I'm just somebody who likes most forms of art, trying new things, learning about the world... and of course, playing videogames. Gaming since 1991, not quite on the indie movement but not on the mainstream either, always chasing for games that try something new, have good stories or are just fun. Not really into online gaming, but always ready for some split-screen coop or competitive session, just like old times on the SNES.
At 50 hours logged in, I think it is finally time to let Dragon’s Dogma to rest for a while. I’m currently standing in front of Black Bitter Sanctum, prepared to challenge Daimon’s second form and put an end to the series of grueling challenges dispensed by the expansion’s new area.
It seems like a long time ago that Grigori fell to the Arisen’s blade, and even less that the Seneschal offered him control over creation, only to find himself repeating the endless chain of death and rebirth that looms over Gransys.
He has traveled far and wide, from the haunted forest of the Witchwood to the eerie depths of the Catacombs, the dizzying heights of the Soulflayer Canyon, and the forsaken secrets of the Watergod’s Altar.
From humble beginnings routing Goblin camps and Harpies nests, he’s grown strong enough to do grueling battle with Griffons and Dragon’s at the top of skyward fortresses, all by the side of his trusted companions, shaping them onto great warriors and sorcerers of their own right.
He’s met a long list of people: some cheery, others gloom, a few naive and many more conniving, but all of them an important part of his travels through the land of Gransys.
Once a crude warrior, shield in hand and sword on the other, he’s dabbled on the path of the Berserk, slicing foes through means of heavy two handed swords, finally settling himself along the path of the Mystic Knight, managing both Light and Shadow as tools for dealing justice among the wicked.
Of course, not everything is battle in the life of man: he’s romanced a Captain from a foreign land, a deeply caring childhood friend and a witty traveling merchant, spent a one night stand with the young but liberal Duchess of the land, and even adopted a lonely apprentice witch into his care.
But, alas, every story has an end, even one that’s bound to repeat itself endlessly, and today marks the final step on the Arisen’s journey: decked in mismatched armor, scavenged and purified from the corruption of the macabre Bitter Black Isle, Dragonforged Shield and Mace in hand; beaten, broken and scarred from the trials before, low on supplies but with a strong heart and even more powerful will, he steps before his greatest challenge.
The clash of steel resonates trough the Rift, in symphony with that of many other Arisen’s, each on its own dimension, with a tale of his or her own to tell.
Hopefully, in time, a new Arisen will be compelled to face his destiny, ready to inspire a new tale to weave onto the Dragon’s Dogma, but for now, this one has earned his very well deserved rest. Thanks for Reading!
Around 1995, our only computer at home was an old black and white monitor DOS running machine (don't know the specs, but it was kinda old for the time), which I used to fool around with on Banner Maker and Dangerous Dave... until during a trip to the mall, where they sold this demo floppies with four shareware games on each of them for around 3 dollars. One had an awesome cover that immediately gripped my attention: a green soldier, fighting against demons on a red skied battlefield (along with Duke Nukem -the side scrolling one- and... Commander Keen I think?) which promptly ended in my hands, being fiddled with on the road home.
This one. I'm not sure a better video game cover exists to this day.
After asking my dad to install it, the command C://Run/Doom/Doom.exe was typed... and I wasn't ready for what came afterward. After two years of playing only Super Mario World and Bart's Nightmare, there was this "full" 3D game with the coolest soundtrack ever... scaring me to hell. I was around 8 years old at the time, so the first Imp up on the alcove of E1M1 appeared that same day again on my nightmares, not to say the sudden Pinky Demon on E1M3. However, I was hooked. After struggling for a couple days, the shareware demo was over -on "I'm Too Young To Die", as the other skill levels where too much for me- and a screen showing the rest of the locked game, asking for payment. Unable to convince my parents to buy it for me, as we had no Internet and asking for the full game on floppies was beyond expensive at the time, my Doom adventures ended for a time. That is, until one day, browsing through Blockbuster, there was this red colored SNES cartridge with a very familiar cover! I rented it weekly until finishing both The Shores of Hell and Inferno (checking it now, the port was a disaster, but damn I played the hack of it when younger).
