Monday, April 30, 2012

What Makes It So Great (Gotham City Impostors Discussion)


A little while back I took a huge gamble in purchasing Gotham City Impostors, by Monolith Productions. I normally won't buy licensed games and for good reason, licensed games usually suck. I am not primarily into anything Batman and I'm unsure of what possessed me to look into this game in the first place, but am I ever glad I did. By far the best thing about GCI is that its fun! I know, I know, a cliche reason that leaves much to be desired, right? But seriously, this is something that seems to be lacking in a lot of FPS these days. People are so fixated on visuals and realism that sometimes they forget about the most important part of playing the game. GCI takes some highly competitive, fast paced action and brings some very unique twists to the table. Gliding along on roller skates and shooting down enemies that get caught in your bear traps may seem a bit silly but you'd be surprised at just how amusing this can really be. A lot of this game is really quirky but this is a huge part of what sets it apart from the rest. And though all this is great for a bunch of laughs and some well lit smiles, Gotham City Impostors offers so much more than seen on the surface. Once you have begun to peel back the layers of this zany package you will find an intricate shooter with a lot of meat on its bones. First off this game is huge on customization. Sure there is your every day weapon load outs with modifications that you see in most modern day shooters but there's also more... a lot more! A big part of GCI is the ability to customize 2 perks and a psych profile which allows you to pick what marbles you're missing upstairs. Your psych profile will give your load out a certain advantage as well as a disadvantage, players that don't like this concept can choose to be in denial which leaves you neutral. Instead of a few grenade types to pick from you are given the choice of choosing from 14 different support items, from pipe bombs to bear traps, body armor to a motion sensor. You are also given another slot for choosing one of 7 gadgets to help give your load out an edge in combat. With a slower load out you may choose the rollerskates to give yourself a little extra speed, or you can use grappling hooks to swiftly get to the top of high places giving you a good vantage point for sniping or giving you the ease of getting to that sniper that's been pinning you down. GCI also allows you to pick from 5 different body types which will effect the speed and health of your character. As if all this wasn't enough you also get to fully customize the look of your character with some 200 different choices in clothing, being able to customize your torso, legs, feet, hands, cape, logo and cowl seperatly using costume coins you earn during gameplay. It is very, very rare to find two people dressed the same in this game which gives a certain refreshing diversity to scenery that is not often seen in games. And all this is great but lets get down to what is really important in a shooter... weaponry. GCI sports your typical 2 weapon slots. Any weapon can be assigned to any slot and there are only around 21 to choose from. But these weapons feel great! Each weapon seems tediously well balanced to the point where even the starter weapons hold a fair chance and more importantly, each weapon feels very unique. My favorite part of the load out is instead of unlocking weapons as you level up (and there are A LOT of levels) reaching certain levels will give you weapon unlocks which you can spend on any weapon. You want the auto shotty at your first unlock? You got it! Further adding balance to the game and giving all players the same advantage. Awesome weapons? Great! What about the maps? Gotham City Impostors has some of the best feeling maps I have ever played. Seriously. These maps have obviously had a lot of work done to them and seem to cater to every load out and play style. There are plenty of sniper points, but also just as many areas to take cover as well as easy access to areas where snipers may be camping. All of the maps in GCI feel just as solid and balanced as the weaponry and this makes for some great action that flows seamlessly. To throw some serious icing on the cake, in the game players are able to purchase XP bonus consumables and some extra clothing, mascots and more with Microsoft points. I know, I know, Booooo right? Wrong! Its because of this that Monolith has given players updates including game modes and maps for free! Instead of paying $15 bucks for a half assed map pack for COD, in GCI you get expansions to the game for free while some other sucker is paying for an XP bonus in a game that doesn't provide much of an advantage when it comes to leveling. In fact I am in such support of this idea I may become one of those suckers myself. So next time you are looking for a new shooter to kill some time with, check out Gotham City Impostors!

Wii U Gameplay Trailer (Rayman Legends)



Here is a new video that supposedly was "accidentally" leaked. This video features gameplay as well as a good look at the new tablet controller for the Wii U. I hate to say it, but I am really disappointed by the visuals. It's understandable that the beginning of the generation is not going to be as visually pleasing but I was expecting a bit more umph! In addition the tablet seems a bit of a clunker. Only time will tell. Enjoy the video! 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Geeks On Games Top 20 Shooters (List)

Whether it be first person, role playing, tactical or action, here is the top 20 list for games I most enjoy shooting things in. Keep in mind this list only include games I have played through.

1. Fallout 3
(Fantastic environments and an ass load of weapons for the killing. Fallout 3 remained a go to game for me for years and I enjoyed every hour I spent scouring the wastes.)

2. Counter Strike: Source
(The follow up to one of the most innovative shooters ever made. Source fine tuned the physics of Counter Strike and gave a serious graphic overhaul to some of the best maps ever created. Whenever someone mentions to me that they have never played one of the Counter Strike's I always find myself amazed.) 

3. Left 4 Dead 2
(Left 4 Dead is a brilliant series with an outside the box approach to the FPS world. L4D2 stepped it up with well thought out campaigns and added melee weapons among others to spice up the zombie killing action)

4. Left 4 Dead
(For it's time L4D was the best thing to happen to any zombie lover. With beautiful visuals and an innovative approach, L4D left those with a love for the undead frothing at the mouth.)

5. Resident Evil 4
(Ask any gamer what they think of RE4 and you would be hard pressed to find anyone who has something bad to say. With RE4 Capcom took a more mainstream approach with this classic and well loved series, taking away many of the annoying puzzles and packing in a lot of action.)

6. Unreal Tournament 2004
(I hold a soft spot in my heart for fast paced action when it comes to shooters and this is what UT is all about. UT 2004 made up for the half assed release of its predecessor 2003 and gave is easily one of the greatest shooters ever made and in my opinion the greatest installment in this classic series.) 

7. Bioshock
(With stunning visuals and a masterfully crafted story, Bioshock showed the world that an FPS doesn't have to only be about the action.)

