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Episode 222: Eye spy with my little hyper-tech camera eye.

May 23rd, 2014, 11:00 am

Average Rating: 5.00
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Author's Comments:

Reply zignoff, February 27th, 2014, 3:22 pm

Dark Souls 2 review! And for this friday, the review of Dark Souls 2!

Dark Souls 2 is here, and you know my love for the first one, this should be a no brainer on it's score... you would THINK that, but sadly Dark Souls 2 has seen a number of changes that really bring it down in my thoughts, from a game of truly inspired enemy designs, unique bosses, and well design levels all built around a fair degree of challenge, to well more of a messy glob of cheap broken mechanics.

Story 1/10: See for starters I couldn't really score the previous games story due to the way it was given to the player, the world itself told the story, it was dripping with gooey atmosphere, the characters in the world each told a part of the story, something important to help flesh out the world and how important the back story was to it and how it effected everything.

This game however, really a mess of dead ends that never started to begin with. Apparently you are some person who is cursed by the circle mark of the hollow, and are for SOME reason drawn to some location, see the intro movie just has you as some random guy in a swamp then in some ruins, and then you open some door that causes a whirlpool portal that you jump into and then leads you into the world of the game. It has no connecting to the world you come from it seems, so you have no idea how the world you come from is connected to where you went.

As you start you come into a cabin with a number of old woman who seem to be fire tenders, which you know about from the previous game, the basically mutter on creepily about things, mainly nonsense that really doesn't matter and doesn't give any real depth to the world, I can't even remember what they said really. The story and background in this world is barely there, were the world assisted in telling a story, and the characters filled in the gaps, the world in this one tells nothing, and the people mostly speak in gibberish about things outside of the world you are in. Which mostly tells you nothing in the end.

By the time I beat the game which I should mention only has ONE ending no choice this time either, and which makes literally no sense, I still had NO idea about why I was fighting or what half the time. Where as Dark Souls 2 I had a clear reason, and understanding of everything and the stakes at hand almost instantly. Other players say the story is there, but you really have to look, except, I call bull, I have talked to everyone gotten all there story elements yatta yatta, most of it is gibberish that really gives no background to the world like it did in DS1, the game's story is just badly done. Like a majority of the game sadly.

Sounds/Music/Voices 6/10: For the most part the sounds are fine most things sound like they should, bows fire and make the twaph sound, swords clang, monster roar. As for the music, I don't even remember any of it, I even had the sound track and I found nothing that sent a chill up my spine or something I would listen to often to get my blood pumping. Lastly the voices just sound dull, like a first acting job dull, there is no real emotion from the characters, and that MAY be in line with the world, but that doesn't mean they get a free pass for boring me to death.

Graphics 6/10: For the most part the game has some beautiful designs almost jaw dropping designs, but as many know this is not what we were shown in the original gameplay trailers, and while I don't really care, I do believe they don't look as good as the original DS1, there are some grainy textures that even I notice, but really the lower score is due to the world design, most of it feels very inorganic compared to what it was in DS1, many places felt unnatural or didn't make sense.

It's hard to explained, one point is the lava zone at the top of a mountain poison swamp, and no indication that there is any lava or fire, along with that from the lava zone you can't see anything but level as far as the eye can see, which goes against much of the sky box design of the previous games. Meaning places you can see are places you can get to. Lastly mix all that with the boring enemy and character designs it brings the score down.

Gameplay 3/10: Here is the real kicker, for the most part the gameplay itself has some very bad choices. Alright so in the previous game, enemy placement lead to some ingenious level of challenged base difficulty, sadly with the new team and head on this game, they seemed to fail to grasp this mechanic, as they take the ninja gaiden 2 thought that blatant cheapness in design resulting in people using the most broken method over and over to by pass it and not real skill, though not AS bad as that, Dark Souls 2 mechanics and design choices bog it down bad.

First example is the enemies themselves, instead of creative set up's where you have to plan your actions carefully, the game focuses on putting you in position with limited options, and dropping 3 times the enemies the previous game would do, all with the basic AI of bum rushing you as much as much as possible, and Dark Souls combat is many things, but 1 versus 7 is NOT one of them. Which happens very often, many do sever almost instant kill damage with ONE hit. So fights become a mess of frustration and tedious repetition.

Now mix this by downgrading peoples options on fighting style, you see one of the fighting styles in the previous game was the "TANK" class, while the other was the "DODGE" class, now while the Dodge class got a somewhat boost, the Tank Class, is now non existence, it has been nerfed to hell and back. Poise the Governing state has become useless, so trying to use heavy armor and a giant shield to help you through mobs of this design and heavy hitters is impossible as many enemies even the basic grunts will knock HUGE chunks out of your stamina.

