What Are You Playing?

I just think he should've prepared for that scenario.
Prepared for what? It was probably his goal to attain immortality or become a Great One himself. In which case, what need is there for a lump of insignificant meat on this useless rock when the great cosmos await? Heck, for all we know, Micolash may very well have had contingencies in place when he enacted the ritual who-knows-how-long ago, but they all failed anyway, likely as a result of him going mad. But don't fault him too much for it; we're all a little mad in Yharnam.:troll:
 
The design behind Micolash's fight appears to have been a result of repurposing him from a scrapped idea that involved chasing him all over Yharnam.
Didn't know about that, cool! I think meeting and chasing him in his dream castle is a unique idea so I think I prefer the final state of the game. Although more Yharnam = more better, I wouldn't mind exploring the city further like that. That is if it would've been more than similar looking aisles like in the castle.
  • Try dodging through his various claw-swipe attacks, not away from them. Use the opportunity to get close to his body (or stay close to it), and get some hits in while he's executing the attack and recovering from it.
  • Don't linger on his ass for long. He will buck you.
  • If he does his biting attack, keep your distance and stay away from him. He moves so erratically doing this that getting near him is a huge risk. If he does it while you're at his flank, feel free to charge in, but don't bother if you're in front of him.
  • Get the hell away from him if you notice he's doing his whole stomping tantrum.
  • When he does his charge attack, dodge to the left (as in your left). The hitbox is smaller there.
  • If he does his long jump attack, just sprint and keep on sprinting in as straight a line as you can. Alternatively, count five seconds and roll. Either should help you avoid him when he pounces
  • If he does any of his spit attacks, don't just wait for him to finish the attack, use that as an opportunity to run up and get some more hits in; dodge into the liquid blast if you must. The damage is negligible and you should hopefully heal it from the rallies.
It's good to read that I already do some of them. I guess I'll have to read better which attack is coming next and also remember what direction to go then. My tactics so far were to attack his limbs and head from the side (as that made him jump back after 3 or so hits), attack him during his spit attack and run away during his high jumps. The problem often was that his attacks often seemed pretty fast so that I didn't have the time to dodge or anything. I'll have to read him better and learn his attack patterns better.

I don't see how he could have prepared for the fact he stayed in the dream so long everyone died in the real world.
That's why I also wrote it could've been possible that those in charge to keep the dreamers alive got victim of the hunt and all preparation was for nothing, no matter how good.
That's putting aside the fact you're talking about a fictional character and that line when he dies is just a cool little twist.
Exactly, that's also why I think we shouldn't explore this any further :iva:

Prepared for what? It was probably his goal to attain immortality or become a Great One himself. In which case, what need is there for a lump of insignificant meat on this useless rock when the great cosmos await? Heck, for all we know, Micolash may very well have had contingencies in place when he enacted the ritual who-knows-how-long ago, but they all failed anyway, likely as a result of him going mad. But don't fault him too much for it; we're all a little mad in Yharnam.:troll:
My mind probably isn't mad enough yet to understand that living as a conceptual being within the cosmos is better than having only the knowledge of some of it in the real world :void:
 
Since the announce of Metroid Dread, I had the desire to do again Super Metroid.
So I started a brand new save on my Super Nes Mini about a week ago and finished it yesterday... what a great game it is, the soundtrack, sound effects, etc... everything is perfect in it.
I plan to redo Metroid Fusion as well before the release of Dread.

I've received Monster Hunter Stories 2 on Friday, so I had some time to start it yesterday.
Very nice little RPG.
 

Walter

Administrator
Staff member
Since the announce of Metroid Dread, I had the desire to do again Super Metroid.
So I started a brand new save on my Super Nes Mini about a week ago and finished it yesterday... what a great game it is, the soundtrack, sound effects, etc... everything is perfect in it.
I plan to redo Metroid Fusion as well before the release of Dread.
Don’t forget Zero Mission! It’s much more like Super Metroid than Fusion.
 
Don’t forget Zero Mission! It’s much more like Super Metroid than Fusion.
Indeed ! I don't forget about it and I plan to do this one again too.
I remember back when I bought Zero Mission at its release in 2004... buying it at a shopping mall, once I came back home I immediately started it, played to it until dinner time then starting again until I finished it at... 7:00AM. :ganishka:
I really love this series. Fan since 1994.

Oh... and I must also do Metroid: Samus Returns which I never done on 3DS, finally bought a copy this week.
 
I have no plans to get a PS5 anytime soon. I'm just going to keep my fingers crossed and hope Demon's Souls and Bloodborne eventually see a PC release. I mean, if Horizon: Zero Dawn not only went to PC, but went DRM-free on freaking GOG, anything's possible...right?
A Bloodborne remaster is coming this year, if the words of a recent leak are to be believed. Leaker said the project is "ambitious". No idea what that's supposed to mean, so make of it what you will.
It makes sense for a remaster though. It would explain why they've yet to patch the game to work in 60 fps and so on for the ps5, ala Sekiro, despite the high demand.
This is the next game I'll be playing, it looked very interesting, is currently free via PS+ and I wanted to play more games that don't take me 50-100 hours to finish. I'm excited already.
Definitely be excited because this game's a good one. If you've got a ps5, you can get a free upgrade too.
I highly recommend playing it with French audio. I dunno how good French is supposed to sound but the actors sounded better to my untrained ears than their English counterparts. It added to the immersion too, given the setting.
Hope you enjoy it!
 
Definitely be excited because this game's a good one. If you've got a ps5, you can get a free upgrade too.
I highly recommend playing it with French audio. I dunno how good French is supposed to sound but the actors sounded better to my untrained ears than their English counterparts. It added to the immersion too, given the setting.
Hope you enjoy it!
Yeah, I've got a PS5. I only stumbled over it because it was free this month.
Thanks for the recommendation, I'll play it in French with German or English subs then :ubik:
 

Griffith

With the streak of a tear, Like morning dew
Yeah, I would never have thought I’d put so many hours into an MK game. I was already several dozen hours in before I discovered I could assign new moves to Scorpion. So far that’s the only character I can confidently use, and I did have some coaching from a friend too.

