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Messages - ThePiedPiper

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Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: Today at 11:46:21 AM »
The Galaxies continue to impress and in context are clearly the evolutionary link between Mario 64 and 3D Land; controls and play areas designed like 64, but more course/goal oriented like 3D Land, albeit more loosely. So, for those that haven't played, it's like semi-open environments but you select from multiple obstacle courses designed for each that act more like linear stages (you can run to the sides a bit, but you progress a certain way), which SMG2 made more explicit before 3D Land made it literally Mario levels again. Too bad I couldn't just refer to this handy chart before to know that

The chart definitely does clear things up as far as the style of the games, and it reminds me I need to brush up on my Japanese. The substitution of goal-post endings for specific tasks (power stars), punching enemies (without being able to run around supersized, throwing fireballs), and having so many techniques at your disposal is why I believe Mario 64 was less 'Mario' (that is, 'Mario game') than the main-line Mario games before it. Dealing with enemies after you take a hit and lose your powerups takes a bit more care in pre-64 Mario games. All you could really do as base Mario is make carefully timed jumps to either defeat or avoid enemies. But base Mario in Mario 64 yields so much versatility, what with ground pound, which allows you to land in a specific area with timed precision, and diving on the ground toward an enemy, which gives you a bit more of a tactical edge over an enemy than a stationary punch would. Punching and sweep kicks are a bit more risky, as either one leaves Mario open to punishment, so I'd say they require timing more or less comparable to timing your moment in the 2D games and jumping upon the enemies.

I don't know why tf I wrote Mario 64 was open-world, considering I initially typed hub (I specifically had Demon's Souls in mind when thinking of SM64). I was second-guessing it because of how large the castle interior is, not taking into account that open-worlds wouldn't have loading screens such as the ones in 64. I also completely ignored the painting worlds, surmising that if GTA Vice City could access Liberty City through a cutscene at the airport, it would still be considered a sandbox open-world game. I applied that same logic to the castle and painting worlds in 64. But I totally over-thunk it  :schnoz:

So far I prefer the looser creativity of the original Galaxy to the streamlined refinements and extra features of SMG2; I like the charms of the Observatory hub (including the wistful Yoshi's Island-styled backstory) and the overall dedication to the space theme, whereas SMG2 is basically just floating 3D Mario courses made in half measure with classic Mario concepts and the Galaxy engine. I see this debated where SMG2 is either the perfect version of the Galaxy concept or merely derivative of it, and so far I'm in the latter camp and find myself drawn back to looking for more stars in SMG1 than desiring to progress in SMG2 at the moment. Anyway, I certainly see why Galaxy and its successor was such a successful iteration of Mario; plus, it's just larger than life and mindbending having Mario literally circumferencing planetoids and jumping between them changing gravity. If I keep playing and enjoying it so much I'm going to have to add it to my transcendent Marios (though it wouldn't bump 3D Land because while I see now what it owes to the Galaxies they're still different animals in my book, whatever Nintendon't says).

It's been a while since I played the first Galaxy, but I could tell in the first World that SMG2 was a lesser version of its predecessor just with new do-hickeys, and Yoshi. It wouldn't be wrong to say the game is like an expansion, and the fact that it's bare-bones in story helps. But I can't say I'm not having fun. I'm actually really enjoying playing as Yoshi and swallowing enemies like mad. Though when he runs away after we take a hit, I could just strangle the fecker.. kidding, not kidding :serpico: I never cared for the star bits feature, not as collectibles and not as a utility. I always thought they were invented to make some kind of use of the Wii-mote and cursor, but they don't do too bad in adding to the outer space setting.

I'm more a fan of having one single colossal stage than having a dozen tiny planetoids linked by launcher stars, but the circumnavigation is great. The changing of gravity and various interactions you can have with the environment is marvelous. The drilling bit and Cloud Mario are pretty cute.

