The announcement of any From Software game always brings with it rumours, speculation, and analysis. So it is now with the announcement of Elden Ring—a collaborative effort between Dark Souls creator, Hidetaka Miyazaki, and A Song of Ice and Fire author, George R. R. Martin.
Although so little is yet available about the game—just the trailer (below) and two interviews—I can’t help but add my own speculations to the mix. As it is, I’ve been a fan of the Soulsborne games since Demon’s Souls, and to me it seems like Elden Ring is going to be a culmination of all of Miyazaki’s work since that title’s release. So I have quite a few ideas about what From Software is planning with this new IP. Read more… ›
What can I say about the year to come? Over the past few months the projects which have developed and come together for next year have unwittingly and almost completely developed into a theme for 2019. Because of the pattern and potential I saw, and the number of projects that have come together all at once, I laid out a plan—a fairly specific one—for next year. Included in that plan are Chadhiyana, Gentleman Cthulhu, Dark Fire Press and some very valuable and exciting changes to my Patreon.Read more… ›
It was my brother, Brian, who first introduced me to the Souls series. As I recall, I was going through a difficult time and Brian was looking for difficult games. We had been gamers our entire lives and he decided that he only wanted to play games that offered him the utmost challenge, so experienced did he consider himself. So, like a samurai choosing to fight armies with a wood sword, every game he played was on the highest difficulty, and he hated having to play a game once on Hard just to get the even harder difficulty. And then he found it, a game so hard the only difficulty setting was constant death. And when he found it, my dear brother wanted me to revel in his new-found outlet for his masochism. Read more… ›
It’s a bitter sweet moment. On one hand I feel that all stories must have an ending, even when I wish they would never end–I’m not much for on-going series. On the other, the Soulsborne games (that is Demon’s Souls, Bloodborne and the Dark Souls series) have been a singular source of entertainment and inspiration for me for the past eight years. With the recent release of the final Dark Souls III DLC, The Ringed City, From Software has brought an end to the Dark Souls story and possibly an end to an era in gaming. Read more… ›
What I think has drawn people to the Soulsborne series (affectionately named by its fans for the Dark Souls series, Demon’s Souls, and Bloodborne, collectively) and evolves to obsession for many of us, is the experience the games provide. Not the story. Not the gameplay. But the totality of all of the games’ collective parts.
For anyone who is not a gamer (or game designer, for that matter), I’ve heard it said that the highest point in the art of game design, the greatest achievement a game can make, is to seamlessly integrate all of its parts into a complete experience for the player. Like reading a book or watching a film, you never once want the game to feel disjointed, a part of it forced or out of place; the suspension of disbelief should never be broken. And having been a gamer all of my life, and speaking as someone with a bit of amateur experience and classes in game design, I can honestly say I have never played a game or series which has achieved this so (near) perfectly. Read more… ›
It’s hard to believe that two months have passed since I stated I wanted to take some time in this blog to focus on writing about the Souls series from developer From Software. Of course, for those keeping up with my work and this site, the publisher for my comic Chadhiyana, Rosarium Publishing, ran a successful IndieGoGo campaign. That, coupled with some time for recovery (promoting it was the most aggressive I’ve ever been about promoting anything), threw off my schedule a bit. But now that things are stabalising, and since I’ve completed my first play through Dark Souls III (with my own creative work, I can’t put as much time as I’d like into gaming), I thought I’d begin this week by writing about my reactions thereof. Read more… ›
Not since I was working on Game-Flush.com (which is becoming quite a dated reference now) have I written about video games or my gaming experiences. Though this is a blog primarily about my writing and art, gaming has been one of the few past times in which I have consistently engaged since an early age. As such, video games have always been an inspiration to me creatively, and in fact are largely responsible for why I turned to comics as a medium for telling my stories (perhaps I’ll write more on that another time). So, I thought I’d change things up a bit this week and write about games. Specifically, the Souls series, in honour of recently completing my first play though Dark Souls 2. Read more… ›