8. Counter Strike
(When this stunning mod of Half Life was released it opened up many doors for the world of shooters. Counter Strike has some of the best maps ever created and sports countless great feeling weapons. Many will argue that Counter Strike was the first real online competitive, tactical shooter.)

9. Unreal Tournament
(Unreal Tournament changed the world of shooters forever. This classic is loved by many and even today holds its own.)

10. Resident Evil: Directors Cut
(The king of  survival horror. Directors Cut is an extremely challanging title that spawned countless clones, non of which held the same wild spark that made us all fall in love with the original Resident Evil.)

11. Dead Space 2
(The follow up to Visceral's outstanding survival horror. Dead Space 2 is both a frighting and cinematic experience, playing through this game feels more like watching a movie. Creepy atmospheres and a challenging experience help to make this game a memorable experience.)  

12. Halo: Combat Evolved
(A game loved by a great many, pushing sci-fi to a new extreme and introducing a series that has gained great notoriety over the years. The original Halo has developed a huge a following and since it's release has become a household name and this was the start of it all.)

13. Mass Effect 2
(Improving on many of the faults of it's predecessor, BioWare is now greatly known for Mass Effect and this is where the series really picked up steam. Mass Effect 2 has a fantastic story which is easily rivaled by its in depth character development. Truly an amazing mold of Shooter and RPG.) 

14. STALKER
(Commonly an overlooked game, STALKER is an extremely challenging experience and brought a lot of innovative ideas to the table. A gripping tale with numerous endings, STALKER is a must for any PC gamer.)

15. Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay
(One of those rare licensed gems, the prequel to the famous film, COR: EFBB took you on an epic journey giving you a further understanding of one of the greatest anti-hero's that ever was. COR is filled with entertaining dialogue, and heart pounding action, allowing you to understand the true difficulty it would take to escape from one of the most intimidating prisons in fiction.)

16. Resident Evil 5
(Straying even further from the roots which it thrives from, Resident Evil 5 took a more action oriented approach to the world of horror and broke grounds with an intuitive survival horror co-op experience.) 

17. Call of Duty: World at War
(Returning to the scenario of WWII with the franchises new and improved formula, something I have always felt that made WaW stand apart from the rest is its well thought out and interesting multiplayer maps.) 

18. Call of Duty: MWF 2
(A game that today still dominates most of the FPS industry. MWF2 has made the COD series infinitely more popular than ever before and roped in many casual and hardcore gamers with its extremely addictive game mechanics. If you don't know MWF2 than I think its safe to say you don't play shooters.) 

19. Gears of War
(A gripping tale and a cover system that out does every other before it. Gears of War feels smooth, really smooth and is right up there with Halo as far as 360 exclusives are concerned.)

20.  Halo 3
(Bungie made up for the great many mistakes that had been made in Halo 2 with the third installment in the series. Not only had the online play been greatly improved with the third Halo, but it also features one of the greatest single player campaigns of all time.)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Dark Souls Boss Guide (Melee)

I have compiled all the guides for the boss fights in Dark Souls into one post. These are originally from the Contra Hard series and are primarily intended for a melee build.


I have been adding videos to go with the written guides. Eventually I will get around to adding all of them.

Taurus Demon:

This is what I consider to be the first "real" boss of the game, and since you encounter it early on it can be a bit tricky. After you pass through the white light and before spawning the boss if you look to your right there will be a ladder that leads up to the top of the tower. On this tower are two skeleton archers that can make this fight more tricky than it needs to be. Carefully climb to the top of the tower and take out both of these enemies before fighting the boss. With this out of the way walk down the path until the demon spawns, it's best not to sprint until he jumps out at you. After the Taurus Demon has appeared sprint quickly back to the ladder on the tower and once again climb to the top. Once you are at the top and the boss is below you, quickly perform a jump attack off the tower which will inflict massive damage on the boss. If you are lucky you can make it to the top of the tower again and repeat, though I personally found it easier at this point to run in avoiding his attacks. Hug his manly bits and hack away with some two hand action until he falls.



Belfrey Gargoyles:

 Once you have passed through the white light the gargoyle will start rushing up to you from the opposite side of the roof. As you may know he will start out flying and will usually slam his pole arm down while he lands for his first attack. Dodge this attack by running around his left side and get an attack in, be careful though its hard to land a second at this time because he will normally jump away. I would once again recommend using two hand attacks, but use what works for you. Make sure you stay on the side of the roof you entered on and run around dodging his attacks until you see an opening. Once you are in close enough hack away with the two hand method and if you are getting enough hits in you will notice the gargoyle stagger. Its best to try to attack from behind the gargoyle as this will allow you to better avoid his massive weapon. Once the gargoyle is at half health a second will appear. It is very important that you try your best to finish off the first one before the second arrives because if the second is left with the option to fight at a distance it will use a fire breathing attack that does MASSIVE damage and has an incredible reach. Once the first one is down try to get in close to the second and roll around to its back to get some attacks in. The second gargoyle starts at half health so it shouldn't take long to drop him. A nice bit of information is if you attack the first gargoyle's tail you can chop it off which will drop a powerful axe. If you die and have looted the axe it will remain in your inventory.


Moonlight Butterfly:
I also found this one to be a fairly easy boss. The boss has 4 different attacks, one he will charge up and shoot light spears everywhere, the second he will charge and shoot 3 slow moving orbs that will inflict heavy damage. Both of these attacks can be avoided with a well placed roll. With the orbs the idea is that you want to be on the ground and about to get up as they pass over your head. The third attack is a beam of light that it will project and move around. Carefully running around and keeping an eye out for area's where you can safely roll out of harms way is the best idea for this attack, though it may take a bit more concentration then the first two to avoid. After the boss has dished out several attacks try and stay close and keep an eye out, it will land on one of the sides of the bridge allowing you to run in for some heavy two hand damage, but beware it's 4th attack is a devastating AOE that will go off directly in front of it. Run away as you see the boss charging up this attack or suffer some serious damage as you are tossed to the ground.

