Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Bloodborne

Hidetaka Miyazaki, the director of Demon's Souls and Dark Souls did not direct Dark Souls 2. Here's what he was doing with his time:


Looks like it will be a PS4 exclusive, sometime in 2015.

Confidence is high.

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Thursday, June 5, 2014

More Dark Souls 2

I reversed my opinion of Dark Souls 2 when I entered New Game+, and discovered just how much game they packed into the (blood) sausage casing. I've now finished the game three times and am only four trophies away from earning a platinum, my first ever. So, I'm still very busy with the game that came in the box but From Software went ahead and announced DLC anyway:


I still think it's the third best 'Souls' game, but wow, there is a ton of game there.  I will write up my full thoughts later.

The first DLC - Crown of the Sunken King - will be out July 22.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Man Who Remade Middle-earth


Over at Boing Boing, Ethan Gilsdorf interviews John Howe, artist and illustrator, and the man most responsible for defining the look of Tolkien's worlds:
Thanks to the seemingly infinite production documentaries found in the Rings trilogy's Extended Edition DVDs, Howe has become somewhat of a celebrity—at least among the ranks of those who care about the behind-the-scene scribblers, sword-forgers and model makers who work for the special effects house Weta Workshop and Jackson's fantasy empire down in Wellington, New Zealand. With his colleagues, Howe has brought new levels of fastidiousness to movie production design. Someone had to design every dwarf axe, evil tower, hobbit mug, and orc prosthetic, and Howe had his hand in nearly every decision about Middle-earth's "look and feel."
Full Story: HERE

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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Zen and the art of fantasy writing



Over at Boing Boing, Aidan Harte and Brian Staveley discuss, with much insight and honesty, the art of fantasy writing:
Another area where we differ is the invented texts of our respective worlds. The Emperor’s Blades make occasional reference to the sage Hendran, a cross between Sun Tzu and Dirty Harry, but it’s very subtle. I go the whole Meta hog with footnoted chapters of windy gibbonesque prose penned by a pompous historian. The interruption of the main narrative drove some reviewers apoplectic but I’m entirely unrepentant. Do you enjoy this kind of thing in your Fantasy, or is it just post-modern smart arsery?
Full Story: HERE

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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Transistor





Transistor launches May 20th for PS4 and PC
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Friday, May 2, 2014

Dark Souls II bits


I'm already bored by Dark Souls II. I'll try and metabolize my experience with it and produce a coherent post, but let's say my dissatisfaction has to do with one of the most subjective ingredients: atmosphere.  In the meantime, Mr. Joe has written up his thoughts on the game (link) and posted them for all to see:
The basic tone and gameplay haven’t changed hugely.  Once again you are a cursed undead dropped into a mysterious, ruined world for reasons unknown, having to harvest the souls of small monsters, middle sized monsters, and flipping enormous monsters in order to improve your stats, assisted by messages from other players and occasionally by those other players themselves as you wrestle your d-pad in a slightly clunky 3rd person action adventure style through assorted dark forests, dark ruins, dark towers, dark caves, dark castles, dark temples, and well-lit toy emporiums.  One of those is a joke.  Can you guess which?
His thoughts on smoothing out the rough edges align with my own. Here's Adam Smith, over at Rock, Paper, Shotgun, with more words on the same subject:
Here’s a bigger criticism – the quick travel detracts from the sense of claustrophobia, and of being lost in a cursed world. That feeling is central to my admiration of the Souls series and the quick travel softens it. You’re never more than a few minutes from a teleporter that will take you to the beginning of the game, which makes the world overlap itself and obliterates the sense that it has been left unfolded, Origami-like, or opened up like a ribcage before surgery. That’s how Lordran felt, spires like cracked ribs in the distance.
The rest of Adam's article is HERE. (It also points to his review of the original Dark Souls (link), and that is worth a read as well.)

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Dragon Age: Inquisition

Dark Souls II has me in its gaping maw, but there's another RPG sequel coming out later this year and I expect to be consumed by that one as well:


Dragon Age: Inquisition launches October 10, 2014, for PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.

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