Dark Souls on the Switch – it’s good*

Right after Elden Ring came out I had to take a trip and was away from my PC. I grabbed the Switch for my kids but remembered I had Dark Souls on it. The Switch, from many, many hours of whatever the fuck the kids play on there was messed up with a really bad drift-stick on one of the sticks that made DS nearly unplayable. Somewhere at some random Walmart in Indiana, I found a HORI Split Pad Pro and not only did that solve the drift-stick, it made Dark Souls a far better experience to play without the stock controllers. Very much recommended for everything unless you are worried about it fitting inside your little case (like if you have to shove it up your ass when you are sent to prison), otherwise the HORI sticks make everything play better.


I was mulling over the build to use but when Pinwheel dropped the DAD mask (1/3rd chance), I knew what had to be done– Giant Dad with a fucking Chaos Zweihander. It’s a LOT of work to get all the pieces, and for new players of Dark Souls it is NOT worth it, just get the rest of the stuff and do a lightning Zweihander instead. Why? The Chaos Zwei scales off HUMANITY which means you have to run around with 5-10 humanity all the time. If you drop your souls and can’t get them back, you are farming fucking RATS in the depths for hours and hours to get what you need to hit hard enough to win.

Rings: Havel’s Ring, Wolf’s Ring

Armor: Giants + the Dad mask

Shield: Grass Crest

Weapon: Chaos Zwiehander, a bitch to create, and a bitch to use but hit’s so hard…



This is my second time all the way through the game so I was familiar with just about all the bosses I fought. Most of the bosses I thought were scary the first time were pushovers and some I thought were easy earlier were challenging.

Fatty Demon: Easy, but punishing later versions make me still hate this guy (like the Erdtrees)

Taurus Demon: Super easy.

Capra Demon: STILL a bitch to defeat, took me a lot of tries, not because of the Capra, but because of the dogs

Insideout Dragon : a tough fight, but the first real “boss” in the game so it better be. I lost a lot of souls during this battle for sure.

Bell Gargoyles: this was really easy, and I remember emotionally suffering in my initial playthrough.

Iron Giant: Not too bad but took me a lot of tries.

Queelag the topless: I used the summon because that one is so silly (a lady with a cleaver with a sack over her head) and she wasn’t too hard. Took me a few tries for sure and of course, that’s after Blighttown so you are always emotionally drained before fighting her, but at least there’s cleavage.

Ceaseless Discharge: this is a trick boss, so really doesn’t count. He’s easy if you know what to do and just a sad sack of fiery shit really.

Smough and Orenstein: Well… I summoned the Sunbro for help and followed the basics: Kill Orenstein first, don’t get hit by Smough and it worked out. This took me countless tries the first time through so I made sure I was good and ready for this battle, including walking in there with 10 Humanity so the Zwei was hitting hard. Big risk, big reward of the beautiful chest ahead.

Yeah, I look REAL good.

NITO: one of my favorite bosses in the end game because he’s pretty easy and also scary. Advice I got was to not go in the room to trigger the big skellingtons. Getting to NITO was terrible for me though…. ugh, Tomb of Giants was worse than Blightown this time.

SEATH: This one was tough, but I just stayed near his leg and kept circling and took him down. I had forgotten the whole prison thing so that was again a surprise!

FOUR KINGS: Super easy. I remember having a ton of trouble with these guys the first play through. Just hit them again and again.

hey I’m one of the good guys right? right? …

Demon Firesage: what an asshole. I kept getting the RNG on his AOE and it just killed me over and over and over. This boss I didn’t like too much because it felt ALMOST unfair.

Fire Centipeed: I lost 10 humanity the first time fighting this jerk, but summoned Sunbro again and we took her down.

BED OF CHAOS: this is my least favorite fight in Dark Souls. Just being constantly pushed off a cliff is not great fun. You can’t do anything but just suffer through this one and get it over with.

SIF: funny doggy. Not a tough fight. Maybe he’s the only good guy among all these bosses and you’re the bad guy.