Capra Demon
 At first this fight can seem extremely intimidating. Once you have traversed the white light the Capra Demon will lunge at you full force with his enormous blades that have a frighting range. To make matters worse the boss is also accompanied by a couple of dogs that will jump around trying to gnaw at your man bits (or lady bits). Luckily if you know what you are doing, this can be one of the easiest fights in the game. The first thing you want to do is roll past your enemies and head to the stairs to your left. The stairs can be seen in the picture above though the area this fight takes place in is so small, I doubt you will have trouble finding them. One at the top of the stairs you will see a ledge that you can walk across and it will take you to the opposite wall. Make your way to the wall and face the stairs while blocking. The demon will make his way to the top of the stairs and will attempt to lunge at you, sometimes making contact, sometimes not. Regardless of whether or not the boss actually hits you he will always drop down below. This is a great opportunity to either brave a lunging attack or you can simply jump down and get a couple of good hits in while he recovers from the fall. Repeat this a few times and the Capra Demon is as good as dead.



Gaping Dragon  

This fight is also fairly easy if you know what you are doing. You want to kite the dragon around a bit until you see a good opening to run for its tail. Be very careful because the Gaping Dragon can slam its tail around dishing out a serious amount of damage. Once at its tail, start hacking away and eventually you will sever the tail from the bosses body. This not only makes this fight significantly easier but will also award you with the Dragon King Axe, a weapon with a huge strength requirement but also one that packs a serious punch. From here on out try to stay out of harms way and attack the dragon where the tail was cut off. Sometimes the boss will spew out a large pool of ooze that is not too much of a threat but it is best to avoid.



Chaos Witch Quelaag 

You killed sistos? Aw... You sick bastard!
The Chaos Witch can be a serious pain in the ass, and I would put her up there as one of the more difficult bosses. Once again you want to hug in real close, stay to the left side of her head and when she swings her sword about it should miss a good 95% of the time. The big thing to watch out for is when she touches her body to the head of the spider. This is a sign that she is about to use her AOE attack which is devastatingly powerful, so make sure you keep a bit of stamina so that running away in time is possible. Be weary of the pools of lava she will spread, avoiding them is not very difficult but finding yourself in the middle of one is almost inevitably death. Calling in a summon with this fight can be a big help. I used the summon on my second play through and found it significantly easier.





Iron Golem


The Iron Golem fight may seem a bit intimidating because of his size, but fear not! As long as you have found the bonfire in the area where giants are lobbing flaming balls at you, you will do just fine. Once you have passed through the white light the golem will swing his axe at you shooting a force wave in your direction. The first time he uses this attack it should hit the terrain in front of him dissipating immediately. You want to allow the golem to head to the middle and be careful not to fall off the sides. He will only try a couple of attacks on you, one will involve him grabbing for you in which case he will hold you in the air and toss you to the ground dishing out a good amount of damage. The second is an arcing slash, you can avoid both of these by doing your best to stay behind the golem. Finally the golem will occasionally stomp around with one foot, this will do considerably less damage but is a bit of a pain to avoid. The trick is to hug the golem's right leg and keep a steady flow of 2 hand attacks going. The Iron Golem is considerably easy to stagger and if you land enough consecutive attacks on his leg he will actually fall to the ground allowing you to get some attacks in while he lays there helpless. Stay behind him to the best of your ability (especially when healing is required) and keep at his right leg and victory should be well in sight. 






Dragon Slayer Ornstein & Executioner Smough

This is what I consider to be the most difficult fight in the game. Smough and Ornstein require a lot of preparation and patience, get greedy with your hits here and you'll end up impaled by the business end of Ornstein's spear or an undead pancake stuck to Smough's hammer, or worse... his ass. As mentioned before a huge part of this fight is being prepared for the battle, and since preparation takes place before the action, lets start there.

Once you have defeated the Iron Golem you are whisked away to Anor Londo. A place that gave me nightmares for months on end. At this point its best to just press on, after all, navigating your way back through the death trap that is Sen's Fortress would be much more a headache than its worth. Leveling up before fighting the boss is really key here. Both of these guys dish out some major damage and at first the fight can feel very chaotic considering there is 2 of them trying desperately to murder you at the same time. Use the black smith which can be found up the stairwell near the fog wall that leads to the boss, he will sell Twinkling Titanite along with a bunch of goodies to help you upgrade your gear and prepare for the vicious fight ahead. If you go into this fight and it seems impossibly difficult don't be afraid return to grinding for a bit until you feel you a worthy match for your opponents. 

Once you are ready to face off against these guys its important to know that there is 2 ways you can go about this fight. Once you have killed one of the bosses the other will be fully healed and in addition will gain the power of the one that has been killed off. Smough is especially stupid and can take a lot more hits, therefore I would highly suggest, killing off Ornstein first. Simply use the pillars to give yourself some breathing room and cover for when you need to heal, and dash around. Though you are fighting Ornstein, Smough is the one you really wanna keep an eye out for. While keeping yourself at a distance, Ornstein will occasionally dash in at you, avoid his attack and he will leave himself open. Once you are able to close in on the dragon slayer, get a few hits in but don't get greedy, getting caught between these two is extremely detrimental to your health. Work this strategy and once Ornstein falls be prepared to back away. Smough can do a significant amount of damage now and its best to keep your distance, biding your time to lunge in for the kill. The best way to go about this is to wait for Smough to dash at you. He will swing his hammer in a big arc but it is fairly easy to dodge with a well placed roll. Get in close and out of harms way and get a few hits in. Something you really need to watch out for is when Smough is getting ready to jump in the air. If he does this he will land on his rear executing a powerful lighting aoe, which has a very high chance of killing you, so stay on your toes. As I said, you really want to keep a distance in this fight and wait for your opponent to slip up. Stay calm and patient and you will win this fight. 


Great Grey Wolf Sif

If you've defeated Ornstein and Smough, than this fight should not hold much of a threat, though I do consider this fight to be one of the harder ones. This is simply another fight where the idea is to get as close as possible, ideally underneath him. Sif will hop about and often jump away from you and in this case the best way to get back under him is to wait for him to slash about and after his second slash sprint and roll underneath him. When it comes to healing, if chugging a flask underneath him seems too risky an option, there is a giant grave stone in the center of the area where the fight takes place. Put this grave stone between you and the boss and you should have a moment to breath and regain momentum. Beware, Sif's attacks can occasionally still make it through the grave stone but he will usually just keep pressing up against it stopping his pursuit for a short window of time. Bleed affects will work on Sif and he seems especially vulnerable to lightning and fire attacks. This is actually a great fight to use Quelaag's Furysword. There is a rumor floating about that it is possible to injure Sif and let him limp away from the fight. This rumor is not true, Sif is not an optional boss as the ring he drops is needed to fight the Four Kings.


