I’m feeling the urge. The urge to purge. Er, no, not that. The urge to play Dark Souls III again. It’s just a whisper, and I am not going to do it, but the fact that it’s in the back of my head less than a week after platting the game demonstrates how much I love the game. I’m relieved that I don’t completely hate the game any longer, but it’s still going to take some time before I want to dive back into it. I did break and buy Code Vein on sale at Steam, but I probably won’t be playing it any time soon, either. It’s very good–at least from what I’ve played in the demo (though I’ve seen on the internet that there’s plenty of jank and frustration–and the DLCs are trash), but it’s anime Souls. That’s not a knock–I just don’t know if I can deal with it right now. I’m still exhausted from not-platting, and I’ve been thinking about it lately. Dark Souls not-plat was tedious. Believe me, very much tedious. Very grindy, and it was mitigated because I could do it over several characters. That really helped do the upgrading to the fullest every kind of weapon–meaning, crystal, lightning, magic, etc. I have mentioned this before, but I’m so glad that the upgrading paths have streamlined over the sequels. Having different material for each upgrade path was a pain in the ass. I know it was even more convoluted in Demon’s Souls.
I will say that the ‘have one weapon of all kinds’ achievement in the third game was, in theory, better than it was in the first game. You just had to have one of each infusion–and you didn’t have to upgrade the weapons at all. I think it’s partly because upgrading is so much more expensive in the third game than in the first, but for whatever reason, it was a welcome change. The achievement being bugged was fucking irritating, though. I’m just lucky that I had several characters on my old laptop (and could still get the laptop to work) in NG+ many with a plethora of all the material needed to try and try again.
I have complex feelings about the not-plat of the third game. Still. I understand that they want to make it difficult to obtain the plats, and it makes perfect sense. However, the way a lot of games seem to go about it is to just make you grind for an insane amount of time. I suppose you could technically say that skill is involved because you have to kill many of the bosses twice for boss souls (and three times for *sob* Sif), and with the same character. That means going into NG++. Technically, you only need to kill Sif on NG+, but in order to get to the Giant Blacksmith to make the weapon (and that of Gwyn’s soul), you have to get to Anor Londo which is halfway through the game (if you go the normal way). So, you have to play half the game and kill one boss for the plat, which means killing all the non-optional bosses on the way.
In the third game, you have to make it to the last area save the final boss’s boss arena in order to get one of the rings you need. On NG++, I mean. So you pretty much have to play the game three times through on one character to get the rings achievement. It took me roughly two hours to get to the Giant Blacksmith in Anor Londo on NG++. It took me six or seven hours to beat the Nameless King in NG++. Not to beat him himself but to get through him as the final obstacle to the not-plat. The emotional toll that the DS III not-plat took on me made me question why the fuck I was doing it. The first game was tedious and boring in many parts, but it never warped my brain the way the third game did.
Anyway, my point is that a week after finishing the DS III not-plat, I’m still exhausted. Cook, Serve, Delicious 3 (I immediately type III for 3 because of you-know-why) had a huge update recently, and I zipped through the content in a few days. A note. When I say I zipped through it, I mean I got golds on all the days. Gold is for no mistakes. I only accept perfect days. If I fuck up on the last order, then I accept the silver, but then immediately do it again. Which makes it funny when Cleaver tells me that I can do better. I literally can’t do better, Cleaver. That’s a tiny gripe about the game–the flavor text doesn’t completely align with what’s happening, but again, that’s a very minor complaint.
I found the newest area easier than the one before, and I wonder if it’s due to feedback. The last area was insanely hard, and not just because I insist on getting perfects every time. It was really stressful, and not in the fun way. This time, however, it was pretty low-key stressful for the most part. One thing that helped was that–ok. I need to explain. One of the biggest addition to this game was warring food trucks who try to fuck you up as you do your business. It’s a good addition because it adds different stressors including losing holding stations are forcing you to reroute your stops (so you have to quick change the amount of food in your holding stations). You can upgrade your truck to negate the different attacks, and with the last update, there was one more upgrade (I had maxed out all upgrades prior) in this tree for a whopping 10…um…computer parts or whatever the currency is in this game. That’s a lot. The next costliest one was 6.
