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GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 61: Dark Souls, Gaming Confessions

Dark Souls. Need I type more? Plus: Our most embarrassing gaming confessions, and indie hits Wizorb and Robotriot. Featuring Chi Kong "Not Sure Where These Quotes Go" Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, Richard Naik, and Tim Spaeth.

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Dark Souls vs Skyrim

Dark Souls Screenshot

I read what had to be one of the weirdest articles I've come across in a while. Yes, I know it's IGN, but it's still about Dark Souls, and I wanted to see where they were going with the article. It didn't go very far. The points of the article irk me.  It's one thing to compare two relatively similar games, but this is almost going beyond apples and oranges into a whole other realm of incompatibility.

Demon's Souls Third Opinion

The Sirens are Calling

Demon's Souls Screenshot

HIGH Clinging to the tiny sphere of light surrounding my character, squinting in a futile effort to penetrate the blackness that threatened to swallow me whole.

LOW Being one-shotted by a demon's sword that clipped through a pillar and being forced to replay the entire stage.

WTF That dragon just sat there and let me shoot it with 250 arrows.

Demon's Souls Second Opinion

The Aesthetics of Ruthlessness

Demon's  Souls Screenshot

HIGH Nightmarish art design, gameplay that feels both revolutionary and reactionary.

LOW Laying awake at night and plotting revenge.

WTF Dead enemies getting stuck to the player's shoe?

Ninja Blade is pretty sharp

Ninja Blade Screenshot

Although I've heard some people call it a "poor man's Ninja Gaiden", that's an awfully dismissive and lazy way of describing Ninja Blade. (Especially since Ninja Gaiden SUCKS.) From where I'm standing, Blade is a much more approachable and exciting experience than anything Itagaki's ever turned out, and I will take Ken Ogawa over Ryu Hayabusa any day.

Armored Core 3 Portable Review

Armored Core 3 Portable Screenshot

HIGH Melting scores of enemy Armored Cores with my trusty flamethrower.

LOW Being sliced apart by beam swords for relying too heavily on my trusty flamethrower.

WTF The game has more functions than the system has buttons!

Why Demon's Souls isn't GOTY material and other strange tales

Demon's Souls Screenshot

Forgive this bit of Scroogery on Christmas (hey, it's not my holiday).  I'm mostly reacting to Gamespot picking Demon's Souls over Uncharted 2: Among Thieves as Game of the Year for 2009. It's a positive reaction to the action-RPG title that I've seen elsewhere, so I'm not entirely surprised. But I also feel it's the latest in a series of hyperbolic reactions calling the game "new" and "inventive," when what I really think people are reacting to—both positively and negatively—is the game's difficulty.

Modern Warfare 2 controversy, Demon's Souls Halloween goodness and Half-Minute Hero

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Screenshot

So the word is basically out, and the level that has been causing all the commotion has been revealed to be used as a scene-setting device—basically establishing some context for the player's actions in the rest of the game. That was pretty much what I expected, but… it was also relayed that wherever this scene appears in the final retail version, it will be preceded by a warning about "graphic content" and the option to simply skip it and jump right into the part where the player goes back to being a "good guy".

Demon's Souls... complete!

Demon's Souls Screenshot

For people who haven't played it yet or might not really care: It's a fantastic, superbly-designed game that has officially knocked my socks off. One of the best PS3 titles available, and at this point, my Game of the Year.

For those who have played it or who do care: My character was a level 80 Temple Knight focusing on Attack and Defense for melee combat. My endgame weapons were a +7 Halberd, a +4 Dragon Sword, and a Lava Bow. All told, it took me about 35 hours, give or take. Too bad there wasn't a death counter, I would've been curious to see how many times I was revived.

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