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9 hours ago - 6:35 PM on 04.23.2014





I wrote a thing about secrets in Dark Souls, I hope you all like it. It's weird to think that after almost three years of constantly blathering on-and-on about it, that might have been my last blog about Dark Souls.

Because come Friday, I'll be leaving Lordran and resettling in Dranglic.

I've kept myself in the dark about Dark Souls 2. Studiously avoided the wikis, stayed away from the Streams, shunned the spoiler blogs. I'm ready to go into it mostly blind and deaf, just the way I like it. I want to stumble in Dark Souls 2, I want to fall. I want to not know where to go, to get killed by cheap traps, crushed by bosses until I figure out how to survive on my own.

What I really want, more than anything, more than I would prefer to admit, is to just play Dark Souls for the first time again. I've never had a game that resonated with me so well. It took everything I love about games, drew inspiration from my favourites, and implemented multiplayer features that I only dreamt about before and put them all in one place. It was like a gift.

I'm sure I mentioned it before in a Wrenchism or in a blog, but when I was a little boy, I remember reading a book that took place in an evil arcade that was clearly written by someone who didn't actually understand how videogames worked. Past the spoon-fed "videogames are evil" message, the thing I remember most about that book was how characters in the arcade games were able to leap from one gameworld to the next. How a player in one game could suddenly appear in another player's game and torment them. In the book it led to real life teen murder (as hysterical moral pieces always claim whatever they are against will lead to) but I remember just thinking how cool a system like that would be. Decades later, I'd be laid out in a marble hallway in Anor Londo, sucker punched by an invaders Crystal Homing Soulsmass sorcery for the first time, thinking it was the coolest, and most frustrating, thing of all time.

Dark Souls was the game I always wanted to play. It gave me everything I knew I wanted in a game, and a lot more that I never realized how much I was craving until it gave it to me. It provided a mysterious world I could never get enough of and my mind has been constantly chewing on it ever since. I will never forget my first playthrough of Dark Souls, every step filled with dread, every boss an unconquerable calamity, and the constant feeling of awe and mystery as I explored one wonderful/terrible environment after another. Every time I thought I at it all figured out, I'd learn something new.†



What I really want from the sequel -- and what I know it won't, can't, deliver Ė is the experience of that discovery all over again. If I could have the memories I have of playing Dark Souls surgically removed and replay it again from a blank state, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

I know Dark Souls 2 will be amazing, but it won't match my first playthrough of Dark Souls. I can't unlearn the lessons it taught me.

But I can enjoy employing them in a new world, and that will have to do.

* - The Gameboy will probably outlive us all. That thing was made like a tank.

* - A great look at the film Gaming in Colour, examining LGBT culture in gaming.

* - An interesting look at dating sims. I think SongSeven might be taking the analogy a little bit far, but goddamn do I find it interesting when people come out of the woodwork to shout down blogs like this. I mean, what is it about this kind of conversation that seems so threatening/provoking to some people?

S - Project X Zone is monstrously overstuffed, needlessly verbose, lashed together on a shoestring budget, and Nanashi is STILL playing it. He knows what the problems with the game are, the question is, if he's still enjoying it, do they matter?

A - It's the Terpocalpyse! The Apocerraria! Whatever you call it when a Terraria world is blown asunder! Sounds like the latest update messed up the game bad, but in an amusing way.

A - TheKodu has his finger on the pulse of a XBLIG controversy. Some gross business going on.


E - I really need to play TF2 again. It's been far too long since I shanked somebody with a butterfly knife.

R - God, I remember Dynamite Cop in the arcades. Me and my brother wasted a lot of quarters spraying each other in the face with pepper spray and kicking each other into elevator shafts. Good times.

M - I laughed until I cried. Such a shame about BF4, I really enjoyed BC2 and BF3.

C - Really don't dig blogs that just drop a YouTube link and a whack of follow/like/subscribe info. Put some blog-meat on those bones.

? - This blog includes some awesome info about GTAVcheats. Speaking of, you may want to check out these cheats. While you're at it, maybe follow a link back to these cheats. I can highlight more text to redirect you to another website about cheats. Just please, click back, feed the machine. Cheeeeaaaatttsss....

? - Errr? This blog seems to be† wholesale lifted from a racing website. I mean, the poster is kind enough to link back to the source so it's not like she's trying to take credit for the infographic, but it still seems weird to just add a sentence to an infographic and post it like a blog. Maybe this person is related to the website in some way.

