Average User Score: 7.1Apr 29, 2014For this review, I'll first talk about the game itself then at the end talk about the PC version in particular.
Dark Souls 2 is a greatFor this review, I'll first talk about the game itself then at the end talk about the PC version in particular.
Dark Souls 2 is a great addition to the Souls series. If you liked the previous two games, then you're almost guaranteed to like this one. Core gameplay remains mostly the same. The combat is just as fluid, difficult, and satisfying as the previous titles. A huge variety of weapons and playstyles gives the game a ton of replay value, just like the first two.
The story is still minimal, the dialogue is in the same vein, and the lore is seemingly just as deep. Sound and music are fantastic as well.
PvP and co-op PvE I feel is the best in the series. Summons/invasions are fast and thanks to PC load times are extremely quick. Multiplayer sessions feel more responsive and are less prone to lag due to dedicated servers.
Now, a few differences/nitpicks: First, there are more bonfires than Dark Souls 1, and I feel that they are too close together. To be honest I thought Dark Souls 1 had too many, and this one has even more. Too many checkpoints removes some of the tension in the game, something that I feel Demon's Souls did best.
Second, a few of the areas feel very bland from an aesthetic standpoint. I don't mind bleak and barren landscapes, but they actually just feel... unpolished/unfinished. Especially when compared to other areas in the game which look gorgeous. They're look so bad that they take me out of the experience a bit. Fortunately both areas in question are very short.
Finally, and this one is purely subjective, I feel that the game is noticeably easier than the previous two titles. The aforementioned bonfire placement, enemies that despawn after being killed a certain number of times, a certain easily obtainable ring, and extremely strong NPC summons combine to provide an overall easier game.
Devil's advocate on the third nitpick, there are also ways to make the game harder for those seeking a challenge. The Company of Champions covenant, joinable at the beginning of the game, simply increases enemy health and damage across the board. New Game+ is also considerably different and more challenging this time around with more enemies, different enemy placements, and lots of black phantoms that are often strategically placed to maximize their likelihood of killing you. There are also armors/weapons/spells that are exclusive to NG+/++. Finally, there is a reward for beating the game without dying and one for beating the game without using a bonfire. Pretty cool.
All in all, it's a great game and it does some things better and some things worse than the other games. In my opinion, Demon's Souls is best for atmosphere/mood, Dark Souls is best for core PvE gameplay and lore, and Dark Souls 2 is best for PvP/co-op.
As for the PC version, it is by far the definitive experience. 1080p+ (I'm downsampling from 4k) resolution, 60 FPS, 2-3 second load times, ability to use mods, and the ability to play with whatever input method you want make it so much nicer than the console version. I played about 100 hours on the PS3 version, and now that I've played the PC version I regret all 100 of those hours. The console versions are a blurry, sluggish, choppy mess in comparison.
As a side note, I can't help but wonder how many of these negative reviews of the PC version are due to personal ineptitude when it comes to computers. Also, who the hell calls themselves a PC gamer and doesn't own a controller of some sort? I agree that KB+M is the best input method for many genres, but not all.… Expand
Average User Score: 5.3Sep 13, 2013This is the worst "game" I have ever played. I bought into the hype and purchased Gone Home a day or two after release. Late-night LifetimeThis is the worst "game" I have ever played. I bought into the hype and purchased Gone Home a day or two after release. Late-night Lifetime Network-tier story, Bad graphics, bad aesthetic, boring environment, poor sound quality, 90 minutes long, and $20. This is the first time I have ever had buyer's remorse toward a game. The meta score shows just how out of touch journalists are with what a majority of gamers want out of a video game.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.5Aug 20, 2013Muramasa on the Wii was my first Vanillaware game and I loved it. I played it several years ago, but I only played half of it due to variousMuramasa on the Wii was my first Vanillaware game and I loved it. I played it several years ago, but I only played half of it due to various reasons. This time I played it all the way through and got all 6 endings as well as most of the achievements.
I'm sure it's been driven into the ground at this point, but I can't help but point out how amazing the artwork and aesthetic is. Definitely one of the most beautiful games I've played and the Vita's screen makes it look even better. The music is equally great and when combined with the art style creates an amazing atmosphere that fits the game's setting perfectly.
The gameplay is fun and never gets old (at least for me), though the areas in the game as well as the standard enemies can get repetitive. I imagine this is a turnoff for some people, but I never minded it. The story is simple but interesting. I would have also liked to see one more sword type in the game to vary up the combat a bit more. The game can be challenging on Chaos mode, and there's always the unlockable Fury mode for those seeking even greater hurdles.
All in all, this is a beautifully made and fun 2d beat-em-up that can be repetitive for some. If there had been more varied areas and enemies I would have given it a perfect score.… Expand
Average User Score: 9.1Aug 20, 2013I had super high expectations for this game. I think anyone would with all the ridiculously high reviews it was getting fromI had super high expectations for this game. I think anyone would with all the ridiculously high reviews it was getting from journalists/players alike. The prologue was a 10/10 no doubt. It was pretty standard zombie apocalypse fanfare, but it was so well-presented.
