Demon's Souls Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Demon's Souls RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network PlayStation 5: The Future of Gaming Recap: Every Game Reveal https://www.gameskinny.com/uk1po/playstation-5-the-future-of-gaming-recap-every-game-reveal https://www.gameskinny.com/uk1po/playstation-5-the-future-of-gaming-recap-every-game-reveal Thu, 11 Jun 2020 18:26:49 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Today's PlayStation 5 The Future of Gaming showcase gave us a look at a full hour's worth of new PlayStation 5 games. From bold new departures to epic (and gorgeous) adventures, we've rounded up the biggest reveals below.

Highlights include Resident Evil 8, Horizon Zero Dawn 2, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, a Demon's Souls remake, Hitman 3, and tons of awesome-looking indies.

We've collected every trailer from the showcase below. Let's get started.

To see what the PlayStation 5 itself looks like, head over here. Sony revealed two PS5 models, as well as a number of peripherals, at the end of the showcase. 

Resident Evil 8 (Resident Evil Village)

Those Resident Evil 8 rumors, about how it's a big departure for the series, were right. It's first-person horror with a dash of Brothers Grimm, as a local tale comes to life — and brings hell to Earth. 

According to Capcom, the game is "set a few years after" Resident Evil 7 and features Ethan Winter as the protagonist yet again. Oh, Chris Redfield plays a significant role, as the rumors said he would.

"Witches, werewolves, and insanity" sound bizarre for the series written out on their own, but it looks like a promising entry in the franchise following Resident Evil 7. It's scheduled for a 2021 release for PS5, Xbox Series X, and PC. 

Horizon Zero Dawn 2/Horizon: Forbidden West

If that wasn't enough, how about Horizon Zero Dawn 2? Only it's officially called Horizon: Forbidden West.

Aloy journeys to uncover the secrets of the Old Ones and why they vanished from the planet, lest the same destruction revisit the world and destroy it forever. And it looks as fantastic as you'd expect, full of vibrant color, creatures, and environments for Aloy's next colossal adventure in a post-apocalyptic version of the U.S.

Sadly, there's no release timeframe yet, but Guerilla said we can expect more news soon.

Spider-Man: Miles Morales

While it seems some of the games shown off may release after the PS5 launches, Spider-Man: Miles Morales is set for a Holiday 2020 release, presumably alongside the PlayStation 5. We didn't get to see too much of the game in action, but it looks like Miles' adventure is gonna be a doozy.

What is evident is that the excellent combat and traversal systems from 2018's Spider-Man will make a return.  

Demon's Souls Remake

Nearing the end of the presentation, Sony revealed footage of the highly-anticipated (and previously unconfirmed) Demon's Souls remake. Yes, that's right. Those Demon's Souls remake rumors were true. And it looks abso-freaking-lutely incredible. To say fans have been waiting a long time for this one is an understatement.

No release date was provided, but we know it will be a remake built from the ground up. 

Gran Turismo 7

As expected, Sony and Polyphony also showed off the next Gran Turismo game, Gran Turismo 7. Apart from looking gorgeous and on-brand for the storied racing sim, Gran Turismo 7 sounds more realistic than ever, and we can't wait to see how the DualSense and the PS5's other features shape the experience. 

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

It turns out the new Ratchet and Clank rumors were true as well. In Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, the dimensions are collapsing, and Ratchet and Clank are being chased through a number of incredible-looking worlds — futuristic, Jurassic, and pirate just to name a few, all presented without a single loading screen.

And Ratchet himself gets lost somewhere in the process, leaving room for a brand-new female Lombax to take center stage. There's a new partner in town for Clank, and Insomniac is promising loads of new gear and worlds built from the ground up specifically for the PlayStation 5.

Surprisingly, there was no Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart release date, though that's likely because this was pre-alpha footage.

Project Athia

Next up was a new game from Square Enix and Luminous Productions: Project Athia. There's wolves, dragons, all manner of fantastical beasts, and the sort of realized environments we should probably start getting used to. For anything else Project Athia, though, we'll just have to wait and see.

Stray

Annapurna Interactive debuted footage from Stray. Set in a dystopian world where robots scavenge the streets for survival and cats act as delivery critters, Stray looks like a unique take on the cyberpunk genre — because you're the cat. We'll be keeping an eye on Stray as we learn more ahead of its 2021 launch.

Returnal

Returnal is a brand-new IP for Sony Worldwide Studios from Housemarque. It follows an astronaut who can't escape an endless cycle of exploration, entrapment, and death. Somehow, the world she explores with every cycle of rebirth becomes a part of her — at the cost of her sanity. So she keeps fighting and tries to uncover the truth in the possibly vain hope of escaping this cycle.

It's a departure from the studio that's cut its teeth on games like Resogun, Nex Machina, and Matterfall

Sackboy: A Big Adventure

Sumo Digital debuted their latest title: Sackboy: A Big Adventure. Think Little BigPlanet, where all the best possible level designs got crammed into a 3D platformer that's bursting at the seams with charm. Sackboy's journey takes him through all kinds of varied locales, from a desert oasis to the high seas, all with the series' signature charm and style.

Destruction Allstars

Destruction Allstars is basically what happens when you inject (more) steroids into a monster truck rally and a wrestling match, then throw them in a cage and give them weapons. It's bright, loud, and chaotic. It's Twisted Metal with a Rocket League skin, and it currently has no release date.

Kena Bridge of Spirits

Ember Lab presented Kena: Bridge of Spirits, a charming-looking adventure about a young girl (Kena, presumably) learning to harness the power of the world around her. Her goal is aiding troubled spirits who come to her for help, but she's not alone. She's accompanied by a veritable army of adorably fuzzy creatures who carry items for her and generally act as support.

Goodbye Volcano High

After that was Goodbye Volcano High from Ko-Op, an introspective look at one character's insecurities and doubts about stepping out and trying to find their destiny. That's about all we know right now, other than it has a 2021 release window.

Oddworld: Soulstorm

Remember Oddworld Soulstorm? Well, we finally learned more about Oddworld Inhabitants' new project.

Abe escaped his own terrible fate in New N' Tastey, but now he's got the future of his entire species resting on his shoulders — so, no big deal really. Except that failure is, according to creator Lorne Lanning, supposed to be devastating and hilarious at the same time.

The game will be exclusive to the PS4 and PS5. It will also launch on PC through the Epic Games Store. 

Ghostwire Tokyo

The next PS5 game shown off was Ghostwire Tokyo, an enigmatic game about a Tokyo that's gone very wrong indeed. You have special abilities that allow you to hear and sense things others can't, and you have to fight to free Tokyo from the grip of an unknown menace. Ghostwire Tokyo launches in 2021 for PS5 and PC.

Jett: The Far Shore

Superbrothers' Jett: The Far Shore is all about creating a new world where people can hope and dream, a world built on the rubble of failure and despair. We only got to see a cinematic trailer, but Jett: The Far Shore launches Holiday 2020, so we'll probably learn more soon.

Godfall

It's only fitting the first-known PS5 game, Godfall from Gearbox, made an appearance too. It's definitely a huge step ahead of that "leaked" footage from last year. You'll fight fearsome foes, gather godlike weapons, and strive to grow even stronger this holiday season when Godfall launches.

Solar Ash

Annapurna Interactive debuted another PS5 game, and it couldn't be more of a departure from Stray. In Solar Ash, you play as an abstract-looking being navigating a lush and equally abstract world called the Ultravoid, "an unstoppable rift of despair ripping through space."

We'll be keeping an eye on Solar Ash leading up to its 2021 launch date.

Hitman 3

Next up was a new Hitman game, Hitman 3. The dev team calls it the dramatic conclusion to the trilogy and Agent 47's most intimate and difficult case yet. The setting this time is Dubai, but other than a moody trailer, the only thing we know about Hitman 3 is its launch date: January 2021. 

Astro's Playroom

In a complete 180 from Hitman 3, we got a short look at Astro's Playroom next. It's a rollicking romp with every kind of platforming challenge and environment imaginable. It currently has no anticipated release date.

Little Devil Inside

Combine Monster Hunter with Tim Burton, and you'll get Little Devil Inside. You'll travel the world, hunting a number of fantastical beasts and trying to survive, all while a parallel storyline takes place in a grim-looking village somewhere else.

NBA 2K 21

While we did get a super short look at NBA 2K21, we can't really say much about it because A.) it's still in its pre-alpha phase, which means B.) there isn't much to show. What we did see looks impressive, though, especially for alpha footage. Expect NBA 2K 21 in Fall 2021.

Bugsnax

Then there was the Bugsnax, a quirky adventure where you take on the characteristics of the bug snacks you eat. It's another 3D platformer adventure game that also looks like it takes excellent advantage of the PS5's engine. And Bugsnax is likely a PS5 launch title because it'll release Holiday 2020.

Deathloop

Deathloop from Bethesda Softworks is a stealth-driven shooter, but not like you'd expect. You've got the power to rewind time, and everyone's out to get you. Literally. The island's main sport is hunting down the protagonist, Colt, who's stuck on a loop as they try to take out eight targets to break free.

The only trouble is, Colt has a rival on the island of Black Reef. Her name's Julianna, and she's determined to keep him in the loop forever. It's set to launch sometime in Holiday 2020.  

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And that was PlayStation 5's The Future of Gaming presentation. Sony's Jim Ryan said there's even more to share as we approach the PlayStation 5 launch date this holiday season, so stay tuned to GameSkinny for more PS5 news as it develops.

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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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Why I'd Love to See a Demon's Souls Remaster https://www.gameskinny.com/5jxbo/why-id-love-to-see-a-demons-souls-remaster https://www.gameskinny.com/5jxbo/why-id-love-to-see-a-demons-souls-remaster Thu, 31 May 2018 12:52:29 -0400 Pleeb Boy

Now that Dark Souls: Remastered has dropped, it's really got people thinking about the Souls series again, myself included. I've long yearned for Demon's Souls, the first title in the series, to get a shiny, new coat ever since the PlayStation 4 was announced. Originally, I thought it would be a good idea to have Demon's Souls come out on the PS4 before Dark Souls; however, now that interest in the series has been rekindled, it's the perfect time for the lesser-known title to rear its head. Before we get into that, let's look at a little bit of the history behind Demon's Souls and how it came to be. 

Originally, Demon's Souls started out as a successor to King's Field; however, the project was failing, and ideas began to stagnate. Then Hidetaka Miyazaki came to direct the project, having previously worked on the Armored Core series. Miyazaki wanted the project to have the feel of older games and force players to figure out information for themselves rather than just being able to look it up.

The game wasn't necessarily intended to be difficult but did turn out that way due to its own design philosophy. Preferring visual storytelling, FromSoftware made every environment detailed and told most of the story through locations and item descriptions rather than huge amounts of exposition. The game only released in Asia at first, in February 2009, with the idea that a Western release was too risky, as the game was so different from popular games at the time. After this, it gained traction on the internet and was published in North America by Atlus USA in October 2009 and eventually by Bandai Namco in June 2010.  

Now let's discuss what would be some nice additions to Demon's Souls should it be remastered for PlayStation 4. The reason it is very unlikely to come out on any other platform is because Sony holds the rights to the game and very rarely sells their assets. Whilst it's a sad reality that we probably won't see the gothic fantasy title release on any other platforms, we may get the game on PS4 as it would mean every Souls title would be available on the console.

Demon's Souls came out in 2009, meaning the graphics and visuals are pretty dated. The art design and world still look stunning to this day, but they would look even better with a complete graphics overhaul. Dark Souls Remastered got the 60fps-and-higher resolution treatment but would have looked even better with the addition of dynamic lighting and cloth physics, as well as all the other things that would come with a complete reworking of the game's graphics.

If whoever remastered the game chose to do this, it would be great accompanied by an updated character creator. Later games in the series have a detailed character creator that could easily be implemented into Demon's Souls. With new graphics, it would be a shame not to be able to show off a character with giant green lips and an electric blue ponytail.

Lastly, it would be great to play on dedicated servers with a password system. They could even make the password system more immersive by adding it as an in-game item, like the King Rings in Dark Souls II. With the servers having been shut down for the game on PS3 earlier this year, it would be awesome to be able to play it with people once again.  

So, what do you think? I think this is the perfect time for the earliest game in the franchise to be re-explored. With new people being brought to Dark Souls: Remastered, I'm sure some of them are itching to play Demon's Souls now more than ever.

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5 Extremely Difficult Modern Games for Masochists https://www.gameskinny.com/psa6x/5-extremely-difficult-modern-games-for-masochists https://www.gameskinny.com/psa6x/5-extremely-difficult-modern-games-for-masochists Fri, 25 May 2018 12:16:53 -0400 Edgar Wulf

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That's all, you can take a respite now. Have you played any of the games mentioned, or even managed to beat them? Perhaps you know of an immensely difficult game that deserves a place on this list? Let us know in the comments below.

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And if you enjoyed this list, check out other great compilations on GameSkinny:

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Cuphead

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Cuphead is a brutally tough 2D run-and-gun game with beautiful hand-drawn animation in the vein of old-school Disney cartoons. You play as Cuphead, who is indebted to the devil himself and must battle through a series of challenging bosses to repay his debt. The game follows segments of straightforward run-and-gun, as well as bullet hell-style stages where the screen is populated with a large amount of various projectiles that you have to dodge. All of it leads to the game's main attraction -- boss battles -- which are highly diverse, each requiring a different approach and strategy. Unlike the other games on this list, Cuphead allows for couch co-op, so give your best buddy a controller, let them take charge of Cuphead's brother Mugman, and as a duo, indulge in the pleasantly painful world of this charming title.

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Hotline Miami

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Hotline Miami is a top-down twin-stick shooter heavily inspired by 80's culture. You play as a nameless protagonist who is known among the community simply as Jacket, because he's wearing one. Jacket receives calls from an unknown source urging him to commit murderous raids on mobster hideouts around the city. His goal is to kill every single one on any given level with numerous weapons at his disposal, ranging from axes and swords to assault rifles and shotguns; most enemies die from a single attack, but so does Jacket. Hotline Miami is about dying, a lot, learning enemy layout, and attempting a level again -- and again, and again. Thankfully, the gameplay is kept engaging by fast-paced action, an amazing synthwave soundtrack, and a variety of animal masks that grant beneficial properties at the start of a level.

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Demon's Souls

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When presented with the question of the most difficult modern game, most would probably answer Dark Souls; however, it all began with Demon's Souls, which is, arguably, still the most difficult entry in the Souls franchise. Much like later titles, it revolves around creating a hero based on one of the available classes and traveling through the crumbling lands of Boletaria, populated by threatening foes, including a diverse range of bosses, most of which can kill you in a few hits. Only a small number of games can provide a feeling as rewarding as defeating a boss the size of a building after countless unsuccessful attempts, as well as seeing the infamous "You Defeated" appear on screen. For that reason, Demon's Souls still stands as a prime modern example of a brutally difficult yet immensely satisfying game.

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Darkest Dungeon

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Darkest Dungeon provides a different kind of difficulty; it doesn't test your reflexes or ability to nimbly traverse fast-paced levels. It's a dungeon crawler that presents you with the arduous task of managing a diverse group of heroes and guiding them through many dreary dungeons. There, heroes can die not only in battle against terrifying beasts, but also from starvation, deadly traps, or a heart attack due to accumulated stress. Despite the combat being turn-based, any one mistake can mean the difference between success and failure. It is therefore up to the player to micro-manage the roster available to them, making sure they are fed, well-rested, equipped accordingly, and mentally prepared. Alas, some deaths can't be avoided, and each hero should be treated as expendable, promptly replaced by new ones recruited in town.

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Super Meat Boy

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You're Meat Boy -- literally, a piece of meat -- and your goal is to rescue Bandage Girl from the evil Dr. Fetus. Super Meat Boy, made by the awesome Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes, is a punishingly difficult 2D platformer in which you must guide Meat Boy through increasingly elaborate levels littered with rotating sawblades, spikes, and other deadly hazards. Clearing all worlds, seven in total, is a serious feat in and of itself, and at the end of each, you are challenged by a powerful boss. Should you feel like testing the limits of your sanity, you can attempt an even more difficult Dark World, which is unlocked after completing a world's regular version. Super Meat Boy's demanding difficulty is easily justified by colorful visuals and impeccable controls, so you can always be certain that, if you died 200 times on one level, each misstep was your own fault.

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Most games nowadays make you feel comfortable; they tend to overwhelm you with tutorials and hold your hand throughout the first few hours. Without a doubt, more complex video games can definitely benefit from an in-depth explanation, but is it really necessary to teach a player how to move, look up, or open a door? Some games, like Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard, even make fun of such basic tutorials.

