Dark Souls III Shows Your True Colours In New Gameplay Trailer

Bandi Namco has released a brand new gameplay trailer for the social life killing Dark Souls III today, and boy is it ever haunting.

Set to the tune of ‘True Colors’, a song I’ve certainly never heard of, this trailer seems to want to emphasize the straight up slaughter you will be involved with when the game launches on April 12th in North America.

What are you waiting for? Check it out below and prepare to be amazed forever!

The sheer amount of enemies and bosses displayed here is almost upsetting. I used to pride myself on the fact that I went into these games as blind as possible as to not spoil the designs of enemies and the locales you’ll visit throughout your journey, but trying to resist a new Dark Souls III trailer is like trying to resist sour gummy worms. I can, but I don’t want to.

Dark Souls II had some truly strange trailers, but the melancholy nature of True Colors seems to capture some of the thick and oppressive atmosphere that the Souls games are known for. An odd fit, but a fit nonetheless.

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.

Dark Souls II: Scholar Of The First Sin Tips & Tricks

Dark Souls

If you frequent VgamerZ (which you should), you’ve probably seen me posting about Dark Souls or something relating to the franchise as a whole. Nearly half of my articles on this site relate to or reference the Souls series in some way or another and it is my favourite series of all time. I consider myself a Souls veteran, though most would call me a fanboy, and I’ve learned many things throughout my difficult times in Drangleic, Yharnam, Boletaria, and Lordran.

I am here today to provide you with twelve tips that will help newcomers and veterans alike. I hope that it might enable you to have an easier time in the difficult and unforgiving opening hours of one of the hardest games on the PS4. Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin.

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I – Melentia Is Your Friend

This decrepit woman carrying way too much on her brittle back might have you doing a double take to ensure that you didn’t just turn your back on a foe, and I get that. However, you should definitely keep your sword sheathed so that you may have a lovely and harmless conversation with a woman that is almost too eager to sell you her wares.

she provides extremely useful items like Life Gems, Pharros’ Lockstone, a key to unlock the blacksmith in Majula, and numerous others that will eventually become unlocked as you progress throughout your journey in Drangleic.

You should spend some time at the beginning of the game earning enough Souls that you can purchase the aforementioned items, as they will all help you greatly. better yet, run through her entire dialogue tree and she’ll appear in Majula when you’ve cleared out the first boss!

II – The Way Of Blue Is The Only Way

Once you’ve picked your jaw up from the floor after witnessing the beauty that is Majula, you’ll notice a few lively NPCs to converse with. The crestfallen (heh) man sitting at what appears to be some sort of obelisk near the ocean is Saulden, and he has a very important Covenant for you to join if you so desire.

The Way Of Blue is a covenant that essentially protects newcomers from invaders; hostile players that can jump into your world to slaughter you in a vicious and generally humiliating fashion. It functions by automatically summoning a friendly player from the Blue Sentinels Covenant to fight alongside you as you face off against the red bully on the other side of the screen.

III – The Best Effigy Is A Burnt Effigy

Another way to protect against invaders is by burning a Human Effigy. If you want to be left alone, simply visit the Bonfire that surrounds the area you’re in, and hit the ‘burn’ option. When you select your Effigy, it prevents any sort of co-operation.

Be warned. You are no longer able to summon either, so use this at your own discretion.

IV – Vandalism Has Its Perks

If you are a new player, you might not know that you can leave messages for other players to see in their worlds. Whenever you run across some orange symbol on the ground, it’s usually a player leaving a message to either guide you, or throw you off to be that guy. You can do this too by accessing it in your drop-down menu, and it has a nice benefit.

If someone likes the message you’ve written, they can leave it a good rating and you will instantly receive full health. While it’s certainly not useful all of the time, it can be a life safer when you are low on healing items.

You also get the added bonus of helping someone who might be more inexperienced than you that is already having a rough day, so be a nice guy and you’ll be rewarded for it.