Which next leads to pretty much having to use the dodge mechanics, but this really limits a fair amount of the player population cause I was a tank, I love the tank, and dodging is sadly sketchy, and sadly that sketchiness has been proven in this game, as the game's dodge and hit zones are a freaking MESS, moves that are clearly dodge will catch a person, and players defend, this even though they clearly see gifs and videos showing them. Many are just in denial that the game has problems. Honestly one of the bosses, has a move where he stomps his foot, and the DUST that flies out from his stomp has as much damage as his foot stomp, even though a person is shown clearly dodging it, if the dust which has huge range hits you a mile away it's considered a direct hit.

Next while taking damage has it's OWN issues, DEALING damage has even more, along with many weapons being useless, with poor damage output and horrible hit boxes and bad stamina consumption, the game designers have decide make the weapon durability to be more of a THING in this game, so for starters weapons had durability before, but it was managable, in this game your most basic of weapon will break in as easy as 20 - 30 hits, and with the HUGE increase on enemies and how they take a large number of hits to bring down due to previously mention poor damage output, then you get the idea. Weapons in this game are as durable as an oreo after dunked in milk for 5 minutes...

Now over course to counter this the bonfires now repair them completely if not broken, which of course leads to another problem, while the over abundance is not bad, the placement at times is moronic, literally you have several bonfires next to a large group of enemies, and so every time you use the fire it regenerates them, but don't worry if you call them enough times, enemies will now perma vanish, which is a both good and bad things, because if you fail enough times, enemies will stop spawning after so many kills making traversing areas easier, however this means limits of leveling and item grinding.

Now allow me to mention that way the game processes the way you are to progress the game, where as before you had a few choices to go, and while many you were clear you weren't supposed to go, and then it opened up into more choices halfway through, in this game you have a few more starting choices, but only one real path at the end. Now along with the poor world designs that feels very game like and mostly makes no sense, then comes another bad design choice, the ENEMIES.

The enemy variety is pretty bad, many of them are just dudes with spells, berserker humans with light armor and big weapons, or dudes with armor. The enemy designs are boring, and unoriginal, and let's not leave out the bosses, many of which are either reused enemies from the previous games, one is a direct copy with dark attacks instead of lighting, many are later are enemies you fight, and many of which you guessed it, DUDES IN ARMOR! There is maybe 5 unique enemy designs in the game, and nothing like it was in DS2.

Along with this some of the bosses and enemies range from annoying, to cheap as hell, many enemies have one hit instant kills without proper armor, and along with this, unlike you INFINITE stamina, one of the large knight enemies which is basically a 5 times your size, and wields a hammer as big as you, can swing it infinitely and FASTER then your lightest weapon, and your attacks will not even phase it or stun it. Making most fights end up being a spell or arrow fight.

This becomes a hassle on most bosses, but the game has been kind enough to consider single players in this case which in most cases, there is an npc summon to help. However some of these NPC's are story, gear and achievement important, but have the AI of a fly who sees one of those bug zappers, the can barely survive 3 hits and the don't know how to survive a fight, which sucks cause for a number of things, this becomes a HUGE pain in the ass cause they need to survive several of these fights to finish their story, get their items, and achievements. Now this may seem like "part" of the challenge, except, you only get one chance, a game round, and unless you do it JUST right it's hassle. Trust me.

Lastly As this is getting long winded, I should mention the last nail in the coffin, the PvP system which I always found STUPID, but now is HEAVILY enforced, before one could play the game undead to avoid this hassle and then rez on the near boss fire when ready to fight, and while the game now allows one to rez to human from from anywhere the item to do so is limited.

Amongst this, players can now be invaded while undead, so being undead has literally no more advantages, so being rezzed, is more important as you can still only summon players to help if you are rezzed, lastly there are tons of pvp mechanics to suck you into pvp wither you want to or not, but you can't disconnect cause then you lose the very much needed help to progress at times. The thing is you shouldn't HAVE to, and while there are mechanics in place to help non pvpers, they don't WORK.... Plus for those who think that this game is mostly pvp based, *SLAP*, cause you are morons, for one this game can be 100% without any pvp, pvp doesn't even consist of 1% of the games mechanics, it's just a moronic mechanic that is shoehorned in and has had way to much money wasted on it.

Lastly Rent, Buy, or Skip. Overall Score 4/10: On it's own it may be a 6/10, but compared to the far superior Dark Souls 1 it's just a rent MAYBE. I didn't even hit all of the bads really, it would take to long, but the game is a mess in bad choices and lack of any form of fun or accomplishment.

"Castlevania is a Registered Trademark of Konami, all rights are reserved to them for using their characters likeness."

User's Comments:

Reply qazox, May 23rd, 2014, 2:27 pm

Mayhaps the glitch is Medusa? Or maybe, it's Agent Smith.

As for the next game, gonna guess either Metroid or (dare I hope) Wizards & Warriors?

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