Dark Souls Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Dark Souls RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Artist Reimagines Demon's Souls as Game Boy Classic https://www.gameskinny.com/i9c1a/artist-reimagines-demons-souls-as-game-boy-classic https://www.gameskinny.com/i9c1a/artist-reimagines-demons-souls-as-game-boy-classic Mon, 22 Apr 2019 15:50:38 -0400 GS_Staff

The original Game Boy celebrated its 30th anniversary this past weekend. Amongst all the fanfare and adulation heaped upon the handheld across social media and the web, some shared visions of modern games on the decades-old device. 

One of those fans was Christopher Pariano, an artist from North Carolina. Putting his adept (and killer) pixelart skills to work, Pariano imagined what From Software's Demon's Souls would have looked like had it launched on the Game Boy instead of the PlayStation 3. 

Including the game's iconic splash screen, the 4-color tribute also showcases the game's character-leveling screen, a confrontation with the intimidating Phalanx boss, and a dialogue screen recreating the player's interaction with Maiden Astraea in Stage 5-3. 


However, this isn't the first time Pariano has reimagined scenes of From's Souls series in pixelart form. He has previously recreated sequences from Dark Souls as a "demake" for the Game Boy Color. These include scenes of Oscar, Knight of Astora and the formidable Asylum Demon. 

Prints of Pariano's Dark Souls art are currently available on his Society 6 storefront

In the years since its release, Demon's Souls has become a cult classic for many masocore and ARPG players. Spawning the highly-popular and successful "Souls-like" subgenre, fans of the game have clamored for its return for more than a decade. 

While the game's director, Hidetaka Miyazaki, has remained relatively non-commital on the issue, he has said that Sony would ultimately be the ones signing off on the project. 

Speaking with GameInformer earlier this year in preparation for the release of From's latest Souls-like, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Miyazaki said: 

But I understand there are many users and many players and fans out there who really love Demon’s, so if that’s something they could accomplish with a studio that loved the work, then yeah, I’d be okay with that.

Regardless of what happens with Demon's Souls, it's evident that the game still holds a spot in the hearts of fans. Fantastic artistic tributes like Pariano's are a testament to that. 

Header image source: Chris Pariano (Twitter)

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Dark Souls Creator Interested In Developing Battle Royale Game https://www.gameskinny.com/upqd3/dark-souls-creator-interested-in-developing-battle-royale-game https://www.gameskinny.com/upqd3/dark-souls-creator-interested-in-developing-battle-royale-game Sat, 09 Mar 2019 10:17:08 -0500 William R. Parks

Between the acclaimed Dark Souls series and Bloodborne, From Software has thoroughly established itself as a studio that can deliver stellar single-player experiences. However, a recent interview with Hidetaka Miyazaki, president of From Software and the creator of Souls, indicates that the company may have its eye on something a bit different in the future.

When asked by the Telegraph about his opinions on the battle royale genre and live service games, Miyazaki had kind words, stating that "these games are definitely fun." He went a step further than mere compliments, though, indicating that From Software is "definitely interested" in exploring development of these types of experiences and would "love to take a crack at them someday."

That said, as those that are familiar with the studio are likely to expect, Miyazaki emphasizes that a battle royale or live service title developed by From Software "might be a bit different" than what is currently available. Indeed, it might be hard to imagine the studio releasing a title in the vein of Fortnite or Destiny 2.

While these words from Miyazaki are clear in expressing some level interest in exploring multiplayer-focused experiences, fans that may be concerned about From Software abandoning single-player games need not panic yet. That is, in the interview with the Telegraph, he states how important he believes diversity is in game development:

Regardless of what From Software is doing, we need people making battle royale games and live services and we need people making single-player focused experiences. We feel that this diversity is what will keep everyone going.

As such, it seems that as long as there is room in the market for more single-player games, fans can expect From Software to continue releasing them. Of course, this commitment can be seen with the release of the company's upcoming single-player action-adventure title, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.

Even still, some fans will certainly find the prospect of a multiplayer-focused From Software title exciting. Indeed, a live service or battle royale game that is executed with the company's notable attention to detail could be a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

More from Miyazaki's interview can be found on the Telegraph's website.

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Getting Ready to Die, Or Preparing for Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice With Dark Souls and Bloodborne https://www.gameskinny.com/higkk/getting-ready-to-die-or-preparing-for-sekiro-shadows-die-twice-with-dark-souls-and-bloodborne https://www.gameskinny.com/higkk/getting-ready-to-die-or-preparing-for-sekiro-shadows-die-twice-with-dark-souls-and-bloodborne Mon, 11 Mar 2019 11:18:25 -0400 John Schutt

From Software's "Soulsborne" series is known for many things, but above all, it's known for its brutal difficulty.

They. Will. Kill. You. 

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, set to release March 22 and the latest game in the Soulsborne line, will be no different. That means you need to prepare before getting started, and what better way to prepare than by playing the Dark Souls series and the masterpiece that is Bloodborne?

The question, however, is what parts of From's library should you be studying up on? And what should you unlearn if you're a veteran, or try to not learn as a newcomer?

This article answers those questions, looking at the two of the pillars of Sekiro's gameplay: combat, and by extension, boss fights.

Absolute Aggression

Veterans know that the best way to fight in Soulsborne titles is measured aggression with minimum dodging and maximum damage. You want mobility, a keen sense of timing, and an encyclopedic knowledge of your enemy's attacks.

Whether your weapon is a mighty greatsword or the quickest rapier, no opponent poses much of a threat if you know when to strike, how to avoid the counter-attack, and when to back away.

Sekiro turns this tradition on its head. Where once the dodge roll, or just dodging in general, was king, now you want to learn to parry, thanks to the new Posture mechanic.

In essence, both you and your foes have a Posture meter that increases the more damage you take, how many times you block, or on the execution of a perfect parry.

Once this meter is "broken," or filled beyond its boundaries, either you or your enemy can initiate a "deathblow," dealing massive damage. The player just dies, as will most trash mobs. Tougher foes take multiple deathblows, bosses most of all.

All that means you'll be in your enemy's face a lot. You want to parry as many attacks as you can, being sure to dodge the occasional unblockable counter. Gone are the days of holding up a shield and hoping for the best, literally: there are no shields in Sekiro

For these reasons, there are a couple of skills you'll want to practice across the Soulsborne series beforehand.

Parry Timing

Almost every non-boss enemy throughout Dark Souls and Bloodborne can be parried. A few bosses can be parried as well.

Your first order of business is to practice learning the timing of each attack you can parry until it becomes second nature.

The timing you'll learn won't transfer on a one-to-one ratio, as Sekiro is an exceedingly fast game, but the basic skills will. You'll be learning frame windows, attack animation lengths and styles, and most importantly, you'll be working on your reaction time. 

The best Soulsborne players can and will parry everything that comes their way if they're so inclined, and usually on the first or second frame of the parry window. If footage from Sekiro is to be believed, that window is tiny if you want to land a perfect counter.

Probably the best place in the whole series to practice is the Graveyard area near Firelink Shrine in the first Dark Souls. The skeletons there are aggressive, have massive health pools for an early enemy, and their attack variety is broad enough to give almost any non-expert a run for their money.

In Dark Souls 2, make good use of the Pursuer boss. Again, he's really tough for an enemy you fight early in the game, and like the skeletons, he attacks quickly and often enough to get a good sense of when and where to strike.

For Dark Souls 3, any of the humanoid enemies are worth making your practice dummies. Champion Gundyr and Pontiff Sulyvahn are your bosses of choice, for the same reasons outlined above.

Bloodborne doesn't get a mention here, because parries happen at a distance through the gun mechanics.

Optimal Movement

Dodging in a Soulsborne game is more than just rolling at the right time. You need to know attack hitboxes, both their size and their duration, as well as attack speeds and overall frequency. The best players can and have taken out even the toughest enemies without so much as breaking into a sprint.

I'm not talking about learning every boss like the back of your hand. There isn't time. Instead, focus on optimizing your movement as much as you can.

That means you want to do a little moving to avoid an attack as possible.

That big dragon attack? Walk around it.

The gigantic hammer that's going to flatten you? Sidestep it.  

The trash mob swinging at you wildly? Take a few steps back and watch him flail uselessly.

Remember: you will die learning this part. You will die a lot. The knowledge you gain from each death will go a long way toward teaching you how to analyze attacks in the moment.

If you don't have to think about how to avoid damage, it will naturally happen, leaving your mind free to focus on more important things, like landing a parry or getting in the perfect position for a backstab or death from above.

Boss Fights

Everything you learn from the non-boss enemies in a Soulsborne game teaches you something you can use in the level's one or more bosses. They will not, however, teach you how to read, learn, dodge, and ultimately attack a boss. Only actually fighting one will do that.

In Sekiro, the basic formula remains: bait attack, counter or avoid, wait for the gap closure attack, reengage, repeat.

The difference here is, again, posture. In Sekiro, even bosses have it, and like any other enemy in the game, you'll be parrying your head off trying to take down their gauge so you can deliver one of the multiple deathblows necessary to win the day.

As you play previous Soulsborne titles, there are a few things you'll want to practice in preparation for Sekiro. Again, because of the many new mechanics, these skills will not be one-to-one transfers, but you will be better prepared to learn on the fly.

Openers

The start of a boss fight can set the stage for the rest of the engagement, and Soulsborne bosses are no different. In many cases, they will open with a specific attack as well, or be in a specific position that can allow you to take an early advantage.

Your first order of business, then, is not only understanding how these opening attacks function, but how best to exploit them. You'll find the vast majority work as gap closers and end with a swipe of some kind that will take a sizeable chunk of your health with it. 

Using the skills you gained in the above sections, you'll want to both position yourself optimally and be ready to take the first attack into a perfect parry. You'll have taken no damage, and the boss's posture meter will already be far more filled than yours. 

Alternately, you can avoid the attack to give yourself some breathing room in the arena, especially if it's relatively small and the boss has sweeping and long-range attacks.

Because you'll be returning to a boss fight several times, you'll be seeing the openers over and over, so regardless of which Souls-style game you're playing, you'll want to take a different approach to each encounter. Go to the right once, to the left another time, and take the attack head-on another time. 

Different approaches to the opening of a fight will give you a good idea about how you want to approach each one going forward, which might ease the frustration of failure, if only by a little.

The Great Bait

It doesn't matter what game you're playing; if you want a Souls boss to give you a specific attack or a certain pattern, you're going to have to bait it out of them. 

What does that mean? It means you've got to do some action that forces the boss to attack you and then react according to the attack provided. 

There are multiple triggers for an attack, but the biggest three are: being close enough for said attack to land, healing, or being too far away

In any case, baiting is a purely conscious decision because its purpose is to put you in a position to exploit everything you know about the incoming strike. Whether you're parrying it, avoiding it to generate an opening, or just outright dodging it, a great bait enables damage, and usually the big kind.

Practicing your baiting skills is as simple as it is dangerous. Go into a boss fight and try to get it to attack you a certain way. Start up close, then run away, then dodge, then repeat the process until you can't find any other attacks.

If the boss has parry windows, bait those out too. You'll need them in Sekiro.

Healing

Enemies in Sekiro are aggressive, and if the boss arenas are big enough, expect the boss to use every square inch. You will take damage your first run through, and probably the second, third, and 30th as well. That means you'll need to heal at least once, and because healing almost always acts a trigger for an attack, you have to know when and where to do it.

Many Souls-style bosses have big, showy attacks that end in a mild stun state for the boss as they "recover" from the exertion. Those are the first ones you want to learn and bait out. 

The second attack type to be aware of is always the quick one, because what's the use in healing if the next second all that health is gone again. This is a major issue if you're right up in the boss's face, so make special note of whatever super-fast attacks a boss uses. They often don't have much lead-up, and though they don't do a ton of damage, they will interrupt your actions as surely as powerful attacks will.

To practice healing in a boss encounter, I would recommend doing it early and often for your first few attempts, because you'll get answers to pressing questions like: 

  • How does the boss respond to healing? Does he attack, set up for an attack, let it happen, none of the above?
  • Can you consistently bait a big swing that will give you the second you need to heal?
  • How much damage will you take if you're hit in the middle of healing?

You need these answers before you can start strategizing about the fight. Healing in most Souls-like games is incredibly limited, so making the most of them in the fight you mean to win is essential.

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The above strategies are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to learning how to play Sekiro. I haven't even started to cover verticality, traversal, stealth, equipment, and a whole host of other mechanics you'll need to master if you want to survive.

However, because From Software titles like Sekiro are primarily action games focused around combat, knowing how to approach every encounter can be the difference between loving the game and never picking it up again. 

I think you'll want to master Sekiro. I know it'll be worth it.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice releases on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on March 22.

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Dark Souls: Daughters of Ash Mod Brings New Content to Lordran https://www.gameskinny.com/40f4e/dark-souls-daughters-of-ash-mod-brings-new-content-to-lordran https://www.gameskinny.com/40f4e/dark-souls-daughters-of-ash-mod-brings-new-content-to-lordran Mon, 07 Jan 2019 14:39:15 -0500 William R. Parks

While the Dark Souls series may have come to an end with the release of Dark Souls 3, fans are continuing to keep the kingdom of Lordran alive with community-run events and mods. Recently, yet another of these fan-made offerings has been made available, and it looks to be one of the most ambitious yet.

Dark Souls: Daughters of Ash is a new mod for Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition on PC that offers a "re-imagined and massively expanded" experience. Specifically, this mod, created by Reddit user Grimrukh, takes the original Dark Souls and adds an "enormous" amount of new content.

This content includes new pathways through the game's world, which are filled with new secrets and NPCs to discover. These NPCs offer entirely new quests, which intersect as players make their way through Dark Souls: Daughters of Ash, and new events will expand upon the established lore.

Furthermore, Grimrukh has added weapons with new abilities, and players will find that most of the preexisting equipment has been altered in some way. It also brings new enemies, including some that have been culled from cut content, and bosses to Dark Souls.

Indeed Dark Souls: Daughters of Ash sounds like quite an extravagant overhaul, and, amazingly, Grimrukh has been the sole programmer working on it. In a Reddit post, Grimrukh notes that over 1,000 hours were spent on the mod throughout 2017 and 2018, including hundreds of hours of playtesting.

