Souls-likes

ggallegos1

Cholecystectomy Required.,
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Go for the prison area, it's a bit higher level with the Abductors but you get some good gems and armor there, plus open a shortcut to Old Yarnhum. The game has clicked with me hard, and it's my first playthrough as well. All the optional stuff is great for grinding, items, and carryll runes
 

jro

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So, Lies of P [for real that got through Marketing?!] is out. On Gamepass if you have Xbox and would rather not pay $60 for it outright (this is exactly where I have it so far].

It's a South Korean take on about 2/3 Bloodborne and about 1/3 Sekiro, and it's... alright. The mechanics are honestly really weird. Enemies can stagger but you don't get good cues as to how close they are to said stagger, blocking incurs damage that can be recovered if you do immediate damage ala Rally in Bloodborne (but not on perfect block, that's different), deflect/perfect block is the ideal way to defend unless the enemy has a long attack chain then you have to block and rally. It's a really strange mess of good mechanics that end up being a somewhat-cohesive game. There are a lot of map shortcuts to open, which helps with the inane enemy placement (there's usually about 3x more than you'd think and they're ALWAYS in the corners), and, as is the case for most of the game, it feels like an amateur ripoff of the real deal (I mean putting gate/ladder shortcuts in place of actually fixing the bad enemy placement).

Note... [buried the lede here my bad if you actually want to play it at all], it generally misleads the player if you want to play it worth anything. It feels slow as hell at first, like Dark Souls 1 or maybe 2. However, if you play it like DS 1 or 2, you'll be very dead very quickly in any of the boss fights. It's actually meant to be played like something between Bloodborne and Sekiro, you have to keep attacking and parrying to have any chance. Doesn't really make sense until you clear a few bosses and reset the internal switch. Maaaayyyybeee this is a refreshing change but I'll have to continue on a bit to see for sure.

It's on Unreal Engine, pretty sure it's 4 and not 5. Good FPS on Performance Mode but it looks like a 360 game overall and good god the brightness settings are awful.

I'm I dunno, maybe 3 hours in. Finished the first several areas, minibosses, area boss, first impressions quite bad but I'm liking it better now for the most part. I saw one review that compared it to The Surge 2, and I would (oddly) agree with that. It's a mix of things that have been done much better elsewhere but overall it's strangely enjoyable and has some merit and may be worth a playthrough.
 
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jro

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Christ this is my bad. LoP is awful. Don't play it unless you have it on Gamepass and have, I dunno, half of several days to kill and then you're planning to kill yourself at the end like in Sliding Doors (DO NOT Google this just trust me. Liking the default bold for emphasis in an important matter).

All of the mechanics suck. Don't play this unless it's it's on Gamepass.

I have a South Korean car but I don't trust these motherfuckers with games.
 

Gentlegamer

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Don't play it unless you have it on Gamepass and have, I dunno, half of several days to kill and then you're planning to kill yourself at the end like in Sliding Doors (DO NOT Google this just trust me. Liking the default bold for emphasis in an important matter).

All of the mechanics suck. Don't play this unless it's it's on Gamepass.

I have a South Korean car but I don't trust these motherfuckers with games.

This should be the review blurb on the box.
 

Lagduf

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Thanks, will skip and continue to play Starfield on gamepass.

When are we going to get the Elden Ring DLC?
 

jro

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Thanks, will skip and continue to play Starfield on gamepass.

When are we going to get the Elden Ring DLC?
Uhhhhhhhhmmmmmmmmmm if we're operating on the Cyberpunk 2077 model, it will be 2026.

J/K!! Supposedly sooner than that but who TF knows nowadays [fun sidenote, Google is totally fine with the spelling of "nowadays" but not at all with "nowdays" christ google you fascists].

Anyway, I managed to spend another, I dunno, 6 or 8 hours on LoP, as I do NOT have the ability to quit a souls-like any sooner than it takes to watch Too Old to Die Young. The Fallen Archbishop is where I draw the line at a bad game.

