I’ve Thoroughly Enjoyed Diablo 3 On The Loo

I’ve Thoroughly Enjoyed Diablo 3 On The Loo

At what point does a remaster becomes superfluous? That’s the question that arises with any Switch port, irrespective of its quality or the length of time from which it was originally released.

But consider this. Is a video game enhanced by the ability to enjoy it while taking a dump? In most cases, yes. And so it is for Diablo 3.

I’ve tossed and turned a little about how to discuss Diablo 3: Eternal Collection, the Switch re-release of Blizzard’s dungeon crawler whose history you should absolutely read. And part of that deliberation has centred on double-dipping, from a consumer perspective.

At what point does the ability to take an experience with you fundamentally change, or improve, that experience?

It’s a question well worth asking with many games either prioritising Nintendo or finding a second lease of life on the console, including Dark Souls; Lumines, which had a satisfactory mobile port; the classic Final Fantasy games, which are coming to the Switch next year; and Diablo 3, which launched on Nintendo late last week.

For all intents and purposes, Diablo 3 on the Switch is the same experience you’d get from the console versions. The excellent dodge roll is still there. There’s button remapping if you want everything on the face buttons instead of having them spread across the bumpers, button and triggers. And local wireless is a fun way to spice up a train ride, if you’ve got two hands.

But for the most part, you’re playing the same game that console and PC fans have had access to for years. There is one bit of exclusive content, the treasure goblin Amiibo, but there’s nothing substantially new to discover.

Diablo 3 didn’t get any new announcements at Blizzcon either. So who is the Switch version for, exactly?

I certainly wouldn’t recommend it for people who have been binging Diablo 3 since launch. The Amiibo is nice, but double dipping just for that is a bit much. It’s less of an argument for those who have played on console, since you’re dealing with the same control scheme and you already have a game that’s designed for the couch or bedroom.

Where Diablo 3: Eternal Collection makes more sense is for the PC crowd that jumped on Diablo 3 at launch, and dropped off for whatever reason. Plenty of people have played Diablo 3 – it’s sold more than 30 million copies across console and PC as of 2015. I know plenty who haven’t checked in with the game since the closure of the real money auction house, or even the Necromancer DLC.

For myself, someone who worked through D3 at launch and hasn’t returned, it’s been fun rolling around. Especially with the performance.

My biggest worry with Diablo 3 on the Switch was how well it’d handle large scale battle once all of the particle effects starting firing up. Digital Foundry, above, found that the game drops to 540p at the lowest point while in handheld mode. Beyond that, however, you’re getting a pretty stable framerate throughout, whether you’re in docked or portable mode.

At the absolute worst – with a maxed character in co-op in the thick of a Nephalem Rift – the frame rate isn’t quite so smooth. The density of the effects on screen is largely the main problem, but that’s also a worst-case scenario.

The good news: the portable version performance is basically to docked mode. So knocking off Belail or rescuing Leah, Adria, The Stranger and everyone else who gets kidnapped is just as smooth when you’re taking a dump as when you’re sitting on the couch.

And that’s largely how I’ve been enjoying Diablo 3. The story is a much more casual experience than Diablo 1 or Diablo 2, thanks to the dodge roll, the time to kill, changes to potions, inventory and other systems.

It’s almost a mindless experience. Roll into a group of enemies, freeze everyone, blow everything up with wand of bullshit that adds 433% damage to my arcane orb and makes it explode twice, and repeat.

I could upgrade to something better, but when I'm doing 20+k crits at this level, why would I?

That wand really is hilariously broken. Treasure goblins die in two hits. Maghda ran around for 10 seconds before getting plastered. The butcher barely lasted long enough to finish his voiceover.

It’s almost like I’m playing Borderlands instead of Diablo.

