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fend_oblivion Blog

GTA IV and Saints Row IV - a world of difference

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Hey guys! I had to put Dark Souls on a hold because I got a copy of Grand Theft Auto IV : Complete Edition. I finished the main game only; I'll be playing the Episodes later. The game is well, boring. It's a big world with nothing in it. I don't know about you guys, but I really don't like the satire. Even the in-game internet becomes flat after the first few minutes. The TV shows don't make things better either. When I finished the game, the stats showed that I completed around 66% of the game. Some missions like the Three Leaf Clover are awesome but for most missions, I kept getting a feeling of deja vu. Thankfully, one of the best features in the game, the taxi service, helped alleviate all the pointless driving. And talk about a world devoid of any color. Sheesh, why is everything so dull/grey? I also ran into an infuriating bug in the last mission. The bug is an unresponsive QTE that kept sending Nico into the bottom of the sea. Finally got it solved by cranking the view distance, vehicle density and Anisotropic Filtering to x16 (from x8) all the way to top. My precious little HD 7750 still managed to get a ~ 30 FPS. Turns out the higher your framerates (before cranking the aforementioned settings, the framerate hovered between 45-60), the more number of key presses are needed to get the QTE to register successfully. Shoddy work by Rockstar. Heck, I'm running the game on the latest patch :\ Anyways, boring game is boring. Saints Row IV. Where do I begin? I've never actually played a SR game before. This game had me cracking out in laughter within the first 5 minutes. It eats GTA IV alive in the graphical department, driving is so much better, and the arcade like physics makes driving a joy rather than a pain. Stopping a nuke while Aerosmith's, "I don't want to miss a thing" plays in the background? Had me laughing non-stop. Saints Row IV's beginning one hour is more humorous than all of GTA IV's stupid satirical humor put together. The superpowers are insanely fun and I collected 125 data clusters within a short while so that I could upgrade my powers even further. Another thing I love about Saints Row is the licensed soundtrack. It's so much better than the crap in GTA IV. I can't even think of one good song in that game. Saints Row allows the user to select his/her favorite songs, and these songs play not just while driving, but also when you're moving around in the game world. The devs have good musical taste - the songs are varied and excellent. Saints Row IV definitely has my attention now. Oh, and the game gives you the option of selecting Nolan North's voice. And like Deadpool, there is a moment early in the game where the fourth wall is broken with, "be Nolan North?" lol Good stuff, good stuff. ~ fend

This is like the fourth blog regarding Dark Souls

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Seriously, all I can think about now is the game. My NG+ run is like this : Escape Undead Asylum. Go to New Londo Ruins. Open Valley of Drakes gate and head to Blighttown. Drop down each scaffolding and activate bonfire in tunnel. Then head straight for Quelaag. Kill her. Ring first bell. Go to Demon Ruins. Kill Ceaseless Discharge. Go all the way back to Fire Link Shrine. Go to Undead Burg and kill Taurus Demon. Then head over to Undead Parish and kill Bellfry Gargoyles to activate the last bell of awakening. Activate shortcut to Fire Link Shrine from Undead Parish and then while on the elevator, get out early so that you can get to the crow that takes you back to Undead Asylum. Then kill Stray Demon. Activate bonfire. Total time - 41 hours 59 minutes and 18 seconds. But I finished the game with a run time of 40 hours : 32 minutes and 16 seconds right? Some subtraction later = 1 hour 27 minutes and 02 seconds. o___________O At 43 hours 44 minutes and 46 seconds (meaning 3 hours 12 minutes and 30 seconds), I'm at the bonfire near Andre heading over to Sen's fortress. I've also managed to kill Pinwheel at the Catacombs, Sif and Moonlight Butterfly. All I can think now is of optimizing my runs. All I can think now is doing a Soul Level 1 challenge run after my NG+. All I can think now is of Dark Souls. What is this game doing to me?

