darc Comments

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  • Is Bloodborne the next-gen Souls you've been waiting for?

  • darc 28/03/2015

    @Malek86 - A critical part of the combat is learning which weapon modes work well for taking on multiple enemies at once. My fave so far is the circular two hand attack (L2) with the starting axe. (I forget its name.) Reply 0
  • darc 28/03/2015

    Trying to keep up with comments, but I wish the exclusivity chatter would just stop. There's nothing novel about the practice - even in this very franchise - and the complaints have clogged up three separate threads with noise now. This post included, may it be the last. :( Reply +3
  • Bloodborne review

  • darc 28/03/2015

    Despite all my initial criticisms, it looks like I may have to eat my fedora after all. Bloodborne got its hooks into me properly last night. Loving it/ am addicted. :) Reply 0
  • darc 27/03/2015

    @Yautja_Warrior "constant 30fps though so it's judder free" That'd be fine by me. I've never been a big FPS junkie anyway. But with all the fast evasive maneuvering, the smoother the better. Reply +2
  • darc 27/03/2015

    @riceNpea Is the message system available to those of us without PS+? All I've read are vague indication that "some" online features are unavailable without PS+. (Well... that and the fact that I can't select "Play Online" presently.) I wasn't sure if this included messages, or just summons/invasions or what. Still hate that these features were made exclusive to PS+ subscribers.

    To answer your question: yes, I am enjoying the game despite my criticisms, which I'll stand by. It's always fun to unfurl Miyazaki's level designs. :)
    Reply +1
  • darc 27/03/2015

    @Yautja_Warrior Frame rate was also pretty rough in the Souls games, but the Souls games were (at least optionally) much slower more deliberate affairs. The prescribed gameplay in Bloodborne would REALLY benefit from an improved frame rate, even if it were a reliable 30fps. I see so many objects that lend nothing to gameplay laying around, I feel like this (or even 60) could be easily achieved taking nothing away from the experience. Sometimes (just a little) less is more. Reply 0
  • darc 27/03/2015

    @Heimkineast - agree 100% about the PS plus requirement and I'm still pretty burned about it. It's already a tough pill (and not unique to Sony) that digital downloads sell at retail price, sharing none of the cost savings from mfr and distribution with the consumer, who in turn has no refund/resale options. To then demand another $50/year for features that were a core part of the Souls games ("for free") feels like a slap in the face. It's especially painful for me because Bloodborne is the only reason I bought a PS4. Basically I spent $500 for the privilege and Sony is still knocking at my door like the damned taxman. Reply -1
  • darc 27/03/2015

    @Rogueywon
    And the methodical, precise inputs of the Souls games feel ill at home in a game with the pace of Bloodborne. It's like trying to tap-dance in hiking boots. They might be the best hiking boots ever, but they're no good for tap-dancing. It's like playing Devil May Cry with the toolset from Dark Souls.
    I think you hit the nail on the head here (and with other points in same post.)

    For all the talk as to whether framerate is important, I don't typically give a damn either way, but you can get to the point where a game is making demands it cannot itself keep up with. I've seen instances of this already, with the camera getting confused between refreshes, and with collision detection getting confused and leaving me completely stuck on scenery. (In one case this resulted in death late into a boss battle - not amusing, and in another necessitated a quit and restart after I barely survived a massive horde attack with my feet rooted to the ground.)

    What's most frustrating about all this is I feel it's completely unnecessary: it's obvious that From committed to an art direction and a pile of assets early on, with the assumption they would be able to optimize and meet a target frame rate later, but failed to do so. At that point, they should have simply scaled back some of the content. I get that rebuilding all of the textures etc. would have been prohibitive, but getting rid of some the bear-trap clutter that's been randomly killing me would have killed both birds with one stone. Would anyone really have enjoyed this game less having seen a mere 5,000 chain-covered caskets, instead of 50,000?? Just saying... :/
    Reply 0
  • darc 27/03/2015

    @kirinnokoshin Funny you mention Bayonetta. At many points playing this game I felt like it was sort of splitting the difference between a Souls title and Bayonetta, between the art direction and the focus on fast, combo-based melee. Which for me, personally, is something of a step in the wrong direction. (I didn't have much love for Bayonetta despite all its accolades.) Not to say I don't like Bloodborne; I do. But it's no Souls. Reply +1
  • Is Bloodborne the best game ever, or just the second best?

