Andrew Kneller

Bloodborne: let’s all raise a glass

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Bloodborne, much like the Souls games before it offers a new game plus mode which lets you play through the game again at increased difficulty. With the Souls games, playing through on new game plus and trying out different builds or self-imposed challenge runs gave the game some substantial staying power. Bloodborne adds a new mode that is designed to give players reasons to come back to the game long after they complete the story the first time through.

After the jump, where do we go from here? Continue reading →

Bloodborne: bad moon rising

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Up until this point Bloodborne has been a fairly straightforward monster hunting tale. Possible vampires and werewolves have fallen to our swords. We have banished witches and snakes from world of Yharnam. As we make our way from the Forbidden Woods where we killed the Shadow of Yharnam to the shores of a lake where a deserted observatory sits a remarkable shift in tone occurs. Suddenly we’ve gone from slaying werebeasts in cathedrals to exterminating mystical spiders trapped in a lake. Where did this come from? Why are we doing this? And who is that lady in white?

After the jump, is Bloodborne the best eldritch horror game ever made? Continue reading →

Bloodborne: into the woods

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People always say that a change in scenery can be therapeutic. After the frustration Vicar Amelia brought on, it was with some relief that I left the claustrophobic streets of Yharnam and move into the next major areas which revolve around dark, oppressive forests. The next two bosses were far more trivial than the areas that lead to their lairs, a welcome change for me. It was amongst the witches and tombstones of Hemwick Charnel Lane that I faced my first invader.

After the jump, snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes? Continue reading →

Bloodborne: so a vicar and a hunter walk into a cathedral…

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It was fifteen hours into Bloodborne that I hit my first wall. The Cleric Beast, Papa G (I love the communities nicknames for Father Gascoigne), and the Blood Starved Beast had all fallen one after another, each with some element of challenge, but nothing close to inducing a controller-breaking rage. But as I made my way up the steps of the Grand Cathedral and watched the cutscene for Vicar Amelia, I had no idea that my idyllic stroll through Yharnam was about to be rudely cut short.

After the jump, who’s afraid of the big bad wolf? Continue reading →

Bloodborne: bringing a broadsword to a gunfight

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The combat systems in the Dark Souls games have always been a point of contention. While I enjoyed much of the combat in Dark Souls, it was incredibly easy to find certain tools and cheese bosses or enemies to death. Self-proclaimed masochists would play the game with a two-handed weapon and no shields or other challenge builds in order to push them further and reduce the relative ease that certain weapons and armor provided. Dark Souls 2 brought positives to the combat system, but was plagued by lackluster hitboxes, overzealous latency correction, and the ability to circle strafe enemies to death.

After the jump, how does Bloodborne compare? Continue reading →

Bloodborne: prepare to load

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The streets of Central Yharnam are empty of friendly faces. Patrols of hounds and savage villagers patrol, attacking any outsider roaming their city. Knocking on door after door I am turned away, mocked for my stupidity at being caught outside on the night of the hunt, or derided as a foreigner there is no refuge offered. The only bit of comfort I find is the voice of a child, asking after her mother and offering me a small music box in return. I descend into the darkness of the sewers below Yharnam to carve my way through crawling corpses and giant rats towards my next foe: Father Gascoigne.

After the jump, how many days since your last confession? Continue reading →

Bloodborne: a midsummer night’s terror

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I awake in a hospital bed. A man I do not know has just given me a transfusion of “Yharnam Blood”. As if that wasn’t enough to disturb me, a pool of blood appears and expands on the floor next to my bed. Some sort of bloody wolf surfaces and begins crawling towards me. As it extends a razor-sharp claw towards me, I am completely incapable of helping myself. Suddenly the beast bursts into flames and its life is snuffed out. My relief is only temporary, however, as a pale arm appears at the foot of the bed. I am horrified as I am surrounded by what appears to be the animated, decaying corpses of small children. They climb all over me, their horrifying faces fill my vision, and darkness takes me.

After the jump, what fresh hell is this? Continue reading →

Rogue Legacy: Sir Judson V, the hypochondriac paladin

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Intro 9

I am Sir Judson, the fifth of my name. So many generations of my family have entered this accursed castle, squandering my family’s fortune, and causing only pain and suffering. All has been in the service of opening the large gold door I now stand in front of. The door that is now open. I pray that whatever stands behind this door is worth the toll we have paid to open it.

