View Full Version : Torchlight - XBLA Game Review.

03-14-2011, 10:42 PM

Quick introduction: and disclaimer.
This is my first publicly posted review, so please be kind ;) Please feel free to comment, make constructive criticism. Also important to note that first and foremost I am not affiliated with the official X360A review team, and all opinions are mine. This review is intended for those people who might not have played it, and are interested about it. Without any further ado my review...

Game Info:
Torchlight: XBLA
1200 MS Points
Size: 196.64 MB
1 - Player
Action RPG
Developer: Runic Game
Download Link (http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-US/Product/Torchlight/66acd000-77fe-1000-9115-d80258410a7e)

Quick start summary:

From the start you have the option to choose from 3 different character classes; Destroyer - a warrior type class; Alchemist - the mage class; and lastly the Vanquisher - the rogue. After selecting a class, you have the option of choosing between 1 of 3 different pets which come in very helpful throughout the game. They resemble a wolf, a cat, and a lizard. Other than the aesthetics they offer no real differences until you upgrade them by feeding your pets fish, to transform them into other animals with unique abilities and strengths.

One of the downfalls in this game is the lackluster story, and near non-exsistant cinematic in game cutscenes. Each character ends up in Torchlight hearing about the evils that had befallen upon the town. While most of the story segments are watched by voice over narrations through the journal of one of the main enemies Alric. Even if you are interested in the story-line, the delivery of the voice acting performances may just put you to sleep if you aren't fast enough to skip over these scenes.

Not only is the story telling just as bland, but for such a great setting and atmosphere, the back story to this town, and inhabitants are completely unspoken of, which doesn't help get a sense of immersion or any type of connection to any of the characters you come across.

In essence it's your basic standard Diablo story telling. Speaking of which...

One thing you might have heard often about this game in one way, shape or form either by comparison, or gameplay is "Diablo" the classic dungeon crawler that basically invented the series back in 1996, with it's randomly generated dungeons, and loot questing that offered tons of replay value.

With that in mind, fans of the series should feel right at home with Torchlight, developed by 2 of the co-designers of Diablo 1 & 2. With plenty of exploration, looting, leveling up and randomly generated dungeons, it rides on the coat-tails of the Diablo franchise by improving on this with updated graphics, along with interesting, atmospheric locations ranging from mines, to temples, orc-ish villages and other exotic locales. Each featuring a deep contrast between levels the further you tunnel down into the earth.

Among other improvements, the added benefit of your side-kick pet companion helps to be quite useful in battle. Allowing you to equip him with 2 different types of magic to cast, 3 different tactical battle styles (Aggressive, Defensive, and Passive) and lastly the most import aspect of having a side-kick, using him as your peon-gofer. While delving deeper into the underground while loading up on your bountiful loot, you will eventually max out your allotted inventory space. No need to fear. Your pet companion can hold up to 50 unique items, and if you wish, with a few simple commands you can have him scamper off back to town to sell your loot and promptly return for battle once again without missing a beat.

Graphics are on par with most of whats out there in terms of XBLA games. To sum it up I would say it would be the equivalent of Fable if it was made into an XBLA title. The different variety and detail of all the denizens and creatures you come across in the world of Torchlight fit in perfectly. The settings from the beautiful underground temples to the towns flowing with rivers of water to the flickering of special effect flames coming from your sword, and the glow of portals all flow seamlessly in the world of Touchlight, without any of it looking out of place.

While it isn't a graphical powerhouse like Call of Duty, Gears of War, or any game running off the Unreal Engine, it is absolutely astonishing how much detail graphically and gameplay-wise they fit in a game under 200MB (196.64 MB to be exact)

The good, the bad, the ugly, and all the rest:


Navigating through Torchlight, is a blast and a joy. The controls handle tight and responsive, the controller setup and mapping spells is quick and easy while targeting the enemy you want to attack works nearly most *1 of the time.
Menu *2
The menu is quick and easy to navigate although quite overpowering the first time you access it. Quickly swapping weapons with your companion and seeing which weapons, armor, and accessories works best for your character is easy to see*3
Diablo sound engineer Matt Uelmen, joins the Runic Games team and composes the music for Torchlight. Most tunes (the village melody) comes eerily close to the original Diablo village theme and brings back a good sense of nostalgia to original Diablo players. Amongest other eerily haunting tunes adds both to the atmosphere and nostalgia.

The Bad:

Frame Rate Issues
While starting out it is easy to traverse through the mines of Torchlight, but once the further you get down in levels, and the higher spells you learn coupled with the vast amount of enemies, and spawning multiple Summon Zombie and Summon Skeleton skills, the frame rate takes a massive hit. *1 During this time it's incredibly difficult to target any of the enemies you want, and on some occasions I've come across a few cheap deaths by the slow down.

Menu *2
As mentioned above the menu works great for navigating and selecting items. What it does lack are features to quickly organize items, and even with the total combine inventory of your character, your pet, and the 2 chests in the town (for a total of 200 items) you will be spending plenty of time organizing and trying to figure out which items you need to sell to make room for more. The devs should have made it easier to sort items based on a number of different variables, like armor type (hats, gloves, chest plates, boots) name, value, stats etc.

*3 While running the game on 2 different input settings, the first; normal composite A/V cables (the red, white and yellow cords) at 480i on a 57" HDTV in letterbox mode was near completely unreadable. The smaller text for effect attributes and level requirements were completely unreadable. Obviously this was an issue on my end. But an option to increase font size would be nice for people that only have this setup to work with. After switching over to HDMI cabes and 1080p the issue was resolved.

