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The_Misanthrope The_Misanthrope Sep 13, 2019. 2 comments

An Entirely Objective Ranking of the 42 Games Curated for the Sega Genesis Mini, brought to you by this writer's clouded memories

An Entirely Objective Ranking of the 42 Games Curated for the Sega Genesis Mini, brought to you by this writer's clouded memories
Unclassified: Games I Haven’t PlayedSuper Fantasy Zone: one of those Japanese cute-’em-ups, I believe. You think I was going to rent this from the local video store when Mortal Kombat 3 was available?!?Landstalker: No clue. Pass.Mega Man: The Wily Wars: A SegaNet exclusive. I’m sure all ten people who have played it remember it fondly, though.Thunder Force 3: Nothing.Alisia Dragoon: I dunno....

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The_Misanthrope The_Misanthrope Dec 03, 2018.

DS3DD:  High Wall of Lothric

DS3DD:  High Wall of Lothric

General Overview: At first blush, this might remind a series vet of the Undead Burg from DS1, with its castle-like setting and regular hollow patrols along a bunch of towers and parapets. However, there is an important distinction to be made: its party-crashing dragon/wyvern comes much earlier in the level. And, hey, there are far less deadly drop-offs! Hooray for being killed by incompetence...

The_Misanthrope The_Misanthrope Dec 01, 2018.

DS3DD:  Firelink Shrine

DS3DD:  Firelink Shrine

General Overview: This isn’t your dad’s Firelink Shrine! Now we’ve got actual walls! And more of those vendors, subplots, and vendor subplots that you demanded!

Design Notes: It looks approximately what the original Firelink Shrine might’ve looked like in the past...or what it might look like if the far-flung (VERY far-flung, given the imprecise chronology of the series) descendants of Lordran...

The_Misanthrope The_Misanthrope Jun 04, 2018.

DS3DD:  Irithyll of the Boreal Valley

DS3DD:  Irithyll of the Boreal Valley

General Overview: Finally, we get to that “Boreal Valley”—or at least one part of it—we’ve been hearing about and it’s frankly kind of beautiful, in a pre-industrial England sort of way, like Central Yharnam sans the dead bodies and pitchfork-mobs. I just hope you took out the Deacons of the Deep before coming here or else you’re in for a nasty surprise.

Design Notes: On top of the...

The_Misanthrope The_Misanthrope Jun 03, 2018.

DS3DD:  High King Wolnir

DS3DD:  High King Wolnir

Title Card: One second, you’re looking at a crown sitting on a pedestal and the next, you’re in some shadow-realm menaced by a giant skeleton king with glowy bracelets. Mondays, amirite?

Design Notes: I suppose the boss being a oversized skeletal royal isn’t all that original. Still, it doesn’t take away how genuinely unnerving it is to suddenly find your character in the dark as this guy...

The_Misanthrope The_Misanthrope May 26, 2018.

DS3DD:  Catacombs of Carthus

DS3DD:  Catacombs of Carthus

General Overview: Did you think that you might finally make your way to the fabled Irithyll after cutting your way through the Abyss Watchers? Well, you were worng. Instead, your next stop is a series of catacombs, which is different from DS1's catacombs, because these ones are 100% more “of Carthus”. This area has lots of skeletons and traps...ok, maybe it’s not all that different. At least,...

The_Misanthrope The_Misanthrope May 11, 2018.

DS3DD:  Abyss Watchers

DS3DD:  Abyss Watchers

The Title Card: The cutscene that plays when you first encounters tells you two things about them: 1) they are quick, savage combatants and 2) they’ve possibly gone mad. More specifically, their dedication to their cause—rooting out the corruption of the Abyss—has taken on a distinctly Highlander vibe:

Design Notes: Shortly after the Deacons of the Deep, we’ve got another variation...

The_Misanthrope The_Misanthrope May 11, 2018.

DS3DD:  Farron Keep

DS3DD:  Farron Keep

General Overview: Another poison swamp! We can’t get enough of those, FROM Soft!

Design Notes: OK, it’s not so bad, I guess...it’s just that this is the well they keep returning to. Still, the sight of a once-great keep sunken in the mire—once home to valiant soldiers, now home to slimes and some strange new species birthed from the poison’s effects on the trees—is grotesquely beautiful if you...

The_Misanthrope The_Misanthrope Apr 30, 2018. 3 comments

Deacons of the Deep

Deacons of the Deep

The Title Card: You won’t like the sermon these guys are preaching! And they have some pretty peculiar ideas about communion...

Design Notes: Who wants to play a game of Hot Potato? This does make for a pretty interesting variant on the usual mob boss. I suppose I could complain that these are essentially repurposed versions of regular enemy types (you encounter some of them earlier in the...

3 Comments

The_Misanthrope The_Misanthrope Apr 29, 2018.

DS3DD:  Cathedral of the Deep

DS3DD:  Cathedral of the Deep

General Overview: The titular cathedral at the heart of this area is big enough to house giants, which is good because it does. Before you get there, you’ll have quite the trek to make: past a gauntlet of hounds and archers to the chapel, through a graveyard full of gross leech creatures, and up to the cathedral rooftops.

