Here’s How You Should Get Caught Up For Dark Souls III

Dark Souls III is launching in North America in so little time that I can hardly type this sentence without feeling moonlight butterflies in my stomach. The anticipation is at an all-time high, and while that’s great, it might be the perfect time to get a nice refresher on all the events in previous games.

The problem, however, is that the Souls games are a good forty to sixty hours in length each, and both have such complex lore and an incredible amount of hidden flavour text that it is most likely unrealistic to play through them entirely.

Thankfully, MoonlightButterfly, an active Souls-centric video producer has made four incredible movies for everybody to watch.

He has not only managed to capture all of the important events of each game with such skill that it puts some actual films to shame, but he also managed to make them into truly cinematic experiences by reenacting key moments with characters and bosses. He even utilizes things like the in-game camera to give action sequences or conversations a dramatic touch. Overall incredible work when you consider that he did all of it in the confines of the game.

Without further ado, here’s the original Dark Souls in full.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V07r7p4rf3I

And for those of you who want to check out Dark Souls II.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIZ1wPPPbE8

If you still need more, head on over to his channel for Demon’s Souls: The Movie and Bloodborne: The Movie, as they’re of equal quality!

The Top Five Best Video Games Of 2015

2015 has been a bittersweet year for gaming. We’ve seen countless sequels, an overabundance of open-world games, the usual triple-A shooters, tons of Steam Greenlight asset flips, and even a few new IPs to polish off the list. While almost too many games found their way into our consoles and virtual libraries, only a few conquered my heart in any long-lasting way.

While this list is in no way a definitive list of the absolute best video games, I’ve painstakingly plucked five fantastic games from the herd that I sincerely believe deserve the highest of praise.

This list is in no particular order apart from the final pick; let’s begin.

Rise of the Tomb Raider Lara

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider is the only game on this list that I haven’t completed, and yet in the time I have spent with Lara, I am utterly enamoured by the incredible job Crystal Dynamics did with this sequel.

Tomb Raider got a lot of things right as a reboot, but it also had its set of flaws that held it back. Rise impressively fixed and improved upon every single aspect of the original reboot in such a way that it has become almost an instant Game Of The Year contender for me. I’ve done almost nothing other than play this game this past week.

From sprawling landscapes filled with relevant items to collect, to the treks through rich and detailed environments that feel as if they exist in a real place – rather than constructed stages for the player to trudge through without real context -, Rise offers nothing but joy throughout.

It’s also worth noting that Crystal Dynamics deserves praise for their take on open-worlds, as this world felt worth exploring amongst dozens of boring, dull worlds to grind through endlessly.
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Life Is Strange

I paid no attention to Life Is Strange at first. I had no interest in playing it and I assumed it’d be some weird Telltale clone. After my friend had spent hours talking about how excellent it was, I decided to buy it one night on a whim, hoping that this wasn’t just some hype.

It wasn’t. In fact, Life Is Strange ripped my heart from my chest and spat all over it, and I loved every moment.

The main draw to this story is that the characters are so incredibly well written. Every single person, minor or major, feels like a real person. They have distinctive personalities and characteristics that make them stand out in a sea of copy-paste characters. I remember everyone, even if some of them are a bit cliched, and that is rare indeed.

Chloe and Max have a deep, and complicated relationship and Max receiving her powers puts such a strain on not only her but everyone around her. The dialogue in the game is sometimes a bit silly but, for the most part, it is engaging and feels like you’re watching some indie flick.

The plot starts off very simple but soon delves into something bigger than you could expect. The whole time you’re sitting there questioning what is happening, only to get a sucker punch to the gut when the game reveals that you are in fact clueless about what is really going on behind the curtains.

It is all backed up by good voice acting, solid pacing, memorable moments and excellent music. A very attentive eye to even the smallest of details and countless references to pop-culture and even the state of Oregon leaves this game nearly oozing character.

Play it, but don’t read anything else about it.

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StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void

I remember trying out StarCraft when I was in public school. I hardly knew how to play, but I adored the atmosphere and interesting mechanics. Fast forward to now and StarCraft is amongst my favourite franchises of all time.

