Category: Games

Forza 5

When you first start the E3 demo you’re given a choice of which car you want to drive. Like everyone else, I picked the bright red Ferrari over the Lamborghini. The only mode available was just a race around a city. There were no other cars to race against and it could have been more exciting if all of the E3 testers could race against each other via system link but alas this wasn’t the case. I still had fun testing out the racing aspect of the game. As opposed to previous Forza games, this time the cars actually felt like they had some weight behind them. It took a little bit of getting used to but Forza veterans and newbies will quickly adjust.

One of the new Xbox controller’s main features is the rumble in the triggers. While sliding into a sharp turn the rumble felt realistic as you can feel the tires grip the pavement. I was skeptical about the rumble feature of the triggers when Microsoft first announced it but now I don’t know if I can go back to play Forza Horizon without it. The concept works and it will be fun to see if different cars have different amounts of feedback.

No doubt the most recognizable feature of Forza games is being able to customize your car without limit. I’ve seen Halo: Reach decals and even Brad Pitt portraits painted onto cars in previous games. Luckily, Forza 5 continues this. Of course you can sell them in the Forza marketplace for in-game currency but now the store can remember your buying habits, in a similar way that Amazon recommends something based on your previous purchases.

One of the developers informed me that we can’t transfer any of our cars from previous Forza games, not even paint jobs. This crushed my heart but he made me understand that they had to completely build everything up from scratch with this game. I accepted the hard truth but I was still disappointed.

Another huge let down for me was the audio. One of the best aspects of Forza: Horizon was the soundtrack! I would race down the rolling hills blaring Arctic Monkeys from my car’s stereo. They informed me that all the audio was done in house and there weren’t going to be any featured bands in this game. The music seemed fine but it was lame not to have a choice between their music or licensed bands. I guess I’ll just have to listen to music on iTunes at the same time while playing Forza 5.

Since this is an Xbox One title, you immediately notice the visuals. They look great, don’t get me wrong, but at times they seemed a little bit underwhelming compared to other Xbox One games. During the E3 demo I stopped my Ferrari to see if the fans cheering on the side of the track were still hideous, and guess what? They are still frightening manikins. In one part during the race, fans on a bridge threw confetti on my passing car and it was stunning to see each piece go off in different directions. Also, the lighting and shadows in the first person view from the dashboard has to be some of the best I’ve ever seen.

One of the big features in Forza 5 is how they’re handling the Cloud feature of the Xbox One. Using the cloud, Forza 5 can bring your Xbox Live friends’ driving habits to your AI. This seems like it could be very innovative and something that all future racing games will need to stay competitive in the future.


Almanacs Of A Bygone Era

Medieval playing cards display a lot of individualism and the freedom of expression. When the Renaissance came the curiosity of the world around grew, the art became truer to life, and explorers were born. Then during the Industrial Revolution the production of the cards were made by power-driven machines in factories.

From playing cards we can learn about craftsmanship, the assembly and amalgamation of elements & materials. These cards have been the focal point for design, invention, or advertisement almost like a cigarette pack-sized almanac of a bygone era.

These decks have a tremendous educational worth, an extensive history and myriads of types & styles all over the world. Some have historical value, others political, then there are souvenir decks for tourists.

The early allusions to playing cards in Europe came from Brabant, Catalonia (Spain), France, Florence, southern Germany, Sienna, Switzerland, and Viterbo (Italy) in the 1370s. No cards from this era have survived but some sources point out that cards were gilt or painted in gold as well as various other colors all done by hand. This hints on the fact that these were luxury packs.

The Medieval theme took pleasure in ornate & colorful designs and miniature art was very much appreciated and applied. But that does not mean that people of this age were lesser in intelligence & sophistication and did not value art & culture as we do nowadays. Their designs are indicative of vivacity & refinement. This practice reached a plateau then the designs shifted to the grotesque, mechanical, or superficial.

The earliest cards that have survived the passing of time came from the 15th century. A deck from the collection of the dukes of Bavaria in 1430 had suits of stags, ducks, falcons, & hounds in reference to the courtly hunt. The original set included 52 cards-the number cards (1 through 9 plus a banner card) designate by repeating the sign of the suit. The court cards illustrated the suit symbols in harmonious relationship with the human figures- falcons & ducks with masculine courts while stags & hounds with feminine courts.