Stray Demon

When entering this fight you will plummet to the floor taking a significant amount of damage. The best way to start this fight is to run to the opposite wall of where the Stray Demon is standing and heal immediately, especially because this is an especially hard hitting boss. Once again stay close to the boss, I usually try to hug his right side as close as possible and per usual most of his attacks will miss you. At close proximity the boss still has a few ways to hit you, and these attacks will do a massive amount of damage. With one of these attacks the demon will fly into the air for a few seconds and attempt to drop on you. Getting hit by this attack is extremely painful, so as soon as you see him take flight run and roll away ending up behind the boss and when he drops there will be an opening to run up and get a few more hits in. Now, the reason I suggest attacking this boss from the front instead of at his back is because the Stray Demon has an attack where it will "force push" in all directions, also causing a lot of damage. If you are in front of the boss you will be able to see it jam the butt of its staff into the ground. This is a sign that it is about to use the AOE attack and it is extremely important that you run as far away as soon as possible to avoid this deadly attack.

Seath the Scaleless

The first time you encounter Seath, he is invincible and there is no way to defeat him. Allow Seath to kill you with his breath weapon and you will then have to make your way back through the archives and encounter him at a different location. When you first enter through the fog wall you will notice an ice stalagmite in the far back of the area. To be able to harm Seath you must destroy this first. Seath himself is not very tough but he does have an irritating ability to cover the ground with a bed of spikes. Staying in these spikes for too long will cause you to be cursed and if you do not take care of the curse this fight can be very, very difficult so it is advised to bring whatever curse protection you can into the archives with you. Other than the curse spikes Seath only has a few basic attacks which are not all that threatening if you play it smart. Seath has a set up 3 tales which will move around with him. The best thing to do is to run up behind Seath and get in between the tail coming out his back and one of the ones at his side. If  you get in there well enough you will notice that as Seath spins around the tail will actually push you around with him making it very easy to stand ready to attack once your stamina is replenished. The problem with this technique  is that it is very easy to be caught between him and a bed of spikes, you may find yourself standing in the middle of the spikes or maybe as he spins he will push you into them. That being said it is best to not stay too close to his body. If you do find yourself stuck in the middle of a pool of spikes the best course of action for getting to safety is to roll out of harms way. Sometimes Seath will change it up (this may be affected by playthrough) if you find yourself behind Seath and he is almost constantly trashing about his tentacles and dishing out an unsavory amount of damage than change up your strategy as well. Try moving to the front of him and attack the tentacle on his right, try not to stray to close to the front of Seath and you will find a sort of sweet spot where attacks tend to hit you less. Going into this fight with curse protection is advised, the Cursebite Ring should be more than enough with the aid of a little caution. Seath is also significantly vulnerable to lightning attacks.

Crossbreed Priscilla

This is a really easy fight. In fact I believe I have only died once on this one. Crossbreed Priscilla is completely optional but I consider the area she is in to be one of the coolest area's in the game. Once you have passed through the fog wall into her area you have the option of walking past her, or instead choosing to fight. When you enter, if you do not talk to her at all she will just stand there, and this is a great opportunity to get the jump on her. Get behind her and take a few swings. She should turn invisible after a bit, but there is still a way to tell where she is. Look on the ground for foot prints in the snow and this is a sure fire way of locating the boss. Take a few swings at her while she is invisible and she will once again be in plain sight. From here on out its just a matter of staying behind her and hacking away until she is dead!


Pinwheel

Run in, keep your eye's on the real Pinwheel and beat him down... the end.

Gravelord Nito

Gravelord Nito can be kinda challenging the first time you encounter him. When you first enter, this is another one of those fights where you will drop in taking some damage so make sure you heal up before engaging in combat with the boss. The most important thing to do here is to draw Nito out without getting too close to his initial starting place. The reason for this being that Nito has a bunch of skeleton henchmen that are standing near him and though you will still draw some of these henchmen out, the bigger skeletons will not agro unless you get close to them. Nito will damage his own minions but I believe they will keep re spawning as long as the boss is still alive. Another thing to look out for in this fight is an attack where a huge spike will come out of the ground dealing some serious damage as well as poisoning you. This attack will also hit you no matter where you are so the important thing to look out for is a piercing scream, shortly after Nito screams the spike will follow. You can avoid this attack by frantically rolling once the scream is finished. Aside from the spike and skeletons the only other thing you really need to watch out for is his AOE attack which is extremely powerful. Once you see Nito ball up this is an indication that he is about to use this attack and you should back away blocking to avoid as much damage as possible. Again the best strategy for this boss is to get behind him and wail away with 2 hand attacks. Watch out for the things I mentioned above and you should have Nito down in no time.

Four Kings
I've seen a lot of people complaining about this one and to be honest I'm kinda scratching my head at the thought. This guide is mostly for a melee build so I suppose its possible that the people that are complaining are playing casters. I personally have never had much trouble at this boss, in fact I'm about 95% certain the Four Kings have never managed to kill me. So when it comes to a guide for this boss I am at a bit of a loss. You will need to equip the ring that Sif drops to enter this fight and I guess to play it safe I would make sure that you are properly leveled and have kindled the bonfire you are at to an appropriate level. I believe I had my fire Kindled at 15 Estus. The boss comes in a few waves (I think its safe to assume 4) and when you first drop and and run at the boss he will usually shoot a projectile at you. This projectile is very easy to dodge and I have never been hit by it so just run to your left until it passes. At this point the idea is to stay as close to the bosses back as possible and slash away leaving some stamina for a quick escape when needed. The boss will slash his sword around in exaggerated arcs. I usually find that if you are at its back they will miss you but if you wish to play it safe than use a well timed roll when you see the boss about to swing. There is (per usual) a powerful AOE attack that the boss can use and you will notice a purpleish(?) mist start to build up around its body as the attack charges. Use this opportunity to back off and roll away to escape the damage this attack causes. Rinse and repeat until dead. I have read that as time goes on it is possible for multiple kings to join the fight at once. In my 3 encounters with this boss I have never noticed this but if it holds any truth than the key to this fight would be speed. Four Kings is weak against fire damage but I would suggest a heavy hitting weapon using a 2 hand stance.