Legacy of the Void is a perfect culmination of what the fans wanted and what Blizzard learned over the past several years making RTS games. They put a ridiculous amount of effort into this game, making sure that the story goes out with the biggest bang ever. From the brand new co-op mode to the epic campaign filled with varied missions and interesting characters, Legacy of the Void is not only the best entry in the StarCraft series overall but reminds everyone that the RTS genre can still be a heavy hitter.

But it doesn’t end there, as the biggest change to the franchise is how improved the multiplayer is.

Gone are the slow starts. Gone are the ultra-cheesy Protoss openers, and gone are the slow economic macro games. Blizzard has tried its absolute damnedest to make LOTV as fast paced as possible, and it’s almost too much to handle. Every second there are 50 things happening on screen, and you have to physically train yourself to adapt to it. The incredibly delicate balance of constructing buildings while simultaneously collecting resources, scouting your opponent to react to their next moves before they execute them, building an army, pushing your units into dangerous territory to keep the enemy suppressed and afraid, expanding your economy into new frontiers to reap new mineral patches, and using your mind to psyche out your opponent in a variety of devious ways all attribute to your success, and everything is now way faster.

The new units don’t help either, as they are game changers themselves. Protoss now have their form of a Baneling, yet regenerates itself upon destruction. Zerg has its trusty Lurker that hides beneath the ground, thrusting its spikes into the bodies of anyone standing in their vicinity. The Ravager launches deadly attacks into the sky, obliterating anything that stands in the way. Terran possesses the Liberator, a siege tank that flies and holds down a position like the beaches of Normandy, and the Cyclone that laughs in the face of cheesy Protoss that want to drop an Oracle at your main base three minutes into the game.

This multiplayer can be talked about endlessly, and that is all thanks to you, Blizzard. Legacy of the Void is a monumental achievement and the absolute best way to end your long-running story. I’ll be spending the next year or more playing this legacy, watching the Korean players with their 700 APM.

Ori and the blind forest

Ori and the Blind Forest

I haven’t cried during the opening sequence of a video game since The Last Of Us; until Ori came along and stomped on my heart, that is.

This breathtaking masterpiece transcends the medium and offers one of the best pieces of evidence towards the ‘games as art’ debate. The beautifully vibrant hand-drawn Pixar art, the varied, colourful, dramatic soundtrack that offers nearly every emotion on the spectrum. Or how about the terrific story or the old-school gameplay that shows Metroid and Castlevania how it is done? What about the nearly flawless platforming segments and unique take on 2D combat?

Everything about this game is memorable and inspired, and it is not only one of the best games this year but one of the best pieces of art I’ve ever experienced. It has an emotional weight to it that many games fail to have and it is a game that will make you think about it well after it is done.

Ori has that power over us all.

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Bloodborne

Bloodborne is a part of the long-running franchise that is the Souls series. Though it differs in name and mechanics, it is still very much a Souls game. As a spiritual successor to Demon’s Souls, one of the best games ever created, it had everything to live up to. It nailed nearly everything.

Bloodborne is easily recognizable with its exceptionally stylized, painstakingly well-crafted world. It takes gothic architecture and runs with it to a degree that I don’t think I’ve ever seen before in any video game. Winding roads of cobblestone covered in blood and disguised by fog, twisting corridors filled with tattered garb and signs of a once thriving society. Endless swamps and caverns and castles, all with their mysteries and shocking imagery to behold.

It utilizes Lovecraftian themes and puts the Miyazaki twist on them with the story-telling style of previous Souls games. It tells you to part ways with your best friend, the shield, and instead pick up one of the several firearms as you adapt to the new, visceral combat that is, even more unforgiving than previous games. It offers you ‘trick weapons’, transformable weapons that each require careful strategy to fully utilize.

The game has incredible creature design, with horrific foes you can only imagine in your worst nightmares. The world has a foreboding atmosphere so thick that you can taste it. The hair on your arms will stand up, your skin will crawl and turn to goosebumps, and your heart will pound so hard you think you are in need of medical assistance.

