Tag Archives: dark souls

My Reactions To Different Weapon Durability Systems

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Undoubtedly the most divisive feature in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has been its weapon degradation system. The discussion over it has gotten me looking back at how I’ve reacted to weapon degradation in previous games only to find it hasn’t been a uniform reaction at all.

In short, weapon degradation is one of those things that in the context of game design is just a tool to be used in different ways. Different developers may use it to different effects for different kinds of games. Like open-worlds in general or quick-time events or whatever else, I don’t believe weapon degradation is universally good or bad. Continue reading

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On Nioh: Nobody Ever Make RPGs About Feudal Japan

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I didn’t get a PlayStation 4 until after the original alpha demo for Team Ninja’s Nioh had expired, and also couldn’t get in on the beta demo in time, so this “Last Chance Trial” was the first time I got to check the game out. Aside from the quality of the game itself, I just need to say I’m glad somebody based a deep role playing game on feudal Japan. Continue reading

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Five Years Later, Does Anyone Really “Get” Dark Souls?

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The first Dark Souls is five years old, director Hidetaka Miyazaki has said some things about his future projects, the first piece of downloadable content for Dark Souls III is coming up, and I just realized I’ve talked almost not at all about Dark Souls III here since before I started playing it.

I think I’ve said enough in previous posts about why I like Dark Souls or the “real” reasons why it’s good beyond just its unusual difficulty. I think this post and the last part of this one are the best summations. The only thing I can really say about Dark Souls III in particular is that it is a consummate video game. That may sound like a bland thing to say, but I think that actually makes it unique among the big releases we get these days. When I say “consummate,”I mean it in the most classical way possible for traditional Japanese console action games. Continue reading

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My Dark Souls III Battle Plan

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Everybody who isn’t already playing the Japanese version of Dark Souls III is probably thinking about what class they’re gonna roll this time around. Well, that’s not totally the right question to ask when talking about strategy in Dark Souls, but the point is anybody who’s experienced with these games has got to be formulating their game plan at this point. I’ve been slowly diversifying ever since starting Demon’s Souls and I think Dark Souls III might be an opportunity for me to really try something different. Continue reading

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What I Miss From Demon’s Souls

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In the middle of a new game plus run through Demon’s Souls in these last few days before Dark Souls III drops, I think I’m gonna lay down why Demon’s Souls is my personal favorite Souls game. The first Dark Souls might objectively be the best one in terms of level design or UI or combat mechanics, but there are some things I personally prefer about how Demon’s Souls was put together. I should probably preface all this by saying I still haven’t played Bloodborne, and don’t know when I’ll acquire a PS4 on which to play it. Continue reading

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Weapon Mastery In Demon’s Souls

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A lot of people probably decided to roll through one of the previous Souls games to get ready for Dark Souls III. My choice was Demon’s Souls, and not only did I gain a new appreciation for the game, I also ended up learning a lot more about it and probably Souls games in general. Continue reading

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Why Some Might Dislike Witcher 3’s Combat

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I finally got back into The Witcher 3 with the Hearts of Stone expansion pack. Every time this game is discussed online you get people who couldn’t play it because of the “terrible combat” or “terrible gameplay.” I’ve been a defender of Witcher 3’s systems on this site but the expansion has made me think more on just why many people feel one way or the other way about the combat and other systems in this game. I think it’s biggest problem is the difficulty curve, which clouds the depth CDProjekt RED put into Witcher 3 for a lot of players. Continue reading

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Is Dark Souls A JRPG? Probably.

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While trying to maintain a media blackout on Dark Souls III in the midst of double-digit minutes of footage being leaked some time ago, I started thinking about how far the franchise has come since the slow trickle of word-of-mouth that surrounded Demon’s Souls during the PS3’s early years. I’ve come to the realization (perhaps late) that the Souls franchise might be the most relevant Japanese RPG franchise on the market today, or at least one of the only really relevant ones to the mass market.

The problem is, many people seem to doubt whether it’s an JRPG at all, saying it looks and feels too similar to Elder Scrolls and too different from Final Fantasy. Once you go from there into the discussion of what defines a JRPG, you have to dig into the origins of the JRPGs and the Souls series itself which brings out its interesting relationship with both past RPGs and today’s popular western RPGs. Continue reading

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What Skyrim Is Actually Good At

I think I’m done with Skyrim.

I mean “done” as in I’ve played all the parts of the game I care about. I’ve spent a total of $80 on Skyrim and its extra stuff over the last four years and even though playing 100 percent of it was never the goal, after 170 hours I think I’ve gotten my money’s worth. Same thing happened with Fallout 3 (in which I intend to start a new character before Fallout 4 drops) and New Vegas. Anyway, I want to do this post to talk about what I think Skyrim’s and Bethesda’s real strong points are compared to other RPGs and other RPG developers, maybe even why Bethesda’s games have been some of the most commercially successful RPGs of all time.

I’ve actually been thinking about this ever since Skyrim came out in 2011. If you think back, 2011 was kind of a big year for RPGs. At the very least you had three notable ones coming out: Skyrim, From Software’s first Dark Souls game, and CDProjekt RED’s The Witcher 2. Coincidentally the developers of all three of those games are releasing new games this year. More importantly, ever since the release of The Witcher 3 and the unveiling of Fallout 4, some people are wondering if the latter can match up to the supposedly new standard the former has set for open-world RPGs. I think Bethesda and CDProjekt RED make different kinds of games, but not completely different, and each is better than the other in different areas. From Software has its own advantages that when you think about it are almost unique to it in the RPG space. Continue reading

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Why Does Everyone Like A Game That’s Not For Everyone?

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Inevitably there was going to be a bit of push-back to what seems to be near universal critical acclaim of Bloodborne following up that of the Souls games. A Forbes article and a response article from USGamer frame up the issue neatly: these games are not for everyone, and that’s fine, but then why does such a plurality of game critics absolutely love it?

I think the reason is because in the retail space these days, there has been somewhat of a dearth of games that aren’t trying to be for everyone. It has kind of skewed reviews and how people look at reviews a little bit. Continue reading

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