V – Smooth, Or Silky? You Decide

If you go to Things Betwixt and visit that bird’s nest, you’ll hear voices talking about their desire for something smooth or silky. It’s a very cryptic message at first, but it all becomes clear as you play through the game. Smooth and Silky Stones are random items of no use, or so it seems. Drop one of them on the bird’s nest and suddenly you’re given an item.

The item you get is always random, and it comes from a pool of multiple potential items, so your chances of getting something good are slim. That said, it’s still highly recommended that you frequently return to drop the stones, as you could find yourself with a rare weapon or a nice ring. Just remember to drop one at time, as dropping multiple at once will not work.

VI – Something Petrified

When creating your character, you’re given the option to pick a starting gift. They all seem really random and some seem downright useless, but one amongst them stands as my ultimate favourite starting gift, and it’s probably the one you’d least expect.

Petrified Something is a seemingly pointless item, but like many things in Dark Souls II it has a hidden use that you’d probably skip. Drop that item on the bird’s nest that I previously mentioned and it gives you a random item from the aforementioned pool. The great thing about Petrified Something is that it is the best item you can drop for the birds, so your chances of getting something good are increased.

I’ve had many runs where I’ve received a nice ring or some upgrade materials that I could use immediately to raise my weapon’s stats, so it’s worthwhile to choose this gift over the others.

VII – Champions Are Overrated

When you first venture into Majula, you’ll be tempted to explore every single nook and cranny that won’t result in your demise. You’ll also be tempted to talk to every NPC and engage in as many dialogue options as possible for their potential rewards and quests. If you make your way to the highest point in Majula, you can find a stone tablet that allows you to join the Covenant of Champions.

While it sounds like an intriguing and fun covenant to align yourself with, be wary, as joining it results in the game becoming permanently harder. It’s the equivalent of being in New Game Plus on your first play-through, and it is definitely not a pushover.

Furthermore, joining this Covenant will prevent all types of jolly cooperation, so forget about ever taking part in an invasion or having a friend join you for a boss fight.

VIII – Jack And His Trades

Most players that will venture through the game will find that they adopt a weapon that feels most comfortable to them. It’s nice because regardless of play style, there will always be at least one weapon that feels perfect for you.

The problem is that with Dark Souls II, Fromsoftware took the idea of weapon durability to an entirely new level. Instead of it slowly wearing down over time, it now drops drastically as you fight. It’s made worse by the fact that the PS4, Xbox One, and PC versions of the game all have a durability bug that drops it even further, so this entire idea of favouring a weapon is no longer valid.

You will want to swap weapons consistently throughout each stretch. Find two or three weapons you like and level them evenly (or make one a dominant weapon, it’s your choice), as you will never have enough durability to successfully explore the entire map and take out the boss in one fell swoop.

IX – Backtracking? Maybe Just This Once…

While your natural instinct will be to push forth and seek the king, you would be wise to backtrack to a specific area for an item that could help immensely with invaders and enemies.

The area? Things Betwixt. The loot? The Stone Ring. The way? Start at the Bonfire and trek through the house. Once you reach the bridge, cross it and head through the little gap in the rocks on the right. You’ll know you’re in the right place when you see footprints in the dirt. Swiftly end the life of that disgusting cyclops and the ring is yours.

The Stone Ring is a ring that buffs your poise, a stat the is centred around staggering your foes leaving them open for combos. It is a fantastic ring to equip early game, as it adds a considerable amount of poise to your character and practically ensures that any small enemy you encounter will face the wrath of a good stun-lock.

How early you go is up to you, but I generally go the moment I get done making my character.

X – Parry Is Gonna Get Back Stabbed

Dark Souls II, like the other Souls games, holds two unique attacks that you can utilize to exploit almost any foe the game throws at you for massive damage.

The first move, the back stab, is rather easy to pull off and rewards you with a combo that both destroys the enemy’s HP, and leaves him begging for mercy on the ground. Simply walk behind an enemy (as the name implies), and plant your sword in his back by means of the R1 button. You have to almost perfectly align yourself with the back, so practice it well.