This game gives you emotional responses that not even some extreme sports could offer. It is a one of a kind experience and one of the best, industry defining video games ever to grace any of our consoles. It will be forever remembered and forever praised as it sits at the top of the tallest pedestal amongst the best classics we’ve ever had.

And yet, with all of that said, I was only referring to the original game. The Old Hunters expansion improved the game significantly, correcting nearly all of the biggest complaints fans had with Bloodborne.

Vicar Amelia
Before we say goodbye to 2015, I’d like to quickly drop a few honourable mentions that unfortunately missed the top five.

Splatoon – A fantastic and creative spin on the first person shooter. Full of character and interesting mechanics.
Yoshi’s Woolly World – The most adorable, happy and all around silly platformer this year. Maybe a bit easy, but infinitely fun.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – The best open-world game I think I’ve ever played. I didn’t play enough to feel good about placing it on my list.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3D – One of the better JRPGs in recent memory.
Shovel Knight – An impeccable throwback to retro gaming. Only missed the list because it first released out in 2014.

 

Bloodborne Patch 1.09 Adds Much Needed Item To Insight Shop

Bloodborne has received a new patch yesterday, and while it doesn’t specify exactly what has been altered, the few specifications we’ve been given sound quite promising.

The most noteworthy addition in this patch is the inclusion of Blood Rocks, the exceptionally rare item used to upgrade weapons to +10 has been added to the insight shop for a measly sixty Insight, the game’s secondary form of currency.

To also help players in their journey to upgrade the new weapons added in the DLC,  they’ve lowered the Insight cost for Blood Stone Chunks from 30 to 20.

Here are the patch notes in full, courtesy of Playstation Japan.

Changes to weapons
The strength and stamina cost for several weapons has been adjusted.

Changes to Insight Shop
・In order to trade for the Blood stone Chuck, the necessary amount of Insight has been changed from 30 to 20.
・Trading for the Blood Rock is now possible. 60 pieces of Insight are required.
※ A certain portion of the main game must been cleared in order to access the above.

Several other fixes and adjustments have been made.

Please look forward to the implementation of the newest update.
Thank you for playing Bloodborne. Keep up the hunt.

As mentioned earlier, the patch is quite vague, however, fans have begun uncovering what the ‘several other fixes’ could be. There seem to be a lot of added Blood Gems, as well as some move adjustments for the new weapons. You can find this info here though I’d suggest taking some of this with a grain of salt.

Bloodborne The Old Hunters Expansion Gets Reveal Trailer, Release Date

Bloodborne

Bloodborne

Sony Computer Entertainment had their annual TGS press conference earlier today, during which they formally announced The Old Hunters expansion for Bloodborne. 

To say that I am hyped for this would be an understatement. Bloodborne is an immensely satisfying albeit horrifying adventure that needs to be revisited.

A release date and price have also been mentioned.

Here is the full trailer; I suggest a change of pants.

Wow. New weapons including a bow-blade, new bosses and enemies to laugh at you when they murder you and a new prequel story that unravels some of Yharnam’s deepest secrets… I hope.

To say that I am hyped for this would be an understatement. Bloodborne is an immensely satisfying albeit horrifying adventure that needs to be revisited.

You can expect to die a million times November 24th. The expansion will cost twenty blood echoes.

New Bloodborne Patch Fixes Co-op Woes

A little while ago I wrote a piece on why Bloodborne’s online functionality was essentially ruined in my eyes. It garnered a lot of attention – mainly negative – and I had many comments from people saying they enjoy the changes and hope they will stay as they now are.

I am elated to say that Bloodborne just received a new patch that directly addresses my main problem with the changes that patch 1.04 implemented.

Here is the update directly from Sony:

-If a player uses the Beckoning Bell or Small Resonant Bell while using a password, it will be clearly indicated that a password is in use.
-If the level difference between the host and the guest when matched using a password is large, the guest’s stats will be adjusted to match the host’s.
-Other bug fixes and matching improvements.

Wow. The way From Software has handled this couldn’t have gone better. While the details on how exactly the scaling might work is vague, what we can safely take away from this is that you can no longer summon an exceptionally high-leveled player into your world to make the game easy.