Yeah, you definitely need to practice just to know how to "move" with each character, often walk speed is only half the equation, and Scorpion's a good example of movement based on how you use his moves.

I’m thinking of learning Spawn next. Or maybe Liu Kang. Sub-Zero would have been my second choice but I’m hearing from some Sub-Zero players that he kinda sucks in this game.

Hmmm, that's odd, because I thought Sub-Zero has always been regarded as pretty decent, and even top tier since Kustom Variations were made Kombat League and tournament legal. He and Scorpion are actually pretty up there for me personally too, definitely in my top 3 subs along with Sheeva, followed then by Noob, and way below Rain (probably how I play him, like a Reptile equivalent, doesn't help).

By the way, this game is kinda weird for rewarding the player for getting his ass kicked. I’m talking about the death blows, which aren’t earned by combos or whatever, but by getting beaten up. It’s hilarious. Weird design decision if you ask me, but at least it will give scrubs like me a chance online. Guess that was the purpose of it.

Yeah, it's an attempt at an equalizer, and to make big comebacks more possible, but by the same token if you know what you're doing you shouldn't get hit by one, and will be better at executing them too. I like the idea overall (and the other meter management alternatives present), though am annoyed at how inconsistent some are in effectiveness. Like, some Fatal Blows are full screen, have mix ups, or can even be cancelled, while Shang's is pathetically short-range and easily stuffed. Basically, I must combo or hit confirm into mine while for half the roster it's a two button super weapon they can throw out any time with no fear of punishment.

I was disappointed this entry didn’t have tag-team like MK9 did. Seems like a downgrade and I don’t get why they would remove such a feature. Hope they patch it in someday, but I doubt that’s gonna happen.

Nope, it's worse than that though, for some reason it can only load three characters simultaneously at a time, so I can't even do Shang Tsung transformations in towers when the AI has an occasional helper. They should have prioritized the ability to tag, but then I'm not a big tag team guy so it's not a huge deal breaker for me.

Don’t have a VR set unfortunately, but I can see how Alien totally fits that experience. I was already impressed a game from 2014 implemented the playstation camera with the head tracking and the noise you make IRL translating into the game.

I didn't even know about those features on Playstation, but am not surprised given how impressively inventive that game was in creating its atmosphere.

Take the plunge! It’s already available for free in PS+ for this month (just my luck, they do that after I’ve beaten it).

Maybe I will... all I have left in my DS3 as BB run is the most annoying bosses that really benefit from having range, Nameless, Friede, etc. I also fired up BB on my PC with PS Now yesterday but I got bummed out there's no Hunter's Nightmare, DLC bosses, etc. I guess I could just do Chalice Dungeons forever in that mode, but the specter of a remaster once again has me thinking maybe I shouldn't burn myself out on it.

So far I’ve seen nothing that couldn’t have been possible to play in the PS4 (except Demon’s and that’s only in the graphical/performance departments). Truly a dreadful start to a console generation if I’ve ever seen one.

Basically, you’re not really missing much…

Except the thing I want, which you just cited as the one example of a true next gen upgrade. :judo:

The design behind Micolash's fight appears to have been a result of repurposing him from a scrapped idea that involved chasing him all over Yharnam.

Sure glad they didn't do that; I hate that segment! I've done it enough on NG+ that I've mastered where to go to trigger him to go in the direction I want, but I sure hated the process of figuring that out fighting him a half dozen times before. Used to dread the process every run. At least the harder fights give you a sense of accomplishment.

Anyway, if you can kill Micolash, then you should be at a high enough level to kill Ludwig.

Idk, Micolash is annoying but you don't necessarily need to be strong against him. Ludwig, on the other hand...

He's just...a very difficult fight. It's hard to put down a winning strategy against him because he has so many attacks that cover all his bases and leave him with few weaknesses to exploit, so all you can do is just learn how to read and counter them properly.

Those bullet points were a much better description of how to beat him! All I'll reiterate is use a Saw Cleaver/Spear with fire to cut him down quick before he can nail you with one of his instant death attacks sooner or later.

Arianna always dies with her child. No way to avoid it :sad:.

Well, technically you can spare them and still accomplish your mission. =)

I have no plans to get a PS5 anytime soon. I'm just going to keep my fingers crossed and hope Demon's Souls and Bloodborne eventually see a PC release. I mean, if Horizon: Zero Dawn not only went to PC, but went DRM-free on freaking GOG, anything's possible...right?

I'm just pessimistic we'll actually get the specific ones we want though, and there's been so many Bloodborne rumors I can't believe any of them until something's official. Can anyone explain why Demon's Souls never hit PS Now or even the PS4 store in all these years before the remake? It's like they don't even want my money to give me what I want, or there's always some larger remake/remaster long con on the horizon. Makes me appreciate Nintendo reselling all their old games to us on every one of their platforms instead of witholding them for the potential of some remaster that may never happen.

I'm currently playing with threaded cane, Ludwig's sword and the whirlsaw weapon (I have all these on +9) so I'd have to use the transformed version to get the "saw" like feature on them.

Those three are favorites of mine as well, especially Ludwig's Holy Blade, but I meant specifically the untransformed Saw Cleaver or Spear. I would upgrade at least one to +9 depending on your preference; the cleaver is the go-to for most people, has slightly better base damage and scales with strength, but the spear is a good alternative, especially if you're already upgrading skill. They might be the best weapons in the whole game for their speed and saw effects, plus quick backstab/visceral potential on even the toughest bosses, and with fire thrown on top they saw Ludwig's legs off FAST. I went from thinking I'd never get past him on a certain level of NG+ to killing him in minutes with one of those. I never seriously tried them until doing a BL4 run and that's where you really see their value at any level.

Did all the optional bosses already, Ebrietas was a bit of a pain because I never 100% got figured out how to evade some of her attacks (e.g. the one where she's charging/running to you).