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Then there are games on the opposite end of the spectrum, games that challenge your skills, smarts, and reflexes, forcing you to earn the satisfying sensation of success by learning everything from first-hand experience. They're not always fair -- in fact, in most instances, they're the opposite -- but that's the whole appeal.

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It is thanks to these games that the term "Nintendo Hard" exists, but it is often used to describe the difficulty of older titles, like Battletoads or Contra. Modern games, for better or for worse, are rarely so challenging. There is, however, a less notorious term for defining the difficulty of more recent games, and that is "Masocore," a portmonteau of "masochist" and "hardcore," both of which perfectly characterize the games on this list. These games are either extremely challenging by default or don't have an adjustable difficulty setting at all.

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If you are tired of simple, straightforward games and crave a true challenge, then click over to the next page to view the first out of 5 extremely difficult modern games, in no particular order.

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Why Sony Doesn't Care About a Demon Souls Remaster https://www.gameskinny.com/1bidl/why-sony-doesnt-care-about-a-demon-souls-remaster https://www.gameskinny.com/1bidl/why-sony-doesnt-care-about-a-demon-souls-remaster Sun, 25 Feb 2018 15:19:13 -0500 Sjaak den Heijer

In 2009, Demon’s Souls got released as a PlayStation 3 exclusive. It was an RPG with revolutionary combat and a painfully punishing nature that blew people away all over the world. 9 years later, we’re getting a Dark Souls remaster so all Dark Souls games will be available on current-gen platforms, but Demon’s Souls is getting left behind. Why is it that Sony doesn’t want to take our money when people are so hungry for a Demon’s Souls remaster?

After the server shutdown of Demon’s Souls, people were speculating that a remaster was coming, but it has been a while now, and nothing happened since. With Dark Souls remastered on the way, nothing else will happen. Even though the Souls community would love a Demon’s Souls remaster, it simply won’t happen.

What happened to Demon's Souls?

To answer the question of why we still don’t have a Demon’s Souls remaster, you have to understand a bit about how the original Demon’s Souls was released. Demon’s Souls got developed by Fromsoftware, the studio behind all the Souls games. At the time they, teamed up with Sony for their project; however, when the release date was near, the game was still barely playable, and Sony didn’t want to publish the game outside of Japan due to its many problems and punishing gameplay. Because of this, Demon’s Souls eventually got published by Atlus in the US and by Bandai Namco in Europe. A mistake Sony still regrets to this day.

Why does this all matter? 

The problem lies in the fact that Sony still owns the IP of Demon’s Souls, leaving Sony as the only company who can make the remaster. Head of Fromsoftware Hidetaka Miyazaki has also stated that a Demon’s Souls remaster is completely up to Sony and that they probably won’t be involved if a remaster somehow does happen.

About Sony

The real answer to why Sony won’t make the Demon’s Souls remaster is because they want to focus on their other IPs. Sony stated in multiple interviews that they never sell their IPs but instead want to grow them. This means they won’t sell Demon's Souls to another company to do the remaster, but they also won’t do it themselves because there are other projects they want to focus on that can bring up a lot more money. It’s sad to say, but Sony simply isn’t interested in a Demon’s Souls remaster because it most likely won’t bring them enough money.

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It’s sad that we won’t get a remaster of one of the most iconic RPGs, but that, unfortunately, is something we have to deal with. If you really want to play Demon’s Souls, it’s still available on PS3 and is still a great experience, even without the online services.

Let us know in the comments what your opinion on the situation is. And don’t forget to stay tuned to Gameskinny for more gaming related content.

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Five Souls Bosses "The Ringed City" Needs to Beat https://www.gameskinny.com/63w21/five-souls-bosses-the-ringed-city-needs-to-beat https://www.gameskinny.com/63w21/five-souls-bosses-the-ringed-city-needs-to-beat Mon, 27 Mar 2017 12:00:01 -0400 Marc Hollinshead

The Souls series is almost at an end. Since 2009 many of us have been subjected to death, death, and more death -- before embracing victory over the games’ gruelling bosses.

The second and final DLC of Dark Souls III is almost upon us, and after that, these landmark titles will be put to rest. With that in mind, “The Ringed City” needs to deliver something remarkable to end the series on a high. Most importantly, the bosses need to be fantastically brutal battles that will bring all of our skills (and patience) to their breaking point. To remind ourselves of what’s so great about this aspect of the series, we are going to take a look at a boss in Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls, Dark Souls II, Dark Souls III and Bloodborne that have us gripping the controller for dear life.

Old King Allant

Old King Allant, Demon's Souls

The often-forgotten predecessor of Dark Souls and Bloodborne harbours a final fight that requires precision timing and avoidance of an extremely deadly attack. The false king himself, a diabolical demon in disguise, will spare no expense in slicing you to pieces with his razor-sharp sword. His astute yet oddly creepy stance will keep anyone on edge, but the main reason to watch out for this one is because of an attack that has never been seen again in a Souls title.

If you’re unlucky enough, Allant will impale you and literally suck out your soul level, physically diminishing you of your strength. It’s a dastardly punishment for players but what it does is make this boss stand out as one of the first of the series to really hammer in the nature of the entire series.

Dragonslayer Ornstein and Executioner Smough

Dragonslayer Ornstein, Executioner Smough, Dark Souls

The gruesome twosome, the deadly duo, fatty and beanpole; whatever you want to name these characters, they will always remain as one of the most iconic and toughest bosses in Souls history. The knights of Gwyn and guardians of Gwynevere perfectly complement each other, requiring you be agile and fast against Ornstein, but extremely hardy and defensive against Smough.

If fighting against the two isn’t tricky enough, vanquishing an empowered Ornstein or Smough, due to the death of the other, is no easy task. Each of them will combine their own powers with that of their fallen comrade and become an entirely new boss all on their own, which makes for a test of endurance amongst much else. Once you enter the city of Anor Londo, be ready for lightning bolts, hammers to the face and merciless butt slams.

Fume Knight

Fume Knight, Dark Souls II, Dark Souls 2, Raime

The release of Dark Souls II saw a lot of criticism from fans, as it apparently didn’t possess the charm of the previous game. However, with the release of the DLC, players got their wish. The Fume Knight, also known as Raime, is a formidable foe. Wielding a longsword in one hand and humongous greatsword in the other, he will demand precise timing in order to even land a hit. If you unfortunately manage to be on the receiving end of any of these swords, you will seriously pay the price.

What the Fume Knight does more so than many other bosses in the series is force you learn the patterns of his attacks inside and out. Only after the quadrillionth attempt was I able to destroy him, but because of the never-ending deaths, the satisfaction gained from finally seeing him fall to his knees was something that will never be forgotten.

Ludwig the Accursed/Ludwig the Holy Blade

This monstrosity appears as a repulsive beast in his first phase, and he has the strength to match. His aggression persists throughout this part of the fight and as you struggle for a second of respite, he will scream and squeal at you as he bashes his deformed body into your face.

This intricately designed yet hideously vile form doesn’t last, though, as the second phase brings forth Ludwig’s true nature. With his Moonlight Greatsword in hand, Ludwig the Holy Blade grasps onto the tiny fragments of humanity he has left to destroy you. The glorious beams of light that radiate from the sword can sometimes feel impossible to dodge, but the game brilliantly causes the entire fight to be a dance between hunter and beast, as you whittle down the health of this tough yet undeniably enjoyable boss.

Nameless King

Nameless King, Dark Souls 3, Dark Souls III

The final game of the series didn’t shy away from memorable bosses either, far from it. The Nameless King, although optional, is a boss that every player of Dark Souls III will want to experience. Flying in on a giant storm drake, the odds immediately look bleak, but with perseverance the drake will fall and an even tougher fight will begin.

Fighting the Nameless King one-on-one is easily one of the most difficult challenges that Dark Souls III presents, but nonetheless it is hard to deny how fantastic the battle is. Rolling through his swipes, lunges and strikes looks brilliant but mastering this won’t come quickly. Due to his surprisingly large health pool, the Nameless King will require plenty of concentration before finally accepting defeat and bequeathing his soul to you.

As a fan of the series, how did you fare against each of these bosses? Are there any others that particularly stand out to you? Let’s hope “The Ringed City” will end this legendary franchise on a high and have us fighting some awe-inspiring bosses.

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There's No Way Nioh Isn't Going to Get a Sequel, Right? https://www.gameskinny.com/snabk/theres-no-way-nioh-isnt-going-to-get-a-sequel-right https://www.gameskinny.com/snabk/theres-no-way-nioh-isnt-going-to-get-a-sequel-right Fri, 03 Mar 2017 08:00:01 -0500 Michael Llewellyn

Nioh has seen great success, both critically and commercially, since its release a little less than a month ago -- having already sold over a million copies. This game takes a lot of inspiration from other titles in the genre, but it adds enough of its own identity to stand just as tall as franchises like the Souls/Bloodborne series.

It seems like with all the hype surrounding the game and the glowing reviews that have come out since its launch, Nioh has secured enough interest to warrant a sequel. Team Ninja hasn't confirmed anything of the sort yet, but it's hard to deny that the game could easily spark a long-running franchise to fill the Souls void. 

But will it actually happen? Let's speculate!

A Brief History of Nioh

There was a time when Team Ninja was the gold standard for all other developers in the action/adventure genre, thanks to its Ninja Gaiden series. The games had their own trademark style and identity combined with a beautifully fluid -- yet punishingly deep -- combat system. Much like Nioh does now.

From 2005 onwards, there was a sudden uptick in the popularity of action/adventure titles like the God Of War series, Heavenly Sword, and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. However, these games were far easier and more accessible to regular players than Team Ninja's Ninja Gaiden. And that pushed the developers to try and widen the franchise's appeal in the mainstream and align it more with Westernized titles -- which of course went against its own distinct style.

As a result, Ninja Gaiden 3 and Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z were a great disappointment to fans and critics alike. Nioh's creative director Tom Lee even admitted that the change in direction and focus caused the team to feel as if they'd lost their way.

Then sudden rise in popularity of exceptionally difficult games, like the Souls series, offered Team Ninja a chance to reclaim what made their games so distinctive. And TN's new project Nioh was the perfect way to get the team back on track.

Nioh started its development cycle as a film project known as Oni, and was set to be made by the legendary Seven Samurai director Akira Kurosawa. Then in 2005, Koei Tecmo co-founder Kou Sibusawa announced the adaptation of the script as an RPG.

The game saw many different forms over development, and at one time was in the style of Koei's own Warriors series. But it wasn't until Team Ninja was brought to work on the game's combat in 2010 -- and eventually took over full developmental responsibilities in 2012 -- that they truly put their own stamp on it.

Dropping The Ball

As a result of Team Ninja's involvement, Nioh has become one of the contenders for 2017's 'game of the year' in what is already becoming a landmark year for gaming greatness. It's worth mentioning, though, that the game's commercial success and widespread attention was no doubt helped by Sony's involvement in publishing the game as a first-party exclusive in the West.

Many may remember back in 2009 when Sony refused to publish From Software's Demon's Souls in the West, assuming that it didn't have Western appeal and that it wasn't very good. Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida admitted in an interview with Gameinformer in his own words:

"This is crap. This is an unbelievably bad game. So I put it aside.

Luckily third party publishers, Atlus in North America and Namco in Europe, [saw its potential] and it really became a great hit outside of Japan.

We definitely dropped the ball from a publishing standpoint, including the studio management side. We were not able to see the value of the product we were making."

Demon's Souls eventually went on to be a critical success, and a cult hit which was spiritually succeeded by the more commercially successful Dark Souls series and Bloodborne (another Sony exclusive).

Learning From The Past

Learning from his own admitted mistakes, one could safely assume that Shuhei Yoshida must have noticed that Nioh would not only appeal to fans of the Souls series, but also potentially fill a gap left open by From Software since the revelation that they would be moving away from the Souls series.

As if determined not to let history repeat itself, Yoshida went as far as announcing Nioh as his most anticipated game of 2017. He even made the game one of the technical showpieces of Sony's new hardware -- the PlayStation 4 Pro.

Capitalizing On The Future 

Thankfully for Sony, Koei Tecmo, and Team Ninja, the promotion and hard work on Nioh paid off, and the game has gone on to sell very well. There was no sacrifice of difficulty, and definitely no pandering to a Western audience. And instead of being known as a straight up Souls clone, it added as much to the genre as it borrowed, while maintaining a distinctive personality of its own.

With this success in mind, it would be safe to assume that Koei Tecmo -- being a publisher renowned for releasing sequels -- would want to capitalize on the games success for the future. And Sony probably will too. 

In an interview with Destructoid, Nioh's director Fumihiko Yasuda seemed very open to the possibilities of a sequel sometime down the line, stating:

"With the same concept of samurai action, time and protagonists in future titles may change, but we will remain steadfast in creating solid action games for a worldwide audience."

So it seems very plausible that there could be a sequel to this Samurai action RPG in the future, but with a different protagonist and time period. The game's mystical and supernatural themes -- plus its focus on authentic Japanese time periods and historical figures -- could expand the story even further in a similar way to the Assassins Creed series. For now and the near future though, the developers are focusing on expanding this game with DLC and updates.

Would you like to see a sequel or successor to Nioh? What do you think it would look like? Let me know in the comments below!

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A Man Can Dream: 5 Games Perfect for the Nintendo Switch https://www.gameskinny.com/r4bug/a-man-can-dream-5-games-perfect-for-the-nintendo-switch https://www.gameskinny.com/r4bug/a-man-can-dream-5-games-perfect-for-the-nintendo-switch Thu, 19 Jan 2017 07:00:01 -0500 Eric Adams

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So there you have it, my 5 games that will probably never come to the Switch. Would they be great on the system? Absolutely, but that doesn’t change the fact that I don’t make the decisions around here so bully. Sure, some have a better chance than others but you should take all of these as a dream scenario rather than a realistic one.

\n

The Nintendo Switch will launch on March 3rd, 2017. What games would you like to see come to the latest console by Nintendo? Let me 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/d/b/d/dbd-2c30d.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/d/b/d/dbd-2c30d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"147862","description":"

Dead By Daylight

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Chances of getting Switched: 5 percent
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Here we have the ultimate reach. I don’t think Dead By Daylight has a chance to come to PS4 and Xbox One, much less the Nintendo Switch, but the title of the article is A MAN CAN DREAM! Dead By Daylight is literally the game that was made for the Switch. Think about it, local multiplayer allows for up to 8 people to connect online. If that isn’t what Dead By Daylight was made for then I’m at a loss for words.

\n

Imagine you and some friends hanging out in a dark room playing Dead By Daylight on your own Switch. While the killer of the group is certainly having fun, the others can all freak out together so it’s great! I know it isn’t likely at all, but this game would be endlessly fun on the Switch.

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Edit: Dead By Daylight will be hitting PS4 and Xbox One in 2017...SO THINGS CAN HAPPEN PEOPLE!

"},{"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/f/a/l/fallout-e70ee.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/f/a/l/fallout-e70ee.jpg","type":"slide","id":"147861","description":"

Fallout

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Chances of getting Switched: 50 percent
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I will be supporting Skyrim for the Switch by purchasing the game. I want Skyrim to do well for one reason, show Bethesda that your titles will sell well on the Switch. I am glad that the Switch has a game as big as Skyrim even if it is a port of a 5-year-old game. It’s still a big deal and Nintendo should treat it as such.

\n

The Fallout series is incredibly popular and, like the Dark Souls series, would be perfect on the go. If Bethesda sees potential gain and profits from Skyrim selling well on the console, then they will return to do business with Nintendo. If Skyrim does well, then Fallout on the Switch will be a possibility.

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Dark Souls 3 (or any Souls game for that matter)

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Chances of getting Switched: 25 percent
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It has been confirmed that Nintendo has a large list of developers helping them create content for the Switch. Among that list is From Software, the company responsible for the Dark Souls series of games. When the list of developers was revealed, all players of the Dark Souls Franchise revealed at the possible thought of Dark Souls on the go.

\n

Now, it’s important to note that developer support for the WiiU faded once the system launched and some may be cautious about that happening to the Switch. The Nintendo Switch will go over way better with the public than the WiiU did, but enough to merit a Dark Souls port? I don’t think so. Would love to see it happening but don’t get your hopes up.

"},{"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/f/f/x/ffxv-dabe2.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/f/f/x/ffxv-dabe2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"147857","description":"

Final Fantasy XV

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Chances of getting Switched: 30 percent
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Other than Final Fantasy XV director Hajime Tabata saying that he would like to make games for the Switch, there’s not much to go on here. There were some rumors for a remaster of a past game for the system, but we’ll believe it when we see it. There are also plenty of other Square Enix games slated for release for Switch this coming year, so it's not like the two companies are unfamiliar with one another. Reading what the director of the game had to say, it certainly seems as if it can be done then it will be done.

