Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: dark souls

Exercise, Activity, and Mood

I have struggled all my life with depression. At times, it has been chronic and crippling, to the point where me brushing my teeth was a major accomplishment. Right now, I would say I have a low-grade enduring depression that flares up into serious depression from time to time. It’s my go-to when I’m under stress, and the difference is how alien the encompassing depression feels now as in comparison to how comfortable it was back when I was in the middle of it day-to-day-to-day.

I would love to say that I worked on my depression and that’s why I’ve gotten better. I would love to be able to give a list of things you can do to feel better. I would love nothing more, but I can’t because that’s not how I emerged from the suffocating embrace of depression. Sure, I did my due diligence by seeking out therapy and medication through therapy, then starting taiji which has helped a great deal, but it was an outcome, not the main intent, but nothing I did consciously to help my depression mattered as much as the indirect results of other behavior such as the aforementioned therapy and taiji.

However, I’ve been in and out of therapy for the past thirty years, and I’ve been practicing taiji for almost nine years. Neither are an easy or quick solution, and I didn’t go into taiji with the intention of easing my mental health issues. That’s just been a nice side bonus. I will say, however, it makes me more aware now how fragile my mental health balance is. I went through a period recently of deep depression, not as bad as it was before, but still pretty intense. I knew it wasn’t from within me, which made it almost worse. Rationally, I knew there was no reason I should be depressed, but I also knew I couldn’t talk myself out of it. It lasted a few weeks, and I just gritted my teeth and powered my way through it. I was terrified it would last forever, but it faded after two  or so weeks.

On Saturday, I had to get up early to pick up Ian from the airport. Without thinking, I checked my social media. Then, I remembered that it was my day not to be on social media, and I quit. I felt bad, but not too bad. I can’t tell you how much better I feel on the days when I stay offline. I don’t think it’s viable for day-to-day life, but it’s nice to get a break twice a week. It’s too easy to get overwhelmed while scrolling through my TL, thinking that the world is going to hell in a hand basket. I mean, it is, but not more so than it has been in the past. There is a lot of shit in this world, and there always has been. Having it flash past my eyes on a continuous basis leaves me in a state of numb depression. It’s something I’ve railed about before–how overwhelming all the bad news can be. It’s easy to feel hopeless about the state of the world and think that there’s nothing you can do to alleviate the pain.


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In Defense of Dark Souls II

all my single ladies!
Me and the girls wrecking shit.

I’ve recently been playing Dark Souls II from scratch (both as a caster and as a melee character), and I have a few thoughts about it. It’s generally considered the bad child of the family–the one that drinks and does the drugs and is disrespectful to the entire family. Many people in the Souls community hate it, and while many people like it, there are few who think it’s as good as the first and very few who thinks it’s better. I’m in the camp of, “I think it’s a very good game, even if it’s not quite up to the original. It’s immensely fun to replay.” I’m also in the camp of, “It’s a really good game, but it’s not a great Dark Souls game.”

What do I love about Dark Souls the original? Sit back and let me count the ways. Also, let’s remember that I hated the original game by the time I was done with it, and I never wanted to touch it again. It’s only in preparation for playing DS II much later that I tried the original again and was blown away by it. I had enough distance on it to appreciate it, and I wasn’t as insistent that I beat every boss on my own*, so it was much more enjoyable. I will say as a point of pride that I’ve beaten every boss in Dark Souls solo, including all the DLC bosses. There are a few bosses I haven’t beaten solo in DS II because there are So. Many. Bosses., and the few that I haven’t beaten are early in the game (comparatively) when you’re relatively weak or in the DLCs. I’ve beaten every boss in the third game solo, except for a few in the DLCs.

Anyhoooooooo….what do I love about Dark Souls the original? Let me count the ways. Before I start, though, let me say that it being difficult isn’t one thing I loved about it. That’s the problem with many of the clones (including DS II); they think the difficulty is the end game, not part of the journey. What I do love about the difficulty is how good I feel when I beat the thing that I previously thought was unbeatable. Whether it’s a hard enemy or a really tough boss (looking at you, Nameless King), the exultation when they finally turn into white dust is indescribable.