Also, it stealthily put me on the way to becoming a metalhead
Anyway, time continued its flown and during junior high school, a relative got me a DVD -or was it a CD?- chock full of emulators and games, including... Doom 2! Heretic! Duke Nukem 3D! Quake!. Such a happy summer that one was, switching from classic FPS -or Doom clones as they were called at the time- to 2D games from consoles unknown to me (Contra: Hard Corps, Shining Force, Rondo of Blood). But the best was a big revelation that arrived while searching the files: people were making their own levels for Doom!? Was that even possible?. Thankfully, this same relative had bough a sweet "Windows XP capable" (so naive and tech impaired we were at that time...) with 56K Internet access, that promptly ended being used to surf Doomworld (a now defunct Spanish Doom related portal) and its community, downloading the Master Levels and reading tutorials on how to create my own maps. My first attempt was a "mod" consisting of sprites and sounds ripped from other works, and a rough Grenade Launcher modification for the Plasma Gun that took a lot of time to get right, along with around five terrible levels and an attempt at a "story" modification of the files, which sadly has been lost tom time -Hell Spawn was it called, if my memory serves me right. I even had the gall to send my second work to a map making contest! It wasn't that bad this time, but not really up to competition level (for those curious enough, here's a link-be warned, it's a truly n0obish creation-).
Told you it wasn't pretty. Though it is kinda fun if not taken to seriously
Along this time, because I only had access to the computer on Saturdays when we visited my grandmother, surprising news found me while browsing a magazine shelf: Doom 3 was in the works, and the screenshots were mind blowing! It was like watching a movie, way ahead of anything else at the time. I collected every related info about it, and was eager to get my hands on it... until the sad truth that I needed to update my machine in order to play it. A LOT. Again, unable to convince my family to get money for it, and no YouTube to watch it at the time, I ended up forgetting about about it -or really, putting it on the back burner waiting for the fist chance to experience it-. That time came a few years later, after getting a new computer as an eighteenth birthday present. I loved it. Not more that the original, but enough to fulfill my expectations. Ran through it on every skill level, and it's expansion. Got on arguments with my friends about why it was way better than Half Life 2 -IT IS. Seriously, what do you prefer: smashing crates with a crownbar and picking up debris like a construction worker, or fighting hordes of demons on the surface of Hell itself with a double barreled shotgun? Discussion ended.
Though it did get a Gravity Gun on the expansion... not that it was of much help against a HellKnight
A lot has happened since then. Doom is not as popular as it once was: few maps are made, megawads are things of the past, source ports are slowly stopping to get upgrades, Skulltag serves are down... but, almost fifteen years after it all began, here I'm holding the BFG Edition on my hands, an HD TV plugged in and a good pair of headphones around my head, getting ready to go back in time once again to the surface of Phobos and beyond Hell. And I couldn't be happier about it.
Have you guys/girls ever played Pump It Up? Its’ a Korean clone of Dance Dance Revolution that’s way more popular here in Mexico than the former, among some of the reasons is the use of five steps instead of four, and a more diverse song collection –ranging from K-pop to Techno, passing through classical music remixes and heavy metal, along with ska, salsa and much more-.
That's a fairly old machine, the Nx -circa 2009-
Well, I began to play around eight years ago during my first year in high school, during a trip to the mall with my friends, in which some of then decided to enter and see Revenge Of The Sith -or something like that-, which me and a friend (I’ll call him Neo) had already seen before.
Not wanting to spend money again on it, we decided to goof around the arcade while the rest of the group entered the cinema, and went almost directly to the House Of The Dead 2 cabinet, giving a passing glance to “one of those new dancing machines” that were starting to pop-up everywhere.
After some coins (we got to Magician on a credit I think), the taunt surged: “Why don’t you try the dancing one?” to which I answered “I’ll go if you also get on it... if people are going to laugh at least let’s give them double the show” or something like that.