After the prologue I was super hyped. Then the real game started. To sum it up I'd say it's super-generic stealth gameplay. There is nothing unique or innovative about it. It's been done a million times in other games. Now I'm not a fan of innovation for innovation's sake, but compared to the relatively high quality of the game's also somewhat generic but well-presented story, characters, dialogue, and voice acting, the gameplay sticks out like a sore thumb. To me it just wasn't fun. I found myself dreading the gameplay segments and wanting more story.
If I were to rate TLoU on its story, characters, etc I'd give it an 8, maybe 8.5. But as a video game where gameplay is the most important factor (in my opinion), I can't give it more than a 6/10.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.5Aug 20, 2013Dragon's Crown will probably end up being my game of the year. Amazing art direction and aesthetic, super fun gameplay, decently high skillDragon's Crown will probably end up being my game of the year. Amazing art direction and aesthetic, super fun gameplay, decently high skill ceiling (at least for Elf), and a God-tier soundtrack. My only complaint is similar to that of other Vanillaware games... not enough content. Admittedly I've played the game for ~55 hours so far and haven't felt this to be an issue, but I can see how it would be for some. The randomized Labyrinth of Chaos end-game dungeon definitely alleviates this complaint to a degree, but you have to play through the first 9 stages/18 paths quite a few times before unlocking it fully.
The Vita version has a few ups and downs compared to the PS3 version. The touch functionality for unlocking chests and doors/finding sparklies in the background is definitely superior to the PS3's cursor method; however, the Vita version has more areas with FPS slowdown. If you're an Elf it's also worth noting that it's a bit more difficult to find arrows lying on the ground on Vita's smaller screen.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.3Aug 20, 2013Dragon's Crown will probably end up being my game of the year. Amazing art direction and aesthetic, super fun gameplay, decently high skillDragon's Crown will probably end up being my game of the year. Amazing art direction and aesthetic, super fun gameplay, decently high skill ceiling (at least for Elf), and a God-tier soundtrack. My only complaint is similar to that of other Vanillaware games... not enough content. Admittedly I've played the game for ~55 hours so far and haven't felt this to be an issue, but I can see how it would be for some. The randomized Labyrinth of Chaos end-game dungeon definitely alleviates this complaint to a degree, but you have to play through the first 9 stages/18 paths quite a few times before unlocking it fully.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.9Jul 23, 2013My review is probably going to sound like many others. Here's the tl;dr version: Combat is great, but the rest of the game is mediocre.
IMy review is probably going to sound like many others. Here's the tl;dr version: Combat is great, but the rest of the game is mediocre.
I played as a sorcerer in the Korean/Japanese beta tests, and I was slightly underwhelmed by the combat system that everyone seemed to love. For the North American release of the game I decided to go with Warrior, and it was a night and day difference. Combat was much more involved and skill-based, especially where BAMs are concerned. Tanking was especially fun and fulfilling.
Another praise-worthy aspect of this game is the graphics. It's easily the best-looking MMO out there. Some of the environments are jaw-droppingly awesome. There was a small issue with view distance and object pop-in, but I can overlook that. Music is good, but no tracks stand out in particular. The English voice acting on the other hand is terrible. Super terrible. Cringe-worthy even.
So we have awesome combat and superb graphics... what else is there? Not much unfortunately. Questing is as generic as it gets, from level 1 all the way to level 60. Do a few kill/collection quests at one hub, move to the next, rinse and repeat infinitely. Soloing BAM quests was fun at first, but the novelty wore off quickly and they just became tedious. Dungeons are decent, especially toward the end-game. Some of the bosses are pretty challenging. I didn't do any hard mode dungeons, but I imagine they're VERY challenging. That's a good thing.
As for end-game... there isn't a whole lot. A number of 5-man dungeons and their hardmode counterparts as well as a completely broken world raid component called the Nexus. I say broken for a couple reasons. One reason is that you barely have to do anything to get credit. You hit a monster once and then you can literally just stand there doing nothing. The other reason is that due to the sheer number of players participating FPS rarely goes above 10... even with graphical settings on the lowest preset.
The last thing I'll talk about is Enchanting. Enchanting is the reason I'm through with this game. It's the most frustrating mechanic I've seen in an MMO. I don't mind long, hard grinds. I don't mind ridiculous gold sinks. Enchanting is both of these, but what makes it unfun is the fact that your time and money can result in absolutely nothing due to the chance of failure. Each time you upgrade your armor/weapon, the chance for failure for the next level increases. Toward the max level of your item, the chance for failure is ridiculously high. If they removed the chance of failure and just increased the time/money needed for each level I'd be fine with it. There's nothing more frustrating than grinding for hours for the gold/items needed for enchanting only to have 10 failures in a row. I'd probably be more willing to endure it if there was something greater than 5-mans to work toward.
