Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin Review

I can’t remember if I finished the original incarnation of Dark Souls 2, and I’m not really sure why. I really (really really) loved Demon Souls. I thought the original Dark Souls was amazing and added so much to the Souls formula. For whatever reason, though, I never really got into Dark Souls 2. Turns out skipping that entry was fine because Scholar of the First Sin improves on many aspect of Dark Souls 2‘s gameplay, adds in all the previous DLC and makes it an overall amazing experience.

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Lux-Pain

Lux-Pain actually looks kind of interesting. It’s a text-based adventure game for the DS being published by Marvelous Interactive Inc set. It’s set in Kisaragi City, I don’t know if that’s a real place or not (more on that later). Apparently a worm is infecting people and making them do bad things. Obviously, this is like a huge problem, right, so your character (Atsuki) is totally going to put a stop to it. You get to use physic powers, which is pretty cool…but not quite cool enough (I imagine that’s what the developers were thinking). So, to really make sure the game is awesome, they let you conduct autopsies with your stylus. Oh and Atsuki’s left eye is golden.

You know what’s even better? I learned something today:

Kisaragi (如月 or 衣更着) is a traditional name for February in Japanese.

The meaning of “kisaragi” is not so deep as those of the other names of the months. It is written as “wear more clothes” in kanji; it also means “the rehabilitation of plants.” February is the second month of the year. In the lunar calendar, which was used until the Heian Period, February was the second month of winter; January, February, March made up winter, and the three months starting from April were considered spring.

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Virtual Console Update – Cho Aniki

So, Cho Aniki. It’s basically a shooting game, but replace spaceships with half naked guys. I’ll just take Wikipedia’s description:

For various reasons, the popularity of the Cho Aniki games has endured since the series’ debut. Depending on which specific title one looks at, highlights include in-game music, innovative control schemes or sheer kitsch value. In Japan, these games are examples of baka-ge, a type of kuso-ge. “Baka-ge” literally means “idiot game” while “kuso-ge” literally means “shitty game” or “shit game”. Baka-ge’s appeal lies in its campness. Indisputably, the game’s aesthetic sense — semi-nude men in suggestive homoerotic poses — is a unique one, certainly a quality that has given the series a cult popularity among Western gamers. Though the graphics are more risqué than pornographic, the series references homosexuality and gay sex more directly and more often than perhaps any other video game series in history.

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Ubisoft! Ubisoft! Ubisoft!

Ubisoft released its First Quarter Reports (2008-09) today. Sales for the company are up 25.8%. Titles launched in 2007-08, such as Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas 2, Assassin’s Creed and Rayman Raving Rabbids 2, are mainly what brought about these numbers. While this may seem like boring news to non-business people, the company did mention some titles that will be released during the second quarter of 2008-09. The second fiscal quarter will see the following main releases: Brothers in Arms Hell’s Highway and Soul Calibur IV (with Darth Vader and Yoda). I am sure everyone knew this already anyway.

Avid gamers can also look forward to the Ubisoft DS title “My SAT Coach”. I personally wish there was a gameboy game when I was younger that mixed the fun of gaming with the intelligence and vest of the SAT’s.

In other Ubisoft news the company opened up two new, randomly placed, studios. One in Kiev, no clue where that is, and Sao Paolo. Fascinating.

Dead Space Trailer

At first I was thinking Dead Space was just going to be a Doom knock-off. Now I’ve decided that it doesn’t matter, after watching the trailer I don’t think I care one way or another, it looks pretty awesome. Fun fact, apparently this trailer wasn’t approved by the ESRB (that’s why it shows the EU rating at the beginning).

Also, for some reason it sounds like Bjork singing to me. I don’t know how to do the two dots over the ‘o’. Björk. I just figured it out. Just kidding, I just copied that. I searched “Bjork” on Google and got “Björk”. It’s probably totally not her, because I’m wrong about music always. Always. Except this one time, Liz knows, ask her. She might not tell you, though, or mysteriously forget. It really did happen though, seriously.

Sony’s E3 Conference

PS3

– Resistance 2 – Game play trailer, looks very nice. Fighting a GIANT Leviathan guy that’s bigger then most buildings. Showed another level, Twin Falls, Idaho. Giant battleships, all kinds of gigantic bad things, it looks very cool.

– LittleBigPlanet – Used a level in the game to show sales graphs for Sony, basically. Actually it was really cool, I can’t believe how they did it. Seems like you can create anything in the game.

– Export PS3 videos to Youtube. Called Life With Playstation. Available before the end of the month.

– DC Universe Online – Jim Lee talked about the game. Did one-handed push-ups like Jack Palance. Talked about how, as a kid, he just wanted to read comic books and play videos. We all did Jim, we all did. Talked about how you can be a villain and help the Joker get criminals out of prison to attack the bat cave, which is something I’ve always wanted to do.