Me neither, my typical strategy was to wedge myself up her ass and do as much damage as possible with Ludwig's Holy Blade until she escapes, largely ignoring her attacks during that time. Usually she dies before I do.

I did the Pthumeru one already and watched my roommate do the other two and lots of random ones already (he played in the living room on my PS4 so there was no evading it) but I guess I'll finish the last two, as well.

It's worth it for the different bosses, and the special final boss from a lore standpoint. It's such a weird thing how tied to the game it is, yet it also exists separately from wherever you are in the main game.

Since the announce of Metroid Dread, I had the desire to do again Super Metroid.

My only beef with Super Metroid is when I locked my game in the last save rooms and couldn't explore what I'd missed later. Possible soft lock too if you're not prepared.

Oh... and I must also do Metroid: Samus Returns which I never done on 3DS, finally bought a copy this week.

My first Gameboy game, unfortunately my 3DS' buttons went out before I could complete this one (note to game designers; always let us reassign buttons, especially on a handheld =), but otherwise it's pretty good, if a bit repetitive.
 
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Aazealh

Administrator
Staff member
I highly recommend playing it with French audio. I dunno how good French is supposed to sound but the actors sounded better to my untrained ears than their English counterparts. It added to the immersion too, given the setting.

The English dub felt more professional to me overall, but the French one is alright. Given that it takes place in France, it does make sense to play like that.
 
Lately I've been replying The World Ends With You -Final Remix- on my switch in preparation for the series return in a couple weeks. The motion controls hold up better then I remember from the initial release in 2018, though are still vastly inferior to the touch control setup featured in the orignal DS version of the game. I'm excited to see how the lingering threads are built on in Neo.
 
I just played Gunstar Heroes and Alien Solider, both of which were excellent games. Gunstar Heroes was filled with non-stop action and was like a thrill-ride, from beginning to end. It is probably my favourite 2D shooter game, but I have yet to fully complete the Metal Slug series. Alien Soldier (a boss rush styled game) was also pretty good. However, I was surprised by the relatively easy last boss. I would recommend both these games to anyone, because they really do stand out in the huge library of games that the Megadrive has. They are truly memorable experiences.
 
Descent: FreeSpace - The Great War: This was the first CD-ROM game I owned. My aunt got it for me for Christmas back in 1998, before we owned a computer that could play it. I remember eagerly waiting several months before our new computer arrived, and when it finally got there...it could barely run it. Of course, after tweaking the settings a little bit, I could finally play it and had a blast. Years later, I played it the way I was meant to be played on the computer I got for college, and I enjoyed it even more. I had a lot of fun replaying it with a joystick this time around, even though it doesn't look as pretty as I remember it being. It's still fun after all these years, though.

Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance: Guess what? This game didn't run well at all when I first purchased it in 1999. Not sure why 14-year-old me thought it would, if FreeSpace didn't work like it was supposed to. I'm beginning to think my dad got our new computer for work and not gaming... Regardless, I didn't pick it back up to play until a couple of weeks ago. While not as polished as FreeSpace in terms of gameplay, it's the first Star Wars space sim to really make me feel like I'm flying around in that galaxy far, far away. The difficulty was really imbalanced (three of the last four levels are far easier than some of the early ones), but fortunately the game allows you to skip a level or two here and there if you really need to (I only had to do it once, which still pissed me off). Overall, it wasn't as enjoyable to play as TIE Fighter, but I still highly recommend it to space sim and Star Wars fans.

FreeSpace 2: Ah, the swan song of space sims, and maybe one of my favorite games of all time. I must've played FreeSpace a dozen times or so before they announced the sequel. It turns out, I was one of the only ones. I bought this game the day it came out, but not many others did. It's a real shame, too, because it's pretty great, and it was definitely setting up more plotlines for future games in the series. For many different reasons, it's the last official FreeSpace game to be released. This time around, I didn't enjoy it as much as the first game (the joystick controls seemed way too sensitive, even with sensitivity turned down as low as possible and the dead zone bumped up in settings), but it was still a lot of fun traveling down memory lane again. I've still got my fingers crossed that we'll see FreeSpace 3 one day, but it's probably not going to happen.
 

Griffith

With the streak of a tear, Like morning dew
Dark Souls 3 (Bloodborne-style) - Finished this run with mixed results, the mixed part being I eventually had to abandon the daggers and quickstep against the heavy hitter bosses because they were becoming increasingly ineffecient. It's no fun doing half a dozen Quicksteps around a boss combo, completely whiff your counterattack, and then get hit anyway. I think the last boss I used them all the way through on was the Demon Prince, which is no small feat, but for the Spear of the Church fight I switched to the Lothric Knight Sword for the reach. That left me with basically the five toughest endgame bosses and me being unsure of what weapon to even use, which honestly had me dreading finishing this.

I tried the Soul of Cinder with daggers in the first phase and Lothric sword in the second, but neither were especially effective, I needed something with a bit of both for my Dex build... the good old Sellsword Twinblades! Reach and damage comparable to the straight sword, speed and duel-wielding like the daggers, including a double dose L1 for stagger, and it wasn't exactly like starting over again. There's a reason a lot of speed and/or no-hit runners use these. I lost the Quickstep, but was still fast rolling. So, I try them on old Cinder Soul and he dies before I know it the damage is so good. Next up is Nameless King, not because I think the next three DLC bosses are easier, but I'm more familiar with him. He goes down after a few tries once I get his moveset down, which felt good. Friede is next, and I had a helluva time with her previously because I fought her for the first time on NG+3 or something, honestly one of the harder Souls bosses I've experienced. To my surprise, I got her halfway through phase 3 pretty easily on my first attempt, and she died without too much trouble on the second.

