Archive for February, 2024

Elden Ring Playthrough #2: Still So Good

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Bloodborne, Games with tags on February 18, 2024 by slateman

40 hours. (1 March update: 60 hours / 26 March update: 90 hours) After completing the title at a hefty 120 hours, I’ve now clocked another 40 and have no intention on stopping any time soon.

Despite arriving late to the FromSoftware parade, I’ve since beaten (and written heavily about) Bloodborne and later Dark Souls III. I got far into Sekiro (final boss) and both Dark Souls Remastered and Demon’s Souls. I feel confident in saying I understand the formula. And while I’ve written about this as well already, returning two Elden Ring two years hence has bought me right back to where I was in early 2022. I’ve got a few games I’m interested in playing: Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, Rollerdrome, maybe more Lies Of P. But, there’s no reason to. Elden Ring is just that damn good.

In fact, as I return to ranking my top-20 favorite games again, I find this game moving up…and up…and up. I can’t be certain, but I think it’s a top-10-ever game at this moment. From its sensational allure of discovery to the phenomenal art design. From the honed gameplay loop to the enticing sense of wonder. Its sound, the visuals, the adventure: it’s second to none. I just can’t say enough about this game and even without DLC, it remains one of my favorite games of all time.

Now, with Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth coming out, perhaps my passion will fade. But just like the first time I played this masterpiece, I’m really in no rush. Simply incredible.

Ys X: Nordics – NA Release!

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Ys on February 15, 2024 by slateman

Ys Books I & II came out on the TurboGrafx-CD in the spring of 1990 when I was 14 years old. In the near-35 years since, I’ve played almost every iteration of the franchise: on consoles, on portables, both numbered entries and side stories. I didn’t beat them all; some I abandoned, others I completed, but I simply loved returning to the world every few years.

Since then, communities have exploded, translations and special editions have expanded, but my adoration of the series never wavered. I loved Ys IX: Monstrum Nox, despite it being ranked lower than Ys VIII almost universally. But all that will matter in the the autumn of 2024 is that Ys X: Nordics will have an English translation on the PS5 and I couldn’t be more thrilled. My expectations are always tempered for Falcom’s storied franchise, but I endeavor to have fun, see Adol in yet-another new light and to enjoy three-and-a-half decades of one of my favorite series ever.