What I’ve Been Playing This Week
Bloodborne: One of the nicest things about Bloodborne is the flexibility it affords in regards to playing it. Want a jolly co-operative adventure? You can do that. Want to go it alone? You are more than welcome to. Feeling the urge to fight other people? That’s an option. Feeling a little stuck, and needing a summon? Games got you covered. Want to try a challenge run? You’ll need to pick one first, there’s quite a few. It’s easy to go over leveled or under leveled, both work. And every weapon is viable, so there’s a build for everyone.
There’s always lots of talk about the From Software game, and how they harkens back to older games, by forcing people to play one way. Yet, with a little bit of digging, there’s so many other ways to play it.
Yet, right now it’s time to say good bye. The last few play sessions have been a bit lacking, and when I finally died to the Witch of Hemwick, well, it’s like the game is playing the role of a bartender telling you that you’ve had too much to drink and you need to go home. I’ll be coming back though, there’s still hunters who need to finish the hunt. This however leads into the next thing on this list.
I did finish with killing Martyr Logarious and Dark Beast Paarl, so I went into my break on a high note.
Dark Souls III: Dust, Claire – I’m sorry but you’ll have to sit on the sidelines for some time. You ain’t going to be getting any time right now. This was going to happen sooner or later given how much I loved Bloodborne. I would have liked to play Dark Souls first but I don’t have the PC to play it and Dark Souls III has been sat on my hard drive since January.
I am really liking my time was Dark Souls III. Definitely making my way towards loving Dark Souls III. There are lots to explore, the environmental story telling is strong (as always) and there are those looping paths that I just love. I’m slowly getting used to the combat system (dodge rolling is different to side stepping) so there is still a lot to learn. I’ve done a few back stabs, and I have no idea how I did them. I think I’m getting it though. The last few have come in a cluster, so I’m doing something right.
Parrying seems more difficult here than in Bloodborne. I now carry around a great shield and that’s going well. The boss battles have been pretty great so far with Iudex Gundyr (1st attempt!), Vordt (2nd attempt!) and the Great Cursewood Tree (3rd attempt! – there’s a pattern here) having fallen. Joining them are the Crystal Sage (2nd attempt – sequence breaker) and The Abyss Watchers (2nd attempts). The Old Demon King (3rd attempt) and the Deacons of the Deep (1st attempt) are the latest additions to this list. I’m sure there’s a boss who’s going to be like Ludwig or Orphan coming up. For me it may be Wolnir. I haven’t a clue how to hurt him. I’ll figure it out though. There has to be. Many of my deaths are coming at the hands of regular enemies.
Levelling up also seems to be more complicated than in Bloodborne. There are more stats and I’m never quite sure if I’m ignoring something that I’ll need later on. There’s a carry weight to pay attention to now so that’s something new.
Still I’m marching on. I’ve had a blast exploring the Undead Settlement – just so many alleyways and side streets to explore. Bloomin marvellous. And the Crucifixion Woods/Farron’s Keep is great to walk around. Poison aside. It’s the feeling I had when playing Bloodborne all over again. I’m going in blind and every discovery is just amazing. It helps that the game is just gorgeous. The environments are great to look at with giant castles and cathedrals, along with vast forests and abandoned forts. Combine that with overcoming the game itself and I’m on to a good thing. There’s also the joy of seeing bosses for the first time, and figuring out attack patterns, followed by the excitement of figuring them out. From Software are just wonderful. Oh and the great NPC’s are back as well. Felt the need to mention that.
Also, the Esteus Flask is far superior to Blood Vials. I don’t have to farm anymore which is great so when I eventually hit a boss wall (it’s coming, I know it) the pace of the game won’t grind to a halt. That really is such a nice feeling. And the bonfire is a superior image to the lantern. In a vast, uncaring dead land, the small act of sitting by a fire becomes that much more special, and intimidate.
There’s no Chalice Dungeons here. Thank the Christ lord for that.
