Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin (11/14/2017 – part 5)

I continued playing Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin (Spoilers ahead).

  1. Progress: After No-Man’s Wharf, I got a bit stuck as to where to go. I must’ve not noticed the interaction prompt in the Ghost Ship, because it took me a long time to find the Lost Bastille. 
  2. ruin-sentinelsFire Archers: Obliviously standing next to a barrel while being shot at with fire arrows resulted in an explosive outcome–unfortunately. 
  3. Explosive Barrels: I don’t really get why the barrels explode when struck with a sword. It really makes no sense. 
  4. McDuff: I think he may just be a pyromaniac, seriously was getting off on the flame.
  5. Rupturing Hollows: It makes me chuckle hearing these guys scream then explode.
  6. Hanging Cage: I so wouldn’t get into a tight, hanging cage in some creepy castle. 
  7. Scaffolding: I loved destroying the platforms from underneath the enemies.
  8. Pursuer: I was so bummed when he showed up. Luckily he wasn’t as hard the second time around. I also wasn’t excited when he showed up in another area. 
  9. 4-Weg4rbMRuin Sentinels: First off, wasn’t expecting to get attacked immediately dropping in through the fog, so that was a bummer. While one at a time they aren’t too bad, trying to take on multiple ones were a pain in the ass. Also sucked to find out they can jump up on the platform!
  10. Lost Sinner: For a guy locked up in manacles this guy was a pain in the ass–especially when you lose the lock on him. Also, I don’t think you can block his attacks, because he seemed to damage me a lot.

Early Impression: 8.5/10.0

Trophies Earned: Sinner’s Bonfire

 

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Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin (11/12/2017 – part 4)

I continued playing Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin (Spoilers ahead).

  1. Heide’s Tower of Flame: I think from a visual standpoint, this is my favorite area. I found myself taking in the view of the ocean slowly swallowing up the ruins of buildings, while traversing a number of crumbling walkways along the way.
  2. maxresdefaultFalling: While I enjoyed the view of Heide’s Tower of Flame, I found myself falling off to my death in the murky depths below while rolling away from the massive sentinels. 
  3. Dragon: Seeing the red dragon lounging on a tower in the distance was pretty cool. Realizing that as I progressed I was getting closer to the dragon made me nervous that it was going to kick my ass. However, it was easily killed with a bow. Not sure why it didn’t come after me and just stood there and took it.
  4. Dragon Rider: This guy was kind of a pain due to his massive reach. Still, not nearly as bad as The Pursuer. 
  5. Old Dragonslayer: I loved this boss battle. I thought it was cool that it took place in an old church. While not a particularly difficult boss battle, I was surprised when he did a magic attack that utterly destroyed a column in the church. Luckily, this boss is a bit on the slow side.
  6. No-Man’s Wharf: This is my favorite level in the game so far. It’s massive underground cover with a bunch of rundown buildings and docks. Also, they have these enemies that hang off the side of the docks and if you shoot them they plunge to their deaths, which was pretty satisfying. 
  7. Darkdweller: I thought it was pretty cool that these weird spider-like creatures scamper away from the torch light. Finally, some concrete benefit from lighting all of those torch scones.
  8. pirateboss_largeLonesome Galvin: First off, this guy sure can chug lots of beer. Secondly, it is freaking awesome that you can actually sell stuff to this guy for souls. Finally, I was able to unload some of that extra gear.
  9. Flexile Sentry: This boss was pretty cool looking, with two things melded back to back. This boss was pretty easy due to the pillar in the middle offering a chance for separation.
  10. Troll: It still sucks when one of these things catches you and starts munching on your head.

Early Impression: 8.5/10.0

Trophies Earned: Change of Clothes

Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin (11/10/2017 – part 3)

I continued playing Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin (Spoilers ahead).