The spirit of Bloodborne has been restored, and my faith in From Software has been strengthened. I am glad they’ve seen why their last update was so damaging, and I am excited to see where they can take this game in further updates.

Why Bloodborne’s Patch 1.04 Is Fundamentally Damaging

Bloodborne Patch

When patch 1.04 for Bloodborne was being hinted at , I was ecstatic to see my favourite game of 2015 so far being given careful post-launch support. The game was was a masterpiece of design and atmosphere, but despite everything it got right, there were a few things that needed fixing.

I never would’ve expected however, that the patch would not only fix some problems with the game, but single-handedly sabotage the entire design philosophy of the series. It was shocking and disheartening, and I actually wondered if it was a practical joke.

It isn’t a practical joke, and I am having trouble even coming up with a cohesive explanation to why From Software would do such a thing to their own baby.

Summoning Is Sacred

I must admit that I am tempted to simply post this video and leave it at that, as it perfectly encapsulates one of the main problems with this patch – the ability for any player of any level to summon any player of any level.

If you have played Bloodborne or another Souls game, you’ll know that the games are based on what is essentially a glass floor of balance. They’re so carefully crafted that the way in which you take on foes and bosses is beautifully executed, offering some relief when you can gain a few levels, while always challenging you despite how good you become at the game.

This among many other things that I will discuss later are disregarded when you can simply have your high-leveled friend join your game with a maxed out Ludwig’s Holy Blade and some spells to five-shot any boss you’ll encounter.

Furthermore, the fact that you can summon anyone so long as the boss isn’t killed means that you can literally have someone smack their way through the majority of the game with you, doing literally nothing but following on auto-pilot as they reign down chaos.

While some might think that this only affects those who choose to utilize this feature, there is still an inherent problem with the very idea.

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 We’re In This Together

 When I say this, I don’t just mean through jolly cooperation, I mean as a community at large. We all play the Souls games and Bloodborne for differing reasons, but we are all privileged enough to feel the intense satisfaction of overcoming our fears, weaknesses, and ignorance to defeat the game’s toughest challenges, and that is an idea I cherish.

 When I’m struggling through a hard area, I can think to myself that there are many other people in the same situation as me. We’re all in this together and we’re all toughing it out to be granted the endless enjoyment of such a unique franchise.

 Except that this all counts for nothing when the game is reduced to what I will call Casualborne. A game where you can steamroll every single hurdle through what is now the equivalent of a ghost writer.

Where is the satisfaction in summoning help in the form of an extremely high leveled player? Where is the sense of achievement you’d earn by completing a nefariously designed area? The truth is that if you utilize this feature, you will experience none of this and it’s a damned shame. It goes against the basic design philosophy of this series: overcome through patience and perseverance.

 As someone who not only supports this series wholeheartedly, but also wishes to preserve the essence of what makes this series such a stand-out in an age of absolutely tepid triple A titles and pre-order culture, I cannot just watch it happen and accept it.

 You should be proud that you are amongst a small group of gamers that enjoy such a masochistic and skill-demanding experience, and you should not let your precious memories of this franchise vanish into nothing but memories of having a friend do everything on your behalf.


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 We’ve Only Just Begun

 I don’t want to give you the wrong impression that this only impacts the single-player experience, as this is also potentially catastrophic to the online experience, and that is where my true worry comes into play.

Bloodborne, like the games before it, has a unique online feature that allows a player to jump into the single-player world of an unsuspecting victim so that the invader may slaughter him and earn some precious echoes.

 This mechanic is one that has been fully embraced by the community since Demon’s Souls, and it is a mainstay feature in this series. This patch ruins it too.

 Picture this scenario if you will. You as an honest player spend dozens of hours enjoying Bloodborne and learning the mechanics. After a while you decide that you want to go head to head with someone in the form of PVP, but when you ring your Sinister Resonant Bell and find yourself in the world of another, you come to a sad realisation… it’s been set up.

 You join the world of a player your level, and as you go forth weapon in hand, you see that he has a friend (or three) that are not only incredibly high leveled, but possess the advantage of having home field and preparation on their side. You quickly get ambushed in what can only be called a pre-planned ganking scenario, and you find that you are completely helpless to the overwhelming power of these foes.

