Daylight savings tonight and the warm weather is inching closer…

Dark Souls: a fulfilling challenge or a chore?

That's really my only question. I have no doubt the game will be great – perhaps even amazing – but over the past few years, I've learned that gaming has become more of a source of relaxation than ever before. The days of killing myself to finish Ninja Gaiden and Devil May Cry 3 (before they fixed the difficulty with the Special Edition) are long gone, and I'm just not interested in extreme challenges that add tension rather than relieve it. Now, I don't mind some difficulty and I do get a small rush of satisfaction when conquering something particularly tough, but I'd much rather just enjoy myself. So I'm a little worried at From Software's statement concerning Dark Souls : they plan to make the hardest game possible .

I don't expect cheapness, certainly, but I remain firm in my belief that Demon's Souls suffered from a definite balancing issue. I hear the gameplay in this follow-up effort will be a little different, and I also imagine we'll find different advancement systems and mechanics. That alone is intriguing. And I know the game will be designed specifically for the hardcore, but there is a limit…well, for me, at least.

Can we call Dead Space the Resident Evil of this generation?

It's clear that EA has high hopes for the future of their critically acclaimed and well-respected horror franchise. They mention the immense success of Capcom's Resident Evil series and make it plain they hope Dead Space will follow a similar path . Now, while I don't think we can say DS is as revolutionary as RE was back in the day, there are two things we have to remember- firstly, many will argue that Alone in the Dark officially began the sub-genre we called "survival/horror," and others add that Silent Hill did more for the category in some respects. Secondly, we shouldn't underestimate what the first Dead Space did; it managed to properly fuse a third-person shooter mechanic with an atmosphere and style that was vintage Resident Evil . The debate could rage for a long time, but at the very least, DS innovated, if not revolutionized.

But to get to the level RE hit back in the '90s seems unlikely. The industry has changed so much and the competition is steeper than ever before; more great games arrive at a faster clip than we've ever seen. For anything to stand out, it really has to hit big. Dead Space is big but in comparison to "RE big" during its heyday? Weeeeell…

Personal gaming update

So I'm playing and loving Dragon Age II . I do believe hardcore RPGers might be disappointed due to a number of obvious reasons – several of which I mention in my video commentary – but I also know the game is fun. But there's one thing I haven't mentioned- with all this great hardware and technology, why – why – did so many RPG developers do away with an open world map? We'll get one again in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim , I know, but this used to be a staple; a mainstay. And we could do amazing stuff with it, too! Why am I going to a menu to select my location? I do that in DAII; I did it in Ar Tonelico Qoga: Knell of Ar Ciel , and it just never seems to stop. Why are they restricting us in this way?

Just a question. Maybe people don't care, I'm not sure. Next week, we've got Yakuza 4 to go over and I've still got to weigh in on the competition for MLB 11: The Show . Yeah, 2K Sports has a pretty decent offering in MLB 2K11 , or so I hear. Oh, and then there's Top Spin 4 , which I can't wait for, but I know nobody cares about. 😉

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WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Got to agree about chores and whatnot. There's tension and difficulty and then there's torture that no longer has benefit for me.

Gonna be playing DAII again tonight cuz it is pretty sweet. I made a smexy redheaded female champion to spice things up.

If you would have asked me years ago if this generation would be a return to open world RPGs I'd say of course, they'll have all that power and space to play with. But sadly no. I'm not keen on the menus to travel either, seems lazy to me.

I dig Dead Space (still playing 2) but I don't know how much further the game can go after a third outing. I hope EA doesn't just lean on Visceral to keep making them. At least we know they are working on other stuff, but they aren't that big a team.

shadowscorpio
shadowscorpio
9 years ago

I believe that "Tales of" are the only RPG's that haven't done away with the world map yet. If they were traditional turn-base, these games would probably be the savior of JRPG fans. The thing that I can respect about the Tales of series is that even in this gaming gen they have still stayed true what they have always been.