Batman Arkham City

With an already stellar battle framework, there’s little change inside Arkham City’s battlegrounds. As Batman, you can fight and counter well with several techniques. You fight with one button, counter with an alternate. Contingent upon how the player levels up, Batman’s traps and devices can essentially beat mind dead hooligans with ease. There’s nothing better than arriving at the end of a battle to witness that last hit to the jaw that only Batman can deliver. On the other hand, not all the foes are idiots. Some come outfitted for the fight with electric stagger bars, compelling protection, firepower, and some amazing numbers. One of my favorite battle techniques is hanging on statues, and dropping the hammer on clueless adversaries upside down. I’m likewise a huge devotee of slithering underneath vents, then to ascent to take a villain out… and afterward cover up once more. Gradually however without a doubt, one by one, the awful fellows start to get apprehensive and understand they’re in for a beat down; it won’t be long before they find the Bat!

An alternate perspective that emerged within the gameplay were the boss battles. While the Penguin and his shark coliseum was extraordinary (exceptionally similar to that of the boss fight with the ocean creature in Resident Evil 4); you never truly knew when the shark was set to hop out from submerged water to lay a beatdown on you. In hindsight, it’s the fight with Mr. Freeze that steals the show. You need to utilize your wit to its extent to survive this fight. The fight’s arena offered the ideal measure of key components to use stealth and nature’s turf to turn out triumphant. I likewise reveled in this battle for its emulating cutscene. I’ve generally had a weakness for Mr. Freeze, since deep down, I accept he’s a genuine man simply battling for the lady he adores. Sincerely, it was a touching minute in a game bent on violence and extreme judgement.

One component of the Batman series that provides a special test are the Riddler’s enigmas to be settled. I began this game with the presumption that I’d finish each of the 400 Riddler tests. All things considered, that didn’t keep going long. I would have needed to invest a ton of time on Google figuring some of these conundrums out, of which I chose to give up. After the first play through, having the chance to play the New Game Plus choice, I abandoned a large portion of these missions. The New Game Plus choice is a fun chance to utilize your newly obtained abilities, contraptions, and ability to go up against an increasing number of foes offering a more difficult test.

In all, Batman Arkham City offers additional modes to test the player’s merit (i.e. defeat waves of adversaries, effectively pull off a stealth mission, and so on.) Really, the fundamental draw for these tests are to sharpen Batman’s aptitudes, to turn into a significantly stronger protagonist.

In essence, the only grievance I have about Arkham City are the Catwoman missions. I didn’t fundamentally enjoy playing as Catwoman. I simply got so comfortable being Batman, that I simply didn’t want to be playing as an alternate character.


Dark Souls III

There are no “bullet sponges” here. They hit you for half your health bar? Guess what, you can hit them back for almost the same. You’ll die a lot, and unlike many other games, there isn’t an overly generous checkpoint system.

But know this: My kid (with some SunBro assistance from me) beat Dark Souls 2 -including DLC – when he was 11. He just finished Dark Souls 3 last weekend. He’s 13.

That said, after hundreds of hours poured into Dark Souls 3, here is my brief review.

Lets start with the negative stuff first:

The Poise system is badly designed (there is, last I checked, a belief among the community that the Poise system in fact doesn’t function at all. There is supposedly code in the game that would allow for a functional Poise system, but it was removed or ‘switched off’ before release. The developers, to my knowledge deny this, which is fine. But then it means they handled the mechanic really, really poorly.)

“It’s working as intended.” Then you intended it to work badly…

What is Poise, and why does it matter?

Every time you hit an enemy, you have a chance, depending on their Poise and your weapon, to interrupt their movement (preventing them from dodging, running, rolling, and most importantly – attacking.)

This is called staggering. The movement is interrupted and they get hit. A staggered enemy is a helpless enemy. A dead enemy.

This system applies to you as well as the enemies in game.

How Poise used to work: In past Dark Souls games you could wear armor that would raise your poise, making it more difficult to stagger you and disrupt your attacks.

