Muses: Difficulty in Video Games or ‘Why I Hate Dark Souls’

Video Game Difficulty is a hot topic these days as a new barrage of games spotlighting difficulty as one of their core values continues to arrive. Whether we’re talking brutal platformers trying to emulate the success of ‘I Wanna Be the Boshy’ or the action adventure sub-genre known as ‘Soulsborne’… difficulty is being brought into the spotlight more than ever.

There are many different ways to make a difficult game. Both Souls and Boshy are among the first games mentioned if you ask people about challenging games, yet the two take a completely different approach to difficulty. What I want to do here is explain the way I look at a game’s difficulty, and touch on why I find some difficult games fun while others atrocious. So for those of you out there who keep asking me why I dislike Dark Souls… here’s your answer.


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Tales of Berseria – Sweet Revenge

Let’s be honest… Tales of Zestiria was a huge let down. Bandai Namco (or Namco Bandai or whatever they’re calling themselves this week) had done a fantastic job on the series recently, making some of the best JRPGs I’d ever played and then Zestiria came out with its anticlimax of a finish, awkward combat, and disappointing core protagonists, reminding us all that what goes up must come down. Then I heard about Berseria, I saw trailers of it and it looked promising.

I kept hearing tidbits about the game that seemed good. It has a darker tone? Intriguing. The protagonist is female? Nice change of pace. But my hope wilted when I found out it took place in the distant past of Zestiria. I began to fear that we were in for another let-down. I still wanted to believe it would be good, that we would be going back to the greatness the last installments had featured… but I had my doubts. Now, the question then becomes: were my doubts realized?


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Bloodivores – Vampire Prison

In the world of Bloodivores, a sudden event caused people to start displaying vampiric tendencies. Fearing a potential disaster, The BST, an organization focused on the control and research of these ‘Bloodivores’, was formed. Before long, the BST had initiated measures to protect humanity from the Bloodivore threat, primarily placing sensory collars on anyone with the symptoms that would alert authorities if someone afflicted was a potential threat to humanity.

Alongside these measures, they also began researching the condition and, as one step towards understanding it and finding a cure, they began trying to breed a Bloodivore with a human. As a result, our protagonist Mi Liu was born. Our story begins with him as a rebellious teenager trying to help his friends get a little money to save their orphanage. Okay, maybe more than a little. To do this, they rob a bank but things don’t go quite as intended…


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Gallery Spotlight – Ai-Kon 2016 and Vancouver Galleries

Some of you know we have galleries here on Shadowedblade for my photography – mostly cosplay, although some from my various trips and vacations. For a long time, our gallery suffered from some coding problems that made some of the icons look a little awkward, and my wife (who is also my web designer and editor) has always wanted to revamp them to make them look and run just a little better.

Well, that day has come and we have some sleek, fancy new galleries for all of our pictures. To accompany the unveiling of the new gallery earlier this year, she also uploaded my Ai-Kon 2016 pictures and did some more of the Vancouver trip pictures. So today I’d like to point out a few of my favourites from among those two galleries and point you in their direction!

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Shadow’s Six – Best Games of 2016

It’s time to close the book on 2016’s gaming history. A big year for game releases is behind us, with several massive franchises popping up throughout the year… and a lot of pleasant little surprises too. We had some games that had been over a decade in waiting, and others that we only found out about weeks before their arrival. Games of all genres graced our consoles and computers, with sequels, expansions, reboots, and brand new titles all coming out this past year.

What amazed me this year was how few games were quite what I was expecting. Several games I expected to love I wasn’t terribly fond of, while others that I was concerned about I ended up being blown away by. Picking the games for this year’s list had a few obvious spots, but there are about 7 games fighting for those last couple slots, none of which are clear picks.

So without any further delay… let’s jump into the Best Games of 2016!

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