The second move, and the more challenging to master, is the parry. To parry an enemy, you must hit L2 to smack the weapon of your opponent away with your shield as he is just about to land his blow. It is very tricky to get it down, but when you do, it gives you the opportunity to follow up with a crushing riposte. Just tap the R1 button directly in front of the enemy when he is stunned, and you will be watching his corpse fade away into the wind.

XI – Classes Aren’t For Schmucks

Picking a starting class is a unique experience in the Souls series. Most RPGs cement you into your class and force you to play by the rules of that specific class, but in Dark Souls II it’s different.

You can choose any class and come out of it using any weapon or spell, depending on how you decide to build your character. That said, it’s still vital that you choose a suitable class to start the game with.

I personally like to choose the Knight, as it offers me enough Strength to wield any early-game strength weapon, and enough dex that if I add a few points to it, I can also wield any dex weapon I find. It offers great vigor and enough vitality that you can wear most medium armour with the exception of the Drangleic set.

How you build your character is up to you, so consider what you want to be doing and choose accordingly.

XII – Team Playin’ Is The Best Kind Of Playin’

If you find that you’re struggling with a particularly frustrating area or boss, it might be wise that you summon help. Furthermore, if you require souls but hate the idea of grinding them, you can always place yourself in another player’s world to aid them in their time of desperation.

To summon a player, you must be in your human form. You can check this by looking at your health bar to see if it has it’s maximum health reduced, or by the colour of your character’s skin. If you aren’t human, defeat a boss, successfully help a player, or pop a human effigy. Once you’ve done this, you’ve met the only requirement to summoning for help.

Look for a white or yellow sign on the ground, as they are other players or NPCs that will join your world to fight alongside you. Simply walk up to it and hit X and you will be on your way to victory in no time.

If you value helping others, take a trip to Forest of Fallen Giants and find an NPC named Mild-Mannered Pate. He can be located after the Pursuer optional encounter, near the ballista room. Talk to him and follow his advice, but be warned, as he leads you into a difficult trap and you must successfully escape it to be rewarded. When you become victorious, talk to him again and he’ll award you the White Sign Soapstone. Place this item on the ground near a boss or Bonfire, and you’ll be summoned into the world of another player.

DarkSoulsII majula

Hopefully these tips will aid you in your struggle with the opening hours of Dark Souls II! If you’re looking for more tips to ease your pain, check out my Bloodborne Tips & Tricks guide. It is also a Souls game so you can apply several tips to Dark Souls II.

Good luck and praise the sun!

Hearthstone Guide: Bosses of Blackrock Depths

Blackrock

The first wing of the Blackrock Mountain adventure for Hearthstone has arrived.  Blackrock Depths has three new bosses, two new class challenges, and plenty of new cards to collect.  This guide will take you through all the challenges and how to dominate them.  Once you own a wing, you’ll be able to fight the bosses within as many times as you like and the cards are as good as yours.  However, there can be a lot of trial and error involved.  Now you can breeze through them with surefire tactics that will get all of the new cards into your collection immediately.

First stop is the Grim Guzzler for a bar fight with Coren Direbrew and his crew of Dark Iron Dwarves.  Be careful as it looks like everything from Succubus to Venture Co. Mercenary has stopped in for a drink.  Coren’s hero power is Pile On and will automatically use it to summon a random minion from the deck to the board both for himself and for you.  You can easily use this to your advantage by loading your deck with the biggest minions you own and damage-dealing spells to control the board.  Druid is easily your best option at building a powerful deck.  Massive minions like Boulderfist Ogre, Force Tank MAX, and Ironbark Protector will rule the board once summoned, but you should also keep a couple Chillwind Yetis that can be played on their own once drawn.  Anything smaller will just put you behind.  Damaging spells like Wrath, Starfire and Starfall will help you bring down Coren’s buddies, but you should also run Innervate and Wild Growth to keep your mana high and prevent your hand from filling up with costly minions you can’t play.  The one thing you want to cautious about is that Coren has the Brawl spell, which kills all but one minion on the board, and his exclusive Dark Iron Bouncer automatically wins this otherwise random outcome.  Be careful against flooding the board and losing too many minions to Brawl.  Follow these guidelines and the Grim Patron card will be yours.