Gwyn Lord of Cinder: For the final boss, he seems intimidating at first even for my second play through the game, but after playing Bloodborne where you MUST parry as part of normal play, this was a very easy fight that took only two tries! I just parried him over and over and had enough health to tank the shots I missed on… and the chaos zwei with 10 Humanity.


Final verdict

The Switch version of Dark Souls is excellent, plays great, performance is fantastic. It’s all there and right in the palm of your hand and really good if you get the Hori controllers. If they work well with DS, they will work well with Breath of the Wild and everything else.


Hob is out as of yesterday. I put an hour in tonight and it reminds me of… Mario 64.  Remember that?  It was awesome.  If you like that type of game, you will love it.

The game is a total departure from Torchlight 2, the only things similar are some of the aesthetics and the scale of the game.  That said, there are some item management aspects as you can power up your sword and your arm.

Steam Sale gem – Domina

A bit like GLADIUS from back in the day except without all the 3D graphics and a lot more death; you are the head of a household trying to make money and gain glory buy the purchasing and equipping of other human beings for them to fight to the death in various arena’s.   5$ on steam I don’t think you can go wrong.

I haven’t played enough to really know the game at all, but it’s quite addicting at first blush and has very silly events.  My only beef with it is that multi-gladiator fights don’t seem to be implemented all that well, with the gladiators all running into a big mosh in the middle of the arena and suddenly some are dead.


Pit People early access!

This weekend with gaming was all about PIT PEOPLE which went into early access Friday.    The game has all the craziness you will expect from Behemoth and it’s basically a turn based warband fighting game where you go around a strange post-apocalyptic map and fight things and complete quests.  It’s quite simple to play as in you don’t have to tell your guys who or what to attack, you simply move them around the battlefield and they do their thing if they are at the correct distance from an enemy.   We haven’t seen much yet, having just opened up the Pit itself for fighting, but though it seems simple at first, it’s looking like there is a lot to the game.

So far we have seen only three ‘classes’ of characters: cupcakes (healers), beefys (big dudes) and normal guys.  The normal guys can be made into either tanks, ranged or ‘big’ weapon fighters based on the equipment you give them.  You can also put helmets on your guys, which helps vs sharp weapons but not against clubs and stuff, there isn’t armor per-se, just shields (big and small) and helmets.   Characters can only carry so much stuff, hence you can’t give a guy a huge weapon and then a shield as well.

Items are ridiculous where one character will attack with a pool stick or axe and another with “just cheese.”  Shields seem to be crazy as well and I’ve seen license plates, bits of concrete, a canteen?? and I think a sandwich.  Graphically, everything is so dense that it will take awhile to pick up on all the references to the older games in the building and strange Behemoth Universe.

I’m not sure yet why you would do this, but you can capture a bunch of characters/monsters in the game.  Since so far at least we can only use five guys and they never die as long as you don’t get TPK’ed, it’s not like Fire Emblem where you collect guys and it’s a big deal when one of them bites the dust, especially if you don’t have someone to fit that role anymore. It may be just for the aesthetics, or possibly for different configurations of teams to go on certain missions (capture team, anti-flying team, etc.).  Since it says you can get 500 guys, it must be something big in the game.  We’ve just got the stock guys and one beefy so far.

This morning we unlocked the PIT, which is the spot where you can go in and fight in the arena vs various warbands of creatures.  Not sure how it works but you fight on! until all your guys are dead and then get a score of some kind.  It’s a way to unlock a bunch of weapons and aesthetic rather than out on the map, so cool.  I think the characters level up even if they get killed in the PIT as well, so it may be a good place to power level before hitting the quests.  I’m not sure what the leveling DOES though yet!

If you like Disgaea and FFT and Soul Nomad and the World Eaters type games, so far this is pretty great.


Fallout 4 survival mode and some tips

I’ve been playing a good deal of Fallout 4 in the last few months, like everyone else.   I just plowed through the Mechanist DLC last week (good, but a bit short) and really liked the new robot/raider mixed faction that appears as well since the regular raiders become, well, fucking fodder.