What’s also good is finding a way to cheese a hard enemy/boss. There is a boss in Dark Souls II, King Vendrick, who is really…not hard, but sturdy. He has physical defenses that is berserker hard, and you have to get a bunch of giant souls (it makes sense in context) to make him easier. He’s so hard, you have to be able to do a certain amount of damage just to start the fight. I have a special fondness for him because he made me change the way I played the first time through (as a caster, of course). Here’s the thing. He hits like a Mack Truck. Even with my not-fragile melee character, he could kill me in two hits. With my caster, yeah, it was pretty much one and done. After dying to him many, many times the first time as a caster. So many times! I decided I had to get radical. I stripped off all my armor so I could have the lightest roll possible, and then I did the classic, “Stick to his left side and smack that ass!” This is what you do with large beasts, which he kinda was. Since I had my shitty Battle Axe as a weapon, it took forever to kill him. It was much easier with my melee character this time around, but it was still circle around the left side and smack that ass. Anyway, beating him melee as a caster while wearing no armor (since one hit killed me anyway, why wear armor?) is one of my fondest DS II memories.  Continue Reading

Salt and Sanctuary: A Bit Salty; A Bit Sweet, Part III

on my way to the blackest vault.
Going DOOOOOWN!

Ed Note: This is part three (and hopefully last) of my Salt and Sanctuary review. As you can tell, I have a lot to say about it. You can read part two here

I uninstalled Salt and Sanctuary last night. I didn’t want to play it any longer, but I found myself thinking, “I’ll just play a few minutes” only to look up and the sun is rising. I’m two-thirds of the way through my melee playthrough, so I feel I can comment on the differences between playing as a mage and playing as a tank. By the way, when I say tank, I mean still being able to fast/medium roll. I watched playthroughs of people clunking their way through the game, barely being able to roll or not rolling at all, and no thank you–especially as I still am not using a shield. I tried, but I still find it awkward. Also, it was useless against the boss I was having a shit-ton of trouble with–more on her in a bit–because she can drain your stamina in a blink. If you’re going to block, you can’t roll and dodge at the same time, and I couldn’t remember that in the heat of the battle.

My tank is leveled higher at this point than my caster was by the end of the game, and I still can’t wear my paladin armor without fat-rolling. I’m not happy about that, and it’s part of my dissatisfaction with the stats-leveling in general. As I mentioned before, you have to level everything up separately, and I’m sure that’s a common thing for a certain genre of games, but it’s horseshit. Light armor and heavy armor are separate tree branches, for example, which meant I couldn’t wear most of the light armor, even though I could wear some heavy armor. Currently, my tank character is rocking the Iron Butterfly VI and the Seawolf Cutlass VI. One is a  Class 3 Greataxe, and the other is a Class 3 Greatsword. Now, in Dark Souls, all I’d have to do is level up strength to probably thirty or forty, and I’d be able to wield both of these weapons*. In S&S, I have to level up each category separately up to the Class 3 in order to use them. And, it’s not just….

OK. Quick primer on the leveling up system. You have to use Black Pearls to level up your stats. You get a Black Pearl every time you level up in general, and you can find a few in the wild. If I want to level up swords, for example. I have to get to the Class 1 Swordfighter node from the nodes I had at the start of the game as a Paladin (spending Black Pearls on varying stats along the way), and then spend one Black Pearl on Class 1 Swordfighter. Then, you have to traverse up the branch again, buying other stats, until you reach Class 2 Swordfighter. You have to spend 2 Black Pearls for a Class 2 node, and so on up to 5 for Class 5. I had to do this with two different branches as I wanted to wield both greathammers/greataxes and greatswords. There are Gray Pearls that allow you to remove a skill, but not many. It’s hard to explain, and it’s confusing to use at the start. I figured it out pretty quickly, but I still didn’t like it. Souls games are known for their obtuse and unintuitive leveling systems, but I much prefer them to the Tree of Skill.

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Salt and Sanctuary: There’s a Lotta Salt in My Sanctuary, Part II

onion kniiiiiiight!
The Masterless Knight, one of my only friends.

Ed Note: This is part two of my review of Salt and Sanctuary, a game that wears it Dark Souls inspiration firmly on its sleeve. You can read part one here. There will be spoilers abound in this review, so be forewarned. Now, on with the show.

