Archive for November, 2023

Dark Souls III: Complete

Posted in Best / Worst, Bloodborne, Games on November 12, 2023 by slateman

Barring a short stint with Demon’s Souls and Bloodborne a long time ago, I missed the entire Souls phenomenon. It wasn’t until 2018 when I fell in love with Bloodborne and since then, it’s risen to become my favorite game ever. I plunked a few hours into the remaster of Dark Souls, at some point tested out DS3 and even started Demon’s Souls on the PS5, none really drew me in. Sekir just kicked my ass and despite making it to the final boss, I never beat that one either.

Now, Elden Ring was a different story. I wrote about this game not once, not twice but three times and I think it’s in my top-20 games ever, though that list keeps changing. In fact, that title alone ruined me for games for most of 2022, with only a few titles even holding my interest as the year went on.

Several weeks ago, afer playing Bloodborne AGAIN, I had the itch to try out Dark Souls again and I booted up DS Remastered. I would have to restart, but I hated the visuals and chose to delete it immediately. Instead, why don’t I wait to see if DS3 ever goes on sale? While perusing a used bookstore with my daughter, I saw a bargain bin of games, mostly Wii and Xbox 360 cases. There was one blue one, however, and to my great surprise, it was Dark Souls III! The game cost $4 and contained a sticker disclaimer that it was badly scratched. I bought it, installed it and never once had an issue.

Now, I had played a few hours of this game while in Europe but with a new save in tow and years of guides to lead me, I set off into the land of whateverthehell in order to do…something. The story aside, I absolutely loved traipsing through another Miyazaki world replete with winding passages, hidden areas and beautiful landscapes. In fact, only recently did I realize that FromSoftware level design has a lot in common with Mario, fitting now that I completed two of those games in one day (see next post). There are so many locations where you simply know that a hidden section exists. In both games, you’re rewarded for that exploration with some perk, though in Mario they often are easier to decipher.

With a claymore in hand, I plowed through most bosses – much to my delight – all while reveling in the joy of discovery. I loathe bosses as they detract from my favorite element of videogames: exploration. It’s clear as the years progress that I never mind being OP as the true enjoyment is no different from 30+ years ago. “How do I get over there?!” It worked in Spyro, it worked in THPS, in God Of War, Tomb Raider and more. And Dark Souls has that in spades. Now, the tough-as-nails portion of the game is digestible alongside a super-powerful weapon and a little patience. Ultimately, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Dark Souls III with the exception of a few moments and that annoying Twin Princes battle. I legitimately planned on deleting the game if I didn’t beat him/them today – which I did, fortunately!

While I won’t likely return to this game, or either of its predecessors, or even to Demon’s Souls or Sekiro, but I’m so happy I played this. The call of Elden Ring beckons me repeatedly, perhaps I’ll revisit it again some day. But for today, DSIII has been a fun, 37-hour romp and one whose exploration was simply top notch.

One Day: Two Games Beaten

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Games, High Scores/Accomplishments, Portal with tags on November 11, 2023 by slateman

In the spring of 2012, I beat Portal and Portal 2 on subsequent days (I had been working on them simultaneously, on PC and Playstation 3. When I moved to Sweden in late 2016, I earned a pair of platinum trophies in the same day: Zero Time Dilemma at midnight and Far Cry: Primal in the afternoon. None of these accomplishments are particularly noteworthy outside of fond memories, but today I’m adding another to that list: completing both Dark Souls III and Super Mario Bros. Wonder within about an hour of one another.

I endeavor to post my thoughts on these achievements separately, but hey, I figured it was noteworthy enough to make a post about. My hernia surgery is set for Monday and as I am all-but-incapacitated, why not play some games! Unfortunately, I’m still two days away from surgery and I’ve completed two titles already. I’ll have to see what’s on sale during my post-op downtime.