Dragon Age Inquisition: Why It’s The Best Time to Return to Thedas

Posted in Action Adventure, DLC, Dragon Age Inquisition, Fan Service, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, My Stuff, PC Gaming, PS3, PS4, RPGs, Xbox One, Xbox360 on September 16th, 2015 by thelonegamer

The Trespasser DLC marks the end of the Inquisition, one way or another…

Many months ago, Bioware’s Dragon Age: Inquisition came out on consoles and PC, and RPGers were scrambling all over it. There were highs and lows, with the game impressing with its gorgeous graphics, expansive and varied locales, engaging gameplay and wonderful cast of characters. On the other hand, the game’s linear story, lack of ‘deep’ dungeons and many cutbacks from earlier versions garnered mixed feelings. Still, I say overall that DAI was a wonderful RPG which entertained me for a couple of playthroughs right after release.
Now, more than nine months later though, I am playing Inquisition again. So why have I dusted off my Inquisitor’s Helm and armor from the closet and called the gang back together? There are quite a few reasons why today is the best time to get back into Thedas, or discover it for the first time.

Play as A Different Class. If you are coming back to DAI after playing through it once, try playing again, as a different class. You’ll be surprised how different the gameplay style is. If you played a Mage or Archer who dealt death from afar before, try this time as an in-your-face combatant as a Warrior. Aside from trying out all the new perks and abilities, you’ll find that the story will be slightly different as well.

This time, Play it RIGHT. I remember playing very much like a noob in my first DAI Playthrough- I didn’t really learn all the nuances and rules. I blundered through the first region of the game, barely optimized my characters’ gear and took advantage of their various abilities, and spent WAAAY too much time in the starting Hinterlands.
This time, I knew that it was key to gather as many crafting materials as possible, where to get good stuff, great gear and thus start kicking ass earlier, making the most out of my time. Seeing your characters do much better and handling previously brutal skirmishes more handily is very gratifying. Try out various Character Builds, get into Crafting and start Kicking Ass in the most spectacular ways.

Do the Other Path. There are two distinct paths to take in a crucial moment in the game, that affects the story. This time, play the one you didn’t choose before and see a different chapter, different benefits, allies and villain to battle. Try out different romances. Get the girl. Or the guy. Or not. Ultimately. Maybe.

Bioware’s DAI PAX2015 Panel.

Enjoy the Later Tweaks and Tons of New Gear, Items and Clothing. Since the original launch, DAI has seen many patches to fix exploits (like the legendary Thousands Cuts trick) and balance out gameplay that made particular classes well-nigh invincible (and broken) later in the game. Also, lots of new gear like crafting materials, items, schematics, weapons and armor have been added, including stuff in subsequent DLCs. Also, lo and behold, your Inquisitor needn’t run around in their annoying beige pajamas around Haven all the time thanks to the new Wardrobe. Oh, and Armor Tinting. ARMOR TINTING. YEEESSSS. MY GOSH I may be doing playthroughs with different Character COLORS. Not Classes, COLORS. My God this game rewards my OC Self like no other.

Finish the Fight, er Story. If you love the game like I do, the three DLC Story/Campaign Expansions- Jaws of Hakkon, The Descent and Trespasser- are Must-Haves. All of them can (or perhaps should) be played after completing the Main Game and Story, giving your Inquisition further adventures to test their skills. And you’ll probably need the powerful items and weapons you’ll get then in the final confrontations in Trespasser. No Ifs or Buts about it, Trespasser is the Final DLC of Inquisition, and it gives this corner of Thedas a definite ending that any Dragon Age fan should try themselves.

Right now, Dragon Age: Inquisition is in its most complete form and it’s an awesome package. Currently, I’m enjoying the hell out of DAI, possibly even more so than I did months ago. It’s awesome to see all the stuff I missed or just plain didn’t see before, and to play the game better this time around. Even if Trespasser has marked the End of Dragon Age for now, I won’t be leaving Thedas or my Inquisition anytime soon.

Soul Calibur: Lost Swords Shutting Down

Posted in Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, PS3, Soul Calibur on September 2nd, 2015 by thelonegamer

Read it and weep(?).

This just in today- the F2P single-player Soul Calibur: Lost Swords on PS3 is closing shop. On November 30, the game will cease operating and will no longer be available for play.

To put it bluntly, I am not shedding tears on seeing this bare-bones, regurgitated placeholder go. Really. However, given the message at the end of the above video, there may be hope that Namco-Bandai will bring back their sword-fighting franchise in a proper sequel/full-priced game. Here’s to Project Soul getting their groove back on and releasing a full-fledged Soul Calibur game in the hopefully near future.