 That is exactly the scenario you will be seeing more and more of as this patch becomes more and more exploited by a community that thrives on ganking montages and yoloswaggin’ PVP videos.

 I’d be foolish to think that this is the first time players have summoned friends to mess up unsuspecting invaders, but at least before we had fair-game in the form of level and item restrictions… mostly. This is made even worse when you consider how many exploitable bugs Bloodborne had that allowed any player who so chose, to immediately glitch their way to enormously high levels with unlimited currency.

 It’s a big amoeba of small problems that form into one hideous entity that even Miyazaki himself couldn’t have drawn on paper.

Bloodborne Werewolves

 Of Pandemic Proportions

 If you were under the impression that these kinds of scenarios would be reserved for only small groups of friends, you’d be sorely mistaken, as even those who hate this patch can still be directly involved in it. I’ll explain how with another hypothetical scenario.

You want to experience the world of cooperation and so you think to yourself “I’ll ring my Small Resonant Bell and help someone out on my favourite boss so that I can have a repeated viewing”. After waiting a brief moment, you find yourself pulled into a world that at first seems normal. When you reach the boss fog however,  you realise that you have a friendly summon who is so powerful that the boss music doesn’t even get to start before the creature is dead and you are on your way out. You, who is a sucker for challenge and likes to experience the grind of slowly whittling away at a boss’s health until he finally collapses cannot enjoy this, because even you are thrust into the new-found community of boss cheesers. Something I don’t believe is far and few between, by the way, especially when you consider how Reddit has been behaving since the patch hit.

It hasn’t even been a single week and the Bloodborne subreddit already has threads and comments popping up with people asking for specifically high-leveled players to help on bosses.

 There are even community-based passwords in place on Facebook, Reddit, and the Bloodborne Wiki that enable you to instantly summon the help of anyone who is also using the password in the community. It’s no longer about finding a summon of equal strength, but now just a waiting game until an obligatory tank comes in and slaughters everything for you.

 The idea that we have entire communities set out to cheese a game that is meant to be legitimately overcome makes my blood boil, but I can’t really do much about it.

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 A Little Bird Told Me

Beyond everything I’ve talked about, what is perhaps the most discouraging thing of all is the response to this patch. It has been overwhelmingly positive from what I and some close friends have witnessed.

 It seems that amongst the fans that I have encountered and several articles that have surfaced covering the details of the patch, most people welcome this change, claiming that it’s now a more social experience like they had hoped it’d be.

 What?!

 Since when was a single Souls game about social play? Do you not remember how you couldn’t use any form of party chat on Xbox 360 with the original Dark Souls? Do you not remember how before Dark Souls II’s horrific voice-chat, the only way to communicate in the game would be via gestures? Do you not remember the purposeful design of camaraderie through the conquering of bosses, not through direct interaction? Do you not remember the ‘prepare to die’ slogan the encapsulated the type of experience you’d be in for? Do you not remember how Hawkeye Gough had the only items that could even allow you to directly speak to a player but only by means of a few key phrases? All of this was done deliberately, and this patch again destroys the idea and the design.

 The idea of Dark Souls and especially Bloodborne more than all, is to be absorbed in a world and thrust into scenarios that would make anyone quiver in fear. You are meant to be scared, isolated, alone, confused and lost. These emotions make it much more rewarding when you tackle a difficult stretch, and they would all be irrelevant if this were a directly social experience.

You aren’t thinking about the atmosphere or the labyrinthine design of the castle you’re in, if all you’re doing is teasing your friends while you casually swing your swords with your brains off, steam-rolling even the toughest of foes without blinking an eye.

 It’s almost as if nobody wants to play a Souls-like Souls game any longer. It’s like they want the title of ‘I beat an extremely difficult game’ without actually having to put in any work, and that is discouraging to say the least.

Bloodborne Tips & Tricks

Bloodborne

Bloodborne, like the other Souls games, provides an almost unparalleled challenge in modern gaming. It is an experience that never stops pushing back, and it forces you to use everything you have at your disposal to tackle the many difficult challenges that await.

With this feat comes a steep learning curve. Sadly that isn’t all however, as it is as vague as it is challenging.

