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I've installed Dark Souls 3 times. Twice uninstalled in disappointment. Both times I had not broken free of the first boss (Taurus Demon on the bridge) and had grown frustrated with my slow clunky character and constant punishing death. 

The game has a terrible initial hump but when you get over it.... the rabid fanbase starts to make a little sense.

Anyway! To the none spoiler tips to break on through to the Dark Souls side. (sorry)

1. Spend, spend, spend those souls at the beginning. Level up and don't hoard souls. Not at the beginning anyway. Level up until you can make a mistake or two in the area your'e in.

2. Stamina is very important, if you block an attack with a shield, your stamina will only crawl back up whilst your still holding the shield up! Lower that shield when you can and/or RUN AWAY or dodge.

2. The weight thingy on the option screen is a load of old rubbish. For example if you have a weight of 30.0, it really means you can only wear half at that and still be mobile. Anything more then 15.0 will make you flop around like angry seal. Sometimes that sexy armour will have to wait.

3. Forget those fucking skeletons (edit - explore and go the other way!) 

4. Don't worry about being human for now!

5. If you stumble across a blacksmith, choose your armour wisely and invest your souls in that, as levelling up wont cut it for long.

6. Be aware of your surrounding area ready to RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY! To somewhere you can take a nip of Estus flask heath tonic. Always have an escape route. If you're doing this because someone hit you that hard, consider just running away to level up and coming back with the intention to do some mischief. 

7. If an enemy is big, heavy and twice as big as you. Bonfire it before trying to stab it in the arse. A lot.

8. If you die in anger, especially after narrowly failing a boss or falling off a ledge in an area you don't know consider having a tiny short break (cup of tea or something). I cant tell you how many times I died trying to get back to where I was and getting wiped out by something I've killed a hundred times before!

(optional 9.) Don't be so proud, read a guide if you're really stumped or annoyed, or have a substantial break. Might be worth looking up the Drake Sword as its very handy at the beginning (don't rely on it getting you through the game though).

(optional 10 for pc) Mod it with DSFix. If the game looks small, jerky and letterboxed disable the AA in the in-game options. Oh and use a control pad!

Last note, if you do lose a decent amount of souls, sometimes you'll be surprised how quickly you can farm the same amount back!

I can explain my own personal hump and the reasons for giving up on it twice.

After you stop dying, an wasting souls in anger and get a little better at the game you branch out into the unknown. This will no doubt end in 'orrible death when you come across some sod, path or trap. But you're prepared for this as its your choice.  You make sure you have nothing to lose. When you choose to branch out, to dash/careful clearing to the next bonfire (you hope) its on you and its both exciting and terrifying. But at the beginning there is no safe spot. You're progress is slower then a snail, everything kills you and your equipment is like wielding a chipmunk on a stick. 

If you can power through a incredibly tough beginning, take note of the map design that rewards exploration you'll find Dark Souls extremely rewarding.








Broken Age is a hand crafted beauty.

It also reminds me of Machinarium with witty Schafer dialogue, which is great. I loved Machinarium! 

What Broken Age is not is an old school adventure game and if I had not enjoyed the documentary this might well have narked me into the realm of displeasure. 

I personally wanted a modern version of what a point and click game would be today if it had been allowed to evolve. What I'm getting at here is greater choice. Meaningful choice in dialogue, multiple puzzle solution with an emphasis on none repeating dialogue, even bizarre puzzles much like talking to the shrunken head in your inventory in the wonderful Monkey Island. 

Although in retrospect its obvious the evolution of the point and click game would be what we have today, the removal of verbs and the removal of the problems you generally get with point and click games (yes... yes, the brute forced clicking of puzzles into submission and the obvious hardships of making multiple puzzles/dialogue trees that would take forever to set right in pre-production).

Now, none of this has damped my pleasure of the game. Its excellent and I don't think Broken Age could ever had lived up to the kickstarter hype we all contributed too. 

Really what I'm asking is... was this the game we all wanted?

I'm not displeased with the kickstarter in the slightest, nor did I expect a reinvention of the genre. I am content that it just might kick off a major revisit to a genre I truly love THEN we'd get the true next generation of adventure games.








I do enjoy the bizarre storm of comments for the Beyond Two Souls review, which has lead me to believe some people don't know what a review actually is.

What is the fascination with attributing pleasing numbers to something you may have not have even played? Why does this affect you so?

A review is not gospel. It is not anything other then a rough guide. A persons opinion, with stated fact and if you're lucky you might get to know that humans tastes behind the writing, get a real sense of what that person may or may not personally enjoy. The best reviews are honest to that reviewer.

I tend to try demo's, take a opinion from more then one source, or more importantly gravitate toward the things I enjoy. I'm me and I know what me likes! I know I'll like Disgaea regardless if its a 8 or a 10. If a few publications had lower scores and honest reasons (and genuine flaws) as to why its only a 6... I might dig a little deeper. Find out what it is people don't like. Judge it on what I want from the game.

