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GAME: Dark Souls 3: The Ashes of Ariandel

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Joined: 23 Jun 2013
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 12:38 pm Reply with quote
Despite loving the soul franchise and considering it to be easily the best new IP of the last decade or two, I'm glad that they're giving it a time out, I have no doubt that when they'll inevitably will revisit it in 10 year or so it can re invent itself into something more. Plus I want to see what else Miyazaki got in store, he's rumored to be working on the next armored core so I want to see that, for answer was a great game, and if he ever work on a brand new IP (ie not something like bloodborne, which is a soul game in everything but name) it'll certainly be worth a play.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 1:38 pm Reply with quote
Images are a bit too big.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 12:02 pm Reply with quote
Has Dave played Demon's Souls? I'm just wondering because the main sticking point of Dark Souls 3 using familiar concepts could honestly be a criticism since the first Dark Souls. Bloodborne is the first game in this series that's a kind of step away, even with it repurposing certain concepts for its gothic/cosmic horror aesthetic. It's like dismissing Ozu or Scorsese for returning to familiar territory in their films. There's definitely legitimate critiques to be made in specific moments with DS3's callbacks (Andre's presence, the lazy design of Izalith's reimagining, the bonus boss in this DLC, etc), but not all references are limited to weak fan service. For example...

Oh, another soft-spoken woman with a scythe and invisibility powers.

Mechanically, spoiler[Freide and Ariandel are] nothing like Priscilla at all. As for story purposes, the emulation is very purposeful spoiler[with Freide deliberately trying to appeal to the Corvians who worshipped Priscilla in order to maintain leadership and struggle to keep things as they are.] If it was just another reiteration that serves no purpose (like Najka in Dark Souls 2 being a riff on Quelaag), I'd agree with you, but here we see an acknowledged point of lore/history being used to both expand on a character's motivation and actions, spoiler[as well as neatly expand and conclude a previous character's fate, given what we seemingly learn about Priscilla where her tower used to be. That's not even touching on other things, such as the effigy and the young female painter, as well as other things like Sulyvahn, Londor, etc. that either has no DS1 equivalent, or continues to build its own ideas that are new to the franchise.] It operates like a sequel should in a game where a lot of the old players are either dead and have left a legacy or else we discover what they have done since DS1 (Abyss Watchers, Irithyl in general, the fate of the Lothric line, etc).

Half of its enemies are ogreish bruisers or posse'd-up knights whose attacks punish hesitation with seemingly infinite stamina and its two boss fights pull the same “gotcha!” tactics of the Dark Souls 3's late-game bosses, tagging in new enemies or refilling a boss's health bar just as victory seems within reach.

I agree that, ever since DS2, the inclusion of enemies with seemingly unending attacks is a real annoyance, but don't feel the same regarding the bosses. Is it just an issue of presentation, where a larger, unchanging health bar would feel like less of a "gotcha!" moment? Multistage bosses has become more of a thing since DS2 and especially BB, and it's something the series really needed. I love a lot of the bosses in DeS and DS1, but tactically you never really had to adapt most of the time. I also dunno how surprising a lot of those bosses are spoiler[(against Nameless King you only fight the drake in the first half of the fight, ditto for the Twin Princes, the great wolf appeared and disappeared without ever dying through the DLC, and Ariandel is an obvious presence during an easy and straightforward first stage against Freide).]

Still, it's as disappointing now as it was in 2010 to have a series whose greatest strength is atmosphere drop you into what it calls a “painted world” and present you with a landscape that really could've existed across any old rope bridge or through any set of double doors in the game proper.

I think sanctioning off visually distinct areas like that can help them avoid another Iron Keep situation (even if the solution would be to just have the elevator go down). It also allows a bit more complexity in level design, whereas something more interconnected cuts back on that as you worry more about world geography. The original Painted World has a very dense level design that loops back in itself multiple times, with a ton secrets and good enemy variety. It's also my favorite level because of that reason. The rest of the game, outside of maybe the Catacombs, doesn't really have that kind of focus. The trade-off is an interconnected world that has less individually complex levels. Ideally you'd have both, but time and budget probably keep them from doing that as much as they'd like.

All of that said, I do agree with the general tone of review with regard to FromSoft running a bit tired with ideas in sequels, and that in turn has created more pessimism in the fan community (which has already become somewhat more toxic/angry since DS2, anyway). Bloodborne shows what happens when they move away from "traditional" fantasy. Don't think it's a coincidence that that game and Demon's Souls are probably their most original ones of the series.

meiam wrote:
Despite loving the soul franchise and considering it to be easily the best new IP of the last decade or two, I'm glad that they're giving it a time out

Miyazaki stated an interest in doing a sci-fi ARPG. I'd be more than happy to see some kind of Souls in Space.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 4:18 am Reply with quote
For me, the multistage boss with a shockingly refilling health bar will always be Dr. Wily machine from megaman 2.

Remember back when you finally managed to get past all 8 robot masters dying only once, died once on the first form of wily machine and then, on your final life, you finally think you've won when holy crap it has an entire second form! How am I supposed to dodge those bouncing balls, ARGH! Now I have to continue back from the before the gauntlet AGAIN!

Remember that feeling? Honestly the final boss having multiple unexpected forms is overused, but man, as long as it keeps giving people experiences like the above for the first time, I'll let it go.
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