Sunday, April 12, 2015

Daredevil, Bloodborne, Jetpacks and LARPing  


It's been a while since I updated, and free time is (as ever) at a premium, so I'm just going to launch into random topics and let it roll here…

Links First off, here are some links to recent reviews that just went up at @Gamecritics. Be sure to give these a peek, and leave some feedback for our new writers if you can.

First up, new writer @HeavyM3talSushi covers indie mashup Isbarah. It has potential, but misses the mark.  

Next, @NKummert reviews Dreamfall Chapters, Ep. 1 and heaves a huge sigh of relief after an 8yr cliffhanger. 

Then, @MobilesWorking covers Woah Dave! and waxes poetically on its arcade qualities. 

Next, @GC_Danny reviews Elliot Quest, and finds it to be a too-faithful homage that lacks modern sensibility. 

Finally, @CapitalistPig21 reviews the latest Tales From TheBorderlands ep, and it features a very welcome return.  

Daredevil I've been a DD fan from way back when, and I've been pretty curious to see how this new Netflix-fueled iteration would turn out. Now that Marvel is firing on all cylinders and the platform isn’t restricted by network standards and such, my hopes were high…

As of this point, the wife and I have watched the first five episodes, and it's been fantastic. The handling of the characters is excellent, and the cast is great. The show also has a very dark, violent slant to it that’s a good fit for the character and the subject material.

I don't want to say too much because the show just came out, and despite the fact that it seems like half of my Twitter feed has already seen all 13 episodes, I'm sure that there are probably quite a few of you out there who don't want to be spoiled on anything. Check it out for yourself, but so far it's been a huge thumbs up. Can’t wait to see the rest.

The Quest Looking towards a more family-oriented show, we've been watching The Quest on iTunes, which is basically a reality competition show where the contestants pretend to be paladins in a fantasy world. So a Fantasy-Reality? I dunno.

Of course the show is cheesy and ridiculous, and some of the drama I could have certainly lived without, but the central premise was actually pretty fun and my son really got into it – the swords and medieval-style challenges really got him hooked.

If nothing else, I can say that I haven't seen anything else quite like it, and if you're looking for something that's a bit offbeat and accessible for the whole family, it's not a bad choice.

Bloodborne Games-wise, 2015 has been hectic as all get-out and I've had an unusually small amount of time to just sit and play. However, when I have had time to sit down, it's mostly been going into Bloodborne… 

 I'm still working my way through it and it's probably going to take me a good long while yet before I see credits, but I've definitely got some thoughts on it.


-The level design is quite good in most places. I haven't seen it all, but it feels like a good mix between the linearity of Demon’s Souls and and the overlappy shortcutting of Dark Souls. I don't get an erection over shortcuts or just the way that some do, but they work well here and I like that their use is balanced out by having some stretches which are pretty straightforward.

-Trick weapons are pretty cool, and I like that they give the player a number of tactical options in each situation.

-The setting is great. The quasi-Victorian stuff is nice, the semi-steampunkish twist to some of the gear is neat, and the horror slant is also appreciated.

-The ‘regain system of restoring health by rapidly counter-attacking is great, and a clever way of encouraging the aggressive style that the developers are clearly after.


-Although I like the setting, the environmental design is entirely too grey and there's too much clutter in the environments. This combo makes the game hard to read in some areas, and I find it visually boring. A little more color and less clutter would go a long way here.

-Not being able to warp between areas is a drag, and sometimes I can't remember which area is which -- having to go back to the dream after picking the wrong destination is groanworthy.

-Speaking of which… those load times. Do I even need to say anything about this? Not only are they long enough to go check Twitter and make a sandwich, they absolutely kill the pace when you're throwing yourself up against one of the bosses.

-Farming for health vials. Buying them with spare cash helps, and of course not getting hit preserves them as well, but having to go back to previous areas to grind them out when you’re in need is a terrible decision.

-The opening area is pretty atrocious, and comes off to me like a bit of a dick-measuring contest put forward by the developers. With basically no information, no ability to change weapons, hordes of enemies to deal with, overpowering bosses, and no ability to level up until the first boss is reached, it seems like it's working overtime to get people to quit the game before they have a chance to get into it. Ironically, I think the game gets much easier as the player goes on, so starting brutally is kinda wretched.

-I get that Bloodborne is its own IP and that the name of the game is fast action, but I can't help but feel like it’s a stripped-down, sped-up Souls-lite, and some parts of it feel too similar where they should be different. 

For example, in an action-oriented game with relatively few weapon choices, requiring players to level weapons discourages experimentation. Maybe required resources become plentiful later (?) but so far I have to be choosy with what I increase, and as a result, I tend to use what I've already increased because I don't have mats to risk on a weapon that I may not end up using much. Seems like the devs should be encouraging players to use/try all the weapons, not hampering them like this.

With all that being said, I'm still enjoying the game and playing as much as I can, and I'm sure I'll have more to say about this later.

EDF 2025 With all due apologies to @BRKeogh, EDF 2025 is a pretty crappy game, but it does have one thing going for it -- the flying jetpack characters are awesome, and as a sucker for a good jetpack, it’s made the game a hell of a lot more interesting than it would've been otherwise. 

