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Everything posted by Flanders

  1. Completed it two nights ago. Will have more detailed thoughts eventually, but wow that was a shivering thrill to see the words ‘God Slain’ come up on the screen. I then respecced as a sorcerer build, went straight into NG plus and within 90 minutes Margit and Godrick are already dead. A task that took me approx 30 hours in the first run. Assaulting the main gate of Stormveil to run straight to Godrick is a trip.
  2. I hope that I’m not humblebragging but I’ve piled through most of the endgame areas at this point - Farum Azula, Sub-terranean Shunning Grounds, Moonlight Altar and just over half of the Haligtree - and for the life of me I can’t understand all the complaints I’ve seen about these areas being unfair difficulty spikes. They’re tough for sure and I’ve died a lot - Haligtree is delightfully gnarly - but I reckon I could reel off at least five nastier non-big boss challenges in pretty much every precious From game. There’s nothing in Elden Ring that comes close in difficulty to the run to the first Unseen Village lantern in Bloodborne that has those horrible bell maidens respawning mobs left right and centre. Or the Valley of Defilement in Demon’s Souls, or Irithyll in DS3, which was an area I never ever felt remotely confident against the regular enemies. I don’t know, like I said before I no longer think this is a weakness, it’s a strength, but Elden Ring feels to me like the easiest From game by a mile. I don’t get how you can have played any of their other games and think anything in Elden Ring is particularly unfair.
  3. Looking at those gifs, Bloodborne is just by far the coolest Souls game isn’t it. It’s got infinite swagger.
  4. I might be remembering it wrong but I could swear that you don’t actually need to do any of the Subsistence/repeat missions in Chapter Two to unlock the new stuff. I think you can just do side missions and that after a certain number it triggers progression, which is much easier because there’s small ones you can knock off quickly. I will admit the game doesn’t exactly make this clear though.
  5. ‘Where do the bees sleep’ is the Silent Cartographer of the PS4 generation. It’s where MGS V takes all the brakes off and goes full pelt, I absolutely adored that mission. I feel like the quality of MGS V’s main missions is underrated relative to the general (and correct) reverence for its systems and free-form gameplay. There are a bunch of absolute bangers in there.
  6. I find it quite difficult to post about this game because there’s so much to talk about at any given time. It’s a masterpiece that I deeply love - I am approaching the end now (which means I have at least ten hours left) and I genuinely cannot wait to respec and jump into new game plus. Scrambled recent thoughts: - I mentioned earlier in this thread that the game’s kindness with summons and graces and Marika stakes means it has fewer of the intense highs of other From games - while this is still true I no longer see it as a negative. At the end of the day I am going to have put 100 hours into this despite spamming summons on every boss. If I didn’t have the option to do that the game would take me 400 hours and I just wouldn’t get to experience it properly. And really, I think it is intended to be much more of a power fantasy than other From games. What you lose in the ecstatic suffering of spending five hours on a boss, you gain in the thrill of frequently kicking the living shit out of something massively intimidating (looking at you here, Godskin dickheads. Like hell I was ever going to try and solo those horrors). - There was some narrative that built up on initial release that the endgame stretch after Leyndell is a step down. This is bollocks. Mountaintops of the Giants is excellent (Castle Sol ffs!) and Crumbling Farum Azula is astonishing. Haven’t even gotten to Haligtree yet. - Speaking of Farum Azula, Dragonlord Placidusax might be my favourite boss in the game, and is in the upper echelons of the From pantheon. Just an epic, gorgeous battle against what is basically a cross between King Ghidorah and Godzilla. When the noise drops out and he does his huge AOE attack! Laser beams for goodness sakes! - Fuck me, I actually got a bit emotional when you talk to the blacksmith at the Roundtable hold and he calls you his lord.
