Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Dark Souls done: time for round two!

I finished Dark Souls last Sunday, after 73hours of awesome gameplay. When those credits rolled it was the most accomplishment I've ever felt at the end of a videogame. So many times early into the game there were moments that felt so damn 'hard' that I could not imagine getting past them, so sitting there watching the end credits I couldn't help but reflect back to these moments with a smile. That one boss that wouldn't give in, that one place that was a nightmare to cross... that one trash mob that jumped out of no where to kill me as I rushed to pick up my 50 thousand souls lying in a pool of my blood.

When was the last time a game did that for you? Not just make you go 'whoa that was a great ending' before you exited and went about doing whatever else, but to actually sit there and think "shit man... you're awesome, you're so damn awesome.... I... I love you"

When I fall in love with something, I have a tendency to go 'over kill' and blurt about it every chance I get. You get to part take in my obsessions through this blog, my friends get to hear it first hand, and my girl friend has to put up with it all the time.

Over the last few posts you might be able to guess that Dark Souls has got me by the throat. I am absolutely nuts about this game. I see it as a testament to everything that I love in my games. The hardcore play mechanics, the horror elements, the exploration and the constant need to get better at what you do.

Everything in Dark Souls seemed so well calculated, so carefully crafted that it truly felt like a work of art. At the end of it though you begin to realize that Dark Souls doesn't try to be extremely hard at all... instead to me I felt it tries to teach you how to adapt and play accordingly to meet the challenges it has for you. If you pay attention to it, and learn about it... you can take on anything in it.

I started my new game+ soon after I finished and that's been pretty sweet so far. Now that I've sort of settled into my gear and equipment I kinda regret a few of the leveling stat choices I made here and there, and because of the lack of re-specing in the game I've decided to roll a 2nd character.

I've read online how people who PVP in Dark Souls often create characters to suit a particular weapon, or pvp purpose. My guy so far is killing it with his Black Knight Great Axe, which is this massive axe that hits like a farkin truck, but swings like a katana blade. (fast...very fast)

Shit thing is that the axe is a strength based weapon, which means that the 34 Dexterity I'm mucking around with means nothing to it. This normally wouldn't be an issue, if it wasn't for the way PVP works in Dark Souls. When you invade a game or get invaded, there is a 10% margin for the character levels you can invade. Which means that If I'm level 105, I'll only be invading other players that are within the same level range. And the Dark Souls online community is so damn hardcore with the custom pvp players, that you can't afford to have 20 points spent in a stat you don't use, when that could have been used to boost your damage output or your Hit Points/ Endurance. Because there are other lvl 105 players out there who have their points for that level specifically placed to kill you.

I didn't regret spending my DEX points too much during the game because it allowed me to use all the cool weapons I found, but I really want my guy to be the best farkin axe wielding tank I can make him. So I started a new toon last night, a bandit... because the class had high numbers in all the stats I wanted to develop. I kinda wanted a knight because I wanted a noble character that I was gonna name Issac, but that's cool... now I have Issac the bandit.

Classes don't really mean much in Dark Souls anyway, soon you'll be specing them according to how you want to play.

Next week I'm planning on ordering Demon Souls, which is sort of like the spiritual prequel to Dark Souls. It's set in the same world, with the same gameplay but has nothing to do (story wise) with Dark Souls. A lot of people online say it was a better game compared to Dark Souls and had more of a coherent story... But I just want it cause I want to explore more of something similar.

So far Dark Souls has set the bar pretty high for my next game. It's totally killed most of shit I have left to play. My friends passed on Saints Row the 3rd and Assassins Creed: Revelations, but I'm just don't want to play them. Not because they're not good games, but because I'm just not in the mood for it.

As of last night I've clocked 86hours on Dark Souls.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

My Dark Souls Review over at Mighty Ape

So I wrote up my first game review over at Mighty Ape. I've bought a lot of games from there but they were on done on my buddy Kaos Kongo's account. Dark Souls is my first buy under my account :D

And what a game it is. Check out the review page here. Or just read my one below.

Easily the best thing I've ever played.

As far as "moneys worth" goes, this game is hours upon hours of gameplay that will keep you engrossed for a long time.

There is so much to discover in the game. From the countless weapons to find and master, the lands and it's denizens to explore and overcome, and the merciless bosses to conquer.

But be warned, this is not a straight forward hack and slash. Surviving in Dark Souls takes great skill and patience. If you are one that likes to learn about every tiny bit of your games, I'm talking game mechanics and such, this game will be an obsession. It is hard if you don't pay attention, but with every death you learn and improve, and when you get the hang of the game, it's very rewarding.

