WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?! Dark Souls III Cinematic Opening Trailer

Posted in Action Adventure, Dark Souls, Dark Souls III, Fantasy, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, PC Gaming, PS4, RPGs, Xbox One on February 8th, 2016 by thelonegamer

Yet another game I’m dying to play.

Dark Souls III. I have no idea what the story is this time, but it looks amazing. With elements and flavor no doubt gleaned from the previous From Soft epic, Bloodborne, this may be a more fast-paced Dark Souls than veterans and fans have seen before- and perhaps the most accesible. Honestly, I have played a LOT of the original Dark Souls, although I never finished it (I tapred off after acquiring the Lordvessel), and haven’t played Dark Sous II. I did play tons of Bloodborne, reaching up to just before the final boss fight. In any case, I am really stoked for DSIII. I’ve always loved this dark, depressing yet ever-hopeful world, and this new game looks to be the most epic yet. This April, we’re all going to be fools for this game.

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.

12 Minutes of Dark Souls II Gameplay!

Posted in Action Adventure, Dark Souls, Dark Souls 2, Fan Service, Fantasy, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, PS3, RPGs on April 11th, 2013 by thelonegamer

Dark Souls II Gameplay Demo from IGN.

IGN scores a scoop with this first ever showing of actual Dark Souls II gameplay. That’s 12 minutes of action from this upcoming RPG sequel. On the one hand, it’s pretty obvious that the sequel is looking a lot better than the first game- the environments are really detailed with nice, atmospheric lighting and effects, and the huge size of some enemies retains that trademark Dark Souls scale. I’m finding the walking animation of the player character kinda stiff though- maybe because the game is still early? Also, the view of the game- the behind-the-character view, seems very impractical in many parts of the demo in terms of your character actually blocking your view (I don’t recall it being like that in the first game). But I’m sure this won’t be an issue in the final game.

The way I am, I’ll probably try out DS2 when it comes, even if I never finished the first Dark Souls. I’ll surely keep an eye on this one though.