Comparing the fun I'm having in SMG2, I'd still say Odyssey has an edge in my books, though it's not a big gap. Yoshi is pretty damn entertaining. But, in Odyssey, throwing the hat at enemies in a *GOTCHA BITCH* moment is the tops.. I'd say it's more of a release for me than punching enemies in 64 was. Attacking at a distance like that willy nilly is so cathartic, and addicting.

I found Gal Gadot very charming in WW. I think she came off as irreconcilably childish at times, and a straight doofus in others, but I found her innocence in other instances refreshing. In JL she was passable (I saw her as much more mature and intelligent, and rightly so given the time jump). Sadly the movie suffered a lot from mediocrity, so there wasn't much in the way of scenarios that accommodated more varying [or interesting] expression. I had a decent lens in which to compare Gal Gadot in the films because I attended a double feature of both WW and JL.

Batman seemed ...lazy? tired? I dunno, there was a distinct lack of enthusiasm on his part, as opposed to him in BvS. To me he was just going through the motions of what the script demanded, and he never convinced me to care about anything. For myself, I was mostly running off sheer anticipation of seeing all the heroes fighting on-screen and how the dynamics between different members would play out. If I were to see it a second time I'd have nothing much to look forward besides a certain fight in the middle of the movie. The movie simply can't stand up to scrutiny.

The Flash was okay. He definitely got better as the movie progressed. Cyborg was alright, and I didn't mind Aquaman. The characters themselves made sure the movie wasn't terrible, but again they really didn't have much to work with. And the aforementioned fight in the middle was good. I actually caught a thrill during the sequence because of the Flash and Wonder Woman's part in it. The scene after the credits seems to promise something interesting, but at this point I'm only in it for the fight scenes and the actors themselves. I see the movies getting better never.

Berserk Miscellaneous / Re: Dark Horse Releases
« on: November 18, 2017, 12:59:09 PM »
Thank you for the information

Having resolved that I am probably never getting some of my loaned volumes back I bought a few of the digital releases.  I have a Surface Pro, which can be used as a tablet, and it has a native resolution of 2736x1824.  The scans easily hold up on that resolution and I spent so much time zooming around looking at little details without seeing any artifacts.  There is an option to read panel-by-panel which is a bit hit or miss but when it works well it is quite a treat.  As far as I know the digital versions require an internet connection so that is definitely a bummer.  At this point I'm sure most of us are used to reading new episodes digitally, so if you don't mind the format then it's a great way to support the series.

I can only imagine, I'm going to look into a Surface Pro myself (I generally don't like using my phone to read). I'm biased to a great many things, and Windows is one of them. Christmas is around the corner so screw it, I'll get one in the next month.

Owning all volumes both physically and digitally is the goal, this series is simply on another level. With a lot of manga, I have a habit of wanting to go through the content fairly quickly, especially when the series is heavy in fighting (because of testosterone, or maybe just some weird anxiousness? :P). But with Berserk, it's different. I connect with the content so well, and I haven't quite figured out why. I take in every detail and nuance of the work; it's truly an unprecedented type of enjoyment.
That, and when something is this masterfully crafted, or distinct when faced with so many options, the creator deserves to be supported. I can see myself rereading everything yet again when I get the device.

Berserk Miscellaneous / Re: Dark Horse Releases
« on: November 17, 2017, 02:39:25 AM »
So based on some of the visual examples of the digital episodes, Kindle editions would be a good idea? Are the translations consistent with physical releases, even up to the latest volume? I'm determined to buy the entire series digitally.

Site & Forum News / Re: Like SKnet? Donate to Help Us Become Even Greater
« on: November 15, 2017, 05:11:01 AM »
We chose Patreon[/b] as our funding service because translating Berserk episodes is an ongoing task. If you'd prefer to give a single donation, we have set up a PayPal account for this express purpose.