In addition to the Mechanist stuff, last week, a major new playstyle was also released: SURVIVAL difficulty mode.  In this mode you get to suffer hunger, thirst, fatigue, disease along with the normal people trying to fill you will bullets or eat you or burn you with lasers.  Sound fun? What’s more, you can only save when you sleep in a bed.  While it’s not exactly hardcore, you have to be very careful, especially if you are far away from a bed as all your hard work will be lost when you croak– an you WILL croak. Damage to you and that damage you do to others is super spiked in this version, and healing is much slower.  Get shot outside your power armor with a double barrelled shotgun at level 5?  You’re dead!

I’m not too far into it, but I tell you I’ve quit a couple times because I forgot it wasn’t saving the game at various points. My advice? Remember when you are dicking around in settlements that if you wander off and are killed, all the mundane building and assigning workers will be completely lost.  Remember this!

A few other tips:

  1. Get all the bottles you can early and use the bubbler in the vault to fill those bottles to create purified water. This will save you from drinking radioactive shit early game before you have anything.
  2. Maybe run away from the first Deathclaw. You know where the power armor is, you know how to get it, but you also have to face down a deathclaw right after. Maybe run away?  You likely won’t be able to establish sanctuary but you’ll have power armor and won’t be dead…
  3. Watch out for ‘regular’ fights.  Raiders can easily kill you and you no longer have the auto spotter dots on your radar for enemies, so you have to sneak, get in position and shoot, then move.  Rather than just running and gunning everything and stimpacking out of danger, you’ll get to see that the raiders/gunners actually have an AI!
  4. Watch the rad away– it increases thirst and hunger and leaves you susceptible to disease from stuff you eat.  So drink fluid AFTER rad away, but maybe don’t eat right away or eat before.  You will eat very yucky stuff, and you want your immune system to be tanked up– rad away will drop that down a lot.
  5. Reexamine the perks.  Some of the perks you ignored before so you could blow stuff up real good become powerful for survival, especially the ‘drink shitty water’ one.
  6. Remember you have to walk everywhere so the game world that was once much smaller will feel HUGE.  You will need bases of operations (and beds) all over the place if you expect to get anywhere in the plot.  If you pick up shitty power armor with no fusion cell, it may be a long, long way back to your base– slowly, slowly walking…
  7. Speaking of plot, remember when you accidentally wandered the wastes for 10-12 play sessions and were super tanked up for the plot missions and they were too easy?  Maybe that’s a really good tactic to use now…
  8. Ghouls are horrible to face now.  After the first few levels you can swat them like flies in the normal game, but in Survival, look out.  Use VATS to shoot their legs off so they can’t move and then finish them off when it’s safe.

That’s it for now, I am going to go back in and see how far I can get.survivalmode

Steam Xmas Sale 2015

Obligatory posts on the WALLET RAPE that steam provides.  My goal is to purchase only a single game per day that is under or around 5$.  So if I go 6$ on one day, I have to go lower than 5$ the next.  Since my wishlist is now over 80 items, I don’t even remember most of the stuff that’s on there, and in some cases WHY it’s on there.  However, it’s much better to make drunk Steam wishlist additions than drunk Amazon or Steam PURCHASES.


Yesterday’s purchase, while sober, was CHROMA SQUAD which is a turn based power ranger spoof.  I’ve had my eye on it for awhile and just had to do it at the price.  I haven’t fired it up yet, but it looks pretty BOSS.

Today I’m mulling over a lot of possibilities, but pretty much have to go with LISA.


We’ll see what 5$ can get tomorrow!

Darkest Dungeon – Keeping people sane, or not.

Being a fan of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, Call of Cthulhu and as a card carrying member of the OSR (is that even a thing?), I like my adventures mean and insane and not necessarily in that order. The first two games above have sanity rules, while my choice for OSR play (LoTFP) has no CODEFIED rules for it, which is just fine by me since then me (or Steve) as the DM’s can make up rules on the fly when necessary but holy fuck is it in there– that insanity that is. There is an adventure with a disk that if your character puts it on their head from the bottom (the logical way) it crushes your brains out, if they put it in from the top it downloads the ENTIRE internet circa 2009 into your memory and your character goes insane.