How it works now: It doesn’t. Any enemy can interrupt most any attack with any weapon you use.

At first that might not seem so bad, until you get to the second mistake of Dark Souls 3 – and possibly my biggest complaint with the game.

Absolutely every enemy attacks faster than you can (and has longer reach), no matter what weapon you are using. They have a greatsword the size of a house? The can initiate an attack with that faster than you can stab with a dagger. Their dagger? Will hit you while your greatsword whiffs the air in front of their face.

So, if you’re the kind of player that likes to trade hits with enemies… you will ALWAYS be staggered.

Your only option now is to dodge out of the way of everything, all the time. And that’s fine. If that’s the playstyle you want to choose. People have been doing it that way since Demon Souls. But there was always a choice.

I like to be a fast-rolling ninja. But there are also times when I get sick and tired of this game’s crap and want to throw on some heavy armor, pull out a flaming ultra greatsword, and go to town!

In the past, you could choose heavy armor, and a greatsword, and exchange hits with an enemy. Yes it would hurt you, but you would hurt them more. An entirely viable playstyle that no longer works.

And fine. That’s how this game is supposedly designed. But the claim that Dark Souls has such a deep combat system? I don’t think that’s true with this installment.

For a game that is in large part based on combat… That’s a pretty big step back.

One more complaint:

The covenant system. This is no big deal if you’re not a trophy hunter. It’s entirely possible to play the game the entire way through and enjoy it without ever messing with the majority of covenants.

But if you’re after the Platinum trophy? Get ready to grind. A lot. Because while the multiplayer system has been improved over games of the past, there’s still a couple broken covenants that will require either a LOT of sitting around waiting to be summoned, or grinding. Expect an average of 6 hours killing the same enemies over and over and over and over and over and over…

(I’m looking at YOU Blades of the Darkmoon… )

OK, so what’s good?

Pretty much everything else.

The environments are beautiful, and fun to explore. I can’t think of a single area where I arrived and went “UGH. This again.” (In the first Dark Souls, I found pretty much everything after Sen’s Fortress to be cheap and tedious.)

The weapons and armor, everything really, looks amazing.

There is plenty of enemy variation, and they make sense for the environments in which they are found.

Multiplayer is always open to opinion. I think it’s fairly balanced if you play smart. Others will disagree. If you’re a whiner and don’t like being outnumbered when you invade, you won’t be thrilled with how Dark Souls 3 handles things.

Matchmaking is much improved. You can co-op with your friends easily this time around thanks to password matchmaking.

Finally, one of my favorite improvements: For the first time ever, all armor sets are useful! You no longer need to upgrade them. And they are ALL functional. The majority of weapons are viable as well.

The developers have given you an incredible armory to choose from, and it all works. Even the poorer weapons are adequate for handling in game enemies.

Bottom line: Is it fun? Yes. Is it frustrating? Somewhat often. Is it worth buying? Yes. Are there other games like it that are better? No.

Do I harbor resentment towards the developers? A bit!

If I were to score it, I’d start with a 10 for all the amazing things this game gets right. Then I’d take away 3 points for the broken combat and settle around a 7. Yes, this game has a whole lot going for it. But you’re gonna have to put up with some unnecessary (in my opinion) frustration to enjoy it.


Legend of Zelda

Over the years, Wind Waker has not only become more accepted, it’s become a fan favorite.Now with the Wii U in its infancy, Nintendo has given Wind Waker the HD re-release treatment.Unlike many classic games that have been re-released on the PS3 and XB360, Wind Waker wasn’t just upscaled but also has had a lot of polish added to the already timeless cell shaded artwork. In addition, some new features were added to keep the game feeling more modern and to fully utilize the Wii U Gamepad.

Story-wise it is still the same game and nothing really plays out any differently from the original. The only point that has really changed is that infamous Triforce hunt that comes towards the end of the title has been minimized in order to allow for a less tedious journey around the oceans. This leaves a lot more time and room for the other side quests; many of which already have a good number of steps as well. Nothing new was really added- no extra dungeons or bonus quests; but in my opinion Wind Waker doesn’t really need anything like that.