I just finished Salt and Sanctuary last night, and I have several things to say about it. Buckle in, boys and girls, it’s going to be a long and bumpy ride. I have a hard time talking about this game because my feelings on it are over the place. On the one hand, I’ve been obsessively playing this game, even starting a new game as a melee player (much more on that later), thinking about it even when I wasn’t playing it. That’s a sign of a game that has crawled up in your spine and made its home there. I finished the game in roughly forty-five hours, which is one-third the time it took me to finish the original Dark Souls plus DLC (don’t judge), and that’s with plenty of exploring and grinding. I probably could have finished it in thirty-five to forty hours if I really booked it through. This way, though, I feel as if I’ve seen most of what the game has to offer, though I’m aware of a few things I’ve missed.

However, about a half to two-thirds of the way through the game, I begin to hate it. It started to feel like a destructive relationship in which you’re totally in love with the other person, but you know they’re going to be the death of you. No, I’m not saying Salt and Sanctuary is going to kill me–let’s not take the analogy too far. You know what’s a better analogy? Having a big bucket of popcorn at a movie. At the beginning, I’m munching the popcorn and feeling pretty good about. Who doesn’t love theater popcorn with the mysterious butter-like syrup they pour over it? I’m munching through the previews, and the popcorn is delicious! I have handful after handful, and about halfway through the bucket, I start to feel slightly sick to your stomach. “I should put this down,” I think, but do I? Of course not. I paid good money for it, and who likes stale popcorn? Plus, some theaters now give free refills(!), so better keep on eating that popcorn. Three-fourths of the way through the bucket, I’m grim. I don’t even know what movie I’m watching any longer because my stomach is hurting, and all I can think about is that damn popcorn. I know I should just get up and throw the bucket away, but I’ll be damned if I let it best me. I am going to finish the bucket if it kills me, which it probably will. By the end of the movie, I’ve stuffed every kernel down my gullet, and I’m already regretting it. Once I’m done, I feel nothing other than remorse, shame, and bitterness at the popcorn for being there. Then, I go to the concession stand to get my free bucket just because I can. I never learn.

Again, it’s not a perfect analogy, but it’s pretty close to my feelings as I went through Salt and Sanctuary. I want to make it clear that the game is still a solid game, but the last third of it really made me sour on the experience in general. I also have to say that I went through a similar fatigue while playing Dark Souls, and it’s probably because when I play a game, I gobble it down as quickly as possible. It’s similar to when I watch a TV series; I binge-watch until I feel slightly ill. Anyway, in the last third, the game started becoming more focused on platforming, which is not the part of the game I enjoyed. I mentioned in my earlier post that the platforming feels oddly squishy, and that it’s hard to tell when you can safely jump and when you can’t. In addition, there are disappearing platforms, crumbling platforms, and platforms you can’t see until you’ve jumped a certain distance. What’s worse, there are combinations of all these, which nearly did me in.

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Salt and Sanctuary: A Love Letter to Dark Souls, Part I

shivering shore sanctuary
Firelink Shrine, anyone?

Salt and Sanctuary is a game that wears its Dark Souls-inspiration on its sleeve. It’s a 2D, side-scrolling, platform, Metroidvania-like Souls game, and I wrote about my first impressions in another post. Now that I’m roughly twenty-seven hours into the game and ten bosses down, I feel I can make a more informed commentary on the game than I could earlier. Be forewarned that I will be hearkening the hallowed name of the Souls franchise frequently and unapologetically throughout this piece because there’s no way I can talk about S&S without mentioning DS.

First of all, let’s get the graphics out of the way. They’ve been divisive in the Souls community (and let’s face it, that’s mostly who’s playing this game), with half the people loving it and half the people hating it. I’m on the loving it side, but I can understand why people are put off by the cartoonish look to it. It’s mostly the characters that people hate as the environments are absolutely gorgeous. The characters almost look anime with their round eyes and wide mouths (not to mention spiky hair if you choose), and I think they’re adorable. I can see how it’d be jarring, though, to have a cute, cuddly character traipsing through a dark world, slaughtering all she sees. I mean, right in the beginning, you’re on this ship. You’re talking to an NPC, and he suddenly gets murdered right in front of you by a man dropping on him and shoving his sword down into him. To then see the cute turtle-like face of your character with her eyes moving back and forth, yeah, it takes some getting used to. I, however, love the art style, so let’s move on.

