Dark Souls 2 – Is it really a souls game?

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Dark Souls 2 is an interesting game. It was the first ‘main-steam’ Souls game to release after DS1 rose to become a beloved title after its launch. Initially there was a consensus that it was a letdown. Now though the tide has turned and a large section of the fanbase will crucify anyone that criticises the game. I’ve watched Youtube videos that analyse the game with massive dislike bars just for explaining why they felt that it didn’t live up to its reputation while much of that fan hate has turned to Dark Souls 3.

I am a big fan of the original Dark Souls. It easily tops my list of favourite games. As such I was very excited to play the sequel. I didn’t expect it to quite live up to the first because, how could it? DS1 is like lightning in a bottle. The planets aligned and a damn near perfect game was released. The chances of another game living up to that was slim so I tempered my expectation. Hype is a gamer’s worst enemy after all. Continue reading

Review – Dark Souls 3: The Ringed City DLC.

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The final ever piece of Dark Souls content has been release for a few weeks now, giving fans plenty of time to fight through the fresh terrors and study the obscure clues to piece together some semblance of lore. But how does this final bit of content compare with the grand legacy that the Dark Souls series has created?

Well, it is certainly more Dark Souls. The enemies, the level designs and everything else feel like they belong with the rest of the game. They got the tone right and produced more great content which is really all that most fans want. We got more weapons, spells and armour to play with and new challenges to overcome. And boy were there some challenges. Continue reading

The Nintendo Switch Needs to Switch up Nintendo.

When Nintendo first announced the Switch I was excited. This kind of surprised me though since I have never really owned a Nintendo console. Sure, I’ve owned several handhelds from the Gameboy to the 2DS but they have literally just been dedicated Pokemon machines. We also had a household Wii that saw action with Wii Sports Resort and Link’s Crossbow Training but little else.

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The Switch was an interesting concept. A console/handheld hybrid sounded cool and the initial trailer was pleasantly devoid of any gimmicks beyond this portability. They were showing off Skyrim which suggested stronger links with third party developers and most of the actors were young adults instead of children. It looked like they were trying to market the Switch as a more matured console, still fun but aimed at the people closer to my own age who had grown up with Nintendo and still made up a massive portion of sales despite Nintendo’s drive to be a child-oriented company. Their move with the Wii U to add Bayonetta 2 to their exclusive list and include her in Smash Brothers was a step in the right direction so maybe they were learning. Continue reading

Gwent – Closed Beta First Impressions

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was by far the best game that I have played in several years. I have put around 200 hours into the game by this point and a good number of those were lost to the addictive mini-game known as Gwent. As somebody that loves collecting things, the whole finding cards to collect them all was something that really drew me in and the card game itself was engaging and fun. When the great CD Projekt Red announced that they were releasing Gwent as its own game I was thrilled. As such, the second that I could I put my name down for the stand alone Gwent game’s closed beta.

So is this new Gwent just more of the same? The game as it was in The Witcher 3 (we’ll refer to this as W3G) was fairly basic and was stacked heavily in the player’s favour once they had collected a few cards. The standalone Gwent shares the same spirit and basic layout as W3G but has been reworked to better suit PvP play and extended deck building.  Continue reading

Dark Souls 3: Ashes of Ariandel – Review

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I never reviewed the base game for Dark Souls 3. I loved the game but felt like it was missing something. As such I wanted to wait for the DLC to be released in the hopes of it completing the excellent experience. So for reference, the base game would be a 9/10 for me.

So did the first DLC have what I was looking for? Sadly not. Playing AoA was a strange experience for me since I loved every second of it yet felt nothing but disappointment after about three hours. The reason being that I completed the it within that time. Barring one area where I fell off a tree a few times, I only died once to each of the DLC’s two bosses, and I am far from a good player. Most of the enemies were slow and weak bird fetuses and bloated flies. The bigger Vikings were a fun challenge and I hated the Edward Scissor Hand crows guy in a good way but that was really all of the enemy variety available. The same was true of the areas: they were beautiful and interesting but so short that I felt like a traveler walking straight through the scenes rather than actually visiting them. Continue reading

Review: Overwatch

Overwatch is the hugely praised first person multiplayer shooter from Blizzard. It has been a massive talking point from its colourful characters, its Pixar quality animated shorts, its solid gameplay and its rampant use in porn. Some sing its praise while others see it as an overhyped Team Fortress 2 clone.

I don’t usually play FPS games. In fact the only one that comes to mind is the Halo series. I tend to prefer narrative driven RPGs but the vivid visuals and a strange longing for human interaction like in the days of early Halo 3 made me interested in Blizzard’s first venture into the genre. I played Overwatch in the open beta and have put a fair few hours into its release version. Continue reading

Dark Souls 3: Bonfire Journals #1.

As a writer and gamer, the idea of writing the personal journey of my character through a game is something that I find interesting. Dark Souls is the perfect kind of game for this as your character is a blank slate, the paths are branching and the narrative is non-intrusive. So I am finally giving it a shot. This is the first part of my adventure through DS3. It goes up to the first boss battle of the game. I would have liked to have gone further but in 30 minutes of play I crashed to desktop eight times. Yeah. Enjoy.


Entry 1:

Life. It takes death to understand it. Disjointed memories form together into a vague semblance of the past and create shadowy shapes that is my personal history. But none of it makes sense. I awoke in a craggy graveyard with only fleeting impressions of who I even was. The only thing that I was sure of was that I was clad in leather armour and had a shield and scimitar at my side. They feel natural in my grasp like extensions of my arms. I can only assume that they are mine.

Alone without identity. This is true loneliness, without even your own memories or personality to keep your ragged thoughts company. Who am I? Where am I? Where should I go? These questions settled upon me like crows. Without any clear direction though I could only sit with my shallow mind or move forward and hope. Hope… Continue reading