After the jump, all the secrets — spoiler! — laid bare Continue reading →

Rogue Legacy: Lady Useless IV, the dragon endomorph

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Intro 8

I am Lady Useless, the fourth of my name. I am a strange combination of beast and man. Though this is no fault of my own, some call me an abomination. Perhaps that is why my family has forced me to enter this castle, to hide their shame. I am hopeful that if I succeed in my mission, I can restore the reputation of my family, and live on in my family’s memory. I carry my father’s sword, but what good are swords when you can breathe fire?

After the jump, enter the dragon Continue reading →

Rogue Legacy: Sir Jimmy II, the obsessive-compulsive hokage

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intro 7

I am Sir Jimmy, the second of my name. Though many of my family members have perished to the demon Ponce De Leon in the tower above the castle, I have set my sights on challenging the monster. Speaking to the strange “architect” outside the castle, I lock the castle down, knowing that this means I will not have to wait to know my fate. I grudgingly pay Charon his toll and enter the castle. Stepping onto the strange mystical pad inside, I will myself to the room outside Ponce De Leon’s Lair. Steeling myself, I step inside.

After the jump, which one of us will die? Continue reading →

Rogue Legacy: Lady Jenny, the nostalgic savant spelunker

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I am Lady Jenny. Unlike most of my family, I am completely unsuited for a life of combat. I am too weak to survive direct confrontations. Instead, I hide in the shadows and find secret passageways to avoid my foes. But while I am not suited to killing, I am suited to all things money. Finding it, counting it, squeezing the most out of each pile. Unlike other members of my family, I can find chests others would ignore. Oh no! I see a skeleton! Better make a dash for it!!!

After the jump, the Scrooge McDuck of the Rogue Legacy family Continue reading →

Rogue Legacy: Sir Fleming, the coprolalic lich king

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I am Sir Fleming. Long have I travelled the halls of this haunted castle, seeking fortune and fame. Though from time to time I seem to hear the sound of laughter, and enemies fade to thin air before my eyes, I remain steadfast. Each enemy I kill only strengthens me. Take this mimic above me for example. I jump towards it, sword slashing through it. *@#$! It bit me! Run all you like, I’ll get you in the *#$%!!! It bit me again!!! Oh no, here it comes again! &#%@ @^#$ @#$%!!!

After the jump, @#&$ [email protected]&#, or liches get stitches! Continue reading →

Rogue Legacy: Lady Teresa, the ADHD spellsword

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I am Lady Teresa II. My one goal in life is to destroy Alexander. I live only to defeat the monster and grind his bones into dust. Too many of my family have fallen to the abomination. Many of ancestors have challenged him, and as many have fallen to him or his minions. But unlike my ancestors, I am something new. I am an all powerful combination of mage and assassin. My blade is made of magic itself, and I possess all powerful spells. Be wary Alexander, I am coming for you!

After the jump, will the spellsword spell victory or another defeat? Continue reading →

Rogue Legacy: Sir Hirshley, the gigantic alektorphobe mage

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I am Sir Hirshley, the first of my name. Unlike my mother, Lady Henrietta III, I do not wish to face the monstrosity Alexander. In fact, I don’t even want to venture into the treacherous forest where my mother died. My only desire is to spend my life wandering the castle and to perhaps delay my doom. I don’t trust this castle. In fact, I entered unwillingly through a necessity to do my duty to my family. The rooms seem to shift, and the demon at the gate, Charon, has stolen the remainder of my family’s money. Zombies and skeletons roam the halls, and haunted portraits hang on the walls. And the chickens. Charon take me, the chickens!

After the jump, who’s afraid of the big bad chicken? Continue reading →

Rogue Legacy: Lady Henrietta, the dwarf assassin

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I am Lady Henrietta, the third of my name. Both Henriettas before me were slain viciously by the treacherous master of the forest, Alexander. The tales have been passed down for generations of a dark skull that lives somewhere in these woods, the bane of my family. I have come far through a castle of stone to find the entrance to the forest, and now I pray my luck holds out long enough for me to see Alexander’s lair. I want to restore honor to my family’s name, to bathe my blade in his blood. As I trek through the forest I see a large door flanked by statues. Alexander’s Lair. I clench my sword tightly, set my jaw, and enter.

By the way, did I mention that I’m really short?

After the jump, vengeance, humiliation, and/or new loot for later generations? Continue reading →