Ceaseless Discharge
I've never actually had to fight this boss because there is a really neat trick to beating him without having to really fight him. When you first enter through the gate you will find that you can walk past the boss without him attacking. If you walk to the far end you will find an item to pick up. Be warned once you pick this item up the boss will go agro and attack. Before looting the items make sure you change around your equipment so that you have some good mobility. Pick up the item and run back to the beginning, there is a little path to your left you can take but be warned I have never tried this and don't know if it affects this strategy. Once you are back to where you entered you will see the boss lunge at you and slam his arm onto the ledge. Run up to his hand and start hacking away at it. After a few moments the boss will let go and plummet to a bottomless pit underneath him. The end.  




Demon Firesage
This boss has a near identical attack pattern to the Stray Demon, he is merely a bit beefed up. Despite his name fire attacks are fine in this fight. For more on this fight, refer to the Stray Demon guide in part 3 of the Contra Hard series.

Centipede Demon
At first the boss will stand in the lava and pound its tentacle like arms off the ground attempting to hit you. Roll around a bit dodging his attacks and eventually he will take to land. Now the only real reason as to why this fight can be slightly difficult is because of the small area you are given to fight it in. So the first thing you are going to want to do is chop off the bosses tail. Once severed the boss will drop a ring that GREATLY reduces the damage that you take from lava. This way if you die, you can always equip the ring for the next fight and the battle should be very easy. Other than the centipedes smashing fists the only other real attack to look out for is when it grabs you. After being grabbed by the boss it will toss you in its jaws, chew you up and spit you out, dealing a fair amount of damage. The boss may hop around a bit so keep your eyes on the prize and again do your best to stay behind the boss.

Bed of Chaos
I wouldn't call this the hardest fight in the game but I do consider this one to be by far the most annoying. The most important thing you can do in this fight is make sure your mobility is way up there. Something the dude in this picture is clearly not doing. When you drop in you will notice that to his left and right are balls of dead roots. Run to either side and roll through the branches until you find the glowing center. Take out the center and a little event should play out. Now things are getting a bit more dangerous. You will now want to travel to the other side of the boss and do the same thing again, except this time the floor is going to crumble out from under you and you will find the attacks of the boss to be a bit more aggressive. If you die the side that you destroyed will stay that way but it is very annoying to get back to this boss. As you run to the opposite side you will notice a solid sort of circular path around the boss. Following this is the safest route because the path does not crumble where the ring is. Once you have destroyed the other side you are now going to want to dash to the area directly in front of the boss. Once you reach this area you are going to see the floor in front of the the boss crumble and fall away. Under the floor is a root path that leads inside the boss where you will destroy yet another glowing thing. If you die here and need to run back things get a little difficult. Just make sure that as you slide down the giant slope you hang to the far right, land in a roll and dash as quickly as you can. The root path is more to your right side than the center. A good shield can be the difference between life and death in this fight, when you see the boss start to use its sweeping attack with its arms, raise your shield to avoid some massive damage.

 Gwyn Lord of Cinder
So you're here, the head honcho. A little intimidated? Well maybe you should be... Though Gwyn is the final encounter in the game, this fight is really not all that complex. Gwyn only has a few moves he will use on you, some sword swings, he may pounce at you from a distance and if you get too close he'll grab you and toss you like a rag doll. And though some of these attacks can pack a decent punch, I would not even come close to calling him the most damaging boss in the game. Does this make him easy? No, not really. The problem with Gwyn is the fact that he is the most aggressive boss in the game. Meaning wherever you are, he is right there, on your ass. This almost always makes it near impossible to heal, so though his attacks are not immensely powerful, they are powerful enough considering you are left with little to no breathing room. I have seen strategy's kicking around focusing on provoking Gwyn's grab attack. When he's grabbing for you, you can back step and this small window gives you time to take a chug off the ol' flask. This tactic does work but I find it a bit sporadic seeing as its hard to consistently provoke a grab and even then who's to say you are going to back step in time. For me, I have a much different strategy. In the the back of the area on the left hand side there is a stalagmite protruding up from the earth (as stalagmites do) this one can be easily picked out as there is a very small space between the stalagmite and the rock wall on the left hand side. This one is pretty big and that small area between the stalagmite and the wall can cause some hindrance to Gwyn's mobility as he's chasing you. Do full circles around the stalagmite and watch as he tries to attack you when you are clearly out of harms way. Use these moments to heal or wait for an opportune time to get a few hits in. Keep this up while circling the stalagmite and always keeping your eye on the enemy and this fight should be fairly easy. Despite using fire attacks Gwyn does not seem to be resistant to fire.

25 Tips For New Dark Souls Players

I have decided to compile all the tips from the Contra Hard series into one post for new players to the game who are looking for a little help. Here are 25 tips to help new Dark Souls players make their way through the madness.



1. Dark Souls can be a brutal game, but the controls are solid and the game is almost always fair, this being said I can't stress enough that to survive you must be extra cautious. The AI is not the best you've encountered and you will find attacks will not make it through terrain, so be sure to use your surroundings to your advantage and wait for your enemy to make mistakes. When you mess up you will know it, and it's likely you will see the massive amount of damage you are about to take coming. Unfortunately there is usually little you can do in this situation which can be infuriating, but it is also a great learning experience. Understand where things went wrong and next time make sure your aim is true.