Here's to Tales of Graces coming to the U.S.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

I don't think Dead Space will ever be the Resident Evil of this generation. Not only was Resident Evil an "alone in the dark" thrill ride with just about every release, it largely left it up to the player to find his/her way through the game via clues and documents found around the game. Dead Space…not so much. It guides you as if it's holding your hand. Plus Dead Space lacks memorable boss battles and puzzles. One of my favorite aspects of Resident Evil was the puzzles and boss fights. Something Dead Space is lacking. I also loved how Resident Evil 2 allowed you to play the same game but from two different perspectives. That's half the reason Resident Evil 2 remains one of my favorites in the series even today. S for me Dead Space will probably never replace Resident Evil for me. Plus now that Issac speaks, I like him even less for some reason.

Speaking of Dead Space, I still haven't finished 2. Not sure I will anytime soon either as I am still knee deep in Killzone 3's multiplayer and I also just started Valkryia Chronicles. So far I am liking it. A lot. So much in fact I ordered the second one yesterday from Amazon. I'm really loving the graphics. Something about the artist vision of it grabs me and keeps me wanting to see more. It has a style of its own and I would really love to see more JRPG's(or any kind of game really)adopt what Sega has done with the presentation. My only gripe is the white boarder that's always present around the edges of the screen. Seems rather necessary to me as I want to see everything that's on the screen but it's not a big deal. I really didn't think I would enjoy this game but something about it, that I can't quite put my finger on is really keeping me interested.

rogers71
rogers71
9 years ago

I absolutely love Dead Space 1 & 2. It will never surpass the greatness that was Resident Evil 2.

With that said, after RE2, it took a downward turn and has gotten worse with every sequel. I sincerely hope that Dead Space does not fall into the same spiral that has befallen RE.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

I really loved 3, 4 and Code Veronica. It didn't get lame for me until 5. I really do not know what Capcom was thinking. Maybe Jun Takeuchi was playing to much Gears of War.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

oops…The white boarder seems rather *unnecessary…

The iPhone's auto correcter. A blessing, yet a curse. >.<

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

The Dead Space puzzles are easy peasy, but you do piece the story together in a similar manner: audio and text logs.

I know what you mean about the white boarder in VC, but it bothers me less because of the painting like quality than say the giant black fog around the screen edges in Mass Effect 2. That annoys me to no end.

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
9 years ago

Dead Space puzzles are definitely too easy, though I really enjoyed the enhanced scope of them in the sequel. That white border around VC was a rather strange design choice, but it does fit with the style of the watercolour visual presentation. It's so pretty.

It's also retained in the second one, so don't go in expecting to not see it.
Peace.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

True the piecing of the story together is similar but Dead Space guides the player through the game by clicking the left analog stick. It gives you a way point. Something Resident Evil games didn't do. In Resident Evil the player is largely left on their own to figure out which way to go. Only given hints through clues and the process of elimination. I think part of the reason I enjoyed Dead Space 1 a lot more than I am 2 is I played through the entire game not knowing you could click the left stick to tell you where to go. Haha. Only on my second play through did I figure out there was a way point. After that the game just didn't seem the same.

@Lawless, yea, I expected as much but it's okay. While I would prefer it didn't have it I am already starting to forget about it as I play more of the game.


Last edited by Jawknee on 3/12/2011 10:31:30 PM

SvenMD
SvenMD
9 years ago

I think it's pretty evident that I really liked DS 1&2. (the avatar says it all) 😉 But even I dont think that DS will go beyond RE in terms of sales it popularity….. But that doesn't bother me. I think Visceral has made a phenomenal game and I don't really want to compare it to anything else. But I think DS did alot for the current state of "survival/horror" and changed it Up quite a bit For one, zombies are freakin' played out right now and even though Dead Island looks awesome so far, it was nice to see something besides a zombie. Second, anatomical dismemberment is amazing. Third, the weapons are diverse…. Thank goodness I don't have to take on these things with a crowbar or a little 9mm….. You get a plasma cutter… Sweet! Anyway, I'm already looking forward to the next one.