On the other hand, if they suddenly announce a Soul Calibur Pachislot game, I will most probably throw up.

Metal Gear Solid V The Phantom Pain Launch Trailer!

Posted in Action Adventure, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, Metal Gear Solid V Phantom Pain, Open World Games, PC Gaming, PS3, PS4, Stealth-Action, Xbox One, Xbox360 on August 26th, 2015 by thelonegamer

Glorious melancholy marks what may be the Final Metal Gear Solid.

Preceded by a tweet from Hideo Kojima himself, here’s the Launch Trailer for the stealth action sequel, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. It’s a remarkably shorter spot than you’d expect, but strangely fitting- with about 2/3 of it consisting of a montage of footage from past MGS games- a somewhat bittersweet look back at the series’ many chapters- from the original Metal Gear Solid to Snake Eater to Guns of the Patriots and Peace Walker. With Kojima and Konami parting ways, perhaps irreversibly, this may indeed be the last MGS as we have known it, and that truly is something to mull upon sadly.

The trailer continues though with a rather ominous segment from Phantom Pain, featuring the newest Metal Gear, plus a rather telling final segment that raises a TON of questions for this impending stealth-action epic.

It’s only about a week away. September 1. My Gosh, it’s been a wait but it looks to be worth it.

The Lone Gamer is a Dark Souls Noob: Part Deux

Posted in Action Adventure, Dark Souls, Fan Service, Fantasy, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, PC Gaming, PS3, RPGs on May 18th, 2015 by thelonegamer

Brickwallgames’ excellent Dark Souls Walkthrough on Youtube is my companion during my time in Lordran.

As I mentioned earlier, thanks to my Bloodborne experience, I decided against all common sense to return to an even more punishing From Software game- Dark Souls. And to be fair, I am having a TON of fun, in as much fun as you can have from this masochistic-laced RPG. Seriously though, the more traditional fantasy setting and the relatively more cheerful(!) tone compared to the far darker horror aesthetic and style of Bloodborne is very refreshing. Dark Souls CHEERFUL? MAD!

Anyways, since my last post on this subject, I guided my fetching Sorcereress to higher levels with a little bit of grinding. With the first levels- the Undead Burg and Parish, the Depths and the infamous Blighttown are now past me, their bosses slain, I moved on to one of the most infamous and frustrating areas of the game- Sen’s Fortress.

Once you finish the first two crucial tasks of your quest- which is to ring the two Bells of Awakening (both of which entail fighting your way to a boss and winning), this infamous zone is opened to you- in the same way a hungry lion opens its mouth to some dumb antelope. Not so much really a fortress but a lethal obstacle course, Sen’s Fortress greets you with narrow walkways, swinging giant guillotines, lethal dart traps (that would make similar traps in Skyrim look like party favors), giant crushing balls of death and, oh, an army of fierce Snake People. To be fair the Snakemen of Dark Souls are nowhere near as scary as the walking Snake bouquets of Bloodborne, but they’re still very, very dangerous.

The trick with Sen’s is to know where to go- and that is up. There is a very specific way past the dangers, and I do not deny that I watched various Dark Souls LPs to learn it. Still, knowing and doing are two very different things. I count at least ten times I failed miserably at various points, but every time I inched my way forward. Soon, I had was able to work my way past the swinging blades of doom, and eventually upgrade my weapon to quickly dispatch the otherwise very deadly Snakemen. I have to say though that I died one truly frustrating death to the last guillotine trap, a few steps away from the fortress’ bonfire and safety. AAARGGH.

But reach the bonfire I did, and from there, I eventually made my way to the zone boss- the Iron Golem… who turned out to be a total pushover that I took out on the first try, without even resorting to calling on an NPC or summon. From there, I was taken by Winged Demon Express to Anor Londo- the City of the Gods and the Undead Capital of Lordran.

Anor Londo is a vast city, although you only explore a tiny bit of it- still, the initial view of this fantasy city from your vantage point in the air is amazing. Once you arrive, you have to find the Lordvessel- some thing needed to continue your inexplicable quest. Thus begins another of the game’s frustrating gauntlets of sadism, where you have to first make your way through some narrow rafters where a single misstep means a plunging death (oh, and you have to defend yourself from ninja-like guardians all the way). Thankfully, I did this on the first try (thank you, prior knowledge!) thanks to informative LPs and the guardians’ wonderful tendency to jump to their doom all by themselves.