2. Dark Souls features this neat control scheme that allows you to switch between dual wielding, sword and board and two hand nearly effortlessly. I myself have never found dual wielding to be all that great but I do often switch between sword and board and two hand very frequently. This is something that is best to play around with seeing as different situations you will run into will require a different approach. In scary situations the shield can be a life saver as a well placed block can greatly reduce or completely nullify damage all together. On the other hand in some situations such as boss encounters you may want to take a two hand approach  to shell out that extra damage. Be sure to use the lock-on feature often and always be prepared to block regardless of your equipment layout. A quick well placed block can be the difference between winning and losing a fight. 


3. Don't be afraid to spend many of your hours on soul farming. Leveling up can make those difficult encounters worlds easier and once you have reached a black smith reinforce all your armor and weapons. This is very, very, very important for survival, especially during your first play through. Expect some grinding but your efforts will be rewarded. 


4. Be extra careful with your pulls. The worst thing you can do in this game is pull a whole room of enemies when it's possible to pull one or two at a time. A bad pull will usual end in death. If you do pull far more than you can handle, try to lessen the pain you are about to endure and get as close to the nearest bonfire as possible before dying. This will make reclaiming your souls a lot easier.


5. Rolling is a great feature in Dark Souls and should never be over looked. Sometimes a well timed roll can save your life, and in this game you take everything you can get. Play around with rolling and you will find that once you have learned to implement this technique your quest for survival will be that much easier.


6. Don't be afraid to branch out. Many useful items can be found throughout the world so venture forth and see what you can find.

7. Humanity can be gained by grinding enemies in an area where the boss has not yet been defeated. Keep this in mind when looking to kindle fires for some extra estus. This does seem to exclude some area's. It seems whenever I am grinding in the area just before fighting Quelaag, I don't gain humanity. 


8. Humanity Sprites are a random drop from rats, the octopus headed creatures in the archives and the skeleton babies just before fighting Nito!


9. Reinforce your Estus Flask! Fire Keeper souls are few and far between and can be used to upgrade your Estus Flask at the Firelink Shrine. Consuming these for humanity is not advised, as the amount you will get for  them is next to nothing compared to being able to heal for more health.


10. Prepare yourself for Blighttown. Blighttown can be an agonizing experience if you are not prepared. You will face a lot enemies that can poison you, some enemies can shoot toxic bolts at from at a distance. Before heading to Blighttown make sure you buy plenty of moss from the vendor near the sewers, or grind it out from the treants in the forest. The last thing you want is to get to the bottom and have to fight a challenging boss while poisoned.


11. Kindle fires in difficult areas. For most this should be a no brainer. Use humanity to Kindle fires which can only be done once you have turned human. Kindling fires will allow you to hold more Estus Flasks thus, allowing you to heal more frequently.


12. Find a good shield and use it! Shields can be a powerful ally and with the ability to properly use one, you will be able to survive in many situations where you may have died. When a good defense seems to be the best solution, lock on and keep that shield ready for battle.

13. A lot of times the best option is to simply run past your enemies. Remember that when you are running you can hold up your shield to block oncoming attacks you may receive in passing. With your shield raised you cannot jump while sprinting but you can still roll. With a little practice you can get the hang of lowering your shield in time to make a jump.

14. The area that you unlock to get to Sif is one of the greatest grinding area's in the game. Make sure you grab the bonfire behind the hidden wall to the left of the door you unlock for easy access and you should be able to rack up some serious souls in no time!

15. As you make your way through the catacombs there is a lantern that can be found. Keep an eye out for this lantern as it will improve your visibility when trekking through the tomb of giants.

16. The homeward bone is your friend! Make sure you always have some on you and when you find yourself deep in a dungeon with no estus flasks at hand and a ton of souls, use it to appear back at your last bonfire giving you a chance to level up or spend those souls before losing them!

17. The giant blacksmith in Anor Londo sells Twinkling Titanite. Rumor has it that you can also farm the titanite from the giant clams just before you fight Seath the Scaleless for the second time. 

18. The Havels armor set has an impressive amount of armor but also greatly hinders your mobility. If your going for heavy armor I would suggest that you instead find the Black Iron set and level it through Twinkling Titanite. This set will give you better mobility and once it is fully leveled it will actually provide more protection than the Havels set!

19. Keep up with leveling a good 1 hand weapon as well as your normal 2 hand! The damage you can dish out from a 2 hand is great for bosses but sometimes you find yourself in a situation where you may want to be attacking a bit faster. Make sure you find a good 1 hand weapon to use in combination with a shield and work on leveling that as well. Quelaags Fury Sword, the Lightning Spear and the Drake Sword are some great fast weapons to take a look at!   


20. The undead at the entrance to New Londo will not attack, this is a great area for testing out your weapons.


21. To be able to attack the ghosts in New Londo you will either need to be cursed (not recommended) or use the Transient Curse item which can be purchased at the female undead in the sewers. In addition the ghosts sometimes drop a blade that will deal damage to them regardless of your status.


22. Bonfires will remain kindled when you start NG or NG+.


23. The area just before the final boss is a great place to grind various titanite chunks.


24. All NPC's will respawn when you start NG, so as long as your conscience doesn't get the better of you, kill them off and soak up that humanity for round 2.


25. It is said that dropping random items in the nest of the giant crow can give you rare items in return. Simply drop the item in the nest and exit the game. Reload your save to see the results. I actually tried this one for myself in NG and for whatever reason it did not work. I have seen this confirmed by many people but because my first attempt failed I will not be trying it again. Consider yourself warned.  

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Top 5 RPG's I Have Played (List)

Keep in mind this is only a list of RPG's I have had the chance to play through. 