While this effort has led to "more content than the original game," Grimrukh notes that the mod is not filled with brand new assets. That is, players will be able to interact with a myriad of elements that are functionally new, but the art of these elements are taken from the original Dark Souls release.

Furthermore, Dark Souls: Daughters of Ash does not support multiplayer, and Grimrukh recommends playing the mod offline in order to avoid game-breaking invasions. As expected from a mod of this scale, especially one built by a single person, players also may encounter bugs on their journeys through Lordran.

Despite these few shortcomings, it is hard to deny that Dark Souls: Daughters of Ash is an impressive undertaking. While some players seem to be having problems with the mod's approach to weapon durability, which has them breaking much more quickly, many will simply be happy to have a seemingly new Dark Souls experience to enjoy.

More details on Dark Souls: Daughters of Ash can be found on Reddit.

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How Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Will Stand Out From Dark Souls https://www.gameskinny.com/txw1h/how-sekiro-shadows-die-twice-will-stand-out-from-dark-souls https://www.gameskinny.com/txw1h/how-sekiro-shadows-die-twice-will-stand-out-from-dark-souls Sat, 16 Jun 2018 12:13:08 -0400 Zack Palm

To everyone's delight, FromSoftware had a great presence at E3 this year. They had the opportunity to highlight their upcoming samurai game Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice at the event with a trailer filled with some crazy gameplay and more details about the game's story.

You may immediately believe this new intellectual property will operate on the same level that Bloodborne did where it will move, fight, and pretty much feel just like Dark Souls, except with a unique skin over it. This was not the case! Here's how FromSoftware have taken certain steps to ensure the game feels like Dark Souls, but comes up with plenty of its own flavors, too.

If you haven't already checked out the trailer FromSoftware released at E3, here it is:

The Impressive Color Palette

If a person whose played Dark Souls before was asked what notable features about the game stood out to them, the vibrant colors would not be one of them. FromSoftware always had a distinctly drab and somber tone to their environment, making it seem as if it were a far-away myth retold by one generation to the next.

The environments in Sekiro are filled with dynamic hues and enticing details. While you're wandering around, taking in the beautiful environments FromSoftware are known for, you won't think you accidentally slide the shadow meter further down than you should have. There's a pop in the graphics you normally wouldn't find in a Souls game.

Not only that, there's still the noticeable grotesque nature of art in Sekiro that sends a shiver up your spine when you see it. Plenty of what's in Sekiro gets grounded in realism, so the art team had to work in these believable metrics. If they went too far in the supernatural direction, then you might get bumped out of the experience, thinking you're playing Dark Souls in a far-off fantasy land.

But, as the trailer shows, the team was able to add in a certain layer of grime to make the characters and bosses seem as if they were once alive during this time of 16th century Japan. Though their exceptional characteristics were fantasized to seem as if they were taken from myths.

For example, in the trailer there's a moment where the main character walks up a burning environment to a small group of people waiting for him to approach. A big guy approaches the main character, likely the leader of the small entourage. He's not at the small level of disgusting as the Asylum Demon, but his overall size and dirty attire make him look opposing. 

Originally, Dark Souls took its inspiration from a mixture of horror and fantasy lore, whereas this game leans much more on the depiction of ancient Japanese culture. Because of this dramatic influence shift, it makes sense the art team felt they needed to take a step back. FromSoftware have taken a different approach to how this game looks, and it certainly reflects the unique setting they've chosen for Sekiro. 

You Play As A Named Character!

This aspect definitely sets it apart from Dark Souls and Bloodbourne. Normally, you'd find yourself beginning your long journey at a character selection screen where you get to choose all of the unique physical features of your character before you cover them all up in armor. This time around the main protagonist in this story comes with a name, an ambition, and a known history.

Though FromSoftware have not given up too much about this main protagonist, we know his name is Sekiro and he is a shinobi warrior. He was tasked with guarding a lord, but a rival samurai attacked them. The rival samurai was able to kidnap the lord and defeat Sekiro in combat. Sekiro lost his left arm during this fight. Following the battle, he rises from the near-death experience to continue on his journey to rescue his lord from this samurai, while also seeking out revenge.

 

That's not a whole lot of information to go on. But, that's still more than most would receive from a description of Dark Souls! This already makes the game stand out. It's only naturally we'll learn more about the main character as we progress through his story.

A Lot Of Gameplay Differences

The diverse game mechanics in this game have not been utilized in other FromSoftware projects. This section alone deserves its own article, but we'll keep to the highlights!

The most noteworthy change involves Sekiro's prosthetic left arm and the grappling hook attached to it. You can use this grappling hook to climb up the side of buildings, granting you the ability to use the vertical environment to your advantage. While the grappling remains a constant part of the game, you can switch out a variety of different weapons attached to the prosthetic limb to vary your attack style.

For example, you can have an axe attached to it to use as a heavy strike to shatter an enemy's shield. If you need additional light, you can place a torch here while still wielding your katana in your right arm.

This idea of a versatile prosthetic left arm likely originated from the success of Bloodborne's key mechanic where players would have a gun in their left hand to use as a parry. How many different weapons you can place in the prosthetic left arm remains unknown, however, the cover art does feature Sekiro with a flamethrower on his left wrist, so look forward to that!

A unique aspect to this game lies in using Sekiro's arm to scale buildings, which you can do to reliably sneak up on your enemies. That's right: stealth. FromSoftware have included stealth and you can use it to your advantage. Take your time scouting out enemy patrols and thin their numbers before taking on a much larger group. What sort of benefit or difficulty this new mechanic has remains unknown, but the fact they're including it shows how far off from the Dark Souls reservation the developers have gone.

Death Becomes a Strategy

Death works substantially differently. When you died in Dark Souls you'd find yourself stripped of all your souls and you return to the last bonfire you rested at. This served as a great risk-reward balance in the game where you had to stop yourself from continuing on and decide it was a good idea to go back to level up; everyone whose ever played a Dark Souls game can tell you a story where they lost thousands of souls to a simple minion because they weren't paying attention.

Rather than teleporting back to a checkpoint or losing all of your currency, when Sekiro falls to an enemy the screen goes black and white. A red Japanese character gets displayed in the middle of the screen and the word "Death" in English goes underneath it. You can clearly see the enemies beginning to pull away from where Sekiro fell and then, after a little bit of time, he stands back up. From there he continue the fighting as if nothing ever happened.

This unique execution of death was crafted by the developers to encourage players to sometimes feel they had to choose when to call it quits and perish at the hands of their enemies. If a player planned it correctly enough, they could die off to the side of the map and then use their new starting position to take out a handful of minions before continuing the boss fight.

Though, not everything was revealed at E3. The developers do not want you to always use the death strategy over and over again. FromSoftware still have more to show of the death mechanic, and what they have yet to show will place a careful balance on how many times you can die in Sekiro. The developers teased death in Sekiro would hold the same amount of tension as a death you'd experience during a Dark Souls run.

This Is Not A RPG

Though you're not going through a character selection screen, you'd expect to have a leveling up system to give Sekiro some stat boosts to craft him to fit your game style.

Wrong again.

You don't get to level up in this game. You don't get to choose what stats to boost up. And you can't stay in an area to farm enemies for souls so you can level up to prepare for the next boss fight.

What stands in its place? So far, FromSoftware have been keeping it tight-lipped on to what to expect in this game. And that's okay! We have plenty of time to until the game's release.

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Right now FromSoftware only want to give gamers a taste of what their next game will look like. We may learn more about specific features in this game as we approach Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice's release date, which is in early 2019.

For more information about Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, keep it here at GameSkinny.

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Dark Souls: Remastered Giant Dad Build Guide https://www.gameskinny.com/2g7da/dark-souls-remastered-giant-dad-build-guide https://www.gameskinny.com/2g7da/dark-souls-remastered-giant-dad-build-guide Fri, 25 May 2018 13:49:14 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Giant Dad might just be the most overpowered PvP meta build in Dark Souls.

Commanding high Stamina and Strength values, they're a min/maxing tank that can utterly devastate even the most seasoned players. Because of that, some of you will want to run out and craft this build as quickly as possible. On the other hand, some of you will want to know the strategies that'll beat him in an instant.

This guide to Dark Souls: Remastered will show you how to do two things:

  1. Construct this build, including what weapons and armor you'll need
  2. Show you the best tactics for beating Giant Dad in PvP

Phantoms wait for no one, so let's get started.  

Assigning Your Stats

This build starts at Soul-level 99. You can go higher to take advantage of higher-level PvP locations and arenas. However, if you want to stay "true" to the base Giant Dad build, you'll want to put stats into other categories than those shown below. If you don't care about that, then you can obviously allocate more points as you see fit. 

This is what your primary stat line should look like when you reach Soul-level 99: 

  • Vitality (48)
  • Endurance (66)
  • Attunement (12)
  • Strength (16)
  • Dexterity (10)

Equipment You'll Need

Mask of the Father: This helm provides players with a +5% equipment load modifier. Get it from Pinwheels in the Catacombs or from Patches in Firelink. 

Giant Armor Set (minus helm): You can buy this set from the Giant Blacksmith in Anor Londo's Cathedral. You'll need to keep the Giant Armor (the cuirass), the Giant Gauntlets, and the Giant Leggings. You can ditch the helm. This set provides good elemental and physical defense while being one of the lighter heavy armor sets in the game. 

Ring of Favor and Protection and Havel's Ring: The Ring of Favor gives a 20% buff to Vitality, Stamina, and Equip load. You can find it after defeating Knight Lautrec of Carim as a drop. You can also visit Snuggly the Crow and drop the Xanthous Crown. Havel's Ring increases your Equip load and can be found after defeating Havel the Rock as a drop. 

Giant Shield: One of the best shields in the game if you can wield it, you can get the Giant Shield either from the Giant Blacksmith or from the Sentinels roaming Anor Londo. You can also opt for the Grass Crest Shield (dropped by Black Knights) because it provides Stamina regen. 

Chaos Zweihander: This might be one of the most efficient two-handed weapons in Dark Souls: Remastered. You only need 16 STR to wield it, easing both equip load and stat allocation. The Chaos upgrade path is important here because it scales the Zweihander's damage with Humanity. 

You can also opt to use the Dark Hand with this build. Use it as a shield and it will deflect 80% of all damage types. On top of that, you can use the Dark Hand to steal humanity from other players. This works well with the Chaos Zweihander, helping you make the latter weapon even more powerful. 

Lastly, get the Pyromancy called Dark Flame. After you get it from the Chasm of the Abyss, you'll find it's particularly powerful at close range. In fact, it mauls stamina when enemies block your attacks, wearing them down relatively quickly depending on how you use it. 

Best Offensive Strategies

If you're using this build, there area few key things you're going to want to keep in mind as you wreck enemies into oblivion. 

The key is using stunlock. The Zweihander is so powerful in its Chaos form that a single hit can stun enemy phantoms in place, setting them up for a devastating follow-up attack. 

And although the Giant Dad's attacks have long(er) animations, having increased END levels, as well as equipping Havel's Ring and the Ring of Favor and Protection, means you can dodge and roll quite a bit. Use this to your advantage. Confuse other phantoms and players by looking for backstab opportunities, which can be especially useful since most players will expect Giant Dads to attack head on.  

If you do take enemies head on, use the Black Flame to deplete most of their Stamina, then go for the stunlock. Once that connects, quickly follow up with another Zweihander swing to finish them off. 

How to Counter Giant Dad

If you're facing off against a Giant Dad, you'll want to employ these strategies if you want to survive. 

Essentially, focus on parrying, rolling, and backstabbing. You most likely won't be able to face this build blow for blow, so your best bet is to be patient and defensive. Reading the section above, you'll see that you have to not only be wary of stunlock, but also Black Flame and/or Dark Hand. 

Tranquil Walk of Peace is a fantastic spell to use against this build. However, you have to be quick to catch the Giant Dad as they roll away from the AoE. If played correctly, you can get a nasty backstab in. 

Alternatively, you can spam certain spells such as Crystal Soul Spear or Great Heavy Soul Arrow. However, unless you have a high DEX rating and can cast spells very quickly, this is an unsafe strategy at best. 

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It's true: some players will wretch at the thought of seriously playing a Giant Dad. Griefers have made the build one that many players avoid. However, if you must venture into PvP using this specific class, don't be an arsehole. Nobody likes griefers. 

Be one of the good guys and bring Giant Dad back to prominence. 

Got any other strategies for using or defending this build? Let us know in the comments below, and make sure to check out our other Dark Souls: Remastered guides while you're here. 

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Dark Souls: Remastered - Ember Locations Guide https://www.gameskinny.com/humx6/dark-souls-remastered-ember-locations-guide https://www.gameskinny.com/humx6/dark-souls-remastered-ember-locations-guide Thu, 24 May 2018 12:55:10 -0400 Jonathan Moore

You can only get so far with the base weapons found in Dark Souls: Remastered. After a while, you're going to need to ascend your normal, fire, divine, and magical weapons to take on tougher enemies and harder bosses. 

As you near the end-game -- or if you're playing PvP -- it's even more important to max out your weapons. You can do so by finding the game's 10 hidden embers. Each can be taken to a specific blacksmith so that they can ascend your weapons into more powerful versions of themselves. 

In this guide, I'll show you where to find each ember, which blacksmith you have to take it to in order to use it, and which weapons it modifies to which levels. 

Some are easier to find than others, and some require that you perform certain actions to unlock their locations. 

Be sure to check out our other guides for the re-release here: 

Large Ember

  

  

Location: Depths
Blacksmith: Andre of Astora
Modifies: +5 Normal into +10 Normal; +5 Normal into +5 Raw

How to Get It: You can find this ember after you enter the kitchen in the Depths. Defeat the butcher here and look in the chest behind his original location. 

Very Large Ember

 



Location:
New Londo Ruins
Blacksmith: Andre of Astora
Modifies: +10 Normal into +15 Normal

How to Get It: After you drain the water from New Londo Ruins, you'll find this ember in a previously inaccessible area. However, I would suggest starting at the Valley of Drakes to get to it since that's the easier path.