I want to note that I complained about the controls in the last post I wrote, and then I realized I probably could change them. I mean, it’d be stupid not to let me, right? I went into the settings, and lo and behold, I could, indeed, change the controls. Now, B is roll as it should be, and all is right in my world again. RB is light attack; RT is strong attack, and I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it.

Side note: The B button on my old XBone controller is sticky, and I was telling my brother about it (as to why I bought a new one). He said he could fix it, but he also suggested I remap roll to another button. I reacted as if he said I should murder my first child*. That was unthinkable to me, which he found hilarious. A is not used very much in Souls games, so he said I should switch roll to A. OH HELL NO! Roll is B. It always has been, and it always will be. Amen.

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At Least I Know What I Don’t Like

it was made for my hands.
I love my Xbone controller so hard.

I’ve written before how since I’ve finished the Souls series* I’ve been struggling to find a game that I enjoy playing. I heard about this game called Unexplored, which has been described as a cross between Dark Souls and Binding of Isaac. I’ve played the shit out of both of these games/series, and I’ve always said I wanted to play a hybrid. It went on sale at Steam for nine bucks, so I snatched it up. It’s a really cute dungeon crawler in which you’re a one-eyed fluffy circle creature with a cape that has a weapon poking out in front and a side weapon you can throw. Before you enter the dungeon, you talk to this guy, and he gives you tips on the dungeons. You have to buy him beers (5 gold each), and the tips don’t seem that helpful yet.

It’s easy to see the Souls/Isaac influences from the very start. A little bit of Enter the Gungeon, too. The tutorial is straight out of Gungeon, but I didn’t even notice it was there until after I’d done a few failed runs. There will be many comparisons to Souls/Isaac because that’s what the game is clearly modeling itself after. Even with the tutorial, there isn’t much said before you jump into the game. I used keyboard/mouse, but there is gamepad support. However, according to the forums, it’s not intuitive, so I stuck to the keyboard/mouse with the typical WASD movement. I had to switch my keyboard from Dvorak to QWERTY, but I’m just glad I was able to do it. Some games consider this a problem. E is look, which is weird, and TAB is map. I’d prefer M for map, but that’s a little thing. I played on Normal, which was…weird. On the first floor in the first dungeon, I wandered around exploring everything. What I found was a lot of…nothing. I ran into maybe a half dozen enemies and a couple of puzzles, but that’s it. I went down to the next floor, and it was more of the same.

When I die, it’s a perma-death, and the next run is the heir of the first character. So, Mulan Rogue the first gives way to Mulan Rogue the second, etc. I don’t think you keep anything other than your gold for the next run. You start with different items, and I believe it’s procedurally-generated. You can right-click and see what they do, but true to rogues, some things need to be identified. Scrolls, potions, and rings are what I’ve found so far. Scrolls and potions are identified the second you use them (and, also true to rogues, some are positive and some are negative), but I had to wear the ring for five minutes before I knew what it did.

There are libraries with cryptic books, which you can take or copy to your journal. I chose to copy more often than not because there is a limited inventory, of which I am not fond. I hate limited inventories with a passion, and the one mod I used when I played Skyrim was the Convenient Horse mod, which allowed me to carry unlimited items. I do like finding the lore by reading books, which is similar to reading item descriptions in Souls games. I don’t mind finding things out in drips and drabs.

What I don’t like is persistent status effects with no antidote, pun intended. There was one level that had a gas atmosphere, and I couldn’t find a way to counter it. I had to go through it, but my health was dropping at an alarming rate. I lost all interest in the run. To make matters worse, when I was in the middle of a good run, the game started freezing on me, and I had to shut down the game. This happened again, and I lost any interest in playing it.

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Three Lads and a Dark Souls Let’s Play