Design Notes: One of the better features of this area’s level design is...

The_Misanthrope The_Misanthrope Apr 29, 2018.

DS3DD:  Crystal Sage

DS3DD:  Crystal Sage

The Title Card: This one’s a wizard with a capital “Wiz”: big floppy hat, flowing robes, magic staff. Specifically, this sorcerer (and several of his followers in the surrounding area) apes the style and teachings of DS1's Big Hat Logan...so the player is going to have to dodge a lot of white spell-shit before this one goes down.

Design Notes: To be blunt, this standard-model magic-user isn’t...

The_Misanthrope The_Misanthrope Apr 29, 2018. 3 comments

DS3DD:  Road of Sacrifices

DS3DD:  Road of Sacrifices

General Overview: Though the name suggests a Bob Dylan deep cut, this is actually a winding route that leads through a treacherous stretch of woods, past a crab-filled (more about that in a bit!) swamp, and into a ruined keep.

Design Notes: After the dense, looping Undead Settlement, I like how this area makes the player feel like they are embarking on the first leg of a journey; this isn’t...

3 Comments

The_Misanthrope The_Misanthrope Apr 21, 2018.

DS3 Nitpick Corner:  Swords

DS3 Nitpick Corner:  Swords

[What this is: Occasionally, I may run into an issue with the Dark Souls 3 that just doesn’t fit into my usual DS3DD posts, so this is my place to talk about those issues so they don’t keep me up at nights.]

The Issue: My knight spent the early part of the game pumping titanite into the basic broadsword, but he is soon tempted by a bunch of bigger, fancier sword: Irithyll Stright Sword, Black...

The_Misanthrope The_Misanthrope Apr 12, 2018. 2 comments

DS3DD:  Curse-Rotted Greatwood

DS3DD:  Curse-Rotted Greatwood

The Title Card: This giant animate tree is an optional boss that gives you the McGuffin that lets you turn boss souls into boss loot. Think of the ents from Tolkein’s ouevre, but evil and full of egg-sacs.

Design Notes: I love this lumbering goofball; I can’t be mad at a boss whose deadliest attacks are a butt-stomp—lot of junk in that trunk—and a prat-fall.

Challenge Level: Once you’ve figured...

2 Comments

The_Misanthrope The_Misanthrope Apr 12, 2018.

DS3DD:  Undead Settlement

DS3DD:  Undead Settlement

General Overview: You’ve been to the Undead Asylum, the Undead Burg, and the Undead Parish, but how about the Undead Settlement! This sprawling, rural collection of cottages and farmhouses is a rustic backdrop for a collective of peasant hollows more than willing to show you first-hand how their farm implements work.

Design Notes: I always feel a little sad taking the unlives of non-military...

The_Misanthrope The_Misanthrope Apr 12, 2018. 1 comments

DS3DD:  Vordt of the Boreal Valley

DS3DD:  Vordt of the Boreal Valley

The Title Card: Another shake-up of the “big dude in armor” formula! The sizable fellow attacks the player while crouching on all fours! There’s something weird about him;real people don’t do that, right?

Design Notes: Turning a knight-type boss and making him move like a beast-type boss is an interesting idea. When he enters his second stage, I kept wanting to play toreador and yell “Toro!”...

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The_Misanthrope The_Misanthrope Mar 19, 2018.

Dark Souls 3 Design Diary:  Iudex Gundyr

Dark Souls 3 Design Diary:  Iudex Gundyr
I lost the entire top half of my torso, thanks to a miracle food that the fitness industry doesn’t want you to know! Click to find out how! 1 / 2

The Title Card: It’s a big guy in an enormous set of armor, wielding a halberd. Over your all-too-brief time with this imposing lug, he yields too important surprises: 1) that he is still “alive” (the sword thrust through his chest was merely holding...

The_Misanthrope The_Misanthrope Mar 12, 2018.

The Misanthrope's Dark Souls 3 Design Diary:  Cemetery of Ash

The Misanthrope's Dark Souls 3 Design Diary:  Cemetery of Ash

General overview: As the name alludes to, it is a decaying cemetery from which our hero emerges. It is, for the most part, a short, winding path with a few short branches coming off it. With only a few basic enemy types to contend with on the main path, this functions as the tutorial area, a compressed, naturally-designed version of the one found in DS2's Things Betwixt.

Nitpick: Nothing...

The_Misanthrope The_Misanthrope Mar 12, 2018.

The Misanthrope's Dark Souls 3 Design Diary:  Introduction

The Misanthrope's Dark Souls 3 Design Diary:  Introduction

Hi, anyone who is bothering to read this! Since I usually either miss or arrive too late to the Friday “What Are You Playing This Weekend?” thread, I thought I’d start a series of posts under my profile about my reaction to the game’s area and boss design. It should be noted that I have no professional design experience (game or otherwise), so you should probably take my opinion with a sizable...

The_Misanthrope The_Misanthrope Oct 04, 2017.

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