So with that said, I present to you a few tricks that might help ease your suffering during the opening hours of this colossal game. Bloodborne 1

I – Visceral Attacks? More Like Victory Attacks

Every Souls game has a parry of some sort. With the bold removal of shields in Bloodborne, it was a question of how parries and ripostes would work. After tinkering with the combat, it became apparent that ‘visceral attacks’ were Bloodborne‘s form of the parry.

To pull of this devastating move, you must fire your left handed weapon the moment before an enemy hits you with their attack. The timing is tricky and will take a fair amount of practice, but pulling this off has a great effect. The enemy is temporarily stunned and falls down, leaving you approximately one second to walk up to their soon-to-be corpse, and hit the attack button for a crushing final blow.

Use visceral attacks often!

II – Transforming Your Weapon Is Good For The Soul

A staple of Bloodborne is that you can switch the state of your weapon with only the press of a button. You’ve probably seen a promotional video of the main character turning his gun into a spear, his whip into a cane, his sword into a scythe. This move proves useful as you are then open to a secondary function with it’s own set of attacks. What makes this even more useful however, is the weapon switching attack.

If you do a simple R1 or R2 attack, you can follow up by hitting L1. It enables your character to use an attack while swapping his weapon. This might sound as if it’s not very useful, but it comes with it’s own strategic value.

For example. When using this attack with the saw cleaver, it grants you a speedy attack like the folded form, and the range of the unfolded form. It has a wide sweep and is in most cases capable of knocking back enemies giving you a chance to breath.

Each weapon has it’s own form of this, so use them well.

III – Shortcuts Are Your Friend

If you’ve played a Souls game, you’ll remember the feeling of bliss that comes along with finally discovering a shortcut after a particularly long stretch. Bloodborne is no exception of the rule, as it might be the most shortcut-heavy Souls game yet.

While this tip may seem obvious to some, it is no rarity to have players entirely skip exceptionally important shortcuts because they didn’t properly explore. with that in mind, keep your eyes peeled and your internal compass in check. If you’ve been walking for a while and you haven’t run into the next lantern, chances are you missed a shortcut.

IV – Charge Attacks Are Underrated

With the myriad of new mechanics at play in Bloodborne, it is easy to forget that we’ve been given a charge attack with each weapon. Holding R2 grants you a stronger form of an already strong attack that can help immensely with crowds of enemies or particularly spongy bosses.

The key with charged attacks is to remember to give yourself enough time to fully charge it, so make sure you note the length of the enemies attack animation and the distance they travel while performing it. Ludwig’s Holy Blade has a lengthy charged attack for example, but successfully pulling it off will grant you the chance to follow up with another attack while the enemy tries to recover. It is very useful if utilized properly, so practice using it with each weapon and learn their unique effects.

V – Save Those Blood Echoes

If you’re like me, you opted to buy every single weapon that became available if not just to see the unique ability it possesses. While this is understandable, it might be wise that you save your Blood Echoes and re-evaluate how well you explored the previous areas you’ve encountered. I found myself finding weapons and armour that I had just purchased after making return trips for the sake of my OCD and the feeling of completing an area 100%

There are exceptions to the rule, such as Ludwig’s Holy Blade, but even it requires you to find an item so explore well and leave no corners unchecked.

VI – Study Telegraphy

A lot of enemies in Bloodborne have some predictable move sets. The best way to defeat an enemy is to learn said move set and exploit it via telegraphy. Study enemies, and learn their attacks. If you get the timing down and you learn when a creature will do what, you can plan attacks accordingly, making each move a thoughtful one.

A lot of enemies have big wind up animations or noises they make as they’re about to do attacks, meaning that they telegraph their individual move-sets well.

It may sound like an obvious piece of advice, but too many new players will go into Bloodborne thinking it is a combo-focused action game. While it did abandon the shields, it did not abandon it’s focus on strategic and careful combat. Learn how to exploit an enemy via his moves, and you’re on the path to victory.

 VII – The Achilles Heel

This is a trick I didn’t learn until after I began writing this guide, and it’s definitely one I wish I would’ve noticed early on.