Finally, Midir and Gael remained, and I dreaded them most of all because like Friede and Demon Prince I'd only ever faced them on mid NG+ and so pulled out every trick short of summoning help, resorting to employing poison and pestilent mist, respectively. Because of that I didn't feel like I'd ever truly faced and beaten them straight up, so I had even more unfinished business on this run than I'd set out for. Fortunately, despite my fears of Midir's legendary size, dark damage and health pool, I beat him on the first try! I even finished him off with a critical strike with only one Estus left, when the fight hung in the balance, so very cool (usually that's when you try to go HAM and immediately die =).

So, that felt good, I leveled, used up the rest of my souls, and prepared for Gael (got all my armor and rings in order, which made up the majority of my defense since I was in light armor, and added Frozen Weapon to my spells since he's vulnerable to Frost damage). I had a helluva time even staying alive against Gael's first phase back in the day, pre-Bloodborne/Sekiro, and had no memory how to fight him (like I said, I cheesed him with poison =), so figured this might take a while. Well, I got past the first phase easily, the second phase even more easily, and pretty much figured out how to dodge his big epic, speed-changing combo right off the bat (dodge 4 times, go nuts on him), and simply avoided the rest, so I killed him easier than Midir, with Estus to spare. Anyway, great fight, and that was very nice since I was feeling like I was flagging a bit as the bosses got harder but ended up going out at the top of my game. I have another save I could finish and I'm also considering doing more NG+ runs with my original DS3 character, see how high I can go, but I also might just not pick it up again for a while. The important thing is I finally got DS3 groove back. Maybe next I'll actually git gud at Sekiro.
 
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Idk, Micolash is annoying but you don't necessarily need to be strong against him. Ludwig, on the other hand...
Poor wording on my part. I meant that if you've gotten past Micolash, then you've likely accumulated enough levels and upgrades to your gear over the course of the game that you can go against Ludwig.

Anyway, just beat Sekiro yesterday and holy hell, was Isshin one heckuva fight! His first phase was tough but manageable, but when the second phase begins and he pulls out a spear and motherfucking Glock, he just goes flipping insane! I felt like a pint-sized Bazuso, constantly struggling just to not get struck because Isshin's combos did not ever seem to end, only getting one occasional swipe in just to keep his posture from regenerating too much. I did eventually learn that his jumping chops could be side-stepped, and that gave me a chance to use Ichimonga Double to bonk him on the head, but otherwise this was a mostly defensive battle where I had to build up the posture meter with deflects and Mikiri Counters. It's only when the final phase began that I could start going more on the offensive, and that was because I no longer felt the need to conserve my Spirit Emblems and could make full use of the Mortal Draws. That, and because throwing lightning bolts back at Isshin bought me a few seconds of time to go ham on him. Whenever I was able to correctly catch the lightning, anyway, and not dodge because I reflexively thought he was doing a thrust. :iva:

I find it rather funny that in a game where we face enormous snakes, monkeys that can survive decapitation, giants, fish people that hurl lightning, a dragon, and damn dirty apes that have gotten their stinky paws on swords and guns, it's one supremely skilled but still comparatively normal human swordsman that stands head and shoulders above them all. But then, I suppose it's kind of fitting. The toughest enemies in the game aren't the inhuman monsters we contend with, but just a bunch of well trained and well-equipped soldiers. It goes to show just how bad things in Ashina were. Their soldiers were pathetic in comparison, but it's evident that all their desperate attempts to bolster their forces with the power of the Dragon's bloodline and Rejuvenating Waters wouldn't have made a lick of difference because the Interior Ministry already developed the means to counter them through the power of good ol' fire. The only thing Ashina accomplished was make life difficult for one lone ninja. In some ways, I can't help but think that Isshin's raw skill is what ultimately led to Ashina's downfall. His mere presence was enough to keep all enemies at bay, allowing Ashina to grow complacent, or perhaps more fittingly, stagnant, and give their enemies time to muster their own forces, soften Ashina up via subterfuge, then strike once Isshin finally died of old age. Anything that could be done by the time the game began would be too little, too late. Even if Genichiro had succeeded in attaining immortality from Kuro and used it to drive back the Ministry, he would have just doomed his land to an inevitable Dragonrot epidemic. It's...actually really sad.

After that, I fooled around a bit in NG+, ran through the entirety of Hirata Estate without dying, and got a small laugh bullying the first couple of samurai minibosses you face in the Outskirts. I remember how fearful of these guys I was at the beginning and how I would always retreat back to the Sculptor's Idol every time they killed me because I didn't want to spread the Dragonrot, but now...I just muse at how cute their slow, predictable katana swings are. Don't know if I'm actually going to play it to completion again right now; I still got a hefty backlog to work through. But Sekiro is thankfully not going to be the one-and-done deal I thought it would be. I could see myself playing it again.
 

Griffith

With the streak of a tear, Like morning dew
Poor wording on my part. I meant that if you've gotten past Micolash, then you've likely accumulated enough levels and upgrades to your gear over the course of the game that you can go against Ludwig.

Ah, yeah, he's technically end game, but I almost look at him as the middle, or when things are really starting to come into focus if you're in it for the long haul (the optional bosses, Chalices, DLC, NG+, etc). Hunter's Nightmare is almost more like Bloodborne 2 in my mind; you better have mastered the original before venturing in there.

Anyway, just beat Sekiro yesterday and holy hell, was Isshin one heckuva fight! His first phase was tough but manageable, but when the second phase begins and he pulls out a spear and motherfucking Glock, he just goes flipping insane! I felt like a pint-sized Bazuso, constantly struggling just to not get struck because Isshin's combos did not ever seem to end, only getting one occasional swipe in just to keep his posture from regenerating too much.

I basically cheesed him too using the fan shield to absorb his gun combo and then countering. Still barely got past that one, and I hated his middle/slow form most. I think I spent the whole phase running wide around him until an attack came out I knew I could safely counter, and even then the fucker could tag me if my timing wasn't perfect. Also, I think for the Flaming Demon or whatever I got it to fall over a cliff. I was really shameless by the end of Sekiro. No SL1/BL4 or charmless/demon bell runs for me in that game. :ganishka:

So far I’ve seen nothing that couldn’t have been possible to play in the PS4 (except Demon’s and that’s only in the graphical/performance departments).