V - Two drunk guys playing video games. Why watch it on YouTube when I can just go over to my bro's place?

L - Corgis are only second to Eskies on the cuteness meter.




- Praise the Sun, no fail today!

Wrenchfarm










Hello everyone!†

I had a pretty cool thing happen over the weekend. I've been playing a lot of KRUNCH again recently, since it just released on Steam not too long ago, and had its first major update a few days ago. I've gotten quite good at the game, and in fact, on Thursday I actually took first place in the global leaderboards for overall score! The first place spot used to belong to Dirk Rugged, one of the game's developers.†



Dirk Rugged and Vieko (the other dev), actually follow me on Twitter, I assume because I talked about the game quite frequently back when it was first released in 2012. Well, Dirk found out I beat his high score, so he set up a stream over the weekend in an attempt to take back the title. It was incredibly close, and I thought he had me beat towards the end, but I still managed to rack up a few less deaths than him, so the title remains mine (for now!).†



It's been really neat being able to converse so often with the developers of one of my favorite indie games. It's sort of given me a feeling of connection with the game itself; it might not be my game, but I still feel sort of protective about it, which might sound weird. I really hope to see it become successful, although right now it's looking like there aren't many people playing it. The forums for the game have been rather quiet, and I know there are tons of gamers out there who could beat my high score in a flash if they gave the game a chance. I'm looking forward to the day where I can try to hone my skills even more and take back the first place spot from a future pro (or from Dirk again, because I'm sure he can beat me), because I know that I can get a much better score than I currently have if I really tried!

Anyway, I've said it before but I'll say it again: go buy KRUNCH! It's a really good game!



* - RedHeadPeak recounts a few games where he felt guilty about the actions he was required to do in order to beat the game. He's killed tons of innocent characters, because the games made him. Way to go, ya jerk!

* - SpielerDad gives us a history lesson on Barcode, an arcade that used to be in Times Square, and also mentions a few arcades that are still around NYC today.



A - CaimDark finds the term "tone deaf" to be annoying, as it relates to conversations about social issues. I've actually never even heard the term used that way before!

A - sonic 429 feels out of touch with the gaming scene. But as many commenters have said, it's not so much that he's out of touch, he just has different tastes than the "mainstream."

A - Oculin keeps flip-flopping with the rules of completion for his Backloggery.

P - Listen to thoughts about games, wrestling and more on episode 12 of the Error Machine Podcast!







F - Friday Night Fights on Nintendo + Bazookas!



R - Terry 309 reviews Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean, an underrated gem of the Gamecube.

N - It seems Tales of Hearts R is being localized for the Vita sometime this winter!







? - I, umm... I don't know what to say about this.







- bbain

FPotD
Photo Photo Photo










Alternative title: ďTropical Freezeís soundtrack is spectacularly brilliant.Ē

So yeah, itís that time of year again! Last Saturday was April 12th, which marked the end of my 23rd year of being. To be fair, Iíve never felt like I aged a day past 18 (as a result Iím one of those people perfectly capable of forgetting their own age), so the difference between being 22 on April 11th and 23 on April 12th is marginal at best. Regardless, I like birthdays: theyíre a nice chance to catch up with those friends I havenít had the opportunity to talk to in a while, and more in general I think itís a really special thing that every year for every person we set aside a day to celebrate that personís life/existence. I guess not everyone sees it like that anymore, but itís quite something if you think about it.

And then, of course, thereís the games! What would a gamerís birthday be without getting at least some new games to play, right? And I gotta say, this year I left with quite a haul!

Each year my friends ask me what they can get me for my birthday besides boring old money, and each year I send them a link to my Steam wishlist and tell them to go wild. And go wild they did! For my 23rd, my friends got me a total of four new games on Steam, namely:

- The Stanley Parable
- Luftrausers
- Contrast
- and a preorder for Child of Light

I pretty much have the best friends.

While Iím going to have to wait another two weeks before I can claim the last one (which is looking to be a beautiful fairytale-inspired JRPG), I already had some fun with the others. The Stanley Parable in particular is both fascinating and hilarious at the same time.