In conclusion, this game was a fun distraction, but the end-game just isn't there.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.6Jul 23, 2013This is a great game that's half a Studio Ghibli movie and half of an oldschool JRPG.
The aesthetics and the music are of course amazingThis is a great game that's half a Studio Ghibli movie and half of an oldschool JRPG.
The aesthetics and the music are of course amazing and they really make it feel like you're playing in a Ghibli movie.
The story is fantastic as well and there are some interesting/unexpected twists. Surprisingly, I really liked the English voice acting. I typically prefer the native voice track, but they did a really good job with the dub this time. Also worth mentioning is the Wizard's Companion. I was really surprised at how in-depth and detailed it was. It was really fun to read the side stories and the lore scattered throughout. Other things I liked... lots of hidden items/areas to discover, tons of sidequests, and a worth-while crafting system.
As far as actual gameplay is concerned, I only have two gripes... first of which is the combat. I don't mind the overall combat system itself, but I always felt like half my familiars were just filler and were relatively weak. This lasted all the way up until the end of the game. The party AI was also offensively bad. There were a number of occasions where they would just walk right through some dangerous ground effects and instantly die... especially toward the end of the game. My other complaint is that I felt like the game held my hand for too long. It wasn't a huge deal to me, but I could have done with fewer tutorials.
In conclusion, this is a very good JRPG and is worth playing if you're looking for a more laid-back game with a great story, amazing visuals/music, and entertaining gameplay.… Expand
Average User Score: 3.9Jul 23, 2013Diablo 3, despite its many flaws, exploitable content, and grind-oriented gameplay, is a solid title. I could talk about its shortcomings, butDiablo 3, despite its many flaws, exploitable content, and grind-oriented gameplay, is a solid title. I could talk about its shortcomings, but seeing as how it has a 4.0 user rating I'm sure most of those have been covered in great detail. Instead I'll talk about how its a reasonably entertaining game with a high amount of polish.
Sure the graphics are more light-hearted than its predecessors, but they're crisp and aesthetically appealing. The sound and music is also top-tier material; however, voice acting is sub-par.
The co-op is great and it's super easy and super fast to join up with friends. This is accomplished mainly by the fact that the game has virtually no load times. Yes, character customization is dumbed down, but it still has depth.I like the fact that there are so many viable abilities in the end-game and that you can choose a skill setup that matches your play style without severely handicapping yourself. Combat is fun and satisfying. The end-game is difficult, but far from impossible... just as Blizzard promised. Actually, I would have given the game an 8/10, but I felt obligated to subtract a point because of the upcoming nerf to inferno difficulty. Bad move in my opinion. After killing Diablo on inferno difficulty, I have no motivation to continue playing. Nerfing the difficult content is only going to expedite that process for others.
All in all I don't think this game will have the lasting appeal that Diablo 2 did, but it's still a solid title worth checking out, especially if you have some friends to play it with.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.6Jul 23, 2013After putting almost 500 hours into Dark Souls, I decided to rewrite my review (for a 3rd time).
The first thing I'll touch on is the worldAfter putting almost 500 hours into Dark Souls, I decided to rewrite my review (for a 3rd time).
The first thing I'll touch on is the world itself. The level/world design is outstanding. The elimination of a hub world in favor of an open world was a good choice. A seamless world feels much more alive. The way the areas interweave themseleves into each other is genius. I do, however, wish that Firelink was a bit more interesting. As a hub it doesn't compare to the atmosphere of the Nexus. The game puts a bigger emphasis on exploration than Demon's Souls did, and there are plenty of nooks and crannies to uncover. Along your journey you might find hidden paths, areas, and even bosses waiting for you. Also worthy of note is the fact that Fromsoft did an amazing job in telling the story of Lordran through level design alone. Item placements, enemy placements, enemy design, etc all have meaning.
While the graphics are showing the PS3's age, the aesthetic is amazing. Each area is unique and varied and there is plenty of eye candy to keep you interested. Anor Londo is especially breath-taking. The world has more color and doesn't feel as bleak or lonely as Demon's Souls'. Whether or not that's a good thing depends on the individual. Sound and music is top-notch. From epic orchestrated boss scores to the near absolute silence of a pitch black cave, you'll find your state of mind completely in sync with the game world.
Combat is similar to its predecessor, though I find it slightly tweaked and optimized. Many of the weapons have unique movesets which is a nice touch. Overall, the controls feel a tad more responsive compared to DeS.
The story is minimalistic, but the lore is deep. If you actually take the time to read item descriptions, listen to what NPCs have to say, and "listen" to what the environment can tell you, you can piece together the very interesting backstory of the world of Lordran. I like this method of storytelling. It's there if you want it and invisible if you don't.
Like Demon's Souls, Dark Souls is a dark and challenging dungeon crawler with a minimal story (but deep lore). If that's your thing, you can't go wrong.… Expand