My goals of trimming down the number of games I play at once have been achieved!
February 20, 2018

As I'm down to four games at once, which is a pretty reasonable number that allows me to switch from one to another if I get bored or temporarily frustrated by something...or just want to go from action to RPG to strategy or whatever. Well, four might briefly become five from time to time if I want to replay something old or (sigh...) help EmP out by messing with a 32X game or something almost as horrible (such as most of his other projects, which have forced me to play a crappy GBC Aliens game, the crappy original Thunder Force game on a crappy old computer, a crappy PS2 Evil Dead game AND the crappy Atari 2600 port of Zaxxon --- damn, dude, come up with a project where I'm playing something that kicks ass...PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!).

In recent time, I've beaten a few that have appeared on the site as reviews, as well as Dragon Warrior VII (in queue), Shin Megami Tensai IV (haven't written yet) and Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins (ditto; it was last night I finished it).

CURRENT PROJECTS:

Dark Souls (360): Right now, I'm in the beloved part of the game that comes after beating Boobs Spider to ring the second bell known as "do anything possible to put off trying Sen's Fortress" (current progress there: I beat two snake dudes, saw I had a big area of pendulums and narrow platforms and said "nope" before turning around). So, instead of that, I cheesed the big monster below Andre (big dummy just keeps shooting his lightning right into that broken pillar, allowing me to send arrows into him without fear!) and entered Darkroot Garden. I also entered Darkroot Basin briefly, but decided to retreat after what'sitsnuts shot giant bursts of water halfway across the world at me.

In the Garden, I got some good stuff. The Elite Knight armor seems to be a better and heavier take on the Balder stuff I'd been wearing (at least the armor and leggings....I'm using the Gargoyle Helm and Tattered Cloth Manchette for my head and arms as they're good at defense against magic and status effects, if not against actual physical pummeling). The Divine Ember found after fighting Flappy the Butterfly played a role in my next strategy. After buying the Crest from Andre, I found a wonderful area of soul harvesting (and humanity losing, due to two deaths and no recovery of bloodstain). And got a bow with 15 longer range than my short bow from one of the guys there. I mean, I've boosted my short bow to + 6 or 7 and don't use archery that much, but it seems cool!

After a bit of re-killing those fine people, I decided to not go after the big mushrooms in the next room (if I die, I'd have to go through the 4 guys again to get my souls and the one with the axe still gives me trouble) for a little while and, instead, used the divine ember to turn my upgraded bastard sword that became obsolete when I got the black knight sword and pumped points into the appropriate stats into a divine one. And then went to skeleton ville and from there into the catacombs, where I advanced to the first bonfire. Being able to kill skeletons now makes this area a bit more tolerable, although those exploding skulls in the first chamber are very unpleasant. Lost Souls from Doom transplanted into another world and given actual power.

Spyro the Dragon (PS): I bought this game a couple years ago. I'd first played it through a demo disc in some magazine which had 2-3 levels (I think the first hub and one or two of its levels) and then rented it and advanced fairly far. So far, I've done the first world (except for the flight level --- I am not a fan of Spyro flight levels in the second game and that extends back in time to the first) and the hub and one level of the second.

Mother 3 (GBA): Just started this one and played in the first chapter up through the very beginning where you rescue the dude and his kid from the burning forest and house. A game I'd wanted to play for a long time due to really enjoying Earthbound and fortunately, the internet can provide ways of doing most anything I want!

Alphadia Genesis 2 (Android): In the latest episode of "Can a Kemco Company Put the Pieces Together for One Damn Time?!?" (where the answer is always some variation of "No.") we have a game where they put a great amount of effort into a story loaded with shades of grey instead of having legit malevolent villains and then polluted it with dungeons that are little more than long, linear paths with scant few short side paths leading to treasure and, so far, no puzzles...not even their standard "push switch to open door" stuff. My main issue with dungeons is getting turned around and walking the wrong direction for a bit because I simply don't pay attention because they're boring. And that isn't even a real problem because the game "helpfully" provides guide markers showing you which direction you should be going.

Most recent blog posts from Rob Hamilton...

Feedback
andri_g andri_g - March 11, 2018 (11:52 AM)
The closest I've come so far to unearthing Dark Souls from my backlog was while following it in a Game-of-the-Month topic. After I had finished reading all of the horror stories that other gamers had posted there about their experiences with Dark Souls, I decided to watch the Happy Souls parody instead.
overdrive overdrive - March 14, 2018 (11:04 AM)
Overall, I'd say that those horror stories likely are a bit over-wrought (at least for me, as someone who grew up with NES games that were at least as non-intuitive as far as what you needed to do and where you should go and all that).

For me, I struggled a lot in the early going, as I was getting the hang of the controls. The Taurus Demon gave me a lot of trouble because it was the first enemy that basic tactics weren't enough (well, first mandatory enemy, as the Black Knight in Undead Burg also needed a bit of powering up to handle). The Capra Demon was a real asshole, but that's one of the things that I think everyone struggles with due to design issues (large, aggressive enemy with two small, aggressive enemies in a very enclosed area where you can die before even really knowing what's going on).

Other than those things, I found myself settling into a rhythm where problems have been self-inflicted to a degree (trying to enter the Catacombs without a divine weapon = bad idea unless you're a real pro with the game) or temporary, where a bit of practice gets me through after a couple deaths (the last set of pendulums in Sen's Fortress; the narrow rafters early in Anor Londo) OR there's a potential fix (spending a humanity in order to be able to summon that super-tough guy against the Iron Golem).

Now, I will admit I've hit a bit of a tricky point with the infamous "Archers' Target Practice" bit on the narrow Anor Londo ledges, so it might take a bit of work to get past those assholes, but that's the first really tough part I've had to deal with since Capra Demon. I'd say the big thing about that part is that, for most of the game, things are easier if you move slowly and cautiously (a huge life-saver in Blighttown and Sen's Fortress, for sure), but here, you have to pretty much be sprinting most of the time.

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