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The Bard

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Posts posted by The Bard

  1. I used the beckoning bell for the blood starved beat. Hatred him. Always got him close to death and then died myself.


    Killed Paarl. Wasn't too hard in the end.


    Rom on the other hand...


    Think I'll leave him for now and explore the university/library place.


    Took me four tries to kill Rom, kept going straight for him for the first few tries, and then figured I'd try killing all the little spiders first, which ended up working in my favour, since Rom himself is way too slow to actually hit you once you're free of all the other distractions.


    Really good article about Bloodborne and the Souls series' aesthetic choices.

  2. Any advice for a fellow hunter. Paarl just fed me my spine.


    His swipe attacks are annoying as fuck until you realise you can just stay underneath him, hit his hind legs until he falls over, and hammer away at him until he gets back up again. You want to watch out for the electric area of effect attack he does while you're underneath him, but other than that he's easy to manage once you close the gap to stop him pawing at you like a tabby at a laser dot.

  3. Finished it this morning after finding all the umbilical cords. Fuck me the bosses on NG+ have a lot of health. I've got Ludwig's Holy Blade fully upgraded with my skill stat on 50 and my strength stat on 43, and a heavy swing takes off maybe 1/80th of Vicar Amelia's health.

  4. You can listen whilst you game, which is why I want eet.


    I've been given three games to borrow over Easter from a friend from work. Wolfenstein, Far Cry and The Order 1886. I'm particularly chuffed about being able to play The Order, may start it tonight.


    I can see into your mind, young padawan. You mean The New Order.

  5. Grrrrrr this looks fucking ace. The change to a more attacking playstyle is enough of a gameplay tweak to make it fresh, it's signicantly more gothic and gritty compared to previous worlds, and the graphical boost is bonkers. @The Bard , bullshit can you resist this. You know you love the pain.


    I literally just ordered it off Amazon. I hate myself.

  6. I only played Demon Souls. I didn't find it hard. I'd describe it as majestically stern.


    I've never played Demon's Souls but yeah I'd agree with that as a more charitable interpretation that would apply to Dark Souls as well. It's incredibly cold and austere, and I kind of love that about it. What I hate is that there were character builds and path progressions that were almost completely untenable for a first time player, but the game made no effort to relate why this was the case. And there's no ability to reason these things out either, you just have to rely on trial and error. It's a completely different (and much harder) game if you chose a warrior build and put all your level progression into strength and vitality, compared to how it is if you choose a sorcerer build and take the master key as your starting gift.


    There were times when I played it though when it completely clicked. My brain is full of tabulations of enemies, their attack patterns, movement animations, as well as when and how to attack them. Paths to bosses and through sections of the game become completely ingrained, through a process of testing out new strategies and and that's where the fun of the game lies for some people. I liked that it was so open ended as well, you could tackle the game in a completely different sequence to someone else.


    It's almost scientific empiricism. There's no way you'll get anywhere if you tackle it like any other game, where you expect to have a good chance of beating any new obstacle you come across for the first time. You'll encounter a tough enemy, die, form a hypothesis about why you died or observe something about that enemy's attack patterns, trek back to that enemy, and test out that hypothesis by attacking the enemy in a different way, maybe die again, and repeat the process maybe after levelling your weapon some more. All the while your hands are shaking from either rage or nervousness because you know if you fuck it up again, you'll have to do it again. That's what makes it such a community project, and also why it's almost impossible to play the game without resorting to looking at wikis at some point, where the community's already done the busywork to tabulate the nuances of boss attack patterns, and all the little pieces of information that you would never be able to figure out yourself (and that the game makes no effort to convey), because you're a fucking adult without the wherewithal to approach a fantasy action game with the mindset of a scientist looking over RCT data.

  7. I don't know about this, I'll probably get it eventually, but I'm pretty much done with 50+ hour games for the time being. I felt compelled to finish Dark Souls, but I kind of hated myself when I did. No other game I can think of prizes itself on wasting your time so much as Dark Souls, and it's wilfully obtuse in the way it relates information. There's, for example, no explanation of how weapon/stat scaling works in this game. Only part of the game consists of the actual playing of it, but most of it is reading through online Wikis, because frequently what impedes your progress apart from punitive checkpointing and the generally pervasive trollfaced tomfuckery, is some ancillary piece of information that the game forgot to give you, but that's key to progress.