Some bosses and enemies have weak points. They’re a bit hard to notice at first because of how fast the combat is, but if you hear or see blood squirting from an enemy that wasn’t done by your attacks, it is a spot you can exploit.  If you focus your attack on these points, your opponent will generally fall down leaving you room to do a combo or two. It’s a subtle piece of design so you must look carefully an analyze some of the bigger enemies in the game, but doing so will reward you with a much easier victory.

VIII – You Aren’t Bruce Lee

As much as you’d like to think you are, you aren’t. You can only take a few hits from a few enemies before you die, and when 6 surround you swinging their various instruments of pain, suffering and torture, it all becomes clear… You must back off.

No, really. Use luring tactics to your advantage. The game practically beats you over the head with this idea, yet I still see people swinging their axes thinking they can attack a horde of enemies head-on. While it’s entirely possible, it’s generally going to be quite a challenge. Use those pebbles and bring one enemy away from the pack so you can reign sweet destruction upon his grotesque figure.

IX – Cocktails Soothes That Which Ails You

One of the bold moves Fromsoft made with Bloodborne was that they drastically reduced the magic and item usage in the game. No longer can you spam spells whenever you please, and no longer can you find fifty different consumable items that can buff or be thrown as a weapon.

There is one saving grace however, in the form of a Cocktail. While it definitely isn’t the only item you can throw, it is the first one you will have access to. It’s as mean as it is inexpensive, so you would be well off to invest souls in buying some Cocktails.

Bloodborne designed the encounters with enemies to be much more dynamic and visceral. This means that you are hardly going to be facing off against only one or two enemies unless they’re particularly tough. Many times you will walk into an area to see six or seven creatures all perusing the twisted corridors of Yharnam.

This opens up a great opportunity for some nice fire damage in the form of a Cocktail.

X – Locking On Is A Double Edged Sword

The Souls games have always had wonky camera angles. Sometimes it is a saving grace, and other times it puts your view in the side of a building, blocking you any sort of proper vision for an intense fight. Beyond this, the camera sometimes gets stuck on larger enemies when you lock on, so it’d be in your best interest to practice when and when not to use the lock-on feature, especially considering that when you’ve locked on to an enemy, you roll around them  rather than rolling freely.

Using this to your advantage may change your scenario from death to victory. Stay behind big enemies, and try not to always lock on.

XI – Insight? I Choose Ignorance!

Insight is Bloodborne‘s form of humanity. It functions differently than other Souls games however, and it has some adverse effects that many won’t learn until reading some sort of guide or tutorial. If you have a high number of insight (the little eye in the top right corner of the screen), it can actually make the game more  challenging. Some enemies might swap out their guns for flamethrowers, as an example. Either burn that insight via co-op, or save up 10 to unlock the Merchant in Hunter’s Dream that allows you to spend insight to purchase rare items.

It’s your choice how you use it, but I’d highly recommend keeping it below 15.

XII – Don’t Stop Swingin’

A major change in Bloodborne is the addition of being able to recover HP by attacking enemies. This only happens when you’ve been hit though, as you’re granted a little bit of time to react and smack the enemy back to regain a piece of your health.

What you might not have known, is that even as the enemy dies, you can continuously swing your weapon at his falling corpse to keep regenerating health. It only lasts as long as the enemy is falling to the ground, but you can sometimes get two or three strikes in before it cancels out. This is extremely beneficial if you want to be careful with your Blood Vials.

XIII – Enough Is Enough

With the advice of going berserk on an enemy for the sake of regenerating HP out of the way, I must also suggest the opposite. It is very important to learn when enough is enough. Sure, victory is granted to those willing to take a risk, but some risks aren’t worth it, so keep an eye on your stamina and HP bars at all times. It might seem smart to just jump at a boss that hit you so you can regain HP, but he might have three more swings left, meaning that you will certainly die.

Knowing when to strike and when to retreat for healing purposes is a game of life and death, so I go back to an earlier tip when I say study telegraphy.

XIV – No Cheatin’, Ya Hear?!

