darc Comments

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  • Dark Souls 2: Crown of the Sunken King review

  • darc 25/07/2014

    When one area concludes by opening up a shortcut to your starting location, you have the 'a-ha!' moment that was, for many, largely missing in the main game.
    OK, now you have my attention...
    Reply +1
  • darc 25/07/2014

    I still haven't finished Dark Souls 2 itself. I considered myself pretty adept at Demon's Souls and Dark Souls 1, but some of the difficulty spikes in DS2 were just over the top. I got to the first of the memories of the fallen giants - with a ticking clock and limited summoning - and basically hit a brick wall. Not having much fun anymore, and have no idea what I've done wrong.

    Loved Demon's and Dark 1 so much, but Dark 2 was a huge pile of frustration for me as often as not... and lord if it's possible for a game to be too long, this one is.
    Reply +5
  • Doom 4 is an oldschool reboot, just called Doom

  • darc 18/07/2014

    That "reveal" video is absurd. Could have been an advertisement for just about anything. Yes, we all know what an FPS looks like by now, but has id simply decided to make fun of themselves for it? Reply -2
  • Sony: PS4 targeting Wii owners who skipped PS3 and Xbox 360

  • darc 17/07/2014

    Sony: PS4 targeting Wii owners who skipped PS3 and Xbox 360
    Dear Sony,

    Please get around to targeting PS3 and Xbox 360 owners who have thus far skipped PS4 and Xbox One. I.e. more new games, fewer remasters, etc.

    I know, I know - it's early days. But that headline is an easy target.

    EDIT: And now skimming previous comments, I see I'm late to the party. :)
    Reply 0
  • Pinball FX2 Xbox One release date set

  • darc 16/07/2014

    But, disappointingly, there's no option to import the tables you've already bought for the game's Xbox 360 version.

    The PlayStation 4 version - named Zen Pinball 2 - did offer this feature. All DLC for that is cross-platform between PS4, PS3 and PlayStation Vita.
    One of my favorite games on Xbox 360, and frankly, good enough on that technology. All of these caveats and Catch-22's re: backwards compatibility and cross-buys... I begin to wonder if I'll ever own a PS4 or XBone.

    ...and then I remember Bloodborne. :)
    Reply +3
  • There's a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game for Xbox 360 Kinect

  • darc 15/07/2014

    I don't know how credible "Xbox Achievements" is - never heard of the site. But this looks for all the world like a hoax. Easy enough to photoshop, and so stupid it might actually discourage pizza sales. Reply -6
  • Huge Dragon Age: Inquisition Q&A info dump

  • darc 14/07/2014

    @ChandlerL Thanks, ChandlerL - I'll watch those ASAP. Reply 0
  • darc 14/07/2014

    @Chiarafan Not mutually exclusive. :) I'll never tire of bashing DA2, but I will admit I'm excited about DA3. I hope they don't cock it up again. Reply 0
  • darc 11/07/2014

    @ChandlerL That all sounds great. I remain cautiously optimistic, slightly less cautious. :) But there was a lot more wrong with combat in DA2 than the camera, which IMO people harped on about for too long when they should have been thinking about the complete absence of tactical substance. The indeterminate waves of enemies schtick was completely lame, obviating your ability to pace use of skills, items, etc. And the ability for enemies to spawn just about anywhere, then walk and attack directly through your characters, killed the whole process of distinguishing tanks from archers from mages, positioning them properly, etc. In other words, there was no real gameplay.

    I hope they've fixed *that*. The camera etc. would just be icing.
    Reply +1
  • darc 09/07/2014

    The tactical combat is more like DAO
    OK, cautiously optimistic then.
    Reply +4
  • Why Unreal deserves to be remembered alongside Half-Life

  • darc 23/06/2014

    I remember buying this game and playing about as far as the "lights out" scene in the video posted above. Now I get the sense that I really should have played more of it. I think it scared me off, it could be so tense! Main thing I remember (in those early days of graphic accelerator cards) was how SHINY the floors looked. Reply 0
  • E3 2014: the relaunch of brand Xbox One

  • darc 18/06/2014

    Our vision of Xbox and Kinect as being the ultimate experience...
    I have an entire closet full of ultimate experiences.
    Reply +4
  • Amazon lists Rise of the Tomb Raider for PS3, Xbox 360

  • darc 16/06/2014

    I'll add this to my list of reasons to buy a PS4, right under Bloodborne. Nothing has actually shipped that compels me yet. Reply 0
  • 10-minute Dragon Age: Inquisition gameplay demo

  • darc 11/06/2014

    I hated DA2 more than anyone, I think, but looking at this footage with an open mind, I honestly think it looks pretty amazing. Obviously, I'll hold out for reviews before putting any money on the table.