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However, Final Fantasy XV is a very demanding game in terms of graphics and it remains to be seen if the Switch can handle such a game. If Skyrim is coming, then a game like this surely seems possible. Right?

"},{"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/r/o/c/rocket-league-boom-c571f.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/r/o/c/rocket-league-boom-c571f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"147854","description":"

Rocket League

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Chances of getting Switched: 50 percent
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Let’s start with THE perfect game for the Switch. Rocket league has been a major hit ever since it launched in the July of 2015. It has only grown bigger and bigger over time, and developer Psyonix has really created one of the best sports games ever with one of the quirkiest of ideas. So, since Rocket League spans across Xbox One, PS4, and PC, is there a chance it comes to Nintendo’s latest console?

\n

Since Rocket League is on 3 platforms, the hope is that it can come to a 4th. However, Nintendo needs to show it can handle online multiplayer with more stability than it has in the past. Fans of Nintendo don’t want a watered down Rocket League, they want the real thing. If it is at all possible and Nintendo creates a stable online service with the ability to play games such as Rocket League, then it will happen.

"},{"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/s/w/i/switch-system-b2584.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/s/w/i/switch-system-b2584.jpg","type":"slide","id":"147853","description":"

Nintendo, having recently unveiled the Nintendo Switch launch details, has started to fill out the slate of games that will release in the first year. There are plenty of big games coming such as Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild at launch, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Edition in April, Splatoon 2 coming this summer and Super Mario Odyssey coming during the holiday season.

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However excited people may be, they will always look at the games list and think about that one game that they would love to see come to the Switch. While most of the games people are hoping for are extremely unlikely, some have a much better chance than others.

"}]]]>
The 10 Games That Made the PlayStation 3's 10 Years Special https://www.gameskinny.com/zn43y/the-10-games-that-made-the-playstation-3s-10-years-special https://www.gameskinny.com/zn43y/the-10-games-that-made-the-playstation-3s-10-years-special Fri, 18 Nov 2016 03:38:18 -0500 Jeffrey Rousseau

So the PlayStation 3 turned 10 today! That's quite the milestone for a gaming console. Through its lifespan the world was given many fun games. With so many titles that graced the console, I have to share my top 10 must play titles. The games mentioned will be solely exclusives or console exclusives on the PlayStation 3.

 

10. Sound Shapes

To begin our list we start with Sound Shapes. The title was conceptualized by developer Queasy Games. It was created with the idea of allowing anyone to create their own song and platforming level. As you play, create, and compose you realize all those concepts are similar to one another. Yes, you could play through the preset stages. But it's more fun to take your favorite songs and create a stage out of them.

 

9. Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm

The title began as an exclusive that launched a number of sequels. The reason why the first game is special is simple: it broke the stigma that games based on anime franchises can't be done right, at the time games based on anime series were forgettable at best. Developed by Cyber Connect  2, the game was beautiful and well designed. It was created for fans and newcomers alike and it still holds up to this day.

 

8. Little Big Planet

Developed by Media Molecule, the game was created with a simple premise; you create it, you play it. Little Big Planet allowed players to create nearly anything they can imagine. It got to a point where countless hours were spent to make a stage reflecting even everyday life. Have you ever seen a stage inspired by chemistry class before?

 

7. Pixel Junk Eden

Developed by Q-Games, Pixel Eden is an unorthodox platformer. Players take control of a plant-like creature hoping to complete gardens. Stages take place once you're in an area in need of growth. Players go forth to collect seeds through flora and fauna on a 2D plane. The game featured hardly any dialogue or instructions; instead players find themselves in the company of bright visuals and soothing music from artist Baiyon.

 

6. Infamous

Created by Sucker Punch games, it was released at a time where a "good superhero" game was rare. The story told of a bike courier-turned-human lightning hero Cole MacGrath. You could explore, fight, and defend a living city as their hero. The moves you could learn and stunts you could pull were awesome and empowering. The game also featured a morality system, and players could interact with NPCs while loved or feared for different outcomes.

 

5. Dragon's Crown

From the studio behind Muramasa: the Demon Blade, came their biggest title to date. Dragon's Crown  is the best PS3 co-op title of all in my opinion. With a medieval fantasy setting players could play as their favorite archetype. The game was heavily loot based and an RPG through and through. You could summon help and play cooperatively online. Beating a big dragon is exciting, sure; but nothing beats beating a dragon with friends!

 

4. Folklore

Game Republic created a very different action RPG with Folklore. It's set in present day Ireland and takes place in a small town. It features two protagonists; Ellen and Keats. The game is steeped in Irish lore, myth, and ghost stories. The game is very dark and brooding. You gain abilities and power from using other-worldly spirits whose souls you must literally ensnare. No game to date has provided a similar experience.

 

3. Rain

Rain is a very different adventure title from the SCE Japan Studio. You play as a boy slipping into a fever dream -- or so you think. You awaken in a strange version of the world where you are invisible and don't exist... unless you are in the rain. The game proceeds as the boy explores the city and eventually meets a girl. The game then focuses on their plight to get home. Rain is pretty emotional in its minimalism and is a very powerful game as a result.

 

2. Puppeteer

Directed by Gavin Moore and developed by SCE Japan Studio, this is probably one of the best platformers you've never played. The game is presented as a stage play production of the highest caliber to the player. You have a witty narrator and a lovable hero. The game succeeds in taking the best part of family films and placing them in videogame form. The humor is light, the danger can be serious, but there's that air of "it's all a show". The game is no pushover and stages are cleverly designed. Puppeteer is a labor of love to video games overall.

 

1. Demon's Souls

Before FromSoftware became well known, they created the best title for the PlayStation 3. Demon's Souls, even by today's standards, is unique unto itself, even compared to its spiritual successors. The game perpetuates a strong sense of loneliness. You learn that the kingdom and all the lands have broken from the normal cycle of life. As a result demons roam the land and death is far from permanent.

The game barely mentions its systems to you. You eventually figure it all out as you die repeatedly. This is rather refreshing as nearly all games spoon feed you information. Players can create and build a character to their liking to become a slayer of demons.

Death isn't a mark of failure; rather its the result of a missed action or poor attack method. The game excels in keeping you tense, and nothing is as simple as "oh I'll just run here OK". No, if you don't pay attention consistently, you can die from traps, ambushes or even a dragon's fire.

The game also doesn't burden you with morals. Without a burdening story, NPCs express both the understanding and concern of you seeking the power of demons. From a fortified castle, a dreary mine, and an abandoned stronghold, to haunted towers and more, no game has recreated that feeling of hopelessness. 

Did I also forget to mention that the game also features an unorthodox online multiplayer feature? Players can invade each other's worlds in hopes of killing their target. Players are also able to help or harm each other with leaving messages in stages.

Demon's Souls can be played 20 years from now and people will still agree that nothing can match the world's atmosphere.

Over my 10 years with the PlayStation 3 these games left a special mark. Looking back, I noticed these games were each very different in their own regard. These titles were released in a market where they were not seen very often or at all. Ultimately, these games became timeless. Happy birthday PS3!

What were your favorite PS3 games over the years? Let us know in the comments below!

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DORK SOULS! A Collection of Dark Souls Spoofs https://www.gameskinny.com/rrc8e/dork-souls-a-collection-of-dark-souls-spoofs https://www.gameskinny.com/rrc8e/dork-souls-a-collection-of-dark-souls-spoofs Fri, 23 Sep 2016 08:44:31 -0400 Jeremy "Digit" Brown

As much as the dark and brooding stories of From Software's Souls franchise creates very successful action RPGs, their fanbase is much the opposite in their praise. Much of what you'll find on the internet is hilarious, whimsical, and downright stupid funny. In this list we pick out some of our favorites. 

(WARNING: These videos contain spoilers to the Dark Souls franchise, and some will contain language not appropriate for all ages. Viewer discretion is advised.)

ThePruld's classic Dark Souls cinema

This was made using a filmmaking software (most likely Valve's Source filmmaker) to create a hilarious yet brief movie of three friends and their journey across the lands.

Videogamedunkey's DUNK Souls. Get it? It's a play on both the name- yeah you get it.

While Videogamedunkey is most known for his videos on League of Legends and a wide variety of games, but he also has done extensive videos on the Souls series. This video has his signature style with a lot of comedy- while making fair jabs at the series along the way.

Jameserton's Happy Souls

Out of all the animations I've watched, Happy Souls is the best without resorting to the most generic fan jokes. It does focus around Dark Souls 2 (you diehard fans might disapprove) but it also gives it a better identity in the sea of lesser Souls animations.

Iron Pineapple's Kirk Fan Club. This video is so fitting for that name, too. 

Landing on the latest entry, Dark Souls III, Iron Pinapple gives a hilarious video of what hard work and jolly cooperation can give you! The result is- well, you should just watch the video. 

After watching hours of these videos for purely professional needs, these videos had me laughing to the point of almost swallowing my gum. But it just goes to show you the talented and dedicated fanbase that From Software has acquired over the years.

Have some favorites we missed? Let us know in the comments section below, and as always, thanks for watching! 

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Hope springs eternal - A remake of Demon's Souls maybe possible. https://www.gameskinny.com/hqkoq/hope-springs-eternal-a-remake-of-demons-souls-maybe-possible https://www.gameskinny.com/hqkoq/hope-springs-eternal-a-remake-of-demons-souls-maybe-possible Sun, 10 Jul 2016 11:22:45 -0400 Jeffrey Rousseau

After the release of Bloodborne and  Dark Souls 3, fans of FromSoftware began to wonder what's next. Many assumed they would remake 2009's Demons' Souls for modern consoles. It was revealed in a recent interview with Gamespot that the Demon's Souls remake is not completely out of the question.

Originally, the idea was shot down as the company president/game director Hidetaka Miyazaki stated they would be focusing on new IPs only. 

"The Dark Souls series is Bandai Namco Entertainment's IP, and Demon's Souls and Bloodborne is Sony Interactive Entertainment's IP. Hence, the decision to do a remake or remastering is under their jurisdiction.

His comments with Gamespot indicate that a remake would be Sony's decision alone. It would also be their choice as to what developer would be chosen to work on it.

In a previous interview, Miyazaki showed little interest in the likelihood of remaking the game, so FromSoftware's involvement -- if any -- would be unlikely. If a remake is considered, it will be interesting to see which developer is chosen to work on it.

Demon's Souls was original released for the PlayStation 3 and served as a precursor for the developer's later games. However, as a niche title many haven't had the opportunity to play it, which is why a remake appears rather appealing. After all, many of its concepts have heavily influenced later games. 

As we get closer to Demon's Souls 10 year anniversary, we'll hopefully hear something about a remake.

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In defense of the difficulty in From Software's games https://www.gameskinny.com/rz3ao/in-defense-of-the-difficulty-in-from-softwares-games https://www.gameskinny.com/rz3ao/in-defense-of-the-difficulty-in-from-softwares-games Thu, 21 Jan 2016 04:24:44 -0500 Glen Schoeman

I recently came across an opinion piece online where the author expressed that although he really enjoyed Bloodborne, its lack of a difficulty option was exclusionary to the more casual market. He believed that everyone should be able to get through the entire game without having to dedicate the time required to master the mechanics, and that this problem could be rectified by allowing the player to turn down the difficulty.

This author isn't alone in this belief and although the argument has been around since Demon's Souls was released, it really only gained popularity after the launch of Bloodborne, when the Souls series made its official debut into the limelight. Before Bloodborne, the Souls series was regarded as "that really hard game", and of course many found the difficulty off-putting. Miyazaki's return to the helm and Dark Souls' cult following allowed for a greater amount of resources for marketing Bloodborne. Then suddenly everyone was intrigued by the dark, gothic architecture and nightmarish creatures.

Difficulty is a drawing point for the Souls games

The Souls series gained much of its following and popularity because of its difficulty, not in spite of it

Don't get me wrong, I think that it's fantastic that more people were drawn to the game, because it meant more sales and therefore more incentive for From Software to keep doing what they do best.

What I disagreed with was that people who couldn't have cared less about Dark Souls and Demon's Souls went into Bloodborne expecting it to be a little bit tougher than what they were used to, and subsequently complained about feeling excluded because it was more difficult than they anticipated.

The Souls series gained much of its following and popularity because of its difficulty, not in spite of it, and people who expect it to change because they don't have the time or patience to learn its nuanced approach to combat are selfish. It's a bit like a child on a playground asking to join in a game with a group of children. Then after being accepted, they ask that the game be changed to suit them.

The game was already established in a way that many players enjoyed -- and if it doesn't suit somebody's tastes, there are literally hundreds of other action RPGs that allow for scaling difficulty they can choose from.

The easy way out

Why, you may ask, does it matter if they just add the option to change the difficulty when no one is forced make use of it? I can't speak for others, but one of the reasons that I love the Souls series is because no matter how frustrated I get, there is are no shortcuts to success.

Despite my adoration for the hobby, I'm definitely not what one would consider an incredibly skilled gamer -- and with games like Dark Souls and Bloodborne, I've spent literally hours (in some cases days) stuck on the same boss. If the option was there for me to knock the difficulty down a few pegs, my frustration would likely get the better of me and I'd break down, robbing myself of the satisfaction that can only be gained by overcoming a truly difficult challenge.

The Souls community

Granted, there are many who use this difficulty as a means of being exclusionary and spout the phrase, "Git gud, casul!" at anybody who gets stuck. For the most part though, I've found the Souls community to be extremely welcoming, offering advice to anybody who asks, and in many cases even offering to join you for some jolly co-operation if you can't beat a particular boss.

As I said, I'm not particularly skilled, and as a result, I've spent countless hours on the various Souls sub-reddits learning from the experiences of others. Because of the difficulty, I'm forced to look at a number of different approaches to find the best possible solution to my problem. When I finally find one, the feeling of satisfaction I get from successfully beating bosses like Ornstein and Smough -- which took me a solid 12 hours -- is something I haven't had from any other game.

While I sympathize with the plight of those who haven't been able to complete these truly spectacular games due to their unforgiving difficulty, I think that adding the ability to change the difficulty changes the very essence of the series, and would take away one of the key aspects that makes it so great.

There are so few games nowadays that don't hold your hand from beginning to end, and by allowing a shortcut to success by way of a difficulty slider, the Souls games would lose one of the aspects that makes them so unique. And they would eventually become almost indistinguishable from every other action-RPG ever made. 

What do you think about the difficulty of these games? Are you against seeing a slider put in to adjust it? Let me know in the comments!

]]>
Top 14 bosses of the Souls Series (and Bloodborne!) https://www.gameskinny.com/nofi5/top-14-bosses-of-the-souls-series-and-bloodborne https://www.gameskinny.com/nofi5/top-14-bosses-of-the-souls-series-and-bloodborne Tue, 17 Nov 2015 10:30:54 -0500 John Adamczyk

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What do you think?

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Did we mention your favorite bosses, or is there something we missed? It's a tough top 14, that's for sure. Bosses are the highlight of the Souls series, and with The Old Hunters DLC coming for Bloodborne this month and Dark Souls III inbound next year, let's hope we get more of those excellent boss battles that FromSoft is known for.

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1. Ornstein and Smough 

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Dark Souls
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A lot of the characters I've been talking about have been significant more for story reasons than mechanical ones. Not so for the most iconic duo to grace the Souls series. These two armored titans bum-rush you the second you pass through the fog gate. 

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So many things are well-done in this fight. From the pure intimidation factor of the characters to the pillars placed just perfectly to make this nightmare 2-on-1 fair enough to be beatable, the player is constantly harrowed and beaten down on both fronts, and once one goes down, the other becomes strong enough to fight the player on his own. 

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Even better, this is a fight that really hits a home-run in terms of setting up the feeling of adventure in the game, since you can call up Solaire or any soapstone buddy and tag-team the duo, which, while not as challenging, is still an extremely satisfying concept. 

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With their reputation as player-killers who still keep things fair, Ornstein and Smough deserve their spot at the top.

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2. Old King Allant

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Demon's Souls
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A fakeout endboss that turns out to be face-meltingly powerful. No one was ready to get charged and soul-sucked right out the gate, but Old King Allant did it, nonetheless. The difficulty spike hitting this penultimate boss is staggering, and the buildup, awesome.

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Artorias was the epitome of the honorable one-on-one, but Allant here is the dishonorable one-on-one, and really, that's what the Souls series is all about. This is a boss that had players crying "bullshit!" as the words SOUL LEVEL DRAINED popped up on their screens. A frustrating yet awesome memory from the first Souls game, False King Allant slaughtered his way to second place on this list.

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3. Gehrman

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Bloodborne
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A welcome change from the pushover end bosses that the Souls series seems to include, Gehrman will not make your decision to remain in the Hunter's Dream an easy one. This guy starts going to Devil May Cry levels of speed, zipping around the battlefield and taking advantage of the player every time he's off-guard. 