Graphically the game feels the same but there are some big differences once you pay attention. I’m personally glad that they worked at making the game feel the same at first glance but also polished it up enough to make a difference. The characters and lines pop more- feeling much more solid- but still retain their cell shaded look. Though they are much more smooth you can still see their original polygonal composition. Of course it is in widescreen (1080p) and fills your entire screen as any full HD game would making the world feel that much more vibrant and large. A lot of work was done to increase the “bloom” of the lighting; aka making the sun and sparkle much heavier, creating more of an “island” feeling. You can also remove the button prompts and UI from the TV screen to allow for a much more cinematic experience; long-time fans of the game will probably enjoy that the most.

The gameplay isn’t much different either but you get some added features thanks to the Wii U Gamepad. You can now aim weapons using the motion control of the Gamepad and your entire inventory is displayed on the screen so you can manage it on the fly instead of pausing. The motion control for aiming your arrows and boomerang takes some getting use, but as I adapted I found myself using it without thinking. The inventory being displayed on the Gamepad screen is a great feature and is what allows for you to remove the UI on your main screen. It also has tabs to look at your world and dungeon maps and one for your MiiVerse social integration. Later in the game, you can get an item that can speed up and make sailing easier- this is a welcome option to add. Everything else about Wind Waker plays just like the original, as it should.

The MiiVerse integration is a really nice feature and different from other games so far since it actually plays off the theme of Wind Waker, a vast explorable ocean with islands. Now you can use something called a Tingle Bottle and the camera (PictoBox) that was available in the original to send out messages in the bottle with a picture included if you so desire. These bottles then float around in the ocean and appear in other people’s games and of course you’ll find ones in your game as well. It is a cute feature and I enjoyed finding a bottle on the beach of whatever island I’m on with some picture of someone’s journey through the game. As an added bonus the new PictoBox can take self portraits with Link able to make several expressions, allowing for fun narratives to be made when coming up against a boss or just a good part of the story.

Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD is a great re-release of a classic Gamecube title. It keeps the original intact while adding new features and a very well done new coat of paint. The game still has plenty to do just as it did originally and is just as enjoyable as it was when it first came out. Plus it still has one of the best soundtracks from any Legend of Zelda game. It is a perfect Wii U game for a fan of the original or someone looking to try Wind Waker for the first time.As a special release and with such work done it, it is priced a bit higher than most HD re-releases at $49.99, but it is worth every penny.


Spider-Man Movie Suits

Sam Raimi’s Suit

The battle suit developed from the Sam Raimi’s trilogy of Spider-Man movies from 2002-2007. The suit covers nearly a quarter of Peter Parker’s life from high school to college, encountering formidable adversaries such as the Green Goblin, Sandman, Venom and Dr Octavious. Similar to the classic version except that Spider-Man is covered with web patterns around his suit. Gamers can unlock this suit after downloading patch 1.13 on PlayStation 4. In my opinion, it is first in rank because the suit has been heavily and aggressively tested in particular, the battle against Dr Octavious in Harlem, Manhattan, New York.

Iron Spider Suit

The second ranked suit crafted by Tony Stark, made its appearance in the Avengers Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home movies in 2019 respectively. Technologies and components from the Iron Man suit are equipped into the Iron Spider. Feared by the enemies once the four spontaneously grown Iron arms unleashed during battles.

The suit design is similar to the Advanced suit, covered with golden skeleton and a slightly small embroidered golden spider on the Web Head’s chest. The golden skeleton with maroon and navy colors gives the elegant look during web-swinging and battles. My thoughts that this is the second best because of Web Head’s most important role as a superhero to protect the Avengers from the Power Gauntlet during the immense final battle.

Wrestler Suit

Although is the least mentioned. The suit designed by Peter Parker himself in 2002 in order to enter into the wrestling competition to earn some cash, opens the door of ideas for other suit designs in future movies and games. Battle suit power is not at its finest, web throw enemies without even webbing them up, relative to other suit powers.