1. Dark Souls
 (The most immersive and innovative role playing experience you will ever find. Dark Souls is both brutal and compelling and sets the bar for RPG's of every kind)

2. Skyrim
(Bethesda is a company I hold dear to my heart. With each game they release it is obvious that they have improved on their idea's dramatically. Beautiful environments and a gripping story makes this game a must play for all RPG lovers)

3. Fallout 3
(With Fallout 3, Bethesda shows gamers everywhere that a barren post apocalyptic world can have much more to it than ruble and wastelands. Fallout 3 has perfectly melded the world of shooters and RPG's)

4. Final Fantasy 10
(With fantastic supporting rolls and one of the best leveling systems ever implemented in an RPG, I often wonder if Square Enix will ever top this epic title)

5. Diablo 2
(A game that needs no introduction, Diablo 2 changed the world of PC RPG's forever with their unforgettable follow up to Diablo. There is no doubt that Diablo 2 played a huge roll in Blizzard becoming the titan of a company it is today)




Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Contra Hard Part 4 (Dark Souls Tips & Discussion)


As mentioned before I have been playing a lot of Dark Souls and it shows. A very large potion of my recent articles is all about this game. And I love it, I really do... Obviously. But almost 200 hours in and some 10 articles later and I'm thinking I'm ready to start writing about some other stuff. So here is the final piece to the Contra Hard series. I will go back at some point and edit some of the boss guides as I have noticed a few things that can be added and some things that I may want to change. As for Dark Souls, (aside from a possible review) this may be my last article................ maybe.

You can find the previous article in this series by clicking the link below. 

 Contra Hard Part 3

Tips:


The undead at the entrance to New Londo will not attack, this is a great area for testing out your weapons.


To be able to attack the ghosts in New Londo you will either need to be cursed (not recommended) or use the Transient Curse item which can be purchased at the female undead in the sewers. In addition the ghosts sometimes drop a blade that will deal damage to them regardless of your status.


Bonfires will remain kindled when you start NG or NG+.


The area just before the final boss is a great place to grind various titanite chunks.


All NPC's will respawn when you start NG, so as long as your conscience doesn't get the better of you, kill them off and soak up that humanity for round 2.


It is said that dropping random items in the nest of the giant crow can give you rare items in return. Simply drop the item in the nest and exit the game. Reload your save to see the results. I actually tried this one for myself in NG and for whatever reason it did not work. I have seen this confirmed by many people but because my first attempt failed I will not be trying it again. Consider yourself warned.  






Boss Guide




Four Kings


I've seen a lot of people complaining about this one and to be honest I'm kinda scratching my head at the thought. This guide is mostly for a melee build so I suppose its possible that the people that are complaining are playing casters. I personally have never had much trouble at this boss, in fact I'm about 95% certain the Four Kings have never managed to kill me. So when it comes to a guide for this boss I am at a bit of a loss. You will need to equip the ring that Sif drops to enter this fight and I guess to play it safe I would make sure that you are properly leveled and have kindled the bonfire you are at to an appropriate level. I believe I had my fire Kindled at 15 Estus. The boss comes in a few waves (I think its safe to assume 4) and when you first drop and and run at the boss he will usually shoot a projectile at you. This projectile is very easy to dodge and I have never been hit by it so just run to your left until it passes. At this point the idea is to stay as close to the bosses back as possible and slash away leaving some stamina for a quick escape when needed. The boss will slash his sword around in exaggerated arcs. I usually find that if you are at its back they will miss you but if you wish to play it safe than use a well timed roll when you see the boss about to swing. There is (per usual) a powerful AOE attack that the boss can use and you will notice a purpleish(?) mist start to build up around its body as the attack charges. Use this opportunity to back off and roll away to escape the damage this attack causes. Rinse and repeat until dead. I have read that as time goes on it is possible for multiple kings to join the fight at once. In my 3 encounters with this boss I have never noticed this but if it holds any truth than the key to this fight would be speed. Four Kings is weak against fire damage but I would suggest a heavy hitting weapon using a 2 hand stance.




Ceaseless Discharge


I've never actually had to fight this boss because there is a really neat trick to beating him without having to really fight him. When you first enter through the gate you will find that you can walk past the boss without him attacking. If you walk to the far end you will find an item to pick up. Be warned once you pick this item up the boss will go agro and attack. Before looting the items make sure you change around your equipment so that you have some good mobility. Pick up the item and run back to the beginning, there is a little path to your left you can take but be warned I have never tried this and don't know if it affects this strategy. Once you are back to where you entered you will see the boss lunge at you and slam his arm onto the ledge. Run up to his hand and start hacking away at it. After a few moments the boss will let go and plummet to a bottomless pit underneath him. The end.  






Demon Firesage

This boss has a near identical attack pattern to the Stray Demon, he is merely a bit beefed up. Despite his name fire attacks are fine in this fight. For more on this fight, refer to the Stray Demon guide in part 3 of the Contra Hard series.




Centipede Demon

At first the boss will stand in the lava and pound its tentacle like arms off the ground attempting to hit you. Roll around a bit dodging his attacks and eventually he will take to land. Now the only real reason as to why this fight can be slightly difficult is because of the small area you are given to fight it in. So the first thing you are going to want to do is chop off the bosses tail. Once severed the boss will drop a ring that GREATLY reduces the damage that you take from lava. This way if you die, you can always equip the ring for the next fight and the battle should be very easy. Other than the centipedes smashing fists the only other real attack to look out for is when it grabs you. After being grabbed by the boss it will toss you in its jaws, chew you up and spit you out, dealing a fair amount of damage. The boss may hop around a bit so keep your eyes on the prize and again do your best to stay behind the boss.




Bed of Chaos

I wouldn't call this the hardest fight in the game but I do consider this one to be by far the most annoying. The most important thing you can do in this fight is make sure your mobility is way up there. Something the dude in this picture is clearly not doing. When you drop in you will notice that to his left and right are balls of dead roots. Run to either side and roll through the branches until you find the glowing center. Take out the center and a little event should play out. Now things are getting a bit more dangerous. You will now want to travel to the other side of the boss and do the same thing again, except this time the floor is going to crumble out from under you and you will find the attacks of the boss to be a bit more aggressive. If you die the side that you destroyed will stay that way but it is very annoying to get back to this boss. As you run to the opposite side you will notice a solid sort of circular path around the boss. Following this is the safest route because the path does not crumble where the ring is. Once you have destroyed the other side you are now going to want to dash to the area directly in front of the boss. Once you reach this area you are going to see the floor in front of the the boss crumble and fall away. Under the floor is a root path that leads inside the boss where you will destroy yet another glowing thing. If you die here and need to run back things get a little difficult. Just make sure that as you slide down the giant slope you hang to the far right, land in a roll and dash as quickly as you can. The root path is more to your right side than the center. A good shield can be the difference between life and death in this fight, when you see the boss start to use its sweeping attack with its arms, raise your shield to avoid some massive damage.