  7. So for three years now I’ve had this oddity hanging over me in that I never actually finished Game of Thrones. Absolutely loved it, thought some of the later seasons were unfairly treated in many respects and liked the first half of the last season well enough. But I simply just never mind watched the last episode. I found The Bells to be such an upsetting and unpleasant hour of television - it basically uses the imagery of genocide as a spectacle to try and speed run the viewer through show-breakingly rushed plot and character development. I kind of didn’t care to see what happened after that, and found out all the main beats of the finale through osmosis over the years. I realised recently that there are a lot of shows I’ve genuinely loved but never finished for one reason or another and am actively trying to remedy that. Today was Thrones’ turn so I watched the last episode and it…wasn’t that bad? I think the main reason behind my positive response was that the main plot damage was already done by that point, and it was nice to have a reminder of what a stunningly beautiful show Thrones was, and what a terrific cast it assembled. My overriding feeling was that it is the most tremendous shame that the end being rushed completely deflated the whole thing. I honestly think the outline of the story told in the last season is perfectly fine, but it was two seasons worth of plot crammed into six episodes and everything falls apart as a result. So many of the beats that seem laughable would have worked like gangbusters if they’d had room to breathe. I’m definitely a lot more optimistic for House of Dragons now, if only because it doesn’t need to rush and it will have a creative team who aren’t visibly exhausted by the whole endeavour.
  8. The games are great because they’ve built up an army of excellent developers. But the leadership seems to view Nintendo as the model to chase when it comes to gouging customers and as good as the Sony first party is I still don’t think they’ve got the same level of fan devotion to get away with that. Aside from the greed their overall marketing and presentation has gone to shit as well. So many major announcements done via anodyne blog posts, and also a weird defensive secrecy even when it’s totally unnecessary. I remember around the PS5 launch they virtually refused to confirm that PS4 games were back compatible - when the PS5-PS4 compatibility is actually really good! Or everything to do with the revamped PS Plus, which is actually a very decent service with a great library, but which has one tier too many and which they completely failed to communicate was never going to be a repository for ever PS1 and PS2 game ever made.
  9. So leaked footage of this indicates it really is just a graphics glow-up and that they’ve not upgraded the gameplay to Last of Us 2 levels. Really disappointing and kills my interest dead - and utterly baffling that it’s being put out as a full priced release instead of a shiny PS Plus title to drive interest in the subscription service. Am fully getting aboard the Jimbo Ryan hate train now - Sony still has a wonderful collection of studios that make the kind of games I like but it’s clear that the company leadership is now just dumb business decision after dumb business decision.
  10. In retrospect it’s clear that Anthony Hopkins pulled off one of the all-time great carry jobs in the first season. It’s fundamentally a different show when he’s on screen.
  11. Framed #125 🎥 🟥 🟩 ⬛ ⬛ ⬛ ⬛ https://framed.wtf
  12. The Back Page podcast did an excellent episode on the top 25 Metal Gear moments this week. Thing is of course, you could easily do a top 200 Metal Gear moments. For example, they missed out the bit in MGS4 where you beat Ocelot in the Rex vs Ray fight and he runs away giggling to his underground base that rises out of the sea. The base has a Mount Rushmore sculpture on it of Big Boss, Solid Snake, Liquid Snake and Solidus Snake. MGS4 has more awesome moments in it than 99pc of all other video games and it’s easily the weakest entry of the main series. I love Metal Gear so fucking much.
  13. I really ended up liking the weighty vehicle controls in GTA 4. Meant you had to be a bit more engaged when doing the standard GTA drive to a marker while someone talks to you. Absolute banger DLCs as well. Would love to play a remaster of this.
  14. I think it was definitely the first motivation you cite - he’s trying to fob off his nephew but the idiot is completely oblivious which causes Irons to snap, essentially. He knows he’s dying, his wife is dead, he’s estranged from his son and now he has this complete and utter moron trying to hawk the worst shit ever to him, when he is a legitimate fashion legend. That’s what I love about the scene - it’s Irons’ character who loses it but he does so in the most viciously controlled and entertaining way. And Leto is an amazing punch bag in this film because he’s so puffed up and yet so obviously pathetic.
  15. It’s a completely mad series of very loosely connected vignettes. Definitely not a good film but at the same time I found it bizarrely watchable. The scene where Jeremy Irons annihilates Jared Leto’s soul is legitimately wonderful. And I don’t think Adam Driver has it in him to not be a magnetic screen presence.