In the Valley, go to the entrance of New Londo Ruins and follow the path up and to the right. Go past the Dark Wraiths in the hall, through the open area and to the right (past two more Dark Wraiths), and follow the path up two more staircases. 

Continue following the path around and turn left when it eventually splits. The ember will be in a chest sitting on a precipice. 

Crystal Ember

 

 

Location: The Duke's Archives
Blacksmith: Giant Blacksmith
Modifies: +10 Normal to +5 Crystal

How to Get It: Go to the Duke's Archives and the bonfire outside on the bottom floor. From that bonfire, go inside and take a right. Go through the room with the lever on the left side. As you enter the next room full of bookcases, turn right and go through the opening in the bookcases. The ember will be in a large chest.  

Large Flame Ember

 

 

Location: Demon Ruins
Blacksmith: Blacksmith Vamos

Modifies: +5 Fire into +10 Fire

How to Get It: Go toward the fog gate in the Demon Ruins. As you approach, go left and then turn left to look at the path below. Perform a plunging attack on the enemy below and follow the path. There are several very strong enemies here, but at the end of the path, you'll find a chest with the ember inside. 

Chaos Flame Ember

 

 

Location: Demon Ruins
Blacksmith: Blacksmith Vamos
Modifies: +5 Fire into +5 Chaos

How to Get It: Defeat Ceaseless Discharge. Go down into the now-open lava bed. There will be a chest there. Open it to nab this ascension tool. 

Large Magic Ember

 

 

Location: The Duke's Archives
Blacksmith: Rickert
Modifies: +5 Magic weapons into +10 Magic weapons

How to Get It: Defeat Seath the Scaleless. Return to the Duke's Archives where you first get killed by him. It will be in the large chest in the center of the room. 

Enchanted Ember

 

 

Location: Darkroot Garden
Blacksmith: Rickert
Modifies: +5 Magic into +5 Enchanted

How to Get It: This one's kind of a pain in the rear to get. From the bonfire in Darkroot Garden, go through Alvina's Tower. On the other side, go to the right and through the forest. You'll come to a small, watery area with several large Mushroom Men. Defeat them and open the chest in the water. 

Divine Ember

 



Location:
Darkroot Garden
Blacksmith: Andre of Astora
Modifies: +5 Normal into +5 Divine

How to Get It: Go to Darkroot Garden and defeat the Moonlight Butterfly. Afterward, continue across the bridge and head toward the tower. Climb to the top to find this ember clutched by a dead blacksmith. 

Large Divine Ember

 

 

Location: Tomb of the Giants
Blacksmith: Andre of Astora
Modifies: +5 Divine weapons into +10 Divine weapons

How to Get It: From the first bonfire in the Tomb of the Giants (near where you meet Patches), climb the ladder and go right. Continue until you come to the second stone structure. There will be a hole in the ground. Drop down into it. 

The room below will be filled with skeletons -- at least six. Defeat them to retrieve this one from the dead blacksmith at the back of the room. 

Dark Ember

 

 

Location: Painted World of Ariamis
Blacksmith: Andre of Astora
Modifies: +5 Divine into +5 Occult

How to Get It: From the central area in the Painted World of Ariamis, climb down the well to the left of the area. At the bottom, go left and strike the wall in front of you. Continue down the path and pick up the Annex Key from the corpse. 

Climb back out of the well and go to the right, across the central area. Once you're across the area, turn left under the structure, and open the wooden door using the Annex Key. Go up the stairs, across the ramparts, and down another set of stairs.

Search the dead blacksmith here after defeating the enemies.

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Now that you know where to find all the embers in Dark Souls: Remastered, you can ascend all of your meager peasant's weapons into powerful merchants of death. 

If you're headed into player versus player combat, make sure to check out our guide on the best PvP builds to make sure you're jumping in fully equipped or check out our other Dark Souls guides.

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Dark Souls Remastered: PvP Builds For Strength, Dexterity, & Magic https://www.gameskinny.com/mex5s/dark-souls-remastered-pvp-builds-for-strength-dexterity-magic https://www.gameskinny.com/mex5s/dark-souls-remastered-pvp-builds-for-strength-dexterity-magic Thu, 24 May 2018 19:34:23 -0400 Jonathan Moore

One of the most grueling aspects of Dark Souls: Remastered is the game's PvP element. Whether you're voluntarily summoning players to duel with you in the arena or getting invaded by irritating red phantoms, player versus player combat isn't always easy.

Knowing which build fits your playstyle is essential to success. But that's something only you can determine by playing the game. However, knowing which builds are the best for PvP -- and those you should fashion your character after or outright construct -- is what we're here for. 

In the following sections, I'll list out a variety of builds alongside what weapons and armor you'll need to make them. We won't exactly be min/maxing here, but there will be suggestions for well-rounded starter builds for each stat type.  

If you have any that aren't listed here but are effective in PvP, let us know in the comments at the bottom of the page. We'll add it (or them) to this list and credit you with the addition. 

Be sure to check out our other guides for the re-release here: 

Strength Builds



This category is for players looking to utterly crush their opponents using pure power to win any encounter.

Strength builds are typically more patient than other builds. Players do not need to turtle during encounters (unless they're making a turtle build). Liberal use of shields and defensive maneuvers is recommended since Vitality and Endurance stats are used to create walking fortresses and tanks.

It's also worth noting that many of the weapons and armor sets in this category are slow, making strategy and defense the primary principles of these build types. Of course, there are hybrids with high DEX values, but pure strength isn't known for it maneuverability. 

Prioritize These Stats First
  • Strength
  • Endurance
  • Vitality
  • Dexterity (after everything else)

The higher your Strength value, the better you'll be able to wield powerful weapons. However, increasing this attribute is also because your strength value combines with the Strength Parameter Bonus to provide additional damage based on scaling.  

Endurance gives you more stamina, so you'll be able to attack more and block more. You'll also be able to use heavier weapons without expending all of your stamina. Endurance benefits taper off around Lvl. 40

Vitality benefits taper off around Lvl. 30 during your first playthrough. This stat is important for PvP, but you should not sacrifice other stats to increase its level. 

Ignore Intelligence, Faith, Attunement, and Resistance until much later in the game -- or entirely. You should only assign points to these stats after you've reached the soft caps for Strength, Vitality, and Endurance or if you're going for a hybrid build that, for example, might wield a catalyst. 

Also be aware that if you wield a weapon with both hands, you get a strength multiplier of 1.5. On top of that, you want to make sure your equip burden never eclipses 50% so that you retain a high poise value -- which keeps you from getting stunned. 

Pure Strength

This Soul-level 120 build might be as min/maxey as we want to get in this guide. It puts a ton of emphasis on strength and wielding heavy weapons. Here are the stats: 

  • Strength: 60-65
  • Endurance: 40
  • Vitality: 30
  • Dexterity: 20-25

Dexterity is listed because once you hit the caps for END and VIT, DEX will help you wield a few of the higher level weapons -- such as the Silver Knight Straight Sword -- if you choose to use them. It will also let you wield the Black Knight Great Axe or the Demon's Great Axe, both of which are excellent choices for two-handing here.

You'll also want to use the Giant's Set because although it's heavy, it provides a poise boost in return. On top of that, use Havel's Ring because it increases your equip load by 50%. 

Of course, you won't be able to dodge much using this type of build, but you will be able to take damage while dealing large amounts of it in return. You can also wear either Red Tearstone Ring or Blue Tearstone Ring to increase damage and/or defense on low health respectively. 

Dexterity Builds



Players in this category like to toy with their opponents, using misdirection and speed to gain the upper hand. 

Dexterity builds are typically more agile than other builds. Players should not turtle or rely on traditional blocking during encounters. Liberal rolling and evading are recommended, as well as backstabbing and riposte maneuvers

Many of the weapons and armor sets used in this category are fast and nimble, making speed and precision the core principles of these build types.

Prioritize These Stats First 
  • Dexterity
  • Endurance
  • Vitality
  • Strength 

A higher Dexterity value will boost your overall attacking power, as well as your finesse. Increasing this attribute also boosts the Dexterity Parameter Bonus, which increases your damage when wielding Dexterity-based weapons such as Rapiers, Daggers, Spears, and Bows. 

Endurance gives you better bleed resistance. This is very important because Dexterity builds often wear light armor and do not carry shields. 

Vitality will also decrease fall damage. This is important for stealth builds such as the Ninja and Rogue. 

Strength gives you weapon options. Don't invest heavily in Strength early on. Instead, increase Strength to wield more powerful Dexterity-class weapons in the mid- to late-game. 

You can ignore Intelligence, Faith, and Attunement until the late-game or subsequent playthroughs. Resistance could be useful for a Dexterity Build; however, Dex builds should not get hit very often, so skill points are better spent elsewhere. 

Pure Dexterity

This Soul-level 122 build focuses on speed and evasion. Here are the stats: 

  • Dexterity: 45
  • Endurance: 48
  • Vitality: 45
  • Strength: 20

Putting 20 into your STR stat will let you wield a fair amount of Dark Souls' weapons, effectively giving you a few extra choices for this build. You'll want to wield something like the Balder Side Sword or the Uchigatana (which also provides good bleed damage). Alternatively, you could also wield Great Scythe, which surprisingly very powerful for DEX builds. 

If you want to go ranged, choose either the Longbow or the Black Bow of Pharis

Since Dexterity doesn't necessarily affect armor, you can theoretically where whatever armor you like as long as you can roll quickly and have enough STR. However, to be fast and light while also having a good defense rating, equip the Elite Knight Armor, Elite Knights Gauntlets, Chain Helm, and Chain Leggings. All of these give you good poise to weight ratios. Alternatively, you could swap some of these light armor pieces out for medium armor pieces if you increase END and STR or wear Havel's Ring

Use the Grass Crest Shield to take advantage of its Stamina regen, which works whether you're wielding it or if it's on your back. 

Sorcerer/Magic Builds 

Honestly, Sorcerer/Magic builds are some of the most difficult to use in PvP because spells can take forever to cast and sacrificing stats such as Strength and Vitality to increase your Attunement and Intelligence slots can put you at an early disadvantage. 

I would recommend using a hybrid build such as the Pyromancer or a Knight/Mage variant. 

However, if you're determined to create a Sorcerer/Magic build, play defense from afar. You use the environment to your advantage. Casting spells such as Chameleon and Hidden Body are recommended to surprise your enemies, while learning the cadence of spells such as Great Heavy Soul Arrow, Crystal Soul Spear, and Great Magic Weapon is essential to timing your attacks. 

It's also recommended you finish the game before going into PvP as a Sorcerer since you'll be able to find some of the most powerful talismans, spells, and weapons during the end-game or New Game+. 

Prioritize These Stats First 
  • Intelligence
  • Dexterity
  • Attunement
  • Vitality/Endurance

Intelligence will let you cast more powerful spells. This is very important for Sorcerer/Magic builds. To get the best Catalysts and to cast all of the spells in Dark Souls: Remastered, you'll need to get your Intelligence stat to 50. Going higher gives no advantages. 

Dexterity means you can cast spells faster. This is important because you will need to increase the animation speeds of spells to land more of them against a human opponent. 

Attunement will let you equip more spells and magic. Unless you want to swap spells in and out -- or find the Dark Moon Seance Ring or White Seance Ring, both of which give you +1 Attunement slot each -- you'll want to make sure you have your Attunement stat leveled to 50 if you want to equip 10 or more spells.  

Depending on your playstyle, you will not need to put many points into Vitality. As long as you play defensively (and with good wit), you can get away with a Vitality stat of 15 or so. If you feel like you will take more damage, push Vitality up to around 25. 

You can ignore Resistance and Faith altogether -- or at least until the late-game or subsequent playthroughs. Much like DEX builds, you shouldn't be getting hit much as a Sorcerer. And Faith is only for casting miracles, which you won't be doing with this build very much.  

Pure Sorcery/Magic

There are several ways to go about making a Sorcerer in Dark Souls: Remastered. Here, we'll focus mostly on using increasing INT and ATT to cast more spells faster. However, there are a few strength options, one of which works very well with the build we're currently working on. 

Here are the stats: 

  • Intelligence: 45
  • Attunement: 50
  • Dexterity: 45
  • Strength: 16 
  • Vitality: 15
  • Endurance: 15

For this Soul-level 124 build, you'll need enough STR to wield a decent weapon just in case you need to engage in melee combat. However, putting 16 points into Strength will aloow you to wield the Moonlight Greatsword. This sword's damage scales with your INT rating, so it's perfect to have for this build. In your primary hand, you'll want to wield either Logan's Catalyst or the Crystal Catalyst

On the armor front, you'll want to wear the Crown of Dusk and the Dragoncrest Ring because both increase your damage. For light armor, go for the Xanthous Set. For medium armor, equip Havel's Ring and wear either Ornstein's Armor or the Eastern Armor with either the greaves and the leggings of the Xanthous Set or those of the Chain Set. Just be wary that those two cuirasses decrease stamina regen. 


--- 

Outside of these builds, one of the best things about Dark Souls: Remastered (and all the Souls games, for that matter) is that you can come up with your own builds if you don't like what I -- or anyone else -- has on offer. 

What is your favorite build in this revamped ARPG? Let us know in the comments below! 

]]>
Modding Skyrim to Make It More Like Dark Souls https://www.gameskinny.com/sv62d/modding-skyrim-to-make-it-more-like-dark-souls https://www.gameskinny.com/sv62d/modding-skyrim-to-make-it-more-like-dark-souls Sat, 10 Mar 2018 14:28:29 -0500 Kengaskhan

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The Grim and Somber ENBs

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Skyrim version can be downloaded here.

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Dark Souls and Skyrim are all about atmosphere, and they both nail it -- in their own respective ways. But if you want to bring Skyrim's atmosphere closer to Dark Souls', you can do to Skyrim what every fantasy and sci-fi film director has done to their own works: add post-processing effects!

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... or, have someone else do it for you!

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The Grim and Somber ENBs are a collection of ENB post-processing presets meant to give Skyrim a darker mood. Don’t worry, it’s not as hard as it looks to install -- just follow the instructions and you’ll be good to go!