Although I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who wasn’t a jetpack nut, I've been playing a few levels a day with my youngest son, and we've been having fun flying all over the maps and shooting billions of bugs.

MH4U Finally, a big, big shout out to @J_Monster and @Discobeaver for their help in getting my wife and I to G-Rank in MH4U. These guys are absolutely killer players, and we've been leaning on them to get through the tough spots… My wife and I are a great duo, but sometimes you just need extra help, and these guys have had our backs repeatedly. 

Today we had an absolutely stellar run, killing an Akantor, a Kushala Daora, a Teostra, two Dalamadurs and two Ukanlos without a single loss, capping it all off with double ascension into G-Rank. It would've been a much harder, much tougher slog without them, so guys, if you're reading this… Thanks!!  = D


Mild-mannered independent developer Acid Nerve and raucous game label Devolver Digital have unleashed a unique demo for the forthcoming action-adventure game Titan Souls. Born from a game jam experiment, the Titan Souls demo is a scene-for-scene remake of the original prototype infused with the visual, audio, and gameplay enhancements the game underwent on it’s way to the full release of Titan Souls ( Pre-orders for Titan Souls and the demo can be found on Steam, Humble, GOG, and for 10 percent off with the game hitting PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, PC, and Mac on April 14.
Titan Souls and the Titan Souls: Digital Special Edition can be pre-ordered via Steam, Humble, and GOG for 10 percent off prior to launch on April 14. The Titan Souls: Digital Special Edition includes the full original soundtrack, a digital artbook and world map, and a collection of high-resolution desktop backgrounds.
Titan Souls will release on PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, PC, and Mac on April 14. For more information and updates on Titan Souls follow @AcidNerve and @DevolverDigital on Twitter.


Atlus U.S.A., Inc. will publish the Spike Chunsoft-developed title, Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains, for the Nintendo 3DS™ system in North America and Europe. Based on the hit "Attack on Titan" anime and manga, players will defend the three Walls from invading Titans as a member of the elite Scout Regiment with their omni-directional mobility gear and blades. Based on the upcoming Japanese remake of an earlier  Attack on Titan game, Humanity in Chains will be the first Attack on Titan game to reach North American shores, and will release exclusively on the Nintendo eShop for Nintendo 3DS in May 2015 with the original Japanese audio and English subtitles.

The features for Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains include:
·  Story Mode: As a member of the elite Scout Regiment, defending the outer walls from the Titans will push players to their very limits to save humanity. Enhanced Titan AI behavior will sap every ounce of ability from players as they make a last stand for the human race.
·  Familiar Characters, New  Customizations: Eren Jaeger, Mikasa Ackermann and others will be familiar faces for players as they pick their favorite Scout member to defend the Walls. Several new additions will join the Scout Regiment, customizable with costumes, weapons and voices.
·  Online Co-op Mode: Defend the outer walls with up to three friends in the all-new online co-op mode with ranking and leaderboards.
·  Fresh Look: Updates to the UI, improvements in gameplay balance and support for the Circle Pad Pro and the New Nintendo 3DS XL system's C-Stick take Humanity in Chains to the next level.
Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains will be available in North America and Europe exclusively on the Nintendo eShop for Nintendo 3DS this May. Release timing, pricing, and additional details will be made available at a later date. 


Video: Finger Derpy, from Mommy’s Best Games


XSEED Games, the independent-minded console publishing brand of Marvelous USA, Inc., today announced the exciting, long-awaited launch of STORY OF SEASONS for Nintendo 3DS™ family. This series, known as Bokujo Monogatari in Japan, has featureddozens of entries and sold nearly ten million units worldwide. STORY OF SEASONS catapults the cherished franchise into a new era, mixing series staples beloved by fans since its inception with new features such as online connectivity with other players and trade with visiting merchants from foreign lands.

The theme of “Connectivity” expands the world and presents possibilities to players both in and out of the game. In STORY OF SEASONS, the new StreetPass™ connectivity feature grants players the ability to tour one another’s farms, cultivate crops together, and even exchange gifts. The new Safari mode allows players to visit new lands and interact with a wide variety of flora and fauna. Players can also trade with other countries in-game to help grow their crop variety and pad out their coffers, while also aiding the local economy and contributing positively to the prosperity of the entire town.

Familiar friends of a different sort are also present within Oak Tree Town, as STORY OF SEASONS has numerous decorative items available from the Super Mario Bros. franchise, including the Super Mushroom, Fire Flower, and Super Star.

Developed in Japan by Marvelous Inc., STORY OF SEASONS is published in North America by XSEED Games, exclusively for Nintendo 3DS. The game is available in physical format at participating retailers and digitally in the Nintendo eShop for $39.99. This game has been rated "E10+" for Everyone ages 10 and up by the ESRB with the descriptors Alcohol Reference, Mild Suggestive Themes and Violent References.