Well, I finally got a PS5 off of Sony Direct yesterday, so Demon's Souls is happening, hopefully this weekend. Good thing too, I had just reinstalled Dark Souls II the other day and started several new characters trying to draw a Demon's Greathammer at the start. It was already annoying! I actually have unfinished business with DeS too since I never got to properly finish exploring the end game before accidentally initiating the end and basically forcing me into NG+ (I hope Bluepoint fixed that! =), which I also never went through with because I was so discouraged after the former happened.

Also, everyone else can look forward to the DeS remake being announced for PC real soon now. You're welcome. =)
 
I basically cheesed him too using the fan shield to absorb his gun combo and then countering. Still barely got past that one, and I hated his middle/slow form most. I think I spent the whole phase running wide around him until an attack came out I knew I could safely counter, and even then the fucker could tag me if my timing wasn't perfect. Also, I think for the Flaming Demon or whatever I got it to fall over a cliff. I was really shameless by the end of Sekiro. No SL1/BL4 or charmless/demon bell runs for me in that game. :ganishka:
A lot of people have trouble with the Demon of Hatred, but I didn't find him too bad personally, and I killed him legitimately. Though maybe having the fire umbrella helped since that let me hide like a frightened turtle whenever I wanted and completely no-sell his fire. But other than that, he leaves himself open with a lot of his attacks, which makes it easy to just run in while he's recovering, get a few quick slashes, then run out. He feels more like a Dark Souls boss, which I guess is fitting, since he looks like a fire elemental version of Manus.
 
No SL1/BL4 or charmless/demon bell runs for me in that game.

I actually reached a point where I’m barely even dying in Sekiro, so I started a demon bell run to see if I’ll get a lesson in humility. So far, I’m not noticing the difference. Weird to say, but Sekiro isn’t difficult for me anymore; I nerded it out too much. It just isn’t the same as that first play-through. I miss those nail-biting, heart-racing fights during the first time (or even NG+ actually)…I’ll add a charmless option next NG to see if that changes.

That’s one of the reasons I love Bloodborne. That game will always find a way to kick your ass, no matter how many hours you have on it or how much you level up. It will always be a challenge.

Well, I finally got a PS5 off of Sony Direct yesterday, so Demon's Souls is happening, hopefully this weekend. Good thing too, I had just reinstalled Dark Souls II the other day and started several new characters trying to draw a Demon's Greathammer at the start. It was already annoying! I actually have unfinished business with DeS too since I never got to properly finish exploring the end game before accidentally initiating the end and basically forcing me into NG+ (I hope Bluepoint fixed that! =), which I also never went through with because I was so discouraged after the former happened.

Also, everyone else can look forward to the DeS remake being announced for PC real soon now. You're welcome. =)

Nice! Congrats on that find. I look forward to discussing DeS remake when you’re done with it and how it compares to the original. I’ve got a few things to say about that. Prepare to be spoiled though; it will be hard to go back to older titles after trying that remake. In a perfect world, Dark Souls and Bloodborne would get that remake treatment too but rumor is BluePoint is currently remaking a movie instead, called Metal Gear Solid. What a waste, in my opinion.

And yes, leave at least one boss alive if you don't wanna initiate the end-game. That's still there, unfortunately. I mean, you can still explore and go back to other worlds, but the Maiden will not level you up anymore; she'll just take you to the end sequence when you talk to her.

As for DSII, that’s actually the one title I can’t seem to go back to anymore. I enjoyed it on release and the Scholar of the First Sin re-release, but that’s about it. Goes to show you can’t just make one of those games without the Miyazaki fingerprint.
 

Griffith

With the streak of a tear, Like morning dew
A lot of people have trouble with the Demon of Hatred, but I didn't find him too bad personally, and I killed him legitimately. Though maybe having the fire umbrella helped since that let me hide like a frightened turtle whenever I wanted and completely no-sell his fire. But other than that, he leaves himself open with a lot of his attacks, which makes it easy to just run in while he's recovering, get a few quick slashes, then run out. He feels more like a Dark Souls boss, which I guess is fitting, since he looks like a fire elemental version of Manus.

Yeah, I remember him being compared at the time to a Bloodborne boss (basically just an updated comp), but I didn't even give him a serious go. Under different circumstances I might have enjoyed him, but I didn't like the mechanics and was just wrapping up odds and ends at that point and wanted to see if I could get him to go over the side. =)

That’s one of the reasons I love Bloodborne. That game will always find a way to kick your ass, no matter how many hours you have on it or how much you level up. It will always be a challenge.

That actually makes sense given Bloodborne is more visceral and chaotic, whereas Sekiro is more about becoming a technician. So, once you're the ultimate technician there's not a lot of room for variance. Plus, even if you reach that point in BB (and I kind of did no-hitting the Orphan), there's always cursed, rotten, fetted Chalice Dungeons!

Nice! Congrats on that find. I look forward to discussing DeS remake when you’re done with it and how it compares to the original. I’ve got a few things to say about that. Prepare to be spoiled though; it will be hard to go back to older titles after trying that remake. In a perfect world, Dark Souls and Bloodborne would get that remake treatment too

Yes and no actually, it's definitely got the highest fidelity graphics, but it also gives me renewed appreciation for From Soft's advances in art direction and design and how they're recent games are holding up by comparison, particularly Bloodborne and to a lesser degree Dark Souls III.

The Nexus and all those in-door spaces look better than ever of course, the character models are the most advanced, their mouths actually move etc, but looking at the sparse landscape of Castle Boletaria you can see the limits of upping the polycount and resolution of designs that are still tethered to 2009. For example, the dragons here might technically be the most graphically advanced in a Souls game, but they're still shaped into designs made for the graphical limitations of a decade ago. Compare them to the massively imposing Darkeater Midir for example, and they literally look kind of lightweight despite having a shinier coat of scales. We'll see, I'm sure I'm in for more amazing sights, I only beat the first boss last night to start leveling up.