  • darc 26/03/2015

    @kirinnokoshin Good observations about Miyazaki's work being both meticulous and yet, in some ways, rough. As for this: "faffing around near a group of enemies trying to draw a couple towards you", I'm starting to get that the game expects you to learn how the weapons allow for crowd control, i.e. wading into big groups and dealing with them simultaneously. I can see where a lot of people will love it, and I too am growing to respect it on its own terms, but it's definitely more hectic and button-mashy than the Souls games, which I expect I will always prefer. Reply +2
  • darc 25/03/2015

    @jinglejangle I agree - I'd have happily sacrificed 1080p for 60fps, especially in light of the new combat style. But I can't help but think they could have achieved both if they didn't go so bats*** crazy with completely superfluous PhysX objects. Reply +1
  • darc 25/03/2015

    I should note that I've been playing the game at 1080i. I wonder whether color depth etc. are improved at 1080p. Might have to test a different TV tonight. Reply 0
  • darc 25/03/2015

    @jinglejangle Fair enough, but I do get frustrated when developers are handed more powerful hardware and instead of applying polish (e.g. to frame rate per your own example) they opt instead to pile on the unnecessary (e.g. a zillion destructible boxes.) I suppose my expectations were high in light of the new h/w. My ideal game would play like DS1 (it wouldn't have to be any bigger) and look like P.T, the only "next-gen" game whose graphics have really wowed me thus far. :) Reply +3
  • darc 25/03/2015

    @riceNpea We're definitely on the same page re: Demon's, Dark, and Dark 2. Demon's and Dark are my two all time faves. Indeed, a "list of what pleases me" about Bloodborne, thus far, would probably read like a list of all its commonalities with those two games. :)

    Not worried about a little criticism either way, but I don't want to be misunderstood either: I know these are minor faults but it can become a death by a thousand cuts - they wear on you, in other words. I guess I just hold From to very high standards, because those earlier games were so near perfect IMO. It's hard to understand or tolerate what feel like steps in the wrong direction.

    Still hopeful, waiting for that penny to drop. :)
    Reply +1
  • darc 25/03/2015

    @riceNpea "The annoyances you've list to me are superficial"

    Some of them, yes, absolutely. But others - e.g. getting stuck on scenery, etc. - less so. Most of my concerns, I acknowledge, are completely subjective. And the PS+ thing just really pisses me off, frankly.

    That said, I'm sure it will grow on me. I haven't given up yet. But if this game turns out to be even a patch on Demon's or Dark Souls' arse, I'll eat my hat. A Fedora, presumably. ;)

    FWIW I certainly did not set out with a mindset to "find things that aren't to my liking". I'm afraid these things just presented themselves. I'm curious - have you played the game yet?
    Reply 0
  • darc 25/03/2015

    I'm a few more hours in and beginning to worry. A lot of my concerns are purely subjective, down to aesthetic preferences or just plain old inertia after 6 years of Souls obsession. But not all of them. *STILL hopeful* that this will pick up, but thus far it seems like a step back, even from DS2, which I thought was a significant step back from DS1 and Demon's. Here's a list of random complaints, food for thought:

    - I don't personally gel with the whole Victorian horror thing going on here. Am I really wearing suspenders and fighting guys in Fedora's? I mean OK, at least I know they deserve it, based on their fashion sense. And yet it all feels a bit silly.