  1. Estes Flask: Apparently you can level these up. I was so happy when I found that out.
  2. last-giantBow: Finding a ranged weapon was such a game changer for me. Now I can nail some of those archers that kept pinging me.
  3. Sniper: It took a while, but it sure was awesome when I found out that you can go into sniper mode with the bow. I’ve been sniping a bunch of enemies. 
  4. Mistimed Jumps: I’ve died because of a couple of mistimed jumps. Such a bummer.
  5. Fire Sword: I found this sword that was on flames in the Forest of the Fallen Giants. I was super stoked, only to find out it was weaker than the sword I currently have.
  6. Heavy Armor: I’ve got some kickass looking armor, but man does it slow my roll down–literally. 
  7. Limited Respawn: Apparently the enemies will only respawn a certain number of times, which I have found very useful.
  8. Turtles: Those enemies that kind of look like turtles are a pain the ass. I also found out the hard way that sneaking up behind one and hitting it is also asking for trouble–they tend to fall backwards and smash you.
  9. dark_souls_2_the_pursuer1Last Giant: The Last Giant was a pretty cool looking boss, very massive. I found it to be pretty easy to beat.
  10. The Pursuer: This boss, on the other, kicked my ass over and over again. Trying to work around him did not work at all. He also has a nasty three hit combo. Took a lot of timing to get the parry down and hit him with a bastille.

Early Impression: 8.0/10.0

Trophies Earned: Last Giant

Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin (11/06/2017 – part 2)

I continued playing Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin (Spoilers ahead).

  1. No Rambo: I found out pretty quickly that trying to go all out Rambo on multiple enemies leads to a quick death.
  2. Watch-Dark-Souls-2-Scholar-of-the-First-Sin-Forlorn-Hope-Trailer-472024-2Hollow: I was taken aback when my character started to become all ghoulish and green. I was not expecting that.
  3. Hollow II: I also wasn’t expecting that becoming hollow equals less health, and apparently the more you die the more hollow you become and the less health you have.
  4. Throwing Knives: Sadly, it took me a while to figure out how to equip these. I wasn’t expecting them to be under items.
  5. Level Up: Also, took me a while to figure out to level up. I really should’ve talked to Emerald Herald once she had moved over by the bonfire.  
  6. World: Not sure if this world is the world of the living or the undead.
  7. Crestfallen Retreat: There’s this archer in the Crestfallen Retreat at the end of the river that is just a pain in the ass. I swear he gets me all the time with at least one arrow.
  8. Ladders: Cheap, easy ambush on enemies climbing down on ladders. Not so much when it happens to you.
  9. OgreCardinal Tower: There’s this big creature thing at the bottom of this fiery pit that spits fireballs and looks mean as hell. I’m really hoping I don’t have to go down there eventually.
  10. Blacksmith Key: Yes, picked up a key for the blacksmith in Majula, hoping he can fix my weapon, because they can break apparently. I’m hoping shields don’t break too, because that would suck.

Early Impression: 7.0/10.0

Trophies Earned: None

 

Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin (11/05/2017 – part 1)

I started playing Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin (Spoilers ahead).

  1. Opening: The opening scene was pretty creepy and a weird. Why did the person jump into the whirlpool?
  2. thDTEZP5Z1.jpgThings Betwixt: So I pretty much died as soon as I was able to take control. Lesson learned after two attempts: do not attempt to punch multiple rats(?) at the same time. 
  3. Things Betwixt: The graphics in this game are pretty awesome so far. When talking to the old ladies you could see the texture in the fabric of their clothing. Pretty cool.
  4. Things Betwixt: I have to say it’s easier to do some killing with a sword.
  5. Things Betwixt: Is this place inside of a giant tree? At least this area gives you some information on the controls, which is nice. Not getting the lighting of the torches though.
  6. Majula: The first time getting out of Things Betwixt and out into the open of Majula was pretty awesome and quite pretty. The sun gleaming off of the ocean and the big monument in the distance. So cool.
  7. Grass: I’ve noticed that when walking through the grass you literally walk through the grass!
  8. Pigs: I’m not sure if they are actually pigs or not, but they are pretty annoying in Majula. 
  9. Dark-Souls-2-Scholar-of-the-First-Sin-HighSpec-MajulaPit: There’s this big circular pit in the middle of Majula which reminded me of 300–luckily I didn’t get kicked into it, but those damn pigs killed me.
  10. Troll: Stumbling into the Forest of Fallen Giants there is this giant troll looking thing wandering around in the river. I’m so glad it didn’t attack me. 

Early Impression: 7.0/10.0

Trophies Earned: This is Dark Souls, Covenant of the Fittest, and Self-Recollection.

Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II (11/05/2017 Final)

Here are my final thoughts on Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II (spoilers ahead).

Here are five positives from the game:

  1. Characters: This game has a strong cast of characters that by the time you have finished playing the game you have come to really care for them, especially the main cast. The interactions between the characters are well-done and really highlights their individual quirks. Even the supporting cast of characters, for the most part, are well-done as well.
  2. Combat: Another strong feature of this game is the complexity and richness of the combat. Beyond the traditional enemy weaknesses, you also can strategize links, overdrives, s-drives, etc. Beyond that, fiddling around with different types of quartz can produce some interesting combos. 
  3. World: Erebonian Empire is an extremely interesting place and there’s a lot of history, societal complexity, and backstory weaved into this game. 
  4. Divine Knights: I really enjoyed the divine knight battles. While they weren’t nearly as complex or as well fleshed out as the main combat, they served as a nice way to mix things up.
  5. Crow’s Death: Crow’s death was really well-done and was surprisingly impactful.

thIGWDIDR1

Here are five negatives from the game:

  1. Story: There is a lot of threads left dangling by the time the credits roll. What is Rean and McBurn? How did the Chancellor survive? What happened to the members of the Noble Alliance and their allies? What are the Iron Bloods? In addition, for as much the story stated that Rean and Class VII were neutral their actions put them squarely in the camp of Empire. 
  2. Weak Climaxes: For a lot of the enemies that you had been fighting towards the final confrontation was pretty much left unfinished, and by that I mean NPCs would pop up and take over the battle and the outcome would be decided off screen. This was pretty lame.
  3. Padding: The infernal castle really should have been the end point for the fighting, but for some reason the game added another dungeon, not to mention the whole side story in Crossbell. All of this really felt like just extra padding.
  4. Deja Vu: I get this game is a direct sequel to the first game and should be seen more as a trilogy, but still, they revisited and reused far too many things. Most of the enemies that you fight are the same, some of the quests you do are pretty much the same, and a lot of the places you visit are the same. There were plenty of areas in the last game where the party you didn’t control went to, why couldn’t some of those be used?
  5. Defeated Bosses: Also too many of the bosses in the game power up after you defeat them and become stronger, which leaves the main characters in awe and unable to fight. Really shows a lack of creativity in finding a way for future confrontations with that character.

Final Verdict: 7.0/10

Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II (11/05/2017 part 21)

I continued playing Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II on NG+ nightmare and finished the game. Here are my ten takeaways while playing the game (spoilers):

  1. McBurn: He is easily the coolest villain in the whole game. I wish I could’ve actually fought him some more.
  2. the-legend-of-heroes-trails-of-cold-steel-2Zephyr: So did these guys get caught? Escape? Let go?
  3. Zeram Capsule: These little babies sure are handy. Restore 100 CP? Yes, please. 
  4. Azure Knight: Got a little too aggressive in this battle and almost paid the price when Crow busted out back-to-back moves that also hit critical.
  5. Vermillion Apocalypse: Such a bummer to get him to down to like 10,000 HP and not being able to finish him off and then have him recover like 80,000 HP and cast a ton of mighty reflect.
  6. Vermillion Apocalypse: The knight battle was so close. I got lucky and was able to hit a finisher with just a few thousand HP left on both knights.
  7. Crossbell: Yay! You have the option to skip this whole thing in the second playthrough. 
  8. RToIiwLaura: You can absolutely turn her into a power house. Love how much damage she hits for.
  9. Instructor Thomas: So apparently Thomas is a member of the Gralsritter Dominion Knights, and so is Rosine. Did not expect any kind of reveal like that.
  10. Ending Song: I love the ending song to this game. It’s great. 