    The things I hope Bioware fixes (and it's not much comfort that they never really admitted to a problem in the first place) are the randomly spawning waves of enemies, and the ability for enemies to walk/attack right through your tanks and target your casters and archers, for instance. These two design decisions - both firsts in DA2 - killed any semblance of strategy in the last game. And that was, you know, the gameplay.
    Reply 0
  • Bloodborne is From Software's darkest game yet

  • darc 11/06/2014

    I guess I just bought a PS4. Reply +5
  • Dark Souls 2 to receive three-part episodic DLC

  • darc 04/06/2014

    @Malek86 Ha, I meant "not alone" and typed "not allowed" by mistake.

    P.S. I was a little underwhelmed with Artorias as well. If only because I never had any real sense as to when it had ended.

    If DaS2 is any indication, I will play through all of the DLC, completely addicted, tendonitis and carpal tunnel be damned. But all the while I will be thinking, I can't wait until I finish these so I can get back to Demon's Souls and Dark Souls 1. :)
    Reply +2
  • darc 04/06/2014

    @Malek86 No, you are not alone. Here's my take, reposted from elsewhere:

    "I've had a love/ hate relationship with DaS2 since it arrived. I have several issues with the game, but the biggest by far has to do with level design: the complete lack of signposting, and the arbitrary ways in which the world's "states" change (e.g. doors opening, NPCs changing locations, etc.) for little or no reason, or worse, with little or no announcement. This, coupled with the larger, more open-world design, can result in countless hours running in circles grinding, while my good-will toward the game rapidly evaporates. If I visit a dead end, reverse, and proceed elsewhere, something should TELL ME that I need to turn around and check that dead end again, shy of my rinsing the entire rest of the game. One NPC who had spawned from thin air actually said, "It will take a miracle to open this [previously impassable] door. Would you like one?" This is like game design self-parody. It doesn't unfold like a brilliant machine the way Da1 did, nor does it have an inherent structure or symmetry like De did; it just feels like a big pile of stuff.

    I also feel that the game discourages risk-taking in some ways, e.g. by limiting human effigies, when the only alternative to taking those risks is god-awful drudgery and grinding. And when risks do pay off, I only occasionally feel like it was a matter of skill or cunning on my part. Boss battles frequently feel over-the-top impossible... until I summon, at which point they become a crap-shoot depending on who arrives, and often ridiculously easy. Again I have to use that word "arbitrary".

    Lastly, I feel that - despite their promises (or threats depending on your POV) - From has actually made this game LESS accessible than DaS1, and in all the wrong ways. I wasn't personally concerned about difficultly either way - Demon's and Dark 1 were fine for me, even played mostly solo. But I dislike any part of a game requiring that I refer to an online Wiki for explanation, as with covenants, etc. and Da2 is crazy with this. So many covenants, so many items, so much to desperately try to care about... and none of it properly explained or intuitive in the scope of the game itself.

    I could go on. I'm still addicted. It's Dark Souls after all. But IMO it's kind of a hot mess."

    I wrote this a couple of weeks ago and it's since occurred to me that "obtuse" was the word I was looking for through most of paragraph 3.
    Reply +1
  • darc 04/06/2014

    Jesus, where do they expect me to find the time?? :O

    Reply 0
  • Lionhead teases Fable Anniversary for PC

  • darc 03/06/2014

    Oy, again with the Fable... Reply +1
  • Sony to discontinue PSP in Japan next month

  • darc 03/06/2014

    Loco Roco!!! Reply +3
  • Murdered: Soul Suspect review

  • darc 03/06/2014

    Excellent review. Reply 0
  • Face-Off: Watch Dogs

  • darc 30/05/2014

    it's effectively an additional sheen of polish at no extra cost.
    That's basically the problem Microsoft faces vs. the PS4 in general. Or as Ron White puts it, "You can take the donkey, or you can take the tram; it is the same price."
    Reply +2
  • Dark Souls director now president of From Software