    - Death by clutter, i.e. pick up your damned toys. What possessed this design team to invest SO MUCH CPU time on random objects that serve gameplay in no way whatsoever. I've already had to restart once due to being stuck on scenery and it's way too early in the game to be seeing bugs like this. Imagine if there were less useless, destructible, and sometimes disruptive crap on the ground, but the game ran with FSAA, or at 60FPS. Priorities, people.

    - BROWN BROWN AND ALSO BROWN. The dream hub is pleasant enough, but the first couple of stops in Yarnham are the worst "greige" offenders I've seen since black and white TV. It's not just dull; it makes enemies hard to distinguish from background in a really cheap way.

    - IMHO the combat is kind of clunky compared with Souls, and in no way helped by the camera, the larger hordes of enemies, etc.

    - No Help details when creating a character, and in many other places. Remember pressing "select" in Souls and hovering over a stat to see what it was for? Enjoy remembering that.

    - The little annoyances that add up, e.g. the "Blood Echoes" (at least two syllables too many) you recover after death being nigh invisible, the way the help scrolls/ bone piles at the beginning of the game become visible after you've run past them, etc.

    - AND WORST OF ALL: No online play without PS+. This one completely blindsided me last night. I'm sure I'll get lots of comments to the effect that this was plainly announced in advance, but I mised the memo, and it's just completely counter to everything that I preferred in Sony vs. MS last generation. After spending $400+tax for a PS3, and $60 to download a non-refundable, non-physical item, being hit up for more money in order to play it in full is just... well... f*** you very much, Sony.

    Maybe I just don't get it yet; maybe I'm just cranky. Maybe I just loved the Souls games too much? Jury is still out. Just please get better, Bloodborne.
    Reply +1
  • darc 24/03/2015

    @Dismiss :) Good attitude, and not entirely common in these comment threads. Sometimes I get the impression someone is just scrolling through the comments randomly clicking "-" as they go.

    And yes, early mobs with only a gun made me a very specialized beta tester for those long load screens. :O
    Reply -3
  • darc 24/03/2015

    @Dismiss Thanks for the heads-up, and thanks for not negging my post despite my oversight. I had a hunch I was missing something. Looking forward to getting home and logging a few more hours. Reply 0
  • darc 24/03/2015

    I stayed up until midnight for the US release last night - knowing I shouldn't, as I would be exhausted, pressed for time, and not remotely able to appreciate it... but how can one resist??

    It's obviously MUCH too soon to tell, and I'm looking forward to digging back in after reading this article (especially where level design is concerned) but I have to admit my early impressions were actually a bit negative. If I'd never played a Souls game before, and my first 45 mins had been a demo, I'm not sure I'd have bought the game. I'm a little underwhelmed at the graphics and art direction thus far, and I'm not really sold on the whole "all offense, no defense" combat. I worry that this game will lean toward a twitch-fest, which really isn't my bag. But I should reiterate just how little I managed to play: I didn't even find a right hand weapon, only a gun. Not sure whether I missed something, or whether the opening of the game is just that cruel LOL. Obviously I died A LOT as a result, so ugh, L-O-N-G loading screens.

    Other little things seem kind of phoned-in. Does anyone remember the Demon Soul's load screens? Those beautiful portraits of NPC's? Then in Dark Souls 1 and 2 we got rather ugly screens of text, but at least reading them kept us busy for the duration. Now in Bloodborne, we get... the name of the game in a gothic font, in case we've forgotten? And we stare at this for nearly a full minute. :(

    Another small step backward is the way the tutorial scrolls are just scattered randomly in the hub, for the most part, rather than being paced out with early enemy encounters for you test and learn, as in the previous games.

    Hopefully after a few hours of gameplay these will seem like small nit-picks, but I didn't feel like the game put its best foot forward the way Demon's and Dark did. I loved those games from the minute I put the discs in the tray. We shall see. Until then, a dose of perspective, playing devil's advocate, etc.

