Play harder

Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition

Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition

2014. nov. 19.

Much water was flowing down on any river of Lordan or even on a gutter of glorious Anor Londo, and this time was filled with as much blood, defeat, victory and experience. And with four playthroughs, which, in the case of Dark Souls, is a really big thing. Chiefly, because one has less and less time for games, especially when they require such deep immersion as Dark Souls. The first try was hard, yes? Did you do it? Did you sweat through the hardest game of all time? (In fact, it is the hardest of the new generations.) Furthermore, do you dare to say it wasn’t so hard? Well, adventurer, there is a New Game+ option for you, in which you can restart the whole game with your achieved levels, acquired skills and items. You are the hero, you are strong, brave and hard to defeat, so let’s go! Then think it over again after the seventh defeat from one of the first opponents in a corner of the first dirty dungeon. Do you really need this? Is this what you wanted? But really, how could a lvl100 hero bleed out in a place where you were the merry butcher earlier? If the answer is yes, then you started Dark Souls for real. Take the whole first playthrough as a tutorial, training, or as an easy walk in the park, because the “Prepare to die” motto just got its meaning. I will never forget the feeling when a stone-hard critter chased me over three areas (when you normally play, it takes several hours to get through an area), it came after me through stairs and ladders, and nothing could stop it. Finally, when I thought I shook my pursuer off, it finished me with one blow from behind. Hello, Dark Souls, hello Death! Well, the point is taken. Dark Souls is hard for the first time, makes you sweat mercilessly. But for the second time, moreover, the third and (God saves us) the fourth time it becames so hard that may be called inhuman. But I wanted this, really, and I do not want to polish myself. I sought this: a meaty, bloody, raw...

Vindictus — Season 2

Vindictus — Season 2

2014. nov. 14.

Well, as I mentioned earlier, Vindictus is on my Top 5 list of MMOs, and that was deserved by a pleasantly presented prologue, a coherent story, a finely tuned development system, and a destructible and weaponized environment, which latter is still not widely used in MMOs. Besides, Vindictus can stay on my Top 5 MMOs list, because it is improved continuously. I didn’t play it for years, so I couldn’t lure my old character out to the sun (but I couldn’t use her name either), but there was no worry about it. Since the publication of the article linked above there came three new characters, some serious Raids, and new game content called Season 2. (And ‘Episode 3’, and… —Garcius) The instance system changed not a bit; you still board a ship alone or with a little team, then there comes the hack’n’slash on the selected difficulty level and tricky skills for tearing the mobs apart. About the new Raid locations it is enough to mention that in spite of the earlier stages these offer rougher tasks done by bigger teams fighting against exceptionally hard bosses. However, the new characters are worth to be detailed a bit. I did not write about the older ones, because they embody the basic types: the knight Fiona builds on shield defense, Lann is an attacker with two swords, and the sorceress Evie throws fire and ice. The new threesome shows the extremities. Like Lann, Vella slashes around with twin swords, but her acrobatic style makes her a meat mincer built into a spinning-top. She reacts with easy jumps and direction changes for every button pushed, and instead of any block she protects herself by doing fast dodges. On the area of heavy beating, Karok offers a relatively easy playing style. This big guy walks with a waist-wide battle pillar on his shoulder, and the lower level boss fights are only about knocking the opponent out, then beating him till he comes to his senses. Then knocking him out again, then beating him till he comes to his senses. Then knocking him out again… Later the play with Karok goes harder, for example he will be able to...

Vindictus

Vindictus

2014. nov. 14.

