For Honor and Souls-style Multiplayer

I’ve seen a lot of people compare For Honor with fighting games recently, do you have any thoughts on the game?

It’s meh. It’s better than most AAA trash, but it’s kinda simple. Basically, hold LT to lock on and block. You’re always blocking as long as you’re locked on in one of 3 directions, controlled by the right stick. You also attack in the same zone that you’re blocking in. You have light and heavy attacks, heavy attacks are useless unless you’re punishing something with particularly long recovery. You also have a guard break, so you can block, guard break, and light attack. Attacks are slow enough that you can always react and block in the correct zone. Guard breaks are fast but you need to be close. So between these you get the standard rock paper scissors loop: Attack, Guardbreak (throw), Block. Oh, there’s a dodge too, but the dodge sucks. It’s only really useful for dodging out of range if you’re right on the edge of their attack range. Continue reading

Nioh Post-Release Thoughts & Review

So how’s Nioh treatin’ you my boy. Is it everything you’ve ever wanted or not? Are there any problems with it?

No issue. I thought it was getting a bit too easy, or maybe I was getting too good, or overleveled, so I decided to skip all the sub-missions for an area and only do the main missions, and that made it a lot harder.

Many of the early game areas had enemies removed to make them more easy, which is disappointing, but the difficulty is curving back up in the later game, we’ll see if it gets back to the demo levels. Continue reading

Nioh’s Ki Pulse and Stances

What makes execution barriers like Ki Bursting fun?

It depends on the action. It’s different for every one.

Ki bursting is fun to me because it means being very mindful during fights of my stamina, and the state of the enemy. Beyond that it means being mindful of the stance I’m in, and the stance I want to go to. Ki Bursting means I need to absolutely not miss the window of time during which Ki fills, or I wait even longer for stamina to regen. Ki bursting also introduces decisions, like do I want to cancel my attack and instantly gain back a little stamina so at minimum I’m safe and haven’t lose all the stamina I just spent? Do I want to commit to a combo while I have the opportunity to attack and potentially get hit, but also be able to regenerate almost all the Ki, or wait and see if the enemy is still vulnerable after attacking to do another attack at the expense of the Ki I spent? Do I want to attack once at a time and burst each time to regenerate the Ki back to where I had it, or commit to several attacks for more damage, but at the cost of some of the maximum ki I’ll regenerate with each attack? Do I want to do a super powered dodge instead of Ki burst? Do I want to block and sacrifice the ki burst completely? Do I want to switch stances in order to regain more Ki? Which stance do I want to change to, and what is the left over stance that I need to switch through to get the maximum boost? Continue reading

Shark Shoals: Prepare to Dive

What if the souls series had swimming? Would it be a good idea?

Probably not. You’d need to make a totally new set of animations and mechanics for it and it wouldn’t really emphasize what the series is established on.

Now a new game based on swimming and underwater combat in the souls style, sure, that might be interesting.


How would you design Deep Souls/Dark Swims?

Gonna go with the title: Shark Shoals: Prepare to Dive Continue reading

The Next Souls Game

If Miyazaki were to take the Souls series to a different setting and universe like they did with Bloodborn’s Van Helsing/Lovecraftian style, what would you want them to do?

Modern Warfare

Hipster Art Students

Mecha Fighting (I don’t think From Soft would be very good at this one, bit outside their field of expertise)

Cats. (Not humanoid)

Berserk, but for real this time




Magical Girl


Jet Set Radio


Dragon Ball Z

Ghost in the Shell

Mirror’s Edge





My Neighbor Totoro

Lets see all of these adapted into the dark souls gameplay style.

Metal Gear Souls

How would souls work if it had MGS style stealth as opposed to combat, but still had the same fundamentals for everything else?

That’s a weird combination, but I started thinking about it, and maybe it’s not a bad idea.

My first thought is limit the player character to just fist and dagger weapons. Leave enemies with the same moveset design as in the souls series to begin with, so they’re already tough to deal with. Another thought is instead of backstabbing, have backtapping, where you like tap the enemy from behind, and they do a little animation of turning around to face you that takes like half a second or so, during which they face their head down as a part of the turn and disable their vision cone. Have it so if you hold the button, you stab them in the stomach when they turn around. Enemies could be divided into classes, with the lightest class instantly dying, medium taking 90% damage, heavy taking 75% damage, super-heavy taking 50% damage. Stronger daggers could move increase this percentage, or take out medium/heavy enemies entirely. Naturally makes a sound, about the size/range of sprinting.

Okay, so armor can affect visibility and weight. Maybe it could be schemed based on the general area, and have an effect similar to levels of darkness in thief, except in how much it matches the color. Weight can affect both the movement speed and the amount of noise the armor gives off. Being naked means you’re very high visibility, and lower visibility armors can be heavier (also probably defend you better.)

Walking can probably be made completely silent (except with the heaviest armors), running should have about half the sound range as it currently does, sprinting could have a 1.5 times larger range than running currently does. dodge rolling should be updated to work more or less how it does in MGS3, where it can go over obstacles, knock people down, smoothly land from reasonably higher heights (where you’d normally get a heavy fall animation but still survive, instead halve damage and significantly shorter recovery).