Oooh, I was so pissed, I wasted 2000 souls on a crossbow to sort of invest them and shoot a dude way up high in first person mode... but either I couldn't find the function or crossbows didn't have it in DeS and I forgot!? Grrrrr, I might as well have lost the souls, which I wouldn't have! Eh, maybe I'll farm some blue eye knights if I want to make it up.

And yes, leave at least one boss alive if you don't wanna initiate the end-game. That's still there, unfortunately. I mean, you can still explore and go back to other worlds, but the Maiden will not level you up anymore; she'll just take you to the end sequence when you talk to her.

That's the rub for me, I wasn't going to constantly risk losing like thousands of ever accumulating souls that should have been my progress, so I figured, "I'll just keep exploring in NG+, it'll be easier getting back to the late game than NG anyway!" Not knowing Demon's Souls didn't work that way and thus getting even more annoyed I wasn't able to explore and level in the previous endgame to prep. Plus, playing on PS3 is a pain in the ass by comparison.

As for DSII, that’s actually the one title I can’t seem to go back to anymore. I enjoyed it on release and the Scholar of the First Sin re-release, but that’s about it. Goes to show you can’t just make one of those games without the Miyazaki fingerprint.

It was my first Souls because I couldn't get DS1 working on my PC at Walter's urging, so I went down what I thought was basically the same path and ending up getting bushwhacked by the traumatizing souls of DS2. I hate it but am still strangely attached, like I've put hundreds of largely miserable hours into it and yet still want to replay it, its DLCs, and NG+ one day... other games just can't get the spices right.
 
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Walter

Administrator
Staff member
I recently unhooked my PS4 to make room on my desk. It had been collecting dust for months, probably closer to a year. I just don't have the time or inclination to sit down and play games on TV. However, I can usually sneak in a good 15-30 minutes at a time of a PC game, since I do most of my work and SKnet time on my computer.

However most of my game time this past week has been spent, of all things, on Monster Hunter 4 on 3DS. I beat it at launch back in 2014 and haven't touched it since. But the recent release of Monster Hunter Stories 2 got me thinking about that franchise again. It's a rote game, and repetitive if you play it for hours on end. But for quick 15-30 minute sessions, it's really a blast. I normally use the Switch Axe, but decided to change things up with the Insect Glaive— because it's so flashy and cool. But ... well, now I'm back to the Charge Blade instead (basically the Switch Axe again :guts: ).

My son continues to play Minecraft, which means I still regularly play Minecraft with him. It's been a little over 2 years since he's been playing it regularly, and he's pretty impressive at it. I prefer to play Survival mode, because I like earning every resource you use, but he much prefers Creative mode, where he doesn't have to worry about running out of resources. What can I say, I'm a Berserk fan. I like the struggle.
 

Griffith

With the streak of a tear, Like morning dew
I'm selling my PS4 since the 5 basically does everything it does and I can still get good value for it, but before you go down that road I recommend you... PLAY BLOODBORNE! GOTD! PS EXCLUSIVE! IT'S BETTER THAN WHATEVER YOU'RE PLAYING! That is all. Or wait for the inevitable remaster I guess. Otherwise, I understand the challenge of working around the TV as opposed to your desktop PC (I may need to see about simultaneously hooking the PS5 up to my monitor for that reason). Anyway, speaking of remasters...


Demon's Souls (2020) - So, I completed my initial Demon's Souls remake run and am into NG+ and... it's really good! Or, perhaps I should say it's still really good, because this is definitely more in the remaster mold than reinventing the game for today. Which is a good thing because it retains that authentic From Soft feel that so many Souls-likes, and Dark Souls II, are lacking.

Graphically, it looks wonderful of course, everything looks about as good, detailed and slick as can be expected, but as I pointed out in my previous post, it's still a super up-res'd 2009 game, so it's not going to necessarily have the dynamic design or direction of a modern one. Bloodborne and DS3 obviously don't look as pretty from a technological, graphical fidelity standpoint, but their graphic design and depth represent obvious progress on From Soft's part whereas this is a very, very shiny retro design. One area I noticed where this game completely blows away its forebears though is sound. Not just the music, which is awesome, but compared to Dark Souls III on PS5 on the same headset DS3 sounded horrible by comparison; thin, tinny, and a bit grating actually. I think From Soft maybe hasn't updated their sound library since at least Dark Souls 1, if not this game (hopefully Elden Ring will be better... or I just won't play it back to back with this one).

The good thing about this being so faithful to the original is Demon's Souls isn't like some weird, lesser Dark Souls prototype you drag yourself through just to be a completionist, it's pretty much the finished template from which every game thereafter sprang from, and particularly Dark Souls III, and is still arguably the best one. Basically, Dark Souls is more an in-house, non-Sony owned, Demon's Souls rebrand than some necessary evolutionary, let alone revolutionary, revision (this game actually was the revolution, just nobody knew until Dark Souls popularized it =). In short, if one didn't know better this could just as well be Dark Souls 4, which, coupled with its relative scarcity, makes it an ideal candidate for this sort of re-release, besides being Sony controlled of course.

Because it was first, a lot of the staples of the series, like phantoms, fog walls, etc, are not only present but actually make sense as part of the lore rather than being aesthetic carryover like in its successors. The fog is essentially the physical representation of the soul-sucking demon scourge brought by The Old One, the game's big bad (which, again, if one didn't know better you might think this was a nod to Bloodborne). Phantom form is what you take when you die, rather than going undead, hollow, unkindled, or whatever. This allows you to invade other worlds because you're a phantom, and it's why you see so many other phantoms (phantoms invade, humans get invaded, makes sense, right?). Souls fans know all this stuff, but here it's actually what the game is about and fits more cohesively into the game world rather than just being separate online mechanics on top of the single player experience.