Anyway, I digress. A recent early access STEAM game, Darkest Dungeon, caught my fancy for it’s very fancy graphics and old-school dungeon crawler feel. It’s a party based RPG where you delve into dungeons and areas around an old mansion. You can have a very large party, but only four can go down into the depths at a time. The combat looks a bit like DRAGONS CROWN (holy shit yeah) but is entirely turn-based in play (so it’s OK for steve). A nice implementation of a dungeon crawler that is augmented by the fact that your characters gain MENTAL skills, either insanity or helpful mental quirks. Some are bad, some are good and some are situationally bad or good, which is pretty clever. This reminds me, of course, of Rome Total war where your generals and leaders gain traits based on what they are doing. Leave a decadent man ruling a town for too long and things get a little catamiteish after awhile. Have your general on the front line of battle all the time and that can lead to some very bad things as well, such as not taking orders and rushing headlong into battle, or injuries.

Darkest Dungeon’s aesthetic is early modern (influenced by Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay and LotFP no doubt) with pistoliers and lepers and vestals (virgins?) in the character class mix. Not only can you customize your party, but as your characters get better at what they do, they can tune their skill sets (you can choose 4 out of however many you have) for what’s best for the party. It’s easy to sit down and play, and in that way it is pretty casual, but it’s also difficult and seems fairly deep.

While I’ve only played Darkest Dungeon for a few hours now, I am definitely interested in playing through it eventually, given I can stop playing Torchlight 2 with everyone first. I do think Dungeon of the Endless is flat out better than Darkest Dungeon but both are games one can own and love almost equally– graphics wise both are simple GORGEOUS games.


I picked up the beautiful Banner Saga as part of the Kickstarter, as well as the very indy but so far pretty awesome Inquisitor and am switching between them both with a little Torchlight 2 and Chivalry in between.

The issue I’m having is that Banner Saga and Inquisitor are both READING games. There is just so much text on screen to read in both games (especially Inquisitor) that it’s like reading a novel on the computer– and that’s tough to stomach after Skyrim. Of course no indy shop is going to be able to do the sort of VAST voice acting work of Skyrim or Oblivion– we take that shit for granted at this point. However, these indy RPG’s (including Eschelon and Avalon the Black Fortress) are excellent games with really good writing but… it’s still writing on the screen, and I’m finding it quite a bit of a slog, especially with two games like at once.  I get the urge after about half an hour to blow shit up instead.

So how are these games? Banner Saga is unfortunately really boring, but awful pretty. The combat system, compared to Disgaea, Phantom Brave, Final Fantasy Tactics, etc. is not up to par.  I’ve been in 10 or so battles and they all are on a flat plane with the same enemies over and over again.  With Disgaea and the like, I am excited to get into a fight– with Banner Saga it’s zzzzz….. Frankly, I’m never going to finish it. Other people are liking it so the kickstarter was worth supporting, but I’m not a fan of the game. People have just done that this of game so much better.  Aesthetically, it’s amazing to look at though.

This  is how you will feel during the combat in the game-- sleepy and bored.
This is how you will feel during the combat in the game– sleepy and bored but you do feel pretty.

Inquisitor is VERY Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. You spend your time dealing with NPC’s and reading their responses and accusations of each other. I do enjoy it but it’s been a LOT of reading. Compared to Eschelon you don’t do much exploring (at first) as you start in a pretty big village. The combat is just fine for this type of game– what’s misleading is that it looks a bit LIKE Diablo 2 so you expect the game to play that way in combat, but it doesn’t, not at all. So, if you like Eschelon and finish 3 quick, Inquisitor is worth looking at.  I really like the plot lines so far.  There was a battle with bandits early on where they run away after a few go down–that was the moment that I knew this game was a keeper.