Dark Souls : Prepare to Die Edition - DONE

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Instead of feeling elation that I finished a juggernaut of a game, the only feeling that is welling inside me is disappointment. I got the Dark Lord ending and well, it's just abrupt. I don't feel like anything in the game has closure of any sort. Final run time (as per saving at the bonfire of the Undead Asylum in NG+) is 40 hours 32 minutes 16 seconds, final soul level : 92. Sigh. You know the risk vs reward thing that people kept praising about Dark Souls? I disagree. I don't feel rewarded. I feel frustrated because of the wasted potential for this series in terms of storytelling and gameplay. There are times when the world seems so beautiful and intimidating but the rest of the time? Ugh... it's like the devs got lazy or ran out of budget. Dark Souls is hindered by poor story telling and archaic game design. Final Score (please don't kill me) : 6.0 ~ fend P.S : Artorias' fight? Amazing. One of the most fun boss fights I've ever had in a long time.

Dark Souls Updates and Thoughts

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Heya, just some Dark Souls updates : Quelaag - Killed on second try Ceaseless Discharge - the most pathetic boss in the history of gaming. Iron Golem - Killed it by circle strafing. Ornstein and Smough - killed them on my third try and just barely :/ Stray Demon - swapped color palette in DS too? easy boss. Priscilla - really enjoyed this boss. Got killed the first time because I was careless when she disappeared. Moonlight Butterfly - ...should have killed this boss earlier. Very easy. Sif - Defeated on the third time because I tried to block each and every hit. The better way was to roll under Sif and attack. Four Kings - was easy but slightly risky owing to how much you have to backtrack in the case you lose. Pinwheel - dodge his beams of death. Attack and voila! dead. Gravelord Nito - I stayed put and let the small skeletons come towards me. Killed them with a divine shotel so that they don't reappear. Start rolling when you hear screaming so as to avoid the sword. When Nito comes towards you, attack him. Since he is pretty large, you can dodge all his attacks easily. Run like hell when he starts charging for that release attack. Very easy boss. Dark Sun Gwyndolin - easy boss but it's pretty easy to die because of poor collision detection. Thankfully, a bonfire is extremely close to where you fight him. Seath - most pathetic boss. Only reason I died the first time was because I got cursed. Equipped a Crimson Robe for Round 2 and killed him easily. Stay near his stupid tail and that's it. And now for thoughts : I'm frustrated with the level design. You know why? Because some areas are excellent (like Painted World of Ariamis, Anor Londo, Undead Burg, Undead Parish) while some are utterly and completely pointless (Great Hollow, Ash Lake, Crystal Cave, Blighttown, Valley of the Drakes and New Londo Ruins). These areas are also the ones with the worst art style and lowest production values. Other areas like Duke's Archives and Sen's Fortress are so cut copy pasted, it's hard to remember which place leads to which. Areas like the Crystal Cave are made to kill you a couple of times till you realize all you have to do is cross two invisible bridges, avoid any loot, and to be careful of slipping off edges. The jarring shift in the quality of the level design has really doused most of fervor for this game.Anyways, onwards to Lost Izalith! ~ fend

