the fidelity to the canons of old blizzard and complexity, with one of the most complex and passive skills system from the history of the video game. For the first time a hack’n slash was considered unworthy of the name for excessive simplicity. The times are changing.

I love the hack’n slash since I was very small. I watched Dad playing Diablo II sitting on his lap at the damn of my mom. It is true that I suppose that a game filled with demons and zombies is not necessarily the ideal for the awakening of a baby even if I am sure that it is no less harmful than certain programs for the Youth passing on television !!!

Anyway, I’ve started with Diablo II at 13 and I love it very much. Now I happen to replay it from time to time on his remaster released a few years ago, I continued on Titan Quest then I had to play most games released in the genre.

I also played Path of Exile and Diablo III and I don’t really understand this controversy. Diablo III when it was released was a problematic game but because of a sales hotel system that unbalanced the game and made it unplayable if you didn’t want to spend money. I think that’s what really hurt its reputation. Since it has disappeared and with the arrival of its Diablo III Reaper of Souls extension has been a much better game for me than Path of Exile.

Path of Exile is a very good game of course but to want to play it seriously you have to play with a wiki next to itself. To understand the economic system of the game alone is a nightmare for a beginner. With Diablo 3 anyone who can have fun with the start of the game. And for so much it is still deep enough to discover the subtleties of gameplay after several dists or hundreds of hours of play.

Diablo IV is scheduled for June, I can’t wait for its release! It will bring a real world open to the genre and lots of small novelties which will give a wind of freshness to the genre. I have not yet cracking to read all the previews on the net because I want to discover a maximum of things on D -day but what I could see, I want to play it.

If you like the genre I suggest you closely monitored it, for me it is part of my 2 expectations of the year with the new Zelda. If you do not really know the genre I advise you, even if it is not free unlike Path of Exile, to play Diablo III and its extension in addition it is available in a very good version on Nintendo Switch playable in Coop offline. With all this content you will have fun for hours.

PS: This is not a sponsored post! ^^’

Take care of yourself and you loved one and see you soon guys!

Monster Hunter Stories 2

At the moment everyone plays Pokémon Arceus, The proposal of the game made me want but while playing it, the gray and dull side of the graphics made me stop. At this time of year, with the bad weather, I want more colorful games.
Talking to my friends I was recommended Monster Hunter Stories 2.

For me, who only played Monster Hunter World alone (because the chat system sucks when you don’t use a microphone) it was a series of boring monster hunting quests. Of course I am aware that I did it in bad conditions and that it is surely a very good license.
In short at first sight, when I was told about Monster Hunter Stories, I said to myself that it was not for me, but in fact although the game takes place in the same universe as the main series, this Spin- off is very different.

The combat system:

Indeed we find ourselves here with a kind of Pokémon where the scenario would take a much more important place than usual. We are therefore in a turn-based RPG where the character fights monsters himself accompanied by a monster who fights at his side. The combat system is based on the principle of rock-paper-scissors. You can choose a Power, Speed ​​or Technical type attack. Power beats skill, skill beats speed, and ultimately speed beats power. Our character can choose their attack type each turn, but each monster has an associated attack type. So you have to choose the right attack and the monster that best suits the opponent in front of you and change your strategy as needed during the fight, because opponents can also change your strategy.

There is a lot going on during fights in terms of animation and sometimes there are quick-time events; quite frankly it is not always clear what triggers what; the combat system is deep and looks complex, but remains simple and intuitive.

On the strategy side, it is possible to attack specific parts of the monsters or to use a specific weapon which will be more effective in a given situation. For example, when a monster is holding a rock in front of him as a shield, it’s best to switch weapons to a hammer to break his makeshift shield. At the end of the fight we are rewarded with loots.

Craft and exploration:

As in the main series, crafting is also central to the “Stories” experience. In addition to the pieces of monsters that we pick up after a fight, we can also pick up all kinds of plants, insects, ores and other resources in nature, which will be used to make weapons and armor, but also potions and others. objects that can be used during combat and in the exploration phases. Equipment crafting is simplified with a point system instead of absolutely requiring specific items. When we craft an armor, it is the whole that we craft and not each piece individually as in the main series.

To expand your team of monsters here you have to find eggs and then hatch them. Sometimes you can even come across a “Shiny” monster. During a fight, only one of our monsters is activated at a time, although we can interchange in the middle of the fight. What drives us to explore.
I have a lot of fun exploring the world of Monster Hunter Stories 2. We are a rider, a rider who can ride on the back of his monsters. We find open and visually rich landscapes where there are always monsters to fight, resources to pick up or secrets to discover. Some areas will only be accessible if you have the right monster activated. For example, some can jump, some can climb, and some can go in the water. We can come back at any time in the regions already explored if ever you do not have the right monster in your team at the moment. The teleportation points already discovered allow you to quickly move from one point to another in the world.

To conclude:

I am very far from having finished the game but I take a huge pleasure in playing it.

  • The game is very beautiful although there are some slowdowns (little annoying) on Nintendo Switch, which must be absent from the PC version;
  • There are plenty of things to do;
  • The story is interesting and although quite public it is not as childish as some Pokémon (no need to have played the first one to understand it);
  • A rich and interesting combat system without being too complex.
  • Exploration is super fun…

In short, if you ever don’t have a switch, that Pokémon Arceus bores you, does not interest you or simply if you like good RPGs, I strongly advise you to play Monster Hunter Stories 2. My only regret is not having played earlier.

Take care of yourself and your loved ones and see you soon!