However, the red and blue outfit represents the genuine symbol of Spider-Man that true believers would prefer. In my opinion, the suit sits at third because it is the turning point of Peter Parker’s life in acquiring power and responsibility, an advice he hold firm on after his Uncle Ben’s death.

Far From Home (Upgraded) Suit

The suit represents Spider-Man: Far From Home movie and is unlocked after downloading the patch 1.16. Similar to the classic version where the black and red colour is used instead, designed by Tony Stark from the Homecoming movie and featured towards the final battle against Mysterio. The suit replicates exact features of the Iron Man suit in the movie and supported by the artificial intelligence E.D.I.T.H on supplying the weapons. However, no associate suit powers in the game itself.

My thoughts that this suit lies at fourth because the suit has a cool appearance outlook and capable to uncover deceptions from Mysterio. However, the suit plays less significant role in Web Head’s life yet and it’s still progressing perhaps in later years.


Setting Without a Plot

THE POSITIVES

The Multiplayer – You choose these competitive multiplayer options from the Crucible, which is the Guardian’s way of blowing off steam, I’d expect. Destiny’s multiplayer, as expected, is pretty seamless. The different game types are really well done, and offer varying experiences based on player preferences. I prefer 3v3 “Skirmish” game mode instead of 6v6 “Clash”, for example. I find it more tactical and less chaotic. Some players will prefer “Control”, in which you and your team capture territory. There are a lot of options here, and it shows that they’ve really put some thought into it.

My one complaint is that vehicles aren’t used as often as they should. The “Combined Arms” limited game type allowed increased use of heavy ammo and vehicles, but it only lasted for three days in September! I miss the days of old when you and your friends would load up on a warthog just to get blasted into the air by a rocket launcher.

The Multiplayer – You choose these competitive multiplayer options from the Crucible, which it the Guardian’s way of blowing off steam, I’d expect. Destiny’s multiplayer, as expected, is pretty seamless.

The Strikes – Strikes in Destiny are the equivalent of instances in most MMO’s. These are interesting, usually culminating in a fight with a horde of enemies at the end, then a boss is introduced, and finally you have to beat both the boss and the horde of enemies. It’s predictable, repetitive, and so much fun when you have mics. I played the Strike playlist enough to buy most of my armor pieces, but I found the most enjoyment in playing with my friends in a Fireteam. In these groups, we were able to communicate and enjoy one another’s company while trying to complete some scripted event. It was so much fun.

The Strikes are very limited. There aren’t many and you typically play the same ones you played in the single-player campaign, just at a higher setting. This was fun at first, but as you play the same strike over and over, it loses its glimmer.

I once did the same Martian strike three times in a row due to random bad luck. The worst part was that we’d get to the end, then someone would quit, then the other guy would quit, and then I’d be left alone until I also quit. Despite white-knuckled fury, I wasn’t able to beat it. I did eventually, but in those three times in a row I ended up physically hating the Cabal by the end of it.

Three-Man Teams – I remember trying to conquer a boss in Destiny with my friend and I. After we got swarmed by the Cabal for the last time, we gave up. Originally we decided to partner up to tackle him, because we wanted to record gameplay for YouTube. Eventually we were unable to progress and a bitter feeling took root in our perceptions of the game. This is one problem with a three-man team: once one member leaves, you’re down 33%.

I’ve noticed you depend too much on your team mates for Strikes. A person who leaves abandons two people to take on a whole mission on their own, an awkward partnership forged in hatred of the guy who left. Inevitably that partnership will dissolve and then you’ll be alone to quit. This is a huge problem, and there needs to be punishments for abandoning Strikes. So far there’s a reporting system, but you need to have the player’s information on screen in order to report them for leaving, and typically it’s too late by the time they’ve left.

THE PROBLEMS

The Story – This has been a big problem for me, since I absolutely loved the game’s setting but abhorred the lack of story. The game is amazing, and the developers have previously commented that it was inspired by “a candle in the darkness”. That idea echoes throughout the game, from all alien races posing a threat, to the imminent fear of the unknown.

The story parts of the game are the cutscenes with your playable character and either the ghost or other side characters.