But that’s what I’ve enjoyed so much. It’s been a nice bit of escapism on the train, something that keeps me occupied while I do other things. I’ve been rolling through deserts while Naruto is playing in the background. And it’s certainly given me an excuse for extra-long toilet breaks. Not at work though: I haven’t quite figured out an excuse as to why I’d be taking my bag into the loo. But it certainly works at home.

And maybe that’s the only reason someone needs: a game they can chill out to. Diablo 3 on the Switch fits that role, even though it carries a far different tone to how I remember playing Diablo 1 and 2. I have very specific memories of the first game; I certainly remember it being a lot tighter, a lot more tactical and fraught. Death was always around the corner.

I’ve never even thought about dying once on the Switch version. Still having a lot of fun, and it certainly made the transpacific flight home a ton easier. That type of Diablo probably isn’t for everyone, but then you probably don’t want to be straining to survive when you’re on the loo anyway.


    • People should clean their devices regularly! Here’s some handy advice. A little solution with some diluted isopropyl alcohol, a microfibre cloth (spraying onto the cloth, not the screen) and a gentle wipe works well too.

    • Haven’t they done studies showing a well maintained toilet has less germs than door handles or stair rails or kitchens and the like? It’s not like you are dropping it in the toilet bowl.

  • I honestly don’t see the fascination in using devices or reading books while taking a dump. When I go in there I get in, do my business and get out. I don’t even want to think about staying in there any longer than I have to. I’ve never understood why using the opportunity for some reading/gaming/social media catchup has ever been a thing.

    • If my body is going to force me away from whatever I’m doing to go sit on a toilet then I’m going to spite it by doing something else while I wait for it to do it’s thing. It’s not the boss of me!

    • I often wonder what life would be like with a healthy colon… I wish I didn’t have to take some entertainment in there just to keep my mind occupied.

    • Maybe there are a lot of constipated people in the world?

      But I agree with you. Seems like a terrible idea having a phone or gaming tablet in the loo.

    • I’m normally an “in and out” person when it comes to the toilet. Seriously, I walk into the toilet, I do my thing, leave. I take under a minute to use the bathroom.

      I know some people unfortunately take a while, but there are honestly a lot of people, particularly in workplace environments, who go into the bathroom to play on their phones.

      I knew a fella who was known for taking his phone into the bathroom and would have regular bathroom trips for 30 to 40 minutes at a time. Oh boy, he got into a bit of strife.

  • So now you can say “I’m just going to go expel some demons” and people won’t know if you’re being literal or it’s a euphemism.

    There’s button remapping…Is there? Where? All I could find was the screen telling you what the buttons were with no remapping option. I really hate how they decided to move around the potion, target lock and ability 5 buttons from the PS4 version. It’s super awkward to use.

  • For anyone with big hands who struggle with the Switch.. I highly recommend checking out the Satisfye Pro Gaming grip.

    I tried a couple cheap grips from Amazon recently, but they were all total junk. Much more comfortable using the Switch without a grip (which is saying something).

    But this new Satisfye unit is excellent – perfect for playing Titan Quest / D3 for extended sessions. Comes with little “grip-ip” style thumbstick nubs too, which is pretty great. Although as always it only really works on the left stick, as the right stick is too close to the buttons.

  • Jeez, so many concerns about Alex’s toilet habits. I, for one, am a proud bog gamer. Mobile, Vita, hell – I’d bring the laptop in if I could find a place to put it while I wiped my bum. Let’s not let social bias get in the way of the truth: Alex games on the toilet, I game on the toilet, and I bet you bottom dollar 99% of people reading Kotaku do as well.

    • Now that you mention laptops, I get the feeling that there’s a business opportunity on a small flat table with wide legs to pull over as you sit.

  • Bloody hell, it sounds like all of youse should cut the middleman out and just move your damn shitters into your living rooms already.

  • I’ve started taking my Switch to work so I can play Diablo in my breaks. It’s awesome.

    A guy at work just picked up a Switch purely because he saw me playing Diablo in the lunch room.

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