Tag Archives: Dark Souls

Haven Editorial: Desucon 2017

Haven Editorial: Desucon 2017

Desucon is the biggest and longest running cosplay convention in Norway. It’s been around for at least a decade by this point. Which is fantastic achievement on its own and does the cosplay community a great service. However size has it’s own price. However it is not my place to speculate about the chaotic nightmare of logistics and people management. 

I came to Desucon to take pictures of interesting people and compete in the cosplay competition. Which I have a minor beef with. Which for once has nothing to with with the judges decisions on who would go on to the finals. Yet I’m quite sure some people do, however I did not inquire about that. It just well known fact that people will complain a lot about such things. That being said, there is a lot of fun to be had by signing on as a volunteer. The back bone of any convention.

As usual Desucon takes place in Lillestrøm during the summer. It’s a very flat region of east Norway with a big building perfectly suited to hold any convention, with easy commuting from all over. Be it by plane, bus or train. There is also a plethora of stores and high quality restaurants and an expensive hotel next door. Several noticeable and very geeky stores bring a lot of fantastic merchandise as well. A great number of artists shows up as well and most of them takes a lot of custom commissions. Replica swords, bead creatures, leather products, body pillows, figurines, cups, candy and much much more.

I’ve yet to mention the various organizations having stands there as well. Such as the highly questionable Galtvort skolen LARP. It’s a translation on the hog and wart pun, which is the recipe for having serious legal issues. Due to film companies being a dick about reinforcing copyrights.


The ever noisy and quite healthy Kendo participants. EF education, which enthralls you with the ability to study languages abroad. And many, many more. 

My costume idea for this year was a scantly clad Blackwatch Ryes from Overwatch. I figured out that parading around in his skimpy armor would be a lot more comfy than wearing a shirt. Plus I could not arsed to get an olive green hoodie. Not yet at least. The process can be found on my twitch page under the name Zaceron on pretty much anything.

Part one was held in a closed room with some cameras, several people from the crew. Apparently it was an auditorium with many rows of chairs, filled with an overwhelming amount of participants in colorful costume. Essentially the idea was for each participant to wait their turn and talk to the three lovely female judges in front. Personally I was just lucky to get there in time, since they decided to held it one hour earlier. Without notifying me, since I just arrived by bus when the announcement was made through the speaker system. Due to the ease of dressing up I did get in on time. Winning is a hard sell and there is always more to tell. However there is one big beef I have and that is the number of people going on to the finale, it went from twenty something down to five. The real problem I had about this is quite simple. Most of the participants had a sketch in mid, with music, sound and acting planned out. Now they will never be seen, which is sad and a waste of entertainment potential. Which also undercut a lot of fun. Seeing people do their hardest to perform on stage in a custom costume is a fantastic experience and fun to boot. Also a lot of the participants could greatly benefit from the self esteem boost.

However there was a drop in competition on Saturday, which had a lot of high quality participants as well and a much more chill, show your work atmosphere. I never expected to see a Daedric warrior cosplay. Then again a Oni Genji was there as well, with a mimic hiding in a corner, promising free loot. Aside from the big competition, there are a lot of other wholesome activities going on as well. Such as the LAN section, for people who have the balls to drag their expensive PC across the land. Various fandom meet ups, board games and much, much more. There is just too much to mention. After all I came there to compete, meet fantastic people, take a bucket load of images and fishing for ideas. Which is exactly what I did.

 

 

Kendo practice
The Kind of Norway during WW2
Wonder Woman
Arcade Ahri
Imperial Guardsman
Reaper vs Sith and the Remnant
Free Loot
Soldier 76
Friday the 13th
The witch king and his hand maiden?
Gone With the Blastwave
A short storm trooper
Roadhog
A Ghost Buster
Lara Croft
Joker
Bobba Fett
Sombra
Sparta
NCR Veteran

 Tai Fighter

Garen and Katarina

Njål Sand

Haven Review: Dark Souls III

dark_souls_iii_logo_by_irancover-d8wh4bm I like referring to Dark Souls III as a child’s game. You want a hard game? Try playing The Lion King on the SEGA Genesis and making it past the Giraffe stage!

But seriously, Dark Souls III is the newest (and final) installment in its franchise. With it, they are staying true to their sentiment of “you will die an awful lot”. Like the previous games in this series, you start out making a character that you will rarely, if never look at. A “character creator” was probably not even needed.2980097-dark-souls-iii-6

I went for a Knight because it’s me, and I like fighting with a sword and everything. From there I started up the game and my eardrums began to bleed. I lowered the audio in the options menu, but apparently that doesn’t affect cut-scene volume. So it sent me deaf as the opening sequence echoed throughout the house and woke up my wife.

From there I continued on my merry way, learning the controls again (it has been ages since I played a Dark Souls title), and made my way through the starting area. I began reading all the notes left on the ground until I encountered the first enemy of the game…and then my GPU driver took a dump. I reloaded the game and tried again, and again, and again, and gave up. I got an Xbox One copy because like a few new games coming out, this title is broken on PC. This franchise has been so notoriously bad on PC, Bandai actually endorses fan mods and fixes!3034312-2954897-darksouls3_beingloadofcinder_rgb_1444817894 The game’s controls are a bit confusing and have always given me a hard time. I’m constantly forgetting what button to press next, and because of that I’m dying a lot (and I mean a lot!) To be fair, that’s kind of the thing with Dark Souls; you will die a lot. Because of its convoluted controls…and not my lack of skill…I feel cheated much of the time. This is where the Internet could chime in and in a collective voice tell me to “get good”. So I continue on my way, and venture through the ruins of this castle.