    Disagree with the people above who say it isn't frustrating. When you've been killed by a boss for the tenth time and then spend ten minutes trekking back from the last bonfire, it makes you want to smash something.

  8. It seems to me that there will always be things to argue about pointlessly on the Internet, with or without scores, Publishers will always find some way to put pressure on games developers with or without metacritic and readers will always want summaries of reviews, be they scores, recommendation systems or closing paragraphs.


    But do you not feel that arguing about a complete abstraction like a score out of ten given to convey all of the nuances of a game is actually pointless, whereas arguing or discussing the ideas or actual design of a game is absolutely worthwhile?


    Also, publishers don't give a shit about your review if it doesn't have a score attached, simply because it can't be assimilated by an aggregation site. Publishers have found a correlation between Metascore and sales, and that's all they care about. Of course, this could prospectively create a pressure the other way, in that publishers would have little incentive to give a site or publication access to their games or their developers for interview, if they don't stand to gain a little free advertising in the way of a positive, scored review in return.


    @Rummy, there are likely few in the way of the same established incentive problems with scores on N-Europe though, because they're not aggregated on Metacritic or Gamerankings etc. At the same time, scores on here seem hyper inflated, to the point where you see some truly trashy, generic games getting 9s, and some of the reviewers have absolutely no sense of proportionality. And even though the same industry embedded problems don't happen with scores on this site, they still don't mean anything beyond what the text can already relate to you. Although of course this being a fan site, you do see reviews that pretty much bash whatever game they're reviewing in the body of the text, and then give the game an 8. At that point, you should probably be taking not only scores, but the text with a mountain of salt.


    But I get your point; if you want an instant indication of how likely you are to enjoy a game were to you to buy it, then I suppose scores might be fine for you, especially if you're intimately familiar with the reviewers predispositions already. The thing is I want more than a purchasing guide from games writing. I'm going to buy whatever I buy based on word of mouth from friends, and the general buzz around a title anyway. I go to the reviews and features after the fact to maybe gain some insight into any given game from a more knowledgeable, or more thoughtful perspective than mine, which is what any critic that works in a professional capacity should aim to be giving you, rather than a monosyllabic reduction of a complicated piece of entertainment into a single digit.

  9. It was brutal, Ken Levine compared it to an Auto-da-fe, which is really not far off. He really does deserve an intervention and the mass adoption of a heavily sceptical attitude to his way of making games, but there were a lot of moments in the interview that were crossing the line from tough into unnecessarily harsh. I mean, essentially they're raking a guy over the coals and reducing him to tears over a videogame. It was a roasting rather than a confrontation.

  10. You essentially said that those who weren't agreeing with you or Sheikah can't read properly. That's pretty high and mighty to me.


    My posts had nothing to do with publisher incentive schemes etc., I wasn't even replying to you yet seem to be chastised for not replying to your points! I was just saying how I like them as a reviewer and that I personally find them useful as a consumer. Is that ok?


    I respect that you have your views. I understand your reasons. But I respectfully disagree that review scores are inherently bad.


    I didn't say "can't," - that connotes an incapacity. I said "failing to," by which I meant "not exercising their ability to." Which is definitely true, because there are arguments being made, but people are picking out phrases, and neglecting to address the whole argument.


    As for not replying to me, sorry, I just assumed you were because your post was directly after mine and you didn't quote anyone else.


    Nothing is "inherently bad," in the game industry, but unfortunately, scores for certain sites have been made bad, in both a utilitarian and a moral sense, by the culture surrounding them. Like I said in my above post when you see a 9 from, say, IGN given to something, you can't then assume that this proves its excellence. All you can assume is that publisher pressures enforced a normalising 7-10 effect because they don't want one person's opinion dragging down a Metacritic rating.