Of course, like all of the games, it has its own unique, overcomplicated features, like a weapon upgrade system with specific upgrade stones for practically every different weapon type, but most importantly it has a completely unique feature that was later dropped, but again, might as well be something new; the infamous Character/World Tendency. This is actually a cool yet esoteric and misunderstood function that changes the different worlds, enemies, and options open to your character depending on your actions. Basically, if you murder NPCs and/or die in human form, your's and that world's tendency darkens, if you kill boss demons, invading phantoms, or help others, it lightens. This is Dark Souls with a morality system, and it actually really matters because black world tendency means enemies are much stronger (but drop more souls/items), so if you don't know what you're doing you can really make the game impossible for yourself. In most RPGs, being an asshole is the path of least resistance, here you're punished more than maybe any other game. Though, as many have pointed out, it's counterintuitive that the game essentially gets harder the more you die at it (this is also hilariously on-brand), but it's more that if you want an easier time of it you need to make sure to play nice and help others in phantom form, where your deaths won't count against World Tendency even in your game. The problem is I'm not sure this is EVER explained in-game, or that I'm even completely sure myself how it works, and phantoms have half the life of a human, so you'd naturally think that would give you your best shot, keep getting killed that way and making it worse. Basically, it's cool if you're in the know, bit can be horrible if you're not.

The first time I played the game I didn't understand and mostly ignored World Tendency and it probably made certain segments, particularly later in world 1 (which you want to play most of later or last =), much harder. All this led me to go for a pure white all phantom run this time, which I ended up partially regretting because it severely limits your interaction with online players (you can't be invaded online as a phantom, so another plus if you're trying not to randomly die or deal with people). It also meant that when I wanted to walk on the dark side and lower my tendency to open up things like assassination missions, I had to start being a real asshole and you basically end up killing all your vendors and can't even change spells if you follow through (I left a caster alive until the final boss, but it's still a pain not being able to change miracles, etc). I think I would have had more fun spanking black (red) phantoms along the way with my overpowered magic warrior. It's still fun in NG+ with a more even playing field, but I know I missed out on crushing some noob invaders. =)

As for the game itself, the areas can be very challenging, some of the toughest in the series, with hazards and traps fully capable of killing you with or without enemies to help. The aforementioned World 1 contains some of my worst Souls memories this side of an Anor Londo archer. Plus, it has all the iconic locales: dragon infested medieval castle, volcanic mines/caves, otherworldly sky dungeon nobody would build, ancient seaside ruins, and everyone's favorite, the original poison swamp from hell! All these areas will remind you of various locations and events found throughout the Souls series, whether it's running past Dragon Fire go enter a castle, taking up Storm Ruler to stop a titan, or surreally dropping a giant heart that blocks your progress (as opposed to a big brain =).

If anything about it feels a bit simpler or dated it's the boss fights. They're not easy by any means, some even seem impossible if you don't know the trick to them, but there often is a trick and obviously bosses are one aspect From Software has been continually evolving out of necessity and so this set is by definition the most unrefined by virtue of being the first iteration. The traditional ones, like Flamelurker (roll away from his attacks and slash from behind! or just shoot everything with magic), were largely a cinch for me with the exception of Maneater because the setting's a pain in the ass (don't lock on), and King Allant (he's like the original duel with a human-like opponent that's harder than all the monsters), who I fought at the end with black tendency, but I actually had the most trouble with the weird, gimmicky early bosses like Armored Spider, who I think I got lucky meleeing against the first go around, and the Dragon God, who I swear I had to replay over a dozen times because I'm lazy and impatient I guess (I don't remember having any trouble with him the first time playing the game; thought it'd be perfunctory... My bad). It also has some of the most original boss encounters, including one where you just... talk (prepare to cry). Actually, there's a couple like that where the fight is purposefully anti-climatic because it's making a different point, which the series really didn't have room for once the purported difficulty took on a life of its own as a calling card or badge of honor.

Anyway, I'm about two thirds through NG+ and my desire to play is still going strong exploring anything I missed and seeing if I'm up to the NG+ challenge this time. It hasn't been bad so far, my Crescent Weapons keep up for the most part and keep me in mana, but I can tell from how hard hard some of the easier enemies and bosses hit and how hard, or repeatedly, I have to hit them that there's going to be some challenges down the line, so I'm experimenting with some crazy damage weapons and builds like fully upgraded Dragon Bone Smasher (using this more and more often) with Morian Blade off-hand and Clever Rat's Ring for crazy damage buffs. The DBS does so much damage though I probably don't need it at this NG level, but if down the road I'm getting one-shotted anyway I'll have the glass canon ready.
 
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Still playing Binding of Isaac Rebirth, now on the newest expansion, Repentance.

My carpal tunnels are asking if there is a merciful god in this cruel life.

It has yet another difficulty spike from the vanilla rebirth game.

It has more poop and dead babies too.

I have yet to revisit the original's game Eternal mode though.
 
So I’ve been obsessed with Hollow Knight recently. I’ve clocked over 90 hours on this thing and still going strong. It’s basically 2D Soulsborne with its own original (and great!) spin. Or maybe Metroidvanias have always been like that? Dunno. But this game made me fall in love with a whole new genre and I’ve since gone on to play Blasphemous, Salt and Sanctuary, and so on. But Hollow Knight takes top spot for me so far.

If you guys have any great Metroidvanias to recommend, please do mention them.

I'm selling my PS4 since the 5 basically does everything it does and I can still get good value for it, but before you go down that road I recommend you... PLAY BLOODBORNE! GOTD! PS EXCLUSIVE! IT'S BETTER THAN WHATEVER YOU'RE PLAYING! That is all. Or wait for the inevitable remaster I guess. Otherwise, I understand the challenge of working around the TV as opposed to your desktop PC (I may need to see about simultaneously hooking the PS5 up to my monitor for that reason). Anyway, speaking of remasters…

Seconded. Play Bloodborne. I don’t believe in the idea of a system seller, but Bloodborne is the one game that I could somewhat see someone buying a console to just to play. If you’ve missed out, play it. Play it you scrub!