Its the second phase of the run that is even more frustrating- it’s a lengthy jaunt up a cathedral steps past guards and demons and up narrow ledges which are guarded by two Anor Londo Silver Knights armed with giant bows- getting hit, even while blocking, almost always ends with you falling off and dying, and having to do it all over again (you don’t have to repeat the rafters thing though, thankfully). I died here quite a few times, a couple of which right in the face of the lone archer blocking the way, which is beyond infuriating. EVENTUALLy though, the son-of-a-dungheap finally went down in a shower of white flakes, and I was through a broken window, to the bonfire and safety. For the moment.

From there, I had the time to just relax and spend the next few hours trying to master the art of Dark Souls Parrying- which is crucial to easily(?) dispatch the numerous Silver Knights on guard in the area. Thanks to my incessant upgrading (I finally got my magic weapon, a pretty sweet overly-long spear made with a previous Boss’s soul) I could kill the knights with a single parry- but I still died pretty regularly to my own mistakes. Eventually, I built up the courage to make the run to the area Boss- which was pretty much the most famous in the whole game- the Tag Team Duo of Dragonslayer Ornstein and Executioner Smough (or just Ornstein and Smough for short).

Now, it is with no exaggeration that these two epitomize From games’ record for scary, intimidating bosses. Heck, Smough alone, with his creepy metal face, giant sumo-wrestler bulk and MASSIVE hammer is scary enough- but you have to contend with Ornstein as well- a smaller (but still bigger than you) and faster armored warrior who can fly about and shoot lightning from his deadly spear. The trick to beating them is being able to keep both of them in your line of sight or to keep tabs of them, since getting caught between them is almost certain death. Yes, I’ve seen a vid of Sorcerers taking them out in a couple of minutes, but I am sure the guy was very high level and buffed in damage. Doing it myself was proving not easy. After several attempts, I was able to kill one or the other, but always came up short on the last one (who coincidentally renews the battle fully-healed and taking up his fallen ally’s powers).

Eventually I gave up and decided to try summoning and tackling the Terrible Twosome with help. For the first time ever, I got online (thank god for the PS3′s free online play) and summoned a human player (who tend to be very high level and strong) and also called to my side the popular NPC Knight Solaire. It took two attempts, but FINALLY, the bosses went down with our combined swords and spells. With total relief, I claimed my prize- the Lordvessel- from the city’s giant ruler, Princess Gwynevere (who has her own secrets, I know).

With Ornstein and Smough behind me, I have gone past a threshold. I can now fast-travel, which truly takes a load off the difficulty. From here on, I think most of the game’s hardest parts are behind me, but don’t quote me on that. There are still many quests to accomplish and bosses to beat, but at least now I don’t have something so pressing that it may take away time from my upcoming Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt game time.

Man, I wonder if From is already at work with Dark Souls 3?

Bloodborne Prepped Me for Dark Souls!

Posted in Bloodborne, Dark Souls, Dark Souls 2, Fan Service, Fantasy, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, My Stuff, PC Gaming, PS3, RPGs on May 14th, 2015 by thelonegamer

Still one of the coolest RPG intros ever.

I think I’ve admitted it before- as a Hardcore Casual Gamer, I love gaming by nature, but my skills and patience aren’t the best. Even more so that I’m getting a bit older, I haven’t been really able to sink into a game too much like in years past, when I’d go on week-long binges or marathons just to finish a game, and then restart them. Perhaps if I got into the classic, masochistic Dark Souls earlier, maybe today I’d be more into it. But nope, I tried playing it when it first came out, got stymied by the repeated deaths and loss of my efforts, and just gave up. Even so, I’ve always been fascinated with From’s RPGs, mainly for the lore, the gorgeous art and designs, and the obvious love and fervor other players have for this modern classic.

So it’s actually a wonder for me today to realize that for the past week or so, I have been PLAYING Dark Souls on my PS3. Playing and loving it, incredibly enough. Yes, I am playing though as a spell-slinging Sorcerer, a class that is for the most part regarded as OP since you deal death from afar. I don’t care though- I think it’s a refreshing change from the hundreds of melee-class characters I’ve seen on all the Let’s Plays on Youtube. Being a squishy spell thrower means though that I will still need to master being able to avoid getting hit and keep my distance from the scary, deadly enemies. Also, I can’t totally rely on the trusty Soul Arrows to mete out victory every single second- so I have to work on having a weapon that can be relied on to kill quickly in as few hits as possible as well.

