SO I PLAYED BLOODBORNE TODAY.

Sooooooooooooo I played Bloodborne today and was taken aback at the sheer breakneck speed of the combat in comparison to Dark Souls. The game was designed around getting stuck into combat but also careful consideration of surroundings and enemy placement. I was caught out a few times by the tightness of the areas and the consideration of space within a combat scenario. You can tell that every encounter is very deliberate with it’s placement and pacing. 

Something to also note is the art design, I was kinda disappointed with Dark Souls 2 in regard to the design and art in comparison to the previous two Souls titles, but the well considered, thoughtful and truly terrible enemy design is back. While I was playing I got ambushed by Crows with broken wings, hobbling to get a piece of me. It was then I thought to myself.

"Damn. Hidetaka Miyazaki is fucking BACK."

The guns in the game are fine and work as a decent stun for when enemies are crowding you to execute them in one sweep. I was also impressed by the different weapon forms and switching, it reminded me of the Switch Axe from Monster Hunter. In terms of pacing the combat is still incredibly tight and the dash works surprisingly well. Your stamina bar gets refilled quite quickly as an adjustment for the faster pace of the game and of course doesn’t feel broken in any way. In no way is the game easier than the previous Souls titles because it seems that FROM has considerably changed the way that the game is played and have tuned it very finely to balance it all out. To bolster the very aggressive anti-turtle style of play is the regain system. In essence you make a risky hit after an enemy hits you to regain health. I eventually started getting hit just to use the regain and help myself to survive just a little longer. 

False sense of security 

Due to my familiarity with the Souls games I was worried I would find it too easy but the changes to the combat threw me off a little, I quickly grasped it and went on my way. With my first 10 or 20 minutes or so with the game I found myself getting more and more cocky, then I had my first B  L  O  O  D  B  O  R  N  E moment. There was a long walkway with seemingly no enemies, a fellow NPC hunter was behind me and charged towards a horde of enemies that he aggroed. Spurred on by the discovery of an ally I charged ahead. This was my first mistake. Myself and the hunter took on these shaggy, dead eyed wolves and they quickly surrounded us. As they chipped away at my health I tried to regain as fast as I could, depleting my stamina and stunlocking me to my first death with the game.

It’s going to take me a little while to get used to Bloodborne’s changes, but if there’s anything I found with my brief little interactions with the game it was that the harsh, oppressive atmosphere of Demon’s Souls was back. This is without a doubt a true successor to Demon’s Souls. With Hidetaka Miyazaki and Sony Computer Entertainment Japan behind development, my worries about Bloodborne have vanished. Tomorrow I venture back into the fray in an attempt to kill the Demo’s boss. The Cleric Demon. It’s going to be a long wait until February people.

I want to be the president in a giant robot

Way back when, FROM Software made Metal Wolf Chaos. You play as an usurped POTUS named Micheal Wilson and have to overthrow Vice President Richard Hawk in a giant bigass robot called Metal Wolf. FROM are pretty well known in Japan for making mecha games, few of which make it to the West. You have an absurd amount of guns that you can customise and every single gameplay video is rife with hammy voice acting and shredding guitars while the President of the US blows things up in a giant mech. On Paper this sounds like my IDEAL video game. The thing is that I’m probably never going to be able to play the damn thing.

There’s a lot of reasons that I’m not able to play Metal Wolf Chaos, firstly the game is absurdly expensive due to the low number of copies printed and the cult following it seems to have garnered. Secondly I’ve not got an original Xbox to play it on. There’s something to be said about the preservation of weird, old games like Metal Wolf Chaos in the future. Emulation of the original Xbox still has not happened yet and 360 and PS3 emulation is damn near nonexistent. This in itself is troubling since we have quite a few great console games that could do with the extra oomph that emulation can provide. Something to also take into consideration is that a large number of games have integral multiplayer aspects to them and that’s often lost in the whole emulation kerfuffle.

There’s a worrying trend emerging that I’m probably not going to be able to play games in their purest form anymore, emulated or not. Games For Windows live is something that people have complained about for years it was (barely) functional but Microsoft have decided to pull the plug in July 2014 and as someone who is getting annoyed at not being able to play incredible games the way they’re shipped. I’m a bit pissed. Mainly because Dark Souls uses GFWL. After the service is turned off it’s effectively shutting off a gigantic portion of the game. Not just Dark Souls but games like GTAIV are also going to be affected, for what I consider to be two modern greats this just isn’t good enough.

Some games are simply not the same with their multiplayer components stripped out of them. Dark Souls in single player mode is still an exceptional game but playing it online is how the developers intended the way the game to be played. The game instills a very human fear into you that someone can come at any time and kill you. It’s something unpredictable that can’t be replicated. This is not even counting touching other players’ bloodstains to check how others died and reading messages that other people have left. There’s a massive portion of what made the game so special to me gone right there. This is just scratching the surface with what Dark Souls offers players when played online. To say the least, it’s worrying.