Players have asked, “Why couldn’t we go to other systems?” Well, within the context of the story, it makes perfect sense. You can’t go to other systems, unless you want to be devoured by creatures in the darkness. The one source of light in the universe (presumably) is the Traveller, who died before the game began. His shell remains as a light source for the Guardians, who seek to defeat the forces of darkness that plague the universe.

Great story, right? Well, that’s actually just the setting. The actual plot of the game is nearly nonexistent. The story parts of the game are the cutscenes with your playable character and either the ghost or other side characters. These never go anywhere, instead furthering a plot that ends abruptly with a boss fight-based conclusion, which only caps the end of the game without ending the story. The actual story concludes with a scene reminiscent of the ending to Star Wars: A New Hope, but more enigmatic and pointless.

Yes, I know, expansions are coming so a conclusion would be premature. However, I expected some kind of narrative structure, some format where an introduction, body, and conclusion were present. Instead we get a setting without a plot, a story that was so interesting, so tantalizingly teasing, that went nowhere. What are the goals of the Queen and her brother? Where are the Vex going, and why? Are there more Travelers out there? We get few answers, and even fewer characters.

The Raids – There was only one Raid when I played: Vault of Glass. It was insanely hard and I could never beat it. Finding people to connect with in a Fireteam before trying to tackle it was also an effort in futility. Even when I would have a good team, we’d lose and eventually one guy would quit and, like the Strikes, we’d be unable to progress with just the two of us.

The gear dropped in the Raids are superior to what you’d find in a Strike. However, it was so hard to find anything and you got so little reward for your hard work that the costs didn’t match the benefit. I think I once got a Mote of Light, but beyond that I never got any good gear.

And explain to me how Bungie could design matchmaking for both the Crucible and Strike game types, but NOT the Raids? I’ve heard they’re fixing this (or have fixed it) but it should have been an option day-one.

I wish there had been more character development, more advancing of the plot, and more characters in general.


Fire Pro Wrestling Returns

There are no drastic changes to the core Fire Pro game play. It’s the same solid grappling system long time fans have grown accustomed to. Those who are new to Fire Pro will need to spend some time getting used to the timing. The fighting system punishes button mashers. I would advice newbies to set COM difficulty to 1 and work their way up to a harder level. This is one of those games where appreciation is only gained after learning the ins and outs.

The series’ trademark features are tight game play and a huge roster. FPR boasts a total of 327 real life competitors. To avoid copyright issues, everyone has been given a name modification. Vader is named “Saber”, Kenta Kobashi is “Keiji Togashi”, etc. Feel free to rename everyone accordingly. You also have the option of changing the attire for default characters. You don’t have to sacrifice one of your 500 edit(CAW) slots when your favorite wrestler changes gimmicks.

FPR’s all-star roster features wrestlers, boxers and mixed martial artists from around the world. Puroresu legends like Giant Baba, Satoru Sayama(original Tiger Mask) and Jushin “Thunder” Lyger are selecible. As always the default roster is dominated by Puro wrestlers. Some of the fighters well known to American wrestling/UFC fans include Bret Hart, Sting, Andre the Giant, Petey Williams, Mirco Cro Cop and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.

A new addition to the series is a “corner to center” attack. When your opponent is knocked down in the middle of the ring, you can hunker down in the corner to set up a spear, super kick or a few other maneuvers. This adds a bit more drama and accuracy to matches that feature characters who set up these attacks a certain way. Because of this new feature, you can create an accurate Shawn Michaels or Bill Goldberg if you were inclined to do so.

A traditional steel cage match has finally been added. Players can use weapons like barbed wire bats, or the cage it’s self to inflict pain upon others. Other match types include S-1(boxing, punches only), Gruesome( a 12 sided UFC inspired cage) and the Electrified Barbed Wire Exploding Deathmatch. While the has Hell in a Cell, The Japanese hardcore wrestlers hurl each other on electrified boards covered in skin shredding barbed wired. It’s different, but fun none the less

Buzz worthy features include Ref edit, Belt Edit, and Ring/Logo Edit. There is a GM mode called “Match Maker”, but is it very limited. All you do is set up matches between fighters and get graded by the percentage of crowd reaction of the match. There strange special events that happen during match maker do very little to expand beyond it’s limitations. For some inconceivable reason, created wrestlers are barred from use in Match Maker.