I've only been a patron twice, so I can't say I completely understand how goals are reached (the goals played a very small role with those I've supported). Does a one-month subscription contribute to the goal? You guys are awfully close to the next milestone

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: November 12, 2017, 11:08:04 AM »

Super Mario Galaxy 2 (so far it seems like an expansion =)

That is interesting. I'm definitely going to pick it up and check it out now

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: November 11, 2017, 08:00:27 PM »
That is really a very strange thing to say...

What is strange to me is that you add nothing to the discussion except 'I disagree'. Forgive me if I anticipate actual discussion on forums, I do it very frequently

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: November 11, 2017, 01:18:59 AM »
I think that's why 3D Land resonated so much with me, it was a different way to do 3D Mario and like a perfect fusion of that with classic platforming. Its basically an alternative Mario 64 or what it could have been, and arguably it's a much truer translation of Mario to 3D.

This is absolutely true; Super Mario 64 is less Mario than 3D Land. And I liked that one a lot

As much as I actually believe that to an extent, gaming is not so monolithic and there's plenty of genres and elements and that came before and after that define gaming today.

I think the fact that gaming isn't monolithic is what makes Mario 64 the godfather that I describe (though I think we can agree all games are letters, numbers, and algorithms :p ). Mario 64 takes the element of a 3D field used before, models made of polygons (that move and change under certain conditions, including the Player Character), an open-world, visuals and sounds (that, bless their heart, attempt to provide immersion),  a variety of different objects to interact with and methods of interaction, and collecting items (power stars) that will remain the next time you turn the game on.
I think you could find many combinations of those attributes in games that came before it, but there's barely any games with all of them. Heck, Monster Hunter World releasing next year has all of them.

I'm more than happy to change my mind if there's evidence or reasonings against this line of thinking, but I thought it was pretty sound

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: November 10, 2017, 07:57:52 PM »
I wouldn't go that far.

It wouldn't change the point I was making either way, but I don't have any qualms with labeling it that. If we're being super technical, it wasn't the first 3D-platformer, but it was involved in kick-starting what modern gaming is.

Have I overlooked something in gaming history?

I don't really agree with that statement.

Okay, no biggie >.>

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: November 10, 2017, 06:24:37 AM »
The thing is, Mario 64 was one of the great watersheds in video game history. Galaxy was a great game, but obviously it could never have the same impact for those who saw the birth of 3D gaming.

I agree it was an icon, and the birth of modern video games, but in this case I was too young to comprehend why Mario 64 was so good when I played it at launch. I never really received the impact of 3D games even though my first games were with SNES. Back in [1997?] all I knew was that it was Mario and I could explore entire worlds inside a castle. I remember coming back to it a decade later and it being so great, it was surreal. I remember wondering why not many other games were like it in design. If you compared Mario 64 to a 3D game today like, say, Horizon Zero Dawn, the latter is astoundingly greater, objectively. But Mario 64 still holds up today in design, even if that design is so simple and accompanied by very little in the way of options (by today's standards). Though, there are plenty of games with a simple design made even today.

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: November 10, 2017, 12:04:13 AM »
I guess what I'm saying is I'm not disappointed in the game per se... but a bit by my reaction to it. Like I'm having fun but feel like I should be more awestruck, maybe I'll get there by the end. Sorry Mario Galaxy, it's not you, it's me.

This wasn't far from my feelings with the game, and I played it [a year?] after release. Objectively, it is really good. And even nonobjectively it has a way of getting one addicted to some of the [unique] particular ways it plays that no other game does or can do. I think what it was for me was I took the overwhelmingly positive reception of those who played it at release, and I expected it to be like rediscovering Mario 64 all over again, but with spectacular ways of movement across different dimensions.  I think I even tried to love it like I did 64. And it was a very great game, even now as I think back to it. It's just, I couldn't get it like others got it. That is not to take anything away from it, I need remind.

When I played 64, I was so taken by the adventure and imagination that I wasn't completely aware I was having fun, but I always knew I was in hindsight. With Galaxy, I was way too conscious, and at times I felt like I was in a hurry, and I don't know why.