While everyone likes some tips and tricks to ease their pain and anguish, one must reflect on the game they have purchased and what the point of it is. Bloodborne is a game about overcoming your fears and challenges for the ultimate feeling of satisfaction. If you look up walkthroughs and boss strategies, you numb the best feeling this game can give you because you take yourself out of the experience for the sake of having a less frustrating time.

Bloodborne isn’t hard, and none of the other Souls games are. Rather, they’re games that don’t hold your hand, don’t tell you what to do, and don’t stop you from playing the way you want to play.  You’re thrown into a world of madness and mystery and you must discover what lies at the end of the tunnel on your own.

Do yourself a favour and don’t cheat. With that said, good hunting!

VGamerZ’s GameZ of 2015: #6- Bloodborne

Bloodborne

Since their introduction, the Souls games have been taking no prisoners. In this modern gaming age of hand-holdy tutorials and easy modes, Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls are tough stuff. Sure, there are bloodborne players with usernames like 2leet4U_NoScopeZKillah who can breeze their way through (or will tell you they can/did, at any rate), but otherwise…

Really, we’re talking about Monster Hunter levels of newbie-unfriendliness. On their first foray into the games, players can easily be overwhelmed by the mechanics, the difficulty, adapting to a different ‘type’ of combat, all of these factors. So let’s see if the world’s ready for Bloodborne.

For the uninitiated, this is an action RPG from the guys behind Souls, a game both very similar and very different to its predecessors. It is set in the Gothic city of Yharnam, which is in the grip of terrible plague. The sickness has transformed the residents into bestial mutants. Who’s charged with cleaning up the horrors that inhabit the town? Spoiler: you are.

While general movement about the world, items, abilities and such will be instantly familiar to fans of From Software’s previous work, there’s more to this. The games had a rather dark tone already, but Bloodborne is… darker than dark. It’s super dark. What we’re dealing with here is Demon’s Souls as created by Edgar Allan Poe. And Tim Burton.

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As has always been the case here, the plot takes rather a backseat. You are cast as a traveller, venturing into the doomed town to try and procure a rumoured mystical remedy there. Instead, you find that just about everyone has been struck down and transformed into big ol’ slavering bite-y, clawy hell-things. It’s a simple fight for survival, which is really all we need to know.

If you’re familiar with Vita hunting classic Soul Sacrifice, you’ll know the sort of monsters you’ll be up against. As well as the sorts of weapons you’ll be wielding. Bloodborne’s action is a constant mix of melee and ranged combat, with the two styles constantly melding into one. Blade and firearm are used simultaneously in combo attacks; firing shots can briefly stun foes which leaves them vulnerable to more powerful melee blows. It’s an elegant system, and helps prevent things feeling overly mashy.

Overall, Bloodborne is one of the biggest PS4 exclusives of the year thus far. The Souls games have, of course, got themselves quite the following, and they’re all eagerly awaiting the March 25 release.

TGS 2014 Bloodborne Trailer Was Born From Nightmares

Bloodborne

Tokyo Game Show is happening right now, and with Japan’s best at show, it’s no surprise that Bloodborne has received a new gameplay trailer. Comprised of entirely new gameplay footage, the trailer is full of gothic horrors, creatures spawned from the pits of hell, and bloody, visceral combat that looks more impressive each time it’s shown. You have all you need to get hyped.

This is not all however, as Fromsoftware has released the first images of the Collector’s Edition. What’s more, the game is coming to North America on February 6 2015.

Here’s the trailer in its entirety.

Every time we see Bloodborne in action, it surpasses expectations that were built using previous teases. The game never ceases to both excite and terrify me, and every moment is rife with material that even the best in horror fiction would strive for.

Bloodborne: Exclusive Wallpapers Released

Bloodborne

VgamerZ presents a set of five Bloodborne exclusive wallpapers in high definition portraying various landscapes and events in the upcoming game. All these images were originally captured from game trailers released by From Software, it’s not fan or concept art – it’s actually in-game content and I am sure you will enjoy each of them!

Note: Click on the image to open the full size (1920×1080) and download on your computer. From there on, you can set each image as your Wallpaper. Alternately, just click the image to open it in full size, right click the image and select “Set as Desktop Background”.

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Which of these Bloodborne wallpapers are your favorite?