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Bedroom music production, gaming and random shit

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playstation 4

(via https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72RxA5F7XEA)

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Game Off

I don’t write about gaming that much any longer. The posts on music production are more popular, which make them more rewarding to write. And I guess it’s because those post mainly focus on tips and techniques, while the posts on video games are based more on taste and personal experience, and not very analytic.

However, let’s talk about my gaming (diary entry style).

I don’t play on the PS4 that much any longer because there’s not that many games that interest me right now. I play Life Is Strange, which the PS4 is technically overkill for, but it’s nevertheless a good game.

And I’m starting a NG+ or another playthrough of Dark Souls III, which is an amazing game. But that’s about it.

Oh yeah, I finished the true ending of Metal Gear Solid V too, but that game was weird (even for the series).

I did a couple of multiplayer matches on Uncharted 4, but didn’t get hooked.

I skipped the whole Advances Warfare train. It just didn’t appeal to me.

And I was disappointed with Fallout 4 and The Witcher 3 and therefore didn’t get any of the DLCs.

Recently I’ve been playing on a smartphone, and I’m not talking about Pokémon GO, but about some of Telletale’s games (The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, Game of Thrones), I think they are pretty good and suit fine on handheld device with touchscreen.

What’s On PlayStation?

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My year with the PS4 so far. Currently I’m playing Dark Souls III, Uncharted 4 and last year’s Metal Gear Solid V, which to me is a bit disappointing. The other two games, well, let’s just say that they are perfect.

I’ve “finished” Fallout 4, and seen two out of four endings. In short, Fallout 4, is just (much) more Fallout, but not in a good way, like Uncharted 4 or Dark Souls III.

The Division was alright up to a point, the end game (read: multiplayer) became boring and I’m not really into grinding for better loot and gear, I think I like match-based multiplayers more.

I’m looking forward to Battlefield 1, which should be the best multiplayer ever made.

And let’s hope the rumored PlayStation NEO 4K/PlayStation 4.5 or whatever it’s going to be called will be great. 

Upcoming Games

I thought I’d write something about gaming. While the posts on music production gain most of the attention on this blog, gaming is also a part of it.

For the time being I’m playing Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin on PS4. It’s okay, not half as beautiful as Bloodborne, but still deeper than most of them. I am, however, looking forward to Dark Souls III, which I think will be great.

I should be interested in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, but right now I don’t have the time, and I know it will take some to get into. (By the way, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots was one of my favorite games.) But I will get it eventually.

I hope Star Wars Battlefront will be good and that it will gather my online friends, but I’m not sure. I think the Star Wars saga is overrated and even if I grew up with the movies, the merchandise and all, I don’t get nostalgic about it.

I played the public beta of Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 with some friends. It played pretty much as a typical Call of Duty game. I don’t think I’ll buy it. In that case it would be the first game in the series since Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 from 2009, that I don’t get on its release date.

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate could be fine, but I think they watered down the concept and lore, and I lost interest already on Assassin’s Creed III.

Fallout 4 should be good. I really liked Fallout 3 with all its expansions, but I thought Fallout: New Vegas was a lesser chapter. I rather get a new great multiplayer than another oversized single player RPG.

I can’t wait for the Bloodborne: The Old Hunters expansion though.

Early Farming for Blood Echoes

You can farm for Blood Echoes (and Blood Vials) quite early in Bloodborne. But first you need to defeat the Blood-Starved Beast in a ruined church at the bottom of Old Yharnam.

This will cause the Snatchers to appear around Cathedral Ward. So go there and get killed by a Snatcher.

You will now wake up in a prison. Leave the cage and ascend the stairs, and reach the lamp of Hypogean Gaol (which in fact is in Yahar’gul, Unseen Village).

Fight your way through the main hall and exit the building.

  1. Outside Hypogean Gaol. Wait next to the stairs for the Giant Pig to reach the top where the note “Behold! A Paleblood sky!” can be found. Kill the bloody pig.
  2. Advance forward on the main street (left of Hypogean Gaol).
  3. On your left side there’s another Giant Pig. Dodge the attack and then kill it.
  4. Continue up the streets and kill the Rabid Dogs. Pick one at a time.
  5. By the end of the street there’s a Snatcher and two more Rabid Dogs. Ignore them, and turn back to the Hypogean Gaol.

Follow the alley to the left of the building and open a door to the lamp.

Return to the Hunter’s Dream.

Now wake up at Hypogean Gaol again. Take the shortcut that you’ve just opened so that you don’t need to fight the relatively tough Snatchers in the main hall. Repeat step 1-5 above.

At this point of the game, every time you wake up at Hypogean Gaol – before you kill Rom, the Vacuous Spider – the Giant Pigs and the Rabid Dogs will respawn, and these creatures are pretty easy to kill and will get you over 10,000 Blood Echoes each iteration. The Giant Pigs are also likely to drop Blood Vials.