@Jawknee – you don't HAVE to click L3! Haha.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

Haha, I know but now that I know it's there it's hard not too.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

If there was no locator in DS you'd be running out of oxygen a lot. I like it, but if you just follow the locator you will miss a lot of stuff.

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
9 years ago

HEY! Why do I not remember air cans in DS2?

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

Neither do I. Seems they did away with them entirely. Seems like there were less Zero Oxygen areas in Dead Space 2 as well.

World, my first play through of Dead Space 1 I never ran out of oxygen even without knowing about the way point. I just always made sure I had oxygen cans with me and I rushed through the zero oxygen areas as fast as I could to avoid running out of air. It was only on my second play though which was on a harder setting and when I wanted to explore a bit more did I run the risk of running out of air.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Fair enough. DS2 opted for air refill stations. I got pretty turned around on the mission to reset those mirrors in space and almost ran out of air a couple times. Enough to make it tense anyway.

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

I'd prefer to have both difficulty options in games. A regular difficulty for the majority of those "regular" gamers, and then the harder difficulties for those who like a good fight.

Dragon Age 2 looks good. Now I'm torn on what version to get. DF just came out with a final version face-off and it seems last minute changes by Bioware happened before the game shipped. The PS3 version is now more my preference.
I've always been one to take smoother frames and some tearing over lower frames and v-synced graphics. Judging by DF's observations, the PS3 gets Richard's personal preference between the two versions due to it's higher frame-rate+some tearing and great MLAA for smooth edges. Cutscenes also appear to hold up better on PS3.
And I totally prefer the DS3 for mashing buttons and DA2's rogue class is definitely "mashy." The question becomes DA:O. On one hand I prefer the clearer textures, DS3 and BD-ROM, but the game suffers from deeper FPS drops and a lack of AA in comparison to 360. BUt Temjin why not just play DA:O on 360 and DA2 on PS3? Because I wan't to import my DA:O save file to DA2 =)

PGU: Lost Odyssey, I've been playing Lost Odyssey *shifts eyes, clutches sword, and listens for disturbances in the wind. My Porky Power Ranger friend may be lurking nearby readying his attack* =p

I did take a slight detour and play a level or so of Reach (got it for $13). And yeah, KZ3's visuals spanks it old school hard.


Last edited by Temjin001 on 3/12/2011 9:59:40 PM

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

From now on, every time you mention Lost Odyssey in a post, I am going to give you a thumbs up. 🙂

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

woo hoo! =)

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

"I did take a slight detour and play a level or so of Reach (got it for $13). And yeah, KZ3's visuals spanks it old school hard."

I don't know if it was just the TV I was playing it on when I played it with my friend at his house but Reach had jaggies galore! I really was surprised at how unchanged it looked from Halo 3. The helmet textures looked nice in some of the cutscenes but I really couldn't see any drastic improvements over the previous game.


Last edited by Jawknee on 3/12/2011 10:19:19 PM

PasteNuggs
PasteNuggs
9 years ago

@Jawk
I actually played Reach before 3 because I didn't get a 360 until November and when I played I could see some major improvements from 3 until Reach. To me, everything just seemed a lot less flat and there was more texture detailing, at least in the "nature" environments. In the urban environments everything looks flat and square with no detail though.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

Yea I could definitely tell a difference in the textures but not much else. Maybe it's because I haven't played 3 since it released and I am just not remembering correctly. I was still left asking myself why the jaggies were so bad though. Not since the start of this generation have I seen jaggies that bad. The frame rate seemed choppy and the characters outlines looked jittery for some reason too.

PasteNuggs
PasteNuggs
9 years ago

I definitely agree on the framerate. The vehichle sections seemed the worst to me, and the checkpoints. The character outlines though, I don't know, to me it seemed like Bungie was trying to give the characters like some sort of aura or something. It was a little off putting though.


