There were so many games to play this month. So many that I almost lost what little reason I have and went "Let's play ALL the games!". Not trying that was the wisest choice because even the ones I decided to play didn't get as much time in them as I wished due to a combination of general lack of energy and being busy with Blaugust.
I'd like this next month to at least keep playing the new ones and making some progress on them though. But we'll see how the month turns out.
Alright, this is what I have been up to this month:
Anyone that follows me on Twitter has seem me talking about returning to Dark Souls. This post will be kind of an extended edition of those tweets.
Rewatching the "Let's Play" videos that got me into Dark Souls in the first place got me in the mood to play the game again. It hasn't helped that I also have been in a pretty moody headspace lately where I haven't felt like doing anything, not even play games. So I have been poking my head into random games to see if they would stick and Dark Souls was one of those.
There was a post in Dating Sims in the Holodeck about high difficulty in games. The gist of it is that they play games for entertainment and a harder difficult in games gives them opposite sensation. This has been so bad before that they abandoned games before due to a sudden spike in difficulty.
This made me think a bit about the topic, enough that putting everything in a single comment would be too much so time to write it all down here!
A while ago Ravanel made a post about Fandoms that I never though I'd like (bud did)*. It is a pretty interesting post (and topic) and I've been meaning to write about it since then. Unfortunately certain things got in the way so I am only writing about it now.
Anyhoo, unlike Ravanel I can't say I always had an open mind. Sure, if you asked teenage me I would have said that I was the most open and accepting people in the world. But the truth is there was a lot of things I snubbed down or outrighted hated because it didn't conform to what I felt was the way the world and myself "should be". Nowadays I try to police myself better to not fall into those kind of traps and to actually have an open mind. But it is a constant battle for that, one that I do not always win.
So this post is about those franchises I snubbed in the past then through certain circumstances gave it a try and found out that I was wrong, that I actually really like it. Here are my picks, in no specific order:
This is the Let's Play that got me quasi-obsessed with Dark Souls until I actually bought it in the latest Humble Bundle. Despite the name, and being a newbie at the game, Dan is pretty good at it. Or at least he is better than me since I died far more times than he did. :p
The series, as you can guess, has Dan, who is an animator in the game industry, playing the game. Serving as a sort of advisor is James, who is a designer in the game industry, and who already played the game to completion. Both of them discuss the game's design as Dan progresses through the game. If you are an armchair game designer like me there is a lot of interesting game design discussion here. Right now it is incomplete and in an hiatus while they produce more episodes. Still, pretty interesting to watch if you like watching newbies trying to learn a game as they play it AND game design discussion in one show!
If that is not your cup of you tea but you do love discussion about game design then you might enjoy their main show, Extra Credits. That one is all about game design discussion.
Another Let's Play, this one is more of a walkthrough with some tips and lore discussion. Obviously it is played by a very experienced player. But what I find fascinating it, besides his player skills which made it fascinating to watch (at least for a noobie like me), is the lore discussion. As he goes through the game he talks about what the description of items he finds means, what NPCs are probably talking about, the themes of the game and so on. Describing it sounds boring but the way he talks about this stuff is very, very interesting if you like the game.
I also find it fascinating how our playstyles are so very different. Yes, there is the obvious huge gap in game skill and knowledge about the game between us. But I also think it is due to the different choices and preferences in the way we play our characters. I end up making a knight, which starting out is a class that is pretty slow to move around due to the gear and initial stats but they can block a lot of enemies attacks without losing any HP. While he made a warrior that although isn't the fastest starting class in the game isn't nearly as slow as the knight. He also doesn't use the shield much, and has been gearing and leveling his character to make sure he can move fast, preferring to dodge enemy attacks than block it. While I have been keeping my character pretty much a turtle, slow but steady and very well protected.
Another interesting thing is he hasn't been following the most obvious path through the game. Part of the reason is to make some detours to get some loot, the other is so he can trigger some dialogues that people might not have seem and can lead to interesting discussion about the game's lore.
This is also incomplete as of this writing but I think it is updated about every two days.
This is a series that was recommended by the guys in the Side Quest Let's Play. Basically, it discuss the story and lore of Dark Souls through a focus on its main NPCs that you end up finding through the game. I admit I have watched almost nothing of it because I want to keep myself as spoiler free as possible. I did watch his series about the Demon's Souls Lore though since it is a game I am unlikely to ever play (unless a Playstation 3 and a copy of the game somehow ends up in my hands) and they are pretty interesting. He also makes a pretty good case of the reasons for Dark Souls being the way it is in Dark Souls: Why it's Different.
This video is a discussion about Dark Souls design, why it is like that, what makes it tick and its themes. If you like that some intelligent and interesting discussion about games in general give a look at the rest of his channel too!
I am not the type to be attracted to brutally hard games. I am just not the type of person to get a thrill off beating an uber difficulty challenge. It is just not how my brain works. But then I started to watch this Let's Play of Dark Souls. It not only made me fascinated with the game, it almost made me a bit obsessive about it. Since it is a game I could potentially hate though I didn't buy it right away, instead I was going to wait for a sale so if I didn't like it I wouldn't lose too much money. And it just happened that the latest Humble Bundle had Dark Souls on it. As you can imagine I bought that Humble Bundle and have been playing the game for the last few days. Much to my surprise I am enjoying the game a lot!