If you get Galaxy 2, let me know, because I'm seriously considering giving that a try. Love me some Mario.

Movies, TV, Books & Music / Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi
« on: November 09, 2017, 01:42:27 AM »
Pretty cool, but the whole "raw powah!" thing is a bit overwrought, and of course it spoiled the whole movie. :ganishka:

They spoiled a tiny bit,  but I also look at trailers and assume all the twists they hint at won't happen. Like if the trailer had a bleak Luke Skywalker igniting his lightsaber and saying, "I'm sorry...", then the trailer cuts to a scene of a Jedi with a surprised look on their face in a somewhat comparable location, and then it cuts back to Luke swinging his lightsaber, I guarantee you Luke is not attacking that Jedi  :ganishka:

It varies by context, but I've gotten a bit of an eye for details in trailers in the past few years. It actually does me a disservice because my mind picks up on things I'd rather it not, which is why I haven't really read into this movie's trailer. Because I know I'll end up picking up one one detail and then when it comes time to watch the movie it'll be stuck in my mind and I'll just be waiting for that part to come, reducing my overall enjoyment of the film.

Movies, TV, Books & Music / Re: Movies you've recently watched
« on: November 04, 2017, 02:31:10 AM »
I saw Thor Ragnarok in theaters today. My spoiler-free review is as follows: I give the movie a 9.5/10; it was hilarious, badass, and written and paced in a way that was thoroughly enjoyable. What keeps it from being a complete 10 is that there were, in my view, a couple [very minor] things that kept it from getting there. I am simply hard-pressed to give out perfect 10's, but that does not take away from how much fun the movie was. It wiped the floor with the first two Thor films, and had the energy of a Guardians of the Galaxy film. There were surprises, even for myself who had prior knowledge of the original comic book story. As far as the Marvel comic book geeky aspects go, I think it is one of the greatest movies made so far.

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: October 31, 2017, 02:52:28 PM »
Super Mario Odyssey is my Super Mario 128. It is the Mario 64 sequel we deserve, and my favorite in the entire long-running series. I started my Wolfenstein 2 playthrough before starting Mario, and I haven't played Wolfenstein since. I really need to get back to that, lol...

Video Games / Re: Dark Souls II
« on: October 24, 2017, 03:52:21 AM »
Hahaha, first you hated it, now you're replaying it (and I bet you still hate it)! It's Dark Souls II, everybody. But yeah, I highly recommend SotFS for the included DLC and other upgrades that add a little more polish and cohesion to the game.

My over-souled Guts build is tearing through NG+, very versatile, especially with a bleed dagger and knuckle (false arm punch =) as quick hitting alternate weapons (and I settled on the Dark Black Cryptsword for good). The only drawback really is the lack of a bow for enemies it would be useful to snipe or aggro from a distance, but that's not Guts style anyway. Ah well, it's definitely fun causally destroying the same hordes and bosses that gave me such trouble when I was starting out, but they're all kind of the same now.

I broke out a bottle of sake that had been unopened in my fridge all year, so I think that gave me a bit of a push  :P  but yeah, ever since I got the platinum for the game there's been a huge void. I just haven't figured out what I wanted to do with myself. I have the Super Mario Odyssey Switch bundle AND Wolfenstein II for ps4 pre-ordered, yet there's still an itch that I don't think even they would scratch. There's something different about melee combat that makes you feel more connected. It's more intimate, and serves more of a release of bad energy (or something like that?).

But yeah, I was reading earlier in the thread that the expansions give the game true validity, so the decision was strictly a no-brainer outside of my quirkiness. I'll find a way to juggle everything on my entertainment 'plate' and I think it'll be satisfying. The ps4 version is harder.