Last edited by PasteNuggs on 3/12/2011 11:24:36 PM

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

Jawknee, there's a number of enhancements, albeit more subtle ones, to Reach across the board, but even so, it still looks like a Halo game. Outside of a level that used a lot of white buildings it looks on par, aliasing wise, with much of whats out there today for the platform. THough, I think Reach is using a cheap AA method, but it's still better than having zero AA like Halo's from before.
Visually, the only real thing I that still stands out about Halo is it's sometimes impressive HDR usage. Some darker indoor areas, like "the Long Night of Solace" Covenant ship part looks quite nice. Reach can suffer from some occasional, mostly rare instances of frame dips, more-so than I remember from Halo2/Halo 3/ODST.
As a whole though, Reach looks surprisingly dated now having played a lot of KZ3. Generally, KZ3 feels like a half-generational gap quite often in graphics over Reach. Making that dated feel sometimes hard to ignore. But not only that, the motion in KZ3 is pretty impressive. It may be less weighty than KZ2 but it's still doing some gun and player momentum physics that feels really convincing. Also, I can't help but highlight the great animation, best I've seen for a FPS. It's just superbly handled all around.

Qubex
Qubex
9 years ago

Temjin… crazy thing is, after KZ3 visuals, how do you get used to other FPS's now? Battlefield 3 may come close if they do something special with it…

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

The motion and animations are quite fascinating in KZ3. Like you said, even with the change, the realistic, fluid motions just feel right. I played a little bit of KZ2 today and now I can't decide which controls I prefer. They both feel great though 3 feels quite a bit more accurate and less herky jerky.

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

Qubex, those Battlefield 3 graphics will be downgraded for console gamers. A DX11 game running on a high-end GPU is going to make things look pretty nice. So unless they've discovered something really amazing, programing-wise, it's not really possible for a multi-plat to look as good as a custom designed PS3 game. Assuming good art direction is in order, it really comes down to crunching the numbers and optimizing resources for the final overall look of a game. No matter how hard a dev tries, they just couldn't make Uncharted 2, KZ3, or GoW3 happen on a 360. Battlefield 3 just won't compete at that level.

THEGODSLAYER
THEGODSLAYER
9 years ago

deadspace will never be as good as resident evil was back in the day,

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Resident Evil is dead at any rate, especially with a team based action game on the horizon.

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
9 years ago

That's an unconfirmed rumour. All we know for certain is that there are two 3DS games and a PSP game on the horizon. Actually, that's pretty much a death knell anyway.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

There is another rumor that Resident Evil 6 could be a time PS3 exclusive as well. I wonder if it as anything to do with the Team Based Action game rumor that you're talking about World. I guess this Team Based Action game is supposed to be made by the same people who made Socom Confrontation.

main_event05
main_event05
9 years ago

As much as I love RE they should have ended it with Raccoon City.

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
9 years ago

I'm very glad that it's stopped raining for the time being. Not being able to work this past Thursday and Friday was irritating. Still another two months left of the official wet season though. :/

I like me a challenge, but not a cheap one (the final boss of Dissidia: Final Fantasy springs to mind). It's one of the reasons that I thoroughly enjoyed Demon's Souls, but I also didn't like it because most of the bosses forced you to use one specific method of attack, and if you weren't proficient in that style, you'd get nailed. Outside of that, I had no qualms with it. Looking forward to Dark Souls because it appears to follow that same pattern. And the open world format is awesome. I hope to see more RPGs use it.

RE was the go-to series for shock and horror since its inception until RE5. I don't think that any game can be called the same today, unless it's Amnesia: Dark Descent. That's supposed to be creepy as all hell. FEAR didn't strike me at all, Dead Space is more about the action, but I'm looking to see what DMD and Silent Hill: Downpour are capable of. But it appears to me as though Alice: Madness Returns will have horror elements (you must remember that I prefer psychology to visual horror).

