While the world is aflame around me, I’m still trying to find the One True Game. Since I self-isolate much of the time, anyway, my day-to-day life isn’t that different. Although, I had a bunch of errands to run yesterday, and I stopped by a different Cubs to see if they had any toilet products. They had a few small boxes of Kleenex, but that’s it. As I walked around, there was an older man who was glaring at me. It wasn’t like a quick look, look away situation. He was leaning on his cart and GLARING at me. I stared back because I was not having it. There was a tense moment where it seemed as if he might come at me, but then he deliberately looked away. I know it’s probably because I’m Asian, which is annoying as fuck.
On the funnier side, this happened:
I screamed ‘social distancing’ at a Jeep who was tailgating me on the freeway.
Readers, it didn’t work.
— Minna Hong (@asiangrrlMN) March 18, 2020
I posted a similar status on FB, and I got much love for it. I was pretty proud of it, tbh.
Anyway. I tried AssCreed Origins. Or rather, I wanted to try it, but my computer said NO. The freeze/stutter was annoying as fuck, and I Googled the hell out of it. I tried several of the remedies. I lowered all the settings. It fixed much of the issues, but the stuttering still happened in the cities. And I realized that I wasn’t ready for another AssCreed game because I was so impatient with all the little shit. Like only being able to dive in a specific area of the ocean. And putting two missions right next to each other that were 2 and 5 respectively where the logical way to get to the 2 mission was through the 5 mission. That did not work out well. Oh, and not telling me what exactly Senu was supposed to do. I was nitpicking everything, and that’s when I realized that maybe I wasn’t ready for another AssCreed. I’ll give Odyssey a shot because it’s free this weekend, but I doubt I’ll actually play much of it.
Went back to Nioh in anticipation of Nioh 2–even though who the hell knows when Nioh 2 will come out on PC? I *want* to like Nioh so bad. I recognize that it’s a really good game with a complex fighting system…and I just don’t like it. No time while I play it do I ever feel as if I’m enjoying it or being engaged with it. It’s just me gritting my teeth and trudging through it. What makes it differ from Souls game? One, it’s unfair. It relies way too heavily on traps and mobs. Yes, Souls game has both, but it’s very deliberate in those games. In this one, it just seems like the mentality is to throw as many of them as possible, willy-nilly. Dark Souls uses them sparingly whereas Nioh has no restraint. In a section in a village, there are at least three roofs that break. While there are demons all around trying to kill you. It reaches the point of me sighing and rolling my eyes.
There’s a very fine line between thoughtful difficulty and needless hard just to be a dick, and Nioh falls too often in the latter camp. In addition, it’s just an ugly game. I’m sorry, but it has to be said. The graphics are not great. But that’s a minor issue, really. My biggest issue is that it’s all about gear and equipment. If you don’t have it, you just can’t beat the boss. Also, this time around, I pumped all my levels into axe (strength I think?) and magic. That meant my health bar was tiny. So when I made it to Nue, well, he could kill me in two lightning bolts. I had very little difficulty with him the first time, but this time? He owned my ass. After a half dozen tries, I just couldn’t give a shit. I called someone in and beat the hell out of him. Then I uninstalled the game because it wasn’t fun.
I caused a mini-storm in the RKG chat once because I said I liked The Surge better than Nioh. You would have thought I said that I hated Star Wars (which I do, but I never say that out loud) with all the spirited defenses and outrage I faced. So much pounding of the keyboard to tell me I was wrong and that Nioh was the vastly superior game. They were not amused when I pointed out that I didn’t say The Surge was a better game but that I enjoyed it more. They couldn’t handle it, and it was very funny to me.
Why do I keep trying with Nioh? Because I know it’s a good game, and I know it has the roots in Souls games, and I *should* like it, damn it. But I just don’t. So I’ve uninstalled it and am moving on. I will try Nioh 2 when it comes out, but I heard it’s even more difficult, and the ‘need the right equipment’ thing is even worse. I’m not hyped about it, though. It’s like MHW: Iceborne. It’s above my paygrade, and I’d only be playing it because I feel I should play it. I haven’t returned to Iceborne in months, and I doubt I’ll play much more of it. I want to play it. I want to love it. I just…don’t. I tapped out of the vanilla game when I hit the Tempered Elder Dragons, and much of the DLC is at that level or beyond.
I tried a game called Eldest Souls by Fallen Flag Studio. It’s in alpha, and it’s heavily influenced by Dark Souls. It’s a 2D Soulslike with the visuals of, say, a Hyper Light Drifter. I was so eager to find another Soulslike that revved my engine. This game was…not it. It has potential, and I see what they’re trying to do. It’s not there yet, but I’m keeping an eye on it.
Where does that leave me? With Dark Souls III as usual. I will never stop playing it, and it’s comfort gaming in times like this. I started the second DLC and made it to the Demon Prince boss fight. Much to my surprise and delight, there were several summons. I rarely get any, and I had at least five! I chose Sunlight Warriors because I needed the medals, and in we went. Did not have much trouble with the fight even though I loss one summon along the way. I will say that going back to Dark Souls after Sekiro means much less stress. Yes, I am summoning for bosses, but it’s still just not as stressful. I just got my favorite armor set, the Black Witch Set, which means abandoning my beloved Sage’s Big Hat. Fashion Souls is most important Souls, though, so I’ll happily redress my character. At least until I find the Black Witch Veil, and then I’ll alternate between the two.
By the way, I love that I’ve picked up little tips and tricks such as Zoey the Pyromancer is able to be poisoned/toxic-ed, even though she lives in a poison swamp. So, since she is as hard as nails, I have no problem with cheesing her. Here’s the way I do it. I wear the Slumbering Dragoncrest Ring and have the Hidden Body spell at the ready. I do this all game long and don’t fucking @ me. When I get to Zoey’s area, I cast Hidden Body and get as close to her as possible without triggering her. Yes, even with the ring and the spell, I can trigger her at some point. I breathe Toxic Mist on her which makes her stand still in puzzlement. Once it catches (it accumulates), she starts walking, and her life slowly ticks off like in the picture above. Once the mist wears off, I do it again. Then I wait. And wait. And wait. I think it takes two puffs before she dies. Easy-peasy!
I adore this game, even though the DLCs are my least favorite parts. I may try a dex build next time around, but I highly doubt it as I’m a strengthcaster all the way. I’m still looking to find another game that will engage me on the same level, but until then, it’s Dark Souls III for me. By the way, here’s a video by ThePruld that makes me cry every time I watch it. It encapsulates the Souls experience so perfectly, and the song is lovely. Chills, man. Chills.