With no other way to play Dark Souls as the console versions lifespans are limited it’s incredibly sad to see a game which relies on it’s online mode as a huge factor to the overall experience deteriorate and diminish as fast as it has. There’s no way to emulate it in the future, there’s no way to play the game with the same unpredictability with the online mode turned off. This is an issue that could be fixed with a great deal of work and a decent emulator. Still. Why should I have to worry about not being able to play a game I love in the same state as it was released on day one.

A trend in the Next-Gen games we’re seeing coming out of TGS, Gamescom and E3 all use a similar type of passive multiplayer not too different to Dark Souls. The big worry here is that we have no guarantee that we’re going to be able to play those games 6-7 years from now in the same state that they will be released when they come out. It means a lot because I was able to play many games throughout my childhood via emulation and would have never been able to play them until many years later.

I remember being about 8 years old playing Super Castlevania IV and loving the absolute SHIT out of it despite it already being a decade old.   I had that experience with a lot of older games that I didn’t have access to at the time by going and downloading dodgy ROMs from angelfire and geocities and playing them with an old Microsoft Sidewinder pad. This was my little hobby ever since I was little, I remember being in the Swiss alps staying with an uncle on holiday and staying inside for the majority of the week attempting to beat Actraiser. Mostly because I was a fat bastard and couldn’t ski but STILL. It saddens me that somewhere down the line a kid is going to want to check out Dark Souls and not be able to get the full experience with the GFWL switched off and no way to emulate servers.

There are many other great games that are going to be eternally gimped like this and its sad to see. There are going to be many more cases like this in the future and it’s about time that developers and publishers start thinking about how exactly they’re going to preserve their work years down the line after the game’s original release.  

I still want to fucking play Metal Wolf Chaos.

 

BEST GAMES OF TWENTY THIRTEEN

Um, so I could not think of 10 games that were actually excellent from this year so I just wrote this instead. Please bear in mind that this is all just opinion and not fact. If you don’t agree with me I will challenge you to a bareknuckle brawl. This post contains spoilers for every game I mention.

DmC DEVIL MAY CRY

I thought Ninja Theory’s reboot of the classic Capcom hack and slash title was going to be a massive pile of horseshit. Most of the plot is a ham fisted satire on modern life but falls flat because it is just incredibly adolescent. It reminded me on the time I gave an actual presentation in an English class on why 9/11 was an inside job. It follows similar levels of cringe. Luckily the game picks up the slack where it really matters- kicking the shit out of everything you see, the combat is tight and responsive. While other games in the series have bored me to death, this is surprisingly accessible and I even smacked the difficulty up on a second playthrough. It’s well worth picking up and the PC version runs like a dream.

Super Mario 3D World

Nintendo are incredible. The Wii U is incredible. Remember 3D Land from a few years back? It’s that but prettier with 4 player co-op. Don’t really need to say more.

Bioshock Infinite

Ken Levine is back with his cute looking dystopian science fiction. He managed to craft and incredible world and great but at times tame story. With some decent gunplay sputtered between exposition and heavy story beats, I did not like not being able to just explore Columbia and go off on my own thing rather than following arrows and being told most of the story through bits of tape. I feel as though they pulled some punches with the writing because Booker and Elizabeth didn’t stick the landing when they pulled an Oldboy (read: rumpy pumpy) But it’s good fun and looks absolutely INCREDIBLE. The soundtrack is brilliant too.

Grand theft Auto V

GTAV is the big massive hugest game ever that made a lot of money. It’s very good and Rockstar evidently put that massive budget to good use with 2 super interesting protagonists and another that made me want to die every time I played as him. Playing as Trevor and listening to hardcore music while pumping people full of lead is one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had in gaming this generation. The Online mode is quite ropey but Rockstar pulls it back when everything finally ties together and you’re in a private crew session with 10 people causing utter chaos. The scale of what this game does is incredible. It is well worth anyone’s time.

The Last of us

Naughty Dog finally made a game where the combat makes sense in the context of the game! The Last of Us melds together the best bits of Survival Horror, Action Setpieces and emergent gameplay to make one of the most stressful games I have ever played. Writing is absolutely top notch with Troy Baker putting in an incredible performance as Joel. It takes a while to get really started but it all comes together for a brilliant experience.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance


You play as a cyborg ninja man that fights other cyborg ninjas created by Platinum Games it has a heavy metal soundtrack and you can put Raiden in a sombrero goodbye

MONSTER HUNTER THREE ULTIMATE
THE BEST GAME OF THE YEAR

This game is insanely deep. I don’t think I have even scratched the surface. I have played just over 50 hours. The monsters that once seemed insurmountable are now carrion to my switch axe. There are still other monsters that scare the piss out of me and I wear armour made out of a dragon I had to kill twenty times. You can’t buy armour. You have to kill a monster and master how it moves, where it goes and what it does to even earn the right to wear it’s hide as armour. Online multiplayer does wonders for this game as buddying up with 4 people to take on a massive fuckoff monster is just utterly incredible. MH3U is worth investing in a Wii U by itself. Forget the rest of the catalogue. Get a Wii U. Join the Hunt.


I wrote this in about 30 mins because I was bored this is not a serious criticism of games this is just what I think also I don’t think it’s morally wrong to commit jaggi genocide. Also I don’t give a fuck about grammatical mistakes fuck off