I picked up on this game earlier, because there was some hurrah about its physical engine. In that time only North America and the Far East could play it, but today there is a European server too, so it came on and I tried it out, and since then I can’t really put it down. If I had to write a shortlist with the best MMOs of the world, Vindictus would be in the first ten. Maybe in the first five. Yeah, I admit it; the first twenty or twenty-five levels come easily, you quickly grow above your enemies, but starting on the third location you must pull up your socks. Broadly speaking, a game of real challenges and solo or team tactics starts here. Although character creation gives not much opportunities, the prologue is impressive. Its excellent quality is only one thing: besides, you can get an insight into gameplay and physical engine alike, and it lays the foundation of the main story – I don’t ask more from an intro. I would be glad if there are some more cutscenes in the continuation, but on the whole we can set this aside. An interesting element of the game is that you get no quests but you take part in shorter or longer stories in a war situation. If you are interested only in action, perhaps you will find it boring that sometimes you have to walk in circles around the town just to talk a heap of NPCs and get to the next step of the story. However, when it’s time for action, the real merit of Vindictus suddenly show itself. And it means indistinguishable levels of difficulty, an excellently working point system, and a nicely wrought physical engine. Because it’s not the same if you fight a Battle either on normal or hard level of difficulty. On normal level you will have not much trouble with your opponents, but on hard level the damage and accuracy of their attacks is increased, so you have to pay attention to not to be hit by them. Bosses attacking fast or in unexpected directions won’t make it easy. And how can a point system...

Minority Report: Mass Effect 2

Don’t misunderstand it: “Minority report” is never about bad games. Rather it’s about enjoyable games full of flaws which, by well intentions, can be looked over during playing, but on the whole they bring the global impression about the game down. They are “ok, but…” and “I liked it, but…” types of flaws. And there is another important thing: I don’t choose games for writing minority reports because they are favorites of one or other editor of GameDroid. Of course, my favorites can be subjects of articles like this. What’s more, I would gladly read that if someone would point at the lacks and misses I didn’t see. Effect of the Masses Here, on GameDroid I already lamented about the situation of CRPGs today, and I emphasized the genre-destroying works of BioWare when they qualify their excellent action-adventure games as RPGs, in which genre these otherwise outstanding games can be only weak flicks. I was also screaming in the past when they called Mass Effect 1 a CRPG, because the running-in-tubes-shooting gameplay and the unimpressionable story contradict the labeling too much. Then Mass Effect 2 came to the shops as one of the main representatives of the genre – although, as some refinement it is often called action-RPG or shooter-RPG. For me, it remains an action-adventure game, and with this I consider the labeling topic closed. Besides being a gamer and liking adventure games I was interested in ME2 also because not only the faceless masses, but some of my friends too speak about it in superlatives. So marketing worked well: The masses drew the attention of my friends, and their opinion drew mine too. Chief Miner Let’s have a go at this: Mining is the lamest among the many legs of Mass Effect 2. Not just it eats up half or even quarter fifth of your playtime (it depends on you being exhaustive or not), but there are some major inconsequences in it. It can be seen with half an eye that you are the only miner in the galaxy. Half of the planets have rich deposits which can be depleted completely – in the same time, on a few planets there are...

Lord of the Rings Online ― Multisolo

Lord of the Rings Online ― Multisolo

2014. nov. 11.

When talking about fantasy MMOs, LotRO mustn’t be left out. This online variation of the the world of Lord of the Rings is worthy of the big ancestor and namegiver, and although gameplay is not so unique, you won’t find too many flaws in it. It is free since September (2010.), for which cause it was left by thousands and started by millions, so the conversion seems like a valid pull. There is a disagreement on the web between the fans of f2p (free to play) and pfp (pay for play), but I won’t go into it: I see reasons in both the fully paying and the microtransaction model alike. I rather write about the game. The American publisher, Turbine (and Codemasters in Europe) follows the same principle in LotRO than in Dungeons and Dragons Online (DDO): A free player can have such points that he/she can use for paying in the online store of the game, so this way even free players can have almost anything that paying players get. While in DDO you need to complete the quests again and again (this repetition was why I get bored of it time and time again, but otherwise it’s a good game), LotRo handles this part of the system as a separate type of tasks. These are the heroic deeds, and although they are in a defined number, but playing with two characters (free game allows only two) you still can get enough Turbine Points to get horses, maybe remove the money cap, buy some quest packs (each belongs to one or other lands of Middle Earth), etc. If you create the two characters to augment each other in ways, you can easily find yourself undecided regarding which one you will play next time you start the game. I ran forward a little. I was at the tasks: Besides heroic deeds there is an epic story, and between the quests of it you can handle all the sidequests, your hobby, your crafts and the events of the war. Ups, this sounds a bit too many in the same breath — indeed it is. It is so many that I mostly neglect the main story,...