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If none of the Grim and Somber ENB presets are to your taste (or you’re playing Skyrim Special Edition), just be aware that there are tons of ENB presets available at Nexus Mods -- you can find them all here (or here if you’re playing Skyrim Special Edition.)

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---

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Given the depth of Skyrim's modding scene, I'm sure there are plenty of mods that could fit on this list. Let me know of any that I may have missed!

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If you're looking for more Skyrim-related content, you can find it all here!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/o/c/lock-dfb66.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/o/c/lock-dfb66.jpg","type":"slide","id":"180762","description":"

Lock-On

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Skyrim version can be downloaded here.

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Skyrim doesn’t have the same omnidirectional camera movement that the Souls games have -- if you have your weapon drawn and you turn your camera, your character turns in that direction too. This makes a lock-on system less of a necessity, but like tumbling, the lock-on system is a pretty big part of Souls combat.

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As far as customization goes, this mod is pretty straightforward, but if you find that the default lock-on texture isn’t to your liking, there’s a Dark Souls-themed texture replacer you can check out.

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Unfortunately, there is no version of this mod currently available for Skyrim Special Edition. However, the Simple Face to Face Conversion mod has a Simple Lock-On Alpha listed under miscellaneous files that you might want to give a try.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/k/y/skyrimsouls-5f749.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/k/y/skyrimsouls-5f749.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"180763","description":"

SkyrimSouls -- Unpaused Game Menu

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With “SkyrimSouls” in its title, there can be no mistake about which audience this mod was intended for -- though of course, players looking for a more immersive Skyrim experience will appreciate the mod’s function all the same.

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SkyrimSouls -- Unpaused Game Menu does exactly what it says: it stops in-game menus from pausing the game. This means that you won’t be able to open your inventory to pause combat, chug five healing potions, swap out your armor, eat a wheel of cheese, and then resume combat. The mod is also highly configurable, and you’ll be able to pick and choose which menus you want exempt from the modified menu behavior (for example, you may not want the game to continue running while the system menu is open).

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(If you really want to crack down on the potion chugging, you may want to check out Potions Animated, which forces the player character through a drinking animation whenever they consume a potion.)

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/132d6a4931ec56fc048c8fd47b33bbfb.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/132d6a4931ec56fc048c8fd47b33bbfb.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11937","description":"

VIGILANT

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With VIGILANT, your character becomes a Vigilant of Stendarr tasked with keeping the holds of Skyrim safe from the encroaching darkness. However, things get a little more complicated when a Daedric Prince takes an interest in the Dragonborn.

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VIGILANT is divided into four parts (all included in the mod), taking you on a journey that will bring you to some truly Souls-esque set pieces to fight some equally Souls-esque enemies. VIGILANT also doubles as a weapon & armor mod, and you’ll be able to pick up some setting-appropriate equipment (there’s actually even some Bloodborne stuff in there) as you progress through the story.

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Also note that while the base mod is not voice acted, the Skyrim Voice Alliance produced an English voice acting add-on for the mod -- you can get it here!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/w/i/l/wildcat-d215e.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/w/i/l/wildcat-d215e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"180765","description":"

Wildcat -- Combat of Skyrim

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One of the Souls series’ hallmark features is the lethality of combat, and it’s not just the player who’s fragile; most of the enemies your size will fall after three or four hits as well.

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There are quite a few highly configurable combat overhauls available for Skyrim that make combat deadlier for all parties involved, but Wildcat in particular is fairly lightweight and adds a few extra mechanics that many Souls veterans will find familiar.

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    \n
  • Stamina costs for all attacks, not just power attacks
  • \n
  • Faster stamina (and magicka) regeneration
  • \n
  • Staggering is more common (though I’d probably disable the injury system)
  • \n
  • Increased damage dealt to characters in the middle of an attack
  • \n
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However, if you've already got a combat overhaul that you like, that should do the job just fine.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/b6a876a160cbe3ba54652b5025738467.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/b6a876a160cbe3ba54652b5025738467.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11936","description":"

TK Dodge

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What would Dark Souls be without dodge rolling? Well, the game would still be beatable for some people, but for the majority of players, it just wouldn’t be the same. Nexus Mods user tktk1 has produced quite a number of highly rated mods for the website (and I recommend checking them out), and amongst the most popular is TK Dodge, which adds a configurable dodge roll to the game.

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You’ll be able to change the dodge’s input method (e.g., double-tapping a movement key to dodge vs. using a dedicated dodge hotkey), adjust the stamina cost and the invincibility frame duration of the dodge, and even choose between two different dodge animations!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/k/y/skyrim-header-10f1c.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/k/y/skyrim-header-10f1c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"180759","description":"

Skyrim is a pretty popular game -- so popular, in fact, that Bethesda can't seem to stop themselves from re-releasing it on as many platforms as it'll fit on!

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However, even a game as well regarded as Skyrim has its flaws, as evidenced by the numerous overhauls and tweaks available through mods for the game. Now, you could try to enhance your Skyrim playthrough by downloading a couple of random mods that happen to catch your eye, but you might be better off tailoring your game to build a more cohesive experience.

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For example, why not try modding Skyrim to emulate the gameplay of another third-person, medieval fantasy action-RPG that's actually renowned for its combat?

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Here are six mods that'll bring your Skyrim run a little closer to Dark Souls.

"}]]]>
Top 5 Best Dark Souls Mods of All Time https://www.gameskinny.com/8x5es/top-5-best-dark-souls-mods-of-all-time https://www.gameskinny.com/8x5es/top-5-best-dark-souls-mods-of-all-time Mon, 26 Feb 2018 16:03:29 -0500 Sjaak den Heijer

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I will stay behind, to gaze at the sun.

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That wraps up our list for the 5 Best Dark Souls mods of all time. I wish all of you good luck on your travels through Lordran, and may the flames be with you. These mods should make your playthrough as awesome as it gets and help you get everything out of Dark Souls that it has to offer. If you've got a great mod yourself, be sure to share it in the comments below. And as always, stay tuned to GameSkinny for more awesome gaming content.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/3/7/1372-1518371829-815193719-dba01.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/3/7/1372-1518371829-815193719-dba01.png","type":"slide","id":"180179","description":"

Your very first Dark Souls playthrough is an awesome experience and a fond memory for many people. Dark Souls Prepare to Die Again by FTRichter tries to recreate this experience for veteran players. This mod changes up enemy spawns, item locations, and even adds in some content cut from the game. The best thing about this mod is that it's all done by hand; enemy placements and item locations are put in cleverly and in a calculated way. This mod is the closest thing you can get to a first playthrough and is a must-try for any Dark Souls veteran.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/4/4/6/446-1373690229-ccd95.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/4/4/6/446-1373690229-ccd95.jpg","type":"slide","id":"180180","description":"

Dark Souls HD Texture Pack

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If you're planning on visiting Lordran once more before Dark Souls Remastered, you definitely want to use the Dark Souls HD Texture pack by Toology86. This mod replaces almost every texture in the game. All the textures are handcrafted and are at least double the resolution of the old textures. It truly helps show off the beautiful world FromSoftware managed to create with Dark Souls and makes it shine like it never did before. 

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"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/9/4/194-1351539885-1f511.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/9/4/194-1351539885-1f511.jpg","type":"slide","id":"180181","description":"

Lava Eyesore Fix

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Lost Izolith has to be everyone's least favorite non-skippable area in Dark Souls. The area feels rushed and incomplete, and it leaves many things to desire. Luckily, the Lava Eyesore Fix by Ryazard makes this area a bit more bearable by removing the horrible glow the old lava in the area has. This mod is very simple but a must-use whenever you play Dark Souls. Trust me, you will want to use it.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/2/7/1273-1495559984-65567.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/2/7/1273-1495559984-65567.png","type":"slide","id":"180183","description":"

Dark Souls Input Customizer

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Let's be honest, we all had a moment where we got frustrated by the sometimes clunky controls of Dark Souls. Maybe you wanted to roll but accidentally jumped off a cliff, or perhaps you wanted to do a kick only to find yourself getting parried because you did a regular attack. The Dark Souls Input Customizer by MethanHydrat finally solves these problems. This mod allows you to bind any action to any buttons on your controller, keyboard or mouse. This mod is super easy to use and makes life just a little bit easier and more fun while playing Dark Souls.

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"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/3/4/1348347842-064be.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/3/4/1348347842-064be.jpg","type":"slide","id":"180182","description":"

Dark Souls Flora Overhaul

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The world of Dark Souls is, according to many players, a peak in design from both a technical and an artistic perspective. But after seven years, the graphics certainly are a bit outdated. This is definitely noticeable in the flora of the game. Grass and bushes are very low in resolution, usually composed of two 2D sprites placed on top of each other. The Dark Souls Flora Overhaul by Vurt fixes this and replaces almost every piece of flora in the game with new models and much cleaner textures with higher resolutions. Any lover of nature should use this mod.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/h/u/thumb-1920-317234-8570f.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/h/u/thumb-1920-317234-8570f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"180186","description":"

Oh, hello there.

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With Dark Souls Remastered on the horizon, a lot of players have been returning to the original Dark Souls to prepare themselves, and for good reason -- the original Dark Souls remains a masterpiece to this day. The game's excellent level design, innovative combat, and challenging nature elevate this game to one of the best RPGs of all time. So if you're planning on returning to Dark Souls as well, here are five mods we've selected to make your return to Lordran an even better experience. Keep in mind that you will need DSfix by Durante to use any of these mods.

"}]]]>
5 Games That Will Get You Ready For Monster Hunter World https://www.gameskinny.com/r36rx/5-games-that-will-get-you-ready-for-monster-hunter-world https://www.gameskinny.com/r36rx/5-games-that-will-get-you-ready-for-monster-hunter-world Sat, 24 Feb 2018 12:52:19 -0500 Sjaak den Heijer

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That wraps up our 5 picks for games that will get you ready for Monster Hunter World. All picks in this list are great games and 100% worth checking out; whether you want to prepare yourself for Monster Hunter or stay far away from it.

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Let us know in the comments what you thought of our picks, or let us know if you've got another game that can get player ready for Monster Hunter: World. For more Content on Monster Hunter: World and other games be sure to stay tuned to Gameskinny.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/w/a/r/warframe-64789.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/w/a/r/warframe-64789.jpg","type":"slide","id":"180129","description":"

Warframe

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Price: Free-to-play

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Get it on: Their official website & Steam

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Available on: PC, PS4 and Xbox ONE

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Warframe is an action co-op game that has "space ninjas with guns," and yes it's just as cool as it sounds. With a wide variety of both guns and melee weapons there is always an option that suits your playstyle. Warframe's awesome gameplay is supported by amazingly fun combat, very nice looking graphics and hours upon hours of fun. 

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While Warframe and Monster Hunter seem to have little to no similarities, however they both feature one major component that is essential to both games; grinding. Grinding resources for your gear and upgrades is critical to both Warframe and Monster Hunter while the success you feel after acquiring your gear - and thus the materials for it - all by yourself is awesome and keeps players coming back to each respective game. These mechanics will have you pouring hundreds if not thousands of hours into either one of the two games.

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Some Warframe veterans have even stated that the real fun of the game starts after +1000 hours into the game. Whether that is true or not can be discussed at another time, but the fact is that both games have a really grindy nature and rely heavily on their crafting system. If you want to be able to handle the grind of Monster Hunter, check out Warframe to find your inner grinding guru.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/a/y/payday-artwork-4d756.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/a/y/payday-artwork-4d756.jpg","type":"slide","id":"180128","description":"

PayDay 2

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Price: From $19.99-$49.99

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Buy it on: Amazon & Steam

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Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox ONE, Nintendo Switch, PS3 and Xbox 360

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In PayDay 2 - a co-op FPS where you and up to 3 friends play as a group of professional criminals - you select a mission and make up a plan to complete your heist. In many of the heists it's up to you whether you want to pull it off via stealth or want to go in guns blazing.

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Nothing is better than pulling off a successful Hunt in Monster Hunter: World; the feeling you get when your plans work out is incredibly satisfying. This feeling also occurs in PayDay 2 as you're pulling off a momentous heist with a plan you came up with on the fly.

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Monster Hunter and PayDay 2 look nothing alike, but at their core they're quite similar. You're thrown into a scenario with your gear and you’ll have to locate your prey - that could be either a big stash of gold or a giant dinosaur. From there you will have to use your wit to make sure everything goes swimmingly to help pull off the heist or the hunt. Additionally, when things don’t go according to plan you’ll need to improvise to complete your mission.

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Both games also share similarities in their co-op - whether you are a group of hunters or a group of criminals - you’ll need clear communication and swift navigation to succeed as a team in both games.

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If you want to experience the intense feeling from Monster Hunter, see if you're a mastermind or want to improve your teamwork with your gaming friends you'll want to try PayDay 2.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/i/r/firstwitcher011280jpg-7667b2-1280w-2014b.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/i/r/firstwitcher011280jpg-7667b2-1280w-2014b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"180127","description":"

The Witcher Series

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Price: From $19.99-$44.99

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Buy it on: Amazon & Steam

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Available on:  PC, PS4 and Xbox ONE

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is an RPG set in a beautiful large open-world with tons of great content. The Witcher is a very story-driven experience that will keep you busy for hundreds of hours.

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Monster Hunter might not have a vast open world like The Witcher, but Gerald sure has to hunt a ton of monsters. So, any fan of The Witcher series should already have experience with and enjoy taking down big, breathtaking monsters with ease, therefore the games somewhat revolve around the same concept.

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The biggest similarity in the games is by far the emphasis on preparing for every fight. Sometimes the preparation for a fight can be just as if not more important than the fight itself in both The Witcher and Monster Hunter.

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When you want to prepare yourself for Monster Hunter, you need to learn how to prepare for every fight and that is exactly what The Witcher series teaches you to do.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/r/e/preview-screenshot1-483510-b11bd.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/r/e/preview-screenshot1-483510-b11bd.jpg","type":"slide","id":"180126","description":"

Dark Souls

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Price: From $19.99-$39.99

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Buy it on: Amazon & Steam

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Available on: PC, PS4 and Xbox ONE 

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Dark Souls is an Action RPG set in a dark fantasy world. Dark Souls is a punishing game that doesn't hold your hand with any way-points or mini-maps. You'll have to find your way by collecting clues from the various NPCs - that are in incredibly short supply - the game has, all while fighting through a multitude of tough and dangerous enemies.