There are some major problems with this game:
-the game ends up being built around perfect parries. This is the big one. And there are, well, almost zero indicators for what's different between a perfect parry and a normal block on the bosses, which will kill you. The Fallen Archbishop (fuck this guy) has like three attacks in total but then two completely separate phases, and, yeah, he can stagger any of the three attacks, with a delay, into a combo of up to six hits with the others. Good luck parrying or dodging that.
-enemy stagger doesn't work well. Normal enemies take a parry, you think you have a chance to heal, but they've got zero delay on their next hit so you're both taking damage and not healing. Bosses are worse.
-similarly, there's bad feedback on hits in general. Guy will be closing on you, you throw out R1, maybe it hits? Guy glances right through it but looks like he took damage but also has zero delay on his next attack? It's irritating how inconsistent the mechanic is.
-there's little to no feedback on perfect parries. Sekiro and Wo Long both knew that this had to be exactly right since it was the key to playing the game well, and they both make it very clear when you managed a perfect parry and the enemy was stunned/staggered/whatever.
-the importance of throwable items is too high. This was also a big problem in Steel Rising, but that was pretty easy overall and I didn't constantly run out of items. In LoP, electric and/or fire bombs do disproportionately large damage to bosses so much so that normal tactics feel useless.
-only level up at the main hub: this is the Dark Souls 2 problem that various other games in the genre fixed afterward. Lazy, maybe, or just ignorant, I'm not sure.
-goddamn two-stage bosses. Maybe a bit of a pet peeve here, but really, it's a pain. I can think of a handful of two-stage (or more, like, I dunno, Bed of Chaos I guess that one had checkpoints at all phases) bosses that make things fair, heck, even General of Man in Wo Long is very reasonable once you learn it, but jeez, there are a handful of multi-stage bosses in the genre that I just hate, and that trend continues in LoP. Fallen Archbishop in Lies...., ugh. It's just such a pain to learn one phase, use your consumables learning one phase, knowing full-well that there's another more difficult phase next. Reminds me of Orphan in Bloodborne, and at least he had obvious punishers and was the last optional boss instead of a required one.
-the XP gain for killing enemies isn't tuned correctly. You get 85-115 Ergo (souls) for killing mobs at the very beginning, and you get the same amount for killing mobs 1/3 of the way through the game, at which point levels cost 5000 Ergo instead of 500. Elites and bosses award more and the unique Ergo fragments tend to be more valuable, but all of those are limited. Thus grinding becomes nearly impossible. I think the devs honestly made a design mistake here that will be patched sooner than later. Another very similar issue is that all boss ergos (that can be traded for unique weapons just like in From games) are worth the same amount so far, 5,000 each. So the incentive to consider burning the ergo becomes much less and getting the weapon or amulet is a no-brainer, which, again, can't actually be intended.
-and the camera is often really bad, even for this genre.

So.... after, I dunno, 15 hours on it, I'm out. It's just not polished enough and too much of it feels cheap, which is saying a lot for this genre. I mean dang I finished Hellpoint and I put 15 hours into that goddamn space/sci-fi souls-like [fucknutwhatthefuckwasitcalledthewholeinternetapparentlyforgot] and I just can't on this one.

Not recommended. Try it on Gamepass but don't pay extra for it.

Edit: It made me fire up Wo Long in anticipation of the DLC at the end of the month. I tried to help a guy beat the silliest OP mission in the main game and we lost on Blindfolded Boy gauntlet but it's still my favorite game of the year by a considerable margin.
 
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Lagduf

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@jro, you gonna try Lords of the Fallen?

Im just waiting for the Elden Ring DLC.
 
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jro

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@jro, you gonna try Lords of the Fallen?

Im just waiting for the Elden Ring DLC.
I have it coming from Amazon tomorrow actually. The reviews are all over the map for it, and it sounds like several gameplay aspects are kind of annoying (the way checkpoints work, too many enemies in small areas at times), but there are enough reviews that really like it that I am just too curious to pass on it. Also kind of interesting to me that multiple reviews and posts, etc said Dark Souls 2 is the closest comparable game to it and I have an odd soft spot for that. The console versions both are apparently in rough shape, but Hexworks prioritizes patches for the PS5 version so I went with that one.

Shadow of the Erdtree sounds huge, no wonder it's targeting Feb 2024 for release (rumored at least). Sounds a little like Phantom Liberty-style massive expansion of the main game maybe, I could certainly go for that.

I did, of course, also pick up Lies of P again (as is tradition). My general opinions about its downsides still stand, but Round8 got enough right (much of which takes some time to recognize) that I think it's probably worth getting all the way through. The enemy placement is pretty good and there's nice impact to the weapons. Also, once you fully upgrade your dodge it's pretty useful. The biggest thing though, and yeah, my bad, is that the parrying is learnable if you keep at it, it's just not as intuitive as it could be. Compared to the visual tells in Wo Long it's just a ton harder to recognize the timing, which can make learning certain bosses take longer to learn than some games in the genre, but it is doable with enough practice and patience. It also doesn't hurt that the devs made a bunch of balance changes a few weeks ago that make parts of the game easier, i.e. lower boss HP in a few fights, more impactful leveling choices, bunch of other stuff. I think I'm a bit over halfway now maybe coming up on 2/3 finished after beating Victor last night since a handful of the remaining bosses are optional. Good value on Gamepass.
 