Early Impressions: 7.0/10.0

Trophies Earned: Banisher of Nightmares, Conquering Hero, Scholar of the Truth, and The Ashen Chevalier 

Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II (11/04/2017 part 20)

I continued playing Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II on NG+ nightmare and reached December 31st. Here are my ten takeaways while playing the game (spoilers):

  1. Glacial Shrine: I’m disappointed that this extra shine for the new game plus just consists of a boss and not an actual dungeon.
  2. maxresdefaultMagic Knight Isra-Zamiel: Wow, was I over confident on this one and got my ass handed to me.
  3. Magic Knight Isra-Zamiel: I think this might be the most annoying boss in the game. He does like three moves in a row of creating barriers and regaining life.
  4. Magic Knight Isra-Zamiel: It made me very sad to realize that he can cast grail burst. Very, very sad because it killed me.
  5. Magic Knight Isra-Zamiel: At least he is worth a ton of exp!
  6. Motorcycle: It’d be funny if there weren’t actually invisible walls and you could go flying off of a cliff when riding your motorcycle.
  7. Black Records: I hope there’s a big payoff on these in the end.
  8. trails_of_cold_steel_2_01Trapped Chests: Just a funny thought on how such large enemies can fit into such small chests.
  9. Duke Albarea: When you go visit him with Jusis is pretty interesting. He’s still plotting to turn things around.
  10. Becky: Why is Becky the only character in the game that has a weird accent in the game? What is up with that?

Early Impressions: 7.0/10.0

Trophies Earned: Intelligence Agent, Frozen Heart, Perfect Harmony, House of All-bro-ea, Winderlust, Worth the Wait, and National Treasure. 

Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II (11/03/2017 part 19)

I continued playing Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II on NG+ nightmare and reached December 27th. Here are my ten takeaways while playing the game (spoilers):

  1. Sweetest of Challenges: Hate this sidequest even more the second time around. How does Blueblanc even have the ability to assume someone’s appearance?
  2. Aurelia_le-guin_senCeldic: They really should have had more people die under this attack. Having one person die just doesn’t work–which was just confirmed for me on the second playthrough
  3. Motorcycle: I love that it is faster than running, but damn can it not turn with a damn.
  4. Slowdown: There’s a weird pause that happens as you’re running to a chest if one of the characters makes a comment. Doesn’t happen all the time, but enough to be annoying
  5. Full Speed Ahead: First couple of times Towa shouting that is great. After the 40th time? Not so much.
  6. Lord Albarea: I wish he’d had been more fleshed out as a character. I love that there is a power struggle in the noble alliance, it just needed more attention. 
  7. Kestrel: This fight was so drawn out because the damn thing dodges too much and it takes time to build up craft points to be able to hit the damn thing. Not hard, just annoying.
  8. Vents: Someone really loved the idea of crawling through vents in this game.
  9. Bardias_Wallace_(Sen_II)Millium: Going through Auroch Fort’s vents I was treated to Millium singing her scooch line every single time!
  10. Generals Bardias and LeGuin: They seem to be really cool characters, too bad they really don’t do anything in the game. Disappointing.  

Early Impressions: 7.0/10.0

Trophies Earned: The Return of Rean Quartz-er

Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II (11/02/2017 part 18)

I continued playing Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II on NG+ nightmare and reached December 22nd. Here are my ten takeaways while playing the game (spoilers):

  1. Princess Alfin: She’s kind of a horn dog when you think about it. Very, very Rean crazy!
  2. Hydle_rogner_sen2Cryptid: The Cryptid monster are definitely a lot easier the second time around so far.
  3. Major Neithardt: While the Cryptid’s got easier, the mech battle with Major Neithardt was a pain. He has a nasty move that hits hard and twice in a row.
  4. Infiltrate Roer: I love how you go down the river in boat and right before landing is a waterfall. Did they go over that waterfall?
  5. Train Hopping: Jumping on the train and riding on the roof was kind of made cheesy by the fact that none of the characters’ hair or clothing were moving. Kind of lame and just a minor gripe.
  6. Confuse: Down side of being super powered up is getting hit with confused and then hitting one of your other characters. Ouch!
  7. Roer Headquarters: I love how there are treasure chests inside the corporate headquarters.
  8. trails-of-cold-steel-schools-in-for-summer-11Alisa’s Mother: Is it just me or are her boobs massive? Or is just the way she stands? They just seem out of proportion.
  9. Heidel Rogner: Dude straight up gets bitched slapped and punched in the gut by Alisa’s mother. That was just hilarious. 
  10. Goliath: Extremely massive mech that explodes on a bridge and there’s only a scorch mark on the bridge? Really? No crater or anything? Just another minor gripe.

Early Impressions: 7.0/10.0

Trophies Earned: None