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You might not have seen this comparison before as Dark Souls and Monster Hunter from afar seems like an odd match. However, when we dive a little deeper into the games you'll be able to notice a ton of similarities running throughout each game; from their punishing nature to their deep lore and combat mechanics that aren't for the faint-hearted. 

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Both games heavily rely on having patience in combat and learning enemy patterns, this is especially true for Dark Souls’ bosses. In both games you’ll have to fight your enemies with a strategy as simply running in will get you killed in seconds. After you’ve put your strategy together you’ll have to find the right moment to attack your prey by learning the enemy's attack patterns. If you want to be ready for the Hunt you want to play Dark Souls and learn about difficult combat mechanics the hard way. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/a/u/dauntless-drask-combat-ceda4.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/a/u/dauntless-drask-combat-ceda4.jpg","type":"slide","id":"180125","description":"

Dauntless

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price: $39.99 for closed beta access, will be free-to-play on release.

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Buy it on: Their official website

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Available on: PC

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Dauntless is a co-op, action RPG where you battle fierce monsters called "Behemoths." Craft your own weapons and go on awesome adventures with your friends. As of now, Dauntless is still in closed-beta, but can be accessed through a founders pack. However, Dauntless will be free-to-play on its release later this year.

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This will be the most straight forwarded entry on this list because Dauntless shares a lot of similarities with Monster Hunter, some might even call it a free-to-play Monster Hunter rip-off. But I can tell you right now that’s not the case. The games are definitely pretty similar, but as similar as Call of Duty and Battlefield are similar. They share a genre, a similar atmosphere and some core concepts, but Dauntless is definitely a fantastic game in its own right.

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Dauntless has the same overall vibe as Monster Hunter; where you go to an area and kill a massive enemy with different combat styles for specific weapons.

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If you want to try Monster Hunter, but you’re not sure you'll enjoy it than try Dauntless as there’s a high chance that if you like one you’ll like the other.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/o/n/monster-hunter-world-pgw-26267147179-1509411295879-1280w-562ad.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/o/n/monster-hunter-world-pgw-26267147179-1509411295879-1280w-562ad.jpg","type":"slide","id":"180124","description":"

Monster Hunter: World or basically any Monster Hunter game can be quite intimidating to start playing due to their grindy nature and complex gameplay. They might be awesome games, but maybe you’re just not sure if it’s for you or perhaps you don't feel like you are ready for it. If that's the case and you're looking to get into the series, we selected 5 games for you that will prepare you for Monster Hunter World.

"}]]]>
Dark Souls: Remastered Announced on Nintendo Direct Mini https://www.gameskinny.com/ftqi7/dark-souls-remastered-announced-on-nintendo-direct-mini https://www.gameskinny.com/ftqi7/dark-souls-remastered-announced-on-nintendo-direct-mini Thu, 11 Jan 2018 09:35:42 -0500 Kat De Shields

Get ready to fling your Nintendo Switch across the room because Dark Souls: Remastered is coming to this portable console. Brought to you by Bandai Namco Entertainment, you can look forward to playing this title on May 25th. 

In a surprise Nintendo Direct Mini held this morning, Nintendo announced the first title in the renowned Dark Souls series would be available on their newest platform. The remaster includes the "Artorias of the Abyss" DLC. To sweeten the deal, Nintendo also announced they will improve the framerate and resolution of the original Dark Souls game for its port to the Switch. 

The first entry of the Dark Souls series was initially released in September 2011 and is currently available on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360. Since its release, the franchise has gathered a massive fan-base of people who live for a challenging, and sometimes grueling, gaming experience. Now, you can return to Lordran and play this classic on the go. Just be careful how you rage quit with your Switch.

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Nintendo and Dark Souls news. 

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Why Dark Souls Is Still So Good, Six Years Later https://www.gameskinny.com/wnyc6/why-dark-souls-is-still-so-good-six-years-later https://www.gameskinny.com/wnyc6/why-dark-souls-is-still-so-good-six-years-later Sat, 30 Dec 2017 10:00:01 -0500 Colin "Ghost Panda" Mieczkowski

The Dark Souls series has become one of the most iconic gaming franchises of all time. It has wowed gamers with its unique worlds, intense boss battles, mysterious lore, and classic level-to-level gameplay. 

What's more, it has opened the door for some great sequels and inspired games of today like Nioh and Nier: Automata. Bloodborne, a spinoff game made by Dark Souls creators FromSoftware has also become an all-time great in its own right. 

But what is it about the first Dark Souls that still makes it such a great game almost a decade later? There a few reasons, so grab your swords, spears, and catalysts, and follow me as we explore this dark, magical world once again. 

Variety of Locations

 As you progress through Dark Souls, you see a lot of the usual sights of castles, knights, and dragons, but then things really start to change. These changes take effect when you enter the Darkroot Garden, one of the more beautiful and serene areas in the game.  

There, you take on several odd enemies, and once you're done with the main garden, you can head down the basin of the garden. In this location, you'll take on a hydra, which is a dragon with multiple heads.  

These two locations are when you really start to see the game change from your classic castle and knights tale into a world of total fantasy. From the garden, you never know what to expect the rest of the way because the locations vary so much. 

There are some creepy, dark places, but then there are beautiful places such as Anor Londo, the Painted World of Ariamis and Ash Lake. The way the game plays with your psyche is unreal. 

Just when you think you're in a safe, cozy spot, the game will take you to a dark and eerie place. Just remember to cherish every bonfire, as there aren't as many as in later installments of Dark Souls.  

The Difficulty of the Game 

The difficulty of the Dark Souls series became a trademark and was what helped make it so famous and successful. Obviously, as players began to get more comfortable with the game, they started to puff out their chests, and their heads blew up like hot-air balloons. 

That being said, at the time when it came out, the difficulty was unique. To state the obvious, the enemies could hit you very hard, and they were very intelligent with their movements. 

Nice job dodging that one enemy, but wait, he's going to change his attack pattern mid-movement to still hit you anyway. Not only that, your souls and humanities you earn will be gone after you die. 

You can still get your stuff back, but you shall be escorted back to your nearest bonfire first, good sir or madam. This means that you could be a world away from where you died, depending on how far you got. 

And finally, you won't be able to unlock the ability to warp between bonfires until later on in the game. This means that, if you have to go back to a certain area, you'll have to do it the old-fashioned way: making the trek. 

Welcome to Dark Souls

The Classic Style of Gameplay 

One of the things that made Dark Souls so different from other games was the classic level-to-level gameplay. It took what you knew from old arcade games and brought it into a new generation of gaming. 

Go to level, beat level, defeat boss, move on to next location. It's one of the things you'll notice immediately when playing the series for the first time, and it's a concept we're all familiar with.  

It's almost like time travel. The differences obviously are the graphics, difficult enemies, specialized combat, and a lot more "Ahh!" and "Whoa!" 

So it's a game that old-school and current gamers can easily admire. I shall give you a blank piece a paper so you can write your love letter to FromSoftware. 

The Fascinating, Hidden Lore

The lore of Dark Souls has become a widely discussed topic amongst the dark fantasy gaming community. The fact that the game doesn't hold your hand through the "story" is one of the things that makes it awesome. 

They want you to figure out the story yourself. This is where the numerous items, armor, and weapons help immensely at piecing together the lore, bit by bit. 

Sure, you can always pull up YouTube videos and Reddit posts, but the descriptions of the various items can give you an ah-ha moment. It's great if you truly want to put the pieces of the puzzle together yourself. 

The game does an excellent job of giving you the tools to learn the story without them having to tell you the lore themselves. Much like a game like Journey, Dark Souls forever changed the way we view video game storytelling. 

The Online Experience

There is no game that has an online experience quite like Dark Souls. The game does an amazing job of incorporating other players' experience into your story mode without ruining it. 

Seeing messages on the ground written by other players gives you a great deal of guidance and is a great idea. Of course, you'll have some pranksters that will leave misleading messages. One example would be a message saying "jump" near a ledge (no, I did not write that message, and no, I did not jump). 

Also, when leaving messages down for others, it's always fun to see how many plus or negative ratings you get per message. The messages you could write weren't as detailed as they are in Dark Souls 3, but it was the introduction of a neat idea. 

Of course, there are the good old summon signs. You know that claustrophobic feeling you get when you realize that you can't defeat a boss and you're trapped, unable to advance the game?  

Well, have no fear, fellow undead is here. Having other players to help you get through certain areas helps to heal the massive wound you received after dying so much. This also keeps your sanity in check.  

Of course, you have to watch out for invaders if you haven't beaten the area boss yet. These dudes or dudettes will make your experience a pain if you aren't a skilled player yet. 

Overall, though, what makes the online gameplay for Dark Souls cool is that it merges both online and story into one lane. You're going to journey alone, but in reality, you aren't alone, as messages and jolly cooperators are there to help.  

Plus, it's just fun to play alongside other players. After beating the area boss, I always enjoy trying to help others in need. 

Once the boss is finished off, you will be rolling solo again just like that, and you can progress your story. The only downside is that if there is a certain enemy or mini-boss that you still want to beat, you will not be able to summon help because the area boss was beaten. 

Playing the role of helper is also an amazing way to rack up your souls. Keep fighting alongside fellow players, and you'll be leveling up in no time, as each boss rewards you handsomely. 

If you're a PvP player, then just keep those eyeballs glued to the ground for red summon signs. Be prepared for an epic duel. 

As a whole, the online rocks, and it changes the way we view a "story mode." 

The Epic Boss Battles 

 

This sorta goes back to the classic gameplay concept of boss-to-boss, and Dark Souls nails it. Certainly, Ornstein & Smough is a battle that comes to mind a lot, and they instantly became all-time great bosses.  

All of that hard work trying to reach Anor Londo ... you finally make it, and you were not disappointed by the epic boss battle (well, disappointed at the many times you died, but other than that, totally cool). 

The battle with Sif (pictured) is one of the more visually stunning boss battles ever. Not to mention that Sif is just one of the coolest bosses ever. A giant wolf wielding a sword? Epic.  

Overall, though, the game is littered with amazing and difficult bosses. Each one also fits perfectly into its respective area. 

When you enter into each area after figuring out the game's pattern, you might ask yourself, "I wonder who the boss is that protects this land?" Crossbreed Priscilla (pictured at the beginning of the article) is a great example of fitting into the area. 

Her all-white robe, hair, tail, as well as her mystique, plant her beautifully on the snowy canvas of the Painted World of Ariamis. Entering the painting, you knew the boss battle was going to be of "magical" proportions. 

The amazing thing is that each boss is so different from each other. It's almost as if you're playing two or maybe three separate games. Just when you think you know the type of boss you're about to battle, guess again. Some bosses might make you say, "OK, he/she isn't so bad," while others will make you scream out profanities. 

The boss battles are the juice in Dark Souls, and the reward for beating each one is always a treat. Not only are you advancing in the game, but you can also rock their gear and use their weapons. 

The game has taken the meaning of "boss" to a whole new level. Being a golf geek, I like to use this analogy: you can either "lay up" and play it safe by summoning a fellow chosen undead, or you can go for the target and take the boss head-on by yourself. 

The choice is yours, but don't be afraid to summon someone, as "jolly cooperation" is one of the pleasures of Dark Souls. 

The Introduction of Bonfires 

Ahh yes, one of the most iconic checkpoints in video game history, the first installment of Dark Souls introduced us to the bonfire. After so many intense battles, pressure moments, and deaths (especially falling off ledges), the bonfire was there to help us relieve stress and dry off our sweaty palms. 

When our gear and weapons were exhausted after being used so many times, we could rely on the bonfire to repair our stuff. When things needed upgrading, the burning coiled sword was there as well.  

In short, there may be nothing more iconic in Dark Souls than the bonfire, and it would always come through in the clutch in time of need (unless you're in New Londo Ruins -- then you're screwed).

Conclusion

Although we have seen the releases of Dark Souls 2 and 3, as well as Bloodborne, it's always fun to revisit the first game. It was an introduction to a brand-new way to play an RPG game, and it still keeps players coming back again and again.  

Some players may have worked backwards, and they're currently experiencing the joys of Dark Souls 1 for the first time. There's no doubt that they will get hooked like returning players. 

The game's design, combat, visually unique locations, and boss battles made it a special game. Who knows, some time down the road, we may be discussing how incredible Bloodborne was. 

But certainly, the first time that players complete Dark Souls may be an experience they never forget. 

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Ranking Every Boss in Dark Souls from Worst to Best https://www.gameskinny.com/v2o95/ranking-every-boss-in-dark-souls-from-worst-to-best https://www.gameskinny.com/v2o95/ranking-every-boss-in-dark-souls-from-worst-to-best Fri, 09 Jun 2017 17:51:30 -0400 glados131

On March 28, the Dark Souls series came to a close with the release of the "Ringed City", the second and final DLC for Dark Souls III. Of course, there's still the possibility we'll get more games like Bloodborne, side games that present new and novel stories but provide similar gameplay elements and mechanics of the Souls series.

However, we're unlikely to see a Dark Souls 4. With that being the case, let's rank from worst to best the iconic bosses of the game that started it all.

26. Bed of Chaos


Image courtesy of Wikidot

When it comes to Souls series bosses, there are perhaps none more reviled than this one. And it earns that reputation. In a series hailed for its challenging but fair combat, so many of the (literal) pitfalls in this fight feel anything but fair.

As the fight progresses, more and more holes open in the floor and Bed of Chaos' large sweeping attacks seem to be designed to push you right in. Especially notorious is the extremely awkward final jump you'll need to make to reach the boss' core. To add insult to injury, this was the in-game representation of the Witch of Izalith, one of the most fascinating and important characters in the game's lore -- and one who deserved a much better fight than this.

25. Pinwheel


Image courtesy of Wikidot

While the Bed of Chaos feels more unfair than anything, Pinwheel is little more than a speed bump. The fight has some interesting mechanics in the boss' ability to duplicate himself -- and it's more challenging if you take him on earlier in the game -- but most players' experience with Pinwheel involves the boss going down in a pitiful amount of hits.