But thatís not all! My parents and family face the same dilemma my friends do, namely that they never know what to give me unless I supply some suggestions for video games. For my parents I tend to stick to console games rather than Steam, because honestly I donít trust them to operate Steamís gifting service. Since this was the first birthday on which I owned a 3DS, not to mention my handheld library was in desperate need of expanding, I received two new 3DS games:

- Fire Emblem Awakening
- and Kid Icarus Uprising

I pretty much have the best parents.

I havenít had all that much time to play the former yet, but itís looking to be great from what Iíve already seen. Iím playing on Hard Mode rather than Normal, and even in the first few battles I had to pull out all the stops to get everyone through in one piece. I mean, I could have had Frederick just clean up everything, but I know enough about Fire Emblem not to let the early pre-promote soak up all that juicy EXP. Apart from that, I really like how fighting battles as a team has become vital in this installment, rather than just being mildly convenient as it was in previous games. As for Kid Icarus, itís a fun little distraction to be played in short bursts. I can overcome the common complaint of handstrain (from having to hold the 3DS in one hand) by playing it lying down on my back: Iím just about chubby enough that Iíve got my own make-shift table everywhere I go. At any rate, the gameplay is quite fun, but more than anything I like the witty banter between Palutena and Pit. Palutena in particular is immediately likeable and likes to reference the original Kid Icarus and even Super Smash Bros.


- What? It could happen!

Finally, my parents gave me enough money to buy a game of my own accord, which I wasted not a second to use for:

- Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Platformers are far and away my favorite video games, and no one does it better than Nintendo. With DKC: Returns, Retro showed that they got the stuff, but by all accounts Tropical Freeze is looking to be even better. The one complaint I had with the original, namely that the roll move was mapped to shaking the Wiimote, has been fixed as long as you play with the WiiU Gamepad. The game looks gorgeous, is fun to play, and has some stellar boss fights. Most notably for me, however, is the music. Goddamn this soundtrack is fucking amazing. Iím a huge video game OST buff, but Tropical Freezeís music has a good chance of becoming one of my all-time favorites. Itís that good. Whereas Returnsí soundtrack tended to get a little same-y with only a few stand-out songs, Tropical Freeze hosts an incredibly wild variety of tunes with almost all of them being memorable. Lots of cheerful songs in particular, which go well with the beautiful backdrops of this game's levels. Mind you Iím only up to the third World by now, so I havenít even heard half of it yet. †

I would recommend almost all of the above games to anyone (Contrast is pretty niche and I canít comment on Child of Light yet), but if youíre into video game music you at least owe it to yourself to check David Wiseís latest out.

All in all, lots of great stuff this yearís April 12th!


- Dear King, can we have this as our national anthem now?

* - Not the most well-edited blog I've ever sauced, but I think this analysis of Assassin's Creed IV's protagonist deserves a look.

A - Commissartaco questions why we want the great games of yore remade so badly. Especially with FFVII, no remake will ever be good enough, right? †

P - Wanna listen to a bunch of Europeans talk about video games and things? Wait no longer, Menage a Toid is here again!

A - I'm not a drinker, but if you are just let taterchimp hook you up with his 5 best suggestions.




- David Wise put bitchin' metal in Donkey Kong, your argument is invalid.

F - PC FNF and a Spencer Hayes interview

E - PS FNF and the closing of the Atlanta CCP

R - A review for Ducktales Remastered. Good game, but why aren't you playing Tropical Freeze instead?

A - Edco submits some really nice art for the Link's Blacklist project, on Zelda enemies.











- ShadeOfLight
May you always find water and shade

FPotD
Photo Photo











So I got Titanfall for 360.

It was probably the first game I ever realized a notable difference in FPS on. I still vividly remember the first time I played on an HDTV in my house. It was Modern Warfare 2 and I just loaded into a map with the P90. Skip to now with Titanfall on 360 and the 30 FPS can kind of murder it for me. I still enjoy the stompy robots and parkour though but its amazing the difference in FPS can do for you.

Of course, I'm having loads of fun using the Stryder and dashing around with whatever appropriate weapon I can for the strategy. Maybe it's the 40mm, maybe its the Arc Cannon. But regardless the fun of running around walls, double jumping, and knowing I'm guaranteed stompy robot fun is a pleasure on this game. There's nothing quite like turning on my dash core, and suddenly coming from behind an enemy titan to reach in and grab the squishy pilot innards quietly existing inside.