I stumbled over a Let’s Play a little while back of three British lads from IGN playing Dark Souls (the original). To be more precise, one lad, Rory (Irish and American. NOT Irish-American, but actually Irish and American separately), had never played any Souls game, and he was the one who was going to control the sticks. He’s a cheerful, optimistic, hyperactive youngin who had no idea what he had agreed to do. Daniel (Northern English)  was his beleagured Souls guide, often giving long-suffering looks directly at the camera after Rory had done something particular bone-headed despite Daniel warning him not to two seconds before. He’s also the lore guy, which can be trying when Rory is nattering on about his gems (prism stones) or whatnots.  Gav (Welsh. He makes that VERY clear) was there for comic relief and to slag mercilessly on Rory. Except, when Rory was actually feeling down, then Gav would bolster him up. They’ve done two seasons of it, the original and then Dark Souls III, both with the DLC, and it’s highly enjoyable to watch, except for the occasional crossing the line into really crass and/or gross. I just accept that with dudes hanging out together, though, and they are by far the best about not doing it constantly. Is that a backhanded compliment? Yeah, but not really. In addition, it’s not as gross because of their lovely accents. Everything sounds better with a British accent. One weird thing is that they don’t swear much and they bleep out the swearing, probably because they’re doing it for IGN and not just three guys hanging out.

In the second series, Rory was getting his ass beat, and he said (paraphrasing), “People say that III is easier than I, but I don’t think that’s true at all.” Daniel replied that many people thought Dark Souls was hard, but with the proper guidance, anyone could play it. I actually said out loud to the screen, “But most people don’t play it with you guiding them, Daniel.” It got me thinking about the relative hardness of the games because I’m someone who thinks the third game is easier than the first. There are several reasons why. One, for most people going into the first game, it was something completely different than they’d ever played before. Going into it without any prior knowledge guaranteed that it would be a rough ride. For me, by the time I reached the third game, I had played I and II with all the DLC more than once each. While III was hard and has one of the most difficult if not the most difficult boss in the series*, knowing the general mindset of Miyazaki and having learned to be cautious as I proceeded served me well as I traipsed through Lothric.

A reason I think it was harder for Rory was because he’s very reckless in his play. He barges into situations without sussing them out, and there are more mob situations in III. In addition, Daniel was more hands-on in the first game while allowing Rory more leeway in the third game. Also, Rory used several summons, both human and NPC, in the first game which makes the boss fights MUCH easier. He summoned Solaire for Ornstein & Smough, which is the boss fight that has broken many Souls players and made them quit the game for good. He also summoned Solaire and Lautrec for the Gaping Dragon without even fighting it first (finally beating it with a human summon who was fucking badass), and that’s when I realized I had become THAT GUY about Dark Souls. When Gav mentioned that he thought you should at least try the boss solo once before summoning, I was nodding my head vigorously in agreement. You have to at least try the boss before summoning! That was the very moment I realized, “I’ve become that guy. Oh, shit.” Anyway, Rory decided early on in the third game that he wasn’t going to summon,** so that made several of the bosses substantially harder. He also skipped three of the optional bosses in the original game, all of whom can be quite difficult. In addition, he glitched out Ceaseless Discharge (yes, his real name) and didn’t have to properly fight him.

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Dark Souls and Me: A Love Story

Day Six of being sick. You know the song and dance. I’m sick. I’m sick of being sick. I’m sick of being sick of being sick. It would be easier if I just had the flu or something. Then, I could be full-out sick for three days, feel like shit, but be better in a fairly short amount of time. I have something I like to call the low-grade crud. It’s not serious, but it’s enervating. When I try to practice, I break out into a sweat after doing a few postures. That’s not a good thing. My teacher always tells me to stop if that happens, so I do. I’m tempted to go further, but I know that’s a bad thing.

Anyway, the one thing I’ve been able to do is play Dark Souls. It’s not very taxing*, but it’s something I can do when I’m not in tip-top shape. Today was more of a grinding day than anything else. I set goals for my character that are outside of my usual parameters. One, I’m rocking all of Havel’s armor. It’s one of the biggest and beefiest armors in the game, and Havel the Rock is a pretty cool NPC. His armor set is in every game, and a cool iteration of him appears in DS III. I had to pump several levels into endurance to wear it, and I’m having to add more because the badass strength weapons I’ve been saving have more weight than the base weapons, obviously. I’ve been rocking the Black Knight Sword +5 up until now. It’s a fantastic weapon, and one I mained at the end of my original playthrough. However, I got a Black Knight Greataxe drop, so I switched to that because it’s fucking badass. And it’s an axe. Which, as I’ve said a time or a hundred, is my jam. Plus, it’s better than my BKS, so I upped my endurance so I can wield it with a shield–my Silver Knight Shield. I like to have the shield to block, then quickly switch to two-handing my weapon.

