Posts Tagged ‘Hidetaka Miyazaki’

In their haste to make “soulslikes”, devs have forgotten what makes Dark Souls unique – its level design

I finally completed Dark Souls III [official site] last week, a world that I have been dipping in and out of between bouts of listlessness since its release in April last year. It didn’t grip me like the first revered Dark Souls, but it still made me sad to know it was all over. Where could I go now for my Souls fix? The answer, it turns out, is loads of places. The games industry is quietly reverberating with the series’ influence. From small games boasting “souls-like” combat, to bigger games doing weird things with death and player messages. Meanwhile, our PlayStation brethren got Nioh, which took the “pocket full o’ souls” idea and simply renamed them “Amrita”. There is a popular complaint that everything in the industry is now being compared to Dark Souls, and it’s easy to forget that games embraced difficulty and strangeness long before the Bed of Chaos made you weep with frustration. Nevertheless, the mechanics and the tone of Miyazaki’s magnum opus is leaking into games everywhere.

That there’s an influx of Soulsian disciples out there isn’t a problem to me. My problem is that they are learning all the wrong lessons. At least, they are neglecting the most important one. But first let’s look at what sly tricks are being lifted from the series, and who is lifting them. Read the rest of this entry »

Why Dark Souls 3’s Aldrich is 2016’s best boss

Before taking down Aldrich you have the option of joining his multiplayer Covenant, gathering human dregs from slain players to hoard against the Lord's return. You don't get to eat them though.

Warning! There are plentiful spoilers ahead for all Dark Souls games.]

You’ll meet his acolytes first – giggling ogresses in matted, sagging corsets, their belts jingling with torture implements, and red-cloaked porters who shoulder cages full of chopped-up bone and flesh. Deep in Undead Settlement – an area you’ll reach, in a portentous reversal of a key moment from the original Dark Souls, when two gargoyles carry you down the cliff from Lothric Castle – you’ll find rooms hung with carcasses, neatly bundled up in sackcloth for transportation.

Beyond that there’s the Road of Sacrifices, with its mutant carrion birds and its lone madwoman in rags armed with a butcher’s cleaver, a road that takes you via the Crucifixion Woods to the grounds of a befouled cathedral. And then there are his rings, obtained from the colossal fusions of wolf and spider which haunt that cathedral – magical artefacts that impart a little of the master’s terrible hunger to the wearer. Aldrich, Saint of the Deep. Aldrich the man-eater.

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Fail Forward: Dark Souls 2

Fail Forward is a series of videos all about the bits of games which don’t quite work and why. In this episode, Marsh Davies discusses Dark Souls 2 [official site], but ends up mostly talking about the preceding Dark Souls, the legend of King Arthur and wanking onto goblins.

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Dark Souls 3 Announced, Miyazaki Directing

The leaked information about Dark Souls III [official site] is looking more legit now. The game was officially announced during Microsoft’s E3 press conference today and, while some of the more granular specifics are yet to be announced, one thing has been confirmed. Legendary director Hidetaka Miyazaki is back in the driving seat for this one when it launches in early 2016. I guess that’s actually two things.

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