Speaking of game, I just introduced my girlfriend to Prison Architect, that expensive early access game that's pretty much Prison Tycoon. Now that is a game that is keeping my attention. Suppressing riots, rolling out armed guards, building massive expansions, obtaining grants, and more for the sake of keeping society's grumbling class within my walls. Her prisons tend to be relatively calm. Something I struggle with. But my prison's do bounce back rather well if I do say so myself.

Well, I don't have such big Striderisms today. I've been taking a beating from my schedule and even today I called out because in my struggle to keep up between school and Spring Break work at the D, I forgot I had work at 11:15am as I became conscious of it at 11am. And that was after coming home from work at 11pm last night and waking up at 10am from a long day that had class at 8am.

So basically, I've been all sorts of messed up. I feel like I'm constantly a day behind. After having the weekend before off, I've been struggling to keep up with work everyday straight with no end until next week.

Here you go and have fun with robots?


* - Thumb Scar signals boosts and issue where podcasts may be in danger and Adam Corrola is going to spend his own money to defend the issue

* - Lexi Leigh shows us what the Diversity Lounge at PAX East was truly about


A - Remember the thrill of couch multiplayer? Pepperidge Farms remembers and so does fudjud

A - Foxengine describes new game concepts but literally describes aspects of Minecraft, Age of Empires, and straight up Monaco instead

A - Where does Fenriff begin and end the issue of critiquing a game on its merits as a whole?

A - Sound off! Is music in games important to you?

A - Kodu is flabbered by just how far some people will go to keep their games under wraps during development


C - Usedtabe's contest is ending this weekend so in on it nerds


R - Warhammer Quest for the appstore is fun and free according to webnym

T - The fiasco that is BF4 and understanding the fiasco


L - A FOE APPEARS

V - Pringles got high and made a video. A HIGH VIDEO.





~ Striderhoang

FPotD












Tiny, weak, little Wrenchisms today that will hopefully mutate into a swollen, pustulating, and radioactive blog in the near future.

NUCLEAR THRONE IS THE SHIT.

It's like someone inserted Super Meat Boy and Binding of Isaac into the Chernobyl reactor where the control rods where supposed to go and left them to cook. It's has the super fast action and instant re-playability of the former, and the procedural generated insanity and item stacking of the latter. It's still in early access (bugs and crashes are admittedly common) but it already tastes like greatness. Go get it.



* - A scrutinizing look at the latest Smash news from the Nintendo Direct. Spoilers, all the new stages are already banned.

* - Nintendo is pulling out all the stops. Here's hoping they can still find a way to turn the Wii U around.

A - Kumasimc waxes nostalgia for the old days of bulletin boards and text adventures.

A - That ol' backlog just keeps getting heavier.









-Wrenchfarm
FPotD
Photo Photo Photo










Hello everyone! I'll be covering three days this week: Friday, Saturday AND Sunday! MacManus has some important business to attend to for the time being, so I'll be taking over Saturdays indefinitely, and Crackity Jones was busy having a grand time at PAX East, so Sunday fell into my lap this week as well. Somehow, there were still less blogs to read than a normal Friday, which was odd... PAX weekends always tend to be super slow for some reason.†

And speaking of PAX, there were a ton of cool indie games that were shown which I'm really excited about. Hyper Light Drifter, Below, Child of Light and Gods Will be Watching all look like games I need to play! The Indie Megabooth always seems to be the coolest part of PAX to me, and I'm glad to see it still didn't fail to deliver this year!


This just looks all kinds of AMAZING!

Unfortunately, I'll have to keep these -isms short. I wanted to post this up before work, and I'm quickly running out of time! Anyway, I'll see you all next weekend!



* - Marche100 is working on a Destructoid-themed visual novel, which should be finished in a few weeks! Awesome!

* - StriderHoang offers some useful advice for navigating the harsh, unforgiving space of FTL with the new weapons from the Advanced Edition.



A - RedHeadPeak wonders if Link has what it takes to rule the world.

A - pk fire played a lot of indie games at PAX and highlights the best of the bunch!

A - SpielerDad has to be careful with who he talks about video games with at work... judgemental ears could be listening.







F - Friday Night Fights on Playstation + Sony love!

F - Friday Night Fights on Xbox + PAX jealousy!



$ - April 11th UK releases and bargains!







V - This video explores strong characters and sex appeal.



F - These spam posts about cheats are getting really old...



- bbain

FPotD
Photo Photo Photo