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After slaughtering countless Eldritch horrors in Bloodborne, the game ends (except on the 'True Ending') on this really satisfying and crazy encounter that is so mechanically unlike any of the other fights in the game.

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4. Old Monk

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Demon's Souls
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Low on tension, high on hilarity. Player-controlled methods of ruining other players' single-player experiences is an iconic staple of the Souls series, and the epitome of this player-driven cruelty can be seen in the form of the Old Monk, where you aren't just coming in to harass a player, you're there to be the boss that player has to fight.

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Turning a player into a boss and pitting him against another player is a brilliant idea. No enemy AI to trick or game here, just another player, and that's somehow more terrifying and exciting. For a game that dropped in 2009, this was revolutionary, so Old Monk deserves a spot on this list because of how iconic he is to the whole hilarious system of players going out of their way to ruin everyone else's game.

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5. Gwyn, Lord of Cinder

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Dark Souls
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If you knew how to parry, this guy went down like a ton of bricks. But if you went through the fight without that strategy in mind, you know how horrifyingly aggressive this guy is. Attack after attack after attack with little to no downtime. However, that isn't what made Gwyn such an amazing fight, it's the scene itself:

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The story comes full circle once you're standing up against Gwyn. The fact that he burned himself hollow reveals him as a tragic figure, and it's clear you're fighting a shell that has no other intent but to stay by the dying flames of his fading civilization. You're fighting something comparatively weak to the horrors you've faced by this point in the game, and while it's cheap to say "that's the point," it really is. The way the game conveys this important lore point is satisfying enough for Gwyn to earn himself a spot in the top 14.

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6. Knight Artorias

\n
Dark Souls
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While Sir Alonne felt like an exciting one-on-one duel to the death, his spot on the list isn't high since that experience was already had in the Artorias of the Abyss expansion for Dark Souls. One of the most iconic fights in the series, I am, of course, talking about your confrontation against Knight Artorias. 

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Every attack the knight makes shows just how twisted by the abyss he's truly become, and every move is a spectacle. His whirling assaults and furious charges show you the fading shell of an immensely powerful character who still has enough fight left in him to tear you apart again and again. 

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A sorely needed fight in the initial Dark Souls game before this spectacular DLC hit, this is the hero's duel to the death with one who came before him and failed.

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7. The Four Kings

\n
Dark Souls
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Dropping into the abyss was horrifying. Rarely does a game so effectively use a field of total blackness to convey something dreadful. But descending into the dark, only to realize you're moving about in suspended, featureless nothingness is more than a little intimidating.

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Then, as you begin to move through the nothing, something enormous emerges and attacks you. As you try to learn the thing's patterns and brutal attacks, you're soon struck from behind. Panning the camera, you realize there's now another one off in the distance. And as you now try to double-time it to survive their attacks, a third emerges. By then, you're probably dead.

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Four Kings were an awesome roadblock and a really cool gate to "secret" content in Dark Souls. Only by besting them before delivering the Lordvessel could you become a Darkwraith, an invader of other players' worlds looking to suck them dry of humanity. Of course, if you wanted to reach the Four Kings before delivering the Lordvessel, chances are your character would be underleveled, making an already challenging fight into a self-inflicted hard mode with one of the most satisfying rewards in gaming as your prize.

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8. Father Gascoigne

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Bloodborne
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The Souls series rarely does justice to the idea of the "phase" boss. That is, a boss that slowly changes as you whittle down his health. Gascoigne however, is an exception, as he does this spectacularly, giving the player a duel to the death with a rival hunter who has been plagued by the madness of beasthood. 

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The nuances of the fight are spectacular, with his initial attacks being relatively reserved. He even wields a regular weapon. As you lower his health, his attacks grow in brutality, with him transforming his weapon, just as a player would.

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The arena in which the player fights Gascoigne is especially effective, since, for the first half of the fight, the player can abuse gravestones to keep away from this relentless foe.

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Then the transformation comes.

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Beasthood hits Gascoigne hard as he becomes an enormous, wild creature. The defenses that were helpful in the first half of the fight are suddenly little help against the onslaught of his new form. 

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This fight hits a sweet spot in terms of both flavor and combat quality, and is easily one of the most engaging battles you'll have in Bloodborne. 

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9. Burnt Ivory King

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Dark Souls II
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After traversing the snowy wastes of Eleum Loyce in the Dark Souls II DLC Crown of the Ivory King, the player will eventually reach a spectacular finale. Allying with the former king's uncorrupted knights, you leap down into a pit not knowing quite what to expect. Suddenly, the icy aesthetic gives way to an enormous platform over a sprawling lava pit. 

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Before the king will even show himself, you need to fight through hordes of his burnt knights alongside your newfound allies. Slowly, the gateways, which the enemy knights pour through, will be sealed by the NPCs you brought with you, who will commit suicide to freeze the portals one by one.

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Finally, a massive, gaping, black gateway, almost reminiscent of the Eye of Sauron, appears, and out comes the Burnt Ivory King. 

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The sheer badassery of that moment, with him walking out of this hellish portal, earns him a spot on this list.

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His design is especially interesting, since you might first enter "The Old Chaos" before you've rescued every knight that will help you. If that happens, you've essentially dropped down into an unwinnable encounter since, by the time the king arrives, you're being swarmed by constantly respawning burnt knights.

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So when the king slaughters you, it becomes all the more satisfying when you go out into the city, recruit his former knights to your cause, then march back and get a fair rematch against him.

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10. Micolash

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Bloodborne
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"Ahh Kos, or some say...Kosm."

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Again, more fascinating than challenging, Micolash comes out of left-field in Bloodborne near the end of the game. While he does have story relevance, most players just reaching this point won't know a damn thing about this madman. 

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The fight consists of a wild chase through Micolash's funhouse while he giggles, howls, and jumps through mirrors to evade your pursuit. The goal of the fight is to corner him so he can no longer flee, at which point he reveals himself to be a flailing man who can only use some easily avoidable spells to defend himself. 

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The real challenge is figuring out what, exactly, you're supposed to do, while also getting over the surprise of the encounter, which may just get you killed once or twice.

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11. Great Grey Wolf Sif

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Dark Souls
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A giant wolf that wields a sword as big as himself in battle; Sif isn't the most challenging of fights, but he is one of the most iconic. Made all the more tragic by his appearance in the DLC, which, if you complete before his boss encounter, will demonstrate his unwillingness to fight you. Sif is memorable from both a story and design perspective.

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And his sudden arrival on the scene is bound to have caught more than a few players off-guard. This is one of those boss characters that really illustrates the uniqueness of the Souls series in how it interprets Western fantasy. Obviously, a giant animal isn't anything special - but a giant, sword-wielding wolf guarding the grave of his fallen master? Not something you see very often.

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12. Sir Alonne

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Dark Souls II
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From the Dark Souls II DLC Crown of the Old Iron King, Sir Alonne is given lip service in the base game as a loyal knight of the Old Iron King. In the DLC, you travel back in time to confront this katana-wielding badass because, well, I don't know. But, man is it cool.

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At the end of a gauntlet of fireball-spewing salamanders and obnoxiously fast knights, you'll find yourself in a beautiful overlook adorned with reflective tiles. Sir Alonne is sitting there, waiting for you. When you arrive, he gets up, charges, and attacks relentlessly until his death. The sheer aggressiveness of this boss coupled with his beautiful arena earn him a spot on this list.

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Plus, if you beat him without being hit, he's so ashamed of himself that he commits seppuku. 

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13. Cleric Beast

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Bloodborne
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The iconic first boss of Bloodborne. He's a bit of a pushover, but everything about him plays so perfectly into the game's atmosphere. His frenzied attacks that grow increasingly violent as you whittle away at his health. With the horrible screams and hideous appearance of a cleric ravaged by beasthood, everything about him oozes flavor. This boss was a fitting nod of confirmation that, yes, this game was going to be crazy.

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14. Darklurker

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Dark Souls II
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The culmination of a frustrating series of challenge dungeons, Darklurker is a "secret" boss in Dark Souls II, and while he might not be the most challenging fight out there, he's definitely interesting. While he starts as a cake-walk for the first portion of his fight, eventually he'll split himself in two, and that's when the real fun begins.

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The cleverness of this fight is the fact that the first segment is used to teach you his moves. When there's only one Darklurker to worry about, there's a lot less pressure on you, the player. Anyone who dismisses him as "easy" might blow through his health and fail to learn all of the deadly spells he can hurl at the player. This might be fine if he didn't get a helping hand partway through the fight. But since he does, this is a fight that rewards cautiousness and attentiveness on the battlefield. 

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Definitely a worthy and challenging boss for the Souls series.

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Demon's Souls, Dark Souls, Dark Souls II, Bloodborne. Titles that have become synonymous with exploration, engaging combat, and death after death after death.

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From the challenging gameplay to the dark, evocative worlds inspired by Western fantasy and reimagined by FromSoft, Souls and, recently, Souls-like, games have consistently proven their greatness.

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Perhaps the biggest cornerstone of the series, though, is the reward at the end of the tunnel. The grand finale to each zone that keeps you wondering: the boss. Often punishing, usually intimidating, the Souls series manages to keep you cautiously guessing about how the next big bad you're going to fight is going to tear you in half.

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This is a series that has built up quite a repertoire of iconic battles, but today we're going to try and pare it down to the top 14. With Demon's Souls boasting 19 bosses, Dark Souls 26, Dark Souls II a whopping 32, and Bloodborne at a clean 17 (more if you count those that hide in the hellish grind of the chalice dungeons), this leaves us with 94 bosses to choose from.

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Let's get started, shall we?

"}]]]>
The 20 cult video games you need to play before you die https://www.gameskinny.com/yx47x/the-20-cult-video-games-you-need-to-play-before-you-die https://www.gameskinny.com/yx47x/the-20-cult-video-games-you-need-to-play-before-you-die Thu, 20 Aug 2015 02:30:01 -0400 Venisia Gonzalez

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Ikaruga

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Ikaruga is shoot 'em by Treasure for the PC, Dreamcast (Japan), Nintendo GameCube, and Xbox 360.

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In the nation of Horai, their leader discovered the Ubusunagami Okinokai (Power of the Gods) gaining great power. Calling themselves "The Divine Ones," begins conquering nations until they are challenged by those longing for peace.

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Why you should play
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Ikaruga's combat system is just mind-blowing. It's a polarity mechanic where only the opposite polarity can destroy the enemy. This constant "flipping" while maneuvering your ship, the "Ikaruga," had me on my toes.  It is one of the best shooters I have ever played.

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Verdict

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As previously stated, cult games are games that were not widely successful, but maintained a strong fan following. Some of the games here weren't always hits at launch and some even gained their 'AAA' status afterwards. Others can be successful, critically acclaimed, but overshadowed by others. What deems a game as "cult" varies from gamer to gamer and that's okay. It is great to see how gamers impact this industry.

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What did you think of our list? What games would you add? List in the comments. 

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Killing Floor

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Killing Floor is a cooperative zombie, horror, survival FPS by Tripwire Interactive for PC.

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Set in London, England, the Horzine Biotech, a biotechnology company, conducts military experiments involving mass cloning and genetic manipulation. During the process things go very badly and the human subjects begin to exhibit horrific mutations, disfigurement, becoming hostile, and eventually overrun the internal security forces. They escape and begin overrunning the city of London.

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Why you should play
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Where do I begin? Killing Floor has the most realistic weapons of any game I have ever played and I am a gun owner. The gameplay never gets boring no matter how much you play. This isn't a simple zombie survival by any means, oh no.

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"So how did Killing Floor become so successful you ask? It's a really good question but simple to answer, this game is possibly one of the most clever games ever created due to the fact it's not one of the games where you try to get the other side of the level and re-stock on supplies then trying to get to the other side of that level or trying to gather supplies and making gangs and being a total ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ ruining other people's experience with that game." - scud[i]Ö!

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The zombie hordes will ensure death and believe me--they will. Each wave becomes harder than before until meeting the final boss, the Patriarch. In between each wave you can visit the Trader's location which changes with every wave. Players earn money for every kill and for surviving the wave. Use the money to buy: katanas, shotguns, flamethrowers, and more. Select perks at the start of each match for bonuses.

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Killing Floor is deliciously fun and shouldn't be missed.

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Steel Battalion

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Steel Battalion is a Mech-simulator by Capcom for the original Xbox. The game bundles with the controller included. The controller has two control sticks, approximately 40 buttons, and a separate foot pedal.

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The controller lights up at key times, especially when taking damage. The unison lighting effect is to make the player "feel" like they are really taking damage.

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Why you should play
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Steel Battalion is a true sim to first exist on the console. The Mechs acted like real machine and the gameplay feels as close to the real thing as you can get. The controller set up makes you feel like you are in control of the Mech. If you run out of money and don't eject in time--game over! There is no pause button folks... just like real battle.

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Truly immersive game, a must-play.

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Portal

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Portal is a first-person puzzle-platformer by Valve for PC, Xbox 360, and PS3. It was originally bundled with The Orange Box upon release.

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Chell is challenged by GLaDOS, an artificial intelligence (Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System), to complete puzzles in the Aperture Science Enrichment Center using a portal gun with the promise of cake upon completion.

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Why you should play
\n

Portal offers unique gameplay and GLaDOS' dark, dry humor is brilliant. The portal gun is used by creating inter-spatial portals (orange & blue) between two flat planes in order to solve the puzzles. It is amazing, fun, and quite challenging. The test chambers vary in terms of hazards, so be prepared to die--a lot. There are challenge maps and two additional modes are unlocked once the game is completed.

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Valve never anticipated Portal would be such a hit with players and was originally a mod for Half Life 2.

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'Splosion Man

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'Splosion Man is 2.5D action platformer by Twisted Pixel Games for the Xbox 360.

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'​Splosion Man is created by the laboratory Big Science. He is completely made of explosive material. The purpose is to "splode" through the levels of puzzles, traps, and enemies to escape. A splode is a jump which is used to kill enemies, demolish walls, detonate explosive barrels or even trigger other surrounding effects.

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Why you should play
\n

'Splosion Man offers a hefty amount of single-player and 4-player cooperative levels (local or online). Its humor, originality, and simplicity is what makes this classic great. The controls are easy as pie I might add, so there's no difficult combinations to remember. The puzzles are cleverly designed to constantly add new mechanics to the players. It can be challenging but never to the point of frustration or boredom; it's fun. There are so many references to the 1980's that you are sure to be engaged in nostalgic fun.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/0797402525db25df7d86672ab8283f72.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/0797402525db25df7d86672ab8283f72.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6603","description":"

Earthbound

\n

Earthbound aka Mother 2 is an RPG by Ape and HAL Laboratory for the Wii U (originally NES).

\n

Follow Ness and his friends as they travel the world to collect melodies while defeating the evil alien Giygas.

\n
Why you should play
\n

Earthbound has a Lovecraftian theme that is both dark and fun. There are unique elements to this classic game that I found delightful such as the the numbered health wheel and never combating an enemy beyond your limit. It doesn't punish you but still allows you to gain the XP. Give it try.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/6ab5d22aead31fab7ddd55ec4204a048.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/6ab5d22aead31fab7ddd55ec4204a048.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6602","description":"

Demon's Souls

\n

Demon's Souls is the action RPG by From Software for the PS3 that accumulated more deaths than YouTube has epic fail videos. This is the game that started the Souls series.

\n

The kingdom of Boletaria is being ravaged by a curse. The "Deep Fog" brings forth demons to feast on mortal souls in this dark, fantasy. Brave warriors set out to save the kingdom against this threat.

\n
Why you should play
\n

If you are like me when it comes to playing any series, you have to go to the beginning. Demon's Souls is a testament to decision making all thanks to the auto-save system. Weapon mapping is critical when in combat. Death is cruel... but delicious.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/8e7d47c6acf953c6a2dd67eb0b934126.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/8e7d47c6acf953c6a2dd67eb0b934126.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6601","description":"

Xenoblade Chronicles

\n

Xenoblade Chronicles is a sci-fi RPG by Monolith Soft for the Nintendo Wii.

\n

Follow Shulk and his friends as they search for answers regarding the mysterious "Monado" sword to defend their land from robotic creatures called the Mechon.

\n
Why you should play
\n

Xenoblade is loaded with quests with an MMO similar combat system. The world is grand and gorgeous. Oceans, caves, and swamps can be found scattered throughout. The soundtrack is equally dynamic. It is a game that you'll either love or hate.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/808b575bc26d72baa851e934f5811c23.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/808b575bc26d72baa851e934f5811c23.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6600","description":"

Conker's Bad Fur Day

\n

Conker's Bad Fur Day is a crude adult-oriented, action platformer by Rare for the Nintendo 64.

\n

Take the foul-mouthed squirrel Conker, who has one hell of a bad fur day, through levels based on popular movies, even one made of poo. Yes... poo. Conker goes through all of this just so he can sleep off his hangover.