And one more thing. Lovecraft is great, but dragons have a certain majesty that is impossible match. Dragons are awesome.
(Gfycat played up this morning, so no gifs. Sorry!)
Just Cause III: Rico Rodriguez blows things up. Lots of things.
This didn’t start off too well. Games that involve analogue sticks and aiming guns with said sticks often leave me looking rather foolish. And I had lots of trouble early on with the locomotion options that game has. Rico has a grappling hook, which later allows you to tether things together. I didn’t know (still don’t actually) how to switch between tether mode and general transportation mode and as such had a torrid time trying to move around and avoid gunfire. There’s also a wing suit for gliding, and a parachute for safe landings.
But I put more time into it and have managed to get the tether stuck on transportation mode and well, Just Cause 3 is a ridiculous amount of fun. Everything is geared towards fun. It’s as if all those 80’s action films gave birth to a video game. Parachuting into a crowd of enemies as you gun them down, and then latching onto the bottom of a helicopter to plant an explosive charge before wing suiting away to freedom is a something that everyone needs to do at some point in their lives. The fact Rico gets all this at the beginning without unlocking it is actually pretty great. It’s just mayhem from the get go. Well, it was mayhem once I got used to the controls. For Just Cause veterans it would have been mayhem from the get go. I also get a real kick out of playing the floor is lava and seeing how long I can parachute and wing suit my way across the map.
All of that being said, it’s debatable if I am going to finish Just Cause 3. The map is massive, and I’m not sure if the game play loop as fun as it is can keep it going that long. Still, seeing as I got it on PS plus it’s been pretty great so far.
Things I’m Looking Forward to Playing
Eitr: If you live in hope, prepare to die in desperation. I had honestly forgotten about Eitr until it came up in conversation with a friend. Since Bloodborne came along (and now with the advent of Dark Souls III) I love all things Souls, and after Jotun awakening a love of Norse myth and legend Eitr would scratch so many itches.
The problem here is Eitr was supposed to appear in 2016, and then everything went almost silent. The only thing of note was a small notice of a delay till 2017. More silence, until now as GOG has listed Eitr as coming soon, and the developers are talking. It could still be a distant hope, but I’ll hold out something.
Right now I’m going for Hammers and Axes in Dark Souls III, so I have a work around for Nordic Souls.
Now For Something Completely Different
I’ve been thinking of something lately. It’s essentially a set of reactions for bosses in From Software games, although I guess it can be applied to other games as well. It’s graded in attempts taken. Let’s give it a go.
1 attempt – “Well that went well.” – Often accompanied by a sudden rush of excitement and giddiness. There is a down side to this though. Luck could have played a part and come NG+ cycles things can get a bit more difficult. But sometimes not. Everyone has that boss they just understand from the get go.
2 – 5 attempts – “I quickly assessed the attack patterns and cracked them relatively early which resulted in a well earned victory.” – This feels like a sweet spot. Just the right amount of attempts, ensuring some form of catharsis.
6 – 10 attempts – “I know the pattern now, I just have to execute now. See, I told you. It was all about the execution” – A situation when frustration is averted or at the very least excess frustration.
11 – 15 attempts – “It’ll happen – I’m sure it will happen.” – There’s always hope. Hope goes a long way. At this point you just rely on Andy Dufresne’s story from the Shawshank Redemption.
16+ attempts – Sentences don’t happen here much. A lot of communication is done in single words and gestures. Ones that society as deemed offensive most probably. The controller can now gain the hitherto unknown ability of flight. There’s no real change in the reactions beyond 16 attempts. They just get more severe as attempts increase. The bright side here is that the catharsis of victory can be off the charts. The other reaction is to descend into silence, often accompanied by a stare that bores through time itself. Best not to be bothered at this time.
In actuality at this point it’s probably better to walk away. Get some sleep – no, really, it helps a lot. Coming back the next day fresh is often a good thing.