Hearthstone Screenshot 04-02-15 21.48.26

Your next challenge is the Dark Iron Arena with High Justice Grimstone.  His hero power, Jeering Crowd, summons a 1/1 with taunt for only 1 mana and his deck is filled entirely with legendary minions.  That sounds scary, but legendaries are generally slow and he’ll often be stuck without a play for the first few turns.  An aggressive Hunter deck with low cost minions like Knife Juggler and Abusive Sergeant should kill him faster than he can bring out his nastiest fighters.  Spells like Freezing Trap and Deadly Shot will help you keep up if he does manage to bring out anything troublesome.  It’s a fun encounter, but not especially difficult.  The Rogue’s new Gang Up spell awaits you at the end of the arena.

The last boss fight with the Dark Iron Emperor is undoubtedly the most intimidating.  Emperor Thaurissan’s hero power deals 30 damage for only 2 mana, meaning he can kill you in one turn with ease.  Fortunately, he starts the battle with Moira Bronzebeard on his side of the board and she prevents him from using his hero power and cannot attack minions unless they have taunt.  Obviously, you need to keep her alive to stop Thaurissan from instantly destroying you.  As a result, your deck shouldn’t contain any AoE or strong taunt minions that could kill her.  Small taunts like Annoy-o-Tron and Mirror Image can be useful, but anything bigger is too risky.  Your biggest concern is Thaurissan’s own AoE effects with cards like Unstable Ghoul, Death’s Bite, and Abomination.  Silence and freezing effects combined with a cast of mostly small, aggressive minions in a Mage deck will make for a strong build for bringing the emperor down.  Thaurissan is armed with many cheap imps to flood the board, so you’ll need to keep up with his early game without risking Moira going down.  Your prizes will be the Priest’s Resurrect and Emperor Thaurissan’s legendary card.

Starting off the class challenges is the Hunter challenge against Coren.  Coren still has the same deck as the boss fight, but your deck will be premade for you with an emphasis on beasts.  I wish I could give you strategy for this one, but it mostly comes down to the luck of the draw with the Pile On effect.  The best advice I can give you is to hang onto spells and cheap minions with your opening hand.  Hanging on to the Houndmaster in your starting hand may be a good idea as well as its battlecry won’t trigger if it’s summoned from the deck.  It will probably take you a couple of attempts, but intelligent plays will get you through.  The fearsome Quick Shot spell waits at the end of the brawl.

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The Mage class challenge pits you against Grimstone armed only with a deck of thirty Unstable Portal spells.  The 2-mana spell will put a random minion card into your hand with a 3 mana discount included and it could be any collectible minion in the entire game.  This challenge is even more unpredictable and your success will be based entirely around the cards you get.  Strategy is essentially impossible and you’ll just have to make the most of what you get.  This challenge is definitely a joke, but at least it can only delay your journey to getting new cards.  Keep at it and you’ll win the Dragon’s Breath spell for Mage and complete your collection for this wing.

Finally, we have the heroic challenges.  There are no cards to earn with the heroic challenges, just an exclusive card back once you’ve beaten everyone in Blackrock Mountain.  These are intended as an extra challenge for expert players and can be skipped without concern.  Each of these will be extremely difficult, even with optimized decks.  Coren will start the battle with 15 armor and his hero power summons two minions from his deck and only one for you.  It’s very easy for the game to spiral out of control with the number of large minions that he’ll call in.  Your best bet is to build a Mage deck with the same large minions you brought to the boss fight and a variety of spells with freezing effects.  Spells like Frost Nova and Blizzard will let you seize control of the tempo of the game.  You’ll probably need a few legendaries to really stand a chance and it may take you  a few attempts, but he can go down fairly easily.