This of course leads me to the very addictive aspect of these types of games- powering up your hero and fashioning his or her implements of doom is thoroughly absorbing… and to see your work pay off in whole zones rendered silent, littered with enemy corpses is utter bliss.
So far, I am at about Level 43, my svelte Sorceress wearing the tattered but regal robes of a legendary Daughter of Izalith, which makes her look like a female Grim Reaper or Lady Nazgul (I plan on finding a matching Scythe which is apparently the best weapon in the game) and looking thoroughly badass. I’ve just rung the Second Bell of Awakening and am ready to enter the dastardly Sen’s Fortress. All this probably sounds like gibberish to anyone not into Dark Souls lore- just suffice to say I’m well past the point where most of those who just can’t take this game would have quitted a long time ago. And I’m still raring to go.

In fact, I’ve also gotten the game on Steam, and it’s installed on my PC- which is weird since the Xbox controller’s layout is slightly different from the PS3, switching the Dodge button position which will surely have me making crucial mistakes if I play it for any long duration…

Yep, this is all thanks to Bloodborne (which I am currently at the Endgame level, just two bosses away from finishing the game and entering into New Game Plus).

I am now considering From’s latest as a calculated try on their end to get players to give their previous two games- Dark Souls and DS2 a try. BB is just slightly different from the Souls games, but same enough that you can indeed jump into Dark Souls gamely after mastering Bloodborne and not feel like it’s a different game.

In fact, I believe that after the breakneck speed and twitch-reflex gameplay of BB, you’ll find the more methodical, calculated play of the Souls games very easy, or at least manageable. Bloodborne has somehow taught me to not fear the fearsome, to get impressed but not intimidated by the terrifying monsters I am faced with in these games. Yep, Bloodborne taught me, ‘if it can bleed, I can kill it’ (or something like that)… and I’ve taken this new-found courage from Yharnam into Lordran.

Hell, who knows- maybe if I get my ass handed to myself by the famous Ornstein and Smough, I may suddenly give up- but probably not. If I do finish Dark Souls, who knows- maybe I’ll give Dark Souls 2 a try. Then… Dark Souls 3, which I am sure is inevitable.

Damn it From Soft. You got me good.

Mortal Kombat X: Erron Black Debut Trailer!

Posted in Action Adventure, Fan Service, Fantasy, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat X, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox360 on March 28th, 2015 by thelonegamer

John Marsten is reborn in Outworld…

A Stranger Appears! Netherealm finally revealed the badass Cowboy Gunslinger Mercenary Erron Black in their latest Kombat Kast, the hour-long episode also revealing returning characters Lui Kang and Shinnok. But of course it’s Black who gets his own personal trailer. I have to admit, I LOVE the gunplay, the sounds of his six-shooters and overall feel, without it becoming too gun-kata. I wish they could give this guy a Revolver Ocelot skin. Or maybe even Billy Lee Black from Xenogears (any relation, I wonder..?). This guy obviously has a story and a big part in the plot… he’s being painted as a guy who is playing both sides, but with still a bit of a good guy leaning. Hoping they don’t kill him off anytime soon- he’s freakin’ awesome.

Netherrealm goes through Erron’s Good, Bad and Ugly Variants…

Mortal Kombat X Character Reveals!

Posted in Fan Service, Fantasy, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat X, PC Gaming, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox360 on January 30th, 2015 by thelonegamer

‘Snake’ returns to MK.

This week has been pretty exciting for fans of the Mortal Kombat series, with not one but two character revealed via streams and new trailers. The first new fighter is Reptile, MK’s original secret fighter whose latest incarnation has him more lizard-like and beastly than ever before, sporting an even more inhuman look and bony armor. He’s still got his trademark tricks like the acid spit and the force ball, and he’s not afraid to use them.

We are Legion! Ermac is back.

The second character revealed (and just today!) is Ermac. A collection of souls given physical form, this telekinetic ninja was first seen as intriguing new concept art some time ago (which might show up as his alternate looks) but now has been fully shown off. A lot of gamers called it that Ermac would be the second reveal, and they called it right.

Bits of the new narrative may be culled from this video.

Maximillian on Youtube also posted a vid above showing off the new intros and fatalities, the former giving hints on the ongoing story. So far, we know that the new MK is set 20++ years after the end of the last tournament’s story. The new fighter and conqueror, Kotal Khan, has taken Outworld’s throne, upon which he is/was opposed by Mileena (still unrevealed as a playable or not). Several characters who died in the previous game- such as Kung Lao and Kitana- have returned, though it is still unknown how they escaped from being Quan-chi‘s thralls. It’s all very intriguing, which may lead to yet another awesome story mode in the upcoming MKX. Can’t wait! Mortal Kombat X is set for release this coming April.

