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Cblogs of 03/14/14 and bbainisms


Dark Souls II is upon us. It's all I've been playing or thinking about the past few days. As some of you reading this won't have gotten a chance to play it yet, I'll try to give my thoughts on the game without any spoilers. 

The very first thing I did upon starting up the game was turn around (in the hopes of exploring the first area fully), walk forward a few steps, and immediately fall to my death. It's very possible that I hold the record for quickest first death in Dark Souls II, because I died at the first possible opportunity. So clearly, we were off to a great start!

Scarritt thinks my character looks like Theoden, only with short, red hair.

I haven't beat the game yet. Currently, I'm at soul level 80, with about ten or so bosses defeated, and only two major goals accomplished. So far, I've managed to accidentally kill one important NPC (the one who trades you cool weapons for boss's souls, so I'm really sad about this!). I've been invaded a few times, but only when covenants are concerned. I've also been summoned to other peoples' worlds involuntarily, and must fight them and the enemies of their world. I don't think that was something you could do in Dark Souls, was it? I never really fully explored all the covenants, so I'm not sure. It's like reverse invasion, very strange. 

So far, I haven't come across any truly infuriating boss fights. I think at most, I've had to retry a boss fight maybe ten times before beating them. There have been plenty of challenging fights, but nothing too crazy yet. Nothing in the vein of Ornstein & Smough, or the Maneaters... or maybe I'm just a seasoned Souls player now?

There are doubtless a ton of secrets I haven't discovered. After finding out about the Great Hollow in Dark Souls, I've been spending a lot of time attacking walls to see if they're actually entrances. I've also been spending a lot of time attacking chests to see if they're actually mimics. You never know!

As far as changes in game mechanics go, I've noticed the following:

The Good
- Health regeneration has been altered significantly. You still have your Estus Flask and healing miracles from Dark Souls, but now you also have Lifegems, which are one-time use items similar to the Moon Grass from Demon's Souls. Also, you can no longer kindle bonfires, but you can find estus flask shards which can be used to upgrade your flask. I can't decide if this makes things easier or harder, but personally I'm enjoying the change. 
- Every time you die, you lose a little bit more health. It'll stop dropping once you're at half health, and you can start the cycle over by returning to human form. I think the only way to return to human form is to use an effigy. Defeating bosses no longer grants you humanity. I do kinda wish beating bosses still gave you humanity, but the gradual health loss is an interesting idea. You'll be extra careful not to be too reckless! 
- Fast travel is available from the start of the game. You can travel between any bonfire that you light. It's a much needed time saver. 

The Bad
- It seems as though certain areas become pointless to explore depending on which routes you take. There are sometimes multiple routes which lead to the same place, and choosing one route means you won't have to explore the other route (unless you want to). I could be wrong about this, and there could be some point to every area in the game, maybe I just haven't found it yet. But I was kinda sad when I cleared out an area boss and found myself back at an area I'd already explored, without having found a new key or other useful item. It seemed like every area in Dark Souls was either necessary or secret (Painted World, Ash Lake), and I kinda preferred it that way.
- Killed enemies no longer flop around on the ground and drag along with you as you walk. I honestly kind of miss this, it was very silly but also charming in a way.

The Indifferent
- Rather than requiring you to find specific items, such as the lantern or sun maggot, to light up dark areas, Dark Souls II gives you torches. You can light these at bonfires and use them to light sconces around the world. This will make areas much brighter, but it never seems to be absolutely necessary. So far, I haven't encountered any areas as dark as the Tomb of the Giants. Personally, I never bother with torches. 
- I haven't completely figured out the weapon upgrade system yet. There are titanite shards like in Dark Souls, but I haven't figured out how to add elements. There seem to be elemental stones you'll use, kinda like in Demon's Souls, but I don't know who to give them to yet. I found a second blacksmith, but he's not being very helpful... 

Anyway, I'm gonna get back to playing the game. See you all next week!

* - Wrenchfarm reviews Titanfall. There's giant robots in it, so of course he loves it!

* - emuishere gets all academic with the Pokemon series, examining how intertextuality and changing mechanics have shaped the games.

A - Thumb Scar relates his trip to some local gaming stores, discussing the customers, clerks and games he found.

A - Xbit85 lists his 5 most anticipated Xbox One games.

F - Friday Night Fights on Playstation + Dark Souls II changes!

S - nanashi had a really great day, during which he overcame some of his social anxiety.

T - OpiumHerz thinks Titanfall might be exactly what the FPS genre needs, since it's trying something new while still relying on the usual FPS mechanics.