  • darc 21/05/2014

    Responsible for the two greatest video games of all time. That's a pretty good run! I will definitely keep my eyes peeled for this alleged Project Beast. Could be the game that finally drags me screaming into the next gen of consoles. Reply +10
  • Microsoft reveals the Surface Pro 3

  • darc 20/05/2014

    It's a gorgeous piece of hardware, but I can't see getting excited about a full-fat (e.g. x86) Windows 8 convertible until they do some serious work on Windows 8. Even as a Surface Pro 1 owner I had the plain sense that the problem(s) were not to do with the hardware, but with the OS. E.g. if you want to mix a relatively small touchscreen and compatibility with x86 apps and present this as a selling point (and you have to when the Modern UI app store is so bare) then try making the Windows desktop experience more friendly: bigger controls, pinch-zoom, drag-pan, etc.

    As it stands, the only thing to justify the SP's price premium over a "mere" ultrabook is that it's kind of cool. It doesn't actually work the slightest bit better. I'm not just speculating here - I was an early adopter, and none of the things that really matter have changed.

    My first thought on hearing about SP3 was, "Wasn't SP2 like 5 seconds ago?" and my second thought was, "Man, I sold my SP1 in the nick of time!"
    Reply +9
  • Microsoft to remove Xbox Live Gold paywall for streaming apps

  • darc 13/05/2014

    Wait - I don't get to pay Microsoft to watch my paid Netflix account anymore? By which I mean, FINALLY!

    If MS and their dev partners had any idea how much money this stupid policy cost them... things like this slowly turned my PS3 into my go-to system, after years of Xbox loyalty, until finally I started buying all the multi-platform stuff for PS3. And now I'm eying a PS4 instead of an Xbox One. Penny wise, pound foolish.
    Reply +1
  • Super Time Force review

  • darc 13/05/2014

    This is an interesting review, but I didn't read a single word to account for the score. I hate to say "it reads like a..." but "it reads like a 10." So what are the criticisms? Reply +1
  • Microsoft to sell Xbox One without Kinect for 349

  • darc 13/05/2014

    The worst thing for early adopters is that, as more and more Kinect-less XBones get out in the market, devs will have less and less of a reason to develop anything compelling for the technology. It's first gen Kinect (and Move, and that high-accuracy WiiMote add-on, and...) all over again. I.e. a dead end. Reply 0
  • darc 13/05/2014

    @bad09 Don't get me wrong - I don't think the positions I cited made any sense in the first place. I just think they should have been a lot less impassioned when defending them in the press.

    If for instance, we were left to think, *maybe* MS will eventually come around with a Start menu patch that makes sense (or even improves things over Windows 7), we might have let it slide for a few months. But for those few months, MS had people telling the press in no uncertain terms, "NO Win8 is designed to work without a Start menu." Why would you paint yourself into a corner at the expense of public perception like that.

    Same deal with this hard sell on Kinect. And FINALLY they are letting up.
    Reply +2
  • darc 13/05/2014

    Microsoft is intent on killing customer relations with these insanely stubborn "visions" of theirs, which they just reverse on in the end anyway. The list is long with Xbox One, but it's the same with Windows 8.

    XBone: Ship without Kinect?? IMPOSSIBLE!!! FOOLS!!! ... Oh, we can't have your money? OK, here's your SKU without Kinect. :/

    Windows 8: A Start menu, in this day and age?? IMPOSSIBLE!!! FOOLS!!! ... Oh, we can't have your money? OK, here's Win 8.1 with a Start menu. :/

    MS has all the PR skills of a bag of hammers.
    Reply +5
  • Amazon Fire TV review

  • darc 05/05/2014

    I don't know how you can hope to write a useful review of this thing and not mention "Chromecast" or "AppleTV" anywhere along the way. Pros, cons, cost, comparisons... Verdict = whether to buy, not whether the matte plastic is "tidy".