More information on the game can be found at For more information on XSEED Games products, please visit Fans can also follow XSEED Games on Facebook at and on Twitter at


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2 comments: to “ Daredevil, Bloodborne, Jetpacks and LARPing


    I understand how you perceive Bloodborne but totally disagree with you.Having played all souls series I think Bloodborne is still the BEST one, the synthesis/optimization of all versions, having trimmed all the fat from past series, making it the ULTIMATE version.

    I've been reading your blog for the last 2 years and thought I'd give my thoughts this time as I've found your assessment to be a little unfair for such an INCREDIBLE game.

    1. Regarding the setting: demons souls (at least) was way much greyer and had way much clutter with few areas literally where you can't see/distinguish much.
    Bloodborne (Yarnham) feels 'alive' with lighting poles, doors, alleys, gutter, etc. a more consistent setting with later areas, some of which astonishing (you'll see, just receive the "invitation" ;-))

    2. Not being able to wrap is indeed an issue. However you will see the more you play the game that you will always have the urge to go back to your base when you finish areas of the game to prepare for the next one so you won't really be bothered

    3. Loading times are miserable especially when you're at a boss and it indeed kills the "flow"

    4. Health vials and their limitation is a strategic decision where you won't have a 'guaranteed' number of vials every time you spawn at a lamp and just consume these anytime, in any way. It goes hand in hand with the regeneration system where it pushes you being more aggressive and relying less on blood vials, by simply daring pushing forward into an attack and keeping these precious vials only when needed.
    + when you get further into the game you'll see that you'll be able to purchase/acquire many vials easily where the excess ones will directly go to your storage and each time you die you'll have the default 20 recharged from your stock automatically. But I think that limiting the vials is a smart and clever idea pushing you to play more aggressively while remaining meticulous

    5. All souls series start brutally.
    How could we every forget the opening areas of demons souls?
    + its not that brutal in fact, its just it takes time to accustom to the gameplay

    6. Bloodborne is not a stripped-down or whatever you want to call it version. I TOTALLY DISAGREE AND THINK YOU ARE MISLEADING YOUR READERS.
    It's a real evolution of the series, its a perfect (almost) synthesis of the souls game

    - Combat is very different and proactive opening up new strategies. No more just hiding behind your shield all the time and waiting for things to happen before hitting back
    - Combos are REAL now where you can combine weapons, guns & visceral attacks and in different forms creating brutal combo patterns giving you this experimentation window you were referring to earlier
    - Dodging is spectacular (locked or unlocked). How could we ever play in the future a game in bloodborne veins without it? it gives you a 360 degrees window to your combat
    - Essential weapons are there for you to master. No more "100" versions and iteration of a same weapon or dozens of weapons half of which you don't really use as they don't differ or make much of a difference
    - Scaling/upgrading of weapons is optimized with blood gems. No more "one hundred" type of stones and dozen of upgrade path and confusion. Blood gems concept and utilization is bedazzling as you will see later on in the game when you acquire superbe gems
    - You won't be wasting consumables/stones upgrading armour and weapons that are useless or won't be used in a while. Bloodborne optimizes the system. Any weapon can be used and will still be relevant until the end of the game
    - Graphics/Textures have been enhanced. Although demon souls/dark souls artwork was spectacular at the time, graphics were a little on the "cheap" side. Now bloodborne looks great (and superb in later areas) with enhanced lighting, textures, filtering etc
    - Online is enhanced although it still can be ameliorated.
    - Other features/ameliorations

    Keep up the good work

  • Anonymous


    Hey Brad; always enjoy reading your take on a Souls game as you're going through it. I know you preferred Demon's Souls to Dark Souls and was wondering if the Moon Grass system gave you the same trouble in that game as the Blood Vials in Bloodborne are.

    For me, I actually played Dark Souls first and Demon's Souls after it, so it was a big shock finding out that the health items in Demon's Souls could run out and didn't replenish automatically after every death the way they did in Dark Souls. It caused me a lot of anxiety when I was fighting bosses and I was constantly worrying about running out.

    But I came to appreciate the system because it creates the need for a strategy that goes beyond each individual boss attempt, whereas in Dark Souls there is only tactics within the boss attempt itself. In Dark Souls you come into every boss attempt with the same Estus and there's no reason not to chug it all during the fight. Every attempt is self-contained and not part of a larger strategy. In Demon's and Bloodborne, you can't just go full throttle on the healing items every attempt or you'll quickly run out. The boss attempts need to fit into a larger strategy of what your goal is during each attempt.

    When I first encounter a boss in Bloodborne, I limit myself to a maximum of one or two vials while I dodge as much as possible and try to learn its attacks. My second attempt, I use 3 or 4 vials while trying to get in some hits. For a couple of attempts after that I do the same thing, limiting myself to 3 or 4 while trying to get the boss as low as possible. After 4 or 5 attempts, when I think I'm good enough and I'm getting the boss low enough, I do an attempt where I go full throttle on vials and usually am able to beat the boss.

    In Dark Souls there was none of this strategy, it was just a process of throwing yourself against the boss over and over under the same conditions until you beat it. It's true that it's annoying in Bloodborne when you run out of vials and have to farm more, but it's this threat of running out that makes an overall strategy necessary, which I feel adds an extra dimension to the game.