\n
Why you should play
\n

Conker's Bad Fur Day is a classic full of dark, vulgar humor, puzzles, cigars, booze, and fighting loads of enemies. Do you really need any more reasons?

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/272c77ef9f6b60b6d35dcc40687f9eca.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/272c77ef9f6b60b6d35dcc40687f9eca.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6587","description":"

Catherine

\n

Catherine is an adult adventure puzzle-platformer and dating sim by Atlus for Xbox 360 and PS3.

\n

Catherine weaves a tale of a young man named Vincent as he attempts to come to grips with settling down with his girlfriend Katherine. However, when Vincent gets involved with another young woman named Catherine... all hell breaks loose. This is a game that makes you think twice about being unfaithful.

\n
Why you should play
\n

Catherine is a unique game unlike any other that I have played before. The use of puzzles as nightmares due to Vincent's moral dilemma is the game's core. The anime style is a fantastic and will certainly appeal to fans of the genre.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e8363c5aabc8ad8367c0985509e50767.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e8363c5aabc8ad8367c0985509e50767.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6592","description":"

Valkyria Chronicles

\n

Valkyria Chronicles is a tactical RPG by Sega for PS3 and PC.

\n

Set in Europa, similarly to Europe during World War II & the 1930's. The abundance of Ragnite ore has caused the neutral nation of Gallia to come under attack from the Empire; who is currently at war with the Federation. Soldiers of the Federation's 7th Platoon are fighting back to unify the continent under its power.

\n
Why you should play
\n

Valkyria Chronicles has an epic storyline, beautiful graphics engine, a great gameplay system, and loaded with tons of customization. The immersible environments are stunning to boot.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/3/0/1/301ac9c1a6057260cb97464e36f7faa7.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/3/0/1/tiny_301ac9c1a6057260cb97464e36f7faa7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"79243","description":"

Deus Ex: GOTY Edition

\n

Deus Ex: GOTY Edition is cyber-punk theme action RPG by Edios Interactive for PC.

\n

Set in the year 2052, Deus Ex follows JC Denton, an nano-technologically-augmented (UNATCO) agent, as he combats terrorist forces in a world slowly slipping chaos. He then becomes involved in an ancient conspiracy where he encounters groups similar to the Illuminati and the Hong Kong Triads.

\n
Why you should play
\n

Deus Ex: GOTY is an upgraded edition of the original that started a revolution as far as I am concerned. It brought an all-new gameplay to FPS with a real  immersive 3D, first-person perspective. Despite the original launching over 15 years ago, this is still a favorite among gamers.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/1cd8502721d80cdccdbd2712c5f553e3.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/1cd8502721d80cdccdbd2712c5f553e3.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6596","description":"

Alan Wake

\n

Alan Wake is an episodic psychological survival horror by Remedy Entertainment for Xbox 360 and PC similar to a television series. 

\n

Alan Wake is novelist suffering from a bout of writer's block who must uncover the mystery behind his the disappearance of his wife. However, his best clues come from torn pages of a book that he hasn't written yet.

\n
Why you should play
\n

Alan Wake is a fantastic combination of elements of storyline, television, and game creating an experience loaded with thrills, humor, and scares that is just as fun to play as it is to watch.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/de6ca247cece14d2b761df66511a5cec.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/de6ca247cece14d2b761df66511a5cec.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6597","description":"

Mirror's Edge

\n

Mirror's Edge is an action-adventure by DICE and EA for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.

\n

Join the free-runner Faith as she works to uncover corporate conspiracies by moving across rooftops, walls, through ventilation shafts, and navigating the environment using parkour.

\n
Why you should play
\n

Mirror's Edge graphics are breathtaking. Once its parkour elements are mastered, Faith's movements are traversed seamlessly. This is a game that words cannot describe, you simply must see to believe. Its expansive environment provides a dynamic setting for the fluid parkour.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/c135f70d4e68f2e738dd89d5dee0a9a2.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/c135f70d4e68f2e738dd89d5dee0a9a2.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6590","description":"

Grim Fandango Remastered

\n

Grim Fandango Remastered is an adventure game by LucasArts and Tim Schafer for PC, Mac, PS4, PS Vita, Android, and iOS.

\n

The game combines elements of the Aztec belief of the afterlife with film noir style to create the Land of the Dead. Departed souls, represented as skeleton-like (calaca) figures, must travel to reach their final destination, the Ninth Underworld. The story follows travel agent Manuel "Manny" Calavera as he attempts to save Mercedes "Meche" Colomar.

\n
Why you must play
\n

Grim Fandango Remastered's story, its characters, and humor make it a classic unlike anything else. It truly is one-of-a-kind. You need to pay close attention to things people say, and everything you read and see in order to complete the puzzles. Its stylistic choice to mimic the Mexican paper dolls for the Day of the Dead is wonderful. Even after 17 years from its original launch, this game is still a must-play.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/da43d6c3876d3b25c7dac51fc8dd3a46.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/da43d6c3876d3b25c7dac51fc8dd3a46.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6588","description":"

American McGee's Alice

\n

American McGee's Alice is a third-person horror action by Rogue Entertainment and EA for PC.

\n

The game is an unofficial sequel to Lewis Carroll's Alice novels. Set years after Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, it is dark and Alice is maniacal. After witnessing the death of her family in a blaze, Alice suffers from survivor's guilt and is sent to the Rutledge Asylum when she begins losing her grasp on reality. Her only possession... her stuffed rabbit.

\n
Why you must play
\n

It's a steampunk, Gothic horror with no signs of Disney. A dark, deliciously morbid storyline with an amazing soundtrack. The level design and artwork are so elaborate, you will find yourself mesmerized. I cannot tell you how gorgeous it is. The characters are twisted and The Cheshire Cat delivers some of the most memorable lines to date.

\n
\n

"We're all mad here." - The Cheshire Cat

\n
\n

There is currently a petition on Change.org requesting that EA make another Alice game.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a579f7142167629dbc909bdad61b747a.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a579f7142167629dbc909bdad61b747a.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6586","description":"

Psychonauts

\n

Psychonauts is a fun platformer by Double Fine Productions for PC, Xbox, Xbox 360, PS2, and PS3.

\n

Psychonauts follows Razputin (Raz), a boy with psychic abilities, who runs away from the circus to sneak into a summer camp for those with similar powers to become a "Psychonaut" (spy with psychic abilities).

\n
Why you should play
\n

Psychonauts is a creative game that features fun gameplay, wonderful voice acting, beautiful environment, strange humor, and a great soundtrack. Each character's brain is  a world for Raz to explore. The puzzles are challenging without being too difficult. I love its bizarre cast of characters. They are hilarious and well constructed.

\n

Tim Schafer delivers a fantastic story with the comedic style he's known for. If you love his games, you need to play this one.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/aa5d568b8ea08565d6b536f1e372f9f7.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/aa5d568b8ea08565d6b536f1e372f9f7.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6585","description":"

Limbo

\n

Limbo is a puzzle-platformer from Playdead for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, and PC. Its black-and-white theme and lack of dialogue resonate similar to rich film noir. Its artwork speaks of German Expressionism and it is gorgeous.

\n

The darkness hides loads of hazards such as:

\n
    \n
  • lethal bear traps on the forest floor
  • \n
  • deadly monsters hiding in the shadows... giant spiders!!
  • \n
  • glow worms: they attach themselves to the boy's head forcing him to travel in only one direction (I'll let you solve this on your own)
  • \n
\n

The second half features mechanical puzzles and traps that use machinery, electromagnets, and gravity. There is no dialogue or instruction, just the ambient eerie setting in which you must explore while using critical thinking in order to advance. Love it!

\n
Why you should play this
\n

Limbo is intuitive and creative; cold, lonely, and stark. The nameless boy's journey provide a breathtaking experience. The stunning artwork and physics system lend itself to its maze of masterfully crafted puzzles that make every mistake a brutal consequence.

\n

Simply put... it is a perfect and emotionally moving game.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/237865199c7ed86e4174e7327b806a9f.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/237865199c7ed86e4174e7327b806a9f.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6584","description":"

Amnesia: The Dark Descent

\n

Amnesia: The Dark Descent is a first person survival horror available on PC, Mac, and Linux. It is a game about immersion, discovery, and living through a nightmare made by Frictional Games.

\n

If you are in the darkness too long, witness unsettling events, or stare at monsters, this will reduce Daniel's sanity (which needs to be maintained). If not kept in check, you are in for hallucinations that draw the attention of the monsters. Not fun at all!

\n
Why you should play
\n

Amnesia: The Dark Descent is one of the scariest survival horror games I have played on PC. Its thick atmosphere is terrifying. I love how well the gameplay is crafted. The scares are horrific and memorable. The story unfolds slowly to its unsettling climax. In my opinion it is a must-play, you do not know what you're missing.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/bca96f9bff4d05b775dabbeb3f20c38b.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/bca96f9bff4d05b775dabbeb3f20c38b.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6583","description":"

Castle Crashers

\n

Castle Crashers is a side-scrolling 2D beat 'em up game from The Behemoth available on Xbox 360, PS3, PC, and a remastered for Xbox One.

\n

Castle Crashers offers a single-player and up to a 4-player cooperative gameplay either locally or online. Gain experience points, unlock weapons, animal orbs, earn coins, and unlock characters. The melee and weapon combinations are so much fun to use, especially when fighting the giant cat fish (literally... it's a cat) while in battle on the raging river.

\n
Why you should play
\n

There are giant cats, corn, knights, sandwiches, lollipop swords, and... sketches of unicorns.

\n

The art style of Castle Crashers is by no means any indication that it is a G-rated "baby" game. It's Diablo meets princesses that crashed into the World of Dr. Seuss. It is hysterical, fun, and will make you feel like a crazy button-smashing kid again.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/e/2/9e29b758fec83150e56f3071aea4a4c6.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/e/2/tiny_9e29b758fec83150e56f3071aea4a4c6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"79370","description":"

Hello gamers. If you have ever wondered what cult games should be on your must-play list, GameSkinny has got you covered. We have selected some of the best games to play before you die from PC to console.

\n

Cult games are games that were not widely successful, but maintained a strong and dedicated fan following. Some of the games on this list weren't always hits at launch and some gained 'AAA' status afterwards. Others can be successful, critically acclaimed, but overshadowed by others in the same series or released around the same time. Unconventional elements are a common appeal that will also categorize a game as "cult."

\n

It just goes to show you how much of an impact we as gamers make in this industry. Here's our Top 20!

"}]]]>
Top 10 boss battles worth experiencing for the first time, again https://www.gameskinny.com/o2r56/top-10-boss-battles-worth-experiencing-for-the-first-time-again https://www.gameskinny.com/o2r56/top-10-boss-battles-worth-experiencing-for-the-first-time-again Sat, 18 Jul 2015 12:40:32 -0400 KonstantinMKD

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1. Metal Gear Solid - Psycho Mantis

\n

This game brought many reasons to feel proud being a gamer, as its artistic value was unprecedented at the time, compared to all of the other forms of media. By exploring military, sci-fi and heavily political themes, Metal Gear Solid cemented the place of video games as a potent way to express yourself, and tell a powerful and coherent story. 

\n

Solid Snake's first mainstream adventure takes place at the invented remote island of Shadow Moses, located near Alaska. And as it so happens, that very island is the place where supernatural occurrences, world-ending acts of terrorism and even cyborg-ninjas, decide to exist all at once. It's an amazing setting for a video game, one that literally wrote the book on the "stealth-action" genre. 

\n

The movie-like aspirations of the developers are strongly evident, even as the game begins. The opening sequence takes place as the credits roll, and after managing to get to the elevator on time, our hero removes his mask, and TA-DAM, the title appears across the screen. It was cute and meaningful at the same time.

\n

Snake's main objectives at first are procuring weapons and items on sight, and learning how to avoid the yellow cons on the radar, presenting the enemies fields of view. It played a lot like a "modern-day Pac-Man", but the excellent enemy AI and the even better stage design, make this game relevant and exciting, even today. 

\n

After finding his footing, Solid Snake searches for the members of the rogue "FOXHOUND" unit, whose goals are strange and terrifying, and contribute a lot to the dark and mysterious atmosphere. Exploring your way through the island's military base, you'll confront them one by one, in originally and creatively envisioned boss battles. 

\n

But, there's one confrontation in particular, that introduced the term "fourth-wall breaking" in gaming, while not sacrificing the pace and fun factor expected with every boss battle. Along comes Psycho Mantis. 

\n

There's some unnerving build-up to this battle, as you hear rumours about some paranormally-gifted member of the terrorist group, and every now and then, Snakes complains about hearing some "music in his head." To make matters even worse, he is accompanied by his potential love interest, the inexperienced rookie, Meryl. So, that makes him twice the vulnerable. 

\n

Psycho Mantis fully exploits Snake's situation, by possessing her and making her try to commit suicide, right there in front of him. You manage to incapacitate her non-lethally, and you face the disturbing floating figure, just when something unexpected happens - your TV malfunctions? It all turns to black, safe for the green letters in the upper corner, saying "VIDEO". You wonder what went wrong with the input, and as you get up in order to try and fix it, you realize the genius of it. It actually says "HIDEO". As in Hideo Kojima, the mastermind behind Metal Gear Solid series. 

\n

it's important to note that, at the time, TV's worked differently in general, and every time you changed the output those green letters did appear, a state of the technology no doubt in line with Kojima's fresh ideas. 

\n

Then, as the screen turns back to normal, the fight continuous as if nothing happened, just as you to come to an unpleasant conclusion - you can't harm him. Nothing works. He always manages to dodge the bullet. Always.

\n

And even more startlingly, your controller behaves somewhat strangely, starting to vibrate with no reason. Then you ask yourself: "Is he possessing the controller as well? How do I fight him now?" As you pull you hair on this most unfortunate turn of events, the codec rings. It's the colonel, your supervisor for this mission. And, he seems to have the solution. 

\n

Change the controller output, from slot 1 to slot 2! You don't believe your eyes, but none the less, get up from the couch again, and change the controller entry point. In real life. That's how you oppose this virtually existing boss. 

\n

And it works. He no longer can "read your mind", so it's only a matter of learning his attack patterns, like in every normal fight (although, he will attempt to read your memory card, once or twice). Still shaken by the thrill, you pull yourself together, and deliver the final blow. 

\n

"Psycho Mantis" as a concept stands firmly on the point that video games are capable of immersing the observer far more so than any movie, upping the fun factor and the overall impression, by much. It also leaves a lot of room for the developers to fully carry complicated messages through their work, and even dare to present notorious or taboo themes. 

\n

Such are implied with the last lines of dialogue we hear from this amazing boss: a statement aimed at the unquestionable nature of all living beings on the earth, to mindlessly reproduce their DNA, pass on their genes, continue their existence...

\n

Oh, Kojima...

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2. God of War II - Lakhesis and Atropos

\n

The second installment of this rage-fueled franchise is hands-down its shiniest moment, as of today. Kratos's quest to end all authority and bestow cold revenge on all who wronged him this time around took excitingly colossal proportions. As new powers were introduced and the main character still remaining the unstoppable killing machine as always, this gem of the PS2 era did a lot for the console by simply reaching it's potential to the fullest.

\n

Beginning not long after the conclusion of the masterful first game, the story proves right away its enthusiasm in exploring new areas and themes. While battling the Colossus of Rhodes, our anti-hero is mortally wounded, just in time so Zeus can take the spot-light, and add even more insult to injury, by depriving Kratos of his powers completely. Diminished as he is, Kratos tries to fight Zeus, but the fiend ruthlessly kills him, and the hands of Hades drag his dying body into the underworld.

\n

But, of course, the story doesn't end there. Luckily,  Kratos does have friends in high places. Being saved by the Titan Gaia, he's new task is shown to him. He should find the Sisters of Fate, and by using their power, travel back in time to the moment when Zeus appeared in front of him in human form, for then and only then, lies his chance of killing The King of Olympus. 

\n

The premise isn't very original, but its scale is most certainly, epic. Majestic creatures of all shapes and kinds take part in this adventure, and by antagonizing and then killing some really powerful entities, Kratos will get closer and closer to ending Zeus, one bloody battle at a time.

\n

The action and combat system are the main stars, besides the story, as by discovering sadistic new ways of combining physical and magical attacks, Kratos will massacre waves and waves of demonic imps, ever so stylishly. And never forget, you can climb the Cyclops body up to his head, and by clawing, deprive him of his sight. It's super satisfying. 

\n

Speaking of satisfaction, one of the last battles in the game will give you tons of it. When encountering two of the sisters, Lakhesis and Atropos, Kratos happily decides to tackle them at once, handicapping himself in a 1v2 match. The sisters are cruel, winged and fanged creatures. Also, continuously teasing him with sexual innuendos isn't very fair.

