100 Words or Less: Dark Souls 3 (Spoiler-Free) DLC

Dark Souls 3 is one of those games that destroys your life. A game that not only demands masochistic level grinding, but implants the desire to do it deep within you. In other words, the game is pure evil. And I haven’t had as much fun dying (over and over and over again) in quite a long time.

We are nearing the first (and highly-anticipated) DLC drop: Ashes of Ariandel. We will be gifted with this lovely expansion in only a month (October 25th, to be exact). And already, we’re bombarded with spoilers. Only a few days ago, From Software released a gameplay trailer with a spoiler warning. (In true From Software fashion to dangle a shiny orb [trailer] beside a gruesome monster [spoilers].) I don’t care what delicious spoilers await; I am not partaking! As much as I love Dark Souls, and I as much as I would love to glean some new information on the upcoming Ashes of Ariandel, I am averting my eyes (at least for now… while my willpower is still strong). This is a fire I am not yet kindling.

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100 Words or Less: An Ode to Glitches in Deus Ex

deus-ex-glitch

My time with Deus Ex: Mankind Divided has been… well, in short, a whirlwind. A few of the blood vessels in my eyes are undoubtedly damaged beyond repair. I have most likely developed a life-threatening form of carpel tunnel syndrome in both of my hands. My boyfriend is relatively sure that I am now a deaf mute. Anyway, you get my (exaggerated) point. I’m addicted.

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Unfortunately (or thankfully?), I am experiencing a game-breaking glitch, which has been preventing me from finishing the game. Adam goes into the subway, and never comes out. It’s quite sad. But, on the bright side, this bug is prolonging the magnificent stealth-action gameplay. For a few more days, before the deities at Eidos lovingly gift me the patch that will save my poor subway-trapped Adam Jensen, the game is uncompleted. I have time to step back and take a breath before the game sinks its teeth back into me, and addiction takes hold once more. That’s pretty cool, isn’t it? Or am I just rationalizing a horrible, horrible fate?

(Probably the latter.)

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100 Words or Less: Tomb Raided

rise-of-tomb-raider

I recently wrote up an impressions article of Rise of the Tomb Raider. I was initially very impressed by the sequel to the reboot. Upon finishing the game, however, I was left disappointed. Ultimately, I don’t think I’ll ever pick up Rise of the Tomb Raider again. There simply isn’t that much replay value. This game really received more praise than Fallout 4 from some reviewers? That’s unimaginable to me. Rise of the Tomb Raider is extremely shallow in comparison. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a wonderful game for Tomb Raider fans. I don’t think the game is horrible. It just didn’t live up to its very promising opening. I just expected the game to expand on its very cool ideas instead of rehashing them. Oh, well.

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100 Words or Less: Jet Set Radio

JetSetRadio

When I heard this trick-tacular news about Sega offering Jet Set Radio for free on Steam as part of their “Make War not Love” campaign I immediately downloaded the graffiti-glorifying Dreamcast classic. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve purchased Jet Set Radio (all right, I can: three). Each time I purchase it for a new console, it gets a little bit better.

It’s one of those games that’s infuriatingly difficult but impossible to put down. (The Dark Souls of rollerskating games, if you will.) Jet Set Radio is wacky, irreverent and original. It is so unabashedly itself, you can’t help but adore its sincerity.

So go download it on Steam for free if you (foolishly) haven’t already. It’s the only game where you’ll be able to roller-skate and fight the power at the same time.

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100 Words or Less: Train On

pokemon-super-bowl-50-ad

We all encountered something decidedly odd this (Super Bowl) Sunday. As I was reading Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World — yes, I read a novel instead of actually watching the Super Bowl, I am sorry to reveal to you that I am not a football fan — I heard something familiar fill my ears. Pokemon. I looked up from my book. And what did I see? That’s right, people, you guessed it: Pikachu. Sandwiched between the Budweiser and Doritos commercials was an advertisement celebrating twenty years of Pokemon. I was shocked (pun intended). Shocked. Helen Mirren yelling at me about drunk driving? Not nearly as surprising as the “Train On” Super Bowl spot.

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100 Words or Less: Do I Need a PS Vita?

ps-vita-blue

As a PS Plus subscriber, doesn’t it make sense to own a PS Vita? I would get more free games. I’d gain access to a library of Vita-exclusive titles. Seems like an obvious choice, right? Maybe, but a non-Nintendo handheld? Experience has proven that to be a risky investment. You fooled me once with the PSP, Sony, and I’m not likely to forget it any time soon. Back touch? Stop putting touch screens on my gaming systems! The PS Vita’s hardware is amazing. But what does great hardware mean if you don’t have good software to back it up?

Do I need a PS Vita? I simply cannot decide.

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100 Words or Less: Sniper Wolf Memories

Sniper-Wolf

After I finished Metal Gear Solid V, I replayed Metal Gear Solid 1 through 4. With each successive entry, comes a massive leap in graphics, gameplay and stealth action. But there’s something about Metal Gear Solid 1 that will always make it my very favorite. I can’t explain it logically. It’s a combination of things, but what stands out to me as the singular reason? That Sniper Wolf scene… Nothing beats it. It’s the most melodramatic gaming scene of all time. It’s frothy yet substantive. Nothing compares to it. The Sniper Wolf death scene is the Sniper Wolf death scene. There’s nothing else like it.

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100 Words or Less: Virtual Becoming Reality

virtual-reality

I have been a bit skeptical of VR in the past. I’ve tried to contain my excitement over Oculus Rift and Sony VR for fear of disappointment. In my mind the technology was too ambitious to get my hopes up. Over the years I’ve seen the Oculus Rift dev kit videos on YouTube, read the articles praising it. I’ve even seen the technology improve over a few short years, and witnessed other technologies take VR further, technologies like Virtuix Omni. As time has worn on,  I can no longer deny the possibility of virtual reality becoming, well — a reality.

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100 Words or Less: Ripe E3 Hype

e3

E3, arguably the biggest annual event in gaming, is nearly — I’m using the word “nearly” very loosely here — upon us and the internet is already abuzz with pre-E3 commentary. It’s impossible to ignore the sheer volume of E3-related opinion pieces, wishlists and speculation-laden YouTube videos.

Isn’t it a bit early to board the hype train? How many articles on Fallout 4 do we really need? I can sum up each and every Fallout 4 article right here, right now: “Fallout 4 announcement at the Bethesda Conference!?” There you go.

Everyone likes to get pumped for big events like this one… but I think this hype may be overripe.

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100 Words or Less: More Multiplayer JRPGs, Please

 

ni-no-kuni-multiplayerI enjoy a good old-fashioned single player experience as much as the next guy, and I dislike it when developers insert multiplayer components into their game as an afterthought. When the attempt is disingenuous, it is, at best, awkward and, at worst, irritating, and may lead to arbitrarily forcing player interaction (a la Bravely Default) , but I wouldn’t mind a little more company in the world’s loneliest genre.

I would willingly suffer through some honest experimentation with multiplayer JRPGs, if it would mean that someday I’ll be able to play high-quality couch co-op with my level grinding-loving, quantified damage-reading buddies.

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