Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Bloodborne is here, and it's... Meh???  


Before getting into my next entry in the “Brad is the most popular guy on the internet” series, here are some quick links…

First up, I was a guest on the @Gaymebar podcast, and we talk turkey on Monster Hunter 4: Ultimate. It’s a fun, fun show and I’m a big fan of these guys, so give a listen!

Next, we had some new stuff go up at @Gamecritics.

Here we have my review of the outstanding PSN exclusive, Helldivers. So, SO good.

Here we have a brief interview with NISA’s Souhei Niikawa from @CapitalistPig21.

Also from @CapitalistPig21, his review of Game of Thrones, Episode 2.

@TayoGC covers indie shooter Blue Flamingo here.

Here we have @GC_Danny’s take on Funk of Titans.

Finally, we have newcomer @MobilesWorking covering WiiU’s Art of Balance.

Now, on to the main event…

So, Bloodborne is finally out, and my copy arrived today from Amazon.

I was so confident that I would be all-in on this game that I ordered the limited edition and didn't hesitate for a moment. Ironically, it just so happened that I had the day off from work (seriously, I did not call in sick, it was just good luck!) so I got to spend a fair amount of time with it this morning.

First impressions? Not too great, honestly.

The biggest thing that bothers me is that I find it to be very muddy and cluttered, visually. It’s waaaay overdone with iron fences and crates and detritus on every streetcorner and so on. The color palettes are extremely dark, and it all blends together so much that it’s hard to tell the difference between areas. Unlike the previous Souls games, I’m not finding good landmarks to guide myself by – it all looks the same to my eye.

The developers are also clearly going back to Dark Souls for inspiration in their level design – the opening area (and the rest of the game, I’m guessing?) are places that are stacked on top of each other and doubling back, full of shortcuts and crisscrossing. I'm not one of those Dark players who got an erection over unlocking shortcuts, so this style combined with my inability to visually navigate means that I often find myself going in circles and getting lost constantly.

It’s frustrating to be confused whether I’m going forwards or backwards, and when I finally find a new area (and inevitably get killed) I can't remember how I got there. Maybe it's just the way my brain works, but it seems to me the environments need more visual clarity.

I'm also not liking how the game starts in general. The opening area is quite tough, and although the developers do give some text prompts, it's a little unclear to tell when you're supposed to "parry" with a gunshot, and how that system works. I'm sure that will come with time, but a little more of an introduction would've been nice. The saves also feel far apart, and it took a good long while before I was able to unlock the option to level up. I’m guessing it’s meant as a sink-or-swim welcome to the game, but it feels a bit much.

After a while, I stumbled upon a boss called the Cleric Beast. Like the environments, I found his visual design to be muddy, and it was difficult to see his tells. I defeated him on my first try, but it was an unsatisfying win. I didn’t know that you could target different parts of his body, and the camera was often spazzing out of control. Looking directly up a boss’s rectum during a fight? Not helpful. Similarly, I often find myself wheeling the camera around trying to keep enemies in view, and I'm often surprised from behind during fights. The lock-on function frequently drops as well, so that can lead to some inopportune deaths.

I don't mean to sound entirely down on the game because I plan on putting more time into it, but I gotta be honest in saying that it's not clicking with me so far. Perhaps it's going to work out that I only love every *other* Souls game? If that's so, then whatever comes after Bloodborne should be my new favorite…

Otherwise, I'm still chipping away at Monster Hunter 4U (the Crimson Fatalis dragon went down like a chump), I’m still putting time into Helldivers every night (love it!!) and I'm just about to write a review for [embargo’d game] which turned out to be something of a disappointment.


I can’t name names right now, but it was one of the things I was most excited for this year, and now that I have it in my hands, I find myself falling asleep every time I play it. The funny thing is that I think it's technically sound, and it definitely shows some good ideas. On paper, it seems like it should be a homerun. It's really lacking that spark for me, though… 

I can see some people falling head over heels for it, but for me, I don't think I'm going to finish.



Independent developer Croteam and philosophical game label Devolver Digital have announced The Talos Principle: Road to Gehenna, an upcoming expansion pack for the award-winning first-person puzzler The Talos Principle. Set in the world of The Talos Principle, Road to Gehenna follows the narrative of Uriel, Elohim's messenger, as he explores a strange, hidden part of the simulation on a mission of mercy and redemption in an attempt to free the souls of the damned at all costs.

The Talos Principle: Road to Gehenna will consist of four episodes that take experienced players through some of the most advanced and challenging puzzles yet. The Talos Principle writers Tom Jubert and Jonas Kyratzes have returned to pen the expansion and show players an entirely different side of Elohim's world through a journey to Gehenna filled with new characters and a new society with its own history and philosophy.

The Talos Principle: Road to Gehenna is coming to Steam this spring while The Talos Principle and the expansion pack will launch on PlayStation 4 and the Nvidia Shield platforms later this year. For more information and updates on The Talos Principle follow @Croteam and @DevolverDigital on Twitter.