24. Demon Firesage


Image courtesy of Wikia

Your first reaction to this boss was likely a sense of déjà vu -- even more so if you went back to the tutorial near the beginning of the game. And that's because this boss is heavily copied from two other fights in the game, just with some added fire. This wouldn't be the last time the series copied bosses to underwhelming effect, but it was among the first.

23. Moonlight Butterfly


Image courtesy of YouTube

This fight gets some points for atmosphere but is docked heavily for gameplay. For a melee build, in particular, fighting the Butterfly is just boring, especially as you wait for it to finish firing off spells, land, and refuel. Pray your weapon doles high amounts of damage so you can finish the job quickly. If not, you're in for one slog of a fight.

22. Centipede Demon


Image courtesy of Wikia

By the time you reach the Centipede Demon, it's the third boss you've faced in the Demon Ruins, and you've probably been noticing a trend of quantity over quality. This boss has one of the more generic designs out of FromSoftware's repertoire, and it's further bogged down by a frustratingly small arena surrounded by lava.

21. Ceaseless Discharge


Image courtesy of YouTube

The (thankfully) final Demon Ruins boss of this list is the best of the lot, but not by a wide margin. Its sheer size makes it visually imposing, but the fight's actual mechanics are less interesting as you wait for it to slam its fists down so you can hit it. To make matters worse, you can kill it without any resistance whatsoever if you lure it back to the fight's entrance.

20. Stray Demon


Image courtesy of Wikidot

Remember when I mentioned going back to the tutorial area? This is the foe waiting for you if you do, and his low ranking is another product of being a reskin. He's higher than the Firesage thanks to his varied moveset making him feel like a different boss than the Firesage. That, and his endless spam of blast attacks can get pretty annoying.

19. Capra Demon


Image courtesy of Wikidot

Many Dark Souls veterans hate this fight, and that's for two reasons. And both of those reasons are dogs. The fast-moving enemies make the already-tiny arena in which the Capra Demon resides feel even more claustrophobic, giving you little room to maneuver against the aggressive boss. And at this point, with so many demons so low on the list, it's hard not to feel a little extra resentment toward the Witch of Izalith for thinking recreating the First Flame was a good idea. Look at all the good it did.

18. Iron Golem


Image courtesy of Fextralife

At the end of the trap-riddled madness that is Sen's Fortress waits a fight against this massive foe, and it's... okay. The fight doesn't do anything particularly wrong, it just also doesn't do a lot to stand out among Dark Souls' other boss fights. And coming at the end of such a memorable area, it's hard not to want something a bit more unique than a giant suit of armor.

17. Taurus Demon


Image courtesy of Wikia

The second boss of the game is a fairly generic monster. Its moveset isn't much to write home about, either. What saving graces it does have come in the form of a semi-interesting environment that allows for tactically-minded players to use their gained knowledge to their advantage -- for instance, noticing a ladder that can set them up for a nice high-damage plunging attack. 

16. Seath the Scaleless


Image courtesy of Wikia

To be fair, there's a lot of interesting lore surrounding this guy, specifically about his research into alternative forms of immortality because he lacked the immortality-granting stone scales that other ancient dragons possessed. However, the fight itself is somewhat underwhelming. After you shatter the crystal that's healing Seath, it's a simple matter of hugging his weird tentacle-leg things until he dies. Just watch out for the attack where he flails those things around.

15. Crossbreed Priscilla


Image courtesy of Wikidot

Now don't get me wrong, Priscilla's a great character. However, her boss fight basically comes down to the invisibility mechanic. Turning invisible is pretty much her one and only trick, making this more of a gimmick fight than anything else. And to be fair, it's a cool gimmick because it rewards observant players for noticing her footprints in the snow. But if she had more health or attacks to back it up, things might be different.

14. Chaos Witch Quelaag


Image courtesy of Wikidot

This is a boss with a cool design and some interesting moves to back it up. The challenge is learning to balance dealing with both the bottom half's lava-spewing crowd control attacks and the upper half's aggressive firesword swings. It is, however, very possible to stay close to her side and remain in relative safety, so for an experienced player, there are tougher Dark Souls challenges for sure.

13. Gaping Dragon


Image courtesy of Wikia

The Gaping Dragon has a great entrance. What looks like a tiny alligator pops up from the other end of the room -- and then the rest of the massive beast's grotesque body follows, imbuing the boss with an intimidation factor of 10. However, the actual boss isn't too tough because it has plenty of blind spots. As long as you watch out for its walking attack, you should be okay. Regardless, the opening cutscene gives the player a great sense of accomplishment after bringing it down.

12. Dark Sun Gwyndolin


Image courtesy of Wikidot

This is another gimmick boss, but it's a gimmick that I personally enjoy. The endless hallway makes for a really cool setting, and running down it to pursue Gwyndolin makes the fight feel almost like a chase. He does only have three attacks, so things can get a bit repetitive. But the premise makes this bout a memorable one at the very least.

11. Gravelord Nito

 
Image courtesy of Wikidot

Like the Moonlight Butterfly, this is a fight with a ton of atmosphere. Unlike the Butterfly, though, there's actually some fun gameplay to back this fight up. The swarms of skeletons that appear in the area can feel unfair on top of Nito's attacks, but the fight is well-balanced by Nito's large blast attack that is easy to bait him into doing -- temporarily destroying said minions. Or you can bring a divine weapon to try and make sure those skeletons stay dead. Either way, this is one of Dark Souls' better boss fights. 

10. Sanctuary Guardian


Image courtesy of Fextralife

The first fight of the Dark Souls DLC doesn't have much lore behind it, but it makes up for it in gameplay. This creature has a varied moveset consisting of lightning, flight, shockwaves, and more. A large part of the fun is how mobile the beast is, although pinning it down can get annoying. Still, this fight is a great opening to a terrific DLC.

9. Four Kings


Image courtesy of Wikia

The best of the four Lord Soul bosses, the Four Kings are a race against time. You're fighting a series of the same enemy multiple times in a row, but the twist is that this time, it's not enough to learn their moves to just beat them -- you need to learn those moves well enough to beat the Kings quickly before the next one spawns in.

One mistake can build on itself very easily, and before you know it, you could be getting destroyed by two or even more Kings. Be sure to bring your highest damage-dealing weapon for this one.

8. Sif, the Great Grey Wolf 


Image courtesy of Wikidot

The main reason this fight stands out isn't the actual gameplay (though a wolf wielding an enormous sword in its mouth is perfectly ridiculous). Instead, it's the emotion and story behind it. No one wants to kill a dog. And Sif is only guarding the grave of its master, Artorias the Abysswalker, so it's not like it has it out for you.

But this is Dark Soulsand depressing stories are pretty much par for the course, so of course, Sif starts limping at the end of the fight to make you feel even worse. On top of that, if you find and rescue Sif in the DLC, it will recognize you in the opening cutscene of the fight... and then fight you anyway. Prepare to cry, indeed.

7. Asylum Demon


Image courtesy of Wikidot

I know what you're thinking -- but this boss is so simple! It barely has any attacks! And you're right... but that's kind of the point. As the tutorial boss, its simplistic moveset is the perfect learning tool for new players to get a feel for boss fights in the Dark Souls series. It even teaches players how to execute a plunging attack for devastating damage!

Above all, though, it teaches players confidence. Upon seeing the beast's massive frame, a new player's first instinct may be to run -- and it's even the right call here at first -- but the relatively easy fight later demonstrates that in Dark Souls, the bigger they are, the harder they fall.

6. Gwyn, Lord of Cinder


Image courtesy of Wikia

We're going directly from the beginning of the first journey to its end. Gwyn is the final boss of the game, and almost every aspect of this fight delivers. His moveset is unrelenting, and his flaming sword acts as the perfect counter to players who like to hide behind shields with high physical defense.

Sword swings aren't his only tricks either. Moves like his kick and grab attacks have gone down in infamy for dealing large amounts of damage. All this is perfectly accompanied by the score, which subverts expectations by not being a rousing orchestral piece like so many other boss themes, but rather a simple, somber piano melody. The only thing keeping this fight from being higher on the list is Gwyn's notorious weakness to parrying -- if you're even half-decent at it, the former Lord of Sunlight goes down way too easily.

5. Bell Gargoyles


Image courtesy of Wikia

This fight and the Asylum Demon are two parts of a series of three bosses that I consider major benchmarks for new-player evolution. The Taurus Demon, as I've discussed, doesn't really bring much new to the table, but this boss is another story. Midway through your fight with one gargoyle, another one joins the fray.

This is extremely alarming to new players, as, at this point, they've probably barely gotten good enough to fight one boss, let alone two. But the fact that the second one waits until the first is at half health means that players can be strategic -- and try to finish that one first. It's essentially a dual boss on training wheels, and one of the series' best.

4. Manus, Father of the Abyss


Image courtesy of Wikidot

That we've come this far and have, until now, only seen one boss fight from the DLC should speak volumes about the quality of its bosses. Many consider Manus to be one of the hardest fights in the entire series, and it's not difficult to see why. He fights less like the human he once was and more like a force of nature, with swing after swing chipping away at your health.

Speaking of health, Manus also has a ridiculous amount of it, meaning you'll have to withstand his onslaught for a while if you hope to be victorious. Add to that the slew of dark magic attacks he gains midway through the fight, and you should definitely congratulate yourself for coming out on top in this one.

3. Black Dragon Kalameet


Image courtesy of Fextralife

There aren't a lot of proper dragon fights in Dark Souls. The Hellkite Dragon on the bridge in Undead Burg is actually a drake (a lesser dragon), the Gaping Dragon has been twisted into an abomination, and even Seath lacks the scales that made the ancient dragons such formidable foes. Kalameet, on the other hand, is a true dragon, and FromSoftware pulled out all of the stops to make this fight as epic as possible. His ferocity is only matched by his surprising agility, as he darts around the arena spewing black fire at you. Keeping up is an extremely difficult -- but highly rewarding -- challenge.

2. Knight Artorias


Image courtesy of Wikidot

There are few bosses in Dark Souls as iconic as this one. When you find the legendary Abysswalker, he's been corrupted by the very thing he swore to destroy, and it's up to you to give him the heroic death he deserves.

FromSoftware has pulled the "duel between two evenly matched warriors" card a few times, but rarely does it shine as much as it does here. Artorias' moveset is breathtaking, with the knight flipping around the arena to try and land on you. The fight gets even harder when he buffs himself for more damage, but it is possible to interrupt him from doing so, adding balance to the mechanic. This fight undoubtedly earns its amazing reputation.

1. Ornstein & Smough


Image courtesy of Wikidot

I'm sure many saw this coming, but I couldn't justify putting any other boss in the top spot. I mentioned earlier that I consider the Asylum Demon and the Bell Gargoyles to be two pieces of a three-part evolution for a new player, and this is the third and final part of that evolution.

This fight acts as a player's final test on two levels. From a narrative standpoint, it's the last thing a player must overcome to claim the Lordvessel and learn his or her true purpose. And from a game-progression standpoint, once a player beats these two, they should feel ready for anything.

While the gargoyles felt overwhelming, to most new players, this fight at first feels hopeless. The slow-but-devastating Smough is a perfect complement to the quick and relentless Ornstein, and it feels impossible to get in any hits of your own.

And even if you somehow manage to take one out, there's a whole second phase with a powered-up version of the duo. I was so broken by this fight that I didn't touch the game for months afterward. But once I did decide to pick it back up, I didn't stop until I beat them. And defeating this boss fight solo remains one of my favorite moments in any game ever.

---

The Dark Souls series has so many memorable bosses. For many, they're the highlight of these fantastic games. And there are few other games that can top or even come close to the adrenaline rush of overcoming the greatest of these fights.

What are your favorite bosses in Dark Souls? What did I get horribly wrong? Let me know in the comments!

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3 Reasons Why You Should Be Hyped for Code Vein https://www.gameskinny.com/t1ej6/3-reasons-why-you-should-be-hyped-for-code-vein https://www.gameskinny.com/t1ej6/3-reasons-why-you-should-be-hyped-for-code-vein Sun, 30 Apr 2017 11:48:55 -0400 GeorgieBoysAXE

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There is still a lot that we don’t know about Code Vein, and what its really setting out to be until we get to see the full trailer of the game in action next week. But there’s definitely enough that we do know to get excited about.

The gory presentation, and innovative premise of Code Vein holds, gives some promise to the undeniably gorgeous new gothic adventure, and it’s especially more exciting when you factor in that E3 is only a little over a month away.

\n

What do you think of Code Vein? Are you excited for it? Let us know in the comments below. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/d/code-vein-banner-170ae.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/d/code-vein-banner-170ae.jpg","type":"slide","id":"157692","description":"

This game might end up being "Dark Souls Hard"

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At the end of the one teaser video that we did get from Bandai Namco about Code Vein, the footage ended with the tagline “Prepare to Dine,” which sounds like a cheeky nod to another successful action-RPG that’s published by the Japanese company, Dark Souls.

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While the reference may seem like a PR-driven marketing ploy on the surface, it could actually be a much deeper clue to the kind of challenge and difficulty that we might expect out of the new, brooding RPG.

While the aesthetic of Code Vein is certainly not as Lovecraftian as the presentation in From Software’s Souls franchise, the themes, atmosphere, and bestiary in the anime-inspired RPG are comparable enough that Bandai Namco may simply promote to the appeal of a hardcore gaming challenge.

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We don’t have all the facts, but what we do know is that the game is going to have a big focus on farming resources and materials from your enemies. And if it’s anything like soul harvesting, then I wouldn’t be surprised if the studio is planning to mix Code Vein into being one big melting pot of Japanese flavored gaming goodness.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/eeada7b0658166bbf012a71737566e19.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/eeada7b0658166bbf012a71737566e19.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10793","description":"

The vampire gimmick is actually pretty cool

\n

The vampires here aren’t your garden variety bloodsuckers, and they’re definitely not like any of the glitzy, yuppie versions that we’ve seen from other media like Twilight or True Blood — they’re actually kind of interesting, terrifying, and a fresh take on the monster of legend.