T - Gray Time recommends The Suffering for all those survival horror fans out there.

R - Terry 309 reviews the underrated Hyperzone, a game by HAL Laboratory.

R - General Mills steps away from cereal for a moment to review Danganronpa.

P - Capitalistpig previews Moebius, a new game by Jane Jensen.

V - Mikki Saturn discusses Mega Man X with a friend.

$ - March 14th UK releases and bargains!

R - Lord Spencer has compiled a list of the SNES games he's reviewed so far.

V - The Bowels of Trogdor summarizes Nintendo's current situation with a quote from Grumpier Old Men.

No fails today! Huzzah!

- bbain

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About CblogRecapsone of us since 11:27 PM on 07.02.2008

About Cblog Recaps

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Current "Bloggers Wanted" assignment
Fake it until you make it

This month's bloggers wanted prompt is something we stole. You see, by stealing this idea, you have no idea how truly inept I actually am. By pretending to know what I'm doing, I have clearly used my ill-gotten status to meet such big-time celebrities as Darlington Woolie "Pie Stealer" Madden or Sara from [insert pixel indie game studio here].

This month's bloggers wanted was inspired by the internal enjoyment we had at reading TheBlondeBass' promoted blog on faking conversational anime knowledge. And now it seems as good a time as ever to pretend to know what's going on since the new Fate/Grand Order game launched and qtoid is talking about it. I am a big fan of the character design of Artoria in the blue dress, or Artoria in the suit, or Artoria in the red dress. But seriously, we enjoyed the format so much that we want to ask the community for their own ideas at faking it at all sorts of things.

But this prompt is not just for anime, of course. The video game industry is fractured with all sorts of niche interests that only an insane rich person with no job could realistically know everything about. This month's bloggers wanted is about taking a subject you want to offer advice on faking knowledge about in order to help the greater community, for better or for worse. If this doesn't sound serious, don't worry, you're not supposed to take it seriously. You don't have to be an expert in whatever you talk about any more than Bass is an expert in anime.

I seriously don't know if that was a compliment or an insult.

Offer advice on anything you can expand your mind on. Want to help people get into character action games? The more Ss you put into its grading system, the cooler it is! Want to convince people to get into the Neptunia series? Just say "Nep-Nep!" and you're all set to convince people of your technical knowledge! Can you get someone into RTS game by just talking about your APM? Someone's bound to believe some random technical jargon you made up!

To get started, start a blog and title it "Faking it: [your blog title here]." Then you can be as serious or facetious as you want as you provide advice on any number of things: learning how to play fighting games, trying a long-running franchise you've probably neglected, or even explaining a game's timeline. Heck, you can probably seriously try on that last one and we still wouldn't believe you.

Good luck this month. Only true cowards rely on facts. Real heroes pretend to know what they're doing!

Current Community Contests
PREPARE TO CONTEST - The Master Gaming List Birthday Giveaway!

Good Morning/Evening/Yesterday, my Friends/Robots/INSERT WAIFU HERE,

More or less a week ago, the Master Gaming List turned one year old. I had a speech prepared, but the blog editor ate it four or five times over the last few days, so I'm kind of winging it now.

Despite all of the threatening and cajoling I initially made to get you all on the list, I never imagined I'd still be adding names a year later (and by "you all", I mostly mean GajKnight). It was kind of a ridiculous undertaking at first, trying to make a semi-permanent, easily-updatable list of everyone's contact info. I'm not even sure what everyone was being hyped over last year that got me to do this.

That said, I'm glad it came together, and this list has lead to many other things for me on Destructoid; whether it was me becoming our laziest, cuddliest Community Manager, or our laziest, cuddliest Reviews-type-person, I have always enjoyed the full love and support of this community.

In thanks, and with the assistance of quite a few others, I've gathered up a number of game keys to give away to you all.

The Contest

I've never run a contest before, so let's keep things simple. Write me a haiku about your favorite game.


1. The haiku must not include the title of the game.

2. I will accept any other form of structured poetry if you are unable to haiku but can iambic pantameter (you monster).

3. Please state what key you are going for, and a backup if that one is taken (admittedly, it's quantity over variety here)

4. The tentative end date of the contest will be August 13th, and will be bumped at least once during that time.

Available Keys

-Aporia: Beyond The Valley (Multiple Keys)
-The Witness
-Citadel: Forged With Fire (Multiple Keys)

Thank you to all 282 of you who have made the Master List a successful project over the past year! I will continue updating it into the forseeable future.

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