Anyway…

Demon's Souls (2020) - So, I completed my initial Demon's Souls remake run and am into NG+ and... it's really good! Or, perhaps I should say it's still really good, because this is definitely more in the remaster mold than reinventing the game for today. Which is a good thing because it retains that authentic From Soft feel that so many Souls-likes, and Dark Souls II, are lacking.

Glad you enjoyed it. Here’s my take:

I agree that it’s really good. Like Shadow of the Colossus, this was a remake worthy of the original. It was almost completely faithful to 2009’s Demon’s Souls (and I will get to why I say almost in a bit). I think you’ve covered the technical aspects well in the rest of your post, so I will talk about other points.

I specifically want to address what you just mentioned: the feel of the game. Now you may not agree with me on this, but for all its virtues, I think this remake is missing the “magic” of the original. Now I enjoyed the remake a lot (enough that I’m already in NG+4), but as I kept playing it, I couldn’t help but feel something “missing”. It didn’t replicate the experience I had back in 2009.

Of course this is to be expected to some degree. Demon’s Souls was the first of its kind back in 2009, the revolution as you said. So I can’t in all fairness expect the remake to have the same feel. Add to that getting older and playing From Soft’s subsequent masterpieces, among other possible reasons, and you may account for this “lack” that I’m feeling here.

But that will only partially account for it I think. Some of the fault lies with the devs, to be honest. I mean the changes they introduced to the game. Some were minor, and some had me wondering if they even understood the original to begin with.

Let’s start with some examples:

1) In the original Latria Prison, you’d have to make your way through a deep, dark prison area with menacing Octopus Guards that could kill you in a heartbeat if you’re not careful. Now the remake still contains the dangerous aspect of those enemies, but everything else that made the prison so memorable and haunting is gone. The lighting is far too bright (and this problems goes into other areas of the game too). But the main change for me, a tiny but potent change, is the faint bell ringing those Octopus Guards did in the original. The remake removed that sound effect entirely, and I can’t for the life of me understand why they did that. It was such a small change sure, but it had a considerable effect as far as I’m concerned.

2) The Maneaters boss fight was the one I dreaded the most in every playthrough I had in the original. Aside from the treacherous battleground, those things were scary. Part of their terror was the fact they were covered in darkness. You could only see a pair of glowing eyes approaching you in the start of the fight. Combine that with the creepy soundtrack and you have one of the best fights in the game. In the remake however, the devs lit up the whole place, so much that I could see the individual hairs on the Maneaters. They changed the soundtrack to a more “epic” track. And just like that, the Maneaters lost all the magic they had for me.

3) In the Shrine of Storms, after the Adjudicator boss fight, you’d have to fight your way through Grim Reapers and ghosts and whatnot. But the main enemy that stands out for me are those invisible assassins that stalk you in the area. The only cue you have for their presence is that they giggle creepily just before plunging their knives into you. In the remake, they neither giggle nor are they invisible to begin with. Instead we get another generic ghost-like enemy.

I believe you see where I’m going with this by now. I don’t understand why the devs decided to tamper with the original to this extent. Why fix what isn’t broken?

I used to say that Bloodborne is the most intense of the From Soft titles, that Dark Souls is the most iconic, and that Demon’s Souls is the scariest. If all we had was this remake, you can disregard that last bit.

Now not all the changes are unwelcome. For example I’m glad they re-voiced all the characters. Some of the voice acting in the original was atrocious, and I watched some clips recently where I got to hear that again. So the characters for the most part sound better here (I still think Blacksmith Baldwin sounds better in the original. He had more of a barb to his tongue; here he sounds almost “nice”).

Some of the other changes weren’t bad, but they were weird. The item management for example. They kept the item burden here, but then they voided its entire point but letting you send items to storage on the fly, no matter where you were in the world.

But in the end, maybe it’s not the changes that really took away the magic of the original for me. Maybe some experiences simply can’t be replicated. I don’t know. But I’m glad I played the original back then. I wonder what a new player might say if they played those two in reverse.

Of course, it’s not my intention to make it sound like a negative experience. I still loved this remake. It’s a joy to play, especially with the welcome aspects like haptic feedback and the stellar sound design. But it’s not a replacement to the original by any means. And this is a good thing, actually.

Anyway that’s my take on Demon’s Souls (2020). What do you think?
 
I've been replaying the 2D metroid series in preparation for metroid Dread this october. I've completed Zero Mission, Samus returns, and Super Metroid, and now I'm on Fusion. Super and Zero mission are masterpieces, any fan of the metroidvania genre knows that by now. But Samus Returns and Fusion hold up far, far better then my memory served. Fusion can be critiqued for its linear structure, however when you begin to think of the game as a thematic and design inversion of super, it begins to click wonderfully. Super was about making you feel very powerful and triumphant, while Fusion is about knocking you down to your lowest point, qnd i think it works well. Also the fact that they pulled off convincing horror elements in a GBA game is still very impressive. Concerning Samus returns, the combat loop was something I stupidly didn't internalize when I first played it, but this run around I did and the game felt a lot better for it.

I'm very excited for Metroid dread at this point. Probably the mot excited I've been for any game in a long time. When that game was first rumored some 15 years ago, it was this kind of mythic title, along side others like an English release of mother 3, a remake of ff7, shen mue 3, the last gaurdian, Ridley playable in smash bros, or a true DMC sequel, the types of things you'd see in a blatantly false report of upcoming titles, and that titles pressence alone is what denotes it as false. I think its fair to say no one in the fandom expected it to come out one day. I was with my friends during that presentation and I absolutely lost it.
 
God of War PS4, The Shitty Berserk Musou Game (that I love), Pokemon HeartGold, recently.

Doesn't anyone have this thing with games where you really enjoy them and know a lot about them but rarely ever play? I'm not talking about time constraints either, I just seldom choose to play games in my free time, but I do enjoy them. I usually listen to new music/write music, study random things, or watch a TV Show/Movie/Anime. I just can't sit down to play a game for more than hour or 2.
 
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