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From the promotional material that has been released for the game, we know a little about Code Vein's novel world. Setting the stage for Code Vein's post-apocalyptic future, we find that humanity is almost entirely wiped out and that vampire-like beings known as the Revenant are at the top of the food chain.

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These new ghouls aren’t exactly on Easy Street, though, as the power of these dark beings isn’t without complication. Concerning their mysterious past, their insatiable thirst for blood has become a driving force behind their incessant hunting.  

Some of the Revenant aren’t exactly content with the status quo, and they adventure out into the world to find their memories in a dangerous hellscape, one in which they live against a number of different threats, like the Lost, former Revenant who transformed into vicious monsters after they let their thirst get the best of them.

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Even though the amnesia trope is one of the most tired conventions that we’ve seen in RPGs, the vampire-themed twist on the concept is one that’s admittedly captivating in its own right, as well as for the conceit of vampires in general.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/d/code-vein-banner-79fbb.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/d/code-vein-banner-79fbb.jpg","type":"slide","id":"157690","description":"

Code Vein is from the same team behind God Eater

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The pedigree that’s backing the title is promising as it’ll be helmed by the team that created and worked on the God Eater series, a frantic, character-driven action RPG that shares a lot of similarities with Capcom’s Monster Hunter series (only with a heavier emphasis on action elements than RPG dynamics). Once a PSP exclusive, the combat is known for being incredibly deep, yet intuitive and accessible to first-time players. It has a fast, frenetic pace that keeps you constantly moving the moment any enemy beasts shows up on screen.

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God Eater uses equipment and weapons to dictate play style instead of job classes, offering more flexibility to combat and leveling, something that will undoubtedly play a factor in the transforming mechanics that were teased for Code Vein. On top of that, the multiple characters shown in the screenshots from Code Vein's press kit might even indicate cooperative multiplayer elements -- just like God Eater.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/d/code-vein-banner-c2fb9.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/d/code-vein-banner-c2fb9.jpg","type":"slide","id":"157689","description":"

Shortly after zombies had their time in the spotlight, Vampires became hip again, with their roles in media receiving a few… adaptions. With Bandai Namco’s upcoming title, Code Vein, that trend continues.

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The new action RPG is currently slated for release on “major consoles” at some point within 2018, and the gameplay will revolve around the concept of feasting on enemies to harvest the various resources that their essences offer to the role-playing elements of the game. While there isn’t a whole lot that’s known about the game aside from the fact that we’ll know more once May 2 rolls around, there’s enough to chew on already. Here are three reasons why you should keep Code Vein on your radar.

"}]]]>
Looking Back: The Absolute Hardest Dark Souls Bosses of All Time https://www.gameskinny.com/frld9/looking-back-the-absolute-hardest-dark-souls-bosses-of-all-time https://www.gameskinny.com/frld9/looking-back-the-absolute-hardest-dark-souls-bosses-of-all-time Tue, 18 Apr 2017 08:00:02 -0400 ReverendShmitty

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Soul of Cinder

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Dark Souls 3
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The final boss of Dark Souls 3, the Soul of Cinder is a fittingly difficult encounter.

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Starting off with a simple one-handed sword fight, he quickly begins adding movesets to his repertoire. Transforming his sword into a stave or catalyst, his fighting styles quickly raise the stakes.

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Fire magic, homing missiles, healing, and a dozen other abilities, the Soul of Cinder easily has the most extensive list of abilities in the game.

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And after his first health bar is depleted, he will heal himself and stop holding back. He becomes faster, hits harder, and can use a Sunlight Spear ability that has three different forms.

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His typical sword form can be dealt with as with Gwyn from the first Dark Souls but beware his ultimate combo. If caught in it, he can juggle the player with his blows then slam them into the ground with a fiery explosion. This single combo is enough to completely deplete a player's health if you aren't careful.

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****

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Now you know the hardest Dark Souls bosses and what to expect, if you can get past the hair-pulling madness of dying over and over again long enough to defeat them, then you can take on anything. But if we have forgotten any of the hardest Souls bosses, let us know in the comments below!

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Dragon Slayer Ornstein & Executioner Smough

\n
Dark Souls
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Just like those jerk Princes, you have to fight these guys two-on-one.

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Ornstein is incredibly fast and uses various lightning spells and spear attacks to destroy you from a distance. Smough is slow but incredibly strong, and can just absolutely crush you with his gigantic hammer. Combining them makes for a very solid balance of close and long range attacks to keep you on your toes.

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You must balance them, dancing back and forth and side to side, using the various pillars around for cover. And after a hard fought battle when one finally falls, they are absorbed by the other, making for a one-on-one with a now-buffed enemy.

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This also means that should you go back for a second play-through, you must kill them in the opposite order and face a different second phase battle in order to get both specific drops.

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Fortunately, you can summon Solaire of Astoria to help you even the odds.

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Nameless King

\n
Dark Souls 3
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Wanna fight a super powerful king?

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How about his wyvern?

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Okay. Now how about both at the same time?

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Blasting you with lightning spears while his steed bites at you and rains down fire from its maw, this guy is considered the toughest boss in all of Dark Souls 3 by a lot of folks. Just keeping your eye on them is a challenge in and of itself as they fly around you. 

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And once you manage to drop the beast, the King himself is still a deadly threat. He's both fast and strong with erratic movements that can be hard to predict. His lightning blast and lunge are both particularly powerful and can easily kill an unprepared player.

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Just make sure you're equipped with lightning resistant items.

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Smelter Demon

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Dark Souls 2
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An enormous hulk covered in flames and armor, this monster is entirely optional and you should probably avoid him.

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His gigantic sword puts Sephiroth's katana to shame and can reach across nearly the entire room, and once you whittle him down to half health, he covers the titanic blade in flames. Hell, even just standing close to him burns you, so get your damage in fast.

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And this guy's damage is insane. He can easily kill you in only a few hits, so be vigilant as you slowly pick his gigantic health pool apart.

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The Twin Princes

\n
Dark Souls 3
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Lorian, the elder Prince, despite being crippled, comes at you on his knees with sword in hand. You engage him and score a few hits when he suddenly teleports away. He charges his blade with holy energy and slams it into the ground, sending incredibly powerful light straight at you. Dodging your blows with teleports right to your blind spots and striking at you, the Prince does not fall easily.

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And when he finally does, Lothric, the slimy little younger Prince revives him and gangs up on you. Jerk.

\n

Lorian still attacks with his sword, teleporting around and coming at you from behind, but now with Lothric launching homing spells and soul spears. If that weren't annoying enough, he also revives Lorian anytime he is defeated, meaning you need to focus on the younger brother to end the fight.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/7/4/5/7458f2960286c14.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/7/4/5/7458f2960286c14.jpg","type":"slide","id":"156072","description":"

The Four Kings

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Dark Souls
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Trapped in a pitch-black void, a single King appears before you. You battle, exchanging blows, and just when you think you've won, a second appears. Then a third. Then a fourth. Then you die.

\n

They spawn in every 40 seconds until you're facing four Kings, giving you less than a minute to kill one before you become outnumbered. And with the four of them all wielding magic swords and homing missiles, it's all too easy to become overwhelmed if you can't slay them quickly enough.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/6/0/5/6058f292dec92e6.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/6/0/5/6058f292dec92e6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"156070","description":"

Wipe the blood off your screen, ladies and gentlemen, 'cause we're going to look back at some of the toughest bosses that ever stomped you flat, cut you in half, or incinerated your pitiful little soul. These are of course the Dark Souls bosses which made you rage, shout, and beat you down until you finally overcame them.

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But what was the first thought that popped into your head when you saw that image? Was it seething rage? Suffocating despair? Traumatic flashbacks that made you go numb?

\n

All of the above?

\n

Fantastic! Let's keep going and count down the hardest Dark Souls bosses to date.

\n

It won't be pretty, but if you can make it to the end, you just might have what it takes to go back and show them who is really the boss.

"}]]]>
Was The Ringed City DLC a Good Way to Wrap Up Dark Souls? https://www.gameskinny.com/1tb49/was-the-ringed-city-dlc-a-good-way-to-wrap-up-dark-souls https://www.gameskinny.com/1tb49/was-the-ringed-city-dlc-a-good-way-to-wrap-up-dark-souls Wed, 12 Apr 2017 18:49:19 -0400 Marc Hollinshead

The Souls franchise has made a huge impact on the gaming community, both for fans and the wider public. From humble beginnings in Demon’s Souls, it eventually transitioned to Dark Souls 3, the final game of the saga. The game's Ringed City DLC was the final piece of content for not only that game, but the entire Souls franchise.

But was it a worthy ending? Did it wrap up the Souls series as deftly as possible and leave fans with a good taste in their mouths? Yes it did. In fact, The Ringed City is an exemplary case of a series ending on a high note. 

The Ringed City Ties Up Loose Ends

Souls is unique. Its cryptic lore, punishing boss fights, and diverse environments can swallow you whole. And all of those things have been laboriously crafted to provide a memorable experience across five vast games.

With the initial release of Dark Souls 3, the true ending to the lore of Dark Souls was already lying in wait for players to discover -- but there was still more content to come. While The Ringed City, the second and final DLC of the installment, may not have the actual story ending within, it did gave loyal fans real closure on a sentimental level.

Three of the core aspects of the series -- its lore, boss fights and environments -- were studied, refined, tweaked, and reworked to create what we have in the final DLC. Described as “Dark Souls greatest hits” across the Internet, The Ringed City was a final jaunt with the Ashen One to let players experience everything that they so dearly loved over the years in a concise-yet-meaty expansion.

Let's talk lore...

There's no doubt that unless your brain is a machine which can process information at an alarmingly quick rate, The Ringed City probably left you with a lot of questions after defeating Slave Knight Gael. Personally, I felt like the world had so much left to reveal, and my somewhat primitive method of thinking found it difficult to piece together what I had just witnessed. 

So many of us had no idea at first that we'd actually just seen a great ending.

That is what Dark Souls does so exquisitely well. It divulges a rich and incredibly deep story, but it isn’t spoon fed to you as a player. More questions will certainly arise from your romp in The Ringed City, but collating everything you know from the series will enable you to form your own version of events.

The places you have come to fear the most

Death is ubiquitous in Souls. You can never escape it no matter where you are, and the environments throughout the franchise have been pivotal in keeping it that way. A variety of traps litter the landscape throughout your journey in each of the games. And with The Ringed City being the final piece of content for the series, FromSoftware had only one more chance to unleash their creative side.

That “Dark Souls greatest hits” phrase is pandered through this aspect of the DLC most of all. Glorious and godly cities, poisonous swamps, crumbling catacombs -- The Ringed City basically incorporated every environmental trope of the saga into a few hours of gameplay. It’s quite remarkable how this was done, too.

Of course, not everything we've seen in past games could be included in a DLC. But it's clear that FromSoftware knew what Souls lovers held dear and gave them a final opportunity to experience fresh renditions of them -- laser-firing angels and all. 

Bigger, better bosses

Any true Souls fan knows that the most crucial aspect of the series is its boss fights. This can regularly be make or break for Souls content, The Ringed City was no exception. Good thing it excellent on this front, too. 

Facing crowd control fights, options for PvP mid-battle, chaotic blood-gushing madness, and an altercation against an abyssal dragon, the Ashen One essentially had to muster all the skills gained throughout their entire expedition across Lothric in order to prevail. Slave Knight Gael was, without a doubt, one of the best Souls bosses ever conceived by FromSoftware.

Taking what made each individual game great across the franchise (including Bloodborne), Miyazaki and his associates quite literally went crazy with the last ever boss of the series. After two solid hours of getting clobbered, tears of joy marked the end of the series for yours truly.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, “Dark Souls greatest hits” is what The Ringed City felt like it was set out to be.

Since this was the final piece of content for the entire beloved franchise, FromSoftware had their work cut out for them. Exceptionally rich (yet cleverly concealed) lore pulled us in and wouldn't let go as we unraveled a story that's spanned several games. We tiptoed through dangerous environments where one toe out of place had us embracing eternal pain. And we faced monstrous bosses that any gladiator would cower at.

These three gameplay elements are what make Dark Souls, and The Ringed City did its best to distill them into their purest forms -- albeit with a few stumbles along the way. FromSoftware did their best to stick to their roots and cater to all those fans with an insatiable lust for more Souls. Aside from the added angelic hazards and celestial arrow barrages, The Ringed City was Dark Souls through and through. Nothing more, nothing less. 

Did it need to be revolutionary and totally divergent from what it was? No, not at all. This DLC did what it said on the tin -- and from that standpoint, it wrapped up the Dark Souls franchise as well as it could. Loyal fans were given something exceptional to end their time in this universe, and that's all we could ask for. 

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5 Wii and Wii U Games That Need to Be Ported to the Nintendo Switch https://www.gameskinny.com/twxb4/5-wii-and-wii-u-games-that-need-to-be-ported-to-the-nintendo-switch https://www.gameskinny.com/twxb4/5-wii-and-wii-u-games-that-need-to-be-ported-to-the-nintendo-switch Thu, 20 Apr 2017 08:00:01 -0400 Jaleesa Mitchell

The first set of Nintendo Switch Nintendo Switch games has been released. Some of us were happy for new titles like Arms and Splatoon 2, while others cringed at the release of classics like Monopoly or RPG Maker Fes.

Either way, we all have games that we can't wait to see on the Switch. Heck, need to see on the Switch.

So, in order from least to most wanted, here are 5 Wii and Wii U Games that Need to be Ported to the Nintendo Switch!

5. Ping Pong

Ping Pong is a game that has been around for as long as I can remember, and for good reason. Ping Pong is a mix of physical work and strategy. It's the game of games (like pool, but less complicated). Ping Pong was popular enough to appear as a mini-game on Wii-Sports Resort. Now, I think it should be on the Nintendo Switch.

You have a confused look on your face now. Don't worry, I'll tell you why. It's simple: Ping Pong is fun, whether playing it in real life or on a console. And, since the Switch allows you to play with up to seven other people, Ping Pong would be a killer addition to the family -- both yours and the Nintendo's.