Presentation is nothing special. Menus are serviceable, but accessing some features can be a chore at times FPR’s 2D graphics remind me of arcade games like Wrestlefest. Character sprites are not hi resolution, but they are large and detailed. Spike could have easily recycled graphics from Fire Pro Wrestling Z. They instead created new sprites and reanimated some pre existing moves. Some animations seem a bit robotic, but are pretty smooth.

I’m sad to say Spike has once again mapped the pick up weapons button to the run button. Want to get a fluorescent tube from the corner while playing in an exploding barbed wire match? Make sure you are close enough to said tubes. Otherwise you’ll go running into the barbed wire ropes, thus end up looking like a complete fool. It doesn’t ruin the game or anything, but such neglect of the R2 button has me dumbfounded. Overall that is one of my biggest gripes with FPR.


Dark Souls Game

We should get one thing straight immediately; you’re set to bite the dust a great deal in Dark Souls. You will perish by more diminutive adversaries, fair sized animals, tumbling off bluffs, falling through gaps, and by monstrous and effective bosses. Furthermore, if that wasn’t sufficient, you’ll kick the bucket by different players invading your game as red apparitions. Yes, there are individuals whose sole motivation behind playing this game is to attack an alternate player’s world and take them out. Notwithstanding, what Dark Souls does so well is that with every demise, there’s a lesson to be learned. You take in enemy patterns, alternate routes, boss strengths and weaknesses, and so on. When you gain experience from your defeats (and there will be a large number of them), soon you’ll end up adept and be able to overcome the severity of this brutal game. It will take persistence and an extraordinary amount of time, however it can be done. When you do indeed beat a boss, a specific dungeon, or your first red phantom, it conceivably is the most fulfilling gaming experience you’ll ever encounter. It’s that challenging, yet satisfying, in a sick and twisted manner.

As fierce as Dark Souls can be, its gigantic setting can likewise be overwhelming, yet lovely in a grotesque manner. Your lethal trip starts in a refuge of the undead; yet you’ll likewise trapse through lower woods, sumptuous strongholds, unforgiving buckles, volcanic badlands, and dismal depths to name a few. Indeed, now and then the settings could be as unsafe, if not more so than the adversaries themselves. Case in point: the Tomb of Giants may be the most unfair deathtrap in gaming, which genuinely isn’t even reasonable to the gamer. This tomb is totally dark, requiring some form of light, which you may or may not have. Other than being totally bleak, there are various zones where you can and will fall of a great precipice. Granted. you can surrender a weapon or shield to convey a lantern (if you can find it in this black tomb); or you can cast a light spell, if you’ve learned one. In either manner, you’re surrendering security for light that you urgently need. To add insult to injury, you’re set to be battling mega skeletons, oversized arrows being shot at you, Silver Knights, and satanic skeleton puppies as you attempt to survive this somber prison. Fundamentally, and consistent with various gaming threads, the Tomb of Giants ranks as everybody’s top choice as their least favorite setting within the Dark Soul’s universe.

An additional barbarous turn offered by the game’s developers is the trouble of being cursed. When you get cursed (which you will), your health bar cuts in half. Believe me when I say you need each millimeter of that beautiful red health bar as you possibly can. In the dreary depths zone, there are basilisks (irritating frog like animals) who blow a haze of death directly at you. The main way to recover is to locate the healer that is far away, or discover the merchant who holds the anecdote. It is very likely that you have a long adventure to make due on an abbreviated health bar, while dodging death at every turn.

Thus, when all goes south, where can you grab your wits? Actually, in this game, there is no place of solace to run. What you are given are bonfires which are deliberately set as far and wide as possible. These act as your checkpoints. Bonfires are the place the player can renew health, repair or fortify weapons, level up, or outright holler. Remember, once you’ve rested at a bonfire, everything you’ve defeated up to that point (with the exception of bosses) respawns, requiring you to survive each portion once more.