  16. I had exactly the same experience with the streaming last night! I’ve never had good performance with Xcloud so wasn’t expecting anything from the PS Plus equivalent but was very shocked to find out that virtually everything I played was very viable. Particularly enjoyed Motorstorm Apocalypse and Devil May Cry HD. I was kind of blown away actually, it makes the prospect of the classics catalogue much more exciting if they can keep a steady stream of games going.
  17. Its very full blown - I’d say the most interesting bit of info released so far about this is that Santa Monica intend to wrap up this whole story in this game, no forced trilogy nonsense. The marketing for Ragnarok seems deliberately low-key, but then again it was kind of the same for the 2018 game as well. As far as I remember it really wasn’t very clear what kind of game it was until reviewers got hold of it, which meant the buzz was all the stronger when it turned out to be really good. There can’t be that same surprise factor with the form and style this time around but I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re hiding the scale of the game - both in the size of the world and of the action and story.
  18. 100pc agree with this. It’s a very stark contrast to the MCU/Star Wars model, which I would argue targets a much more narrow demographic of viewers but which captures that demographic almost completely. Most of my friends and family have never seen an MCU film. As immensely successful as they are, they are still viewed as fundamentally shit for nerds by vast swathes of the movie viewing population - and I don’t mean Scorsese cineastes here, I just mean people who automatically turn away at the site of superhero costumes and actors waving their hands around to make special effects happen. All these people have seen James Cameron films.
  19. Framed #116 🎥 🟩 ⬛ ⬛ ⬛ ⬛ ⬛ https://framed.wtf
  20. I think it really isn’t quite so easy to split these methods out. Like environmental storytelling - all the games you’ve cited in different categories have a ton of environmental storytelling in them. And you’ve cited Half Life 2 in that sparse storytelling category but that game absolutely does have loads of cut scenes, they just take place in the first person perspective.
  21. Apparently they nerfed the Mimic with a patch? Which makes me wonder how powerful it was originally, because the fully upgraded current version is still a monster. Although I have a hunch it’s most effective for a strength build that has limited (but very effective) attack options - the AI on mine can’t get confused, he just spams the L2 attack. Which means that now I have the Ruins sword we just spam bosses to death together with Wave of Destruction. It’s a beautiful sight.
  22. Shouldn’t be forgotten how abysmally treated this game was in the gaming press when it came out, particularly from major US outlets. It was like people saw an opportunity to take a swing at Kojima’s historical excesses and completely missed the actual game. To the point where they actively made shit up - I remember one reviewer claimed the baby is constantly crying out of the controller speaker, which absolutely is not true.
  23. I keep thinking about what I’ll play after Elden Ring but the reality is it’s going to be NG+. I will up the challenge by holding off from using my summons but will respec as an almighty sorcerer so that I can nuke fools with all these lovely spells I’ve collected along my first play through. Who am I kidding, I will 100pc keep using the Mimic, I love that guy. My zero-fucks alter-ego. I am become gank-squad, destroyer of worlds.
  24. Had an outrageously amazing session on this last night. I’ve moved on from my Starscourge sword to the Ruins Greatsword, which impossibly has an even better special skill. Did all of Fia’s quest (fuck me, the underground in this game, Jesus Christ it’s amazing) and went up above level 100. It is only now at 70 hours into the game that I’ve started using the Rune Arcs and the Wondrous Physik properly - which resulted in me brutalising a bunch of nasty bosses in north Caelid that had been total non-starters before. I keep putting off going to the Capitol. Think I’ll wreck Volcano Manor next.
  25. I would say that they’re quite a bit more extensive in Elden Ring than the other Souls games. If don’t do Solaire’s or Siegmeyer’s quest in Dark Souls I miss out on a few mini-story beats, if I don’t do Ranni’s quest in Elden Ring I will miss out a hefty chunk of actual game. I don’t really mind it that much myself - I just googled the steps you need to take to do Ranni’s quest and thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing anyway - but I’ll never be unsympathetic to people who have issues with how From does quests. It’s the part of their design philosophy that does tip over into annoyingly obtuse JRPG nonsense rather than anything intuitive. Still say the absolute nadir of this was the ludicrously convoluted way you had to access Dark Souls’ DLC. To play new content I paid real money for I have to complete two thirds of the main game again and do a bunch of things that I’d have never figured out without the internet, cheers lads.
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