SUNDAY SWATCH

Hiya pals, it’s that time. Let’s get into it.

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Faith in Dark Souls: The Mound-makers and Desperation

In this series of blog posts I’d like to explore the importance of religion, and especially faith, to the inhabitants of the dark souls world. Initially I will be focusing on Dark Souls III as the most recent game, but I would like to go back and examine the other games in this series too. See this post for an introduction and overview of faith in Lothric.

In a conversation that vividly sticks out in my mind, a friend once told me that everyone believes in something. Something that shapes what they do and how they live. This has always stayed with me, especially in regards to my own faith which I outlined in the last post. As I said there, not all faith is religious.

And this is important to keep in mind when discussing the Mound-maker covenant. There are so many examples of religious faith in Dark Souls that I can post about, but I really want to talk about this dark covenant first. To me, their beliefs really highlight how important faith is to this game, and how everyone really does believe in something.

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Throwback Thursday: Spyro the Dragon

In this series of posts I want to explore games from my past. In doing so I aim to not only highlight pieces of game history (good or bad), but also examine my personal relationship to gaming. In this post I want to focus on possible one of my favourite games of all time: Spyro the Dragon

I honestly hadn’t thought about Spyro for years, until I noticed JackScepticEye was doing a lets play of Year of the Dragon, the third game in the Spyro franchise. Watching his video brought about some strong feelings in me. I played Year of the Dragon and its predecessor, Gateway to Glimmer so much. So much. Seeing that first world just instantly brought back memories of sitting in front of my Playstation, happily controlling the little dragon. I was shocked I had temporarily forgotten his existence.

As I mentioned above, Spyro was, and possibly still is, one of my favourite games. I loved the environment, all the worlds you could visit; I loved Spyro himself; I loved the NPCs and their ridiculous problems; I loved everything about these games. These were also the first console games I ever completed by myself, an achievement I was incredibly proud of.

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You have no idea. My dad still repeats this voice line to me.

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Layers Of Fear: Inheritance DLC – Review

Layers of Fear recently released a new DLC, Inheritance. I only know this from browsing the Xbox store. Now, I consider myself pretty in the know about games happenings (surprise, surprise I consume a lot of gaming news content), but it seemed like I completely missed any chat about it. Still, that’s not a negative, more of a curiosity, and since I enjoyed Layers of Fear I picked it up.

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Dead Easy: Difficulty and Design Intent

Recently I’ve been following the debate on Feminist Gaming Matters about the inclusion of easy modes in games.  This is not a new debate – it seems to rear its head every couple of months somewhere. And, as is often the case, the argument focuses quite heavily on Dark Souls, because…well I don’t know. There are hundreds of games out there, many of them difficult, but somehow DS always floats to the fore of these discussions, therefore, I’ll be focusing on it quite heavily here too. I’ll try and make this conversation wider, but a lot of the arguments I want to engage in use SoulsBourne as examples, so of course I’ll discuss them here. 

I would like to highlight that this conversation has two distinct, but interlocking parts to it: making games easy allows players who, for whatever reason want an easier experience e.g. new gamers, younger or older gamers, less skilled players, etc. The second, and more important strand related to making games more accessible for players who are disabled, which could include a number of features, one of which may be an easier level of difficulty. I would like to engage with both of these points, but I will start with the former – the inclusion of a general easy mode for gamers who just wish to have an easier/more relaxing time. 

This ended up being way longer than I expected, so I’ll be splitting my thoughts down into separate blog posts. Look out for more in the future. Feel free to give me your opinions – both on the arguments outlined in this post, and on others you have regarding this topic.

Finally to give some context to this piece, I suggest you also read this editorial on RockPaperShotgun, and this video by Mark Brown.

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