Every boss in this game is like doing the LAST BOSS in any other game... I'm 32 hours+ into it (over the last week) and it only gets more and more amazing. Nothing has ever given me a sense of accomplishment like the challenges in Dark Souls.

This is a true survival horror game in every sense of the words. The world of Dark Souls is an eerie, god forsaken place... Filled with all kinds of nasties that look like the worst kinds of nightmares given life.

Dark Souls will scare you, thrill you and kill you over and over again... But you will come to love the punishment and strike back harder every time you go down.

Buy it and play it!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dark Souls: First Impressions

I'm always telling my friends about how I finish games so easily. Even while playing on the hardest setting most games I grab are done for in a few days or even with in a few hours.

I heard so much about the Unlocked hard-mode for Dead Space 2 only to shred through it over a weekend. I'm a beast in Doom3 and pride my self at pwning the shit out of that game on Nightmare.

Well yesterday I got my hands on Dark Souls for the ps3 and very quickly the phrase "Be careful what you wish for" burned into my head.

Dark Souls is out to punish you.

It's out to punish you for the slob you have become at the hands of all these games where you gawk at the shiny visuals, and grand cinematic while parading carefree through a game world that's ready to bow down and make you it's hero.

Dark Souls is out to make you it's bitch.

Dark Souls starts off very low key. It does have a grand opening video that explains the events that leads to the start of the game, which involves old Dragon lords, witches, betrayal and then all of humanity being turned undead.

You start off in a cell when a stranger throws down a body through the roof, that comes with a broken sword and a key to your cell. The two of you share a glance and then you proceed with your adventure.

The only short comings I had with Dark Souls happened right at the beining. The character customization is a joke, they really should have just gone with the Diablo thing and given you the different classes, and not bother with the face creation and such. Cause you basically just go through a bunch of shitty looking presets, and by the end of it I had created the ugliest son of a bitch I've ever played in an RPG. No wonder they never show you any faces in any of the trailers, cause you look like a poofta. But luckily I have my helmet.

The rest of you looks great though, your amour and movement animation is farkin sweet...

The second thing for me was the controls, but this just might be for me. I had to get used to the attack buttons being shoulder buttons and not the X or the O and such. But all this is bullshit because by the end of the very brief tutorial you're running around slashing shit like a pro.

so you think...

You feel pro until you leave the tutorial area and come toe to toe with YOUR FIRST FARKIN BOSS!

Firs boss!

Just as the farker came tearing through the wall I saw a message on the floor that read: RUN!

And I did...

That's one of my immediate favorite things about the Dark Souls, the messages. If you're online then all through out the game you come across messages left by other players. This sort of gives you the feeling that though you're in above your head, another adventurer hasgone through here and been through the same shit you're about to face. You get things like "Nice view" when you're on top a high tower or "try luring out" and my personal fave "Good luck!"

Another cool feature is seeing other players 'Blood stains." Activating these will play the last 10sec of that players life... showing you exactly how he or she met their death. As you play sometimes you even get hints of these plays as they manifest in a shade like form and pass by you for a brief moment.

In the game your main currency is Souls. Souls are used for everything from leveling up stats to buying items. When you die you leave these souls in a blood smear that marks the spot you died. You resurrect at the nearest bonfire that you've lit. You light bonfires to act as sort of check points through out the game. Sitting at them also allows you to allocate souls to raise stats and such thus allowing you to level up. there's a cool feeling when you approach a bonfire and see other players gathered around it too. And you can't help but wonder what shit these guys are facing. Next to one such bonfire I saw a message that read "I can't take this any more."

There are two kinds of souls you can get in Dark Souls. The most common is the few you get from killing foes, the rare ones are souls that are trapped inside shards. You find these shards scattered here and there... what makes them special is that when you die you loose the souls on you if you don't make it back to your blood stain. But shards stay in your inventory waiting to be used for leveling.

I hope so

Dark Souls is a survival horror game in the truest sense of the words. The world of Dark Souls is terrifying and brutal. It's a rich dark fantasy world that's both grand and horrifying at every turn.

I haven't been too far yet, I'm just at these ruins on top a mountain side... but the place looks amazing. Normally this kinda thing would be sweet because I love exploring, but the grand world of Dark Souls is a menacing place. You venture forth at your own risk. Everything that inhabits the world looks like they were snatched right out of a nightmare. Believe me when I say that around every corner, death is waiting.

There's also a strange sense of melancholy throughout the whole thing. In the way the NPCs talk, the tone of the music that fills the environments, and just the constant fear of risking everything for the rewards that might come. It grips you with despair that you feel you have to fight against to overcome.