SML

NEANDERTHAL FUCKER,
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Kind of enjoyed the demo of LoP, although it felt like I hadn't quite gotten the "click." I'll wait for a discount.
 
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jro

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FUCKING FUCK if Lies of P's level design didn't just make me want to smash my controller/slash/kill someone.

The elec-ball thing right after Victor, it's just not designed fairly. Takes way too long to pass, then it hits you when you progress. Finally get to the top, guy with full HP to fight.

LoP is so, so much Bloodborne tribute band it's kind of funny. No fuck those guys with the website.

At least I'm having, I think, clear Souls-Mind for Lords of the Fallen tomorrow. {{{{{{{{YOOOOOSHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!}}}}}}}}} yes just hitting buttons now.

I mean, I get it for the most part, I have platinums on From and Team Ninja games but this one is just bullshit.

For the record, Gamepass is a good deal for including this and not making me pay $60 for it separately. But it's also not worth paying full price. I guess Cocoon FTW.

edit: somebody get me a kitten.

edit: you ever get that feeling that says ooooooh shiit don't post that?

I never do totes obvs.

edit: what if Tyler Perry was President? I worry about this way too much.
 
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Lagduf

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The lantern mechanic in Lords of the Fallen looks interesting where switch between basically a light/dark version of the world.
 

ballzdeepx

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I beat lies of P the other day. Game was way better than I expected and I somehow got the best of the 3 endings. Game is tough but I only used 2 or 3 specters total. The game is going to become a hit or a cult classic at worst.
 

ChuChu Flamingo

We have purposely, trained him wrong, ...as a joke
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Lies of p is ok. Great art and music, voice acting is good npcs kinda sucks. Enemies don't interact with you including bosses. Main mechanics like dodge on ground/tech hit or more heals being locked to p-organs instead of being found/by default. That is my biggest problem. Also no poise on attacks.

But they copied dark souls mechanics without thought. Want proof? You can't pause. Makes sense for dark souls since you can be invaded, here you can't. Rally system to recove rhp when blocking good on paper but you are too slow many times to capitalize on recovering without getting hit.
 

jro

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As per usual, I did get past the part of the game that was driving me nuts, but fuck me, that Pupper-Devouring Monster boss is bad. Small arena, two health bars, and the second phase gets a charge that both pins you in a corner where you can't see anything and you're also one-shot. That was my final rage-delete for now, I may try it again some day but man, Lies of P has so many awful boss fights. The final third of the game is more like going to work at a job you hate than playing a fun game. It really seems like the devs got level design right, most mechanics right, then they design just fucking terrible boss fights. No idea quite how that's possible. The boss fights honestly remind me of Dolmen. It is unreal how many reviews from reputed sites just gush over this game. The boss fights are bad, plain and simple. Can't remember another soulslike where I enjoyed exploring then groaned every time there was a boss.

So I started into Lords of the Fallen. It's a bit janky and there's just a bit too much going on, seriously, the tutorials, I had to pause and reread them three times to remember how to use throwables and go partially Umbral and then fully Umbrall then soulripper then soulgrabber, sheeit, it's a lot.

Gameplay is pretty solid though I think? I'm at the first real boss, basically Malenia's little sister, and her moveset seems punishing but fair. No problems with performance on PS5 so far, it defaults to Quality Mode which is apparently pretty well locked at 30 but who TF plays soulslikes any slower than possible, changed to Performance and it's 60 95% of the time with occasional drops to maybe 55. Promising so far. Had to bail on the boss fight for today since tilt was setting in and I was getting worse, pretty confident I'll get it tomorrow or so.

Edit re LoP: lol at all the posts on Reddit et al about how Round8 should be commended for the game since they're indie and it's their first game in the genre who cares that it's so flawed. How about only asking half the price if the bar is set so dang low. I didn't word that well but you get the idea.
 
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jro

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Just now beat Pieta in LotF, pretty solid first boss in the same vein of the one in Wo Long that's like either learn the mechanics or GTFO now.

