I beat those four goddamn days in Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?! The ones I was moaning about in last week’s post. Two of them turned out to be not so difficult once I fiddled and cheesed in a different way than I normally would. The last two, however, gave me much agita. I’ve talked before about how there’s a thin line between ‘hard, but fair’ and flat-out ridiculous. Because I’m a FromSoft fan (and we’ll get to them more later), I know all about difficult. That’s pretty much all many people want to talk about when discussing their games. To me, it’s the least-interesting aspect of the games. Yes, they’re difficult. And what? Funnily, I was watching Dan Tack from Game Informer talk about them, and he’s probably one of the biggest FromSoft fans in the business. He even thinks Dark Souls II is a brilliant game. He has stated more than once that he doesn’t enjoy talking about the difficulty of the games, and he leans firmly in the ‘hard, but fair’ camp. Anyway, they were talking about the difficulty (because you have to when it comes to FromSoft games), and Tack mentioned that he felt the last boss of Sekiro was ridiculous. Later, Andrew Reiner asked him if he thought it was too much. He hemmed and hawed, but in the end, he said it was.
That was the first time I’d ever heard him say anything in any FromSoft game was too much. I happened to agree with him, but that wouldn’t be the only boss in that game I thought was OTT. Interestingly enough, it was also his least-favorite FromSoft game while Bloodborne is his favorite. He said it was because you’re restricted in how you can play the game, which is true. There is no RPG element; you play as a set character; you have the same katana throughout the game. No new armor, either. You’re Sekiro, and you’ll like it. It’s one of the reasons I don’t like the game as much, either, but I feel Bloodborne is similar. Yes, there are different ways you can play, but it’s still more limited than in the Souls series.
Anyway. This is my roundabout way of saying that I think the two days I had the hardest time with in CSD 3 were over the line when it came to difficulty. One of them had a minimum number of prep stations you had to have (3, making 10 in total), VIP customers, impatient customers, and food truck attacks. The last wasn’t an issue because I have that fully upgraded so I don’t have to deal with food truck attacks at all. The others, however, combined to make it nearly impossible to think while playing the day. In addition, in one of those two days, it was impossible to make sure there were enough dishes prepared in the prep stations, which meant having to keep an eye on that while frantically filling out orders.
The last day nearly had me in tears of frustration (and lots of cursing) until I made the radical decision to try a dish I never used. Creme Brulee. Why do I avoid it? Because the amount of time you have between the batter baking and torching it is really quick plus having to blow torch it felt so damn finicky. But, it’s a 5-point food, the highest, and it made it so I could cheese the rest of the dishes. So, I practiced it and burned more than a few before realizing that it was three short taps of the T (I think. For torch). I got it down somewhat ok, and then, taking a deep breath, I brought it into the day. It was stressful and tense, but I managed to do it. I got my last achievement (for now. There will be at least one more update), but I didn’t have any fun doing it. Those last four days, especially the last two, went beyond the scope of what I want from the game.
It’s much like the last bit of Sekiro on the ‘good ending’ route–or even before then. I have a NG sitting at me right before the Guardian Ape (and haven’t fought Genichiro yet) because I just don’t want to. The memory of the end game is enough to keep me from going on. Same with my NG+ that has me parked in the Hirata Estate right before Owl (Father) because I did not want to fight him again. Any time I try to tell myself to go back…I just don’t wanna. I should go down the ‘bad’ path so I can fight the two different bosses (well, one completely different and one is a different version of the end boss of the ‘good’ ending path). I don’t want to, however, and I doubt I will. It’s uncomfortable for me to admit, but there we have it.
Aside: Bloodborne is rumored to be coming to PC. If it does, I’ll buy it, of course, but I’ll be a bit resentful that I bought a PS4 solely so I could play the game. Yes, I got the PS4 as cheap as possible, but still. I’ve always said that if BB was on PC, I would play it more. Would I, though? I mean, Sekiro is on PC and I don’t play it. I currently have an NG character in BB sitting at the Nightmare Mensis. Basically, the last third of the game fore the same goddamn reason as I do in Sekiro–I hate the end game. I hate the DLC. I know, I know, it’s brilliant and la di da. It’s always touted as the best part of the game as is the case with all the FromSoft games. That’s a rant for another day, though. I’d probably at least start a game on PC, but who knows how far I’ll get? Probably the same place my character is parked now.