    I should also remind you that Metacritic amalgamates scores based on different grading rubricks. For example, a 6/10 in EDGE could very easily equate to a 9/10 in IGN. And so on. Different games are also reviewed by different sets of publications as well, so there's that further bastardising complication added to Metacritic's meaningless number.


    Also you're not engaging with the argument. I have no problem with you or anyone disagreeing, but you're not saying why. You're just insisting that "no, I don't agree" contrary to all the evidence and reason presented, without elaborating.

  11. I'll have to respectfully agree to disagree with you. You don't seem to be getting that I'm all for high quality criticism, I just think review scores can be useful, too. They aren't exclusive of each other. You seem to be insinuating that if you see some value in review scores, you don't care what the review says. Not true at all.


    There's no need to act high and mighty and belittle people because they don't hold the same opinion of you.


    I don't think I was acting high and mighty at all, I was making an argument. I don't think you can accuse a person of acting in an affected manner at all if all he's doing is listing facts. Could you specify exactly what I've said that you disagree with?


    Also you neglected to address the parts of this and my previous post about the negative incentive structures created by scores and score aggregates, which are more pronounced in the gaming industry than they are elsewhere because the audiences, for whatever reason, are more likely to buy a videogame that scores highly than they are to watch a movie or buy an album that scores highly. Publishers then use this mechanism for their own gross ends (I think I'm repeating this for the third time). Another factor thrown into the powder cake is that gaming publications subsist almost entirely on endemic advertising; they advertise the very games they're supposed to be critiquing. I think the negatives for the reader should be more than apparent.


    Now the simple reasoning over which so many words have been expended is this; there is nothing a score can add to the text which a literate person can't see for themselves in a far more nuanced manner. Secondly removing the score, removes the possibility for amalgamation into aggregation sites and thus also removes pressure from publishers for these review sites to tow a narrow line.


    Often times what you're getting with a review score is more a reflection of the pressures of endemic advertising and the strain on a publication caused by knowing that if they shitcan a game in a review, the publisher will be displeased and then not invite them to developer events, and disallow them access to their future games.


    Also the fact that the score distracts from the text is pretty well documented, and evidence is readily available. Look at the comments section of any review on a major site. There is almost no engagement with the ideas, just fury or vindication at the fraction at the end of it. You can expect that a site with some slightly higher aspirations to want to be shot of the whole ordeal, no?


    So there we have it, the benefits and negatives have been talked about to death. You can go over the previous morass of posts, because I do actually think that most of the finer points, as well as some of the broad points have been missed by most of the people having it out here.

  12. Come on now Bard, that seems like exactly the kind of Valentines Day message you'd love.


    Yeah, I like how it's signed "Sad Cunt" as if he's giving me the benefit of his own wisdom from a lifetime spent as a sad cunt.


    This is the post that led them to you.


    I reckon it was one of those PR representatives that you mentioned. Bastards!


    As an insult I give it a 2/10. Sad cunt wont be earning his bonus this year.

  13. The thing is though, reviews should give you a verdict. You go to them for judgement on a product. The way they've done it is so ambiguous you don't really know how much they liked it/how good they thought it was. I really think it's too much of a cop-out.


    Yeah you can get the feel of what they thought from what they've written what they thought, but you're not getting a real committed conclusion, if you know what I mean? It shouldn't be down to the reader to determine the verdict for themselves. Yes, I believe the body of the review and the critique is very important, but I feel the conclusion and verdict is equally essential to a good review, for the reader.


    The bottom line is that review scores are great for products judged by merit of their utility, like a toaster or a washer dryer where the extent of your engagement with it is really very simple; does this contraption make my bread brown, what is the efficiency with which it does so, and how does it compare to other bread browning devices? Also a review sits between description and interpretation. The description of the game might be enough for you to make a purchasing decision on, but then there is also the interpretive aspect, which is the experience of playing the game filtered through the reviewers subjective lens. You'll get a good sense of both the experience, as well as the reviewers predispositions from this, allowing you to decide whether your own predispositions align with the reviewers or whether the things she's describing would tweak you differently. Finally, almost every review for anything under the sun has a paragraph in summation, giving a verbal verdict on whether the game is purchase worthy and for what reasons.