Regardless of story or whatever else, you feel like you're constantly just trying to survive in this world. Picture perfect views and lavishly designed areas are simply the back drop to the eminent death that will strike you over and over. When you face something in anything other horror game, it means very little... you do it cause you're playing. In this game you actually feel ballsy when you explore and go up against things.

Combat in Dark Souls is farkin tight. You move with such precision and response that if you fail against an enemy it never gets frustrating, because you know that you missed that block or you didn't take a shot when the baddie was open for it.

I made it through two of the bosses on my first try... but my bane of last night was this one 'mini' boss that totally owned me for like 10 fights. It's not like if you die you start at the boss fight... you actually start all the way back at that bonfire you lit. With everything between you and boss back to give you hell. But the coolest thing was... that even though he pretty much two shot me the first time around, by the time we had our last fight I was dancing circles around him. Dodging hits, blocking blows and pretty much pwning him.

Never has the fear of dying been so firmly instilled me in any other game. In Dark Souls you are afraid of dying. To say that I love this game makes me feel like a sadist. Because this game is out to hurt me, and I love that pain. It expects me to man up and fight back not just to get by, but by learning real skills and applying them accordingly. That feeling I got last night when I lost my first large sum of souls, I can't remember a game that ripped my heart out so badly.

I've been engrossed by games before, namely Doom 3 and Dead Space... but nothing has ever sucked me in like Dark Souls. As far as roll playing goes... this game really puts you into your characters shoes. Cause you really fear for his or her well being. I really can't wait to go back home to survive it.

Dark Souls is brutal, unforgiving and possibly the greatest thing I've ever "played."

This is why I game...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Dark Souls: My first fan video

So I made a fan video for Dark Souls last night.

Basically I just grabbed a whole bunch of clips for the game that I really liked and put them all in one place, re-editing them to some kick ass music.

Dark Souls is such a kick as looking game with an equally kick as gameplay premise that I wanted to show case it in a really cool way. not that there aren't any cool trailers already... cause there are.

Have a look at the vid and let me know what you think.

If all goes well I should be ordering my collectors edition of the game today, if it doesn't go well... then I'll order it tomorrow :P

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

online experience may vary

So my PS3 is online now!

Spent the whole of Sunday and bits of last night playing Killzone 3 online, which was a lot of fun. I've never really had a chance to play too many online shooters, aside from Team Fortress 2 my online run and gun experience has been very limited. But killzone 3 turned out to be very easy to get into, because of the whole objective based gameplay that emphasis on team play rather than just deathmatching.

I didn't hook up the PS3 to simply shoot shizz online though, there were darker intentions at play.

I downloaded an episode of "5 inch floppy" which is this aussie gaming show, and the episode I got was a special on DARK SOULS!

Aside from talking about more or less the same things that I've read, it had a section dedicated to the online side of the game, which is some of the coolest shizz I've seen in a game.

The multiplayer in Dark Souls is mostly pvp, but implemented in a way that really integrates with the story. For example; there's this one boss that actually summons online players to fight along side it if those players are aligned to a certain faction or Covenants as they call em in Dark Souls. Then there's a covenant that's dedicated to protecting this one forest in the game, so whenever a non faction player enters that forest, faction members get a summon to defend it.

You can also join a faction that allows you to invade other peoples games and fight them, appearing in their world as a phantom and then there's a faction that's solely dedicated to hunting down such players and keeping them in check. There's even a covenant that hunts down covenant deserters :O

Souls is the main currency in Dark Souls, and you need them to gain 'humanity' that allows you to level up and stuff. If you go up against another player and manage to kill them, you gain their souls which in turn makes it easier for you to level. So when that boss fight is happening and players get summoned in to take you down, you know they're hard out to get their hands on some quick souls by killing you.

As long as you're here...

But not all of Dark Souls multiplayer is pvp. There are covenants dedicated to helping players finish missions and do boss fights as well. There's also a cool system where players can leave each other notes and tips on up coming dangers. Leave a note that gets recommended by another player and the game rewards you.

Even story events are linked to online play, you could be sitting at a bonfire gathering your thoughts and planning your next move when you hear a bell ring of in the distance. .. that's some other play that's just completed a quest some where. So though Dark Souls is single player game, the developers have designed it such a way that you never feel alone in the world. It feels like there are bigger things at play all around you and that other people are up against the same dangers you are.

Totally looking forward to getting my hands on Dark Souls. Check out this cool covenant guide video that explains a lot more about the multiplayer stuff. Do note though that the video has some spoilers.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...