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PvPPY avatar 12:08 PM on 05.20.2010  (server time)
Runs In The Family: two-handing a dull sword is no way to go through life, son

True story: I did it with a real hottie ten years ago.
How does this affect you?

Well, it has to do with that five foot long sword sticking out of the face of your character in Demon's Souls. It's my son who did that and I trip balls every time I think too hard about that. Ten years ago the PS2 was barely a glimmer in Sony's eye and a PlayStation couldn't even keep surface textures lined up with the rectangles they were sitting on.

Hell, there were only three Armored Core games and just one rehash of the original game's storyline.


Now I'm watching as my son's character leaps from the top of a castle wall in a scene that looks as good as my TV being a window to another reality. If I took a time machine 11 years back and kidnapped my past self for a moment to show this shit off it would blow his mind so badly I can't even imagine it.

Back in reality - closer anyway - Tommy's knight rolls to avoid the shock of a hard landing and holds off on his strike in order to ensure that his attack counts as a backstab against the player-controlled phantom come to kill him. The attack animation is brutal, a devastating looking hit to the kidneys followed by a smash on the back of the head that follows the phantom all the way to the ground. The invader recovers and rolls away to avoid damage before using a healing item, but this is a pretty standard move and Tommy follows up on the savage beating with a Soul Ray spell that strikes as his foe rises to his feet.


I told my son not to get started with this game because it was out of his league and he gets frustrated easily. He still wanted to because us big kids were all playing it, so he made a save. The first two weeks of attempts at the wall of Broletaria* castle where the game begins were made of rage and tears. Demon's Souls doesn't go easy on someone just because they're a little boy. It doesn't care that the cool characters in TV and movies never use shields. Tommy's one to play games 75% in his imagination and then sort of relate that to what's happening on the console... made-up rules, character stories and interaction, things he has to do that are his "style" like he has to pick up EVERY weapon in a RPG or use specific tactics or weapons that are more "cool" to him than others. Anybody not taking this game on its own terms though is going to be given the most uncertain "no" in the history of humanity. As many times as it sent him back to the start my kid was willing to get back up (sometimes after a time-out for throwing a fit) and try it just once more.


I had only seen him persevere in stuff like this one time before. I came home from work to find him in the thick of a boss battle - winning - in Armored Core 4A. The same fight I had to try a handful of times and change my build pretty significantly to pull that one off... my first reaction was just "what the hell" and for a while what I was seeing was so impossible as far as I was concerned that I had to take a few seconds to get a grip on it. Armored Core is one of my favorite game series and seeing him pwning it was awesome.

Since then, we've become good buddies in Borderlands, Lost Planet 2, and too infrequently Warhawk. We like the same level of planning and teamwork (e.g. none). He's a decent shot, knows to keep his head down, and good for the occasional laugh riot with stuff like "why is everyone always trying to break my wonderful robot?" or "fine. you can drive the sweet jeep I spawn." ... among the people I've played with I'm the only one who has a feel for Borderlands' odd vehicle steering, he's an awful driver.

We've even got a special brofist we do, with a big wind-up and then we go "meh" and drop it. Sometimes I forget we do that and go for a real one and he does that. It's never not funny.

* just made that up!

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