I held off on buying it because I wanted to see the new attack, but it didn’t show up at all in that update. It did in this one, and after dealing with it for half of one day, I stopped the day and quickly bought the upgrade. What was the attack? Disabling all the other upgrades as far as I could tell. The one I noticed is that there are upgrades for heating the food in the holding stations and slowing the degrading process of said food. With max upgrades, I rarely had to throw away rotten food during a stop. In addition, after a stop, I would get several extra servings of each dish, and the freshness meter would be back at full. This super attack took away all of that, and I had to frantically make new holding dishes during each stop because the food kept rotting. It was way too much, so I bought the upgrade.
Which brings me to whole truck food attack mechanic. I go back and forth as to whether I appreciate the addition or not. I think it was innovative and fresh, and it made sense, of course, because the world is post-apocalyptic where everyone is just trying to survive. The varying attacks add more pressure and stress to an already nerve-wracking game. But. And this is a huge but. I hated it while playing the game. As soon as I could buy the block the attacks features, I did. When I have them on, the warring food trucks don’t show up at all. There is enough to deal with without fighting other trucks, and I have to admit that once I turned all the blockers on, I haven’t turned them off, which is an option.
It’s fun to get back in the CSD 3 groove, and I’m deeply appreciative of it. It’s still a fun and engrossing game, but there’s something missing for me. I think it’s partly that I liked the decorating the restaurants part of the last game which is missing in this one. Yes, you can decorate your truck, but it’s not the same. I also miss the emails and the general ambiance of the first two games. Don’t get me wrong. The game is really great! Especially since it’s basically made by one person–David Galindo. I think it’s more me and what I’m looking for. Though I will have to admit that I still get absorbed while I’m playing and compulsive about getting my golds and the achievements.
Finally, I tried a game called Chasm by Bit Kid, Inc., that had caught my eye a while back. I had interest in it, but I had qualms. It went on sale at Steam, and I decided to give it a go. Steam now has a refund policy that makes me more at ease about testing out a game. It also has a demo, but I didn’t see that before I bought the game. It’s a Metroidvania platform, and I had heard people compare it to Dark Souls. I tend to dismiss the last because everything is compared to Dark Souls these days. I saw a Let’s Play of the first part, and I was intrigued enough to give it a whirl. It’s…eh. How do I explain? First of all, I thought it was more Metroidvania than platform, but it’s not. And the platforming is squishy, which is a no-go in platforming. I suck at platforming in the first place, so that turned me off right in the beginning.
Then, there are no tutorials at all. I mean, yes, I know Dark Souls has made obtuseness a thing, but there are good ways to do it and bad ways to do it–and even FromSoft whiffs nearly as often as they hit on this accord. In the case of Chasm, it was frustrating because they didn’t think out the implications of not having tutorials. I’ll get to that in a minute. The basic premise is that you’re a rookie knight who is on his first assignment to save a town in which people have disappeared in the mines. It has procedurally-generated dungeons, and you have to get the key from the mayor to open the mines. If you die, you go back to the start. And you have to get the key again. Which is annoying.
The enemies reappear if you go back to the screen, even if you hadn’t died yet. I hate that so much. The hit boxes are weird, and there are enemies you can’t hit straight on (rats), and you can’t crouch, so you have to stand on land that is higher than they are to kill them. I mean. Really. In addition, the attack buttons are X and–I can hear you say Y, but it’s not Y–B. B? I mean, that’s roll. Or dodge. But NOT attack if X is also attack. Fortunately, I could change the buttons and put the secondary attack (magic) on Y where it fucking belonged. Plus, no roll or dodge? In a 2D action-adventure (rogue-lite) game? You’re shitting me. You know what it is instead? Backstep. No. Just no.
It wasn’t terrible, but it was just…meh. The thing that completely turned me off was that I killed this big troll guy to save one of the villagers. Then, I followed him to do a lock puzzle in which I had to stand on the plate to keep the gate up so he could hit the level that would lock the gate in place. I followed him, died in the stupid acid water, and decided to save at the first save point because it was a shorter run to where I needed to be. I went a different way, died, then went back to the gate. Which was shut again. So I had to kill the troll (who had disappeared and didn’t come back after the first time I killed him, unlike the other enemies) to save the dude again. Come the fuck on! If you’re going to make it so your progress is reset when you go back to a previous save point, you have to say that!
Anyway, I gave up and returned the game. It wasn’t a bad game, but I didn’t feel any desire to put in the work necessary to learn the game. Let’s face it. I’m probably going to play Code Vein next, even though I’m not ready to play a Souls-like yet. Souls games are in my DNA, and it’s really all I want to play. Maybe there’s a cure for that.