    FULL DISCLOSURE: Buyer's remorse is all too easy when you're $500 into a game LOL. I'm sure in a couple of hours I'll be in love again. :)
    Reply +2
  • Geralt's beard grows as you play Witcher 3

  • darc 24/03/2015

    I remember thinking Witcher 1 was like watching grass grow. Good to see the series moving on. ;) Reply 0
  • Don't forget to download Bloodborne's 2.69GB day one patch

  • darc 23/03/2015

    Yes, I'm a moron: http://www.cinemablend.com/games/How-Pre-Load-PS4-PS3-Games-64789.html

    And I'll own it by not deleting my previous posts. :) Go easy on me, I just bought my PS4 a couple of days ago. You guessed it... for Bloodborne.
    Reply +4
  • darc 23/03/2015

    @zepekit Like I said I'm just confused about it. Honestly I didn't realize it was available for download prior to the on-sale date. I'm old-fashioned I guess: I thought you sold the game when it was done. ;)

    So no, I get the idea, you want to distribute the game ASAP and avoid bandwidth issues etc. Just miffed I didn't download sooner, and amazed I can also download a patch before I thought the game was even available.

    Just having an old man "get off my lawn" moment. :)
    Reply +3
  • darc 23/03/2015

    Bloodborne is out tomorrow - and with it comes a important 2.69GB day one patch.

    If you pre-loaded From Software's PlayStation 4 exclusive you'll already have access to the patch...
    I am so f'ing confused now. The game is out tomorrow, so at 12AM tonight I can download it. Except no - I can "pre-load" (WTF) it now, and then patch it on release? Except no, if I pre-load now then I already have access to the patch. For the game. Which is out... tomorrow.

    This is worse than the stupid pre-pre-sale promotions you have to wade through to buy concert tickets these days. I.e. is this s*** for sale or isn't it?

    I'm not generally one to complain about "day 1 patches", but a day -1 patch, seriously??? This is the time you're supposed to be spending getting the initial download ready for its release date.
    Reply -1
  • Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin's release date brought forward a week

  • darc 18/03/2015

    @Dijon Thanks for the info! I did a little Googling last night and found the original EG article, then downloaded the patch. But it looks like the new content is mainly aimed at players starting new games, and only partially available to players who've already completed and are looking to dip back in and see what's new. I flailed around for a bit, read some vague articles about bonfire ascetics and repeating boss fights, and decided I'm probably done with Dark Souls 2 for now. Onward to Bloodborne! If anyone thinks I'm missing anything essential with Scholar, please let me know!

    P.S. The alledged improvements in load time were disappointing - certainly not sufficient for me to continue with the Frozen Outskirts double load screen debacle.
    Reply 0
  • darc 17/03/2015

    The free update added a new NPC/boss with the titular character, new item descriptions that expand the lore, and improved matchmaking.
    Wait, I'm confused. This is a free update that applies to what? The PS3 version? When did this happen??
    Reply +1
  • Bloodborne's combat convinced me I don't need a sword and shield any more

  • darc 16/03/2015

    @OnlyJoeKing Definitely. And it'll only get cheaper, of course. :) Reply 0
  • darc 16/03/2015

    @OnlyJoeKing Yeah, regrettably I don't have the latest revision of the 3DS, and I'm not likely to splash out right now. Especially with Bloodborne a week away and a hole under my TV where the PS4 belongs. :) Reply 0
  • darc 16/03/2015

    @OnlyJoeKing Thanks - I wasn't even aware MH4 had a demo! I'll be sure to borrow the family 3DS back from the Mrs. and give this a try. :) Reply +1
  • darc 16/03/2015

    @Timmy_Toldrum P.S. I went through the same about 3 years ago. Still got to play a little Dark Souls. :)

    Reply +5
  • darc 16/03/2015

    @Yautja_Warrior I don't personally mind it. To my surprise, I grew to prefer a game that I could just PLAY all the time, rather than spending 20 minutes reading text. (As a younger man I loved verbose RPG's, but my schedule now dictates that I have as much fun per unit time as possible.)