4. Xenoblade

Xenoblade Chronicles has a well-written story with graphics that are to die for. It tells the story of a character named Shulk (from the Bionis race), who is on a quest to find a sword known as a Monado in order to defeat a rival force of people known as the Mechonis.

If you want to get serious for a second, the game could be a comment on social injustices in general. I mean, if you think about it, there a million and one stories about one region, race, or culture dominating another all throughout history.

I think Xenoblade tries to explore that in a way. Although, I haven't played the game long enough to know for sure. The struggle between the Bionis race and the Mechonis is also fascinating because we live in the Digital Age, and might not be too far from a similar future. The point is, social commentary in video games is always a good reason to port it over to another system.

Other reasons that make this game great for the Switch is that the current version has a relationship-building system called Affinity.

The Switch is marketed as a console meant for creating interactions between people, and since Xenoblade is a multi-player game it makes sense to make a version for the Switch.

3. The Wonderful 101

Everyone loves a superhero, and The Wonderful 101 gives its audience a large selection of them.

The game has an interesting story mode, but it's essentially a classic alien versus humans invasion story where the "Uni-Morphs" fight against a space pirate named Prince Vorkken, and his first mate Chewgi, as well as a group of aliens called Geathjerks.

The protagonists of The Wonderful 101 all have corny names, I mean they're colors for god sakes, but their job descriptions are pretty cool. Will Wedgewood (Wonder-Red) is an elementary school teacher and the leader (why does red always get to lead?), Eliot Hooker -- whose name I'm sure some parent complained about -- is a police detective (he's Wonder-Blue, as if that's not obvious), Jean-Sebastain (Wonder-Green) is a guns expert, Mariana Kretzulesco (Wonder-Pink) is a fashion modeler, Ivan Istochinkov (Wonder-Yellow) is a Russian soldier, Momoe Byakkoin (Wonder-White) is a Samurai... I wonder how that works... and Krishna Ramanujan (Wonder-Black) is a video game player -- they must be the youngest in the group.

Essentially, these characters are the Power Rangers, but with adult jobs -- no offense Tommy.

Luckily, there's only one main villain whose name is Jergingha. He's the "supreme overlord of the GEATHJERK Federation" and "attempts to use Chi-Q to take back the galactic peace from humanity" (The Wonderful 101 Wikia said it, not me).

The original game, made exclusively for the Wii U, has a cooperative mode that supports up to five players. Considering people can connect their Switch's for extra gameplay, The Wonderful 101 is a perfect choice for a port.

2. Bayonetta 2

Bayonetta 2 is a jaw-dropping, hack-n-slash game that takes place on a fictional mountain called Fimbulventr and in the town of Noatun -- both located in the Middle East.

The story is fairly simple to catch onto -- Bayonetta and Enzo are Christmas shopping when angels attack. In the middle of all the chaos, Jeanne, Bayonetta's friend, loses her soul. It is up to Bayonetta to find the Gates of Hell in order to save her.

Bayonetta 2 has a resurgence of characters from Bayonetta, as well as several new members. It also has a two player mode, which makes it a great fit for the Nintendo Switch. Just imagine for a second if you and your friends could team up on this journey while riding in an airplane! And, better yet, what if you could enjoy all that Bayonetta 2 has to offer without having to worry about using extra cables?

Sounds good right? This is why Bayonetta 2 should be ported to the Switch!

1. Injustice: Gods Among Us

With Injustice 2 coming out this month it's no wonder that people would want to see Injustice: Gods Among Us on the Nintendo Switch.

It would serve two purposes. First, if Injustice 2 were released on the Switch, then it would serve as a precursor game for those who decide that the Switch is the console for them. Having both games on the Switch would be a major play for Nintendo, and it would make fans of the game excited. The fan base for Injustice: Gods Among Us is HUGE and people LOVE it! By putting it on the Switch fans will flock to the console faster than you can say Superman.

The second reason to port Injustice: Gods Among Us to the Switch is because of its awesome game play mechanics. Players get an option between story mode (which makes it compelling) and combat mode (which makes it exciting).

In story mode you get to play as one of 45 DC Comic characters in an attempt to either conquer or aide evil Superman in his plans to take over the world. In combat mode, you are able to face off against your friends to see who deserves the title of baddest B**** in town. Both are good for the Switch as it could encourage a modern day version of a LAN party.

How's that for "Switching" it up?

Now You Have It...

These are the five top choices for games that should be ported to the Nintendo Switch (except Ping Pong, that was all me). With the most recent release of this years Nintendo Switch titles, there's no telling what we'll get next year. Let's hope it includes at least the most popular choices!

What games do you want to see ported to the Nintendo Switch?

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What Could Miyazaki Be Working on Now? https://www.gameskinny.com/705a8/what-could-miyazaki-be-working-on-now https://www.gameskinny.com/705a8/what-could-miyazaki-be-working-on-now Thu, 30 Mar 2017 20:33:30 -0400 Marc Hollinshead

Hidetaka Miyazaki, primarily known as the mastermind behind the Souls franchise, is moving on. At least, that’s what people have assumed as the irrefutably brutal series has seemingly come to an end. But for many, the question is what will Miyazaki and his team at From Software work on next?

Before receiving any concrete conformation, there has been speculation of whether Miyazaki will go back to the Armored Core series, originally conceptualized in 1997. And it appears that this pondering has been met with actual confirmation -- straight from the horse’s mouth.

In an interview with IGN at Tokyo Game Show last year, Miyazaki delved further into what life after Dark Souls would be like, alluding to a few titles that are being worked on. One of these is a new Armored Core game. While not going into much detail, Miyazaki simply stated, “Yeah, we’re already working on Armored Core.”

In the same interview, a couple of new IPs were hinted at, but at this stage, Miyazaki was not ready to talk about the ins and outs of these titles:

“So there are several titles that we are currently working on [...] Some of those are dark fantasy, some of those could be a mech [game] - that's one thing. The second thing is that one of the new titles I've been working on will probably comply with the expectations from the fans in straightforward manner.

“The last thing is that another title will probably be a little bit weird. When we actually announce the title, probably fans will react with 'oh, what the hell is this very weird game that Miyazaki has created?’”

What that last game could be is quite literally anyone’s guess. However, what these words definitely confirm is that new content for Dark Souls, or even Bloodborne for that matter, is not in the pipeline. Due to the recent release of “The Ringed City” in Dark Souls III, the Souls series has been a hot topic in the industry this week. So Miyazaki took to Twitter to reaffirm previous statements -- that were then generously translated by user BlackKite.

Thanks to the various Tweets and interviews that have been conducted, Miyazaki’s plan for the future looks to be a busy, yet intriguing one. When series such as the Souls series make such a great impact among gamers, it can be difficult for us as fans to let go. It can also be difficult for developers to completely pull themselves away when moving to a different project.

While Armored Core has already created its own identity through past titles, it is worth speculating whether Miyazaki’s more recent work will influence titles that are to come. With Deck13’s Lords of the Fallen, which was heavily inspired by the Souls series, it wouldn’t be so far-fetched to say that From Software’s next slew of games will still retain some of the charm created through this series.

Hardcore Souls fans are undyingly loyal to the franchise, so many will be eagerly waiting in anticipation for what From Software can come up with next.

What do you think Miyazaki will pull out of the bag first? Sound off in the comments!

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11 Games to Play After the Dark Souls Era is Over https://www.gameskinny.com/thy9k/11-games-to-play-after-the-dark-souls-era-is-over https://www.gameskinny.com/thy9k/11-games-to-play-after-the-dark-souls-era-is-over Tue, 28 Mar 2017 08:00:02 -0400 Sergey_3847

The second and final DLC for Dark Souls III is coming up fast, releasing on March 28. This is the last piece of content for one of the most groundbreaking RPG video games ever created. And it definitely makes all of its fans extremely sad, as it was one of a kind experience.

But don’t get upset too quickly. There are some great games out there that can bring back all the memories, and maybe you will even find something that can fill the void left when The Ringed City credits roll.

Here we present you with eleven Dark Souls-esque titles that are already available for purchase, or will be released sometime this year. You've probably of some of them, but hopefully others will actually be able to surprise you.

Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen

  • Developer: Capcom
  • Release Date: May 22, 2012
  • Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360

Dragon’s Dogma is a much faster and slightly easier game than Dark Souls. However, the enemies have a static level -- and if you come along a boss that isn’t suitable to your level, then you and your assistants will be devastated.

Another distinct feature of Dragon’s Dogma is the ability to climb up on top of giant bosses, which isn’t possible in the Dark Souls games. In general, combat system is the same skill-wise, but stylistically it looks more like a hack-and-slash game. If you enjoy that, then you will love Dragon’s Dogma.

Nioh

  • Developer: Team Ninja
  • Release Date: February 7, 2017
  • Platforms: PS4

This latest RPG title from Team Ninja, the creator of the famous Ninja Gaiden series, is a great game -- and it actually stands on its own, even without all the comparisons to Dark Souls. Many players have stated that boss fights in Nioh are much harder, and at some points almost impossible.

On top of that, Nioh is a much longer venture than any of the Souls games -- clocking in just over a hundred hours of gameplay. If you like long and challenging games, then Nioh should be your number one alternative to Dark Souls.

Memory Of Eldurim

  • Developer: Liminal Games
  • Release Date: February 8, 2014
  • Platforms: PC

This hybrid of Dark Souls and Skyrim is still in Early Access, and has been for almost three years now. And why is that? Because the team behind this ambitious project consists of only three (very talented) men.

The developers are constantly updating the game and communicating with their fans. So the work is going on consistently, although fairly slowly. New items, weapons, and terrains are being added every few months -- so if you want to play something like that, then be sure to check it out on Steam.

Abyss Odyssey

  • Developer: ACE Team
  • Release Date: July 15, 2014
  • Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360

Imagine a Dark Souls game in the setting of Castlevania -- that’s Abyss Odyssey. This game's skill-based combat system is as hard as it gets, and the bosses are merciless. Although primarily a rogue adventure, it also contains some RPG elements, such as item stats and skills.

Another component that makes it a Souls-like game is the vague story-telling, which is a trademark of the Souls series at this point. Here this device is used really well, and creates a well-rounded sense of mystery.

The Surge

  • Developer: Deck13 Interactive
  • Release Date: May 16, 2017
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One

Could you imagine the events of Dark Souls taking place in the future? Well, the same developer that gave us Lords of the Fallen will be releasing that sort of peculiar spin on the Souls games a bit later this year.

This is really something interesting. And if you do get tired of the same setting and weapons, then the new exoskeleton and firearms should reinvigorate your excitement for action RPGs. As the lead designer of the game said:

"People thought of the game as more of a clone, but we didn't think of it that way. We want to add to the genre this time. We want to put [out] something that has never been seen before."

Eitr

  • Developer: Eneme Entertainment
  • Release Date: TBA 2017
  • Platforms: PC, PS4

Eitr is heavily influenced by the Souls and Bloodborne games. Due to the isometric POV it also hints at the Diablo series, but that may be completely coincidental. Everything else from the combat system to leveling up will be something you’ve definitely seen before, so the game will instantly feel familiar.

Even the health potion refilling is executed at the campfires, just like the Estus Flask system in the Souls games. The last and probably a slightly controversial feature of Eitr is the possibility of overleveling your hero. This problem was solved in the later Souls games, but it looks like the creators of Eitr decided it would work well in their own game.

Ashen

  • Developer: Aurora44
  • Release Date: TBA 2017
  • Platforms: PC, Xbox One

Ashen has been in development since 2014, and it should be out by the end of this year. The world of Ashen strongly resembles the setting of the Undead Burg, but is much more open and wide.

The protagonist of Ashen is a lonely adventurer who seeks his way home, and he must fight his way through hordes of monsters to get there. The combat is pretty much the same as in Dark Souls, where stamina plays a huge role and it is easy to get killed.

If there is one new game that looks and plays like the first Dark Souls, then it’s definitely Ashen.

Below

  • Developer: Capybara Games
  • Release Date: TBA 2017
  • Platforms: PC, Xbox One

Since the announcement of Below in 2013, it has been proclaimed as the indie successor to the Souls games. The visual style of the game makes the Wanderer feel really small and unimportant in the vast world around him.

The game doesn’t tell you what to do at any point of the story, but it strongly encourages exploration based on intuition -- which is also a huge part of the Souls series in general. With the scarce amounts of items and weapons, Below will really make people feel the unforgiving touch of despair.

Salt and Sanctuary

  • Developer: Ska Studios
  • Release Date: March 15, 2016
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, PS Vita

This little game is nothing else but Dark Souls in 2D format. Death is a huge part of the game, so don’t get mad when you see the dreaded message on your screen -- just hit the replay button and die once more.

From a certain perspective, Salt and Sanctuary is even harder than the Souls games because it is restricted by two dimensions -- whereas in Dark Souls you could utilize the 3D environment to your benefit. But all in all, it’s just as much fun, and will definitely make you salty.

Shrouded in Sanity

  • Developer: Steve Gal
  • Release Date: May 27, 2016
  • Platforms: PC, PS4

If you can’t afford Salt and Sanctuary, then there is Shrouded in Sanity -- another 2D Dark Souls clone that is really cheap on Steam. Except that most of the action takes place inside a haunted mansion instead of the open world.

Another slight drawback of the game is that it is made specifically for wide screens. So if you are a rare owner of a 4:3 monitor, then the game will look skewed to you. But other than that, it’s full of scares and excellent gameplay.

Titan Souls

  • Developer: Acid Nerve
  • Release Date: April 14, 2015
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, PS Vita

This one is for those who want some insane levels of difficulty. Don’t let the cute graphic design of Titan Souls deceive you, as this is one of the most daring games you will ever play.

You are given only one chance to hit your target. If you don’t manage to hit it right -- you die and everything starts over again. Sounds familiar? Probably...but at least in Dark Souls you had some HP and an Estus Flask.

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In any case, there will be plenty more Dark Souls clones in the future, and we’re pretty sure they’ll even have the chance to trump the original series, but that is the topic for a whole new discussion. Until then, these upcoming and already released games should be enough to get you by. 

Did we miss any games in this list? Got other Souls-like titles that you love to play and think other fans would too? Share in the comments below!

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