\n

But,as you work your way around their attacks and manage to land a few good strikes on them (while their breasts react to the blunt force, ever so subtly), they pool a trick on you - they plung you into the past! (Samurai Jack, anyone?)

\n

Then you realize that you are in fact transported near the Aegean sea, at the precise moments when Ares pulled a similar trick on Kratos, during the finale of the first game. It's more than an awesome move, and the developers surely succeeded in raising your blood pressure with that decision. 

\n

You quickly realize that the sisters' plan is to make you lose the battle with Ares, thus preventing Kratos from ever acquiring the power of time-travel. So, you must fend them off as they are basically trying to destroy the very weapon which saved Kratos back then, a mile-long steel blade, doubling as a bridge to a temple. As you witness your former self vanishing into some other dimension with the pre-reigning god of war, this fist-pumping battle decides the outcome of the Fates, and ultimately sentences the demise of the Olympians.

\n

The only weak point of this setting is, obviously, being unable to feel the true ramification and proportions of this fight, if not having finished God of War 1 before. But, if that condition is met, there'll be absolutely nothing to hinder the enjoyment and satisfaction you'll get, when Kratos breaks their bodies in the end. By violently smashing them together. 

\n

Repeatedly. 

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3. MGS 3: Snake Eater - The Boss

\n

After the shocking series of OMFG events that was MGS 2: Sons of Liberty, many long term fans of this beloved franchise were left feeling uncomfortably surprised. Yes, that game managed to be more than just an excellent sequel to probably the best game of the previous generation (by no means an easy task), but it might had taken simply too big of a leap. It was a bold and super-risky move, but many claimed that it also went way too overboard for its own good. 

\n

So, for the third installment of the series, Kojima, of course, at first lied that it's not going to happen, and when he announced it officially, we were all pleased to know that he actually WAS listening to the complaints. The trailers showed that MGS 3 would serve as a prequel for the entire story so far, and we immediately got excited about playing as Big Boss (or Naked Snake) in his prime.

\n

The result was not as unexpected as before, as the story was far less reaching into supernatural or sci-fi territories. As such, it allowed more room for character development, and we got to know these video game icons from every angle, up close and personal. Also, the infamous codec moments this time around were bearably long, and simply didn't distract the action as much. That it a staple of itself, as far Metal Gear games go. 

\n

Snake Eater was breaming with style and more than spot-on spy-themed music, that made us feel as the main characters in a very-high quality movie of the said genre. This game wasn't afraid to show of it's biggest inspirations, as by simple saving the game, we were given quick summaries of famous movies of that particular era (the 60's and 70's), and even comparisons to James Bond. Also, Snake wondered if one day we will be able to star in our own action movies form the comfort of our home. It was just the sort of fourth-wall breaking we've come to expect from the series.

\n

But, what this game did exceptionally well was depicting just what it means to be a soldier, in it's purest form. What it really means to follow the orders of your supervisors, in the name of the country you love. And unconditionally borrow your life for. The story's strongest points are so devastating, it's practically impossible to ignore the flavour this game will leave you with. It's one of those titles where you'll simply fall in love with every second of it. 

\n

The path Snake has to take in order to find his resolve and become the man he is supposed to, is a heartbreaking one. And at the end of it, there were no doubts that we witnessed the whole transformation of this man, John, into the legend that is Big Boss. 

\n

From the beginning of the game, when his mentor, The Boss, reminds Snake of the basics of CQC (close quarters combat), we find ourselves in the eye of the tornado, that is their relationship. It's one that transcends love or admiration - in their eyes, it's all about being the best person that they possibly can. And in their philosophy, such state is achieved by loving your country, and paying your debt towards it with every breath of your life. The exercise of making tough decisions by following the mind mostly, and the heart lastly, is one that sums up their lives, up to that point. 

\n

That's why the final battle is immensely unbearable, when Snake is often physically unable to do his best, as his emotions can't help but obscure the completion of his mission - kill The Boss. And she can't resist but ask this damned question: "What is gonna be, Snake, loyalty to your country, or loyalty to me?"  It is a dilemma which Snake would have no trouble solving if it was any other human being, except for her. 

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This fight will test the players skills, acquired throughout the game, as the easiest way to finish it is by having mastered that very technique introduced at the beginning of the game - CQC. Taking place at the most epic of epic "final boss" grounds in any video game, the overall scene will slowly bring you to tears. One strike at a time, as the two characters you felt in love with are stuck in a brawl to the death, dictated by their principles only. And staying true to your principles till the very end It's the essence of being the greatest soldier who ever lived. 

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"I gave my life, not for honour, but for you..."

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4. Shadow of the Colossus - Avion

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This game is widely considered to be one of the very best offerings on the PS2, and with good reason. Also, it is considered to be a true manifestation of art in video games, again, with good reason.

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Quite simply, Shadow of the Colossus underlined the importance of "daring to dream", a skill that no game developer should be a stranger to, I believe. It brought unprecedented focus on themes like solitude, beauty and nature. It's the very definition of "art-piece", to the point to, when attempting to describe the feelings which this game brings you, you'll be as successful as when trying to describe the same about any meaningful painting.

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So, I'm just going to quickly lay down the basics here, as trying to discuss what messages this particular game bears, will be criminal to anyone who still hasn't tried it. 

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The protagonist travels to a long forgotten by men and forbidden land, in order to try to save his terminally ill girlfriend (or wife, we are not told clearly). He carries her on a horse, and upon entering a huge temple, is greeted by a ghost-like entity, named Dormin. It agrees to help our hero, if he manages to recollect all of Dormin's soul pieces, now occupying 16 different colossal beings, scattered all around this barren land.

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Yes, the game consists solely of those 16 boss battles, and some travelling between them, yet it delivers an unforgettable experience. It will make you feel utterly alone, as you observe the surrounding ruins, and are overwhelmed by the sudden tonal changes between areas.

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All of the colossi are expertly envisioned and interpreted, and many of them deserve a spot on this list. But, my personal favourite is the fifth colossus. Appearing as a giant bird, this piece of Dormin's soul is nested near a hollow and grey-ish lake. It frequently soars through the sky, shrieking loud, hunting sounds. 

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You'll gaze at this marvellous creature with an open mouth, yet you'll know what you're about to do.  Avion seems unreachable up there, and the full spread of his wings casts an enormous shadow down there, where you are. The scene gives this colossus celestial properties. Although it'll make you sad, you'll eventually figure out how to call it down.

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Few arrows will get Avion's attention, and as the colossal bird set it sights on you and charges, you'll see the surges of energy and wind it generates in it's wake. And as it's giant beak nears it's prey, the adrenaline rush will be palpable. You wait for the right moment, and cunningly grab the fur on his shoulder, not giving it any room to grab you. And then the ride begins.

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Avion will nervously elevate high above the lake, often shaking and doing 360 degrees maneuvers, desperately trying to get rid of you. It'll sense its inevitable end, and there you are, clawing your way through it's weak points and depriving it from his essence. In agony, the humongous bird will put his last shreds of energy into efforts of hurling you down. The landscape will gravitate around it's giant body, but the protagonist's resolve will be greater. 

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As you deliver the final blow, Avion loses it's conscious, and pivots fast downward. The rude landing of it's wight breaks the stillness of the water, and the hero let his grasp lose. He flows in the ever darkened waters, falling in deep sleep. As he awakens, somehow back in the temple, he notices another black shade surrounding him, along with a somewhat darker tint in his hear colour. The world grows more silent. You were successful. Avion is dead.

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Not many video games make you feel absolute, painful silence... 

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5. Silent Hill 2 - Pyramid Head

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 A decade and a half has passed since this horror standard-bearer was unleashed on the world. It hasn't lost any of it's "mojo" as of yet, but no play through ever will be as the first time you wrapped your head around this mystery. It was dark and gloomy, on a whole other different level, even when compared to it's predecessor. Silent Hill 2 also controlled better and had better camera angles overall, so sudden deaths weren't as oft of an occurrence this time. In short, it hadn't any intention of obscuring your progress by placing you in the shoes of an impossible to navigate protagonist. Rest assured, the game's reaction to your inputs (or lack of) wasn't part of it's difficulty. 

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As so, uncovering the true horrors it had to offer and solving it's tough-as-nails puzzles, was a largely more enjoyable experience than in Silent Hill 1. And I'm referring to "enjoyment" in the most broader sense of the word as possible. Yet, you'll hardly find anyone who tried this game, and wasn't drawn to it very quickly. 

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The story of James Sunderland is one subject to many interpretations, as it's psychological and multi-dimensional roots will surely provoke various conclusions by different players. But, overall is a story about grief, and it's ability to completely overwhelm one's mind and personal life, in general. 

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As you stumble upon the town of Silent Hill, you'll question right away the true meaning of the extra-thick layers of fog, present everywhere. It's so thick in fact, that James can't see more than 3-4 feet in front of him. During the day.

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Throughout the course of the game, he'll wander in abandoned houses, graveyards, meat factories and other disturbingly empty places, unaware of his real purpose in Silent Hill, or the revelation this town it's about to bestow on him. The whole story is essentially solving his case, and everything that's happening around him, has more than deep implications and meaning vis-a-vis his consciousness. 

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One time, while trying to decipher a particular puzzle, James stumbles upon a tall figure, with painfully-looking three-angled pointed contraption on it's head. The creature has prominent masculine characteristics, and also, at that moment, is in "conspicuous" position in relation to two other monsters, who are basically contrived of four female legs, each. 

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James shockingly tries to remain undetected, by hiding in some wardrobe. Sensing the disturbance, Pyramid Head tries to uncover what caused it, and as he approaches the wardrobe, James in panic shots few rounds of pistol-fire. Surprisingly, that seems to work, and the monster slowly leaves the scene. 

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However, the encounter I'm referring to in this list follows not long after, when upon entering a suddenly unlocked door, James is greeted by him, again. But, this time Pyramid Head wields an uncomfortably long, rusty sword, and the very sound it makes while dragged on the floor is enough to make you wanna turn the TV off. James will try to exit through the same door, but, of course, it's locked again, seemingly from the outside. 

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The monster slowly walks towards you, scraping with every step, and his attention is not something anyone would wish for. Pyramid Head is really the last person you'll want to be stuck in a room with. He unnervingly follows you around, as you waste all of your ammo on him. Try everything you have if you like, he simply doesn't have pain sensation. He's just one to make you say: "I saw nothing"...

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All jokes aside, this encounter is more than terrifying, and is unbearable mostly because of his appearance. Besides being filthy and blood-sprayed, it's obvious that he endures a lot of pain, as the pyramid on his head clearly crushes his skull and deforms his face. Also, that sword seems to be too heavy even for him, and when he swings it, he puts all of his back in the motion. It feels like one more swing and he must rest, but he prevails on. 

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So, you'll have to ask yourself, is he trying to punish me (and if so, for what?), or causing himself physical pain is his true goal? And you'll also wonder how'd be like to use his sword against him. Thankfully, you'll have that exact opportunity, when somehow James comes in possession of that particular oversized butcher's knife. 

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Hmm, I wonder why, and how that came to be...

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6. Deus Ex - Gunther Hermann 

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This game was a cocktail of various game genres, like FPS, RPG and adventure, all mixed with strong political undertone, threat of terrorism and alien presence. It was also one of the first games where to the player was given the freedom to largely shape the story, by deciding the outcomes of certain confrontations. Deus Ex was revolutionary in many ways. And even today, more than 15 years after it's release, it remains brilliant. 

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The main character, JC (Jesus Christ?!) Denton, is as much of a cocktail (in a sense) as the very game he stars in. He mostly consists of bazillion ultra-tiny nano-machines, who help him with his every-day ordeals. They also allow him superhuman attributes, like super strength, super jump or invisibility, for the cost of bio-energy drained. 

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But, he, after all, isn't a machine, although he'll soon learn to question basic facts which normal humans usually don't ever have to suspect. Facts like who are his parents, and where he grew up, finished school, or even who were his childhood friends. Along with the player, JC embarks on a quest to find out many, many truths, regarding the ever-present "invisible hand" turning the world's economical state, as well as his very self.  

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And how can he answer all those questions, uncover all those mysteries? The best part is that, you get to decide. By killing, not killing, exploring, hacking, swimming, eating, drinking, jumping, stealing, talking, etc. The world was build like a sand-box for all of JC's tools, and the levels were designed specifically for being tackled by a young, heavily mechanized and ignorant, experiment such as him. 

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And, unlike the newer iterations of the franchise (2011's Human Revolution), bosses didn't stray from said principle. In fact, their very hostility is often up to the player, as antagonizing them is not always implied by the story. And more so, even when it does, the nature of the upcoming confrontations is still variable. 

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Such as the feud with Gunther Hermann, the hulking mass of steel, blue veins, and persistent German accent. He starts of as JC's superior, the more experienced, now ageing agent of the organisation UNATCO. He seemingly has no problem with sharing his vast knowledge as a spy with the younger adjutant. You frequently talk with him, hang around with him and share a drink or two. At least in the first hours of the game.

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As so, when it gets clearer and clearer that he will be sent to dispose of you, later on in the game, JC might very well be armed with the ultimate weapon against him. It's just one of the moments when Deus Ex will test how much attention you have been paying so far, and award those who took the time to snuff around more. 

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Because, by doing just that (snuffing around), JC will confirm his thoughts about the state of Hermann's organic-opposed-to-non-organic ratio, and just what that may imply. Of course, being an almost completely mechanized killing machine, in every sense of the word, like Gunther undoubtedly is, has it's perks, and weaknesses also. Crucial weaknesses. Ones who JC can very well incorporate in his MO. Yes, in fact, every machine can be shut down. 

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It was a gentlemen's decision for the developers to stay true till the end in their intention to make the game unique and thus, ever-green. So, instead of having another loud, "half a-robot v. more-than-half a-robot stand-out", players were given the choice to completely avoid this potentially fatal situation. And that was something extraordinary for the time when Deus Ex appeared. 

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"Laputan machine"...

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7. Dark Souls - Four Kings

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This is the very game whose notorious difficulty made it quite the gaming phenomenon when it released back in 2011. Although it is a spiritual successor to the critically acclaimed Demon's Souls, the large amount of spotlight attention and popularity that Dark Souls received, still counts as a surprise. It is one of those games who didn't really need a cunning marketing agenda - it's strongest selling point was the fact that anyone who tasted it, simply couldn't stop talking about it for days and days, to everyone he/she knew. 

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Dark Souls was an obvious continuation of the same game direction taken with the previous title. But, the good folks at FROM Software clearly did "level up" in doing what they do best, between the two games. Everything in Dark feels fresh, organic and significant, even the ideas that were clearly "borrowed" from the previous game. The combat system was unchanged, and with good reason. The eeriness of the world remained prevalent, and also the lore remained mysterious, such as the insignificance of your character.

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But, most importantly, just as before, what Dark Souls had to offer was, in short, an experience of a lifetime. It's no wonder this game so frequently shows up on various "best games of all time" lists. It had no particular flaws word mentioning, and it was down-right masterful in many areas. Most notably, atmosphere and bosses.

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One of the higher points of this dark story, IMO, was the New Londo area, forming a strong, cohesive narrative with the boss battle there, The Four Kings. It is one of those places so thematically vivid and all-absorbing, that you'll find it hard to shake off the uneasiness that will grow on you, even after you put down the controller. It will follow you around, until you beat it. Bested it. See it to the end.

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And that particular area (not unlike the rest of the game) is worth giving the thorough-est of thorough examinations, I guarantee it. Uncovering just what the hell went wrong with New Londo (and there's so much wrong with it), it's one of the most intricate gaming-itches ever. And it's all round-upped perfectly with that boss battle. 

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The abyss (or the nothingness) it's not a place where boss battles are usually held, yet FROM Soft. decided to give us that exact experience. The abyss is seemingly limitless, never-ending and perpetually hungry for more souls, such as yours (and I mean not just the game's currency). It's very existence it's hard to comprehend, but accepting it is pivotal to defeating it. For starters, you'll need a very special ring so it doesn't swallow you whole right away, killing you in the same instant as you approach it. 

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And, just after you manage to successfully find your footing (literally), you'll have to adjust to it. It's more than extremely disorienting. As you begin to wrestle with the camera, you'll notice that you are not the only inhabitant of the Abyss. A grey-winged creature appears in the distance, along with the appropriate boss health bar at the bottom of the screen. And a haunting musical theme, of course. The boss's name is "Four Kings", but there's only one there, right?

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Wrong... As you have a hard time learning his patterns, and failing to avoid his purple-homing-missile-thingy attack, another one sprawls up behind you. And another one. Still, there's only three of them. So naming them "four kings" it's still inaccurate, you'll come to conclude. And you'll die. 