The Guts build sounds awesome. I remember finding the Dragon Bone Smasher on one of my Demon's Souls playthroughs (with little effort, I got the precise world tendency through sheer unintended circumstance) and feeling a little bit like Guts. This was when all I had seen of Berserk was the 1997 anime. DBS became my main weapon throughout the entire file's playthrough lol I really am praying they remaster Demon's Souls with 60 FPS so I can play it all over again in current-gen glory. I'd probably try all sorts of weapon combinations

Video Games / Re: Dark Souls II
« on: October 23, 2017, 06:48:12 AM »
I'm going to withhold my final verdict until I play through the ps4 version of this game which contains all the DLC. Maybe I'm crazy or maybe I'm a fiend, but I really feel like playing more Dark Souls. And well I need to get through the ps4 version of DS2 before I can play Bloodborne and DS3, because of how quirky I am.

But anyway yeah, that's my sh*tty progress report  :guts:

Video Games / Re: Dark Souls II
« on: October 07, 2017, 07:00:21 PM »
I don't think I've been in a tomb.. I've certainly not seen rain in the game. I thought the use of fog in the Shaded Woods was awesome, for a couple of reasons. It hadn't been done before, it added a new element to the mix, similar to DS1's Tomb of the Giants in that you didn't know what you were fighting or where they were. It shook things up from the norm of seeing enemies from the distance and planning your attack.

As of having all primal bonfires lit (and not knowing where the hell to go from here, lel): the fog, the pursuer, the gyrms are my favorite things about the game. The forest of the giants is my second favorite level after the small Shaded Woods bit.

Video Games / Re: Dark Souls II
« on: October 07, 2017, 05:38:43 PM »
See, it's actually the most punishing Souls game ever, but this one won't test your skills, no, it's far worse, it attacks the mind! Forget being so mad that you had a bad beat against an insane boss and you broke your controller; Dark Souls II will cause you no less than an existential crisis where you question the meaning of it all! :guts:

I can definitely agree with that lol xD  it's strange, I actually felt a little bit of resolution about my feelings for this game yesterday: you are a cursed soul in the game and in the experience itself. You must fight, and journey, and fight to the point of fatigue and beyond; never getting respite or the resounding sense of accomplishment you would get in other games. Part of that satisfying feeling I got in the previous games wasn't just because it was a tough struggle, but that I strongly felt the game would consistently deliver amazing experiences. When I would take down truly tough enemies, I would feel a rush because I knew something even more terrible is still waiting for me out there somewhere.

It's also a clear case of quantity over quality; Dark Souls II has a ton of environments and enemies, bosses, armors, weapons etc. but a lot of it is very forgettable; whereas Dark Souls I's and III's experiences have a much more crafted focus (for comparison Dark Souls II has like 40 bosses compared around half that in the other two games; so, there's some good ones in there, but they sure all ain't great). It's partly a matter of taste, sometimes I do like how big and open DSII is, especially compared to III, and there's no shortage of shit to do. Hell, despite my own bustin' on it here I'm also playing it right now! :ganishka:

Yeah, with this game it just feels like a boss rush with enemies in between. I'm pleased to have conformed perfectly to the 'movement' and combat system; I've done so to the point of being completely comfortable, and confident. Most of the time I don't even need to prepare for fights, and can take them down in one try. Some of the time I don't even need to heal myself. None of the time do I feel the boss is an adequately challenging opponent.

Rat authority, for example, is poor man's Sif with tiny minions. Skeleton lords were just Nito fanboys trying to play at war. Old Iron King was just a big dunce flamer with great abs. And I can't think of a bigger joke than The Rotten and the Lost Sinner, given that they're in the way of their corresponding primal bonfires. If you can't run behind the boss or stay underfoot, you're just dodging highly telegraphed moves. Most bosses severely lack punishment. The only bosses that stuck out to me was the Pursuer and the '3 bosses' boss in the Lost Bastille. I was able to catch a thrill when fighting those, because I was low level and they made me really fight for my life while fighting them. I was so upset I missed fighting the Pursuer in his small appearance. I saw him getting dropped off by his falcon, but I went back down the ladder because I wanted to heal up due to my health being low and having no healing materials.