    The entire edifice of numerical evaluation falls down for something that you can only really get a sense of through an explanation of the experience. The only purpose scores serve when the text already exists, is for compulsive people to create a mental list of the critically sanctioned heirarchy of quality games: Ocarina of Time has the highest metascore of all time, which must mean it's the best game of all time! And reasoning of that ilk. This heirarchy then becomes an easy validation of any given person on a forum's preferences - "Oh my favourite game sits four spaces above yours in the rankings, it must be better." Er...who was it that made the woefully ironic Appeal to Authority claim somewhere above? Well here it's recapitulated specifically because of the fact that review scores can superficially be aggregated in a way that actual verbal opinions can't. What I'm advocating is actual dialogue about games, rather than number touting.


    Isn't that why people read reviews in the first place - to read the thoughts of someone who is employed in a capacity to critically engage with the experience presented by the game? If not, if you really don't want any insightful commentary, or to find out something about someone else's experience with it that might in turn augment your own understanding, then metacritic still exists. So do hundreds of other sites where you don't even need to glance at the text so much as take a scroll straight to the number. Eurogamer are trying to do something different, and godfuckingspeed to them. Removing review scores is both an easy and helpful way to circumvent the bad habits espoused in the gaming industry both from the press and publisher sides.


    @Sheikah, keep fighting the good fight, but I think you've made all the points it's possible to make about the subject, and the continuing discussion is just people failing to read properly.

  14. This is a good conversation. One thing to remember; the bonuses tied to Metacritic scores are usually never for the development team, many of whom are laid off at the end of the cycle anyway. Instead it's usually for the PR representatives that serve as liason between the publisher and the press. Now why would PR reps be getting bonuses for the Metacritic score? Unless it was the publisher's assumption that they had a direct ability to (contrary to what you believe Zechs) nefariously influence the score through, say, publisher events where press are invited out to five star resorts, catered to with all the Doritos and Mountain Dew they can quaff, paraded in front of literal dog and pony shows, and all the rest of it? That's what's being objected to; the idea that metacritic and its primacy fosters the backward idea among publishers that they can influence score irrespective of the quality of the game. And let's not be naive, they try this in every which way they possibly can.


    Secondly, Zechs, Eurogamer are dropping the scores not only for this reason, but because they put more emphasis on the critique that goes on in the body of the text, and to attempt to foster the habit of actually reading the shit wot they wrote. To say that there is very much of meaning that you can gather from a fraction at the end of a page, about a cultural product that on average could take you twelve hours or so of your time to experience, is mad. I'm not saying all people who like review scores are syphillis afflicted, just that all syphillis afflicted people like review scores.


    There are still scores (hurrr) of sites and publications that have got the numerical element, which you can read at any time on your undoubtedly merry traipses through the internet, bruh. So chill the fuck out.


    Not only that, but the existence of scores in a world with Metacritic, creates an incentive structure backed by publishers, where publications and sites are afraid to give big budget games scores outside of the 8.5-10 range because there exists the threat of access to future games made by that publisher being revoked. For reference, take what happened to 1up with the original Assassin's Creed, or Gamespot with Kane and Lynch. This only happens because say, a score of 40/100 for a game that has been scoring in the low 80s could bring the average down into the 70s. Yet another function of Metacritic, and yet another perverse incentive structure that it creates. It causes publishers to enforce an atmosphere wherein reviews and the opinions they can prospectively project are normalised within a very narrow continuum.


    And before anyone says "well those publications with aberrant opinions deserve to have the iron fist of publisher x brought down upon them," remember that you're a fucking idiot for thinking that, and a wide diversity of opinions about cultural products is not only to be expected, but to be celebrated.


    Bad juju. Getting out of that shitstream is the best thing a serious publication can do.

  15. Well, feel free to speak for yourself, then.


    S3&K holds up well after all these years, and I've played Sonic CD for the first time recently, having good fun with it. Would recommend.


    Haha. Take it with a pinch of salt though, I just generally don't like platformers. They make me feel really nervous, and Sonic epitomises that feeling because it takes more control away from you than most platformers.