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This battle is a heart-stomping dance of slashes and dodges that you'll have to master, cuz defeating them fast, one by one, it's the only way to stop them from swarming you. And you'll must do that alongside mastering the Abyss. It's a thrill like none felt before. 

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Also, try not to stare at those baby-cradling female ghosts for too long... 

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8. DMC 3: Dante's Awakening - Final showdown with Vergil

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Action games (or ultra-action games, like this one) have always struggled to find a reasonable setting or explanation as to why is there a never-ending wave of enemies, marching towards you and demanding your immediate attention. And this time, it's mostly because this particular pair of Gemini simply can't stand one another. So they send each other invitations for a deadly confrontation, and both of them seem to not give any deeper thought on the matter. They will resolve their "problem", and it will happen soon. And so, we were in for one hell of a ride.

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The most popular sword wielding, half-human, half-devil twins in all gaming, never shone more brightly than in their original feud, in Devil May Cry 3. This game is hands-down one of the few ones that have a perfect combat system, combining timing, skill, precision, and even button-mashing, all to create the perfect playground for the player, one where you'll have hours and hours of fun, long after you've finished the story. It probably is the most definitive example of the ultra-action genre, as we are ever going to get. It is a game where you are limited only by your own imagination. 

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That being said, the story undoubtedly is a strong driving force when you first play the game, and actually pay attention to it. You play as Dante, the less powerful of the two, who basically founds himself not being able to deny his evil twin's series of challenges, only to prove his point, and subdue him. The story then expands into wider areas, like family, honour and friendship, and it becomes one of the game's strongest points. 

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But, the duo remains the most amazing part of the game, mostly because of the game's expert realization of their polar opposite natures. They have completely different and antagonistic views in relation to one another, literally about everything. Basically, they don't agree at all on the subject of what is "cool".

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Dante finds firearms, heavy metal, missile-riding and general badassery to be cool, so he wields modern weapons as well as devil-arms (the game's melee-based weapons). He's also a loud-mouth, has a fiery temper and a cheerful personality. And always wears red.

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Vergil thinks old-school is cool, so he uses magically-conjured flying swords alongside his close-ranged weapons. He doesn't show any particular interest in music. He is also noticeably cold all around. In his speech, his movement, his viewpoints. He likes power, and likes to get more of it by depriving his twin of his own. And of course, Vergil always wears blue. 

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As far as a general breakdown of their characters goes (and I think I nailed it), that's all the game will give you. In the rest of it, you'll get to experience the brawl first hand, as Dante first, and later as Vergil, also. There are three epic fights in the story, and the last one clearly takes the cake. 

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Taking place at no-other than the very hell's gate, the brothers duke it out relentlessly, making the crimson waters around them flow ever more crimson, right into oblivion. It's a blood-boiling duel to the death, that ultimately settles the score between them, and decides the stronger of their widely different fighting styles. It will take the best of both of them, and only one will emerge as the better man. But not without the cost of losing one sibling. It would seem, there is no other way for any of them to win.

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Luckily, devils never cry...

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9. Demon's Souls - Tower Knight

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Demons' Souls was and still is, a revelation of original, fresh ideas in modern gaming. A somewhat underrated gem, which no doubt brought that forgotten hand-sweating excitement back in our couch-related favourite past-time activity. A statement of human endurance and perseverance, this masterpiece impressed many with it's high level of un-forgivingness, but it was its even higher level of memorability that passed the test of time. 

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Also, it introduced a new concept of multi-player experience, one where players from all around the world are able to enter your very game, in order to help you, or more likely, end you (your avatar, that is). As such, that concept successfully made finishing the game a collective accomplishment, cuz it was very probable that helped arrived when you needed it the most. 

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And need it you shall, as you'll face increasingly difficult ordeals, one after another. Imagine passing a narrow bridge filled with many, many enemies armed with swords, spears, shields and crossbows alike. And now imagine a freaking dragon raining fire constantly on top of your head. Yeah. Not the pinkest of situations. And don't forget the intriguing fog door in the distance, laughing as you die again and again, trying to reach it. But, with every death, you drop closer and closer to that threshold. That tiny "progress" you make with every try is the only thing that'll keep you sane. Or so they say.

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And finally, after more tries than you'll ever admit, you'll walk through the gate. The sheer spectacle of what awaits you completely overwhelms your senses. It is a welcoming committee like you've never seen before. And you're dead. And back at the beginning of that whole sections I just described. Think pink.

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This boss is also the first time the game breaks some of its already insane rules - the simple rule that humanoid enemies have humanoid size. The Tower Knight is gigantic, and has a tower for a shield. Also, 30-something normal sized, crossbow-wielding minions. You'll probably notice the amazing boss music for the first time in the game there, as it paints the hopelessness in you perfectly. Your heart will beat real fast, and you'll find it real hard to concentrate in that tornado of adrenaline you were just hurled into... 

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But, you'll eventually find your footing, and you'll also remember your struggle throughout for a long time. Once you man up, there's only one conclusion - this is in fact, the easiest boss in the game. His guards are quickly dispatched, and then you'll focus on his cumbersome feet. Very soon then, he'll stumble on his back, leaving his head exposed for punishment. You'll slowly walk past his sprawling body, all the way to where his undersized head is. He's still breathing, but now you'll make him regret his ways, by bashing his head in.

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And you'll savor every moment of it.

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10. Diablo 2 - Duriel

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Being the unhindered-by-time masterpiece that it is, Diablo 2 brought a lot of fresh ideas to the table, alongside it's deep and engaging skill-tree system. What was merely scratched with the original, this game expanded on, all while never losing it's focus. It had 5 playable classes (7 with the expansion), and all of them were completely different worlds when compared to one another. No, there was no "trifecta" of attack speed, crit hit chance and crit hit damage for all classes, like in some other game I won't even mention. The experience you get while playing this game is thrill-filled and always exciting, and with the many surprises, this game was, and still is, worth replaying multiple times.

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Speaking of surprises, certainly one of the most unpleasant ones ever, in any action RPG, is Duriel, the Act 2 Boss. This abomination will very likely cause terror and even physical fear, when it so startlingly jumps on you from the shadows, leaving you alone in sheer shock. And that question: "LOOKING FOR BAAL?"

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"Yes, Duriel, I was in fact looking for him, but now that I've found you, that's probably not happening" - you'll come to think in fear, as you're being one-shot by this unfriendliest of unfriendly foes. Over and over again. 

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And kudos to whoever at Blizzard North designed this creature. I mean, come on, a monstrous, slimy bug with a cold-oriented powers? A cockroach that freezes it's surrounding area? Probably, because of it's appearance? 

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It will take you a long while to re-collect your courage, I tell you now. But, after giving it some thought, you'll realize that you can simply buy thawing potions from the nearby vendor, gurgle them up as tequilas, stuck up on cold res, have some lemons (why not?) and you're ready for another go. Duriel it's basically a gear check, and doesn't have much hit-points. In fact, he's only scary the first time you face him (yes, it's a male). But what a jump-scare that first date is.

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Oh, Blizzard...

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Boss battles are those infamously devious parts of video games, when one's progress is put to the question of his/her's ability to surmount this newly-presented obstacle. Many a time you will stumble upon such "immovable objects", often when least expected, and you'll need to simply convince the game that you're the "unstoppable force", and strike just as hard back. 

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But, surprisingly, boss battles are often the defining moments that bring you closer with the game, rather than push you away. There are times when video games are considered as good as their weakest boss battle. And there are times when a boss is so well designed, thematically and virtually, that it is the first thing you'll think about when you think of that game, henceforth.

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Certainly, there are boss battles who I'd love to experience freshly again, just to sense the excitement of slowly understanding how to defeat them again, for the first time. Does that makes sense? Well, assuming that medicine will one day very likely come up with a procedure that will be able to remove specific memories of our RAM (so to speak), it can make a lot of sense, indeed. Of course, it's all just wishful thinking now... But, here's to hoping!

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(SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN'T PLAYED THESE GAMES, DUH!!!)

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What is mainstream culture doing to video games as an art form? https://www.gameskinny.com/n2439/what-is-mainstream-culture-doing-to-video-games-as-an-art-form https://www.gameskinny.com/n2439/what-is-mainstream-culture-doing-to-video-games-as-an-art-form Sun, 12 Jul 2015 17:30:01 -0400 KonstantinMKD

Nowadays, the majority of today's gamers aren't particularly looking for profound emotions and startling, breathtaking discoveries or breakthroughs. Not when they are simply looking to play few hours of DoTA 2, GTA V or Black Ops, and to have a lot of fun during that time. And that's perfectly fine and understandable, considering that it's the raison d'etre of all video games - they are here to entertain us.

Yes, video games provide hours and hours of pure fun and bright, flashing colors - all right there on your PC, TV, or handheld screen, accessible whenever and wherever you want. And more so, since the video game industry crash more than three decades ago, video game developers seem to only get better at what they're doing.

There's an undeniable upward trend in their inception process, marketing agenda, visual and audio quality, story quality, fun factor, and of course, in their ever-increasing popularity. It's more than obvious that the gaming industry is one of the world's most flourishing industries at the moment. Video games managed to become one of the best ways to bring people together, thus becoming an integral part of today's worldwide social and entertainment media.

Not so long ago...

So, let's take a slower, deeper look back at what made our favorite past-time activity what we know and love today. At first, video games were played almost exclusively by fat, nerdy kids, in somewhat gloomy arcades. And that was it. Not really a promising start, certainly not one from which you can easily explain the present situation.

Then, as the generations changed and the hardware upgraded with them, the 90's happened (yeah, I kinda skipped some of the process). Suddenly, we had super-influentual, multi-billion dollar corporations, like Sony and Microsoft, expressing a ton of interest and directing an even bigger chunk of their funds into developing and perfecting gaming. The industry that had been the favorite refuge of 80's nerdy kids. And it was no joke.

Game development teams grew from an average of 15-30 people to a whopping 1,000+ employees. Video game music moved from catchy 8-bit loops of synch harmonics to colossal, orchestrated musical numbers which followed you long after you stopped playing. Suddenly, actors were hired for video game roles, tons of script pages were being written, studios were opened that specialized in motion capture, building-tall advertisements for video games appeared in our cities and cleverly designed, shorter ones were on our TVs. Metal Gear Solid happened, Final Fantasy VII happened, Soul Reaver, Ocarina of Time, Chrono Trigger, Gran Turismo...

It was that decade that buried every illusion of video games being a marginally popular hobby for the unpopular, and brought them all, loudly and shining, into the mainstream.

And you know what the best part is? Video games absolutely deserved their metamorphosis.

And I hope we are all glad that those big names were able to sense "the magic" of what was going on in those gloomy arcades. Video games always had the power to express feelings, thoughts or other sensations in their purest forms, simply by being so palpably welcoming (and welcomingly simple).  They literally have no entry requirements. They capture the player, and once a player has mastered a particular video game's rules, they'll create a personal experience for themselves - far more so than any movie ever can.  

After the big leap

So began the fruit-bearing season, orchestrated by the afore-mentioned titans. Game development gained some genuine attention, and boasted familiar names, both new and old, who found this new enviroment as the perfect ground for producing their magnum opus. Standards rose higher and faster than ever before, and so did the expectations and goals of developers and gamers alike. 

 

Remember what Warren Spector's goal was while producing Deus Ex? To make the game of his dreams.  No more, no less. A goal that would virtually be unreachable if it were any other art form. But, as we all know, Deus Ex was a triumph in every sense of the word. It was the unleashing of genius, expert storytelling, and a display of what kind of quality video games can spit out, given they first swallowed the right ingredients, in the right amount.

But Deus Ex wasn't the first.

Almost at the same time (only a year before, I think), humankind was blessed with another masterpiece of epic proportions - brought to us by the man, Hideo freaking Kojima himself. Metal Gear Solid is, without question, heavily inspired by spy movies and novellas of the sort, but mixed with a "healthy" amount of paranoia and (dare I say) insanity. It was a bold and kinda risky move to combine military themes with the paranormal. But Kojima didn't stop there. He also aimed for a universal message about love, life and human relentlessness. And that it was. It was incredibly unrelenting game, somehow told in a "know it all tone", but with an obvious tendency to make it all the player's own experience by giving them a lot of freedom in how to play the game - something that was completely unexpected and surprising at the time.  

The "mainstream" recognition grows...

The biggest success, however, is that Kojima totally did it again - surprising us all. The sequel demanded our rapt attention, and we were more than happy to comply. The game sarcastically and continuously played internal jokes and pranks with its legendary prequel, taking it all to a level gamers thought implausible before. It was one of the most profound gaming experiences ever.

Case in point: the AI's conversation with the main character near the end of the game. It broke every known standard of "video game-player" interaction, immersed us 110% percent, and managed to provoke questions rarely thought about before.

The inevitable question presented itself: "Can they really do this?"

Indeed, they can, and did. By way of ending this praise of MGS 2: Sons of Liberty, I'll simply state that it was this particular masterpiece of symbolism, post-modernism and masterful action-oriented set-pieces, which officially elevated the medium to its rightful place. Both of the games were featured in the Smithsonian American Art Museum's "The Art of Video Games" exhibition than ran from March 16 to September 30, 2012.

But mainstream culture is hurting the artistic value of games.

It's crystal-clear that this art form shouldn't stagger its triumphant march by setting itself petty goals like "number of units sold". There are some newly formed terms, like "real money in-game micro-transactions" and "competitive gaming" or "eSports" which I consider obsolete. Why? I believe that's not the true nature, nor purpose of video games.

We've long since passed the point where they were supposed to merely "entertain" us, and everyone should acknowledge that. Only this form of art gives complete freedom to the artist to express their wildest dreams. Sadly, that's a fact which is almost completely overlooked these days.

Every video game has the potential to be the most outrageous, unholy union of fantasy, humor, rules (or lack thereof), hysteria, terror, and skill. They all have the potential to give us adrenaline, waves of nerd-gasms, and the long, breathless moments that come from not expecting and yet totally perceiving the impossible. They are the most sui generis form of media, more precisely, they are the most unique form of art and expressionism ever conceived.

That's not to say that I don't find some shining examples and exceptions in today's generations. There are some who nailed the concept of "living nightmare" and "testing human endurance to the limit," and victories that make me immeasurably happy. (Yes, I'm referring to Hidetaka Miyazaki's masterpieces, Demon Souls, Dark Souls and lately, Bloodborne). I just feel that they are too few and too far between in the sea of mediocre that is mainstream gaming. 

With such tools at their disposal, video game developers shouldn't ever consider stop striving to achieve greatness. It has been done before numerous times, and I know there's plenty more where that came from. Developers should always set the highest of goals that they can envision, and show unconditional perseverance in pursuing said goals. It should be their main contribution to the medium. 

And at the end of the day, being overly ambitious isn't a bad thing, right? I mean, when I began to write this article, I merely wanted to write the "video game article to end all video game articles". And look where that brought me :)

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Five Tips For Casual Players To Enjoy FromSoftware Games https://www.gameskinny.com/3jhs9/five-tips-for-casual-players-to-enjoy-fromsoftware-games https://www.gameskinny.com/3jhs9/five-tips-for-casual-players-to-enjoy-fromsoftware-games Sun, 14 Jun 2015 08:30:02 -0400 OrganisedDinosaur

Since 2009’s Demon’s Souls for PS3, FromSoftware has been spearheading a movement to return us to the classic days of unforgiving, hardcore NES titles. The slogan of their most iconic game Dark Souls is “Prepare to Die”, so it is hardly surprising that these games do not offer a free ride.

Considering that games are criticized more readily for being too easy than being too hard, this approach was well-received by many. The major downside, however, is a huge barrier to entry that caused many gamers to merely watch Souls games in Let’s Plays or to skip over them entirely.

But here's the truth, casual gamers: FromSoftware isn't going anywhere, and Souls games will keep being made as long as people want to play them. So you may as well accept that you are going to need to get into it sooner or later. So here are my five most important tips to help you to break into FromSoftware games.

Don't Worry About Experience Points

Whatever Miyazaki calls experience points in any one game, the consistent mechanic is that upon death, you lose them all. You have one opportunity to go and get them, or else they are lost forever. How punishing! Well, not really. Relax and take a moment to consider before you panic.

First of all, you have that one chance to retrieve them, so there is a possibility that all will be fine. Second of all, even if you do lose them altogether, what have you really lost? Time. Nothing more than the fact that you need to play a portion of the game again (just like every other video game). Assuming you are spending your experience at checkpoints (which you should be), then the only points that you can lose upon death are those that you collected by killing the enemies you encountered since your last checkpoint. So if you end up back at that checkpoint minus the experience points, then you will acquire it again en route to your bloodstain.