Video Games / Re: Dark Souls II
« on: October 06, 2017, 07:47:07 PM »
So I've lit the bonfires at Sinner's Rise and Brightstone Cove Tseldora. I'm currently in the Iron Keep. I would have liked to have made more posts as I went along, but I've felt next to no motivation unfortunately.

DSII is like some officially branded but licensed generic version of Dark Souls; it's trying to copy it, but it doesn't directly, everything is sorta different, yet it's frustratingly trying to parallel, connect, or at least bend toward some continuity that isn't really there (it's like they tried to make it fit with Dark Souls after the fact when they were really doing something else from the start). It also doesn't have the weird lore or the fascinating, interconnected world and environments to fill you with the same dread and whimsy (it's more like any generic fantasy game). On the other hand, it's actually got it's own thing going on and trying something a little different, plus it's HUGE, it's like Dark Souls ad infinitum and you can summon so many people it's ridiculous: Dark Souls the MMO. :ganishka:

Funny because my exact words were 'Discount Souls'. The only times the game is difficult for me is those treacherous i-frames acting a fool. Other than that, the only times I've died were from my own impatience or making a stupid mistake. The bosses are just plain simple. I guess you could factor in my playing Demon's Souls and Dark Souls before. But honestly as long as you're not walking around thinking your decisions have no consequences you'll be alright. I've watched videos of players walking around like dorks thinking they can play this game like your typical 'Beat'em Up!', and it's just silly. The thing you need to understand about the games is that everything you do has consequences. Once you've learned that, your mind is opened enough to fear, and as a result survive.

I really wish I could make a post and just rant about the things I liked, but I'm really at a loss. Playing this game just feels like I'm going through the motions. Having instances of satisfaction while killing enemies is few and far between. I don't even feel good vanquishing the bosses, I almost feel dirty because of how easy they went down. But I digress. I'll check back in after I've reached the end of the game I suppose.

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: October 02, 2017, 10:22:00 PM »
Also, my son is super into Mega Man, and really loves Mega Man X so far. But I don't know what I'm going to tell him when I get to Sigma and absolutely can't beat him...

I have never beaten final phase Sigma even though I was raised on playing the game (starting at 4 years of age), and I'm still too afraid to even try. Memories like that boss battle stick with you, especially when you're traumatized young.... :shiver:

Love the rest of the game, though. Could play it over and over.

And with the point about drop-in multiplayer, I agree. One could say that most games aren't designed to accommodate multiple people being able to join due to the nature of the game design (allies, extra assistance could break the game/make it too easy). To that I'd say make the decision early on in games to accommodate it and make whatever adjustments necessary, rather than try to fit it in after the fact. Couch co-op is really, really special for games. The possibilities in bonding with friends and family alone make up for whatever lengths are taken to make it possible.

Movies, TV, Books & Music / Re: Game of Thrones TV [spoilers]
« on: September 30, 2017, 05:10:41 PM »
it was a fan serviced season.

There's been prevalent fan service since Season 4, and it completely swallowed the show after it. Take any Cersei scene in Season 2 and put it next to any scene of hers after Season 4. The writing has been terrible and fine, talented actors have been wasted. There's been generally much less nuance, finesse, message, and art after 4, which is a very bad thing considering the show as a whole has squandered the universe it has been given, and crafted what is now its long-running recurring theme of: life is horrible and cruel, there is no purpose, and there is no God (and if there is a god, he hates everyone). It hasn't just mistreated its source material (with characters missing and and plot points never fitted in); it has utterly defiled the source material.

Here's just a couple things that did not sit well with me: Brienne getting put into a situation in which she was able to find Stannis and kill him (in Season 5), Ramseys getting put into a situation where he is imprisoned and killed by his dogs while Sansa watches (in Season 6); it all happened too perfectly for me to remain immersed; they were plot points that were too clean that yielded absolutely nothing for the narrative. We should gain no satisfaction from conventional resolutions, but find it in unexpected places through interesting means.

