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Full colors to come later

Will post full colors when I get up, provided the updater doesnít want to screw around with whether or not it wants to accept a new file. In any event, look for the fully done one in the afternoon, in meantime, sorry for the flats. Valentineís Day + Friendís Birthday + impending meeting with tax accountant = lack of time to pump out page properly (say that 3x fast!)

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Dragon’s Dogma and Dark Souls

So Brion has me kind of intrigued by the upcoming Capcom release, Dragon’s Dogma. At first I kind of wrote it off because the initial trailer made it seem kind of like it wanted to be Skyrim, but kind of anime-ey and with worse graphics (though I played Skyrim on a really good PC, so maybe I’m spoiled graphics-wise). But then Brion showed me this video of the Ranger class in action:

It was pointed out to me that the guys behind this game have an impressive pedigree–the producer of Resident Evil 4 and Devil May Cry 4, as well as the direct for both Devil May Cry 3 and 4, and from the brief lil’ glimpse in the above video you can see that already the combat is deeper and more interesting than anything you do in Skyrim. For one, you can roll out of the way–that’s awesome! You have to think about your terrain instead of awkwardly moving backwards. I also think it’s really cool how the Ranger’s bow goes into a bullet-time-like effect for getting those critical hits, and its really awesome that you can pin enemies to a wall with a well timed shot (but it’s balanced in such a way, that it looks like pulling off such a shot is kind of difficult if there’s more than one enemy). I also really like that you can throw your enemies, and in the cinematic trailer linked earlier in the post, you can see that some classes can even climb on top of larger enemies a la Shadow of the Colossus.

If they can add in some of the brilliant level designs from Dark Souls, then this’ll be a pretty nifty RPG (though hopefully they will not also copy Dark Souls ban on the pause button–it’s nice to have a pause button so I can answer a call or get a sandwich and not have to worry about my character getting royally owned).

Speaking of Dark Souls, I keep hearing a lot that it’s “super hard” and “brutally punishing". As one who’s usually pretty terrible at action games, I have to say that it’s not that Dark Souls is hard–it’s actually pretty straight forward, and if you’re smart, you can easily take care of most of the stuff in front of you. Not having a pause button doesn’t make it hard, either, it just makes it more stressful–much like how a survival horror game will stretch out how many health packs you get to add tension. For the most part, if you do need to get a sandwich or something, you can just back up your character to an area you just cleared–and usually this is ok…but there’s still that underlying paranoia that the game instills within you of “What if this is the time it’s NOT ok?".

And that’s kind of the crux of having a truly immersive game–if you are truly a hero on an epic journey, there is no pause button. You can’t take a break–you have to save the world. The game also does a really good job of kind of teaching you how to play through experience. Every time you heal at a bonfire–the game’s checkpoints–all the enemies in that area will respawn. So the first time you go through the area, you may have a little bit of a hard time, but you’ll make it to the fire, heal up, spend your souls (in-game currency), and then find that maybe the second time defeating those guys that you’re not taking nearly as much damage. So it’s not necessarily that the game is hard, its more that it kind of forces you to be a less passive player–you can’t steamroll through an area, you have to actually observe how the enemies fight and be constantly aware of your surroundings. And what’s really cool is that all of the monsters in the game are pretty unique in how they fight/stuff that can hurt them, so it further adds to the necessity of staying on your toes.

Now personally, I can only really take it for like, an hour or two, because I get way too invested in my characters which is why I’m absolutely horrible at horror games. And there’s things that I don’t like–like, I =hate= the UI because there’s so much information and its all written in such tiny text that you really need to read a guide to understand what you’re looking at. I also find it difficult to browse through equipment–actually, it kind of reminded me of Mass Effect 1’s inventory system, where you get a pile of random guns that’re slightly better than the one before and there’s so damn many its hard to figure out what you need. The camera’s also really twitchy, and it can be kind of annoying to target enemies–especially when you’re trying to switch between enemies.

But it is a really cool game that people should check out if you were disappointed by Skyrim’s skyrim’s combat/disappointed at how easy it is to steamroll over every other action-rpg (At least until Dragon’s Dogma comes out). And it’s really awesome too that the game =is= ballsy enough to offer up a challenge instead of burdening you with hours of tutorials and trash mobs. I like that a trash mob can kill you if you’re not paying attention….but I do wish for my own selfish reasons that you could pause XD

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MR SW: tor guild!

Alrighty! We finally did it! We made a guild for Mystic Rev-ites to have fun in TOR. The guild name is Obey The Penguin, and you can send a mail/whisper to me (Rhiannon/Telemasca) or to my officers: Nes’aya, Loury, Gilandos to request us to add you. We’re mostly aiming to have fun and good times, so if that sounds like something you’re interested in, hop on Darth Bandon and let us know! ^^

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