So letís say that youíre a person who recently beat Dark Souls. Whatís next? There are a lot of great games out there, but what if you crave the same kind of challenge that that game gave you? What if you want to have your ass kicked some more? Play it again, you say? Fair point, but Iíll probably do that later.
I think I found it, though. What do you do? You devote 3 bucks of your hard-earned Steam Trading Card money to buying La-Mulana.
And thatís exactly what I did!
I already played a bit of this game when it was still the free version, but I never got far. Mostly, that was because the free game was beyond cryptic. Nothing was explained, up to and including the most basic of gameplay elements. It took me about 10 minutes, and then I was completely stuck. I dicked around for about an hour or so before I decided that I really was irreparably stuck, and I havenít touched the game since.
Fortunately, the Steam version is MUCH more accessible. You get regular in-game e-mails with tips on how to progress, and there are steam videos and manuals explaining how to actually play the damn game. It goes without saying that helps a ton. Being able to take Steam screenshots of tips rather than having to write everything down is also very useful. Youíll still get stuck regularly, but at least youíll get stuck because of a puzzle and not because you didnít realize that you have to do certain things in the menu before you can perform basic functions like reading stone tablets.
I still maintain that this game isnít particularly difficult (not yet at least), itís just very very cryptic. You will be stumped by how the hell youíre supposed to get that treasure chest to open much more often than youíll feel overwhelmed by the enemies. Regardless, Iím liking it a lot more than when I played it the first time, and I got a lot further too. By now Iíve already reached and beat the first boss. Again, reaching the boss (that is, getting it to appear) is much more difficult than actually beating him, but itís all good. La-Mulana definitely has a different kind of challenge than Dark Souls did, but Iím starting to appreciate it more and more.
Iím not yet sure that Iíll be able to beat the game without outside help, but Iíll be damned if I donít give it a fair shot.
Villains in all media, not just video games, can end up being a dime a dozen. Far too often, a villain's motives boil down to "I am a bad, and so I do bad things. Fear me." While this format has worked for countless stories, at this point in my life (the ripe old age of 20) I‚Äôve become jaded and grumpy, finding myself rolling my eyes when I see yet another antagonist wreaking havoc with no background or reasoning presented as to why they‚Äôre being such a butthole.
What‚Äôs far more interesting to me is when a villain‚Äôs motives or actions come across as justified, perhaps leaving you rooting for them to defeat the protagonist [insert Elder God Tier villain meme here].
My favorite example of this would be Meruem from the Chimera Ant arc of Hunter x Hunter. While he doesn‚Äôt necessarily fit the exact mold I laid out above, he‚Äôs easily one of the most dynamic and curious villains I‚Äôve ever come across. For the sake of not spoiling what is perhaps one of the most exciting, action-packed, and tear-inducing arcs in anime history, I won‚Äôt delve into the details of what makes Meruem so great. Instead I encourage anyone who hasn‚Äôt seen Hunter x Hunter to set aside some time and plow through the series. Really, it‚Äôs that good.
But hey, that‚Äôs just how I feel. I‚Äôm sure there are folks out there who prefer their villains to be simple. If I ever met one of these theoretical people I might have a panic attack, but I‚Äôll deal with that should the time come. I‚Äôm sure after some deep breaths we would get along. Maybe we could even snuggle, should my husband allow such an event to transpire.
All said and done, we arrive at the topic of this month‚Äôs Bloggers Wanted: Villains that did nothing wrong. Due to communication errors, this entry in the hallowed halls of Bloggers Wanted is a tad late. Regardless, all you have to do is head over to the Community Blog section of the site, and whip up a Cblog about a villain who you feel was secretly the good guy all along.
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