Edit: I should have given an example as to what I meant by satisfaction from unexpected places. Joffrey being killed by Olenna when it was Robb Stark's revenge to take. It was completely unpredictable and out of place for the narrative. But it made complete sense when it was explained and it didn't feed into the idea of this fan service perfect justice/revenge plot.

I just have the feeling that season 8 will just ruin my experience and I'll have to put asside my purist side again to be able to somewhat enjoy this series finale.

I've forced myself to watch the show because I'd rather watch plot points unfold on TV than discover spoilers on the internet [or from yappy friends] about said plot points. We're really getting forced into this predicament.

I don't see any other viable option they could have went with. Putting the show on hiatus until they gain the source material would have been my wish, but with GoT being their golden goose, they would have milked the show dry until we were down to the marrow. And I think it's the showrunners who want to end it at Season 8. If it were up to HBO, we'd probably be getting more seasons than we could stomach.

But like you said , I would not be surprised if Martin is gonna do last minute change to his book. Anyway he said himself if I remember correctly that a lot of stuff would not play out the same way that the show. (A little bit reassuring to be honest).

I don't think George is going to change a single thing about the book. He said that some people have pieced together things in the books (many have theories, but only few have gotten it spot on) and he's said something along the lines of not changing the book 'just because someone has figured it out'.

Video Games / Re: Dark Souls II
« on: September 29, 2017, 12:05:39 AM »
Dark Souls II, in my opinion, made a lot of missteps, and the introduction was only the first among them. It uses a lot of words to basically say "you're undead and that sucks," and spends all its time talking about "you" rather than the world like Demon's and Dark Souls did, which doesn't make for a captivating narrative when "you" are a completely blank slate with no discernible character or motivation.

Yeah.. I want to look at some developer interviews for the game, maybe a 'Making Of', if one exists. Probably after my first play-through as to avoid spoilers. I'm very curious as to why they went with that sort of intro, and what they're aiming for overall? Were they just trying to center the game around its challenging nature? Kinda feels like a self-congratulatory pat on the back while snickering at you, if you ask me (kinda like how the old ladies seem to find something funny when you're around, some inside joke only they're in on). Them mocking you only works if you are actually bad at the game, otherwise you don't really fit their narrative of 'constant hollowing'. If you get by with only dying as much as you would on your average video game, then that would just make them look rude  :serpico: But I digress.

If you think rolling feels off when you do it in a vacuum, wait 'til you actually try to seriously use it to dodge enemies. DkS2 gives your rolls fewer invincibility frames than in the past, and there's a hefty amount of hitbox dissonance going on with enemy attacks, so you're going to get hit by attacks that by all rights should never have touched you many, many, many times. If you want to avoid mitigate frustration, take my advice: don't ignore the Adaptibility attribute. Pump it up until your Agility is at least 92 ASAP; this will add enough I-frames to your dodge roll so that it won't be completely useless. You won't be able to avoid attacks due to the wonky hitboxes, but at least you might be able to dodge through them with proper timing. And thank Gwyn that From Software never used this system again.

It's interesting because the further I get, the more I feel the effects of this altered system. Yes, dodge rolling during combat is a very hazardous thing; you're almost better off trying to block if you've the stamina. While getting a feel for my range of motions and animations, I started rotating the analog stick very quickly; my character was moving circularly. But the movement was with otherworldly speed, like a dog chasing its tail; it looked so unnatural, too unnatural to not make mention of it. Character movements (NPCs and some monsters) I feel are too quick, and sometimes deceptive. I swear I had the running speed of the woman in the red dress down pat, but after every blow I landed on her I swear she would punish every time with increased speed. It was as if her running frames would hasten if you were within a certain range. She gave me quite the fight as she chased me around the room with the ladle, and managed to kill me a couple times. Boy did she have pep in her step.