Grimstone’s heroic challenge is where things get insane.  Not only does he start with 15 armor and his hero power is now free, he also starts the match with 4 mana on his first turn.  Sadly, for those of you playing on a budget, there’s no way of getting through this one without a few epics and legendaries of your own to keep up with his incredibly powerful plays.  Again, the Heroic challenges are meant more for seasoned players than those just starting out.  Freeze Mage, a popular deck utilizing cards like Frost Nova, Doomsayer, and Mirror Entity, is a pretty strong method of taking on the legends of the arena.  Legendaries like Alexstrasza and Archmage Antonidas are going to be important for dealing the final blow.

Finally, Thaurissan’s heroic challenge starts him with 15 armor (seems to be a theme with these dwarves) and Moira is a 3/1 instead of a 1/3.  Again, AoE is unusable as protecting Moira is top-priority.  Your best bet will probably be a Priest deck armed with Crazed Alchemist that can buff and heal Moira.  However, Alexstrasza may be needed for this strategy to get Thaurissan’s health low enough to beat him.

That wraps it up for this wing of Blackrock Mountain.  Let us know what your favorite encounters and cards were for this set and what you’re looking forward to in the next wing.

Top 3 Dark Souls II Bosses

Dark Souls

In my anticipation of Dark Souls II, I made a list detailing the top 5 bosses in the Souls franchise. It is quite predictable then, that I’d make a top list for the newly released game. While many bosses in Dark Souls II are fantastic, I could only justify three for such a list. To make the cut, they really had to have something that made them unforgettable.

Without further ado, I present my three favourite boss fights in Dark Souls II.

Lost Sinner

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Lost Sinner, much like Artorias, is a very straight-forward boss in design. Even despite this, she still manages to transcend a lot of the other bosses. Lost Sinner is simply a warrior who has punished herself for past sins. Like Artorias, her attack patterns are what you’d expect out of a straight up brawler, and she manages to make the duel one of the most intense and heart-pounding fights in the game. She is unrelenting in her attacks because she’s either swinging her gigantic sword at you, recovering from an attack or preparing to use sneaky tactics and surprise you from behind.

The pace is like a shot of adrenaline, as the entirety of the fight has you so occupied with her merciless nature that you can hardly fit in time to heal. It also doesn’t help that she blows out all of the fire before the fight begins, so you also have to attempt to keep track of her movements. It’s very easy to lose track of where she is, and it makes the anxiety all the worse.

The Pursuer

The_Pursuer

The Pursuer is a unique boss in that he not only appears multiple times, but actively stalks you throughout your quest. The first time you see him, he catches you off guard and swiftly dispatches you, reminding the player that they can never feel relaxed in the world of Drangleic. He evokes a sense of paranoia as you progress through the game, and often makes you wonder when he’ll make another appearance.

What’s more, his attack animations are some of the most graceful and polished in the franchise. Every attack he does feels like a dance, and the fact that he hovers above the ground solidifies the idea. Precise timing and near-flawless execution are required, as one single hit can shave off half of your health, leaving you only few precious seconds to drink Estus. He is persistent, ruthless, and intimidating, and he is absolutely unforgettable.

Demon Of Song

Demon_of_Song

Demon of Song is, in my opinion, the most unique boss Dark Souls II has to offer. With the departure of Miyazaki, some of the subtle things that made Demon and Dark Souls so great are gone. Demon of Song, however, feels like Miyazaki himself pulled the entire fight from his imagination.

Demon of Song has the most bizarre and creative boss design in the game, and its vulgar and grotesque nature is even more enforced by an absolutely perfect theme. The track uses low chants, deep piano key strokes and brass instruments to add depth. The most brilliant aspect of this track however, is the low guttural sounds and a variety of dissonant noises that feel as if the frog, or the creature residing within is making them.

Beyond this, his attacks are very avoidable and with the exception of his ground smash, you can predict most of his move-set. That said, pattern memorization and risk taking are still the keys to success here. The fight itself is not entirely challenging, but that might be because the walk to him is utterly infuriating.  It’s a nice balance that is very reminiscent of Sen’s Fortress.


Honourable Mentions: Throne Watcher & Defender, Ruin Sentinels, Skeleton Lords, Executioner’s Chariot.