The Specter-ish guy is okay for adding a little stagger build but other than that it's even less than in Lies of P.

Resorted to summoning a 2P. First one I got was awful, dude would get a hit or two than die, definitely not worth the boss HP buff. Power-leveled a bit to add two levels to HP than summoned again and got a 2P that was much more helpful, lasted until she had about 25% health and then I spammed ammo packs and grenades and she was dead. Wait THAT'S f'ing spam my bad. Though, I dunno, in Lords it feels a little less dumb to use projectiles than it does in Lies (for real, just watch Elbethium's LoP guides, every single one is him throwing about 30 projectiles at the bosses).

I like the feel of the game for the most part. It's very fast, like Bloodborne at 1.5x speed, but still some nice weight to things.

It's been a while, but I'm almost sure the original Lords was slow as hell and fat as chonky MF. No idea why CI didn't just start a new IP considering there's zero ties to the original and it has like zero cache in the genre.
 

jro

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So, yeah, my current experience with it suggests that LotF is a bit rough on the checkpointing. Beat the second boss then managed to waste an hour not noticing that a kick-down would save immense annoyance.

Still liking the gameplay but, kinda similar to LoP, the level design really doesn't help at all.
 

jro

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Jesus Christ Lords of the Fallen is awful. Devs apparently think putting a hundred enemies between PC and checkpoint equal difficulty.

Level design is FKing awful. Worst I've seen in a long time.

Just inane. Bosses seem to be okay but doesn't matter when the road to them is shit.

Lies of P is indeed better than this trash, but they both really suck.

I might eventually finish LoP, ain't happening with LotF.

RECOMMENDATION:::!!!! play Dark Souls 3 on sale.
 

Gentlegamer

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RECOMMENDATION:::!!!! play Dark Souls 3 on sale.

Speaking of which, there are some cool mods for single player that can really change up Dark Souls 3, while retaining the core game design, turning it into a "souls like"

Of course, these are only available to the PC Master Race.
 

jro

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I got to dumb chick with dogs boss in LotF shoulda saved my SSD space. The run to her is only two elevators and five minutes. Like for real, FUCK you idiot devs, people are going to be doing this a lot, if they bother, and you make them wait for no good reason?

Fucking trash. It's trash. Fuck this game it's trash. Deets to follow but it's really not good.

Just a fucking terrible game. Devs do not get how to make something good in the genre.

Final Wo Long DLC in a month or so let's GTFO of this shit show! Edit I gotta stop refreshing the Dark Souls 3 Steam discount page I'm not a magician.
 
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jro

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Lol I immediately reinstalled the game after I deleted it, realized that it's actually a pretty easy boss so I wouldn't have to do the run too often probably. Gaverus I guess her name is, beat her on my first try after remembering Tyrannicon's strategy.

Then there's another boss immediately on starting into the next area, also not great. Big dumb monster that poisons you and tries to smoosh you. Died one time then used a "beckon" (a specter basically) and basically no strategy at all other than two-hand and never stop swinging and that worked.

It's a genuinely strange game. The best part of it is probably exploring the world, but the levels are overcomplicated, often due to unintuitive use of Umbral, and there tends to be a ton of enemies just about everywhere, which ends up making the player just run past things.

It's oddly similar to Lies of P in several design choices, especially in how blocking and parrying work on your health (Lords has "whither" damage that works a lot like the rally system in Lies). If anything, Lords has a slightly better parry system in that you don't get push back doing it like you do in Lies and it's more frames (feels about like Sekiro's 30, whereas I've read that Lies is 8).

Lies is infinitely more polished though. Lords probably isn't quite as bad as I was knocking it for but it's not good and Lies is better overall by a pretty decent margin.
 

jro

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As is tradition, I re-installed a Souls-like that I claim to hate and beat the Puppet-Devouring Green Monster in LoP on my second try. I think that it's been slightly-nerfed to not do its charge attacks that one-shot (even when not red) as much, think I saw it one time across two life bars' worth in two tries instead of over and over like before.

Haven't come close to dying since just now beat Robber girl (boy with high voice?), game just has some weird difficulty spikes. Gotta admit that the bizarre level design in Lords has made me appreciate the sane levels in Lies.
 

jro

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'K that Illusions-Walking bitch is making me re-think this again. Never seen a dev get so much in the genre right then fuck up the bosses to this extent, it's like they're doing it on purpose.

Bad game.

Actually made me try to make sense of the level design in Lords of the Fallen again (bad idea).
 
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