But I think EA's statement is more along the lines of Dead Space being the popular brand of horror, rather than the most spine-tingling. In that respect, I do believe it's possible.

Personal Update:
Finished DS2, the review is up, and I had to cut almost 2000 characters from it… Yeah, 'tis long. I'm now playing Brutal Legend. My thoughts thus far are reserved.
And I finished 1984 on Friday. How can it take me less than a week to read it, but more than three months for Middlemarch? Makes no sense. Anyway, I'm onto Inferno now.
Peace.

P.S. Did anyone hear about Insomniac Click? What are your thoughts?

PasteNuggs
PasteNuggs
9 years ago

My thoughts on click are that it will be something to boost Insomniac's budgets to continue to give us great games. Also, since it is a division I assume that it will be training ground for new team members to get accustomed to the Insomniac team and learn from the masters.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

Yea, the final boss in Dissidia was a great challenge. I think I finally beat him with Cloud and then again with Squall and Gabranth.

As for Insomniac Click, I hadn't heard of it until now but I don't do Facebook so I probably won't go beyond the Googling I just did to find out what it was about. 🙂

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
9 years ago

No, Jawk, I thought that final boss was cheap… At least in Inward Chaos. He was level 111, or some such ridiculous number like that, all those undodgeable attacks. And almost always an instant one-hit kill. Cheapness. I beat the main story mode of all of the good characters though 😀

And I'm inclined to agree with Nuggs on Click. It'll be a proving ground for the new devs introduced to the team, but I mean, will the involvement of Insomniac in the facebook apps be something vastly different, or will it just be more of the same? Will it really bring console quality gaming to FB? I hope so, but I doubt it.
Peace.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

I don't think I attempted it on Inward Chaos. You have given me a reason to play the game again. 🙂

Vitron
Vitron
9 years ago

I also challenged the Inward Chaos with my Squall yet to no avail so I just quit plating it after a while. Now I just gonna start grinding again for Squall's Lion Heart item.

johnld
johnld
9 years ago

i bought dissidia for 20 bucks. took it home, played a couple of games, went to sleep, brother let girlfriend borrow it. then they broke up, she kept the game and psp, and i just spent 20 bucks for nothing. next week, my brother sold his wii with MY mario galaxy game in it. Hence my rule of not buying games for systems i dont own. if psp games can be played on ps3 then i would be able to buy and play it.

PasteNuggs
PasteNuggs
9 years ago

I'm still torn on DA2, but I assume I will break down and get it at some point. I just still don't exactly like the X button attack.

PGU: I "finished" Mass Effect 2. I haven't done all the DLC and I'm not sure if I will. I put 74 hours into it on my playthrough. I might start another one because I lost 2 team members. I lost Jack and Jacob. Jacob bothered me more because I'm not sure why I lost him.
So now, I still have DS2, GT5, and AC:B for my main 3 games. I'm really starting to feel the urge for AC:B so that might be what I play now, although I did pick up Alpha Protocol for $16 this week so I may get in to playing that instead. I'm going into it with low expectations and am hoping I can see the genius behind the flaws.

Beamboom
Beamboom
9 years ago

Funny, I've looked at the Alpha Protocol pricing for weeks now, thinking exactly what you're thinking, "it can't be *that* bad, can it?"… Please tell how it goes playing the game with no expectations.

Regarding brotherhood: Go for it, I say. it's a really good game. It's not a story of epic proportions like the BioWare games, but it's still a good game.

kellett007
kellett007
9 years ago

I can not wait for Yakuza 4 and Top Spin 3. It was 80 degrees here today so it is def tennis season for me.

PGU: Still playing GT5 and am now level 31 A-Spec and 34 B-Spec. Should have almost all the races done before long just waiting till the endurance save patch comes out before attemping those 24 hour races. Also playing both RDR and Undead Nightmare and really starting to get into it.

main_event05
main_event05
9 years ago

FYI Dr Pepper has a promotion going on for free DS2 Costumes.

main_event05
main_event05
9 years ago

Also, I hear Sony just won a lawsuit giving them access to all the IPs that accessed geohot's website, twitter stream and youtube page.