    *And I understand that this is somewhat apples (har) to oranges as the competition doesn't provide gaming, but since much of this readership games on full-fat consoles anyway, a cost/benefit comparison would still be helpful.
    Reply 0
  • Massachusetts town lifts 32-year ban on arcades

  • darc 02/05/2014

    Arcades back in Marshfield! 30 years too late for anyone to give a f***! :D

    She added that she found children roving about eateries to be disturbing.
    Absolutely classic.
    Reply +24
  • PS4 is doing great - but it's a different story for Sony

  • darc 01/05/2014

    Every Vaio I've touched for the last 5 years or so has been a bloated dog, and they price them like a premium line, so I'm not surprised to hear those sales have tanked. Shame, as I was a fan at one time. Reply +2
  • Daylight review

  • darc 29/04/2014

    ...resourceful protagonist, has few resources...
    Reply +9
  • David review

  • darc 25/04/2014

    @andrewarmstrong1 would you consider an update with an option to move the onscreen controls? Having virtual buttons on the bottom of the screen is kind of backwards ergonomically IMO. If I'm holding the iPad on either side in landscape orientation, my thumbs fall about 3/4 of the way toward the top of the iPad. I know this obscures some of the screen, but it's the only way I'd ever be comfortable playing, per gravity etc.

    Being able to drag the controls to your preferred location on screen would be great!
    Reply 0
  • Mercenary Kings review

  • darc 09/04/2014

    The in-the-moment enjoyment of the finely tuned combat and platforming is held back by gameplay driven by backtracking and repetition across maps that go from confusing to predictable, spending only a short time in that sweet spot where you know how to get around a location but have yet to grow sick of the sight of it.

    You'll constantly wish the annoyances would recede so you can wallow in the good stuff - because the good stuff is really good
    This will probably result in a hundred downvotes, but reading this reminds me very much of my current sense of Dark Souls II. And consider: I am the biggest Demon's/ Dark Souls 1 fan in the world.
    Reply 0
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order Panzerhund Edition doesn't include the game

  • darc 26/03/2014

    Two explanations and I still don't understand. Reply 0
  • New Dragon Age: Inquisition screenshots swoop in

  • darc 24/03/2014

    I call bullshots.

    But I hope I'm wrong. The lighting is just beautiful in a few of those.
    Reply +2
  • Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z review

  • darc 21/03/2014

    @CamberGreber I agree that the aesthetics are very nice, at least in the screenshots. But it may be one of those games that's a disaster in motion, because it's too hard to distinguish what's going on, or because the animation is poor, or whatever.

    Similarly, there's that occasional game where everyone flips for the graphics and the screenshots do nothing for me - and it isn't until you see it in motion that you can appreciate it.
    Reply +2
  • From Software explains changes to Dark Souls 2 graphics

  • darc 20/03/2014

    While I agree that the graphics are not a deal breaker either way, I think a lot of posters are missing the point: that From indicated until a very late date that the engine they were showing was the PS3/Xbox 360 code. Whether you happen to care or not, it was a bait and switch.

    Personally, I don't mind that the textures and polycount were reduced or whatever, but I do mind that I can see that the new assets were developed in a hurry. In other words, not a problem that they are lower resolution or whatever to support the target frame, but it is a problem that a lot of them look sort of silly IMO and not suited to the Dark Souls universe. Look at that gothic stonework in the preview vs. the mottled excuse for mossy growth in the release and tell me they couldn't have exercised better judgment there. Better to have released something that looked more like Boletaria from way back when Demon's Soul shipped. Surely that would have been feasible. (And in fact, that's pretty close to what the DS2 preview looked like anyway!)

    I think someone rushed to find something low-res with some novelty value, and it shows. I see the same thing early in the Forest of Fallen Giants. It's just an ugly greenish smear.
    Reply +2
  • darc 19/03/2014

    @Architect_z I agree. I mean, it's more Dark Souls, which is exactly what the doctor ordered, but it's no improvement over Dark Souls I, or Demon's Souls, IMO.

    I can get over the fact that the art direction is less consistent than that of the previous games, but there's no getting around the fact that the level design and pacing (e.g. in terms of introduction of new ideas, enemies, etc.) aren't as interesting. *That* is a more pressing concern than textures and lighting.