Back to CSD 3 for a hot second. It’s been getting incrementally harder with each update, which I understand. However, it’s reaching the point where I cannot play it any longer. Or rather, play it to my standard. I’ve said this before, but I’m fucking old. My reflexes are shot (not just age, but it’s a major factor), and I am aware of my upper limit. I accept that it’s a me thing, but it means that the games I enjoy have a hard cap for me. I’m worried about Elden Ring, FromSoft’s upcoming game. Well, I’m worried about it for more than one reason. Namely that we haven’t heard anything about it in a year. But, they’ve been ramping up the difficulty of their games ever since Dark Souls became a cult hit. I first noticed it with SotFS, the DLCs. It ramped up with the DLCs for DS III. Then, Sekiro really capped it off, and now I’m worried for Elden Ring. I’m not mad, just disappointed.
Ian and I have an ongoing debate about whom the FromSoft games are for. I say they’re not for me, and it sometimes makes me sad (especially the DLCs of the last few games and Sekiro). He says they’re exactly for people like me who persevere and triumph. I get what he’s saying, but we’re back to that line again. I’ve always been butting uncomfortably against it, and I fear that I’ll soon be on the other side. I think the last update of CSD 3 is going to push me past the line, which will be a sour ending to what has been a delightful trilogy for me.
Let’s talk about Dark Souls III on the PS4. I finally started playing it because I want to help Krupa on his plat run. First, I had to get the PS4 up and running because I haven’t used it in over a year, probably. The DualShock 4 was low, obvs, so I had to set everything up with the DualShock 4 plugged in. I started the game, and it felt strange to be playing my favorite game again on a platform I hate. Yes, I’ll say it. I hate it. I hate the PS4 and the whole system. For example. I bought the Deluxe Edition that included the DLCs. I reached the part in the game where I would be able to access the first DLC, and the NPC wasn’t there. I blinked because I was sure I had bought the Deluxe Edition SPECIFICALLY because it included the DLCs. I checked. I did, and it did. I went back to the Firelink Shrine and then back to the Cleansing Church. Gael wasn’t there, and I was perplexed.
I did what I always do in these situations–I Googled. I had a hunch that this was a thing, and I was right. Turns out, you have to go back to the store and ‘buy’ the DLCs for free. For real. This is how you have to do it. Then you have to download them individually. Why is this a fucking thing? Why doesn’t the whole thing just download one time? I mean, I understand before the DLCs came out that it might be a thing (though still not acceptable. Ian bought me DS III with the season pass in the early days, and the DLC just automatically downloaded when they came out. Well, the first one had a glitch, but I got it within hours), but now when it’s been years? Naw, son. That’s not acceptable.
Here are my issues with the PS4 itself. I have to sit in a different seat. My TV sucks (which is not Sony’s fault), and I can’t tell me how many souls I have at a time. More to the point, I hate the DualShock 4. I thought I’d get used to it after time, but I haven’t. It doesn’t feel right in my hands (I like having the D-pad between the sticks), and the buttons are mushy. In addition, the camera is terrible. I mean, that’s a feature, not a bug for From games, but it’s truly horrid on the PS4. I have died more than once to the camera boss, which rarely happens on the PC.
I can play DS III for hours on the PC. I get in my zone, and I just go my merry way. When I’m playing on the PS4, my head hurts, my eyes hurt, and I want to stop playing. I don’t think I’ve played more than an hour and a half on the PS4. Maybe 2. Basically, I’m going from boss to boss. I’m trying not to get dragged down with the non-essentials, but I find myself falling back into my DS III patterns. For example, my absolute favorite hat in the game is the Sage’s Big Hat, which you can get only after killing the Crystal Sage. It’s a ridiculous hat, and I fucking love it. does it give me any armor? No. Does it boost my magicks. No. Does it make me look fucking cool with it’s plague mask/big hat? Fuck yeah!
Here’s the thing, though. The hat is 10,000 souls. That’s nothing in the late game, but it’s a fair chunk of change in the early game. Someone dropped it for Krupa, so he’s wearing it. Anyway, I had to farm for it because I can’t play the game without my hat. Even if I don’t wear it (because the Crown of Dusk actually boosts magicks), I can’t imagine not having it in my inventory. I farmed the early Lothric Knights because they give plenty of good drops including Embers to get my 10,000 souls. Now, I’m wearing my Sage’s Big Hat, and I am happy.
I’m pass the point where Krupa is in his game. He has another stream this Sunday. Ideally, I’d like to be close to end game by the time the stream rolls by, but realistically, I’ll probably be halfway through the game. The reason I want to be so far ahead is because since he’s playing with a password, anyone at any level can join him anywhere in the game. You just get nerfed to his level, which is fair.
We’ll see if I actually offer to be summoned. I still am not comfortable with the PS4, and I don’t want to be a hindrance. I wish they would get a PC, but I doubt it’ll ever happen. For now, I’ll just be that ‘well, actually’ gal in the chat.
A note: I was going to talk about Torchlight III, but I ran out of time and steam. I’ll address it next week.