How many of us enjoy games nobody else does? I liked Dark Void, I don't have the willpower to explain why, but it was fun little game and it was exactly what I expected. I wouldn't go around demanding everyone I know must play it. What I'm getting at here is Europa Universalis IV isn't a 10 out of 10 for everyone!

A review is incredibly handy for when a Sim City comes out. I mean who knew that would be such a bloody mess. Saved me money there. If you love passive gaming experiences, this review may at the most, make you consider your purchase, or have a little ying to other yanging reviews. Information is power and more detailed opinions cannot hurt the consumer and to help navigate what you may or may not enjoy.

Really what I'm trying to say is, please, lay off the "here comes the shitstorm" popcorn gifs.
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The Citizen Kane of Gaming is Pong. Now fuck off.




What do you mean I have to write more. Sigh. Fine.

its completely mad to keep referencing the golden age of film to a completely different medium.

When gaming makes the history books there would be no Citizen Kane. You would have a movement, or selection of pieces which tie into a generation of consoles. A natural progression of a theme. It wasn't just Mario or Sonic. It was Mr Nutz, Zool... and many many others, a contribution of developers. Hell, I suspect the Snes, megadrive rivalry could be considered the golden age.

One day in the future whilst we have our oculus rift playboy devices we'll look back at what we consider to be our own personal Citizen Kane game. But gaming is a very different beast. 

Really the point I'm getting at is games is its own art. Generally a team game which feeds off modern technology, modern ideas, trailblazer's... a whole movement. A Citizen Kane moment will not happen. Its a buzzword lazy Journalists piss out as an explanation shortcut.

Is pong the Citizen Kane of gaming... yer.. why not. Was made in 1972, hugely popular, was the birth of gaming, first successful game, and hey... was copied over and over. The birth of popular gaming and the birth of a new medium. Why not indeed. Now I'll fuck off.


Edit - Thank you for the excellent comments. Inspired me to write a better piece and and to think it through.








I've backed a load of Kickstarters at this point. I'm a huge fan of backing a team directly. Huge fan of freeing teams from creative blockers. Huge fan of funding my personal niche. 

I love the Neverhood.

So why did I pull out of the Kickstarter. Mostly gut feeling. I'd seen a fair few Kickstarters I wanted to fund on paper but something screamed no (mostly Mr Wallet of Wallet Hall). I'd never pulled out of a Kickstarter before.. was surprisingly easy to do.

Now I've received a fair few update emails from the Armikrog team (every day pretty much) and the previous two bothered me slightly. Directly begging the backers to put in more money and asking us to Blitz facebook. On one hand I understand the promotion and desire to create this game. On the other hand... piss off. I already coughed up and I'm not going to bother anyone on facebook. That's what Candy Crush Saga is for.


But this didn't really bother me. It's a gut feeling. Tennapel's personal beliefs didn't change my opinion. The feel of the Kickstarter wasn't for me. Maybe it was the email updates tone in general... I'm not sure. What I am sure of is that I don't feel the need to back this project.

Maybe someone smarter then me can tell me why I feel the way I do.








Mr Jeremy Pickles buys Footmall 2012.

Next year Jeremy buys Footmall 2013 and sells last years version to contribute towards to this miraculous purchase event. Jeremy would not have done this without selling. He just might have felt narked at buying the same game with a superficial update, but at a lesser cost...

Wee Tiny Tim buys a game he could not have afforded at full price. Mother has a crippling addiction to faberge eggs and money is tight. One day Wee Tiny Tim will have a steady income (if he survives the TB) and there is a good chance he will buy his games new. He might even buy Footmall 2015.

Two sets of long term customer (in one poor example) that the publishers actively want to eradicate. 

Then there are those who are on the fence with games or genres that dont immediately appeal to them. But at a lower cost they might take a punt on something out of their comfort zone, who knows, they might even lend it to a friend. This epiphany might lead to a brand new purchase. Another group alienated by consumer mistrust and publisher abuse of power.

After this new generation dies will the servers remain? Can we still acquire and play our old games when the xbollox and ps4 winds down. When that hard drive dies can I reacquire my favoured games? Will I have to re-buy everything again? Would it be a total arse to lend a game to a friend... Can I lend? Why is the customer always wrong, is it because the publishers can get away with practices no other entertainment medium can get away with? If so is this because the mainstream media still to this day treats gaming with sneering contempt. A hobby for the nerds and socially awkward. 

Are we going to sleepwalk into a console wide SimCity launch with transparent lies so perfectly outrageous future historians will call this the brown age of console gaming.

Publishers are so short term is completely amazes me they got the job in the first place. All they see are walking cash-cows and I hope the milk runs dry... sour.... no... dry.

Anyway... lets finish on some buzz-words. Exclusive! To your console only! No-one else can play YOUR games! Dont let that POOR play YOUR games that you BOUGHT! SYSTEM EXCLUSIVITY FOR YOUR TWATTING CONSOLE ONLY! terms and conditions apply.

Disclaimer - Jeremy Pickles doesn't even like Footmall.