Attacked by dragons and that weird creature from Studio Ghibli’s Princess Monoke (you know the one). But I must admit as I’m venturing through, I feel I’m not being drawn into the game. The buildings are well-designed and beautiful, but because of my constant worry of enemies and dying I’m not feeling immersed in the game’s atmosphere.Dark-Souls-3-2

The dark and damp look of the place has me constantly on guard and looking out for all manner of things that want me dead. The world’s variety of enemies has me constantly adapting to change my play style. This poses a really great challenge even for the most seasoned players (except for that one guy who beat the game without rolling, dodging, blocking, all at level one!)

What I loved about the game is just how hard it makes things; how challenging it is and the thrill it gives you after you make it to a new area. But what I dislike about it is just how rage-inducing it is. In competitive games you get mad from lag, as with Counter-Strike back in the dial-up days. You’d drop a smoke grenade and bam…instant disconnect. But in this game you’re constantly dying.

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Overall the game is amazing. What it lacks in atmosphere it really makes up for in everything else. What’s more, if you can figure out the story for the game, Bandai is willing to dish out $10,000 (USD)! Myself, I’m just going to continue to enjoy getting my arse royally kicked!

: Disclaimer: We received this game for review purposes only. As such, all views in this article are our own. No money has been exchanged for this review.

-Daniel Clatworthy-

DarkSoulsIII

Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition

     

Curse these accursed undead and this damnable mark, I have been branded and will soon turn hollow and lose my mind, attacking anyone that comes too close. Our world has truly gone down a clogged infected drain and the dead just refuse to stay down. It’s probably a good thing that they decided to lock me up in this stinking, moldy asylum; and the moans of the insipid prisoners never stop.

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Dark Souls is an adventure in a dark and desolate fantasy world of sword and sorcery, where light is fading and monsters run rampant. A place where the player is literally thrown into the action after a short intro sequence. Aside from this, not much is told about the plot, but every now and then a piece is presented. Most of the story is told through the lore each weapon and armor have and the environment. The people you can talk to are not very helpful and could quite possibly be insane already…though sanity is for the weak.

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Crystal cave, crystal golem? EASY!

The biggest draw and drawback is the combat, which is quite solid and very meaty. Each fight is a cruel test of limits, where a lot of the enemies have an uncanny ability to twist the attack in the middle of a blow and to hit you when rolling behind them. This tracking will be a make-and-break point for players along with the poorly optimized PC port. However there is a fan patch that fixes the resolution. A game pad is highly recommended. Another noteworthy issue is the lock on camera, that often ends up looking up a creature’s butt as I roll under it, only to fall of a ledge. All over the world there is a lot of loot and many unique weapons and spells to unlock, which means that there is a plethora of ways to play the game. So never let anyone tell you that you are playing the game wrong. Aside from the typical selection of stabbing, chopping and crushing weapons, there are a lot of spells and some very unique weapons to get. This includes a spike and a wagon wheel that also doubles as a shield. Combat is deceptively simple. It’s all based around dodging, blocking and reaction time, which means that if I took damage I did something wrong or got too inpatient. There are no quick-time events (QTE), nor are there any interrupting cut scenes to throw me out of the immersion.

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You will see this screen a lot

The truly unique mechanic that From Software brought to the table is the ability to invade random players’ games and try to kill them, or summon random strangers to help with bosses and hard areas. It is possible to see the ghost of another player’s final moment and write messages on the ground that others might see. However a resource called humanity is needed to participate in the player interaction, since the player character tuns into a dried out, undead corpse on death.

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Enemies drop loot and souls. These souls work as a ingame currency for buying, upgrading and leveling up, though that can only be done at a fireplace (which also functions as a checkpoint). Unfortunately, all of your souls and humanity are lost upon death, unless the player can return to the spot and reclaim the loot. There is also a fair share of achievements to get as well.

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I’m not sure who said that Dark Souls is beautifully bleak, but it’s true. Everything is drab, tired and full of dead things. The world looks very, run down and it works wonders. Each area is connected in a sensible manner, with unlockable shortcuts. Dense tunnels, claustrophobic crypts, smelly bogs and sweeping vistas makes  this world  breathtaking and a grand vision to behold. Every now and then there will be a message such as “Beware of beautiful view”, and with good reason.20160422153109_1

The music does a wonderful job as well. It’s epic and fittingly dramatic. The player can do most of the places and bosses in any order, and some can be skipped altogether. The prepare to die edition also for all the extra content, which is new areas, npc’s and loot. Despite its flaws, I quite  enjoy the game. But I can honestly say that this game is not for everyone. It’s hard, violent, rage-inducing and addictive…and you will die a lot. Naturally, this game is not for young children.

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http://store.steampowered.com/app/211420/

Our disclaimer we got this game because we wanted to review it, and as such all views in this article our are own. No money has been exchanged for this review.

Njål Sand