– 80 GB PS3, $399.99.

– Showed a number of games: LittleBigPlanet, Motor Storm Pacific Rift, Metal Gear Solid 4, Quantum of Solace, Socom, Ghostbusters, Soul Caliber IV, Resistance 2, The Agency, Naruto, Mirror’s Edge, Resident Evil 5, Singstar, Guitar Hero World Tour, NBA 09 The Inside, Buzz! Quiz TV, Killzone 2.

– God of War III. Trailer looked awesome, but it was short.

– inFamous. Basically, I guy gets like force powers in a modern setting.

– Massive Action Game (MAG). Multiplayer game. Battles of 256 players at one time! Broken into 8 player squads, a command system (character growth, basically). Showed a video…prerendered.

PS2

– Showed a number of games: NCAA, Tiger Woods, Star Wars Unleashed, Warriors Orochi 2, Singstar Pop 2, Yakuza 2, Madden XX Years, Mercenaries 2.

– New bundle, Lego Batman Bundle, Lego Batman and a Justice League movie.

PSN

– Can log in via computer, send messages, see friends.

– Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty. $14.99.

– Showed off a bunch of PSN games: Crash Commando, Fat Princess (looked interesting), Eden (looks sweet), Pain Amusement Park, Flower (looks interesting as well), Siren Blood Curse, Ragdoll Kung Fu.

– Gran Turismo TV. Watch real life races, learn about cars.

– Trophies – Achievements, basically.

– Playstation Home – Say it’s worth the wait, basically. Showed a video. Warhawk room, Uncharted room.

– Video delivery. Can download to PS3, then to PSP. Looked pretty nice. Takes an hour to download a two hour movie. Can download or rent the movie for less. Available tonight.

PSP

– New entertainment pack. October. Ratchet & Clank Size Matters pack. $199.

– Resistance Retribution – 3rd Person Shooter, looked O.K. Spring 2009.

– Brief videos for: Star Wars The Force Unleashed, Madden 09, Loco Roco 2, NBA 09 The Inside, Super Stardust Portable, Lego Batman, Patapon 2, Buzz! Master Quiz, Valkyria Chronicles

Various

– Buzz to PSP, PS3.

Castle Crashers E3 Screenshots

The only thing I’m worried about is convincing Gmoney, Thrasher, and Robert to buy this game. I want to play it, but I don’t want to play it alone. I haven’t played a side scrolling beat-em-up in a long, long time…

I love the artwork in the game, too. More images after the link…

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Mega Man 9

Capcom’s decided to go back to the old NES style graphics in their latest Mega Man game. Honestly, I think it’s a good idea. I pretty much didn’t like or play any of the Mega Man games after the NES/SNES ones, the series just wasn’t doing it for me. This, however, I certainly will pick up. I mean, look at the bosses you’ll be facing:

Galaxy Man: level consists of portals that fling Mega Man all around the level, maintaining his momentum with each fling (a lot like Portal, actually), plus enemies that divide into multiple copies of themselves.

Plug Man: home to the required “disappearing block” puzzle

Jewel Man: there are swings here that you have to move with built-up momentum – we had to try it several times before we could make the jumps

Splash Woman: yes, a woman robot master. Level features a hovering bubble puzzle we saw in Mega Man 5. One of the masters designed by Inafune himself

Splash woman! I guess we have girl bosses now. What is the world coming to.

[ via Games Radar ]

MadWorld

I think it’s interesting how a vast majority of gamers automatically thinks this game is going to be amazing because of the art direction. Like, alright, it’s all in black and white but the blood, the blood is still red, I see that and that’s really very clever and original I guess, but I’m still not sold on it. At this point in time, it just seems like yet another video game with supposed “over the top” violence that is so over the top it’s funny (from IGN). It’s not even over the top really, I’m pretty sure I’ve done every single thing show in this demo video countless times before in so many other games. I’ve been ripping out hearts, chopping people in half, and impaling people on spikes since Mortal Kombat. But it’s OK, MadWorld is totally original because it’s black and white (with red blood).

The problem is, for some reason ones self image as an individual that plays video games is defined by the games they play. People want to play badass games because it somehow reflects that badass-ness on them.

With that said, the rant was directed more at the automatic acceptance of this game, not at the game itself. I like that it’s coming out for the Wii, not because the Wii needs more over the top violence because that will somehow make the system more masculine and therefore appeal to everyone afraid of buying a Wii because it’s too kiddy, but because the Wii needs any new games coming out for it, at all, that don’t suck. And PlatinumGames will probably make a solid title, Viewtiful Joe and Okami were great titles (Shinji Mikami, Atsushi Inaba and Hideki Kamiya were former members of Clover Studios that went on to form PlatinumGames).