Oh, I've come close to walking off cliffs and narrow catwalks numerous times, too, because of how touchy movement is. You have to really fine-tune how you navigate the world and stay fully aware at all times. Which is good. Sometimes the game is difficult for the wrong reason, sometimes you have to blame yourself for being inadequate in the moment, or careless.

My first death was at the hands of the rhino-bear that is standing near a corpse in Things Betwixt (love the use of archaic there, by the way). My cleric, who sucked with that mace of hers, got that big lug's health to just less than half before she rolled backwards seemingly a millisecond too late, and would have the remainder of her health taken. It actually bit her head off, to be precise. My second death was funny, it being so abrupt and unexpected. After resurrecting, I was on my way back to reclaim my corpse (erm, I mean soul; this isn't Diablo xP). I was heading for the bridge, but missed it entirely, and walked right off the section of the cliff that was next to it. I had a real good laugh, even knowing that all my souls were then gone.

After experimenting a little bit, and taking my grievances out on the women in red (which probably broke my game), I made a new character. I realized there was no place for Atri (my PC from DS1) in this world. I decided she retire for now, and have her soul bestow on another vessel, Irta the Wanderer.  She carries the spirit of Atri, but she's her own person. And by Gywn are Swordsmen a powerful class. Irta is already the badass I envisioned her to be from character creation. I slew that Rhino-bear in around 30 seconds and have not died once with her yet.

Video Games / Re: Dark Souls II
« on: September 27, 2017, 03:44:08 PM »
Starting Dark Souls II up for the first time, I could immediately tell going from Dark Souls I to Dark Souls II was an extremely bad idea.

I pride myself on being level-headed when judging a game, but I'm being seriously challenged here. What happened FromSoftware? From the gate, character movement seems so.. off. The controls are the exact same, but how the player character moves in the world has changed so much, and it's like a shock to my system. Analog stick controls are very sensitive; you have to move the analog stick very lightly to walk and be very conscious of it, because moving the stick too heavy will make you move much more quickly. Movement in general seems very loose, and I can't bring myself to be happy about rolling. Do weapon swings correct when auto-locking?

Perhaps this was all intentional, to throw vets like me off my feet. I'm going to have to grow used to the adjusted combat system, and 'movement system' (lol). I can't help but feel panic, that I'm going to get my arsed handed to me many, many times despite being very adept at Demon's Souls and Dark Souls. 

I'm not sure how I feel about the women in the beginning beating the idea of inevitable and constant death down my throat repeatedly, but maybe that's to prepare newcomers? You'd think we would be made to find out the hard way :guts: in that regard the prologue feels much less nuanced.

I'll check back in and give my thoughts on the overall narrative, and the game in general. I can tell this is going to be.. interesting...

Video Games / Re: Dark Souls
« on: September 23, 2017, 06:47:51 PM »
resurrecting this thread!

This year has seen my first real playthrough of the game. I'm currently on NG+, farming Souvenirs of Reprisal, as I'm trying to get all weapons, miracles, sorceries. I fear having to face Seethe again, I HATE getting cursed. I'm hoping that tanking all of his curses is still an option on NG+, because focusing on curse resist last 'run' was the only strategy that was successful for me.

I regrettably had to kill babe Priscilla for a second time because I didn't get her tail in the previous run  :sad: I am really looking forward to tackling the DLC again, I played through the entire thing except for the last boss. I was wanting to do the final DLC boss after the boss in the main game but because of its ending it went right into NG+ and I couldn't.

I can't shake how epic this entire game is, and how iconic all of the characters, enemies, and the setting is. I get the impression there won't be another game like this in the series (I've only played Demon's Souls and Dark Souls; the former I like even more than this one). I like this game so much that I almost feel like playing a third run, even after getting the platinum trophy.

Video Games / Re: Elder Scrolls Online
« on: July 07, 2017, 11:36:56 PM »
I've been playing this on ps4. If anyone wants to team up for some dungeons or just to roam around and quest, I can send you my psn id

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