BioWare™, an Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) studio, today announced brand-new downloadable content (DLC) that expands the singleplayer experience for Dragon Age: Inquisition, winner of over 100 Game of the Year awards. Now available for digital download, the Dragon Age: Inquisition - Jaws of Hakkon DLC adds an exciting new story arc to the campaign and expands on its already vast world with a new region of Thedas to explore. Dragon Age: Inquisition - Jaws of Hakkon is available first on Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft and PC via Origin™ for $14.99.
Dragon Age: Inquisition - Jaws of Hakkon will reveal the fate of the last Inquisitor and the powerful dragon he hunted. The new content expands the land of Thedas with a massive new playable area covered in mountains and lush forests, where danger lurks in the shadowy undergrowth. As players explore the vertical landscape and dense wilderness fighting off vicious enemies, they will collect legendary armor and weapons before unearthing an ancient secret that could destroy the world.

Check Out the Dragon Age: Inquisition - Jaws of Hakkon Trailer Here:


Take the fight to the surface in Arc System Works' latest title, Damascus Gear, available today on PlayStation Vita. With a fleet of elite humanoid good robots called GEAR to pilot, you will lead an squad of soldiers to claw Earth back from the RAGE, bad robots that have gone berserk and annihilated 80% of the world's population.

From the broken husks of dead RAGE, you will take parts to customize your GEAR. Whatever your fighting style--from long range rifles to blades to a friggin' laser cannon--you can customize to your robot-bashing heart's content. Once you've built the ultimate fighting machine, head out to take on harder missions, or visit the arena and test your strength against other GEAR pilots.
For more information please visit the official website:


Capcom, a leading worldwide developer and publisher of video games, announced a partnership with Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, the world’s largest regional theme park operator, to bring the Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate experience to guests at Six Flags Magic Mountain, the “Thrill Capital of the World.” As part of the campaign, the park’s Goliath roller coaster will be re-themed to Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate beginningMarch 28 and through August 10. To help kick off the opening weekend of the program, the national Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate traveling Caravan Tour will also be making a stop at Six Flags Magic Mountain for special event days onMarch 28 and 29.


When Etrian Mystery Dungeon releases on April 7, people who own the game will be able to get all the DLC for free. This offer lasts through May 5, so don't dawdle! The DLC consists of five quests that have various bonuses! After May 5, the DLC will revert to paid, with the prices indicated below. 

The first three DLC quests require you to find a lost adventurer in the dungeons. Once you do, they will give you recipes that unlock meals prepared by the NPC Niralda in the Amber Cafe. Players can purchase the meals for each of the party members to apply buffs that last until they leave the dungeon! 

Find a Wanderer for me! Find the master chef Wanderer to unlock three new recipes for the Amber Restaurant! ($1.49)

Find a Princess for me! Find the stray Sovereign to unlock a meal fit for a king in the Amber Restaurant! ($1.99)

Find a Landsknecht for me! Find the adventurous Landsknecht to unlock three new recipes for the Amber Restaurant! ($1.49)

The last two DLC quests are repeatable quests that players can get from Niralda as well:
Know the Red Pookas? Slay a Red Pooka wandering around the dungeon to receive a Golden or White potion for extra experience! ($1.99)

Slay the Gold Guardian! Defeat an elusive Gold Guardian in the dungeon to receive a Nugget of Gold fragment for extra gold! ($1.49)

Beginning March 31 (a week before the game launches!), an Etrian Mystery Dungeon theme will be available on the Nintendo eShop for 99 cents! The static theme has scrolling character art (hand-drawn and 3D), plays the main Etrian Mystery Dungeon theme song, and has custom folders. We made a short little demo video of the theme you can check out here: 


We’re pleased to announce The Evil Within: The Assignment is available! This first piece of DLC for The Evil Within is the first in a two-part, story driven experience and will be followed up with The Evil Within: The Consequence later this Spring.
In The Evil Within: The Assignment and The Evil Within: The Consequence, players take on the role of detective Juli Kidman, Sebastian Castellanos’ mysterious partner, in a concurrent story that looks to answer some of the questions surrounding her whereabouts during The Evil Within. Along the way she will encounter disturbing new enemies, discover new mysteries, and uncover new horrors. The Assignment and The Consequence give fans of The Evil Within the perfect opportunity to discover detective Kidman’s hidden motivations and her mysterious connection to Mobius, the shadowy group thought to be behind the gruesome events of The Evil Within.  

Both The Assignment and The Consequence are available as part of The Evil Within’s Season Pass. Priced at $19.99, the Season Pass offers savings on all three add-ons for the game, including the third DLC, The Evil Within: The Executioner, and is available on PSN, Xbox LIVE, and PC. Pricing and release dates may vary by territory and/or platform. The Assignment is also available for purchase separately and is priced at $9.99

The Evil Within has been rated M for Mature by the ESRB. For more information on The Evil Within please visit


Get your hands a-clapping, because the idols of Omega Quintet are coming! Our first ever PlayStation­®4 game is set to arrive in North America on April 28th in both physical and digital formats. It will hit Europe on May 1st and will be available digitally for European markets May 6th.

In a world overrun by a mysterious, malevolent darkness, the only hope for humanity rests in the music of singing idols known as "Verse Maidens". Wielding weapons of sound, they are tasked with fighting back evil and restoring the world, but it won't be easy! These five plucky girls - with the help of their manager Takt - will have to give the performance of a lifetime to stop this darkness from claiming the last of humanity. Will they be able to band together and blow this evil away, or will they fight only to discover that the darkness has been lurking within them the whole time...? 


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