So, we got up and fumbled around the steps –total failure, of course- and left it after losing on the third song. Thinking “Alright, that was ok… never doing that again, of course” we left… to return with a bunch of more coins ready to try until passing at least one credit without the machine sending us to Game Over.
Imagine this, but with nothing being hit and a cacophony of hard-steps
And so it began our long adventure into Pump It Up: after leaving school, we would go to a mall close to the school which had a semi-hidden machine in which to practice without being snarked by the Pro community that played on more well-known arcades.
Coins went and, after a few months, we were getting enough confidence to play with a crowd, scaling from Hard to Crazy, and then to Doubles and Nightmare…
One of my favorite memories is when suddenly the rest of the class found I played by accident, and cheered on me like I was some kind of Pro or something, after which immediately the class clown proceeded to ridicule jumping and fumbling on the steps (I’m around 80 kilograms, so not exactly a graceful sight to behold sweating like a pig while trying to step on fast notes like they were cockroaches, ha-ha), only to be given the cold shoulder by them –infantile I know, but damn it felt good to my teen self-.
Man, do I like "Love is a Danger Zone 2", even if I can pass it on hard at most
Anyway, time passed and Neo moved out of the city, so I ended up without a partner with whom to practice, and ended up quitting for a good chunk of time, until recently due to deciding to get rid of some weight and get a healthier life-style in general, going back to that old arcade –still working due to being in front of the biggest high school of the city- where the machine still stand, mostly forgotten but still well maintained by the owners… so now, I’m the “grandpa” that goes to play every now and then -24 years now, against 16 years olds… I feel weird, ha-ha, but don’t dig Gyms due to the absolutely awful music played in all I’ve gone to-.
Anyway, it felt good going back to that time, even if my level dropped from playing Lv. 18 songs one after another to Lv.13’s with breaks between… and just wanted to share the nostalgia for some reason XD Thanks for reading!
Just finished (at last!) Dark Souls this weekend, at 44 hours of well spent playtime (Link The Fire ending, of course), and just wanted to share some last thoughts on the matter, without any particular order.
Fifteen of this hours where spent just getting to the fist bell, no joke
Gwyn's fight was highly memorable, I loved how From Software managed the entire setting: enter the fog, and there he is, the mad king running at you with the last of the world's flame on his sword, no dialogue, no cutscenes, just two lonely souls locked on in combat, the clash of swords echoing through a forsaken cave in the middle of nowhere, while a sad and slow piano piece encompasses what is not a epic clash of legends, just the shell of a former great and noble man passing the torch onto the would be follower of a tragic, but necessary sacrifice (unless you take the dark ending path, that is).
My progression: Knight set, Elite Knight set, Silver Knight set and Black Knight set... I see a pattern there...
The combat system is definitively the highlight of the game: managing your stamina is a must, and a whole game on itself of balance between hits, standing on the safety of a shield or letting it recharge, taking risks for the sake of getting another hit off, in fact it is really hard to get back to Skyrim after witnessing this interesting system =/
Firelink Shrine... where things begin and end (closely at least)
Shouldn't Dark Souls be classified as survival horror? The whole setting was pretty gloom, not unlike a medieval Silent Hill, every NPC was either borderline psychopatic or suicidal, or most of time, in a state of "accepted despair" if that has any meaning, even the joyful ones don't end well (shine on, Solaire Of Astora, if not for you I'll still be on Anor Londo).
If I had to select an overall theme for my experience with the game it definitively would be: Duty, every minute of the game felt to me as the last hours of someone who knows what he has to do, even if that means putting and end to his existence for the benefit of others (the exact same feeling of the barn scene at the end of Red Dead Redemption, now that I think of it), likely because of the lack of heroic music even during fights (which on bosses is swapped for rapid beating symphonies meant to put you more nervous, I'm sure).
Wasted my embers experimenting, as you can surely see, hehe
Well, that should be it, now to scourge the net in search of the answer to the meaning of the mysterious pendant, and the supposed secret boss of Duke's Archive's(did anyone else think that area was creepy? It has a strange feeling to it...). Thanks for reading!