The Ugly:

Or should I say, lack thereof.
I eagerly jumped in after receiving an in game "Gift" from a friend. And from what I briefly followed of the game I knew it'd be a first day purchase. I jump in and barely played the demo before I unlocked the full game. Like normal I was set to start out on a little "single player campaigning" before joining any "multiplayer" sessions. Well, to my and many other gamers dismay, there simply is no co-op multiplayer included whatsoever.

This of course is the biggest set back, to an otherwise great spiritual successor to the Diablo franchise. From what I had briefly read is that it's a port from the 2009 PC version of Torchlight which was only single player as well.

This is quite sad, seeing how the originally Diablo released almost 15 years ago had this key component over a decade ago!

Short Story Mode
Don't get this confused with replay value. For it packs a mean punch in that department (with after completing the game you can enter a never ending, randomly generated unground labyrinth on top of looting tons of unique items.)

What I mean is the lack luster story on top of the short amount of time needed to complete the entire "story" mode.

03-14-2011, 10:42 PM

All in all, Torchlight is a fantastic game for those who want to fill the void between now and when Diablo 3, or Torchlight 2 comes out.

Aside from a few frame rate issues, and some minor annoyances when it comes to organizing your items in the menu, the only biggest complaint so far is the lack of multiplayer, off or online. The heavy weight it carries over in the single player experience when collecting rare valuable loot that your character can't use, but you collect anyways in hopes of trading it to an Alchemist player in exchange for those last missing pieces to complete your set of armor is something Runic Games sorely over looked while originally developing the PC version.

But for many other people who are Diablo fans, and aren't into multiplayer gaming this should easily be a non-issue. But for the rest of us we can always look forward to the possible release of Torchlight 2 with rumored online capabilities, and hopes of it getting ported to Xbox 360, either retail or XBLA.

Even with those mentioned problems, Torchlight is definitely one of the top XBLA titles to hit the marketplace in a long time. It has enough to keep everyone satisfied, a well rounded campaign with achievements akin to Fallout 3 (easily achievable with enough time put in) plenty of replay value to keep you coming back, and enough customizable and upgradable weapons and armor with the amount of numbers comparable to Borderlands. Grinding away to find the next best thing has never been so fun.


Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 7/10
Gameplay - 9/10
Replay Value - 10/10

OVERALL Total - 7.75/10

Overall total does not reflect the combined totals of the previously mention ratings.

On a side note, thanks for reading my review of Torchlight, I made this review in no way to debate over any aspect(s) of the game. I just highly enjoyed the game and felt like making a review for it. Like previously mentioned, I am not affiliated with the X360A reviewers, these are all just my opinion and had fun while writing up this review. I would definitely love to hear anyones feedback or constructive criticisms. Once again....

Thanks for Play.....erm Reading!

03-15-2011, 10:41 AM
Off the topic of the review, which I did happen to enjoy, I checked out the photo of your game collection. As I do most of my posting from my iphone4, I viewed the image on it and couldn't really count your games...roughly how many x360 games do you own, and it seemed you had a lot of Wii titles as well, perhaps an estimate on those as well?

I wish mine were so well organized, I have around 350 x360 titles spread around my gaming room, perhaps 15-20 Wii titles and around 30 PS3 titles. One of my hall closets holds all of my older and handheld games, I have perhaps 70 DS titles, 40 PSP, 200-ish PS1 which are mostly collectables, classic RPGs and a bunch of imports, 250-ish PS2 titles, again many imports and collectable titles, then I also have a bunch of sega Saturn and dreamcast stuff, sega mega drive, sega CD and genesis, and a mess of PC Engine / Turbografix stuff...I really need to get my stuff organized and take some photos, I think I want to sell some of it off.
Also of note, and this is in no way an insult, you're the only person I've seen with even close to the amount of limited edition / collectors edition games, some of them pretty rare. I'm a sucker for steelbook cases, always get the collectors edition if it includes one.
One question - in the upper left corner, behind some faceplates in cases, you have a couple of identical looking (possibly Japanese?) boxes. I was just curious what those are, they're something I don't think I've ever seen. At any rate, very nice collection!

Cheers :)

03-18-2011, 05:29 PM
nice review. i give you cedit for that.

but i would give it a much higher score imo. at least a 9. this game IS "the game" for any dungeon crawler fan. its an absolute masterpeice!

03-22-2011, 11:40 AM
Good review, though I think you scored harshly overall.

My only real disagreement are the achievements, they are really and I mean really, poor. For example the last achievement unlocks before the final boss fight, meaning you don't even have to bother with completing the story.

Also, there could have been a few more clever ones. Complete a set, insert a gem, combine gems to make a perfect version of the same. Complete x amount of side quests... anything to keep you playing beyond the basic game. All but the fame achievement are unlockable reallly early one or are story related. They could have done so much more with them.

03-29-2011, 05:36 AM
not to bad of a review but with the ratings you put up the overall score should have been 8.5 not 7.75. the average of the 4 ratings 8,7,9 and 10 is 8.5

03-31-2011, 11:31 AM
not to bad of a review but with the ratings you put up the overall score should have been 8.5 not 7.75. the average of the 4 ratings 8,7,9 and 10 is 8.5

He said "Overall total does not reflect the combined totals of the previously mention ratings." In other words, his total score is not an average.

Overall good review, but on a side note, I disagree that Torchight has numbers of equipment comparable to Borderlands. Borderlands has way more items, at least several orders of magnitude more than Torchlight.

04-10-2011, 07:37 AM
So the only replayability in this game is just getting better loot?

07-11-2011, 03:50 AM
How many artists and graphics designers from World of Warcraft drew this game? I played it for three years and I'd swear this Torchlight game was a single-player version of it.

09-18-2011, 05:27 AM
Nice review, definitely getting this when it's on sale next.