DOA5 Last Round’s New Fighter Revealed (Updated with Trailers)

Posted in Dead or Alive 5 Last Round, Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate, DLC, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game-related Events, Gaming, PC Gaming, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox360 on January 14th, 2015 by thelonegamer

Introducing… Honoka!

A couple of days before her trailer will reportedly debut, Dead or Alive 5′s latest (and last?) new character has been revealed. Her name is Honoka, a schoolgirl apparently possessing some ‘secret power’. Little is known so far about her since only a rather low-res Famitsu scan and the screenshot above have been found online. So far, all we know is that she has pink hair and apparently has the biggest breast size of all the female fighters(!).
She seems to know or has some relationship with fellow newcomer Marie Rose, since they seem to have a special tag team intro (and they even kind of resemble one another). Her fighting style is named Honoka-Ryu, which probably is self-taught or self-made. So what’s the story with the pirate glove? Is she an actual martial artist or a ‘magical girl’ combatant? IS SHE ACTUALLY LUCKY CHLOE IN DISGUISE???

Well, the trailer for her debut should answer some of these questions, sometime tomorrow (the 15th). We’ll see then.

Honoka’s Reveal Trailer arrives.

Okay, I have to say I am honestly, legitimately disappointed with this newcomer. At least Marie Rose had her own unique moves and fighting style, but Honoka’s moves (judging by the trailer) are a mish-mash of borrowed stuff from various fighters- Hitomi, Jann-Lee, Zack, Helena, Kokoro- even perhaps something from the big man grapplers (and a thin girl doing a crushing bearhug just looks odd). The thing that sets her apart is her apparently ‘magical’ glove, which we will probably find out about as the game arrives. Aside from her rehashed moves though, I am also not liking her token timid and perky, saccharine-cute schoolgirl character. Hell, since I’m not really a boobs guy not even her huge boobs are a big plus for me. Oh well.

The Japanese version of Honoka’s trailer.

Okay, strangely enough, I am not as annoyed as I was with Honoka watching the Japanese trailer. Perhaps it was due tro her english voice that made me dislike her the first time. However, I still don’t relish the idea of another character who copies moves from other fighters. This is in her story, making her kinda like a female, kid version of Raidou- which leads me to suspect perhaps she’s related to him in some way. Anyhoo, that’s that. Next up is the February release of DOA5LR, which I eagerly anticipate.

Dead or Alive 5: Last Round Teaser Vids

Posted in Dead or Alive 5 Last Round, DLC, Extra Costumes, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, PC Gaming, PS3, PS4, Xbox One on January 6th, 2015 by thelonegamer

Fight vids like this show off new bits like outfits and hairstyles.

Dead or Alive 5 Last Round is still headed for a February release on pretty much every platform save portables. Team Ninja has been a bit sparing in their release of video for their upscaled sequel, but thankfully they have said that they will be releasing more video to show off their game. So far we’ve seen short matches which usually show off some new costumes for the characters, and every little bit just makes me want this even more. I dunno- basically it’s the same game as DOA5U, but with two new additions to the roster (Mecha-Raidou and the so-far unrevealed female) and upscaling to 1080p resolution (for PS4 and XB1), but I am kinda getting the feeling that there will be little nice bits and bobs of new things to see.

Anyways, the game will also be available on Steam (already preordered!), so PC players will also be getting DOA awesomeness this Valentine’s month. Whoopie!

Preorder swimsuit DLC and offers are plenty online.

Dead or Alive 5 Last Round PC Confirmed!

Posted in Dead or Alive 5 Last Round, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, mods, PC Gaming, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox360 on December 4th, 2014 by thelonegamer

The fanservice fighter heads to PC, more sexy outfits and action incoming!

It’s been speculated for months, and recently an entry on Play-Asia pointed to the possibility of Tecmo KOEI’s sexy fighter finally headed to the Windows PC platform. Well, speculation ends and fact take over- Team Ninja has officially confirmed Dead or Alive 5 Last Round will release on Steam, with the game now available for preorder. Incentives abound for those who order the game in advance, in the form of additional downloadable costumes (some of which are shown in the trailer above). The more people preorder, the more free stuff- so preorder away over here.

Also teased is the debut of the all-new female character, who will be unveiled in full on January 15. Earlier, DOA’s first boss Raidou was revealed as a returning fighter (albeit in cyborg form). The new female has already been confirmed to be all-original and totally new to the franchise.
DOA5 Last Round is set for release on February 17, 2015 on PS3, PS4, Xbox360, XBox One and PC.

DOA5LR on Steam? Awesome mods, here we come!!! WOOHOO!!!