    So I don't consider it a weakness; I just don't really agree that these games are great story-tellers. The fact that there is backstory available on a website somewhere is not a reflection of the game itself. For better or for worse...
    Reply +2
  • darc 16/03/2015

    @Mar27w My worst case example: having completed Demon's Souls, Dark Souls, and Dark Souls 2 (the last of these a game I hated as often as I loved it) and 2 of 3 DS2 DLC's... I get to the last bit of content at the Frigid Outskirts. Every time you die there you wait through the excruciating load screen, then immediately jump in a casket, watch a cutscene, and look at ANOTHER load screen, then march for miles across what basically amounts to a screen of white static, getting randomly pounded by reindeer. Die and repeat. That double-load screen stupidity actually caused me to drop the game with one last boss remaining, after being neurotically completist about all the rest over the course of years and hundreds of hours.

    Sorry DS2 fans, but the "B-team" label is warranted IMO. I was completely addicted to Dark Souls 2 for so many of the same reasons as the preceding games, but from a design perspective it was a disaster.
    Reply +3
  • darc 16/03/2015

    @penhalion " If you don't know why you're doing something then the human brain (one that isn't five years old) will have zero motivation to do the task. that's a fact not opinion. The exception being sociopaths and psychopaths."

    That's why most GT/Forza players can be found idling under the starting lights wondering whether they're serving refreshments at the finish line. ;)

    In video games we do things because they're fun, mainly. And the fact that violence is required against enemies because otherwise they intend violence against us is implied, almost immediately self-evident, and sufficient. I don't remember reading a novel before I started shooting down aliens in Space Invaders 30-odd years ago. (Yes, I'm an old geezer.) :)
    Reply +1
  • darc 16/03/2015

    @Timmy_Toldrum Exciting stuff - congratulations! Reply +2
  • darc 16/03/2015

    @OnlyJoeKing I really want to take a stab at Monster Hunter 4, but I'm 90% certain that this sort of game on that sort of hardware would murder my hands/wrists. Reply +1
  • darc 16/03/2015

    @Yautja_Warrior "you have to dig deep into the game to get the most out of the story."

    I remain skeptical about this. I've played 100's of hours of Demons and both Darks, and in my experience you have to dig deep into an online Wiki to get the most out of the story, which isn't a credit to the game's capacity for story telling.

    And this is coming from the biggest Demon's/ Dark Souls fanatic in the universe. :)
    Reply +2
  • darc 16/03/2015

    @riceNpea This, and a PS4, are day one purchases for me - I couldn't be more excited - but my one concern is that it might be a little *too* action-based. Twitch games are a dime a dozen; I've always loved the offense/defense rhythm of the Souls games and I hope some of that remains here. Either way I expect it will be great. Reply +3
  • darc 16/03/2015

    @bosseye I did the same. Reply 0
  • darc 16/03/2015

    Hyperventilating. Reply +1
  • Murder Files dev announces iOS investigative puzzler The Trace

  • darc 26/02/2015

    Looks great. There aren't enough iOS games that really feel like they were designed for touchscreen. The Room is one that does; this might be another. Reply +3
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider puzzles "will take you longer to solve", Crystal Dynamics promises

  • darc 18/02/2015

    @PSfourskin "but lets be honest, there had not been a decent TR games for years before the reboot. it was tired and stale and..."

    Subjective, and in my opinion untrue.