Swords, Swords, Swords

For me gaming last half-year has been filled with single player sword fighting. (I miss playing with friends and I miss shooting in first person.)

Swords

It started off with Dragon Age: Inquisition by the end of last year. I was playing as a rogue with double daggers.

DAI was pretty huge but full of meaningless quests of the sort: kill 5 enemies and collect award, gather 10 herbs and collect award… The stories and characters were okay but not fantastic in any way.

More Swords

Then came Bloodborne – and it was fantastic. The swords were presented as trick weapons that could be transform for different attacks.

Everything about this game was just great: the story and plot, the art direction, the level design, the game mechanics, the voice acting, the thrills.

I’m on my third playthrough now.

Swords Revisited

My third installment of sword swinging games was The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. There were two swords – one of steel and one of silver – to chose from for fighting human and beasts, but that whole thing was merely a gimmick.

I haven’t yet finished The Witcher 3 (I’m on level 22 or so) but so far I’m not that impressed. Yeah it’s huge, and there are endless of loot, and some side quests are deep and intriguing, but most of them go on and on and only grows tiresome. There are just too many things I’m critical of this game, albeit subjective opinions, e.g. juvenile language, writing and stylistics.

Anyway, I hope that the next game for me doesn’t involve swords, just gimme a gun man.

Gold Farming of Gamers

Here’s how to fool gamers, take their money that is.

It goes a bit like this: make a video game and market it as a standalone, complete game but sell it in parts.

Have the consumer pre-order the game to receive in-game gadgets, like two extra skins for the playable character or its weapons (but add nothing that change gameplay or the overall experience).

Go ahead, charge full price for a three-quarters of a game at best. It’s alright, just release the rest as DLCs.

If the game focuses on multiplayer mode, e.g. lots of first person shooters, then hold on to half of the maps and ration them out in four DLCs during the game’s lifecycle, together with some uncanny weapons that didn’t make it past alpha phase.

And if the game is story driven, then release two or three DLCs with a few hours worth of side-quest gameplay. You should have made these already at launch, but withhold from the original release.

Anyhow, the total sum of these DLCs can almost reach the price point of the game itself. Yeah, you’re getting double paid. If you want money in the bank, then sell a season pass so that players can gain access to all content to something you should call, “a great price”. And to appeal to these fanboys, promise that they will get it a week earlier than the suckers buying the DLCs piece by piece.

Then – if the game proves to be any successful after a year – release a Game of the Year edition. Include everything above and be nice, and run a time-limited promotional pricing campaign for a short while before charing full price again.

After that you can always make a remake of the game, on whatever future current generation of gaming platform is; be sure to save your high resolution textures for this. Or you may just re-release the game and add “10th Anniversary Edition”.

That’s how to earning money on video games. I’m sure there are plenty of other ways, but these are the most obvious and common.

Fear Strong Foe

Here’s just a personal gaming update, skip if you wanna.

After a first playthrough I’m now on my second. I started almost immediately after the first, some kind of testament how good I think this game is.

While I cheated my way through Yharnam county earlier, I’m now playing as the game is designed to be played – on default “hardcore” setting, and with more tactics involved.

The first times I played Bloodborne I was almost shocked how hard and unforgiven the games was, now I feel the difficulty level seems much easier. I guess practice makes perfect.

P.S. I’m also playing Heists, the new cooperative mode for GTA Online. It’s a very nice addition to an already good multiplayer.

Reign in Blood

It’s hard to say for how long I’ve played Bloodborne. The timestamp isn’t reliable, because there’s no pause. But I’ve killed a couple of bosses, eight I think.

And yes, I’ve cheated, and therefore I might not rightfully be entitled to write about the game… I do it anyway.

Bloodborne is too damn hard. Autosaving checkpoints are few and far between. I know, I miss “the thing” with these games – the great reward after a great struggle and shit. Well, in short, I don’t have time to invest and it’s not my idea of having fun to repeat a gaming sequence in absurdum. (I can, however, sympathize with the mechanism if it had to do with something important in real life, but this is merely a video game for fuck’s sake.)

Anyhow, I’m not writing to tell you only this, no I wanna say that I really like Bloodborne, even if my playthrough is an abuse of sorts.

It’s a beautiful game. It’s one of the best looking games on the PS4. I like the gothic aesthetics and the profound art direction, it’s extraordinary, and don’t mind any bitter review of the graphics.

The controls are responsive and the game mechanics are satisfying. You’ll need to learn and practice a few tricks to master your techniques, which is only fair. Then you need to study your opponent, know your enemy to be successful in battle.

And the level design is fantastic. Things are connected. There’s no map, no compass. You’re on your own, and it’s great to explore the world. Bloodborne isn’t sandbox-wide, but it’s still pretty open with lots of junctions and different routes.

So far the story and lore is great. As the mystery unravels, anything can still happen.

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