Dark Souls revisited + Diru - ain't afraid to die

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So I fired up Dark Souls : Prepare to Die Edition a couple of days back, starting a playthrough for a third time and I must say, now this game has me! The DsFix is working much better than the last time and I have no issues with the keyboard and mouse setup. Seems like not willing to shell out Rs. 2000 for a new controller can do wonders to one's adaptive skills :P So yeah, barring a few deaths from falling off ledges, the hellkite dragon and that one death from Capra Demon (my sword hit the wall, and got pwned during the recoil animation by Cap n' dogs), the game is treating me much better this time around. Still wish the game had more emphasis on story telling because I don't really like the minimalistic style of storytelling at all. Oh well. Running a Dex Pyro build at the moment. I swear, most of the difficulty in this game arises from fear of your enemies. Most of the time, that fear ends up to be debilitating. Drop the fear and you'll find that 3/4th of your problems are over. Boss highlights : Asylum Demon - death from above Taurus Demon - death from above part II Belfry Gargoyles - Solaire as bait and simple butt kicking Capra Demon - first boss I died at. I got pwned the first time because of a wall but killed him the 2nd time via le stairs. Gaping Dragon - summoned Solaire and the other dude as bait while I cut its tail. Killed by making it abuse the charging move.  Miscellaneous kills - Havel the Rock (now Havel - dead as a rock), the "playing dead" dragon in the Valley of Drakes (now playing dead, forever). To be killed in the future - Hellkite Dragon. I'm almost done with Blighttown. Just doing some runs into the poisonous swamp for some items I missed. I'm about 13-14 hours in the game. Honestly, a little reading ahead can save you a lot of time. I for one, am glad because I don't have the time to trial and error. Another reason why reading can be beneficial is because the menus and mechanics are barely explained in the game. JOLLY CO-OPERATION, RIGHT THERE! Dir En Grey's "Aint afraid to Die" is a great song to listen to while playing Dark Souls. Love how it counters the whole "Prepare to Die" thing. So, yeah, I'm enjoying this run of the game. ~ fend P.S : Anyone else having dreams of this game? I've been dreaming about this game for around 4 days now.

Downtime

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Hey guys, crazy things are happening here in Kerala. Folks are getting all riled up trying to get rid of our Kerala Prime Minister (not Indian PM). On top of all this, the climate here is alternating between extreme heat and extreme cold, like the climate of Dubai. There's also a good chance of one of the dams breaking due to the intense amount of rain we're getting. I'll be having holidays throughout the month, and no, I'm not planning to spend it on GameSpot. I got my second semester's internal assessment marks, and so far, they are really good (I got a perfect score for Data Structures!) by the grace of God. This got me thinking, that if I studied a bit more seriously, the sky's the limit, you know? I've decided to learn some additional programming concepts for the holidays. Working days will be focused on what's taught at college. Busy, busy :P (Valkyria Chronicles II - I'm sneaking in some gaming with this gem. The PSP is an amazing handheld console; its portability ensures small bite sized missions that can be done in 10-15 minutes, tops.) Anyways, I'll check in here after I reach a point where I can safely say I have things in order. Till we meet again! :D ~ fend

First year of college is DONE!

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Hey guys, I hope you're all doing good. Sorry for not being so active these days. Yesterday was my paper on Object Oriented Programming. With that outta the way, it's now second year of college, baby! :D The University people thought it'd be good fun if they made the Mathematics II paper extremely tough. Even those who studied really well found the paper tough. After the exam, our maths teacher asked us, "Have you all written enough to at least pass?" :P Ya, it was that bad. There was no need to study for the paper because 75% of the things in it was not taught in class. You can't blame the teacher either because ours was her first batch. I know I'll be passing for sure so I don't really mind. What I thought of each paper : English - Good Computer Organization - Good Mathematics II - Meh Data Structures - Average Object Oriented Programming - Average Semester II was horrible compared to Semester in terms of both fun and academics. Oh well :P  I saw The Wolverine today with a good friend of mine. It's also the my first 3-D movie. I nearly ducked during a trailer of GI Joe 2 when one of the shards of a sword came flying outta the screen. Yeah, I ducked like a scared cat. So. Sue. Me :twisted: The movie was dumb. Hugh Jackman is the only good thing about the movie just like how he was the only good thing in X-Men : First Class (what an utterly shit movie). 3-D was okay. At first, it was jarring because everything was popping out but my eyes adjusted to all that after about 6 minutes. There were like 12 people in the audience lol I'm impressed that they at least showed The Wolverine here in Alappuzha. The last few movies in English were Chinese Zodiac (laaaammmme movie) and The Reader (wtf?).  This game has devoured 43 hours of my life. So addicting. This game will definitely take me some time to finish. I'm now on the month of August and my entire team (except for the tank) is now at level 20. Is that an okay level to be in? I'm still having difficulties in trying to get my team members change their class to the next level. I have an A Rank for all the missions so far except for maybe 2-3 story missions. Now that I'm done with my exams, I can now focus on that backlog. After Valkyria Chronicles II, it's Kingdom Hearts : Birth By Sleep (done with only Terra's campaign. I'm now on the fourth world in Aqua's campaign), and after that, Remember Me (still only at Chapter 2). I also read that a demo for Castlevania : Lords of Shadow is coming out tomorrow :3 All in all, seems like a good time to get some gaming done. That's all for updates :) ~ fend