    I know it will pick up soon and I'll be hooked again, but at the moment I'm up against a boss battle with no other avenues to pursue, and frankly I'm a little bored - not compelled to turn it on. The world just hasn't pulled me in sufficiently. This NEVER happened with the previous two games. I basically lived them until they were done, and then some.
    Reply +3
  • darc 19/03/2014

    Well, let's hope that when the inevitable PS4/XBO versions hit, they re-import some of the original, beautiful artwork. If they just upscale the PS3/360 assets and orphan those beautiful environments from the preview video, that would be tragic. Reply 0
  • South Park: It all started with a suspected prank call

  • darc 14/03/2014

    @Bertie :) No, if that's for real then your writing was perfect. I just assumed it was some recurring stylististic decision. Reply 0
  • darc 12/03/2014

    Great article, but this guy sure does giggle, titter, snort, and chuckle a lot. Does he ever just say stuff? Reply +5
  • Angry Birds Epic is a turn-based RPG

  • darc 12/03/2014

    "Epic". "Microtransactions". Same article. :/ Reply +6
  • Godus 2.0 launches with "virtually no clicking"

  • darc 12/03/2014

    There was a time when I would see Moly's name on a project and basically assume it was a winner. Now I see his name and I'm nearly certain I'll have no interest. Reply +9
  • The Room series shifts over 5.4 million copies

  • darc 07/03/2014

    Great games, both of them. Reply 0
  • Galak-Z for PlayStation Vita announced

  • darc 07/03/2014

    @goggyturk Yeah, it's cool though - I don't take it personally. I know that the Vita is a well-liked system, and rightly so. The hardware is beautiful, and some of the games were just starting to catch my attention. I was really jazzed about Tearaway, in fact, but it had the ironic effect of sealing my decision to sell the Vita. Here I saw this game that was clearly thoughtfully designed to suit all of the Vita's features, but I found actually playing it to be a distracting chore. I just don't like the way the Vita feels in my hands - the sticks are too close to the edges, the touchscreens too far - and this distracts from my appreciation of the games themselves.

    Obviously a totally personal thing, and more power to those who own and enjoy the Vita. I just find that I have more fun (in what little time I can afford to spend gaming) with a full-sized controller and a big honking TV. I don't commute by train or play in cafes or anything like that. I'd probably feel differently if I did.
    Reply 0
  • darc 07/03/2014

    @GamerEd I probably should have looked into that before selling, but I tried the same with my PSP and it's kind of hit or miss. The quality of the 3rd party accessories varies widely.

    Plus I was using the Vita so rarely, every time I reached for it the charge would be dead and I'd just move along. I never really loved any of the software. Some the JRPGs that are hitting this year look interesting, but it all just took a little bit too long to take off.
    Reply -3
  • darc 07/03/2014

    @adam136 Nothing wrong with re-purposing good ideas. Especially if you give credit where due. Don't fix what aint broke.

    I think it looks great. Unfortunately I sold my Vita a couple of weeks ago, because I just couldn't get on with the ergonomics of the thing. I'll keep an eye out for a PC version, if that's happening. PS3 would be even better! :)
    Reply 0
  • Tomb Raider's reboot "exceeded profit expectations" after all

  • darc 07/03/2014

    Your viewpoint about the new TR is built on what the name used to mean. Which in this day and age is a shallow as hell game. If the reboot was more of that just prettier it would have stunk to high hell.
    I agree. One need look no further than Duke Nukem Forever to see the kind of stink that can be achieved by holding too closely to outdated sensibilities.

    There are a lot of great, thoughtful comments in this thread, from both sides of the fence. The franchise has achieved enough over the years that people care about it, one way or another.

    I appreciate Rickyfitts' comment about standardization not always being a bad thing, e.g. the shooting mechanics have been adopted across the industry because they are what works. It's just a matter of evolution. In all of the previous TR's, I loved the exploration and hated the silly lock-on/auto-aim shooting. I tolerated the combat just to move the game forward. In the reboot, I genuinely enjoyed all of the systems that comprised the game.

    I also really liked the balance of the RPG progression. None of it was so crucial that it would stop you in your tracks, but weapon mods were substantial - enough to be motivating and change up the pace of the game. Compare this with the Last of Us, where it was evident that the designers couldn't assume you'd picked up enough inventory along your way, and so the upgrades typically felt anemic, almost irrelevant.

    Obviously, I really liked this game. :) To be fair, more puzzle solving (and a little less melodrama here and there?) might have been welcome, but the TR reboot offered plenty of opportunity for creative exploration if you wanted to go for it, i.e. by pursuing collectibles. I almost never trouble myself with that stuff - I usually consider it a waste of time - but in TR I tried for 100% completion. (Almost made it, not quite.) The world itself, the fluidity of the controls, the attention to detail, all made this a fun game to explore in depth, even after there were no more enemies to fight or tombs to raid.
    Reply 0