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Post-Prandial Narcolepsy

I’m not a big holiday person, so I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. Plus, genocide of indigenous people. That doesn’t sit well with me, either. But, Ian and I were set on getting turkey subs from Subway, which wasn’t open, despite Google telling me it’d be open until ten tonight.* We drove around to see if there was anything else open, and most everything was closed. Adagio’s Pizza Factory was open, however, so we decided to eat there for our Thanksgiving feast. We ordered an appetizer of Gruyere cheese and beer dip with pretzel slices, which was fantastic, and mac-n-cheese pizza with Italian sausage, which was uh-may-zing. I still have two pieces left, for which I’m thankful.

Anyway. I played Dark Souls for a couple hours after coming back, killing the Gaping Dragon. I cut off his tail, and I got the Dragon King Greataxe, which takes 50 strength to wield.** I fought two Black Knights, and one of them dropped the Black Knight Sword, which I mained during my first playthrough at the end of the game. It only requires 20 strength and 18 dexterity, which I acquired after beating the Gaping Dragon. It’s a great early game weapon, and I’ll be maining it until I get enough strength to wield one of the heftier weapons. I also got my beloved Greataxe which requires 32 strength. I love the Greataxe and mained it as a melee character in Dark Souls 3, I may use it when I reach 32 strength, but I don’t want to use it for the whole game. The Iron Golem’s boss soul can be made into the Golem Axe, which takes 38 strength to wield. I love me my axes so much, I think I’ll shoot to use them when I get the strength.

I’m planning on cutting off all the tails I possibly can. Crossbreed Priscilla, though Priscilla’s Dagger is dex-based, Seath the Scaleless, which gives you the vaunted Moonlight Greatsword, and Black Dragon Kalameet, which gives you the Obsidian Greatsword. I have the Drake Sword, which you get from shooting (with arrows) off the tail of the Hellkite Dragon, and the Gargoyle Tail Axe, which is from the Bell Gargoyle’s tail. That plus killing Quelaag solo are my Dark Goals, as Ian jokingly calls it, for this playthrough. I have a problem with wanting to go in many different directions when I play the games, so it’s hard to stick to my stated goal of doing a pure strength build. I’m determined to do it, however, or as close to it as I can get. Which means pumping all my points into vitality, endurance, and strength from here on out.


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These are a Few of My Favorite Things (Video Games)

meditate on this
The way of the dragon.

I’m in a video game funk ever since I beat Dark Souls III. I was in one before I got Dark Souls III, and now that it’s over, I’m back in it. I still play Binding of Isaac: Rebirth/Afterbirth every day, but it’s more just to scratch that video game itch. Don’t get me wrong–it’s a very good game. However, it’s more a habit by now than anything. I’m not a great Isaac player, but I don’t really have to think about it as I play it. I can zone out as I play, so it’s pretty restful for me. The problem is, Dark Souls has spoiled me for most new games. If they’re Souls-like, they just make me want to play Dark Souls again. There are a couple of Souls-like games that I’m interested in (EITR and Death’s Gambit), but they’re not coming out for the foreseeable future. I’m somewhat interested in Salt and Sanctuary, but not enough to actually buy it. I’ve tried to play some hack and slashes, which I loved before, but I found myself getting bored fairly easily. Path of Exile, which I loved when I played it in beta/early access, Victor Vran, and Grim Dawn. All three should be right up my alley, but I just couldn’t stay interested. I need a game that is engrossing as Souls is, but isn’t Dark Souls. Until that happens, I want to tell you about a few of my favorite games, all of which I’ve finished (or, in the case of Rebirth, got the Real Platinum God achievement. There really is no finishing Rebirth).

  1. Dark Souls, the trilogy. I’ve written ad nauseam about these games, and with good reason. The first Dark Souls is a masterpiece, and I would recommend it in a heartbeat with a caveat: Don’t play it if you’re easily frustrated or if you don’t like dying many, many times. I’ve had people try the game because of my enthusiasm, then confess that they had ragequit the game. They’re always apologetic, but I get it. I really do. I am a huge fan of these games, but I can understand why someone wouldn’t be. The games are often an exercise in futility, and it’s easy to get frustrated and sore while playing these games. I ragequit the first game the first time I played it and didn’t touch it for years afterwards. I don’t remember how I got back into it–probably because the sequel was being announced, and if I wanted to play that, I felt I had to play the original first.

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