Kompleted #313 games + Quiet

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I finished Mortal Kombat : Komplete Editon yesterday. And I scored it a 5.5. Why? As much as I love the bonus content (challenge tower is pretty entertaining), this game is just a shoddy port. The animation is stiff, graphics are shockingly low res despite having the graphics settings set to their highest levels, the music is a miss, and the story - good heavens, the story is filled with dumb scenes. The characters love to fight things out rather than to take a while to stop and listen, thus reinforcing the fact that they are all brawn and no brain. And I KNOW it's a fighting game but hot damn, I've been playing games for 16-17 years and this sorta thing really gets my goose. Another issue I had were the stages. In one scene Shao Khan is powering up Sindel (get your head outta the gutter!) but when the fight begins, you see Shao Khan sitting on his throne near his huge dog/lion/whatever the f it is thing. This kills the immersion.  My 360 controller bit the dust so as usual I had to resort to the keyboard. Playing it this way nearly gave me carpal tunnel. My hands cramped up regularly. Usually, it'll take a long gaming session (above 8+ when I get/make the time) for my fingers to start cramping, but MK : KE managed to do it within 10 minutes. All the female characters from old hags like Sindel to Shokan like Sheeva are dressed inappropriately. Most of them come with thongs and cleavage revealing tops. Don't get me wrong, I like girls but this kinda stuff is juvenile. As for the boss fights : characters like Shao Khan are especially cheap as he won't get stunned easily. Your attacks do little damage and X-ray attacks deal only 15-17% damage. On top of that, SK had a lot of spamming attacks that stuns your character. A regular combo by SK can take 1/3rd of your health. I bested these fights by abusing the AI and by letting the timer hit 0. Sigh. What really pisses me off is that you can't do fatalities in story mode. Bargh... Game #313 right there. And no, I didn't enjoy it. Notice the emphasis on "I". Saving grace of this game is the Challenge Tower.  I'm an introvert (INFJ to be exact) and I've always been curious about people like me. This book by Susan Cain is enlightening, scholarly but surprisingly easy to read. I'm glad the writer didn't use **** (why is GS censoring this word?) I highly recommend it to fellow introverts. Anyways, I'm gonna go back to juggling Valkyria Chronicles II and Birth By Sleep. ~ fend

Rehab...

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Wow... We actually got my dad admitted to a rehabilitation center. It was under the guise of going to the hospital to see his sick friend, and dad actually bought that whole thing hook, line and sinker. Yes, everyone at home feels sad that we had to lie but this was far more better than having to see him kick and scream all the way... 2 months of treatment... hopefully, the folks there at the center will be able to stop his alcoholism. It's like a huge burden has been lifted over my life. Please pray that his treatment works out so that he can become a better person. ~ fend

Valkyria Chronicles II and Exams

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Heya, I'm on some sort of gaming roll with number of games finished : 312 So, I started Valkyria Chronicles II for the PSP and I must say, the game is really, really good. The characters are great, the music is beautiful, the art style oozes with character and the gameplay itself is top notch. It's like Advance Wars (a series I love dearly) except with better graphics and more oomph. I also dig the whole school/college premise because I'm a student myself :P Sadly, I have my model exams starting tomorrow :x I just wanna drop a crap load of time on VC II but I can't because of the exams. Sigh... :'( Oh well, it's for the best. (I'll have to keep saying that till I believe it...) Take care. Hope you don't have exams/work/other events bogging you down ;) ~ fend