In fact, if you manage to reach your bloodstain, then the mechanic is simply forced grinding, which will ultimately make things easier. These games are quite long; you won’t complete them in an afternoon, so relax and be patient. Death in these games is as meaningless as in any other game.

These words hold less power than you thought

Scout Ahead

What’s this? Have I uncovered some sort of drone that can be remotely controlled to scout out the level? Not quite. Something that you may realize quite early on, and that becomes especially evident from watching speedruns, is that you can actually run right past pretty much every enemy in these games. While I would not recommend this for a number of reasons (such as the fact that it takes its own type of skill and that remaining at a low level throughout the game is not recommended for the full experience), it is still a fact that can be very useful.

If you reach a bonfire and spend all, or at least most, of your experience and don’t care about the token amount you have left, then you have absolutely nothing to lose. You can jump off that cliff as much as you want. Losing experience, as we already mentioned, is not as big a deal as the game would like you to believe. Take advantage of this newfound freedom to do some scouting. Run into higher level areas and grab the items before being killed. Find out what enemies lie around the next few corners. Essentially you can go on suicide runs with no fear whatsoever.

Cheese

This may not be very honorable, but you are fighting against a bunch of ones and zeroes, so who really cares about honor? The truth is that a lot of FromSoftware games are quite easily exploited. I don’t mean skipping large portions of the game or something else that is patchable, but rather exploiting AI patterns and the like.

Certain enemies will not leave their designated area or climb ladders, for example. It is virtually impossible to create a game that is this big and not have a fair number of problems. With practice and determination, any player of any skill level can overcome any adversary. Eventually you will find that angle that allows you to pummel your opponent in safety, and if you don’t find it yourself, it’s available on the Internet.

Cheesing offline makes you feel brave

Play Offline

One of the most terrifying aspects of these games are the fact that absolute strangers can literally step into your game uninvited and try to ruin your progress. It is stressful, and can leave a player feeling very frustrated and even violated. To many gamers, this is not only the least fun idea in gaming’s history, but also enough to completely turn them off playing.  

How can new, inexperienced and frightened players possibly get around this nightmare? Is there no way to avoid this system that metes out random and unfair punishment? Actually there is - just play offline.

Research The Lore

The cryptic nature of Miyazaki’s storytelling is one of the most recognizable features of his video games. For some people, it's one of the most difficult to swallow. While I don’t recommend spoiling the entire game for yourself in advance of playing it, if you are the sort of gamer who needs a compelling story to justify continuing a game, then get yourself some context before playing a Miyazaki game.

Look up the background lore and understand the game world up until the point where the gameplay itself begins. This will enable you to piece together the information found in-game much more easily and give you a greater feeling of purpose as you explore the unforgiving world. Wanting to understand something is a far more compelling reason to go on than wanting to murder something, and a little research will enable you to understand what you encounter and get a lot more out of the experience.

Understanding your battles will draw you into the world

When approached with these tips in mind, it will becomes apparent that FromSoftware has not created a game that is remotely as intimidating as you think it is. Some of the biggest challenges can be cheesed or avoided entirely, and the most intimidating mechanics in the game are actually completely meaningless when you think about it. Sure, the games are long and require a fair amount of trial and error, but anyone can play them and anyone can beat them. Just approach them with the right attitude. It will all be fine.

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Rumor: We might just see Dark Souls 3 at E3 2015 https://www.gameskinny.com/v3o11/rumor-we-might-just-see-dark-souls-3-at-e3-2015 https://www.gameskinny.com/v3o11/rumor-we-might-just-see-dark-souls-3-at-e3-2015 Tue, 02 Jun 2015 11:06:26 -0400 OrganisedDinosaur

This year has already been a good year to be a Souls fan with Scholar of the First Sin and Bloodborne both already been released in the first quarter. On top of that, Bloodborne has a confirmed expansion in the works with more details expected to drop soon.

Is it asking too much to believe that Dark Souls 3 is not only in development but that From Software is ready for announcement at E3? Not only that, but that Hidetaka Miyazaki is directing it.

Hidetaka Miyazaki is the mastermind behind the Souls franchise

An unconfirmed source has informed VG247 exactly this. While it is very easy to believe that another Souls style game will come, it seems like wishful thinking that it could be announced so soon after Bloodborne and even more hopeful to believe that Miyazaki would return to direct after choosing to move on to Bloodborne rather than work directly on Dark Souls II.

If Dark Souls III is indeed a reality then it would likely be a multi-platform title and has probably been in development for some time already. Perhaps it is too good to be true, but we will know in two short weeks. Would you be prepared to die, again?

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What does Bethesda need to do to make Fallout 4 perfect? https://www.gameskinny.com/w3rrp/what-does-bethesda-need-to-do-to-make-fallout-4-perfect https://www.gameskinny.com/w3rrp/what-does-bethesda-need-to-do-to-make-fallout-4-perfect Mon, 18 May 2015 11:16:52 -0400 The Soapbox Lord

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While this is wishful thinking, I believe Fallout 4 could be improved with some of these additions or tweaks. At the end of the day, we all want Fallout 4 to be the best game it can be. Who doesn’t want to have a better game?

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What changes or improvements would you like to see in Fallout 4? Agree with my list or think I have had too much Quantum Nuka-Cola? Sound off in the comments below!

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More Radio!

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The radio in Fallout 3 was brilliant. It kept the player op to date with events happening in the world and also alerted players to the consequences on their actions. We got awesome oldies music to boot! The problem is, again, it got repetitive rather quickly. After hearing “Butcher Pete” for the umpteenth time and Three Dog telling me about the results of a quest I completed hours ago, I had to turn off the radio.

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Fallout 4 can fix this by adding more music, dialogue, and even stations! It would be cool to tune into different stations broadcasting from different parts of the world and hear each region’s take on events. Each region could even have their own music they prefer to hear over the airwaves! The stations could even have rotating DJs the player or others can eliminate if they don’t like what the DJ says. The possibilities are nearly endless with this; so it would be great to see Bethesda do more with the great foundation they have. 

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Serious Quality Assurance

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Bethesda, we need to talk. Your bugs are killer. No, not the mutated, mean-eating ones, the game-breaking ones. Yes, Fallout 4 will be an open world game and trying to kill every bug in one of those is like trying to fight a forest fire with a water pistol. However, you could try to eliminate more of the serious bugs. As much as I enjoyed Fallout 3, there were several times when character dialogue would glitch, quests could not be completed, or I fell through the game world and was lost in a hellish, blank landscape. Let’s not forget about those game freezes too!

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A lot of these issues may be rectified with the improvements we have had in technology since, but also Bethesda should use a new engine from the one used in Skyrim (they really should). With improved technology and a better testing process, players could enjoy Fallout 4 with fewer frustrations from the technical hiccups. Also, we should not have to download gigantic day-one patches for our games in order to play proper properly... but that is a can of worms for a later date. 

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More of the Gallows Humor

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The opening to the original Fallout finds two armed men standing over a kneeling, bound prisoner while “Maybe” by The Ink Spots plays in the background.  The men shoot the man in the head and shoot him again once he falls; one of the men laughs during this process while the other turns towards the camera and waves. This opening perfectly captures the essence of Fallout in less than four minutes and gives you a sense for the pitch black humor that lies in wait.

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Fallout 4 needs to retain the humorous elements. The humor is an important part of the franchise as it usually a sharp contrast to the horrors around you. There were moments in Fallout 3, but there could be more. The game does not need to be a comedy game, but the addition of the dark humor helps keep the dreadful world from wearing on the player’s spirit too much. 

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Step Up the Quest Design and Writing

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Bethesda should be developing this cooperatively with Obsidian. If there is one thing Obsidian can do well, it’s quest design and writing. The writing in New Vegas was terrific (remember Think Tank?), and the quest design was fantastic to boot.

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By stepping up the writing and quests in Fallout 4, the characters would be better, and players would have more memorable quests to discuss with their friends long after adventuring in the harsh world. Who doesn’t want to see Obsidian work on another Fallout entry

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A More Interesting World and Locations

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Fallout 3 had a far more interesting world than Oblivion or Skyrim, but it still managed to get repetitive before too long. While we had some interesting places such as Tenpenny Tower, Vault 108, Rivet City, and Andale, the majority of the world blended together after some time save a few exceptions. Again, this was a problem New Vegas addressed with more varied and distinct locales such as the Big M.T. facility, Novac, Jacobstown, and New Vegas itself among others.

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The problem is Bethesda’s worlds are usually so large, they get repetitive quickly. So why not make a smaller, more interesting game world with more depth and variety? Or do what Obsidian did and just populate the large world with more interesting places? Bethesda can make some interesting places to explore, so why not focus on making a better world instead of a bigger one? Bigger is not always better. Also, more snow! Don't you want to build a snowman?

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Weapons, Please!

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Fallout 3 had some interesting weapons like the Experimental MIRV, alien atomizer, Mesmetron, gauss rifle, and the auto axe to name a few. The problem is a lot of weapons were variants of a type and not very distinct from one another. I might be using a unique Blackhawk revolver, but it looks the same as a normal .44 magnum revolver. Weapons should be more distinguished from one another.

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Also, we are in a sci-fi universe, so why not more imaginative or zany weapons? The alien weaponry and plasma arms were cool, but surely we can do more? Take Red Faction: Guerilla and Armageddon for instance. In those titles we had Singularity Grenades, Nano Rifles, Napalm Lasers, and Mr. Toots for crying out loud! Granted, those games are set in the far future, but we could have something similar in the new Fallout games. Or even just alternate fire modes like the firearms in Bulletstorm. It would be great to see the developers go hog wild with some inspired designs that are fun to use.

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The Combat Needs Work

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Let’s be honest, Bethesda’s strong suit is not combat. At its best, it’s mediocre and boring; at its worst, it’s floaty and unsubstantial. The V.A.T.S. system was a brilliant way to mask the dice rolling and calculations under the hood in a way for newer players to grasp and led to dropped jaws as countless heads exploded. The problem was, when not using V.A.T.S., the guns felt like toys which fired air bullets. Sure, I saw the enemy explode in pieces, but the gun never conveyed the power I saw onscreen.

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New Vegas helped by allowing iron sights (pay attention Bethesda!) and the weapons felt a bit more substantial and weighty. It was not perfect, but it’s a step in the right direction. For substantial combat, Bethesda could take notes from Bulletstorm, Hard Reset, and the Souls franchise. The weapons need to feel more substantial and satisfying to use. Really though, the entire combat system could use an overhaul to differentiate itself from The Elder Scrolls series. Maybe more tactical options?

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Don’t Forget Your Roots

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Since the release of Fallout 3, we have seen the release of Wasteland 2, Pillars of Eternity, and Divinty: Original Sin. All three of these titles were funded on Kickstarter by fans; all three are made in the vein of the classic CRPGs of old; and all three have been met with a positive reception from critics and players alike.

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Contrary to the mindset of the AAA publishing world, there is very much a market for an RPG that challenges the player in gameplay and doesn’t feature a Hollywood voice cast.

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Bethesda could incorporate aspects of the CRPG experience like the additional, optional difficulties of New Vegas without eliminating the mainstream appeal of their games. Wasteland 2 featured a harsh world where everyday survival was a bitter battle day in and day out which fits given the game’s bleak tone and setting. Fallout 4 doesn’t have to be as difficult as Wasteland 2, but it could bring a harsher world to players who desire it.

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Learn From New Vegas

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Fallout: New Vegas was a more divisive title than Fallout 3 due to the amount of bugs. I never thought I could play a game with more bugs than a Bethesda title, but holy mutated roaches Batman! New Vegas had more bugs than the Wasteland ever will, which is a damned shame because it is a superior title to Fallout 3 in so many ways.

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If you could endure the bugs, or simply find the fantastic mods from the community that helped with the problems, you were in for an apocalyptic delight! More interesting quests, fantastic writing, stronger characters, added depth of combat and mechanics, and a plethora of imaginative weapons were just a few of the improvements New Vegas made on the Fallout 3 foundation. Bethesda would be wise to learn from what Obsidian did with New Vegas going forward with the franchise.

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This will probably be mentioned a few times going forward. You were warned!

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We have all heard the rumors: Bethesda will show Fallout 4 in some form at this E3, be it a trailer or gameplay. The hype and anticipation for this rumored reveal has already reached astronomical heights.

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With the possibility of information on a new entry in the venerable RPG series, I think now is a great time to discuss some ways Fallout 4 can improve upon its predecessors and make for an upgraded experience in the nuclear wastes.

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Equip your plasma rifle and don your power armor; we’re venturing into the unknown. Keep an eye peeled for Deathclaws!

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10 Memorable Boss Fights https://www.gameskinny.com/pke9e/10-memorable-boss-fights https://www.gameskinny.com/pke9e/10-memorable-boss-fights Sun, 22 Feb 2015 04:28:13 -0500 Eric Nicolai

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Dark Souls - Ornstein and Smough

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Last on this list, but certainly not least, is one of the most notorious bosses from Dark Souls. Again I'm taking into consideration the fight, level design, and going into a bit more depth to look at the soundtrack of the fight as well. This encounter is impressive on every level. This was one of the fights in Dark Souls that just had players astonished. You  must fight two behemoths at the same time. Then when you finish one off, the other becomes a super behemoth. Talk about intense. 

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Catherine - The Child

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Catherine is a very obscure game and very enjoyable. This one makes the list for its underlying motivations rather than mechanics or level design. Although this (again) is a very creative character design, the meaning and symbolism of the undead child is more impressive. The following quote is taken right from Catherine Wiki.

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The baby itself represents Vincent's fear of having a child, which is raised when Katherine tells him the day before that she might be pregnant. The undead appearance is a design choice to make the The Child appear more menacing and creepy: to Vincent, this Child exists to destroy his freedom and life, chaining him to something he isn't ready for yet. 

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God of War 3 - Poseidon Battle 

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The God of War series has had some impressive boss fights, Poseidon is no exception. This fight takes place early in the game and really amps up the expectations for what other things will come as you play through the game. This fight is both beautiful and fun to play, making it a top boss fight.

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Demon's Souls - Old Monk Fight

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Demon's Souls created a new style of gameplay that many of us have grown to appreciate. In this new style was a boss that also seems to be very unique. The Old Monk boss fight pulled other players that were in the same level to fight as the boss against players that were trying to beat the boss. This was something different in terms of a boss fight, and another way players could do PvP while attempting to progress through the game. 

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The Evil Within - The Keeper Boss Fight

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SPOILER - Although this boss fight is not the only time you face the Keeper, you are pinned up in a room for this particular encounter. This character fight is so surreal it has to make the list. It leaves the player feeling helpless and scared, like a small rodent running from a swinging hammer trying to find the exit. The feeling that you get when you finally find the correct path can only be described as great. 

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Destiny - Atheon

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Destiny created a great experience for online players. The Vault of Glass raid was added for free a couple of weeks after launch. This boss fight and the whole level in general are something special. The raid initially took me fifteen hours to complete from start to finish. The boss alone was an eight hour fight. Anyone who has experienced this fight will agree that its mechanics make it a battle to remember.

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Dante's Inferno - Cleopatra

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Dante's Inferno is a very stylish hack-and-slash game. This fight is one for the books. How can anyone forget the huge breasts in the background of the fight that has small fetus like enemies spawning from the nipples. This fight is easily the most memorable from the game and stands out among many others from different titles.

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Dead Rising - Adam The Clown Psycho

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Dead Rising was a game that took players by surprise. It was something that hadn't been seen before. Adam the Psycho Clown was a fascinating fight. There are a lot of people that have a true fear of clowns and this particular NPC's mental health is broken after the zombie apocalypse, which can be seen when interacting with him in the game. It isn't just the fight alone that makes this one to remember - it is more about the gruesome death of this character after you beat him.

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Super Meat Boy - Dr. Fetus

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Super Meat Boy was an indie game that quickly became recognized for its difficulty level. Despite the challenge, the game is amazing and has a plethora of memorable moments. Dr. Fetus was not only an amazing character, but the final level tested all the player had learned and experienced through the entire game. This level pushed players to see what they had retained or not retained while playing the game.

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Lollipop Chainsaw - Zed

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Taken by himself, this boss isn't very impressive - a punk-style zombie with a cheerleader trying to kill him. However, looking at the entire fight and level design around Zed, this easily becomes a fight to remember. The music is amazing, the attack patterns of Zed are unique, and the amazing death scene skyrocket this fight to one of the greats.

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A bad or buggy/broken boss fight in a game can be just as detrimental as bad gameplay. This list takes a few things into consideration when choosing bosses. In my mind a boss:

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  • Has a level/room dedicated to them
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  • Has a visible health bar (in most cases)
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  • Takes and deals much more damage than regular enemies
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With those things in mind lets dive into what I believe are ten of the most epic boss fights we have seen in video game history.

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SOME VIDEOS MAY BE NSFW.

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