Gwyn Lord of Cinder


So you're here, the head honcho. A little intimidated? Well maybe you should be... Though Gwyn is the final encounter in the game, this fight is really not all that complex. Gwyn only has a few moves he will use on you, some sword swings, he may pounce at you from a distance and if you get too close he'll grab you and toss you like a rag doll. And though some of these attacks can pack a decent punch, I would not even come close to calling him the most damaging boss in the game. Does this make him easy? No, not really. The problem with Gwyn is the fact that he is the most aggressive boss in the game. Meaning wherever you are, he is right there, on your ass. This almost always makes it near impossible to heal, so though his attacks are not immensely powerful, they are powerful enough considering you are left with little to no breathing room. I have seen strategy's kicking around focusing on provoking Gwyn's grab attack. When he's grabbing for you, you can back step and this small window gives you time to take a chug off the ol' flask. This tactic does work but I find it a bit sporadic seeing as its hard to consistently provoke a grab and even then who's to say you are going to back step in time. For me, I have a much different strategy. In the the back of the area on the left hand side there is a stalagmite protruding up from the earth (as stalagmites do) this one can be easily picked out as there is a very small space between the stalagmite and the rock wall on the left hand side. This one is pretty big and that small area between the stalagmite and the wall can cause some hindrance to Gwyn's mobility as he's chasing you. Do full circles around the stalagmite and watch as he tries to attack you when you are clearly out of harms way. Use these moments to heal or wait for an opportune time to get a few hits in. Keep this up while circling the stalagmite and always keeping your eye on the enemy and this fight should be fairly easy. Despite using fire attacks Gwyn does not seem to be resistant to fire.

Crysis 3 Steps Up The Visuals On Console (News)



You may have heard about the upcoming release of Crysis 3, and if somehow you were stubborn enough to not be blown away by the visuals in Crysis 2 than you might be happy to hear that Crytek has found a way to implement DirectX 11 style graphics on console using specialized code. Though the game doesn't look identical to actual DirectX 11 support, Crytek assures everyone that we will be very surprised to see the results!

"We want to make sure as much as is humanly possible can translate from a DX11 variant into a DX9 variant, that will work almost as good on an Xbox console to whatever extent we can, because we don't want the experience to be different between the platforms, it is very, very difficult, but it is possible. It just requires a lot of effort. Some of the stuff these guys are making work on consoles now is absolutely amazing. It's render features that shouldn't theoretically work on consoles, but they've managed to construct code that can emulate a similar thing from a… hack and slash sounds wrong, but they don't have the same streamlined pipeline you would have with a DX11 structure, but they can get to a similar result just by experimenting and using tips and tricks." - Rasmus Højengaard of Crytek

Crytek has also stated that it is very unlikely that Crysis 3 will hit the Wii U.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Dark Souls Melee Build Guide (Stats and Gear)


(This guide is very old. If you would like to see a video guide on dark souls melee builds click HERE)

I am well aware of the need for me to post about some other games on Glory to Gaming, unfortunately Dark Souls has me by the balls... bad. So with the near 200 hours I have dumped into this game solely playing a melee build, I thought I would help some people out with building their characters. Below I have compiled a melee guide including stats and gear, keep in mind that this layout is my personal preference.

Class: Bandit 
I like the stat layout that a bandit starts you out with and the equipment makes for some icing on the cake.

Gift: Master Key
Some people like the ring that gives you a small boost to health, but when all is said and done the health that the ring gives you ends up being insignificant and the Master Key can make your life worlds easier.

Stats (Soul Level 100):
I generally start out pumping Vitality and occasionally dumping points into Strength, Endurance and a point here and there in Dexterity.

Vitality 40

Attunement 8

Endurance 40

Strength 40

Dexterity 25

Resistance 11

Intelligence 8

Faith 10





For those aiming for a lower Soul Level, here is a stat chart for SL 50: 


Vitality 25

Attunement 8

Endurance 20

Strength 30

Dexterity 20

Resistance 11

Intelligence 8

Faith 10




Armor:
Black Iron Set




This set can be upgraded with Twinkling Titanite and is found to the left of the giant painting in Anor Londo. The Havels Set at first seems the best bet, but it cannot be upgraded and is very heavy. Once you have the Black Iron Set fully upgraded it should provide just as much armor if not more than the Havels Set. Though this armor is great for protection, I would advice using a hybrid build and including some pieces of light armor to keep your mobility up. The Gold-Hemmed and Dingy sets are usually what I incorporate into my build.

Weapons:
Stone Greatsword







This sword packs a serious punch but also has better mobility and attack speed than most of the larger weapons found in Dark Souls. The sword is a fairly rare drop and can be found by grinding the giant statues in Darkroot Garden, just before the Moonlight Butterfly.

Quelaag's Furysword








I normally only use my great sword as a two hand weapon for bosses and tougher enemies. When running around I like to have a fast weapon for sword and board that doesn't eat massive amount of stamina. For this I suggest Quelaag's Furysword. This weapon swings very fast, does a lot of fire damage and it looks cool tah boot! To get this weapon you will actually have to kill Quelaag and use her soul to forge the sword at the giant blacksmith in Anor Londo. Below I will provide an instructional video on how to get this weapon.

This is not my video. You will need Quelaag's soul to craft this weapon.

Shield:
Grass Crest Shield





This shield can be found at the bottom of Darkroot Basin. The Grass Crest Shield does not provide as much protection as other shields in the game but gives a massive boost to stamina regen, allowing you to get more attacks in on a boss in a shorter amount of time. I moved on to other shields for a bit, but later decided that this was my favorite.


Rings:
Ring of Steel Protection
Can be found in Sens Fortress and provides a boost to physical resistance.

Ring of Favor and Protection:
This is my favorite ring in the game as it gives a massive boost to health. The ring can be found by killing the imprisoned NPC just under the Belfry Gargoyles, or by avenging the death of the fire keeper for the Firelink Shrine in Anor Lando. The ring will break if removed.