There’s a surprising amount of items from souls that are naturally suited to a stealth game. Pebbles (lure enemy to sound), Firebombs (could temporarily make flames on the ground that enemies don’t want to pass through unless they’re on alert), Alluring Skulls (fascinate certain enemy types for a while), poison daggers (makes a sound on a faraway spot, and could tranq slowly over time), Prism stones (screech if dropped far enough to kill you, which makes noise of course, could also serve as a weak lure, like a weaker alluring skull, draws enemies over to it, but they become disinterested once they pass close enough), young white branch, the fucking chameleon and hidden body spells (chameleon is cardboard box), something like lloyd’s talisman except it makes an enemy blind or deaf, shaman bone blade.

You could use the undead theme so enemies revive after being killed after a certain amount of time. Some beastial enemies could have a sense of smell, which causes them to patrol near you. Chameleon could hide you better near similar objects.

Ranking the Soulsborne Games

Now that all dark souls/demon’s souls/bloodborne games are out (for the foreseeable future?), how would you rank them all, and why? what strengths and weaknesses give them that rank for you?

I don’t know if I can totally rank them, it’s hard for me to remember demon’s souls at this point, and it’s tricky for me to say which game is best, just that dark souls 2 is worst, albeit still very good.

Demon’s Souls had the shrine of storms, the prison of hope, firelurker, maneaters, false king allant, some of the fastest movement, the least broken PvP matchmaking system. Great enemies like all the different skeletons, gargoyles that can actually fly.

Dark Souls had the best world design, sen’s fortress, blighttown, anor londo, painted world, the best tutorial, the best secrets, kalameet, artorias, oreo and smores, kellog, sif, lmao4king. black knights.

Dark Souls 2 had good combination encounters, forced you to fight enemies instead of just skip them or put more effort into skipping them, good use of ranged enemies, shrine of amana, black gulch, undead keep, drangleic castle, and relatively few major screwups. executioner’s chariot, looking glass knight, ruin sentinels, twin dragonriders.

Bloodborne did away with shields, did away with backstabs, had lots of enemy mixup attacks, aggressive enemies, variable hitstun and poise, enemy patrol patterns, almost nonlinear design, great hunter encounters. Ludwig, Maria, gehrman, logarius, shadow of yharnam, ebrietas, mergo’s wet nurse.

Dark Souls 3 has a difficulty curve, tons of great enemy designs that are threatening into the lategame, good use of nonlinear areas and shortcuts, even though it has the most linear progression path overall in the series. Best implementation of backstabbing in my opinion, best enemy AI, best enemy designs. Cathedral of the Deep, Irithyll, farron keep, grand archives, pontiff sulyvahn, champion gundyr, aldritch, dancer of the boreal valley, lothric & lorian, nameless king, soul of cinder.

Dark Souls 1 will always be my favorite, but there’s something to be said for all of them.

Best Souls Healing System

Which of the Souls games do you think had the most successful (PvE) healing system overall, and why?

I think Dark Souls 3, all things considered.

Demon’s Souls is out because grass had to be farmed, could be stocked up really high and had a fast healing animation.

Dark Souls 1 is a strong contender because it invented the Estus system which is a really good healing system overall. Let you improve how much was healed with rare items, only 6 of which were in a given playthrough, and increase the number of heals in a way that was tied to each bonfire by expending resources, which carried over across playthroughs. However it allowed infinite, albeit slow, healing through Humanities, and limited per playthrough healing that was fast via elizabeth’s mushroom and divine blessings.

Dark Souls 2 is right out. Starts off with a gimped estus flask that eventually gets better, and pours lifestones in your face, which can be grinded for and bought, and regenerate health slowly. Lifestones weren’t strictly bad as far as healing systems go in general, better than Demon’s Souls’ grass, but still a low point for the series.

Bloodborne imposed a hard cap on the number of heals you got, they scale based on your max health, and can be increased with runes. Downside is you need to grind for them from time to time. The healing animation is fast, but if you’re shot during it then you’re put in a parry state. The system isn’t as unchecked as Demon’s Souls, but the grinding to restore blood vials is still a pain in the ass, even if Joseph Anderson made a decent case for it.

Dark Souls 3 starts you off with a weakened estus flask, but not completely gimped, lets you upgrade how much it heals and how many times. Far as I’m aware, there’s no other way to heal, except using embers, which can only be done once if you’re not already a host of embers. For an added dynamic, you can trade how many heals you have for FP regeneration.

I think Dark Souls 3 is the best simply because it’s the Dark Souls 1 system without any compromises. It’s good to minimize grinding, limit how much health can potentially be restored to a maximum, have that maximum grow as levels get longer, enemies do more damage and the player’s health bar gets bigger, and have the actual healing animation last a reasonably long amount of time to make it a risky option during a fight.

Dark Souls 3 Review & Roundup

Once you finish Dark Souls 3, what’s your opinion on it as a whole?

First half of the game is really easy. Like, did From decide to put in an actual difficulty curve this time? Starts getting hard at the cathedral of the deep or the catacombs of Carthus, and gets legitimately hard at Irithyl. Also way too many bonfires for the first half of the game. Cathedral of the Deep is where they start reusing bonfires and they do it to amazing effect, with one central bonfire and tons upon tons of shortcuts. Continue reading