    "...nobody bought the games"

    Factually untrue.
    Reply +1
  • darc 18/02/2015

    I loved the old Tomb Raider games and I loved the reboot. Anything in between is probably going to be fine by me. I only wish they were releasing concurrently on PS4. Reply 0
  • Super Stardust Ultra review

  • darc 18/02/2015

    @IronGiant "The way things are going" = more remasters than actual new games, and that's the root of the problem right there. Reply 0
  • darc 18/02/2015

    @riceNpea Fair enough. I just think it makes more sense to see a placeholder, if nothing else, rather than hunt for something that isn't there. Again, not that it matters much. Reply +2
  • darc 18/02/2015

    @riceNpea We understand; it's not a terribly elevated concept and the condescension isn't necessary. It's simply that the other categories have a logo, and seeing an "Other" logo at a glance would be more immediately determinate. Not that it matters much either way. Reply +2
  • darc 18/02/2015

    @LetsGo "1- Very Bad
    2- Bad
    3- Average
    4- Good
    5- Very Good"

    That's basically where we're at, except that bad and very bad have been combined into "Avoid".

    Even though everyone takes a beating when they say so, I think it would be helpful to add a default "OK" label for games that are neither recommended, nor essential, nor "Avoid".

    It's just a matter of granularity, really. 10/10, 5/5, 4/4. In my personal opinion, more granularity is better, as long as you take the numbers with a grain of salt, i.e. of course they will be partly arbitrary. Honestly, the n/10 system was fine the way it was, except for the fact that nobody can handle it when a reviewer's opinion differs from their own. Be careful what you wish for.
    Reply -2
  • Telltale's Game of Thrones plagued by save bug on Xbox One

  • darc 18/02/2015

    Actually I should amend my previous post: the acting itself is actually quite good; it's more a matter of the facial animation not lending itself to the voice acting consistently, and the script being so obviously comprised of bland chunks of text designed to be self-compatible regardless of your decisions. The nuts and bolts are too obvious.

    And now the game is crashing frequently, and forcing me to replay loooong sections over and over again when frankly they were boring enough the first time. If nothing else, save points ("achievements" LOL) should be much more frequent.

    Thanks for nothing, Tell Tale.
    Reply 0
  • darc 17/02/2015

    Sorry to pile on the hate, but I agree the Telltale formula is no longer compelling enough to justify the headaches. I remember how much I enjoyed the first season of Walking Dead, but now that I'm getting around to Season 2, I just can't believe how formulaic and phoned-in it seems. The script is completely clichéd, the acting is mixed at best, the player's choices rarely have any impact, and the "hammer A to not die" thing is a ridiculous substitute for gameplay.

    No help that it took weeks before I could actually play beyond episode one, and there was no clear indication as to why. I even went as far as playing through Ep. 1 a second time to see if there was some glitch I could work out - another hour of my life I'll never get back. It turned out there was some issue with the Xbox Live Arcade servers, so I guess it was on MS rather than Telltale. Still, the experience as a whole has erased my interest in Game of Thrones and the Wolf Among Us. The illusion is shattered; I'm just not convinced they're games anymore.
    Reply 0
  • The God who Peter Molyneux forgot

  • darc 11/02/2015

    When a guy famous for empty promises says "no guarantees", that means forget it. Reply +18
  • Bloodborne will have shields after all

  • darc 09/02/2015

    @AmorousBadger LOL@Nancies. :)

    I don't dispute that playing without shields takes a whole lot of evasive skill that I haven't fully developed. But for me a big part of enjoying an RPG - as much as the twitch factor - is working the systems, optimizing my equipment, etc. So if I'm presented with loot that works, I want to use it! That's why I kind of fall into the sword+board thing by default. I also really enjoy the slower, weighty rhythm of working the ebb and flow of endurance while letting a shield take a beating. It just *feels* like melee combat to me.

    I don't engage in a whole lot of multiplayer (except to defend as needed) which probably affects my style and load-out a bit, too.

    Anyway, respect to anyone who recognizes what great games these are. Have fun with your own approach, then try out a few others for good measure! :)
    Reply +1
  • Sunless Sea review

  • darc 07/02/2015

    @Lunatic4ever - Thanks for that. Louis CK is great! :) Reply +1