Shams
Shams
9 years ago

PGU:

Killzone 3, though a hurried (and ambitious) effort, rocked the kaspah, and I'm digging the mp, though I'm a total newb. DS2 was a thrill, so I downloaded "Severed" DLC today. Will be replaying inFamous in hot anticipation for the sequel. DA2 is tempting, but I'll hold off on it, along with BulletStorm, for the $20 sweet spot…it'll be a while, but 2011 has plenty to hold me over with. Need to get a new harddrive and an external one so I can finally get to GT5. I got Uncharted 1 from Buydotcom for 15 bucks, so I'll be playing that again, though I'm more in a mood to play Vanquish again. And man, I forgot how fun Wipeout is.

I dug the Crysis 2 Speed Trailer (The 3rd "New York, New York" remix is the best, just don't know who it's by). IGN's 4 part interview with Cliffy B was surprisingly engrossing. He's really passionate and intellectual, and based on how he cites gaming history, he's definitely a gamer first and foremost. He's got me psyched even for Gears3, so I'll be picking up a battered 360 up at some point…but I can wait.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

I thought you had a 360 already? Did you sell it at some point?

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

I don't think I could even pick up a 360 just for Gears 3. It may be worth holding out Master Shams. Didn't Epic claim recently that they'd "love to bring Gears to the PS3?" I think it's still pretty probable.
BUT if you do manage to get a battered 360 anyway, snag Bayonetta and my new best friend LOST ODYSSEY while you're at it =) Good stuff. and my 360 gamer tag is Temjin01. One less zero than my usual. =)

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

I wouldn't be surprised if the next Gears after 3 ends up on the NGP too.

Shams
Shams
9 years ago

You remember correctly, Jawknee. I had one, but sold it sometime last year. When it was announced ME3 was coming to PS3, my interest waned in getting a 360, again, but Cliffy B rekindled it. But you reminded me, depending what comes out on the NGP, this may change again, because I will be getting an NGP for sure.

And true dat, Sensei Temjin. You've got me interested in both Lost Odyssey and Bayonetta. Gears3 might just be the cherry on the sundae.

kraygen
kraygen
9 years ago

Ben, I'm curious as to the balancing issues you're talking about with Demon's Souls. Only thing I could find in the review about balancing was the music.

I think as long as Dark Souls is hard because you have to learn how to play and learn when to attack and defend, like Demon's Souls, I'll love it. If it's just super hard because when a monster looks at you wrong you keel over, I'll be beyond annoyed. I'm really ok with trying to figure out the best way to attack, strategy, and all that. I don't however enjoy games that every enemy takes 80 hits to kill, but they can kill you in 2, just aggravating.

Currently finishing up the dlc that I got for free on Mafia 2, I really enjoy it, so I might have to spring for the parts I didn't get. When I have fulfilled my mafia appetite for a while, I'll put Two worlds 2 back in and see if they've patched it yet. Second half of the game still freezes a lot anytime it tries to load, which since it is open world, it loads often. I actually learned several spots to avoid as they are freeze happy, but I loved it a lot and I want to play through focusing on magic because the magic system is freakishly awesome.

I have Godfather II to play which will come after my Two worlds 2 game is finished again, or possibly before if they haven't released the patch yet, it's in the works, just not sure when it'll be ready to download.

About 6 years ago a friend brought over a game on xbox called Advent Rising, I absolutely loved it and thought of it the other day, found it new on amazon for less than $10, so that will be here next week and I can't wait to play it again, wish they had made the sequels.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

I'm talking about the fact that souls are used for everything, including buying items and leveling up. This means you can either choose between advancing your character or buying a piece of equipment.

Most RPGs, obviously, have a money/experience system, which makes much more sense. I understand the addition of strategy with souls and making big decisions, but it doesn't pan out, balance-wise. That's how I see it, anyway.