As noted, you’re set die frequently in Dark Souls. When you do thus, you become hollowed. This is both a gift and a condemnation. The gift is that you can’t be attacked by red apparitions while hollowed. The condemnation is that you can’t summon an alternate player’s help while hollowed. This is harsh as there are numerous times a where one’s assistance is a magnificent thing; particularly provided that you’re lucky enough to summon a powerful phantom who can help you in your adventures. There are some decent NPC’s that are accessible to help out, however they are in no way, shape, or form as helpful as a genuine player might be, who recognizes what they’re doing. In the event that you are hollowed, you can use a sprite, to become human once more. These, however, are rare and ought to be utilized sagaciously as they don’t come around frequently. Without a doubt, there are a couple of territories where humanities have a tendency to drop; the rats you’ll experience appear to drop them every now and then, so remember that when you end up in need of some.

As a combative RPG, battle is of the upmost importance. In Dark Souls, you’ll have your pick of techniques and fusions. The excellent nature of this game is that you can change these as frequently as you’d like (at bonfires) to suit the present situation you’re in. You can attempt to navigate a zone as a chain heavily clad brute; or you can try for a light and deft approach with ninja clothes. You can wield a titan hatchet or try for brisk jabs with a set of blades. You can use a talisman to wield enchantments, or you can run in blasting away with the pyromancy enhancement. While both enchantments and pyromancy can be convenient, its not the little trick you could use to thrashing through much of Demon’s Souls. Sorcery and pyromancy will help, yet they won’t permit you to cover up in a corner and take out a demonic boss with shoddy moves.


Just Dance Versus Dance Central

I personally prefer the Xbox 360 and Xbox One as I find the motion sensing via the Kinect and Kinect 2 sensor are far more superior to the other consoles motion sensing peripherals.

Aside from that, Dance Central and Just Dance have some differences but are similar in many ways. Just Dance is more suited to those wanting to just have fun. Dance Central is more suited to those wanting to learn how to dance.

Dance Central is developed by Harmonix, who previously created the Rock Band and Guitar Hero games. Just Dance is created by Ubisoft which isn’t quite known for their music or rhythm games.

Dance Central has been claimed to be the best selling dance game series so far. Dance Central was also one of the launch titles when the Kinect sensor first came out (previously called Project Natal when in development).

Just Dance has a pretty big following as well, with the first few games only being released for the Wii (later released as Greatest hits on other consoles). Just Dance is available on all current and last generation consoles. Just Dance has even released games for the PS4 and Xbox One (so far dance central has been shelved and is not in development for current systems).

Dance Central is more realistic and has more variable difficulty. Songs in Dance Central are graded from 1 to 5 stars based on difficulty. You can also choose individual difficulty for each song as well, ranging from beginner to hard. As you progress through the lower difficulty moves you can move onto the harder difficulties to try it out.

As the difficulty for the song is increased (by the player’s choice), the moves become more difficult and faster paced. They also build upon previous difficulties dance moves, with hard difficulty incorporating moves from easy and medium with new added moves. One minor drawback to Dance Central is that the dance moves don’t always flow as much as they do in Just Dance which I find to be a minor setback.

There is also a practice mode In Dance Central you can use to practice moves of a particular song. You can slow down the song, practice certain parts practice the whole song in practice mode.

Just Dance on the other hand doesn’t have any practice mode. Most of the songs have normal or hard difficulty and most songs are typically faster paced (more of a workout if that’s what you are looking for). Just Dance has flashcards for the upcoming dance moves scrolled across the bottom (going right to left) as you dance to the choreographed dance of the onscreen character to the song you chose.

Dance Central uses a similar system but has flashcards with the names of the dance moves, scrolled from bottom to top on the right or left side as you follow the on screen dancer/character dance to the song.

Just Dance allows you to unlock songs using mojo points (and in Just Dance 2014 Xbox Live points, Wii points/ PSN points) to unlock new/alternate dance routines for songs, mashups and battles. You can also download new songs via points or money (depending on system you are playing on).

In Dance Central you have the option of importing songs from previous dance central titles as well as new songs via DLC with points or money. With this you can create quite a large library of songs on one game with up to 100-200 songs on one game. With Just Dance you typically have to change game discs to get more songs or play different songs.