Unless you’re some sort of professional video game savant, you’ll be spending a lot of time staring at Bloodborne‘s logo. Surprise attacks, traps, one-shot kills, and just plain sloppy play means that you’ll have plenty of time to consider your actions while staring at the Game Over text and subsequent loading screen. Bloodborne‘s unusually long load times enforce this period of reflection. Apparently From Software is trying to cut these times down, but during the last few weeks if you have played Bloodborne, you may have been staring (and seething) at the loading screen for the better part of a minute.
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The premise of Titan Souls, while unusual, is not entirely unique as anyone familiar with the 2005 cult classic Shadow of the Colossus should know.
While both Shadow of the Colossus and Titan Souls take place in fantasy-inspired universes, composed of magic, monsters, and men, a la Legend of Zelda and countless other games that have come in its wake, the actual living population of the worlds belonging to the aforementioned games, though, is much more sparse than that of a Zelda game.
There’s been a lot of digital ink spilled over the faults of Valiant Hearts, most notably concerning the game’s inconsistent tone and the overall direction of the game. On the one hand, the game wants to be a serious examination of the horrors of war through the eyes of those affected by the first major conflict of the 20th century. While on the other, it wants to be a rollicking, pumped up action ride of pulp sensibilities, mustachioed villain and everything. It’s not so much that the fun, action-oriented pulp storyline featuring Baron Von Dorf is terrible, just that it should have been a separate game from the melancholy “family torn apart” storyline. It’s the back and forth between these two plotlines that let diminished Valiant Heart‘s promise.
That’s all well trodden ground and is material that would be quite easily excised from any potential remake. I feel the game suffers from another division of purpose, one that is more subtle and not quite easily extracted from the whole. It’s not so much a single element or series of elements, but a matter of one element that exists throughout Valiant Hearts. It’s a pattern best exemplified by this one overly pandering element: the narrator.
For a video game designed within a game genre known for its often less spectacle-driven storytelling, The Cat Lady is surprisingly brutal, violent, and often appalling.
That being said, it is also a horror game that is more interested in the horrors of real life, depression and anxiety, than it is in its gorier and terrifying backdrop. This week we discuss the 2012 indie game and what it might have to say about the kind of horrors that real people grapple with everyday.
I like watching people play FTL, a roguelike space adventure in which we’re a lone ship fleeing a powerful rebel empire, but I don’t like playing it myself. The random nature of events that define a roguelike and that make it so much fun to watch also made for a frustrating and disheartening play experience. For me, at least.
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